Great plan of railway construction and rehabilitation of infrastructures are actively executed in eastern African countries, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti and others. As one of the top priority national projects, Ethiopia alone has an ambitious plan of constructing more than 5000Km railways, including 736Km Addis Ababa-Djibouti line that will be completed in few months and the Addis Ababa light railway lines that started operation in September 2015. In fact, East African Railway Master Plan has allocated 29 billion USD for repair works and construction of new lines, causing huge demand of railway engineers to design, construct, monitor and operate railway systems.

Having huge railway transportation system expansion in terms of both new lines construction and renovation of the old lines in Eastern and Southern Africa, the need for advanced study in the fields of railway system education and research is found fundamental. Hence, under the support of WBG, Addis Ababa University/Addis Ababa Institute of Technology has designed and developed African Railway Education and Research Institute (ARERI) to train African students in railway disciplines. ARERI is responsible for creating skilled work force in railway fields by establishing a well-organized education and research institute under the foundation of already existing Railway Engineering Center.