ABN met Dagmawit Moges, FDRE Minister of Transport, and discussed the start of the transport sector in Ethiopia, its development, challenges and the way forward.
Transportation infrastructure in Ethiopia has been neglected for decades, but is now apriority of the government of Ethiopia. A large number of roads and railways have been built and are currently under construction. The sector has been playing a crucial role in reducing transaction cost for transporting goods and commodities in different parts of the nations. As part of the service sector, it contributes its own share to the GDP. And there are several stakeholders who are directly or indirectly engaged in the sector to play positive roles for the sector’s development.
Road transport plays a vital role in theefforts to uplift the economy of developingcountries. The importance of road transport is more significant in the case of landlocked countries such as Ethiopia because itcan be used at the small scale level tosatisfy the need for conveying goods andpeople in a given country or location.
There is a rail transport along the Ethio-Djibouti corridor. As it is not good enough to facilitate transit trade, the role of rail transport is insignificant. The use of rail transport is mainly to transport passengers and small parcels of goods in the corridor. Like the rail transport the air transport in the country does not play a major role to lift up the poor quality of goods transportation especially the transit of import and export goods.
Despite efforts being made by the Federal Government of Ethiopia to develop the transport sector, there are still many challenges that hamper the smooth, efficient and effective transport system across the country. poor organization and management of available transport systems, low capacity of the existing road network and its inefficient use, poor planning and controlling procedures, low road traffic awareness and depraved driver behavior resulted with high accident rates particularly among foot-travelers and children are believed to be the major problems of the sector.