Kampala: Completion of the phase 11 of the construction of the Mombasa-Nairobi-Addis Ababa road is expected to boost trade between Kenya and Ethiopia as it will reduce transport and shipping costs. The African Development Bank (AfDB) has given a loan of $125.6 million to the government of Ethiopia to finance the construction of the Mombasa-Nairobi-Addis Ababa Road corridor project phase II.
The loan for an amount of $125.6 million was signed by Mr. Sufian Ahmed, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, representing the government of Ethiopia and Mr. Lamin G. Barrow, the bank's resident representative in the Ethiopia Country Office.
The road is also expected to boost trade between the countries since it will also reduce transit time for imports and exports and increase the volume of Ethiopian goods transiting through Mombasa port in Kenya. The road corridor development program, which is being implemented in three phases, will also promote increased intra-regional trade and regional integration in East Africa and the Horn of Africa.
Mr. Sufian Ahmed highlighted the importance of this multinational project as another clear indication of the bank's commitment to support the development of Ethiopia.
The bank's resident representative underscored the significance of this New Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD) flagship project as it will support the Ethiopian government's efforts to diversify access to seaports and help redress the apparent marginalization of the horn of Africa countries from the recent boom witnessed in intra-Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) trade.
In reaffirming the bank's commitment to provide continued support to the two governments in developing this road corridor development, Barrow also asked the government's to address the non-physical barriers that are paramount to fostering increased trade between the two countries.
On the Ethiopian side, this multinational road project involves the rehabilitation to bitumen standard of the 193 km long Ageremariam-Yabelo-Mega road section, construction of roadside socio-economic infrastructure, construction of a One-Stop-Border-Post at Moyale and drilling of 12 community water wells within the project area, which is located in the southern and south western part of the country, mainly in Oromia region.
The road is an important section of the Trans-African Highway Network and aims at improving transport links between Kenya and Ethiopia for the benefit of both countries and the wider East Africa and Horn of Africa regions.