Egyptian Ambassador to Ethiopia Mohamed Idris announced Wednesday that the Arab Contractors company will be involved in the implementation of the Ethiopian section of the Cairo-Cape Town road.
Idris said the move comes as part of mutual cooperation between Egypt and Ethiopia in developing infrastructure, an Egyptian Foreign Ministry statement said Wednesday. He added that this reinforces economic development in Ethiopia and is “recognition of the competence of Egyptian companies” in accomplishing such important projects.
The road in Ethiopia will stretch for approximately 170km in the country, and is funded by the African Development Bank. It is part of the Mombasa-Nairobi-Addis Ababa corridor and is part of the planned Trans-African Highway Cairo-Cape Town, which will run for thousands of kilometres to link Egypt to South Africa.
Idris said the move also comes as part of Egyptian interests in making a serious contribution in projects that have an “African dimension”. This would support the creation of links between countries in Africa and reinforce African integration projects.
The move comes after years of tensions between Egypt and Ethiopia, which is currently constructing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Egypt, a downstream country, fears that the dam’s completion will affect its share of Nile Water and thus GERD has been a point of contention between the two countries.
As per agreements signed in 1929 and 1959, Egypt annually receives 55.5bn cubic metres of the estimated total 84bn cubic metres of Nile water produced each year – Sudan receives 18.5bn cubic metres. The two water sharing agreements, which guarantee Egypt the lion’s share of water, were signed in the absence of Ethiopia.
Arab Contractors employs 77,000 employees and has business activities in more than 29 countries, with experience in building bridges, roads, tunnels and airports.