Ethiopia, Djibouti Agree to Build Galamo-Moloud Road, Address Customs Issues

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia and Djibouti agreed on the construction of a major road linking the two neighboring countries as their customs officials reached an accord to address various customs-related matters.

The agreements were reached during visits of Transport and Logistics Minister Alemu Simie, and Ethiopian Customs Commission Commissioner Debele Kabeta to Djibouti this week.

The two economies are reliant on each other with about 70 percent of all export trade through Djibouti’s port coming from its land-locked neighbor.

The 35-kilometer road between Galamo and Moloud will enable the smooth circulation of vehicles and cargo, enhancing transportation between the two countries.

Ethiopian Construction Works Corporation (ECWC) and Djibouti Ports Corridor Road agreed nearly two years ago to build the asphalt road inside Djibouti as part of road restoration.

However, the project was reportedly delayed due to prior payment.

The agreement signed Thursday ensures the Galamo-Moloud road construction project will be completed within a year, with appropriate payments being provided to the ECWC, the ministry of foreign affairs of Ethiopia (MoFA) said today.

Minister Alemu met with Djibouti President Ismail Guelleh and Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority chief Aboubeker Hadi, to speed up the completion of the project.

The agreement comes amid reported customs operation-related issues impeding incoming Ethiopian cargo from Djibouti port to the center.

Ethiopian Customs Commission chief Debele and his delegation paid a four-day working visit to the Red Sea nation, beginning March 20.

The delegation met with its Djiboutian counterpart to discuss and address “various customs-related matters,” authorities say.

These matters include Harmonized System Codification, Customs Values, TIN Number Guarantee, and Ethiopian Bill of Loading.

Facilitation of Train Procedures, Export Procedures, and Regional COMESA Transport Guarantee Bonds (RCTG) have been among the issues discussed.

The two sides, after three days of talks, finally signed a minute to provide solutions to improve customs efficiency, as per MoFA.

In their respective engagements, MoFA says, both Alemu and Debele reaffirmed the continued commitment of the Government to enhance trade, transport and logistical ties between Ethiopia and Djibouti.