10 January 2018

Ethiopia: Transportation - Local Service Success, Regional Integration

Advancement in transportation is one of the signs of economic progress in nations' development. For countries, having efficient transportation system means plenty of opportunities to facilitate a better social and economic activities that bring about positive outcomes. The development of transport, hence, is crucial to connecting people both in a nation and people of different countries to one another.

According to the information from the Ministry of Transport, the government of Ethiopia is diversifying alternative transportation modes like buses, metro-taxis, higher buses, railways and others to satisfy local people demands. Moreover, it is undertaking massive infrastructure expansion for land and air-transportation for domestic travels.

At the same time, the Ministry is also working towards making transportation service available for all by 2025 giving attention to all means including land, air and water transport services at fair price, as documents released by the Ministry's Communication Directorate stated.

As part of local transportation development scheme in 2017 for instance some 69, 932 vehicles were imported to the nation that has increased the number of cars in the nation to over 780,000. Among these, close to 14,000 are rendering services in the capital.

The government is introducing various additional alternative platforms to satisfy the highly demanding transportation quests of the general public. The document further noted, public transportation service and the light rail in the city are some of these platforms already at hand. Addis Ababa light-rail system is the other achievement made in the transportation sector. Of the two rail lines in the city, the East-West line will extend 17.35 kilometers , stretching from Ayat Village to Torhailoch, and passing through Megenagna, Leghar and Mexico Square and other lines in that direction.

The North-South line, which is 16.9 kilometers in length, passes through Menelik II Square, Merkato , Lideta, Legehar, Meskel Square, Gotera and Kaliti. And the light rail is part of the development of the country in general and the city in particular which will be dynamic in the future too.

In addition to this, the expansion of domestic flights are also in a good shape. According to the information from the Ethiopian Airlines, Addis Ababa has so far been connected to over 100 international destinations, as information from the Ethiopian Airlines indicated.

The Ethiopian Aviation industry is also showing amazing progresses in connecting the country with the rest of the world. The Ethiopian Airlines, on this regard, is advancing highly to providing competitive, reliable, safe and comfortable air transport. It is clear that Ethiopia needs better air connectivity as it is the Headquarter of the African Union, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and many other international organizations. The nation is also strategic for various economic, political and social relations as well as export of horticultural products using the air transport means, Ethiopian Airlines website further indicated that the Airlines has introduced latest air-crafts that enable it be highly competent in the international flight market.

Moreover, the nation is connected by various transportation means with neighboring countries including the Ethio-Djibouti electrified railway being one manifestation which has started service as of last week.

According to the information from the Ethiopian Railway Corporation (ERC), the line passes through Sebeta to Dewele having a total of 16 sub-stations in the route. There are more than 55 stations in this rail way project with Sebeta, Lebu, Indode, Bishoftu, Modjo, Adama, Metehara, Awash, Meiso, Mulu, Afdem, Bike, Erer, Dire Dawa, Shinle, Dewanle and the Djibouti Port stations being the major ones.

The Corporation last week released that Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway transport, which is expected to play a pivotal role in advancing country's urbanization commenced service. And such an integration is aimed at attracting the establishment of new institutions which in turn contributes to developing towns and businesses in their vicinity.

The transport would be instrumental in encouraging new settlements and the formation of service providing organizations including hotels and markets across the route especially in the eastern parts of Ethiopia. This is due to the fact that the stations provide opportunity to people who live in the route by being a means to livelihood through serving the needs of the passengers thereby fostering urbanization.

ERC document further highlighted that the strategic moves of the nation on the transportation sector shows that Ethiopia is highly developing its transportation system in an exemplary manner among nations in Africa in a manner to integrate the region economically.

The electricity-powered light rail way plus the Ethio- Djibouti electrified rail are the most sustainable transport modes which are designed considering its little or no effect on climate. This is due to the fact that there is a high concern by nation's government for climate change in all its development endeavors. And such a transportation means contributes less to the carbon emission of the environment, it will undoubtedly become the most preferred means of transportation.

According to a magazine published recently by ERC under the title "Train", the government of Ethiopia is exerting its efforts and showing its utmost commitment to expand railway transportation service at a national and continental level. One of these commitment is shown in the Ethio-Djibouti railway line. As it is recalled over 3.47 Billion USD was allocated for the construction of the project, as the ERC documents indicated.

This train has a speed of 120 km/hr which has a potential to minimize a travel time to 10-12 hours that took 3-7 days previously. And the project is said to improve industry, economic, and people-to-people ties as well as overall cooperation among the two nations which is one sign of Ethiopia's effort and commitment for regional economic integration.

Plus to this, the nation is highly getting connected with neighboring countries like Djibouti and Sudan using land transportation system.

The Aviation and railway connectivity visions of the nation shows that the nation is working to get connected to the rest of the world in the overall socioeconomic, political and diplomatic as well as cultural ties with the globe.

According to the information from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), regional integration is a key strategy for development and intra-regional trade and is expected to generate considerable economic gains for Africa. Although it is widely recognized that intra-regional trade could play a significant role in accelerating economic growth and poverty reduction and enhancing food and energy security in Africa, the Continent continues to trade little with itself.

Hence, it should create better economic interaction and market through the creation and building of robust and diverse economies as this is the opportunity for growth and attracting investment.

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