he construction of Hargeisa By-pass (HBP) to decongest the Somaliland capital and reduce transportation time on the new road from the port city of Berbera to Tog Wajaale border crossing has progressed to 25 percent as at the end of last month.
A contractor COCC-GCI JV is undertaking civil works and Kagga & Partners overseeing the design & supervision. In the meantime, ITEC Engineering Ltd. is undertaking a Technical Audit.
Trademark East Africa (TMEA) infrastructure technical team in partnership with the Government of Somaliland appointed a Project Implementation Unit (PIU), which is providing oversight on the project. HBP is part of the greater Berbera Corridor.
With funding from Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), TMEA is supporting the Government of Somaliland (GoSL), through the Ministry of Transport and Roads Development, to upgrade 22.5km of Hargeisa Bypass (HBP) into a 2 lanes single carriage way along the Berbera corridor around the Somaliland’s capital of Hargeisa.
The Horn of Africa programme was launched in October 2018 and is mostly implemented by the Somaliland TMEA country office with engagement from the Ethiopia TMEA office. The Hargeisa bypass is part of a three-component three-year programme by the United Kingdom known as “Unlocking Prosperity in the Horn of Africa”.
First is the transport infrastructure. Second is trade facilitation to support faster, more efficient cross border trade between Somaliland and Ethiopia. And finally, local economic development to link large ‘anchor’ businesses in both Somaliland and Ethiopia with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) via financing and development interventions.
The Horn of Africa is a poor, unstable and complex region with high economic potential. It is strategically at one world’s busiest shipping lanes and trading routes, south-west of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
Berbera Corridor stands to enhance the trade and transit capacity and provide Ethiopia’s expanding trade volumes with an alternative sea route, reducing over-reliance on the Djibouti route currently used for 95% of the country’s exports.
The scale of infrastructure investment into the HoA is unparalleled and progress is rapid. The United Arab Emirates-based Dubai Ports World (DPW) $442m investment in upgrading Berbera Port, runs alongside an Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) investment of $90 million in 140km of road from Berbera Port to Hargeisa and an upgrade of Berbera airport.
Through investing in both hard and soft infrastructure, TMEA investment is providing a critical link for the Berbera Corridor to reach basic functionality as described in the original infrastructure Berbera Corridor diagnostic, focusing strongly on inclusion by the end of 2022.
Somaliland Port of Berbera will become the most modern port in the Horn of Africa when its first phase is completed. In May 2016, DP World agreed to develop Berbera port and manage the facility for 30 years.
Ethiopian’s government gained a 19% interest in the port project. The other partners in the project are DP World with a 51% share and Somaliland with a 30% share.
DP World will also create an economic free zone in the surrounding area, targeting a range of companies in sectors from logistics to manufacturing, and a road-based economic corridor connecting Berbera with Ethiopia.
Ethiopia has implemented many reforms since 2018, under the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The country is keen to grow its trade volumes with its neighbours, regionally and internationally.
Looking ahead, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects Ethiopia’s export growth to increase to 6.951% by December 2025. This growth in trade volumes demands multiple transport alternatives.