ADDIS ABABA - A new accord with the Government of Ethiopia will see the World Food Programme (WFP) develop national capacity in managing the Ethio-Djibouti land corridor and port operations.
The Memorandum of Understanding between WFP and the Ethiopian Maritime Affairs Authority (EMAA) seeks to relieve congestion in the Port of Djibouti and to develop skills and expertise among Government staff.
A total of 86 bulk cargo vessels came through Djibouti in the past year, carrying 3.2 million metric tonnes. Wheat and fertilizer are the main goods while others include barley and sorghum.
WFP is to strengthen the governance and overall monitoring capacities of EMAA for bulk imports into Ethiopia by means of improved planning and communication systems. The UN agency has developed a new website on which stakeholders can get status updates.
“We are trying to leverage our strength, knowledge and capacities to support Ethiopia in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” says WFP Country Director Steven Were Omamo. “This partnership is very much along these lines. The kind of logistics infrastructure we’re addressing here is often ignored when we talk about capacity building. We very much appreciate the priority that Ethiopia is placing on this.”
Ato Mekonnen Abera, Director General of EMAA said: “The logistics system has been lagging behind in the development sector. Most of the problems are systemic so you need systemic solutions. Ethiopia needs a logistics capacity and a logistics strategy. Unless we address this, we cannot address the infrastructural problems in the country.”
WFP will be the secretariat for the first year of the Ethiopian Logistics Community of Practice (ELCoP), set up by the EMAA, and will assist in making ELCoP financially sustainable and an independent entity.
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