The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) in association with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has completed a new bridge over the river Awash on February 28, 2015. The bridge was rebuilt to help the safe and speedy movement of goods and people to the country’s main import/export destination – the port of Djibouti.
The bridge construction, which was implemented as “the Project for the Replacement of Awash Bridge on A1 Trunk Road,” took about US$10 million to complete.
JICA has been assisting road and bridge construction and maintenance through its technical cooperation and grant assistance schemes. In September 2008, Japan also inaugurated the Renaissance Bridge over the Abay River that links surplus producing areas of the north-west to the center of the country, and with neighboring Sudan.
Speaking on the multidimensional benefits of the bridge during the inaugural the Japanese Ambassador Kazuhiro Suzuki said that his government was proud of the high quality with which the bridge was built. He also stressed that the construction gave an emphasis to human resource development through technology transfer, as well as introducing maintenance and management techniques, with a focus on the environment and safety. “We pride ourselves in on our superior skills in building infrastructure in a comprehensive manner,” he said.
Ambassador Suzuki further underlined the importance of the bridge in reducing the numerous bottlenecks that frequently occur along the main road between Addis Abeba and Djibouti, adding that it will lower logistics costs and shorten the time for transporting goods, which culminates in bringing significant improvements in the nation’s business and investment climate.
Photo: the Embassy of Japan