Mali Signs $1.5b Rail Deal with China Railway
Mali has signed an agreement with China Railway Construction Corporation to renovate a rail line – linking its capital Bamako to the border with neighbouring Senegal – at a cost of $1.486 billion, the West African nation’s transport minister Malick Kasse said on Saturday. The project is part of a plan to upgrade the ageing 1,200-km (745-mile) railway between Senegal’s coastal capital Dakar and landlocked Mali. China Railway Construction penned a similar agreement worth $1.26 billion with Senegal on Thursday. [quote font_size="20"] “Work on the Malian section of the project will include upgrading 644km of rail lines and renovating 22 railway stations,” said Mali’s Minister in Charge of Equipment and Transports Mamadou Hachim Koumare, on the state-owned radio. “This will allow us to have 100 km per hour passenger trains and freight trains of 80 km per hour. Today passenger trains are not even doing 20 km per hour,” [/quote] he added. “Once started, work on the project is expected to last four years,” said Kasse. China Railway Construction Deputy CEO Wei Wanzheng said they would assist Mali in obtaining the financing.