Addis Ababa, December 26, 2009 – The African Development Bank (AfDB)
approved an 85 million dollar loan to Ethiopia for the construction of a
192km road which will enable Ethiopia to access the Mombasa Port.
The agreement will be signed between the bank and the Ministry of
Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) during the next three weeks.
AfDB's loan will cover 84pc of the construction cost of the road, the
remaining 16pc coming from MoFED.
The road extends from Hagere Mariam through Yabelo to Mega and is part
of the Mombasa-Nairobi-Addis Ababa Road. The construction will be
supervised by the Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA).
The existing road is old and in poor condition, making it difficult to
use the Kenyan port, according to a study by ERA. The road, which will
be seven meters wide with a 1.5 meter hard shoulder on each side, will
be constructed in two phases from Hager Mariam to Yabelo (94.5km) and
from Yabelo to Mega (97.5km).
The new plan for the construction of the road includes three stations
along the way each inclusive of rest stops with bathrooms, shopping
centers, parking areas, garages and filling stations. The study also
indicates that the road will allow local communities to participate in
trade and to develop their cultures.
The Port of Djibouti currently addresses 85pc of Ethiopia's import and
export need. Ethiopia also uses Port Sudan in the north and Berbera Port
in Somaliland to the east. The Mombasa Port could become the country's
access to the sea on the southern route.
Using this route, under the present road conditions, would not be
cost-effective, according to a top official in the Ministry of Trade and
ERA will invite tenders for the construction of the road as soon as the
money has been transferred, an official at ERA told Fortune.
The AfDB is said to have given the green light to Ethiopian negotiators
for more loans for the Hawassa-Hagere Mariam and Mega-Moyale segments of
the same road, the MoFED official told Fortune.
Kenya has also started the construction of the road linking the port to
the Ethiopian border using loans granted by the bank.
Import and export cargoes will begin to use this corridor when the
construction on both sides of the Ethiopia-Kenya border has been
Source: Addis Fortune, December 21, 2009