ADDIS ABABA, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian government and the African Development Bank (AfDB) on Monday signed grant agreement amounting 95.6 million U.S. dollars to finance Ethiopia's endeavors in the development of road construction.
The amount from the signed grant agreement is mainly said to finance the construction of the first section of the Adama-Awash Expressway project along the Ethiopia-Djibouti transport corridor, state-run news agency ENA reported on Monday.
The highly-anticipated Adama-Awash Expressway along the Ethiopia-Djibouti economic corridor mainly involves the construction of 60km road project that connects Adama city, capital of Ethiopia's largest Oromia regional state, to Melka Jilo town.
"The project will enhance the regional integration in trade and transport by improving the road network, road safety and savings in time and vehicle operating costs," ENA quoted Ethiopia's Minister of Finance, Ahmed Shide, as saying during the signing ceremony.
According to Shide, the road project, when completed, is expected to create enhanced economic opportunities for Ethiopian carriers, travelers, traders, as well as agro-business investors.
The road project would also create jobs to local communities, especially youth and women, and improve access to health and education facilities, the finance minister said.
AfDB Country Manager to Ethiopia, Abdul Kamara, also on his part stressed that the Ethiopia-Djibouti transport corridor "will serve as a basis for regional integration."
The country manager also noted that the Ethiopia-Djibouti transport project phase I, once completed, will deepen economic trade and transport integration efforts among the two Horn African countries.
The Ethio-Djibouti Transport Corridor, which is expected to be executed in three phases, mainly consists the construction of 126 km four-lane expressway from Adama to Awash as part of its first phase construction.
The 95.6 million U.S. dollars grant financial support obtained from AfDB is said to finance the construction of the first 60 km of section 1 of the Ethio-Djibouti Transport Corridor road.
The African Development Bank, as a major partner of the East African country in the implementation of various development projects in hydro-power generation and power transmission lines, also funded the construction of a road project connecting Ethiopia to Kenya's port city Mombasa.