Business is booming as Djibouti and Ethiopia decide to improve the existing transport network to enhance trade and transportation between the two countries.
Since Ethiopia is a landlocked country, it depends on Djibouti for imports. However, considering the population of Ethiopia (100 million, second largest in Africa), the consumption level is growing high. Ethiopia depends on the Horizon terminal in Djibouti, but recently the Ethiopian Petroleum Supply Enterprises raised concerns claiming that it may not adequately support fuel import in Ethiopia.
Ahmed Shidie, the Minister of Transport from Ethiopia added that the government of Ethiopia is discussing with their Djibouti partners on ways to attract investors as they plan to upgrade Ethio-Djibouti corridor road. Ethiopia’s fuel import is fast growing at a rate of 10%, and currently, the country demands 3.8 million tons whereas the current terminal has a capacity of 371, 000 cubic meters. Besides, the investment of railway line and road along the port complements each other, and this will facilitate smooth logistic movement.
Mohamed Abdulkadir, the Minister of Transport from Djibouti who also attended the meeting at Addis Ababa responded that Djibouti government wished to deliver the best facility for their landlocked neighbors. He also said that Djibouti would build another terminal at Dorale port but admitted that currently, Ethio-Djibouti road is in a poor state. Recognizing that Ethiopia’s economy is growing fast, he added that Djibouti had built a railway line which would begin operation before December 2017. This shows the commitment that Djibouti has in place to ensure they make investments in the port and provide better services for Ethiopia. The minister said that they had many plans which he could not reveal by then.
The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) are undertaking maintenance operations of Ethio-Djibouti road, and the government of Ethiopia has plans of constructing an expressway to Djibouti. Finally, Mohamed Abdulkadir said that Air Djibouti and Ethiopian Airlines would establish a joint company soon.