Ethiopia and Kenya have signed a $743 million deal to construct an 880 km highway that will connect the two bordering east African countries.

The Addis Ababa-Nairobi-Mombasa road project is a significant development for the landlocked Ethiopia as it establishes a viable trade route southwards to the Kenyan port of Mombasa. In 1993, after its former northern province Eritrea won independence, Ethiopia became landlocked and lost its principal Red Sea ports of Assab and Massawa.

Following its two-year war with Eritrea in 1998, Ethiopia was forced to rely on the Red Sea port belonging to its small coastal neighbour, the Republic of Djibouti.

According to The Ethiopian Road Authority, the new road link to Kenya will result in substantial savings for Ethiopia