Somaliland’s President visits Addis Ababa
The Committee of African Heads of State on Climate Change met in Addis Ababa
Nile-TAC—Partners Dialogue held in Kampala
The UNSC and both parties to the CPA agreed on Full, Timely Implementation of CPA
The Fifth International Conference on Federalism
Core Principles of Ethiopia’s foreign Policy: Ethiopia-South Africa Relations
Somaliland’s President visits Addis Ababa
The new President of Somaliland, Mr. Ahmed Mohamed ‘Silanyo’, leading a high level delegation, arrived in Addis Ababa on Wednesday for a three day official visit to Ethiopia, November 17th – November 20th. The President’s delegation was accorded a warm welcome on its arrival at Bole International Airport by Ato Hailemariam Desalegn, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.
During his visit, the President met and held extensive discussions with Prime Minister Meles on issues of mutual concern. He thanked the Ethiopian Government for the continuous and principled support extended to Somaliland and its people, and requested the Prime Minister to continue with this to enable Somaliland to succeed in its endeavors to ensure the sustainability of peace and stability in the region. Prime Minister Meles congratulated President Silanyo on the successful conduct of the recent elections and on winning the Presidency of Somaliland. He stressed the importance of the peaceful transfer of power in Somaliland as a lesson to all in the region and more widely. He said it would encourage Ethiopia to further its efforts to develop the relations existing between the administration in Hargeisa and the government of Ethiopia.
Emphasizing the closely linked destiny of the two peoples, Prime Minister Meles expressed his firm conviction that prosperity was not sustainable without peace and stability. He emphasized that the Somaliland administration should redouble its efforts to develop its economy. The Berbera Corridor was one aspect of this that should be looked into, as it could be made into an effective tool for economic recovery through building up the infrastructure of both Somaliland and Ethiopia for their common good. It would, of course, require large resources, and the two leaders agreed to work together to encourage interested partners to invest in the development of the corridor. This would also create a favorable environment for investment in other fields.
Prime Minister Meles underlined the strategic guiding principles for further enhancing the relationship between the two peoples. He thanked the leadership and people of Somaliland for their support in foiling the recent attempt by Eritrea to smuggle terrorists through Somaliland territories into Ethiopia’s Somali Regional State. He also emphasized the need for further vigilance in this regard. He stressed the importance of Somaliland’s stability for the region, and said that this should be further nurtured through economic recovery. There was a need for Somaliland and Puntland to strengthen their cooperation in terms of security and to address the challenges both face from Al-Shabaab terrorists and other groups bent on destabilizing the entire region. These and other security-related issues need a lot of political work, he added. Somaliland should give leadership in dealing with all those security challenges that the region as a whole was facing; it could take the support of Ethiopia for granted in this respect.
President Silanyo also met and held extensive discussions with General Samora Yunus, the Chief of Defense Staff of the Ethiopian National Armed Forces (ENDF). General Samora expressed the ENDF’s satisfaction with the existing security cooperation with the Somaliland security institutions, and reaffirmed the ENDF’s commitment to further enhance cooperation in training, with joint exercises and capacity-building, to ensure peace and stability of Somaliland. He encouraged Somaliland to cooperate with Puntland to prevent extremist elements using their common border to destabilize both administrations. President Silanyo thanked General Samora for his support, emphasizing that the defense institutions of Somaliland would redouble their efforts to cooperate with the ENDF in dealing with security challenges along their common border.
The new TFG Prime Minister in Mogadishu unveils his new Cabinet
Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmaajo’, announced a much reduced cabinet of only 18 members last Friday. It includes only three members of the previous cabinet of Omar Ali Sharmarke who resigned in September. The choice of ministers was made in accordance with the Transitional Charter’s 4.5 formula of clan power sharing. There are three Deputy Prime Ministers, all newcomers to the cabinet: Mr. Mohamed Abdullahi Omaar, from Somaliland, will be Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister; Mr. Abdihakim Mohamoud Haji-Faqi, from Bay region, and a former Somali diplomat, is appointed Defence Minister as well as a Deputy Prime Minister; and Dr. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, from Puntland, and a professor of economy at Niagara University in the United States, is Minister of Planning and International Cooperation and a Deputy Prime Minister.
