South African companies keen to invest in Ethiopia
South African investors and representatives of companies have expressed their readiness to invest in Ethiopia and do business with.
A South African business delegation comprising 22 investors and representatives of companies are currently in Ethiopia to explore investment potentials and opportunities in the country, particularly in manufacturing, agro-processing, energy and construction sectors.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Aklilu Hailemichael met with the South African Business Delegation on Monday (March 6, 2017) and briefed them on investment prospects in Ethiopia.
Dr. Aklilu underscored that the delegation's current move will promote Ethiopia's aspiration to boost the intra Africa trade and enhance south-south cooperation.
He said, "Ethiopia attracts investors from China and Turkey as well as the US and Europe; nevertheless we would like to also promote south-south economic cooperation between African countries."
Touching upon the huge investment potentials in Ethiopia, the State Minister said, "Ethiopia's geographic location, its active membership in regional and bilateral trade agreements, including various other platforms with the U.S, EU and COMESA region, and the favorable investment policies make it an attractive investment destination."
Ethiopia's young and productive work force which accounts for 60 percent of the population also offers significant comparative advantages to investors, he added.
With its distinctive religious ritual festivity, Ethiopia’s Timket (Epiphany) is most fascinating cultural celebration where “everyone must see”, foreign visitors said.
On January 20/2019, hundreds of foreign visitors blended with millions of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians colorfully celebrated the annual Ethiopian Timket (Epiphany) throughout country.
The visitors, who were participating on the Timket festivity at Jan meda in Addis Ababa, said the feast of Timket (Epiphany) is among the largest and unique festival of the year in Ethiopia, which draws a lot of tourists to the country every year.
An Israeli young man, David Sudai, praised the Epiphany festivity in Ethiopia as “impressive in which people need to come and see it.”
“Very impressive, different, never see it in my life, people should come to get the correct impression. The number of people, the way they all dressed is an attracting one. I am not a Christian, am Jewish but I am very impressed by the overall Epiphany celebrations here,” David Sudai described it.
A Swedish Ulrika Hurden, who came to Ethiopia with her husband Klasse Sahlen for the first time, said the Timket festivity is “incredibly remarkable.”
“I am very impressed with everything I have seen here a lot of kind people and the traditional religious ceremony is interesting to see and all people doing the same thing,” she said, adding that “I dressed this (traditional Ethiopian dress) to be part of the celebration and it seems bright to wear.”
Large number of people with colorful cultural attires, songs and dances on the top of the religious rituals attract her attention, she said, adding that “come and experience such ceremonies and historical sites in Ethiopia,” signifying her friends to take part in the upcoming festivity of Timket.
Doris Johnson, a Swiss by national, has lived in Ethiopia for the last five years and celebrates the Timket festivity in Addis Ababa every year with her family.
“This is my favorite celebration in Ethiopia; people here are so kind, friendly and sociable. We gather in my husband’s house with family chat and even walk together to churches,” she added.
A German, Christoph Ruoppy, said on his part the ceremony is unique, impressive and called up on friends and others to see it next year.
“I enjoyed it as you can see it around the dressings; singings and the baptism are impressive. It is really unique, we do not have such a celebration in our country by far and the amount of people who come for this religious celebration is impressive. I recommend for everybody to come and at least see it once in Ethiopia,” he said.
He has also celebrated Timket in other part of Ethiopia ‘Merabete’ three years ago but he said “the number of people in Addis is enormous”.
More than15, 000 tourists, from different countries, have arrived in Ethiopia to celebrate this year’s Timket (Epiphany) festivities, it was learned.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has condemned the attack on innocent civilians in Nairobi, Kenya.
Suspected terrorists have attacked a luxury hotel complex in Nairobi and killed at least 15 people on 15th January 2019.
The premier strongly condemned the senseless violent attacks committed on innocent civilians.
He expressed his condolences to the families of the bereaved and to all Kenyans in this time of mourning.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed discussed on Ethiopian foreign policy with diplomats today (January 14), in which he urged diplomats to take note of regional and global trends to ensure there is alignment of thought and practice among themselves grounded in clarity of Ethiopia’s foreign policy.
The Premier also highlighted the role of diplomats to act in service to Government policy, understand policies of countries of posting and maintenance of the rights of Ethiopians in mission countries.
The discussions also aim to review the reforms that have been taking place within the Ministry and in Ethiopia’s foreign policy.
Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed will confer with more than 60 Ethiopian ambassadors and diplomats who are called for briefing on January 11/2019.
The week long discussion will focus on the diplomatic achievements over the past 10 months, the newly appointed Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Nebiat Getachew said.
Protecting dignity of Ethiopians in Diaspora, thriving economic diplomacy and the ongoing reform are on the top of the agenda during the meeting with Prime Minister Abiy, he stated.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Foreign Affairs will organize ‘Ethiopian Culture Day’ tomorrow to let African diplomats know more about Addis Ababa as it is the capital of Africa.
Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland arrived in Ethiopia for a working visit on January 8/2019. During his visit, Mr. Leo Varadkar held talks with Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed on bilateral, regional and international matters. The Prime Minister also paid a courtesy call on President Sahle-Work Zewde and met with the Acting Chairperson of the AU Commission as well as visiting the Lalibela Rock-Hewn churches and Irish Aid supported projects in Tigray Regional State. 2019 marks 25 years of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Ethiopia and 25 years of Irish Aid’s work in Ethiopia, and the visit of the Taoiseach underlined the depth and strength of the relationship between our two countries and the achievements of the partnership to date.
During his talks with Prime Minister Dr. Abiy on Wednesday (January 9) both sides underlined the importance of further strengthening the longstanding and excellent relations between the two countries. Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed noted that the visit by the Prime Minister of Ireland was a testimony of the strengthened ties between Europe and Ethiopia. The Irish Prime Minister praised the reforms being made in Ethiopia over the last few months and reiterated his government’s continued support to Ethiopia, particularly in agro-processing investments. They also discussed Ireland’s support for the political and economic reforms underway in Ethiopia, the growth of Ireland’s development cooperation program with Ethiopia and regional issues in the Horn of Africa, including the historic rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Prime Minister Varadkar paid a courtesy call on President Sahle-Work who welcomed the Prime Minister and underlined the excellent relations between Ireland and Ethiopia which is moving forward. She stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation on bilateral and multilateral fora and thanked the Irish Government for the support provided in agriculture, health, education and social protection sectors. She underlined the role of the Irish investors in Agro-processing and encouraged Irish investors to take part in agro-processing in the industrial parks. The Prime Minister, who mentioned that he was the first Irish Prime Minister to visit Ethiopia for a decade, highlighted Irish/Ethiopian collaboration on a myriad of bilateral and regional issues of common interest, He said: “Ethiopia has been our single key international partner for 25 years and we would like to further deepen our relations” adding, “We support the recent political and economic reforms undertaken by Ethiopia.” “Ireland”, he said, “is committed to boost business, trade and investment cooperation with Ethiopia.”
During his visit, the Irish Prime Minister met with Irish NGOs working in Ethiopia and attended a reception with the Irish community in Ethiopia where he launched the Ethio-Irish Alumni Association. On Thursday (January 10) he flew to the Lalibela Rock-Hewn Churches, a UNESCO World Heritage where he announced a new partnership between Ireland and Ethiopia on cultural heritage and rural tourism. Mr. Varadkar said this partnership would allow for exchanges and experience sharing between Irish and Ethiopian institutions, focused on cultural heritage tourism and rural job creation through tourism. He said Ethiopia’s Minister for Culture and Tourism, Dr Hirut Kassaw would visit Ireland to meet with relevant bodies in Ireland, and finalize a program of experience sharing between Ireland and Ethiopia. There is already an existing partnership covering cultural heritage tourism but the new program will deepen the partnership over the next two years. He said Lalibela would join the 2019 ‘Global Greening’ and, along with hundreds of other sites across the world, will go green on St Patrick’s Day 2019, to mark the deep friendship between the Ethiopian and Irish people.
He then travelled on to Axum where he visited a number of agriculture, health, education and social protection programs jointly supported by Irish Aid and the Ethiopian government. On Friday, he visited Eritrean refugee camps near Shire and met with refugees and local authorities to discuss Ireland’s support for Ethiopia in hosting the second largest refugee population in Africa and their joint commitment to the Global Compact for Migration.
Ireland is one of the key development partners of Ethiopia. In 2018, the Government of Ireland, through Irish Aid, invested €30 million in social protection, health, rural development and women’s empowerment in Ethiopia. This will increase this year by nearly 7% to €32 million (1 billion Ethiopian Birr). Ireland’s Development Cooperation Program with Ethiopia is the largest Irish government bilateral program in the world. Many Irish investors and companies are engaged in various investment sectors in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia and Ireland have a very strong and excellent relationship cemented on longstanding diplomatic and people-to-people ties. Ireland opened its embassy in Addis Ababa in 1994, and Ethiopia resumed its mission in Dublin, in 2003, but the relationship is based on wide ranging issues of mutual interest and precedes formal relations. The most visible example of this was during the height of the 1984 famine in which so many Ethiopians died. Ireland’s response to that catastrophe remains a vivid and warming memory for Ethiopians. Most notable among the humanitarian efforts of the Irish people was the work of the Irish rock star, Sir Bob Geldof, whose initiative in organizing the Band Aid program mobilized the international community to provide the support that enabled the survival of millions of Ethiopians. The passionate and full-hearted response of the Irish people and their government to that crisis has remained a linchpin underlying current bilateral cooperation as well as people-to-people relations.