World Bank Approves Funding for Ethiopia Road System Upgrade

The Board of Executive Directors for the World Bank approved funds in late February to help Ethiopia upgrade their road system, strengthen road maintenance and reduce travel time along inter-regional corridors.

The Road Sector Support Project is supported by a $320 million (USD) IDA credit as part of the $385 million total project cost.

The Government of Ethiopia are also contributing $65 million. The project is aligned with the Growth and Transformation Plan and supports economic expansion by improving the quality of reads, serving areas producing exportable agricultural products. Additionally, the plans hope to halve the proportion of the population living below the poverty line.

In a statement, the World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia said: "Ethiopia have experienced strong economic growth and achieved substantial progress on social and human development over the past decade. Upgrading and maintaining the country's road sector was an important part of the Bank's work in Ethiopia. The project will enhance trade, create new marks and provide improve access to education, medical services and food security for the country's poor."

The first phase of the Road Sector Development Programme began in 1997, and since then the road network has increased from 26,500 to 85,900 kilometres.