ADDIS ABABA- The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) and China Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group Co. Ltd on Saturday signed a contract which enables the Chinese company to carry out the Konso-Yabello road upgrade project.
Zaid Wolde-Gebriel, ERA Director General, and Cai Xiaobin, General Manager of China Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group Co. Ltd., signed the agreement for the 107 km road project at a ceremony held on the premises of ERA in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
The Konso-Yabello road is situated in Oromia and the Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) regional states.
The project will be carried out with the cost of about 6 million U.S. dollars and is expected to be completed within 42 months.
The existing road from Yabello to Konso is a gravel road and would be upgraded to asphalt concrete, according to the ERA Director General.
The Director General said the project serves two major purposes; one is making the road an export road, and second getting the people living between Konso and Yabello corridors have the access to better road.
“This road will contribute to the economic and social development of the people in that area or to the people that live near the project area,” said the Director General.
Stating that a huge sugar development project is taking place in southern part of Ethiopia, the Director General said the road would serve as an export road for sugar production to neighboring Kenya.
“We believe that this access road or link road that links Konso to Yabello could be an export road from the sugar production area towards Kenya,” he said.
Regarding the contractor, he said that China Tiesiju has successfully completed another road project, Yabello-Mega road, which the East African nation has recently inaugurated.
He also expressed belief that the Chinese company would complete the new project as per the schedule and the contractual agreement.
Cai also expressed the commitment of his company to completing the project as per the schedule.
He said, with the necessary support from ERA, China Tiesiju has successfully completed the previous road project in Ethiopia.
“We finished last project with great help and assistance from ERA. I want to say, with this new project, China Tiesiju will make all the effort to complete timely with good quality. And we hope in the future, we will have more cooperation with ERA,” said the General Manager.