China’s role in building Africa’s transport network


The transport network is a basic component of development for any country and as such, China has helped Africa lay a basic foundation for its development. Many African countries have benefited from such projects by the Chinese government that have enabled a better and more beautiful continent.

Ahead of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit to be held in Johannesburg, here is a review of some of the major projects accomplished around Africa by the Chinese government within the transport sector;

Coastal Railway, Nigeria

This is hailed as China’s biggest project in Africa within the transport sector, and its largest single contract overseas. China Railway Corporation signed a deal in 2014 worth nearly $12 billion with Nigeria to build a railway along the West African nation’s coast.

The coastal railway will stretch for an astonishing 1,402 kilometres, linking Nigeria’s economic capital Lagos in the west with Calabar in the east.

Upon completion, this railway will ease the movement of goods and people between the two towns and will definitely open up trade opportunities across the vast region.

Kenya standard-gauge railway

China in May signed a deal to build a rail link worth $3.8 billion between Kenya’s Mombasa and Nairobi, the first phase of a line that will eventually connect Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.

The East African Community has hailed this project as it will open up the region more and enhance trade activities in addition to enabling faster movement of people and goods across the region. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2017.


In 2015, a 1,344-km railroad project spanning the African country of Angola was complete and was put into operation.

The line, built by the China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), boasts the fastest traveling speed in the country and will serve as a significant economic corridor there.

The railway linking the coastal city of Lobito in the west and Luau bordering Angola is the second longest railway built by a Chinese company for Africa, after the Tanzania-Zambia railway.

The railway, built since 2004, will be linked with the Angola-Zambian railway and the Tanzania-Zambia railway in the future.

There are numerous other projects done by the Chinese government across Africa. Be it manpower or financing, China has been at the forefront of building a better Africa through the transport system. As the FOCAC summit approaches, talk is already rife that Chinese President Xi Jinping will announce a raft of many other projects his government plans to carry out around the continent.