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THE ETHIOPIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY NETWORK AND THE ETHIOPIA POWER GRID: A COMPLETION FOR REGIONAL INTEGRATION IN FEDERAL ETHIOPIA [Abstract ID: 0304-06]
It was not until the construction of the centralized road network during the Italian occupation that Ethiopian regions saw the end of their isolation. The French-Ethiopian only provided a limited and fragile outlet to world markets. Despite a steady economic growth encouraged by an open access to the world the "African Lion" is still experiencing a wider gap between the better-integrated central regions and the remote peripheries. In accordance with the vision of the Growth and Transformation Plans the Djibouti-Addis Abäba Development Corridor along the new standard gauge electrified railway is the first step towards a network that will extend across the highlands and the lowlands to the borders. Similarly, the massive production of hydroelectricity generated by the big plants, built in the canyons carved in the central plateau, is transported along the high voltage lines of the Ethiopia Power Grid across the peripheral regions and further across the borders into the neighbouring countries. Ethiopia intends to be in a few years’ time an emerging state, which will export manufactured goods by creating a network of regional industrial parks. Maps show how the National Railway Network and the Power Grid have anchored the federal regions to Addis Abäba. New territorial divisions based upon these centres of industrialization will compete with the kellel, the established federal regions. It is a fact that this recentralization process owes a lot to the increasing demographic and economic weight of the country. This contribution will address issues of national and regional integration, which is a challenge in Ethiopian geopolitics.