Ahlu Suna Wal Jamaa, which signed an agreement with the TFG in March 2010, secured three ministerial positions including the important posts of the Ministers of Interior and of National Security. The new cabinet lineup also includes some intellectuals from the Diaspora. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi ‘Farmaajo’ also announced the names of eighteen Deputy Ministers and nine State Ministers to complete his ministerial appointments. Both the timing and the number of appointments surprised observers of the process. Eighteen out of the twenty seven appointments are Members of Parliament who had previously showed some discontent over the first phase of Cabinet formation last week. Parliament will convene on Saturday to deliberate on the appointments and its approval of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet.
The Committee of African Heads of State on Climate Change met in Addis Ababa
On Monday, the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) met in Addis Ababa as part of Africa’s preparations for the next world climate summit (COP16) to be held in Cancun, Mexico, November 29th to December 10th. Representatives from Algeria, DRC, Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda, and South Africa attended. The objective of the meeting, convened and chaired by Prime Minister Meles, was to review the state of global climate change negotiations and refine the position for Africa to follow in Cancun, consistent with the relevant AU Decisions. In his welcoming remarks, Dr. Jean Ping, Chairperson of the AU Commission, outlined the various efforts of the AU Commission to facilitate implementation of Africa’s Common Position on Climate Change. He highlighted the thematic and sectoral priorities and concerns that Africa must pursue in the upcoming climate change negotiations.
Prime Minister Meles briefed the meeting on the various relevant meetings in which he had participated including the G20 Summit and the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Finance (AGF) of which he had been Co-Chair. The Advisory Group recently completed its work and submitted its report to the UNSG. It has now been circulated to member states. The aim of the Advisory Group was to try and identify means and mechanisms of mobilising US $ 100 billion a year which the Summit at Copenhagen (COP15) agreed should be raised annually from public and private sources by 2020 to help developing countries fight climate change. Prime Minister Meles told the committee that the Advisory Group had explored all options. Its conclusions were that raising the US$100 billion per annum was feasible, if challenging, and that the exact mix of public and private sources and the issue of calculating the figures on net or gross flows would be ironed out by technical negotiators. He also detailed the concept of the African Green Development Fund, as part of Global Green Fund, to ensure that a significant part of the Green Fund should be apportioned for Africa. He emphasized that CAHOSCC needs to push for this to be featured in the Cancun negotiations. He briefed the meeting on other aspects of progress on adaptation and technology, on the possibilities for establishing the Green Fund, progress within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Changes (UNFCC) and of REDD +, (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation). He noted that little progress had been achieved in respect to realising the fast track financial pledges made at Copenhagen.
Prime Minister Meles also briefed the meeting on the G20 Summit in Seoul, where he had reported on the work of the Advisory Group. The Summit had tasked their finance ministers to review the report and make recommendations. He noted that a number of other meetings had been held informally by various groupings including those among the major economies and reported that Africa had been represented. He welcomed these in the hope that they would take into account Africa’s interests and concerns. Mr. Cherif Rahmani Minister of Land Management, Environment and Tourism of Algeria, briefed the meeting on various forums that had taken place since the last Climate Change Summit at Copenhagen last year, stressing some of the positive developments as well as the challenges ahead.
The Chairman also outlined what might be achieved in Cancun and beyond. He said making significant progress in Cancun would be an important step towards reaching a final, comprehensive and legally-binding agreement later in South Africa. Africa, he said, had every reason to push for such progress, all the more so because it would suffer most from lack of progress in climate change negotiations. He recalled that the AU Summit had unequivocally endorsed the Copenhagen Accord which essentially formed the Common African Position, underlining the necessity for Africa to speak with one voice based on this common position. He summarised the areas, ranging from finance and REDD+, to adaptation and technology transfer, where agreement might be achieved in Cancun.
