Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia launches a 2.2 billion birr (about $69.3 million at current exchange rate) road construction project in Jimma, Oromia region of the country to be built by a Chinese company.
This morning he presided over the ground breaking ceremony for the Merewa-Somodo-Seka and Somodo-Limu Junction spur design & built road project. Built 45 yrs ago, the road has since then deteriorated making it difficult to utilize, taking 5 hrs to travel the 94 kilometers, according to the official twits of the Office of the Prime Minister.
“The road which is expected to be completed within the next four years at a cost of Birr 2.2 billion will cut through Jimma zone and three woredas (districts): Mana; Limmu Kosa and Limmu Seqa,” it said.
Limmu and Seqa areas are known as the best coffee growing areas of Ethiopia. Reports show that though Jimma town has a long history, it has not been well developed compared to other towns of Oromia Region such as Adama in terms of infrastructures.
In the early 1960s Jimma was “the greatest market in all of south-western Ethiopia, according to Herbert S. Lewis, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who taught from 1963 to 1998. On a good day in the dry season it attracts up to thirty thousand people.
Following the death of Abba Jifar II of Jimma, Emperor Haile Selassie seized the opportunity to annex Jimma. In 1932, the Kingdom of Jimma was formally absorbed into Ethiopia, according to Wikipedia.