The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) is to find out
if it will obtain financial support for the Mojo-Hawassa (Awassa) toll road project from the Korean government in the coming two months, Capital learnt.
Tilahun Tadesse, Director of Governments’ Cooperation Directorate of MoFED, told Capital that the ministry office that requested financial support from South Korea for the new expressway project in November 2011, believes support will be obtained shortly. “We informed them that we need to secure the finance straight away to enter into the project within a short period,” the director said. “Even though there needs to be political commitment from Korea, we expect to get final approval in two months time,” Tilahun added.
The director indicated that the solicited money is substantial but he declined to disclose the exact amount.
He also said that it is hard to determine how much progress has been made so far.
The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) is currently conducting a feasibility study to construct a parallel toll road that will stretch from Mojo to Hawassa. The study will help undertake a detailed design work of the new expressway that is assumed by ERA’s own staff.
The Southern Nation, Nationalities and Peoples’ Regional State capital, Hawassa, is 200 Km south of Mojo town and Mojo is 73 Km east of Addis Ababa. This 200 Km expressway is to become major high traffic highway like the 99 Km Addis-Adama road.
The Addis-Adama toll road, which is Ethiopia’s first expressway, is currently under construction by China Communications Construction Co (CCCC) at a cost of USD 612 million.
Recently, ERA officials told Capital that the traffic flow on the route from Mojo to Hawassa is increasing. “This is the reason to launch the feasibility study for the new expressway,” they said.
The current Addis-Adama highway, which is part of the Addis-Djibouti Port corridor road project, is the busiest highway in the country. ERA also plans to continue the Addis-Adama expressway further east to Awash; however it is not expected to be implemented within the next few years as the cost to construct this type of project is quite extensive.
Awash, 223 Km east of Addis Ababa is part of the port corridor, while the Adama-Awash highway is not as busy as the Addis-Adama road.
The six-lane first toll road Addis-Adama construction work commenced in April 2010 and is expected to be completed early 2014.
The expressway will take a different route making the 100 Km road shorter by 20 Km than the existing road. The Chinese Export and Import (EXIM) Bank financed the road.