Egypt’s bid to develop rail sector put to test by dire economic headwinds
Al-Monitor Pro Members
Journalist covering Egypt and Sudan
July 24, 2023
For decades, Egypt has been associated with an old and neglected rail network infamously known for its hundreds of accidents every year. However, local authorities have been trying to overhaul this key infrastructure hand in hand with the private sector, as a recent flow of deals shows. On June 20, Egypt’s parliament gave its final nod to a $400 million loan from the World Bank to help finance a rail line between the port of Alexandria and a dry port near Cairo. In March, the Transport Ministry signed a protocol with Spain’s train manufacturer Talgo to localize the production of rail cars. And just the previous month, French firm NGE was awarded a contract to build the country’s first section of a high-speed rail line. Yet, despite this constant flurry of news, the mission ahead is daunting, especially at a time when Egypt faces serious economic woes and the authorities’ bid to prioritize macro infrastructure projects increasingly comes under political scrutiny.
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