The construction of the US$400M Berbera corridor is set to boost trade links between Somaliland and Ethiopia.
The project once complete will link Ethiopia’s border town of Togochale to Berbera Port in Somaliland. The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development is funding the roads projects.
Muse Bihi Somaliland president opened the first completed 12-kilometre phase of the project which is the second major infrastructural project Somaliland is building after the expansion of the Port of Berbera by the Dubai Ports World (DP World).
Somaliland imports to Ethiopia is estimated to be worth over US$800M annually and the Berbera-Togochale corridor will be instrumental in facilitating import-export trade for Ethiopia’s economy.
“We are here to open part of the Berbera Corridor, which is a 12 KM stretch that has been completed. I would like to point out that this road is different from the earlier road which was built to handle 6 tonnes, the new road can now handle 40 tonnes and more, and its 11.3 meters wide and evermore durable”, said Abdilahi Abokor Osman, Minister of Transport and Highway Development.
The building of the Berbera corridor was part of a contract agreement between Somaliland government, the United Emirates (UAE) and its owned port company Dubai Ports World.
Somaliland Ambassador Bashe Omar who initiated the agreement said his government appreciated the continuous valuable investment projects UAE has put in the economy of Somaliland.
“The UAE has a long track record of engagement with Somaliland. 42 years ago the then ruler of UAE, Sheikh Zayed awarded an Italian construction company a contract to build Burao-Berbera road. And now the current ruler of UAE, Sheikh Zayed son, Sheikh Khalifa is following his dad footsteps and continues to cement the half a century relationship between the two nations by funding the construction of the Berbera Corridor (Berbera-Tog Wajaale). May Allah Bless the UAE and its rulers,” said Bashe Omar.
The UAE owned port Dubai Port World signed a 30- year concession agreement to administer the Berbera port. This expansion will increase the port capacity by 50 per cent.
Source: The Exchange