This week Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta have inaugurated the Hawassa Moyale trunk road and one-stop border post. The project which took years of patience and perseverance has passed through many challenges and can serve as a model for the continent.
Roads have a lot of meaning. In addition to facilitating human and goods transport, it also helps the development of other resources like job creation, urban development, tourism and manufacturing, and whatnot.
In this regard, the Hawassa Moyale road will play a significant role in boosting the development of areas in the neighboring localities.
For the past couple of decades, Ethiopia has built many road projects with diverse significance. In addition to simply connecting different places within the country, the roads have also linked the country with neighboring nations further bringing about economic and political success.
The Hawassa Moyale trunk road is also of such big significance. In addition to connecting Ethiopia with Kenya, it will set a big example to the ongoing efforts of bringing about regional or continental economic integration in Africa.
Regional integration has long been high on the agenda in Africa, with renewed impetus from the recently signed African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). However,
progress is often halting, partly due to the lack of means of enforcing implementation of commitments taken. Hence, countries should work with a similar level of commitment so that the whole continent can succeed in bringing about the desired economic integration at the continental level.
As per the decision made in 2018 in Rwanda, AfCFTA is going to be launched as of January 2021. This is a good impetus for Africa to move towards integration.
The efforts of integration have passed through many obstacles. Still, there could be many obstacles. Yet each country should do its level best. Recently, Ethiopia and Kenya have made progress in officially inaugurating the road and the one-stop border post.
Ethiopia and Kenya are two large economies in East Africa. Both are progressing in tourism, manufacturing, transport, among others. The recently inaugurated Hawassa Moyale trunk road and the one stop boarder post is a significant progress realizing integration between the two countries. The commitment of both countries to the project is commendable.
In order to realize the objectives of regional economic integration, African countries should handle the issue as a burning desire. If they consider it, their desire would dare to pass through any obstacle thereby making the decades-old dreams of Africans come true.
The Ethiopian Herald