A History of Road Construction and its Socio-Economic Impact in East Gojjam,1941-2005

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Derib Tefera


In Ethiopia, infrastructure development remains one of the largely neglected areas of histor- ical research. This paper, therefore, surveys the history of road building and its socio-eco- nomic impact in East Gojjam from 1941 to 2005. To this end, archival documents, oral information and secondary sources were consulted. The findings show that the post-liber- ation imperial period saw no significant development on the opening of new routes. Road construction reawakened during the military regime. It witnessed promising road networks that encompassed highway, feeder and rural roads. In contrast, road construction re- mained sluggish during the reign of the Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) under discussion. The transitional government lifetime (1991-1995) was in partic- ular a gloomy period. The failure of successive governments in expanding the road network emanated from economic, political, policy and related issues. Despite this, the impact of the nascent road network that extended all through the three regimes is clearly observable from the increasingly socio-economic interaction that appeared in the region and beyond.

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