The Ethiopian Roads Authority revealed that it aims to have a fully operational Road Research Center by December 2013.
Capital learnt that a preparatory study towards the establishment of a Road Research Center has been made together with the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) of United Kingdom. The location of the future research center has already been secured in Kality.
The concept design of the center is currently being prepared by TRL. The design work is in the consultant stages. The new center aims at conducting research that can support the Road Sector Development Program (RSDP) through identifying, investigating and mitigating road construction and maintenance problems.
ERA expects the center to coordinate all road and transportation research in Ethiopia by June 2014, as well as to attain internationally recognized certification for the management and operations of the research center by December 2014.
The ERA research and Development Directorate document further states that the new center aims to provide research facilities to other African countries by December 2016, as well as establishing formal collaborative links with other international road and transport research organizations for ongoing information exchange and capacity building of the Ethiopian road sector.
ERA has been doing collaborative work for this purpose with various Ethiopian universities and government organizations after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). ERA’s collaboration with the Universities includes the field of applied research, consultancy, tailor-made training, seminars and review of Ddocuments.
The universities elected were based on the viability of their civil engineering departments such as the Ethiopian Institute of Technology of Mekele University, the departments of civil engineering and earth sciences at the Addis Ababa University, Bahir Dar University, Hawaasa University and Jimma University.
The Ethiopian Roads Authority, according to the five year program will construct 4,331Km of new roads. Most of the money will come from the federal coffers and external loans.
Recently ERA officials told Capital that the total budget allocation for the roads envisioned in the Growth and Transformation plan (GTP), some 81.1 billion birr over a five year period, was not sufficient to meet the target of the Road Sector Development Program (RSDP) IV. Hence the authority has already applied for an additional 20 billion birr for its projects under the GTP plan.
The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) has secured 22 billion birr to work on infrastructure during the next 2012-13 Ethiopian fiscal year.
Before the end of the current 2011/12 Ethiopian fiscal year on July 8, ERA’s budget allocation is expected to be approved by the House of Peoples Representatives.