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.

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé met with Ethiopia’s First Lady, Roman Tesfaye, on Monday (April28) at UNAIDS headquarters in Geneva.

They discussed the progress made in the response to AIDS in Ethiopia where increasing access to HIV prevention and treatment services among pregnant women living with HIV and children between 2009 and 2013, has meant the number of new HIV infections among children has dropped by 54% and the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission coverage reached 50%.

The First Lady is a member of the Organization of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS and is currently involved in the development of HIV prevention campaigns in Gambella and Benishangul-Gumuz, two of the regions with the highest HIV burden in Ethiopia. She told Mr. Sidibé that joint efforts were needed to redirect interventions towards high-burden regions and geographical hotspots in view of changing the epidemic trends in Ethiopia.

Mr Sidibé, who commended the efforts of the First Lady towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children and her commitment to improving the lives of women, young people and children in Ethiopia, stressed the importance of education in reducing the number of new HIV infections, particularly among girls, given the high level of HIV prevalence among women in the country.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Birhane Gebre-Christos, and Ms. Lilian Plapan, Chairperson of African Coalition on Traditional Practices and Empowerment of Women (ACTPEW) signed on Friday (May 2) an agreement to open a regional office for ACTPEW in Addis Ababa.

Established in Kenya in 2012, ACTPEW is an African non-governmental organization to empower the lives of women and eliminate violations against women and children in different parts of Africa. On the occasion of the signing ceremony, Ambassador Birhane expressed his appreciation on ACTPEW’s decision to establish a regional office in Addis Ababa, adding that the Government of Ethiopia attaches special importance to the objectives of ACTPEW. He also noted that Ethiopia is committed to eliminate female genital mutilation, early and forced marriage, discrimination against women and children, and human trafficking.

He also pointed out that Ethiopia is dedicated to empower women and girls, noting that changing the livelihood of women and young girls in particular for the country’s transformation in political, economic and social fields. He also promised that Ethiopia was ready to provide sustained support to ACTPEW in all its initiatives and activities. Ms. Lilian Plapan on her part expressed her gratitude for Ethiopia’s support in their bid to establish a regional office for ACTPEW in Addis Ababa, adding that ACTPEW would augment Ethiopia’s efforts in the fight against human trafficking, discrimination against women and children and other maltreatments.

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