Eritrea has disclosed it has so far invested 1.4 Billion Nakfa (around 100 Million USD) on upgrading the ports of Massawa and Assab. Reports indicates, the port of Massawa was first established in 1655 during the Turkish period and was at its highest level of advancement during the Italian colonial period. However, it was degenerated during the Ethiopian colonial era.
Mr. Ghebremedhin Habte, Director General of Maritime transportation, indicates that shallow harbors with a depth of 3.8 meters have been upgraded to a depth of 12 meters so as to meet international standards and easily host big cargo ships.
He also says, modern facilitating equipments such as tugboats, harbor cranes, shore cranes, mobile cranes, bagging machines, forklifts, and spare parts have also been steadily introduced besides the establishment of modern terminals, Hirgigo oil jetty(at a Cost Of USD 31.6 Million), expansion of the Sigalet causeway and Bab-Ashera roads and finalization of the Massawa Master plan.
Eritrea was also keen to revive the aging railway system which was first introduced during the Italian colonial era and beleived one of the first and best in Africa. The country has allocated, thusfar, another 460 Million Nakfa (around 32 Million USD) to upgrade and expand the already revived railway system in the country.
According to Mr. Amanueal Gebreselassie, the government will invest heavily to upgrade the Asmara-Massawa railroad, laying another 50Km long new railway line that would extend up to the new mining site at Embaderho, which is 20Km from the capital and another 25Km to the new cement factory at Gedem and remaining 5Km from Massawa to the Free Zone area.
Part of the immediate plan also includes importing of new trains and carriages that would used in transporting about 850,000 tones of goods annually.
The country’s Ministry of Transport and communication has also disclosed that domestic airports will be constructed at the Dahlak Island and Tio for the booming tourism industry as well as an airstrip at Bisha Gold mine and a complete upgrading of the existing airports in Keren, Afabet and Barentu before the end of this year.