Indo-Spanish bid gets Ethiopian deal

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SMOOTH SURFACE: Last year the government raised $240 million domestically to work on the road network.

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA - Indian contractor IL&FS Transportation Networks (IL&FS) and its fully-owned Spanish arm Elsamex have been awarded a $221.7 million road project in Ethiopia writes SAM OKWAKOL.

In a recent interview on the sidelines of the US-Africa Business Summit in Addis Ababa, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn Ethiopia said: “Ehiopia is a fast-growing economy, because we are investing heavily in infrastructure. If we want to harvest the infrastructure dividend, we need to attract more investment.”

The new contract is for an 84.56 kilometre route connecting Agamsa-Bure as well as an 86.1km stretch from Nekempte-Anger Gutin-Andhode.

The World Bank is paying for the project which is expected to take eight years.

According to a company release, IL&FS won the package of works on an output and performance based road contract (OPRC) basis. The joint venture was awarded the deal by the Ethiopian Roads Authority for management and maintenance services, improvement works and design.

The project is in two portions; the Nekempte - Anger Gutin-Andhode Road section and Agamsa-Bure Road section.

According to the World Bank, Ethiopia has witnessed rapid economic growth, with real gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaging 10.9% between 2004 and 2014, which is lifting the country from being the second poorest in the world in 2000 to becoming a middle income country by 2025, if it continues its current growth trajectory.

In a new World Bank report, ‘Ethiopia’s Great Run: The Growth Acceleration and How to Pace It Fueled’ by substantial public infrastructure investment and a conducive external environment, the country’s growth has been stable, rapid and it has managed to decrease poverty substantially from 44% in 2000 to 30% in 2011, according to the national poverty line.

By Sam Okwakol, Saturday, March 19th, 2016

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