Emirates News Agency – Somaliland President inaugurates major UAE-funded bridge on Berbera-Hargeisa Corridor
ABU DHABI, 1st March, 2022 (WAM) — Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has participated in the inauguration of the first bridge built as part of the Berbera-Hargeisa corridor project in Somaliland.
This strategic initiative has been financed from the AED330.5 million (US$89.9m) grant programme provided by the UAE for the country in 2017. The grant is managed by ADFD to finance various projects to drive sustainable development in Somaliland.
President Muse Bihi Abdi of the Republic of Somaliland inaugurated the project in the presence of Abdullah Muhammad Al Naqbi, Director of the UAE Trade Office in Somaliland, and several ministers and senior officials. He praised the UAE and its leadership for providing a steady support to his country to overcome developmental challenges.
With a length of 105 metres, the bridge is considered one of the longest along the Berbera-Hargeisa corridor that links major cities and regions in the country.
The road also connects the strategic port of Berbera with the Somaliland capital, Hargeisa, the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, as well as other East African countries, facilitating economic cooperation and enhancing trade. The project has been carried out at a cost of AED262m (US$71.4m).
Mohamed Saif Al-Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD, said, “The inauguration of the strategic infrastructure project marks a qualitative leap in economic and social development in Somaliland. This is because the project will significantly facilitate import and export of food and agricultural products, in addition to supporting small and medium enterprises and connecting the local markets with the regional ones.”
He stressed that ADFD is keen to support the country to advance its sustainable development initiative through financing projects in strategic areas. “The Fund finances a number of vital projects in various sectors such as energy, transport and agriculture, in addition to promoting small and medium enterprises, which drives development in the country.”
In turn, Abdi emphasised the strategic importance of the Berbera-Hargeisa roads project in facilitating trade, commutation, and traffic movement. “The government is striving to develop infrastructure to boost the economy,” he said, noting that the bridge will enable people to commute to rural and urban areas safely and smoothly even during the rainy seasons when thousands are forced to put their lives at risk while crossing valleys and waterways.
The Berbera-Hargeisa corridor project contributes to facilitate traffic and passenger movement, reduce time and cost incurred on them and lower carbon emission. The project also contributes to promoting economic activities in smaller cities along the road by linking them with the main cities in the country.
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