Risks affecting the performance of Ethiopian domestic road construction contractors

Worku Wubet, Michael Burrow, Gurmel Ghataora

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The government of Ethiopia has been attempting to enhance the capacity of domestic contractors engaged in the road sector. However, their performance is still a matter of concern. The aim of this paper is, therefore, to identify and quantify the risk events that have potential impact on the performance of Ethiopian domestic contractors (EDCs) working in federal road construction projects. Forty-seven events were identified through an in-depth literature review and were categorized under three main groups: (i) business environment, (ii) construction and (iii) site related events. A questionnaire survey was conducted amongst contractors, consultants and the client (Ethiopian Roads Authority) to rank the considered risk events in terms of the probability of occurrence of each event and severity of their impact. The study results outlined the ten most significant risks affecting the performance of EDCs namely., shortage of finance, inadequate planning, lack of access to foreign currency, delay in possession of site (ROW), frequent breakdown of equipment, delay in delivery of material and equipment, poor cash/ financial failure, inflation, delay in payments and poor commitment and coordination within contractors’ team. The findings will be helpful to domestic construction firms and the government of Ethiopian in devising suitable risk treatment strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Construction Management
Early online date5 Apr 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are most grateful for the practical and financial support of the Ethiopian Roads Authority, the World Bank, the European Union, and the Africa Development Bank. We also thank the professionals who responded to the questionnaires. The Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Birmingham which facilitated the work is acknowledged with gratitude.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Ethiopia
  • risk events
  • domestic construction companies
  • road construction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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