Addis-Djibouti Corridor Project Gets US$730 Million Grant
A 142km section will be upgraded to a four-lane expressway.
The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) has approved a US$730 million grant for the Addis-Djibouti Regional Economic Corridor Project.
The Addis-Djibouti corridor is a key trade route connecting landlocked Ethiopia to the Port of Djibouti. More than 95% of Ethiopia’s import-export trade passes along the route.
The Addis-Djibouti corridor has two main routes: the 896km northern road and the 750km southern road. Despite being shorter, the southern route is avoided by trucks because of the poor condition of the road between Mieso and Dire Dawa.
The rest of the southern route has already been upgraded or is in the process of being upgraded. A six-lane, 80km expressway toll road between Addis Ababa and Adama opened in 2015. The 224km end section from Dire Dawa to Dewele was upgraded to a two-lane toll road and opened to traffic in 2019.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Ethiopian government are currently financing the rehabilitation of the 125km section between Adama and Awash.
The IDA-funded project focuses on upgrading the 142km Mieso-Dire Dawa section to a four-lane tolled expressway.
Local communities will also be connected to the main corridor through investments in secondary roads. These communities will also benefit from new road-side auxiliary markets and water wells. One-stop border posts will be built at Galafi and Dewelle.
Other aspects of the Addis-Djibouti Regional Economic Corridor Project include regulatory and institutional reforms, investments in logistics facilities, and promoting the modal shift to railways.
There will be opportunities for private sector participation in operating freight truck terminals along the corridor.
"This is a transformative initiative for Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa region. It will improve connectivity, enhance trade volumes, create job opportunities, and improve access to basic services with a greater flow of goods and people across the Horn,” said Ousmane Dione, World Bank country director for Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan.
Boutheina Guermazi, World Bank director for regional integration for Africa and the Middle East added, “The Addis-Djibouti Regional Economic Corridor project is one of the priority operations that we are supporting in the Horn to help connect hinterland to ports and markets, and to increase opportunities for regional trade. It’s expected outcomes extend beyond economic growth and social development in Ethiopia, as it will enhance regional integration and generate spillover benefits for the entire region.”
Top photo: Road in Ethiopia (© Svetlana485 | Dreamstime)