By Biruktayet Bihon
August 18, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- India expressed its commitment to strengthen the Ethio-Indian bilateral ties during a business-to-business forum that was held in Addis Ababa last Week.
The forum which bought together several Ethiopian and Indian organizations was meant to facilitate Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) between the two countries.
Representing the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Economic Diplomacy Permanent Representative, Ambassador Dawano Kedir briefed the forum about the various reforms being undertaken in Ethiopia to attract FDI and encourage investors.
The ambassador underscored the essence of growing and diversifying collaboration between the two nations, Ethiopia and India.
Ambassador Dawano also appreciated the preparation of such a forum which is essential to further cement the long-standing and historical ties between the two countries.
General Secretary of Indo-African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Sunanda Rajendran, on her part praised Ethiopia’s efforts to create favorable investment climate in the country.
She indicated that Indian investors are keen on investing in Ethiopia in the areas of innovation technology, textile, food and dairy processing and information technology.
The Ambassador of India to Ethiopia and Djibouti, Mr. Anurang Srivastava, also shared his optimism towards the outcome of the forum. In an interview he gave, the Ambassador said the Ethio-Indian Diplomatic ties since 1945 has continued to build stronger and stronger base through time.
The historical relation that started decades ago has developed into cooperation between the two countries in various areas, including in education which has benefited Ethiopia significantly. India granted scholarship to one thousand Ethiopians to pursue higher education in the south eastern Asian country.
Indian strong emphasis on education also invited thousands of Indian academics to come to Ethiopia to teach in higher learning institutions in Ethiopia.
“India is currently playing an increasingly reliant role in the field of education in the country by deploying Indian teachers to strengthen education and training,” the Ambassador noted.
Ambassador Anurag also mentioned about India-Ethiopia Innovation initiative to support entrepreneurship for young Ethiopians for a period of five years.
According to the Ambassador, the initiative will further diversify the bilateral ties between the two nations which was mostly based of educational capacity building.
“India is currently embarking on building institutions and creating successful enterprises in the textile and metal industries in Ethiopia,” he said.
The initiative that embarks on knowledge partnership through innovation and entrepreneurship is also reportedly pursued in neighboring Djibouti as well, further reflecting India’s contemporary interest in the continent of Africa.
Ambassador Anurang stressed that India is currently under rapid developmental progress which requires strong partnership to further stimulate the progress not just at regional level but also globally.
‘It is priority diplomatic agenda for India to engage with continents such as Africa that have the potential, resources, and manpower.
Ambassador Anurag noted that some African countries have higher GDP per capita than India. However, this does not always translate into prosperity for the entire population, as poverty and underdevelopment remain rife in most African countries. There is much progress in India despite the relatively low level of GDP per capita when compared to some African countries.
Ambassador Anurag Srivastava highlighted the quick progress made on India-Africa relations in the last decade.
He emphasized the structured engagement undertaken since 2008 at the India-Africa Forum held in New Delhi in October 2015. This commitment gave a renewed impetus to India to strengthen its framework for strategic cooperation with Africa for the mutual benefit of India and the African continent.
The Ambassador cited areas for further exploration in sciences, technology, politics and economics as well as in related social, cultural and security sectors.
Ambassador Anurag also stated that his country is determined to enhance skills through training and capacity-building activities in Africa. He expressed concern about the lack of energy, food security and water resources in the continent.
There are also problems with cyber warfare and climate change globally, he noted. For this, the Ambassador recommended the intensification of experience exchanges, in skills development and general capacity building to address the development of technical skills among African youth.
Ambassador Anurag noted that India is engaged with the African Union Commission in the areas of education, science and technology in which several initiatives are underway for the growing workforce in member states.
Finally, being the headquarter for the African Union Commission and the capital of Africa, the Indian Ambassador remarked Ethiopia retains the largest share of India’s multilateral diplomatic engagement in the continent. Noting that Ethiopia is undergoing a transformational process, the Ambassador assured India’s continued support to Ethiopia.