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.

In line with the country's Growth and Transformation Plan, the Ethiopian
Government signed a Governance Framework for a Multi-Donor Initiative for
private sector development, on Thursday (May 15). The document was signed
between the Ethiopian Government and donor partners including the UK Department
for International Development, and the Italian, Swedish and Canadian
Development Agencies. This move serves
to formalize the collaboration among the International Finance Corporation
(IFC), the Ethiopian government and donor partners that has been working for
nearly two years. The IFC, in collaboration with the Ethiopian Government and
donor partners, is acting as a secretariat, implementing entity, and
administrator of donor funds. The IFC's strategy for Ethiopia includes
bolstering direct investment in priority sectors, including small and micro enterprise
development and supporting the Government in improving the investment climate.
The Resident Representative of the IFC, Mr. Amadou Labara, said the “overall
aim of the Multi-Donor Initiative is to support Ethiopia's Growth and
Transformation Plan objectives, including promoting and investing in scalable
private sector interventions, aiming to support development and increase access
to finance."


Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom today (Monday, May 19) had discussions with visiting Lithuania Foreign Minister, Linas Linkevicius. The Lithuanian minister said bilateral relations between Lithuania and Ethiopia left a lot to be desired and trade links and business engagement in particular were insignificant. Minister Linkevicius noted that the recent favorable credit ratings issued to Ethiopia by international ratings firms signified the strength of Ethiopia’s robust economic activity and showed that the dynamism of recent economic growth was set to continue in the near future. The Lithuanian Minister suggested the two governments could look into building robust cooperation in areas ranging from leather manufacturing to tourism. He pointed out hat although there were a number of students from African countries attending studies in Lithuania, almost none of them were from Ethiopia. Dr Tedros, who noted the Ethiopian government placed a lot of importance on education, welcomed Minister Linkevicius’ suggestions to explore possible cooperation in education and in technology. Dr. Tedros said an improving economic relationship between Ethiopia and Lithuania should be one of the priority areas of their relationship. He affirmed the Ethiopian government’s commitment to encourage more cooperation and dialogue between their respective businesses and chambers of commerce. Minister Linkevicius thanked the Ethiopian government for its support in his country’s bid for a seat at the United Nations Security Council and expressed his government’s desire to work closely with Ethiopia and the African Union on security issues concerning the continent. The two ministers agreed to hold regular political dialogue and expedite efforts to build closer economic cooperation.

State Minister Ambassador Berhane Gebre-Chirstos held discussions with International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) President, Dr Kenayo F. Nwanze, on Friday (May 16). Ambassador Berhane noted that Ethiopia has an excellent relationship with IFAD and they had carried out successful joint activities. Ethiopia, he said, valued IFAD’s contribution and support. Ambassador Berhane said Ethiopia’s robust growth over the past couple of years has been driven by the agriculture sector and the focus of the Growth and Transformation Plan was on tackling poverty, on rural development and improvement of productivity in rural and pastoralist areas. Ambassador Berhane noted that Ethiopia had benefited immensely from the “expertise and institutional capacity” of IFAD. Dr Nwanze congratulated Ethiopia on the transformation that the country has undergone in the last decade. He said that Ethiopia was IFAD’s largest partner in Africa, and that the organization had been carrying out several works focused on agriculture and rural development aligned with the government's strategy. He highlighted IFAD’s aims of improving rural access to natural resources such as land and water, improving agriculture and livestock production technologies and support services, and developing reliable financial services. He said that the model of development that Ethiopia was following should be looked at by other states. He also underlined IFAD’s firm commitment to support Ethiopia in its efforts to industrialize the agricultural sector. Dr Nwanze said “IFAD is happy to be part of the country’s development plan”. IFAD’s strategy in Ethiopia focuses on supporting investment programs with the greatest potential impact on sustainable household food security, and on incomes of poor people. It signed a host country agreement with the Government of Ethiopia in July 2010, and appointed a Country Director and a Representative with a fully-fledged country office in Addis Ababa, enabling IFAD to strengthen engagement with the government’s programs, projects and development partners.

The Fifth Ethio-Yemen Joint Ministerial Commission Meeting concluded on Thursday (May 15) with the signing of several new

agreements following a review of previous agreements, executive programs and
the Agreed Minutes. These covered various areas including services, trade,
investment, agriculture, culture, tourism, and urban development. The
agreements focused on building the historic relationship of the two countries
into a more enduring and comprehensive relationship and exploring new methods
to expand bilateral trade and investment and deepen economic cooperation.
During the signing ceremony, Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros welcomed the
transformation of the traditional partnership into a strategic, long-term and
sustainable partnership in the areas of trade and investment. He reaffirmed
Ethiopia’s commitment to the rejuvenation of the Sana’a Forum to address
regional insecurity and underdevelopment. He also recognized the important role
for forums for the business communities of the two nations and underlined the
pivotal contribution to be made by the respective Chambers of Commerce to
fast-track economic partnership and create conditions for close cooperation and
participation. Yemen’s Foreign Minister, Dr. Abubakir Abdellah al Qurbi, noted
with satisfaction that Ethiopia and Yemen had common positions in regional,
sub-regional and global affairs, and urged both countries to work together for
the resumption of their historic ties with a renewed partnership in areas that
would provide mutual benefit and a win- win approach. He said the Sana’a Forum could revitalize and
renew both bilateral and regional ties. 
Dr. Tedros extended an invitation to Foreign Affairs Minister,
Dr.Abubakir Abdellah al Qurbi , to visit Ethiopia in order to fast-track
implementation of the signed agreements.
A total of seven Memoranda of Understanding were on Agriculture, Social
Insurance, Manpower Exchange, Youth, Women, and Education. Three Executive
Programs were also signed on Housing, Urban and Municipal Development, and
Culture and Tourism.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom met on Thursday (May 15) with President Abdu Rebu Mansour Hadi in Sana’a following the conclusion of the Fifth Joint Ministerial Commission Meeting. Discussions centered on matters related to bilateral and regional affairs of common concern and interest. President Mansour Hadi welcomed Dr. Tedros and characterized Ethio-Yemen relations as historic and deep-rooted. Dr. Tedros briefed President Hadi on Ethiopia’s efforts to resolve the Ethio-Eritrea border dispute, pointing out that Ethiopia consistently stressed the importance of negotiation and dialogue to resolve the issue. However, he said, the Government of Eritrea persistently disregarded the logic of reason, dialogue and negotiation and attached greater significance to the logic of might and conflict. He affirmed that Ethiopia was always open and willing to participate in sustained dialogue and constructive discussion. Dr. Tedros also explained that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam was a landmark in Ethiopia’s march towards prosperity and sustainable development, adding that the GERD would contribute greatly to the transformation of the economies and societies of all Nile Basin countries including Egypt. He underlined that Ethiopia was committed to genuine negotiations with Egypt in order to address the concerns of Egypt, and underlined that Ethiopia was always prepared to follow the path of equitable and reasonable utilization of the water resources of the Nile for the realization of shared benefits and a win-win approach.

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