Addis Ababa November 18/2022/ENA/ The Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project is critical towards realizing the aspired regional economic integration, Lead Executive Officer of Logistics Administration at Ethiopian Maritime Authority Yalew Tesfaye said.
The LAPSSET project was launched in 2012 by the governments of Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan to facilitate regional trade.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, Yalew said LAPSSET project will have multifaceted benefits for the region, particularly to landlocked Ethiopia.
In its effort to realize economic integration, Ethiopia has undertaken various tangible measures by establishing the Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration to spearhead its vision.
Ethiopia also inaugurated its first Dire Dawa Free Trade Zone on August 14, 2022, about 320 km southwest of Djibouti’s port.
African head of states approved continental strategic plan Agenda 2063, Yalew stated, adding that Ethiopia has been and still is undertaking various efforts in alignment to Agenda 2063.
He added that the Lamu corridor will strengthen the bilateral relationship of countries in various fields including economic and social spheres.
“This strategic plan mainly focuses on making Africa the powerhouse in economic and political aspects. This Agenda 2063 is demonstrated in projects such as LAPSSET in the eastern Africa region,” the Lead Executive Officer pointed out.
The increasing freighter volume of Ethiopia most of which comes through the Djibouti port needs additional support, he stated, and added “so the Lamu Corridor will be an additional opportunity to facilitate the country’s import and export.”
According to him, for countries like Ethiopia, developing corridors and infrastructures like roads has critical importance in accelerating development undertakings.
Furthermore, Yalew noted that the economic impact of the project will be of paramount importance since Ethiopia’s key industrial parks and agricultural productive areas are within the corridor.
According to him, upon operational, the LAPSSET project will have significant importance in developing cities and towns within the corridor as well as logistics providers and hotels.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) promises broader and deeper economic integration and would attract investment, boost trade, provide better jobs, reduce poverty, and increase shared prosperity in Africa.
Data show that Africa could see FDI increase by between 111 percent and 159 percent under the AfCFTA.
“The trade activities with neighboring countries is not growing – for modernized infrastructures like LAPSSET and strengthening people-to-people ties will have key role in realizing the aspired economic integration,” Yalew emphasized.