The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a loan of €145m to Egypt for its railways modernisation project.
AfDB stated on Tuesday that the funding would be used to enhance operational safety and increase network capacity on national rail lines.
According to the statement, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, Dr Rania Al-Mashat, said the safe, accessible, convenient and green transport systems would be crucial to achieving sustainable development.
“The improvement and expansion of Egypt’s rail system through the Egypt National Rails Modernisation Project allows for active mobility and enables urban and rural development through an inter-modal linked system. Technology and innovation, and a robust commitment to public transport, will all be vital components of building back better,” the minister added.
Rail passenger and freight traffic are expected to increase to 15 per cent and 10 per cent respectively by 2029 as a result of the loan and other investments in the project, AfDB disclosed.
It said, “Currently, eight per cent of passenger traffic and six per cent of freight traffic move by rail. The planned upgrades are expected to benefit low-income Egyptians, about 40 per cent of the population, who rely on trains as an affordable mode of transport. Increasing train freight is projected to have a positive impact on greenhouse gas emissions.”
Under the ENRMP a state-of-the-art, cost-effective train protection system will be installed on 950km of train line along the busy routes connecting Alexandria in the north to Negh Hammadi in the south, and Port Said in the east, the development bank added.
AfDB’s Deputy Director-General for North Africa, Malinne Blomberg, added that the newly approved project would enhance the multi-modal transportation environment in Egypt, and the efficient movement of people, services and goods.
She said, “This operation is fully aligned with the bank’s strategy for interventions in Egypt, contributing to sustained and inclusive economic growth and, more specifically, developing infrastructure that supports expansion of the private sector and job creation.”