Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who arrives Addis Ababa on Thursday for official visit, expressed his country’s support to the reform Ethiopia is currently undertaking.
He made the comment after meeting Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia. During his one day official meeting in Ethiopia, Minister Wang Yi has also talked to Ethiopia’s President Sahlework Zewde.
Prime Minister Abiy highlighted that in addition to continued support in infrastructure development, the new frontier of a strengthened relationship needs to capitalize on introducing new forms of technology, according to the statement from the PM Press Secretariat.
“Mr. Wang Yi appreciated the successful reform initiatives that have been undertaken over the past few months in Ethiopia. He further emphasized that Ethiopia is on the right path and that China remains committed to supporting and to developing new dimensions to the relationship,” it said.
After the reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power about eight months ago, relation between the two countries has been slowing, according to some observers.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Abiy has visited Beijing during the recent Africa-China meeting and managed to extend loan payment period for Ethiopia, which was at sort of financial crises when he came to power.
For the past two decades, Chinese companies have been highly engaged in infrastructure developments in Ethiopia, mostly financed by Chinese government loans.
Chinese government loan to Ethiopian government from 2000 – 2014 was $12 billion, while latest reports also show that the east Africa country has also taken an additional few billion dollars from China.
Even though the loans have helped Ethiopia develop its infrastructures, lack of transparency and quality of the infrastructures were often mentioned as major challenges by critics.
Some also have been expressing worries about the danger of growing state loans of China in Africa, which at times are leading to unforeseen acquisition of some infrastructures of African countries by the Chinese government like, the recent Mombasa Port of Kenya.