By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
February 27, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – Ethiopia and Sudan on Friday agreed to begin public transport via the newly completed highway linking the two neighbouring countries.
The agreement was reached after a high level meeting comprising joint technical committees from the two countries today concluded two-day discussions in Addis Ababa.
Abelneh Agidew, communication affairs director at the Ethiopia federal transport authority told journalists that the two countries have agreed to start public transport service within 45 days.
He added agreements on “standards of vehicles, tariffs, routes and immigration matters” were also signed.
The Ethiopian official said a one-way ticket would cost $80, with passengers required to possess a valid passport and visa.
The land transport service is said to enhance social ties and boost trade volume between Addis Ababa and Khartoum.
To launch the transport service, Ethiopia has identified three starting and destination areas including the capital Addis Ababa, Sudan Tribune has learnt.
Trade and investment between Ethiopia and Sudan is increasing steadily.
Currently over 280 Sudanese companies with a total capital amounting over 700 million dollar are being engaged in different sectors across Ethiopia.
Ethiopia has some three highways that link it with borders of Sudan.
The road links will mainly serve for the export of Ethiopia’s oil seed and import of Sudan’s fuel.
The landlocked Horn of Africa nation also has road links with four other East African countries in a bid its ease high dependency on Djibouti for sea access.
The road linkage, particularly with Sudan and Kenya, helps the country import and export goods from port of Sudan and Mombasa at relatively cheaper cost than Djibouti.
Djibouti is Ethiopia’s main gateway, accounting for up to 90% of the country’s import-export activities.