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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has agreed to partially finance the Mojo-Hawassa express highway that will be constructed with additional funding from the Ethiopian government and the South Korea Exim Bank.
Ethiopia asked South Korea to finance the construction of a new expressway stretching from Mojo to Hawassa.
AfDB approved USD 126 million for the first phase of the 56km road, which will be the Mojo-Meki section. AfDB will also provide a USD 2.44 million fund to help the Ethiopian Road Authority (ERA) build its capacity. The government will contribute the balance of the USD 99.10 million to fund costs, local taxes, resettlement compensation and other expenses.
The proposed loan of USD 100 million and the government’s USD 22 million will fund the construction of the second section, which runs from Meki to Zeway (37km). The total cost of the road going from Mojo to Zeway (Batu) is USD 349.51 million.
The 209 km Mojo-Hawassa Highway project will be implemented in two phases. Phase I consists of the construction of 93km of a new asphalt road divided with four lane between Mojo and Zeway towns.
The project will be implemented in five years. The Mojo-Hawassa highway lies mostly in Oromia Region and is part of the major Mombasa-Nairobi-Addis Ababa highway project and is expected to facilitate local agri-business and international trade.
The current Mojo-Hawassa road is dilapidated and has only two lanes. The road section forms a link in the route from Cape Town to Cairo.
The current capacity is insufficient to cater to the growing traffic demands, including heavy international traffic. In this respect, the Bank (AfDB) has already invested in the construction of 1,000km sections of the Mombasa–Nairobi-Addis Ababa Road Corridor in both Kenya and Ethiopia. The Mojo –Hawassa highway project continues the extension program and when completed in 2019 it is expected to greatly enhance national and regional trade.
Currently, about 25 percent of the road sector development in the country is covered by donors.
A 2012 data indicates that the World Bank is the largest donor, contributing 9.2 percent of the total disbursements, followed by the EU (6.2 percent), China (3.9 percent) and the AfDB (2.0 percent).
The new Addis-Adama toll way is the first in the Nation and is expected to be completed by the end of the current budget year according to Samson Wendimu, public relations head of ERA.
The Authority also hopes to expand the expressway to Awash from Adama.