- Namibia's President Sam Nujoma, accompanied by Works, Transport and Communication Minister Moses Amweelo, laid the first rails of the Tsumeb-Oshikango railway project on Thursday. The project is to connect Namibia with Angola via rail and to increase access to the Etosha National Park in northern Namibia.
Hundreds of people flocked to Tsumeb's Northern Terminus to witness the laying of the first rails as the beginning of the construction of the permanent roadway of the Tsumeb-Oshikango railway line.
Tsuemb currently is the northernmost Namibian city connected to the country's railroad network. Located some 100 kilometres south-east to the Etosha National Park, Tsuemb is directly connected by rail to the Namibian port city, Swakopmund, and indirectly to the capital Windhoek. Oshikango lies to the north-west, at the Angolan border.
In his address in Tsuemb, President Nujoma said the Tsumeb-Oshikango railway project will go down in the annals of the country's history as a national endeavour, which rallied Namibian people and brought them together to work shoulder-to-shoulder for the achievement of a common goal.
President Nujoma said individuals, communities, representatives of the private sector organisations and other members of the society made time to participate in the construction of the project in one way or another since its inception 28 months ago.
The Namibian President expressed his wish to see the spirit of cooperation hard-work and patriotism continue until the completion of the project.
- My government recognises the fact that the socio-economic development of our country demands proper planning and commitment so that we can achieve our goals of improving the standard of living of all Namibians and provide them with high quality public services and social amenities, Mr Nujoma said.
The completion of the Tsumeb-Oshikango railway extension project, President Nujoma further said, was another concrete step that brings the Namibian nation ever close to the realisation of its national goals through Vision 2030.
The Tsumeb-Oshikango railway line would also facilitate eventual connections to the Angolan railway system near Chamutete in that country. Plans for such a connection have already been made, although the Angolan government yet has to find funds for this major infrastructure project.
The construction of the 246,5 kilometres first phase of the project would cost approximately Namibian dollars 845 million (euro 106 million) and it is being co-financed by the Namibian government and the African Development Bank (ADB). About 700 permanent workers will be employed in the construction of the approximately 300 kilometres railway project.
On the Angolan side, the finalisation of the Namibia-Angola railway project is less secured. Here, the government has agreed to the construction of a connection between Oshikango and the southern Angolan city of Lubango, which is connected to the port town of Namibe and the interior. Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos recently promised his Namibian counterpart to prepare for this extension.
On the Namibian side, the Tsumeb-Oshikango railway project is hoped to increase the use of the country's modern port facilities, including for the trade to and from southern Angola. Additionally, it is to aid the development of northern Namibia, increase trade between Namibia and Angola and aid the tourism industry in the region.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.