€20 million programme for Eritrea – Ethiopia infrastructure upgrade

In July last year, Eritrea and Ethiopia signed a historic peace agreement ending 20 years of conflict.
Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki (L) and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed talk during the inauguration of the Tibebe Ghion Specialized Hospital in Bahir Dar, northern Ethiopia, on November 10, 2018. – Presidents of Somalia and Eritrea met Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on November 9, 2018 to cement regional economic ties as relations warm between the once-rival nations. (Photo by EDUARDO SOTERAS / AFP)

The European Union, has announced a €20 million programme to build 
roads linking Eritrea’s port cities and the Ethiopian border.

Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica launched the project meant to rebuild the road connection between the two neighbours.

During his visit, Mimica met with the President of Eritrea, Isaias Afwerki to discuss the situation in the region and explore political relations and dialogue for both countries.

In an official statement, Commissioner Mimica said: “The European Union 
is committed to supporting Eritrea and Ethiopia in delivering their historic peace agreement, which ended twenty years of conflict.

“To back this end, we are launching a €20 million programme to rebuild the roads connecting both countries. This will boost trade, consolidate stability and have clear benefits for the citizens of both countries through the creation of sustainable growth and jobs.”

The new project will be financed through the EU Trust Fund for Africa and through the United Nation’s Office for Project Services (UNOPS). It will refurbish road connections between the Ethiopian border and Eritrean ports to boost trade and create jobs.

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This is the first phase of a broader support to Eritrea, which is planned to scale up later this year. This cooperation is part of the EU’s new dual track approach of strengthening political dialogue with Eritrea, notably encouraging political and economic reforms and improvement of human rights, as well as pursuing development cooperation to tackle root causes of poverty and to reinforce the peace agreement and economic integration.

In July last year, Eritrea and Ethiopia signed a historic peace agreement ending 20 years of conflict. This provides a major opportunity for economic development and stability in the region.

The rapprochement has already yielded benefits for the Eritrean  population, with re-opened borders, resumed communication and the  reduction in the price of basic commodities.

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One of the commitments of the peace agreement is that ‘transport, trade 
and communications links between the two countries will resume.

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