Ethiopia: Foreign Policy in Enhancing Nation’s Development

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Workneh Gebeyehu,

Ethiopia’s foreign policy is shaped by the unique circumstances and the geopolitical landscape of the region. A home for more than 100 million people with abundant natural resources put the nation into advantageous position to gear towards economic growth hence, the foreign policy should go in line with meeting the nation’s socio-economic demand.

To cope up with the globalized economic reality, the prevalence of peaceful and stable regional environment is vital. To that end the diplomatic ties with neighbouring and other countries should consider fostering business and trade. It is obvious that Ethiopian diplomats assigned in those countries play crucial role in facilitating economic ties. So far encouraging results are registered. As mentioned above, Ethiopia has huge population, an asset both to provide labour to any type of business. At the same time it could be a consumer which could create market for investors. The abundant natural resources can also lend impetus for rapid economic growth. However, due to lack of the necessary finance, technology, and knowledge all the resources are under or not utilized. As a result, the nation has still remained one of the most pauperised countries in the world. According to the recent United Nations study in Ethiopia, 8 in 10 people reside in the rural part of the country and earn their living from subsistence farming. When extreme weather conditions occur the livelihood will be put under pressure and face uncertainty. To reverse the situation, mobilizing foreign and domestic resources for igniting growth is vital. For that strengthening trade and business with neighbouring countries, attracting investment is key and to meet these objective the role of diplomats is immense.

Yes, many leaders from neighbouring countries and from other African countries such as South Sudan, Liberia and Djibouti had visited Ethiopia. Leaders also had visited various developmental projects of the nation in which they are extremely impressed.

Frankly speaking, Ethiopia’s foreign policy clearly stipulates that the major focus of the country’s diplomatic activity mainly target on economic ties with neighbouring countries and Africa as whole.

Commenting on the visit incidences observed, Africa Affairs Director-General at the Ministry, Metasebia Tadesse noted that, “In order to implement this foreign policy, we have to have close consultation, visit exchange programmes and close relations with African countries.”

“The reason is that when it comes to African countries, we have common problems, issues to discus, visions and aspirations. That is why we are having more and more visits from African countries as well as visit from Ethiopia to other countries as well,” he said.

In addition to the foreign policy, the fast record of rapid economic growth that Ethiopia is registering over the past years is another factor for the leaders to come to the country.

Generally, the practical engagement testifies that the nation is pulling its leg out of poverty.

 Ethiopia should work closely with African, particularly with neighbouring countries, in a bid to achieve its development goals and maintain efforts in all regards.

As our economic growth is broad-based and multi-sectoral, it can as well serve a lesson for other developing countries. That various countries want to share the experience of Ethiopia with regard to having fast economic growth in different areas.

The prime focus of close consultation and cooperation with African countries should pave ways enabling access to market destination. It as well attracts investment and other business opportunities.

It is clearly known that there are untouched opportunities of cooperation among African countries, especially in the economic and trade areas, where all African countries should work on.

As Ethiopia is a non-permanent member at the UN Security Council, close consultation is needed with African countries, in order to raise and promote issues related to the interest of Africa in UN or any other international platforms.

Africa Affairs Director-General at the Ministry said, “Our engagement in the affairs of Africa is highly welcomed and we reflect the interest of Africa in various international forums, so that African interest can be promoted on the international arena.”

Yes, nation’s diplomatic effort to have a peaceful, stable region in the Horn of Africa is part of our development effort with in the country, so our foreign policy is definitely the reflection of the domestic policy that we have.

With no doubt the peace and stability, fast economic growth registered in Ethiopia highly encourages other African countries to come to Ethiopia to see the scope of development and to learn from Ethiopian experience.

Diplomacy remains the primary tool to maintain and strengthen Ethiopia’s bilateral and multilateral relationships, which are critical to Ethiopia’s national security. Forging ties with local and international institutions based on the nation’s prime agenda should be framed in better ways than ever before.

Finally, the blueprint of the nation document clearly links the nation’s domestic policies with its foreign policy objectives of national development, peace and democracy.

Yes nation has a comprehensive document of foreign policy but still implementing proactively keeping national interest could be upheld.

In this regard, diplomatic corps in various parts of Africa and beyond are doing well but still reinforcing efforts should be strengthened.

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