CHINESE ACADEMY OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE
AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION
MINISTRY OF COMMERCE, P. R. CHINA

Wed.29/10/2014

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Song Wei

No country inthe world has ever built so many high-speed railways in such a short period oftime and pushed for high-speed rail diplomacy as China, which has attractedworldwide attention. China's high-speed rail brands have also gainedpopularity.

The question iswhether the country's high-speed railway projects can be launched in Africa.Undoubtedly, high-speed railways can speed up connectivity and promote economicintegration in Africa. The projects would also align with the African Union'sAgenda 2063 action plan. However, the threshold for building high-speed railsis high. It requires massive investment and a high occupancy rate. Given thathigh-speed trains are driven by electrical power and power consumption showsstepped increases as speed picks up, there must be a sufficient power supply.Additionally, the economy of the host countries must be relatively developed.So far, no African country can meet these conditions. Chinese investors mayface risks in launching high-speed rail projects.  

The author is theassociate research fellow of the Institute of International Development Cooperation.

This article is publishedon Global Times (March 6, 2017).


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