The meeting of the Climate Change committee (CAHOSCC) agreed on the points articulated by the Chairman as the basis for the pillars of Africa’s common position at Cancun. Members also stressed the need to push for a multi-lateral climate change regime to achieve two-track, legally binding and balanced, agreements on the UNFCC and the Kyoto Protocol. It was emphasized that the negotiations must essentially be within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and this should not be replaced by any parallel or informal meetings of various groups. The meeting reaffirmed its confidence in Prime Minister Meles’s work for CAHOSCC and his championship of African interests on climate change. It agreed that Algeria, the coordinator of the African delegation for Cancun, which is a ministerial conference, should convene a meeting of the African ministers who will be attending there to brief them on this CAHOSCC meeting and ensure that Africa advances its common position and speaks with one voice, and effectively. Prime Minister Meles noted that as part of the preparatory work for the forthcoming Africa-EU Summit (scheduled for November 29th – 30th in Tripoli, Libya), a draft document is being developed. He also stressed that the common African position on climate change must be strictly adhered to in all the African Union Commission’s engagements. In conclusion, the meeting asked both the Chair and the Commission to follow through on the results of their deliberations.
Nile-TAC—Partners Dialogue held in Kampala
NBI SWOT Workshop, 5th Nile-TAC/Development Partner’s Strategic Dialogue and NBI review meeting was held from Nov 8-11 in Kampala, Uganda. During the first meeting from Nov 8-9, Nile-TAC members from Nile Basin Countries with the exception of Egypt and Sudan as well as representatives of NBI partners met to look into the progress made in the Institutional Design Studies (IDS) that started in February 2010. This is part of the Institutional Strengthening Project (ISP) undertaken with objective of strengthening the NBI’s foundation for institutional stability, enhanced capacity, and harmonized corporate management to more effectively deliver programs and projects. The project was launched with five components: strengthening and harmonizing the NBI’s corporate management and governance; enhancing the foundation for knowledge-based water resource management; enhancing the foundation for water-resource development; strengthening stakeholder participation and communication and management of Shared Vision Program (SVP) projects.
A Consultant was thus hired to undertake an analysis of the current institutional arrangements of the NBI. The IDS Progress and the SWOT workshop was meant to provide the Consultant the opportunity to present the progress made during the diagnosis stage, as well as to launch the design stage based on a constructive dialogue about the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) for the NBI. The general objectives of the IDS progress and the SWOT workshop were to facilitate a constructive dialogue concerning the progress of the IDS and to implement a SWOT analysis of the NBI in its capacity to contribute to sustainable development of the Nile Resources, based on the Consultant’s institutional diagnosis of NBI. During the discussion the Consultant gave a detailed presentation of the progress so far made with participants making a thorough discussion of the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities of the NBI. It was observed in the course of the discussion that there were still a lot of areas in which the Consultant would have to work more in order to undertake the next stage in this exercise-namely, the design stage at which the Consultant will come up with recommendations regarding the best institutional arrangement for NBI based on its diagnosis of its current arrangements. The meeting served as an opportunity to further develop the findings the Consultant had made so far. The meeting concluded by underscoring the need to give priority to the issue of sustainability and financial viability of the Nile-Sec and the two Subsidiary Action Program (SAP) centers, namely—Eastern Nile Subsidiary Action Program(ENSAP) and Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program (NELSAP)—beyond the closing of the Nile Basin Trust Fund (NBTF) in two years time.
The next meeting was held from Nov 10-11, and unlike in the previous one, all Nile Basin countries including Egypt and Sudan were present. The meeting had the objective of strengthening the Nile-TAC-development partner engagement and to provide strategic guidance and technical direction on key issues to the NBI. More specifically, the meeting was meant to review and assess progress of NBI and to identify actions; to review institutional sustainability of the NBI; and to identify key issues for ISP midterm review. It was hoped that the meeting would help create common understanding between TAC and partners and to identify actions required to strengthen sustainability of institutions after the closing of NBTF funding. The meeting dealt at length with a number of issues in relation to the importance of Nile Basin Cooperation, basin development and basin management. It also raised some of the achievements and challenges faced. With regard to basin development, the meeting heard reports from representatives of the two Subsidiary Action Programs—ENSAP, & NELSAP. The participants reviewed the progress in the various projects being undertaken in Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt through ENTRO as well as other similar projects being carried out by NELSAP. Flood defense and watershed management projects as well as power transmission between basin countries were pointed out as encouraging developments. The participants of the meeting commended the progress made by the SAPs as productive and called upon stakeholders to redouble their efforts to ensure more success. The potential of power transmission among basin countries was emphasized.
