Together with the United Arab Emirate’s Development Fund, and the president of Eastern-Ethiopia’s Somali State, Mustafa Mohamed Omar ‘Cagjar’, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Somaliland, Musa Bihi Abdi, broke the ground, Thursday, for a vital highway to link his country to Ethiopia in 23 months’ time.
The project is part of parallel-running dual projects which the United Arab Emirates has formally entered with the Somaliland government in 2017 together amounting to more than 550 million US Dollars.
the Emirates, in exchange, is building a naval base in the Red Sea port of Berbera which is strategically located at a commanding position to the sea trade links plying the Gulf of Aden either way. The state-owned internationally renowned ports management authority, DP World, has also been given a 30-year, 420-million concession to develop the port and build a free trade zone to serve as a commercial, Africa-bound hub.
Laying the first foundation stone to signal the beginning of the project, president Bihi called on all regional countries, including the tiny, competitive but equally important country on its northerly border, Djibouti, to start thinking of some serious investment initiatives in the Red Sea port and Somaliland, in general.
The president pointed out, besides the connectivity angle, the road embodied a number of other very important perks.
“The Berbera Corridor project symbolizes the greater cooperation between Somali-run states as it does with Federal Ethiopia not only on an economic level but also, most importantly on the security, political and social integration angles,” the president said.
President Bihi pointed out that the investment and the construction of the road linking Berbera to the border, the commercial town of Wajaale will create tens of thousands of jobs, infuse millions of Dollars onto Somaliland markets, and reduce risk existing facilities currently held for transporters and motorists.
President Mustafa Cagjar expressed how he was certain that the road was everything President said about it and much more cementing the lives of brotherly Somalis, Somalis and Ethiopians on either side of the border
At completion, a 245-km dual-carriageway of international standards and 7 new bridges will open for business at an estimated cost of USD111 million. The road includes a 21-km detour which permits heavy-duty trucks coming from or going to Ethiopia to bypass traffic jams through the capital city, Hargeisa.