NAIROBI, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- China has been playing a crucial part in improving Africa's transport over the years, giving a much-needed boost to the continent's efforts to achieve regional integration.
The most remarkable of the Chinese contribution perhaps has been the construction by professional Chinese companies of numerous railways that now criss-cross the continent.
Data from the Chinese government shows that China, through aid and financing support, has helped build or are building more than 6,200 kilometers of railways in Africa.
Quite a few railways, such as the Mombasa-Nairobi standard gauge railway in Kenya and Ethiopia-Djibouti railway, have become Africa's new flagship projects that will better connect nations in East Africa.
Following is a list of some major railways undertaken by Chinese firms since 2015.
1. Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway, Kenya
Aerial photo taken on May 12, 2017 shows the Mazeras Bridge of the Mombasa-Nairobi standard gauge railway in Kenya. China in May 2014 signed a deal to build the rail link worth 3.8 billion dollars between Kenya's Mombasa and Nairobi. Around 480 km long, the project's passenger service was launched in mid-2017. The project, which marks the first phase of a line that is expected to cover a distance of about 2,935 km and eventually connect Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan, will facilitate transportation and boost trade in the eastern African region. It features passenger trains with a speed of 120 km per hour and freight trains designed to move at 80 km per hour. (Xinhua/Chen Cheng)
2. Ethiopia-Djibouti railway
A train runs on the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway during an operational test near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Oct. 3, 2016. The railway will help landlocked Ethiopia improve access to the sea and speed up a burgeoning industrialization process. The 752.7 km railway, with a designed speed of 120 km per hour, took six years to complete. It was constructed by the China Railway Group and the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, with a total investment of 4 billion U.S. dollars. (Xinhua/Sun Ruibo)
3. Lobito-Luau railway, Angola
In 2015, a 1,344-km railroad project spanning Angola was complete and put into operation. The railway, linking the coastal city of Lobito in the west and Luau city which borders the Democratic Republic of Congo, is the second longest railway built by a Chinese company for Africa after TAZARA. The railway is expected to be linked with the Angola-Zambia railway and the Tanzania-Zambia railway in the future. (Xinhua/Pang Shuguang)
4. Abuja-Kaduna railway, Nigeria
A train is pictured at a train station in suburban Abuja, on July 26, 2016. The railway, built by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, covers a distance of 186.5 km and links the capital city Abuja and the northwestern state of Kaduna. It has nine stations and a designed speed of 150 km per hour. Built in 2011, the railway became operational in July 2016. (Xinhua/Yang Hongjie)
5. Lagos-Ibadan railway launch, Nigeria
Photo taken on March 7, 2017 shows the scene of the ground breaking ceremony for Lagos-Ibadan railway project in Lagos, Nigeria. The new standard gauge railway project was awarded by the Nigerian government to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation. (Xinhua/Jiang Xintong)
6. Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit, Ethiopia
Photo taken on Sept. 20, 2015 shows a train operating on the light rail in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The electrified AA-LRT was the first light railway on the African continent with two lines of a total length of 34 km. The project, built by China Railway Group, became operational in September 2015. The rail service, estimated to transport about 60,000 passengers per day, helps ease people's travels in the Ethiopian capital. (Xinhua/Sun Ruibo)