ALGIERS, June 28 (Xinhua) -- An Algerian official praised a Chinese-built highway project on Tuesday for its high quality and contribution to local social and economic development.
Mohamed Khaldi, director general of Algeria's National Highway Agency, said the 53-kilometer project undertaken by China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), has effectively facilitated social and economic development, saved transportation costs, and improved travel convenience for locals.
Khaldi made the remarks when he joined members of the Trans-Saharan Highway Liaison Committee to tour a portion of the 53-kilometer entrance section of the Trans-Saharan Highway, a continental-scale project that links six African countries, namely Algeria, Chad, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Tunisia.
With a total length of more than 9,000 km, the main line of the highway is the Algiers-Lagos section, which has a length of about 4,500 km. The ambitious project seeks to provide Sub-Saharan African nations with access to the Mediterranean Sea. It also intends to boost pan-African economic cooperation and trade exchanges, as well as accelerate regional and global integration.
Due to steep terrain and projects including the construction of a 9.6-km-long tunnel and 2.7-km-long bridge, the 53-km-long portion of the highway connecting the northern Algerian towns of Chiffa and Berrouaghia is regarded as one of the most challenging and complicated parts of the entire highway.
To build the section, CSCEC has created more than 10,000 jobs in Algeria and trained more than 2,000 professionals in the construction sector, according to figures released by the company. ■