EU Support to the Road Sector in Ethiopia
Ethiopia is a landlocked country and the most rural country in Africa. More than 80% of the almost 95 million inhabitants live scattered in rural and mountainous areas. This makes the access to basic services extremely challenging and lack of transport is a major factor contributing to the poverty of rural population. An inefficient and unsafe road network makes difficult the delivery of health and education, and the development of agriculture and other production activities. The EU has supported the Ethiopian road sector development since 2006. Currently the Third Sector Policy Support Program III (SPSP III) is the 49 Million Euro program for the period 2014-15. It will be followed by the recently approved SPSP IV (140 MEUR) which will cover 4 years, from 2016 until 2019. Important results have been achieved so far. Few years ago, in 2007, the average travel time in rural areas to reach an all-weather road was 4.5 hours, now is less than 2 hours. The percentage of population living within 2 km from an all-weather road has increased each year by 2% and today more than 65% of kebeles (the smallest administrative unit in Ethiopia) have access to the national road network also during the rainy season.
Remarkable results have also been achieved in terms of trunk roads and regional corridors. The first six lanes expressway has been opened lately and important rehabilitation/upgrading works have been undertaken to improve the connectivity with Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan. Recently the Government of Ethiopia has requested the EU to allocate a total amount of 100 MEUR from the 11th EDF Regional Indicative Program to finance the construction of the Togo Waajle – Berbera Corridor (70 MEUR) and high voltage transmission line (30 MEUR), stretching from Ethiopia to Somaliland.
Find out more in the Voices & Views: Health via Healthy Roads.