Arab Bank provides $13 mln for road project in Oromia

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Ethiopia gets a USD 13 million financing from the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) for the Shambu-Bako road project in the Oromia Region. The signing ceremony was held on Monday May 4, 2015 at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) between State Minister of MoFED Ahmed Shide and BADEA Director General Abdelaziz Khelef. 
The project contributes to the objectives of fostering competitiveness and employment by increasing productivity; increasing and improving delivery of infrastructure through the upgrading of 60 kilometers of the Shambu-Bako road to paved road standards to reduce travel time and cost, State Minister Ahmed said after he inked the agreement.
“The Ethiopian Road Sector Development Program (RSDP) that was started in 1997 is one of the key programs supporting the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) in Ethiopia. This program has contributed to Ethiopia’s social and economic development, and poverty reduction efforts by providing an efficient and effective transport system,” Ahmed said.   
The project covers the upgrading of an existing gravel road to a fully paved road with the main purpose of improving agricultural and trade activities in the area.  The project is partly financed by the OPEC Fund which was recently signed with the Ethiopian government a USD 25 million loan agreement. When completed in 2019, the road will benefit about 300,000 people that live in the area as well as consumers, traders and producers. The state minister further said that the government of Ethiopia appreciated BADEA’s collaboration for both its financial support as well as its leading role in bringing together other development partners to support the development activities in Ethiopia.
According to the loan agreement, the repayment period is 30 years. The agreement also states a 10 years grace period as well as a 1 percent annual interest rate.
The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa is not new to providing loans to the Ethiopian government. Currently, the bank’s total financing to the government stands at USD 178.232 million.