ADDIS ABABA- The on-going huge cross-border road programs being underway by Ethiopia has contributed greatly in expediting the country's economic growth and enhancing its access to neighbouring ports, the Ministry of Transport said.
Apart from accelerating the import-export trade, the massive expansion of the road network puts Ethiopia in a good shape for the realization of AU's vision of economic integration, Transport State Minister Kassahun Gofe told local media.
"The Hawassa-Moyale cross- border road construction which is part of the East African largest highway was inaugurated by the Ethiopian budget year. This highway enables Ethiopia to access Lamu port in Kenya," he added.
By the same token, the country is undertaking road constructions to Berbera, Assab, and other ports in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean.
The State Minister further stated that the huge infrastructural programs underway between Ethiopia and Eritrea have given impetus to promote the two countries' people-to-people ties after two decades of severing relations. An infrastructural development, particularly road connectivity, is among the pillars of the reform government's vision to stimulate economic integration with Eritrea.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia's transport sector performs well in the current year and the government has been tirelessly working to increase the country's expressway coverage to more than 2,000 km by a year and half.
Kassahun pointed out that the ministry executed the construction of 129 road projects in the past year and additional 39 main roads being renovated due to the government's priority for equitable and fair distribution of the road network.
Accordingly, the Galafi-Addis Ababa road construction has shown a promising performance in the past year.
In the New Year, due attention has been given to enhance the capacity of local contractors with a view to enabling them to execute projects with the desired quality level and schedule, he remarked.
BY TEWODROS KASSA