S.Sudan cabinet approves joint border infrastructure development fund with Ethiopia

Juba, June 12, 2017(GMN) - The South Sudan cabinet  and council of ministers meeting chaired by President Salva Kiir has approved about 900,000 US dollars for the steering committee formed by the president to start implementation of a joint border infrastructure development project with Ethiopia.

This was announced to journalists by a government official, Michael Makuei, after the regular council of ministers meeting in Juba last Friday.

In February, South Sudan and Ethiopia signed an agreement for construction of two roads linking the two countries through their common borders.

According to the agreement, the Ethiopian Military Engineering Corp will build one of the roads to connect Ethiopia’s Gambella region to Mathiang and Paloch areas via Pagak in former Upper Nile state.

The other route will join the three areas of Buma, Pibor, and Bor of former Jonglei state, from Jebel-Raad to Dima in Ethiopia,

Meanwhile, the Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Services Enterprise has launched the construction of five dry ports at a cost of $64.8 million, in a move to facilitate the handling of the growing import-export business of the landlocked East African nation. The ports will be constructed in Hawassa, Dire Dawa, Mekelle, Kombolcha and Wereta towns which are found along the route leading to the port of Djibouti, Desalegn Gebrehiwot, deputy Chief Executive Officer of the company told APA on Sunday.

Construction of the five dry ports will have a significant contribution toward reducing transport costs and transit time of import and export goods from neighboring Djibouti.

“The move will help the country save foreign currency and increase efficiency in import-export operations” he added.

Ethiopia has so far established two inland dry ports. Located 61 km southeast of Addis Ababa, Modjo dry port currently handles 80 percent of the country’s import-export market along the Ethiopia-Djibouti trade corridor. The other one is located at Semera in Afar state. Modjo dry port is Ethiopia’s first dry port development which started on a small-scale eight years ago.

An expansion project is also underway at the Modjo dry port on 138 hectares of land with $150 million obtained from the World Bank. (Source: ( APA  News)