Construction of the Multimillion 220-Kilometer Ethiopia-South Sudan Cross-border Road Takes Shape

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Construction of the multimillion 220-kilometer Ethiopia-South Sudan cross-border road takes shape. The two countries are set to commence construction following a $738-million financial agreement signed in May 2023. On Tuesday, South Sudan’s Transitional National Legislative Assembly ratified the Ethiopia-South Sudan financial agreement to build a cross-border highway, the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Thursday. The ministry said the project aims to enhance connectivity and bolster economic ties between neighboring countries.

Furthermore, the project underscores the growing cooperation between the two nations. It also ensures a mutually beneficial relationship between Ethiopia and South Sudan. According to the financial agreement, Ethiopia will cover the cost of the road project. The deal designates South Sudan as the borrower and Ethiopia as the financier. Moreover, the repayment involves crude oil from South Sudan to Ethiopia. The construction of the road project will start upon the final authorization by South Sudanese President Salva Kiir.

The Significance of the Construction of the Ethiopia-South Sudan 220-km Cross-border Road

The construction of the 220-km Ethiopia-South Sudan cross-border road may be highly significant. Firstly, the road on the South Sudanese side will connect Paloich, Maiwut, and Pagak to Ethiopia’s border areas. Furthermore, the road is expected to ensure seamless connectivity between the two countries upon completion. Ethiopia and South Sudan will also benefit from a fast transportation network that will ensure the transportation of goods. South Sudan is slowly stabilizing from the constant civil wars it has faced recently. The construction of the Ethiopia-South Sudan cross-border road is a profound testament to this ideal. Moreover, the road promises to provide revenue for both nations, increasing their current revenue earnings. The revenue obtained may be channeled to other development sections that better their residents’ social and economic lives.

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The State of Affairs Regarding the Mega Road Project

As noted earlier, construction of the 220-km Ethiopia-Sudan cross-border road is set to commence upon final authorization by South Sudan’s president. Both nations highly anticipate that the construction of the road will quench the border wrangles witnessed. Violent conflict along the Ethiopia–Sudan border is profoundly destabilizing communities on both sides. The dispute has disrupted trade in key resources and displaced thousands of people from productive farmlands. Trade routes are becoming militarized, and commodities are being used to fuel other conflicts. Furthermore, it is notable that the war is devastating other parts of Sudan. Borderland disputes and conflict are not new to the two Horn of Africa countries. Ethiopia and Sudan have long competed to control land and agricultural production in these fertile areas. Sudan, Ethiopia agree to form joint border patrols, as crossing point remains closed - Sudan Tribune

Other Significant Projects Ongoing in the Horn of Africa

Apart from the 220-km Ethiopia-South Sudan cross-border road, the Tulu Kapi project is one of the largest in Ethiopia. KEFI Gold and Copper has announced good progress at Ethiopia’s high-grade Tulu Kapi Gold Project. The remaining finance processes are on track for final approvals whilst project launch preparations have commenced at Tulu Kapi. The project was launched by the Tulu Kapi Gold Mines (TKGM) Board, which includes representatives from KEFI. It also includes the Ethiopian Federal and Oromia Regional Governments.

The Tulu Kapi Gold project is expected to create around 1,000 direct jobs and between 5,000 and 10,000 indirect jobs. Furthermore, it expects foreign direct investment of around $500m, including historical investment. “Tulu Kapi’s high grade and high process recovery, combined with our project design, has resulted in a robust economics set for long-term operations. This should support further exploration and development and good opportunities to continue supporting local social development projects.

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