If former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak ever returns to Bole Road in Ethiopia’s capital of Addis Ababa – the scene of an assassination attempt in 1995 – he will find a very different street and city than the ones he left in such a hurry.
New apartment blocks and commercial centres now dot the landscape and Bole Road’s dual carriage way links busy Meskel Square in downtown Addis Ababa with the bustling airport. The donkeys are all but gone, but the Russian-built blue Lada cars remain as a relic from the Cold War days – thanks to a 240% import duty on vehicles.
Ethiopia is Africa’s largest landlocked country and, having lost its port in 1992 when Eritrea became independent, now relies on the harbour in the neighbouring nation of Djibouti. This means that moving goods into and within the country is expensive; more than four times more expensive than in China, for example.
The Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor project (known as ‘Lapsset’ and aiming to link the port of Lamu on Kenya’s coast to Juba, 1 700km away in South Sudan) holds potential, but has faced major setbacks and delays, most notably the Al-Shabaab terror group’s attacks on the Kenyan coast, which included Lamu. However, security has since been stepped up and work is going ahead on the project which will ultimately link the countries and make up an integrated transport and economic corridor. View Article
Published: Oct 2014 Strategic Marketing Africa