Djibouti(Mogadishu24)-Djibouti, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Uganda signed an agreement on the finalization the Djibouti-Addis-Juba-Kampala corridor during the 9th Single Window Conference held in Djibouti on Wednesday.

This ministerial discussion on regional developments were led by ministers representing the IGAD member countries: Hassan Houmed Ibrahim of Djibouti, Dhenge Boru of Ethiopia,Simon Mijok of South Sudan, and Hon. Fred Byamukama of Uganda.

The session was also attended by the Chairman of Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority, Aboubaker Omar Hadi, IGAD Finance Director Josephat Onyari, and ambassadors.

The conference focused on the completion of the Kapoeta-Boma-Raad section of the Djibouti-Addis-Juba-Kampala Corridor Development, following the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by stakeholder countries in 2019.

The ministers discussed ways to enhance cross-border trade by advancing this project.

Djibouti’s Minister of Transport, Hassan Houmed Ibrahim, underscored the corridor’s importance for the Horn of Africa. He stated that it will boost Trade among the IGAD member states.

“This corridor will improve the economies of its member countries, particularly in the Horn of Africa. It will stimulate regional economic dynamics and improve the existing relationships among IGAD member states,” said Djibouti’s Minister of Transport, Hassan Houmed Ibrahim.

IGAD Finance Director Josephat Onyari stated that this corridor would streamline access to goods in member countries and enable the free movement of goods across borders.

“This project will strengthen the trade relations in the region. It will ensure that goods that transport is cheap, and goods to reach the member countries. As a result of that, this corridor will enable people to move freely and ease transportation of goods,” said IGAD Finance Director Josephat Onyari.

Hon. Fred Byamukama, the Ugandan minister, noted that all member states have committed to the MOU, aiming to reduce transportation costs and boost economic growth.

“We need to support one another for our economies to grow. The cost of transportation from Uganda to Djibouti through South Sudan and Ethiopia is very high to an extent those doing businesses operate at a lose. We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding now that all the countries have accepted to work together on that corridor,” said Mr. Byamukama

Ethiopia’s Minister, Dhenge Boru, highlighted the importance of the project and IGAD’s role in its initiation and realization.

“The agreement that we signed remarks the importance of infrastructure in realising the African connectivity that connects Djibouti, Addis, Juba and Kampala,” said Dhenge Boru, Ethiopia Minister.

“This project was initiated by IGAD and the four member states signed MOU in 2019. It is very critical now to move forward. So we have agreed each member country and IGAD as one of the coordinator of this project will execute the respective responsibilities,” he added.

The discussions also included the establishment of Joint Steering & Tech Committees and the completion of filing for funding requests to the African Development Bank (AfDB).

It was also suggested that initiative to prioritize Africa’s seacoast cabotage for African flag vessels, led by the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa.

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