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The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) signed a deal for road construction and upgrading projects that are all together worth 17.4 billion birr. The deal that was made between ERA and 13 local and five foreign contractors involves the upgrading and construction of roads in the Oromia, Amhara, SNNPR, Tigray as well as Gambela Regions.
“The agreement we signed today is for 19 projects that are worth in total 17.4 billion birr and cover 1007 kilometers. This agreement brings the total number of projects that are ongoing this budget year to 50 at an overall worth of 43.4 billion birr,” Araya Girmay, Director ERA stated during the signing ceremony that was held at the Hilton Hotel on Tuesday May 23, 2017.
It was stated that the 50 projects will be creating 25,000 permanent and non-permanent job opportunities. “The contract signing on these projects will have a considerable contribution to achieving the targets in the second phase of the Growth and Transformation Plan,” the Director also said.
The newly signed projects have been given a time frame of two to four years to be completed and once they are done they will contribute significantly to reducing transport cost, expediting the development of regional and small cities and increasing the interconnectedness of different zones, Woredas that the roads pass through promoting integrated economic growth.
Speaking on the current year’s performance the director also pointed out that among the ongoing projects ERA is carrying out, 25 of them will be completed this year and will begin providing service. “On top of that, the Authority has been able to construct and carry out maintenance work on 15,142 kilometers of roads. Looking at the ten month plan we had set, it shows we have met 88 percent of the targeted performance,” said Araya.
Local contractors that are part of the signed contract also underlined that the more the government involves local grown construction companies and contractors, the better it is for the country which will be able to strengthen its capacity in the field.