Ethiopia: Ethiopia's Sovereign Port Access Spurs Regional Transformation – Expert

Ethiopia’s sovereign access to seaport would facilitate shared regional economic development in the Horn of Africa (HoA), an economic expert said, calling coastal neighbors to embrace mutual growth principle.

Approached by the Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA) Haramaya University Economics Lecturer Frezer Tilahun stated that Ethiopia’s direct access to the sea would create a fertile ground for the HoA’s mutual progress. “This requires our neighbors to consider Ethiopia’s economic growth and development as their own.”

“Keeping Ethiopia landlocked would aggravate the volatility of the HoA and further intensify the current rampant migration, poverty, inflation and, terrorism and conflict in the region. It is important to grow together having mutual agreement and understanding under the give and take principle.”

According to him, Apart from helping the peace and stability of the region, Ethiopia’s access to the sea is of paramount significance to create a substantial number of jobs, deter illegal human trafficking and reduce poverty,

Furthermore, since poverty is a cause for various conflicts, access to the sea has a capacity to bring sustainable solutions. Tourism and fishery would play a crucial role for Ethiopia’s economic growth by offering new jobs.

Most of Ethiopia’s basic commodities come from abroad and their price is soaring due to the cost of port rent. Also, the rules and regulations of port-owned countries have been resulting in delays of commodities, quality problems and price increment. In the long run, it would cause inflation on product beneficiaries, the expert elaborated.

“When we ensure access to the sea, we would facilitate timely transit of commodities by overcoming unnecessary bureaucracies.”

From an internal perspective, Ethiopia’s sovereign access to the sea would enable a robust transit of import and export goods and greatly improve the country’s economic growth by minimizing port charges that are further exacerbated by congestion and checkpoint bureaucracies.

It would also contribute to the national GDP and help to import critical commodities including fertilizer and construction materials and create a favorable environment to attract FDI, Frezer remarked.

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