During the course of the discussion, participants also pointed to some of the challenges facing Nile Basin cooperation. The attempt by the Egyptian delegation to block the dialogue between Nile-TAC and partners on an untenable claim was a practical display of one such challenge. Although organizers of the workshop were particularly clear about the rather technical nature of the dialogue, the Egyptian delegation repeatedly made a totally untenable claim that the ‘political’ meeting must be stopped because “the signing by some five countries of the CFA” was “a unilateral” decision that rendered the NBI process legally dead. This was not only a specious claim but it was also symptomatic of the kind of diplomatic blitz the Egyptians have been actively engaged in to get partners of the NBI to deny funding to development projects in the upper Nile Basin countries unless the latter submitted to their diktats. Despite protestations by the World Bank representative that the meeting had no mandate over political issues related to the signing of the CFA, the Egyptian delegation insisted that the meeting was political. To the extent that there was anything political it was the attempt by the Egyptian delegation to use the forum to promote their agenda. This was obviously part of their usual campaign to scuttle the CFA through all kinds of diplomatic shenanigans. As the discussions throughout the workshops in Kampala made it abundantly clear, there is a lot of potential of mutual benefit that can accrue to the Nile Basin countries if they continue to work on a cooperative spirit and in a manner that allows for the equitable utilization of the Nile water by all riparian countries, without, of course, causing significant harm to other riparian countries. This is the only way a win-win solution can be achieved.
The UNSC and both parties to the CPA agreed on Full, Timely Implementation of CPA
The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed between the SPLM and the NCP in the Sudan had faced problems arising from the two parties’ disagreement on a range of issues related to the referenda slated to be held in January. Questions were being raised as to whether the referenda would indeed be held as scheduled and whether the CPA would in fact be implemented as planned. The rhetoric of some leaders from both sides was not helping either.
The issue of full and timely implementation of Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement was the subject of debate in the UN Security Council during its 6425th meeting. Emphasizing that the situation in Sudan represented one of the most urgent challenges facing the Security Council, the 15-member body, convening at the ministerial level, underlined that full and timely implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), including the holding of referenda on the self-determination of Southern Sudan and the status of Abyei, was essential to national as well as regional peace and stability. The Council underlined the importance of making rapid progress on a way forward for the Abyei referendum, on outstanding CPA issues, and on resolving critical post-referendum questions in a peaceful, mutually beneficial manner, including borders, security, citizenship, debt, assets, currency and natural resources. It also underlined the need for the parties to promote calm and ensure that the rights, safety and property of all in Sudan, including southerners in the North and northerners in the South, would be respected whatever the outcome of the referenda.
As United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reiterated during the meeting, the coming months are likely to be difficult for the people of Sudan and the international community engaged there. He further noted that the referendum would have the potential to change Sudan’s future and send “shockwaves” through the region, while urging the parties to recognize that the vision of a new Sudan outlined in the CPA remained as valid today as it had been half a decade ago.
He also noted that the start of voter registration in Southern Sudan was a clear indication that the referendum is indeed on track. He also added that ensuring its being conducted in an orderly fashion, and the acceptance by the Sudanese people of its outcome required that the process be credible and transparent, and one reflecting the aspirations of the population.
According to President Thabo Mbeki, Chairman of the AU’s High Level Implementation Panel on Sudan, who addressed the meeting via video link, the two parties to the CPA had agreed to ensure a free and fair referendum and committed themselves to respect the outcome. Negotiations on post-referendum arrangements had been launched and the parties had engaged on issues of security, borders, citizenship, oil and water resources, currency matters, assets and liabilities, as well as international treaties and agreements. The agreement of the two parties will go a long way in laying to rest the lingering doubts regarding the holding of the referenda as per the schedule.
Representatives of the parties to the CPA did also address the meeting. Both Ali Ahmed Karti, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sudan, and Pagan Amum, Secretary-General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), expressed their commitment to implementing the CPA, including holding the referendum. According to Mr. Karti, the referendum is a commitment that is to be honored and he expressed his government’s willingness to honour it. He also added that the decision to allow the South its right to self-determination was among the more daring decisions taken in Africa. He renewed the Government’s commitment to hold the referendum as scheduled and to accept the results, whether in favour of unity or secession. As for progress towards a framework agreement for the North and South, he said an historic accord had been reached on the 15th of November on strategic issues, notably a determination not to return to war.
