GOOBJOOG NEWS|HARGEISA: The UK and Somaliland governments Tuesday jointly launched the 22 kilometre Hargeisa by-pass which is part of the 240 km Berbera Corridor that is set to boost trade between the break-away region and Ethiopia in addition to fostering Somaliland’s quest to become a key trade hub in the region.
President Muse Bihi and UK ambassador to Somalia Kate Foster flagged off the 22.5 km road construction project which is expected to ultimately link the Berbera Port to Ethiopia terminating at the border town of Togochale.
According to a statement from the British embassy in Mogadishu, the ‘ UK-supported bypass will reduce the time and cost of transporting goods between Berbera Port and landlocked Ethiopia by addressing a strategic checkpoint on the Berbera corridor.’
President Bihi lauded the UK government for its support in the construction of the road noting it would be instrumental in ‘boosting the economy, service delivery as well as create employment.’
On her part, ambassador Foster said the completion of the road will play a great role in building the region’s economy and bolster humanitarian response.
“Once this 240 km project – in coordination with our Abu Dhabi and European partners – is completed late next year, it will improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people by creating jobs, unlocking the region’s economic potential and ease the delivery of humanitarian supplies,” Foster said.
The corridor is already facilitating the delivery of much-needed humanitarian assistance to vulnerable communities in the wider region. The World Food Programme uses Berbera to bring 65% of its food aid into Ethiopia.
According to a past visibility study by the EU, the Berbera Corridor Infrastructure project covers a distance of 937 km running from the port city of Berbera to Addis Ababa. Out of this, 241km of the road is in Somaliland while the remainder stretches within Ethiopia.