The final Kenya – Ethiopia highway stretch under construction between Isiolo and Marsabit is now reportedly also complete, finally linking Mombasa via Nairobi with Addis Ababa by an all tarmac road. The distance from Nairobi to Addis Ababa covers some 1.560 kilometres while from the Kenyan port city of Mombasa this swells to 2.050 kilometres.
Landlocked Ethiopia, which lost access to the sea when Eritrea gained independence and has since, as a result of hostile relations between the two, had to resort to using the port of Djibouti, has long sought to open up alternate and safer routes to other ports. An electric rail line between Addis Ababa and Djibouti was recently opened, adding a key traffic artery for imports and exports but the road link to the Kenyan capital and to Mombasa nevertheless is thought to be hugely important as a strategic link.
On the Kenyan side are the two remaining stretches of the new highway, financed at a cost of over half a billion US Dollars by the European Union and the Kenyan government, now complete, linking the Northern Kenyan towns of Isiolo and Marsabit with the border town of Moyale.
On the Ethiopian side was the tarmac highway already completed for some time, just waiting to be linked to the Kenyan portion before a generation old dream to link the wider Eastern African region with a major highway has now become reality.
A one stop border post will also be installed, like between the East African Community countries, to make transit of cargo and people easier and facilitate an increase in trade and travel.