Mr. Amum on his part expressed the strong desire of the people and Government of Southern Sudan for a peaceful and collaborative relationship between the South and the North — a relationship that benefits and protect the two peoples. Even though the people of Southern Sudan may choose to secede, he said that they should always remain neighbours and that they had no choice but to be good neighbours. He also reassured that no Northern Sudanese rights would be violated or activities obstructed, regardless of the outcome of the referendum. He then expressed his hope and demand that the rights and livelihoods of Southern Sudanese in the North be treated in exactly the same way.
UK’s foreign minister Mr. William Hague, who convened the ministerial-level meeting, said the global community must be ready to work beyond the referendum on the long-term issues affecting each side. He disclosed that the United Kingdom had taken the lead role in handling Sudan’s international debt while also pointing out the vital role the African Union was playing in helping the North and South bridge their differences. As we have indicated previously, the failure of the many attempts to bring together the two parties in search of an amicable solution was a source of concern for the international community at large and AU and IGAD in particular. As a country sharing borders with the two sides, Ethiopia has also been in the forefront of the efforts to bring the two parties together. Ethiopia believes that the timely implementation of the CPA is imperative to ensure a sustainable peace in the country and also in the entire region. Obviously, lack of peace in Sudan will have far reaching repercussions not only for the country but for the entire region. It also shares the UN Security Council’s position that the full and timely implementation of the CPA is essential to national as well as regional stability. It is with this in mind that Ethiopia received the new development as a step forward in the right direction while renewing its commitment to remain engaged with all stakeholders to ensure the full and timely implementation of the CPA.
The Fifth International Conference on Federalism
Next month, from December 13 to 16, Ethiopia will be hosting the Fifth International Conference on Federalism. This is the latest in a series of conferences organized by the Forum of Federations. Earlier meetings were held in Canada in 1999, Switzerland in 2002, Belgium in 2005 and India in 2007. Ethiopia joined the Forum of Federations in 2006. The other members are Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Mexico, Nigeria and Switzerland, though there are over twenty countries in the world which have federal constitutions. The Forum currently works in several countries in Africa including Nigeria, South Africa and Sudan as well as Ethiopia. The meeting in New Delhi three years ago attracted over a thousand delegates from some 116 countries. Attendees included Presidents and Heads of Government and of international organizations, ministers and officials as well as leading practitioners and scholars of federalism. Next month’s conference in Addis Ababa will attract similar attendance.
The theme of this Conference in Addis Ababa will be “Equality and Unity in Diversity for Development”, reflecting the need for sustainable development in federal, federalizing or decentralizing states in Africa and other non-Western regions of the world. Sustainable development requires equality and unity in diversity, and these are qualities necessary for the emergence and building up of social peace and democracy. Within the broad theme, the topics of the conference have been chosen to reflect the interests of Ethiopia as well as to those countries interested in federalism in all its aspects: Federalism and the Democratization Process; The Impacts of Regionalization and Globalization on Federations; Unity in Diversity through Federalism; Federalism and Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution; Fiscal Federalism and Equitable Development.
Three years ago, in New Delhi, Prime Minister Meles told delegates to the fourth Conference on Federalism that Ethiopia had come to New Delhi to learn from India with its vibrant and successful traditions of democracy and academic research on federalism, to learn from other federations, and to make Ethiopia’s own modest contributions in sharing experiences. With over eighty ethnic and linguistic groups, Ethiopia, the Prime Minister emphasized, was rich in diversity and it was perhaps natural that its new democracy had been a federation, as “perhaps the best means of accommodating diversity in the context of a democratic polity”. The Prime Minister noted that federalism in Ethiopia had had the benefit of all late comers in being able to benefit from the experiences generated by older federations, but he also underlined the unique elements of Ethiopia’s federal elements, including “the explicit identification of ethnic and linguistic groups as the basis for state structuring and the full recognition of the right of the constituent parts of the federation to secede from it if they so wish by our constitution.”
