Transport in Ethiopia

= Railways =

* 681 km (Ethiopian segment of the Addis Ababa - Djibouti Railway), all 1000mm narrow gauge
* note: At present the railway is under joint control of Djibouti and Ethiopia, but negotiations are underway to privatize this transport utility.

Railway links to adjacent countries

* Djibouti - yes - 1000mm
* Somalia - no railways
* Kenya - no - same gauge 1000mm
* Sudan - no - break of gauge 1000mm/1067mm
* Eritrea - no break-of-gauge 1000mm/950mm


* [ UN map]

Ethiopian cities served by rail


* Addis Ababa - national capital
* Akaki
* Awash
* Debre Zeyit
* Dire Dawa
* Metehara
* Mieso
* Nazret


Several never-built lines were proposed by the Italians after their conquest of Ethiopia in 1935.


A concrete sleeper plant has also been built.


* 2 November 2006 - Ineco Spt of Spain has been named the preferred choice for supervision and administration of rehabilitation work on the 781km Ethio-Djibouti Railway for €2.2 million. Consta - an Italian company - will undertake the actual reconstruction at a cost of €40 million (about R360m). Comazar of South Africa has been awarded the 25-year concession. Rails are to be upgraded from 20kg/m to 40kg/m, to carry substantially increased loads. A fleet of new locomotives and freight wagons will be brought in by the concessionaire. [RailwaysAfrica]


In French. [ ]


As the first part of a 10-year Road Sector Development Program, between 1997 and 2002 the Ethiopian government began a sustained effort to improve its infrastructure of roads. As a result, as of 2002 Ethiopia has a total (Federal and Regional) 33,297 km of roads, both paved and gravel. The share of Federally managed roads in good quality improved from 14% in 1995 to 31% in 2002 as a result of this program, and the road density increased from 21 km per 1000 km2 (in 1995) to 30 km; however, this is still less than the average of 50 km per 1000 km² for Africa. [" [ Ethiopia - Second Road Sector Development Program Project] ", p.3 (World Bank Project Appraisal Document, 19 May 2003)]

The Ethiopian government has begun second part of the Road Sector Development Program, which is scheduled for completion in 2007. This will involve the upgrading or construction of over 7,500 km of roads, with the goal of improving the average road density for Ethiopia to 35 km per 1000 km², and reduce the proportion of the country area that is more than 5 km from an all-weather road from 75% to 70%. [World Bank, "Second Road Sector", p.11]

As of 2006, Ethiopia only had one expressway-the Addis Ababa Ring Road, a four-lane limited-access, divided highway, forming a beltway around the capital. Some portions are still yet to be completed. The majority of its interchanges consist of roundabouts. Pedestrian bridges were constructed every kilometer, to reduce the risk of accidents. While not built to expressway standards, many roads in Addis and other cities can be considered dual carriageways and have up to 4 lanes in each direction with hardly any junctions.

* "total (Regional and Federal):" 33,297 km
* "asphalt:" 3,789 km
* "gravel:" 27,782 km
* "maintained by Regional government": 16,680 km

Ports and harbours

None. Ethiopia is landlocked and was by agreement with Eritrea using the ports of Asseb and Massawa; since the Eritrean-Ethiopian War, Ethiopia has used the port of Djibouti for nearly all of its imports.

Merchant marine

"total:"12 ships (with a volume of GRT|1,000|first=yes or over) totaling GRT|84,915/DWT|112,634|metric|first=yes (1999 est.); 9 ships (with a volume of GRT|1,000 or over) GRT|81,933/DWT|101,287 (2003 est.)
"ships by type:"
cargo ship 7; container ship 1; petroleum tanker 1; roll-on/roll-off ship 3 (1999 est.), 1 (2003 est.)


82 (2003 est.)

Airports - with paved runways

"over 3,047 m:"3
"2,438 to 3,047 m:"5
"1,524 to 2,437 m:"5
"914 to 1,523 m:"1 (2003 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways

"over 3,047 m:"3
"2,438 to 3,047 m:"2
"1,524 to 2,437 m:"13
"914 to 1,523 m:"27
"under 914 m:"23 (2003 est.)

See also

* Ethiopia


Further reading

* "Chapter 8: Transport and Communications" in Richard Pankhurst, "Economic History of Ethiopia (1800 - 1935)" (Addis Ababa: Haile Selassie I University Press, 1968).

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