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The upgrading of a 112-km road to an all-weather standard approved by the African Development Bank Group will boost economic activities and promote poverty reduction in Ethiopia. An estimated 1.3 million people residing along the Bedele-Metu road corridor will benefit from the project.
The Board of the Directors of the AfDB Group approved a USD 66.7-million loan on 10 November 2011 for the Bedele–Metu Road Upgrading Project from the resources of the African Development Fund, the concessional window or the Group.
With the total cost estimated at USD 81.7 million, the road corridor will serve as a lifeline to a broad range of economic development activities within the corridor which borders other countries in the region. The project’s immediate beneficiaries include small holder farmers, coffee producers, traders, agro-based industries including a beer brewery and a sugar factory. Transporters will also benefit from reduced travel time, increased speed and reduced vehicle operating costs while the general public in the sub-region as a whole will have improved access to social amenities.
Following the Board approval, the AfDB’s transport and ICT Department Director, Gilbert Mbesherubusa, said that the Bank’s strategic plan for Ethiopia prioritizes infrastructure development given that the transport sector is critical under the strategy which aims at focusing on selected key projects with potential high impact on the country’s economic and social development. “The Bank is excited to make substantial contributions to the country’s ambitious programme in the sector,” he said.
Since 2001, the AfDB has approved USD 347.5 million for five loans and one grant to fund the rehabilitation of 790 kilometers of roads in Ethiopia.
The loan will be implemented in four years.
*1Unit of Account = USD 1.624