Past conferences have contributed significantly to the growing implementation of a “community of practice” on federalism. This meeting, however, will be the first to be held in Africa and it will offer the unique chance to provide African perspectives in the discussions on the achievements and challenges of federalism. Ethiopia, of course, is one of the few African countries which have opted for a federal democratic system, after the overthrow of the military dictatorship in 1991. Unusually, it also chose ethnicity as the underlying principle with members of the federation molded by “settlement patterns, language, identity and consent of the people concerned,” as expressed in the formulation of the preamble of the Constitution “We the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia”. Minorities are specially acknowledged in the federal Parliament or provided with self-governed administrative units at local level, underlining nationality rights as a major element of the Constitution. As a result, the conference will be able to provide a forum for the sharing of national experiences and learning from regional examples within Ethiopia, as well as create a national consensus among the country’s nations, nationalities and peoples. As part of the national activities in advance of the conference, the Secretariat of the Conference has organized a series of discussions throughout the country, in Gambella, Jijiga, Harar, Dire Dawa, Adama, Hawassa, Bahr Dar and other towns, on the question of “What does Federalism mean to me?”, discussing how federalism has changed communities, and raising public awareness of the Conference.
Core Principles of Ethiopia’s foreign Policy: Ethiopia-South Africa
The peoples of Ethiopia and South Africa have had a long and historic relation as the two peoples were bound together by the common struggle to free Africa from colonialism and apartheid. Ethiopia’s victory against colonialism at the battle of Adwa had long served as an inspiration for a resistance movement against racism in South Africa. Ethiopia also had an active role in the fight against apartheid. The military training given hundreds of freedom fighters including Former President Nelson Mandela is a testament to Ethiopia’s commitment to the cause of freedom in Africa in general and South Africa in particular. Their relationship has survived decades of resistance against injustice, and this continued until the peoples of South Africa finally managed to do away with the Apartheid system. It is in the light of this that both countries saw the ideas of closer cooperation and deeper people-to-people relations as important. It was in this context that Ethiopia opened its Embassy in Pretoria in June 1996.
Since then, Ethiopia has been able to note with satisfactions that bilateral relations have steadily strengthened; and Ethiopia and South Africa signed a Declaration of Intent in March 1998 and a General Co-operation Agreement in March 2004. Ethiopia values these bilateral relations and its cooperation with South Africa. They are based on the spirit of Pan-Africanism and on African brotherhood. The historic bonds and goodwill existing between the two countries has also provided a firm basis for building stronger cooperation in various political and economic areas, and in trade, investment, health, agriculture, education, capacity building, culture and tourism. All together these constitute a significant step forward in strengthening economic ties and in facilitating the prospects for South African investment in Ethiopia.
In the context of expanding bilateral relations as well as trade and investment, a number of agreements were signed between South Africa and Ethiopia during the first meeting of the Joint Ministerial Commission in Pretoria in March 2008. These included the Agreement to Establish the Joint Ministerial Commission itself, an Agreement for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investment, and a Memorandum of Understanding on Industrial and Technical Co-operation. The establishment of the Joint Ministerial Commission is intended to enable the General Co-operation Agreement to facilitate bilateral co-operation on key issues of mutual concern, while the Memorandum of Understanding on Industrial and Technical Co-operation is expected to serve as a catalyst for improving favorable conditions for economic, industrial and technical cooperation. The Agreement on Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investment will provide for the improvement of conditions for trade and investment between both countries as well as stimulate individual business initiatives. In order to give impetus to the agreement, it was agreed to take measures to elevate investor confidence and promote trade and investment between the two countries.
South Africa’s relatively high level of economic development is rightly seen by many as a major engine of economic development in Africa. In this regard, the fact that Ethiopia is endowed with significant natural resources and a sizable population of around 80 million offers huge investment and trade potential for South African investors. It is hoped therefore that these agreements will provide a framework for both countries to benefit from their comparative advantages and allow for the establishment of solid and substantial trade and economic cooperation.
It should be emphasized that on continental issues, Ethiopia and South Africa work together closely on strengthening the African Union and its various organs. Both countries are committed to the consolidation of the African Agenda and the centrality of NEPAD in the continent’s efforts to deal with the twin challenges of poverty and underdevelopment. They have also been working closely on peace and stability in Africa in general and particularly in Somalia, Sudan and other international issues. There is every reason to believe that this cooperation will indeed continue with added vigor including in other areas of common interest such as security and climate change.
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Ministry of Foreign Affairs