EC funding to support rehabilitation of the core road network in Somalia

European Commission
Delegation in Kenya - Somalia Unit
February 2003

The European Commission has recently approved a major project in support of the sustainable rehabilitation of the core road network in Northwest Somalia. The total budget is € 4,5 million with contributions from the European Commission (€ 4,2 million), the implementing partner, the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) and the Somaliland Road Fund.

The project is a continuation of on-going support through THW and will include technical assistance to the Somaliland Roads Authorities and support to the rehabilitation of the core trunk road network in the region.

Somaliland's roads are the lifeline for a wide range of socio-economic activities ranging from the transport of livestock and building materials to rural travel and communications. With no railway network and with air travel being far beyond the reach of most Somalis, roads are crucial channels for trade and communications. Moreover, in recent years the port of Berbera has become an important gateway to the region, with growing trade flows to and from Ethiopia, including large volumes of food aid. Consequently, the main link between the port of Berbera and the region has been and still is being improved, with continued external support since its requirements exceed the capacity of the Somaliland Roads Authority to maintain this section on its own. The volume of transported goods grows constantly, although it has suffered a setback as a result of the adverse effects of the livestock ban; once this ban is lifted, traffic flows could rapidly grow even further.

Over the last years, the Commission has provided substantial support to the rehabilitation of key roads in Somaliland's core trunk network, both through rehabilitation and maintenance works as well as through technical assistance enhancing the capacities of the the region's roads authorities.

The EC support has led to the establishment in March 2000 of the Somaliland Road Authority (SRA) and the Road Fund Administration (RFA) under the auspices of a Road Sector Administration Board (RoSAB). In spite of some initial hurdles regarding the authorities' role and the composition of RoSAB, this administrative structure increasingly makes progress in developing a sustainable, locally managed rehabilitation and maintenance programme and generating increased funding from fuel levies and road user charges.

The implementing agency, the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) will work closely with the local counterparts in the roads authorities and with local contractors.

Contact details: European Commission Somalia Unit, Delegation of the European Commission in the Republic of Kenya, P.O. Box 45119, Nairobi, Kenya.

Contact person: Roger De Backer, Economic Adviser - - Tel: 254-2-2712830/2713250 - Fax: 254-2-2710997