Ethiopia-Qatar ties towards new phase of co-operation

Ethiopian-Qatari relations will begin a new phase of co-operation and co-ordination based on the common desire of the two friendly countries to establish a solid ground for stronger future prospects.

The future of relations between Doha and Addis Ababa represents an integral model due to the advantages that both countries enjoy for the interests of the two countries’ people.

The mutual visits and the establishment of a joint ministerial committee as well as the subsequent signing of co-operation agreements in various fields will strengthen the Qatari-Ethiopian relations and will support the future of the ambitious relationship between the two countries.

Through these various channels of communication between the two countries, the form of co-operation will be changed to wider levels, which in turn will strengthen relations at all levels.

The visit of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Ethiopia will be a new impetus in the Qatari-African relations, especially Ethiopia, where the Emir will hold talks with leaders and senior officials on means of promoting and developing bilateral relations, in addition to a number of issues of common interest.

Several agreements and memorandums of understanding in various fields will also be signed during the Emir’s visit to Ethiopia.

Last December witnessed a leap in the level of the Qatari-Ethiopian co-operation with the visit of the Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, during which he met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

The visit revealed Ethiopia’s keenness to encourage and attract Qatari investments and open the way for businessmen, from different sectors, to establish joint projects between the two countries that will help in enhancing and activating the Ethiopian economy as well as creating positive opportunities for Qatari investors to interact with foreign projects with good economic and social returns.

HE the foreign minister’s visit to Ethiopia concluded with the signing of 11 co-operation agreements in various economic, tourism, investment and infrastructure sectors, supported the bilateral rapprochement between businessmen in the two countries and enhanced co-operation in peace and security at both international and regional levels.

On the other hand, the Qatari-Ethiopian Joint Technical Committee will play an important role in providing and enhancing investment opportunities in the Republic of Ethiopia and will develop bilateral relations in the economic and development fields.

During the committee’s second meeting in February last year, representatives from the two countries in the fields of foreign affairs, economy, energy and civil aviation met to put forward visions of co-operation for the coming period.

The Qatari-Ethiopian co-operation reflects keenness of the leaders of the two countries to preserve security, peace, respect for international law and resolve disputes by peaceful means.

Addis Ababa contributes to the establishment of peace and security in East Africa, through its serious and effective participation in resolving the disputes of neighboring countries such as Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and other countries as well as its important role in supporting the issues of the Horn of Africa.

Ethiopia’s election as a non-permanent member of the Security Council enhances its role in security and peace issues at the global level, thus strengthening its regional capacity, supporting and promoting the effective Qatari role as an intermediary to reduce and resolve conflicts, and establishing security and peace in the Horn of Africa and in conflict zones around the world.

At the same time, along with its pivotal political and diplomatic role, Ethiopia is a rapidly developing country that has many investment opportunities that can be used to undertake developmental work.

The government is expanding co-operative areas with neighbouring countries and other countries as well as with local and international institutions.

Addis Ababa is making efforts to ensure that there is a multiple comprehensive development in the Horn of Africa in energy, transport and other sources in co-operation with neighbouring countries of Kenya, Sudan and Djibouti.

According to the latest figures, Ethiopia is the 5th major investor in renewable energy in Africa after each of South Africa, Morocco, Kenya and Uganda. Ethiopia also has more than half a million solar lighting systems.

Ethiopia has many investment opportunities and hosts several institutions and diplomatic headquarters, such as the African Union and many other continental political and economic bodies and entities that makes Ethiopia enjoy many opportunities for investment in the hotel and services sectors.

Policies and strategies that stimulate foreign investors as well as the establishment of security and peace, broad manpower and the availability of huge energy make Ethiopia a hub for foreign investors.

The Ethiopian government is keen to expand tax-free markets and multiplicity of work systems that enable businessmen to export their products to the Middle East, Asia and America.

The cultural relations between Qatar and Ethiopia enjoy strong and constant presence. In 2015, Doha hosted the Ethiopian Cultural Day, which included exhibitions of Ethiopian art, photographs of historic Ethiopian sites registered by UNESCO, and many old and valuable manuscripts.

The exhibition presented the Ethiopian civilisation, geography and history as a model of tolerance and peace between Christianity and Islam, including photographs depicting the country’s historical heritage, obelisks, old mosques, and places where the first Muslims emigrated in their first migration to Abyssinia.

On the display were also the oldest skeleton on earth for the first human being lived in Ethiopia about 3.5mn years ago. In early April, Doha hosted a rich Ethiopian cultural events aimed at strengthening the ties between the Qatari and Ethiopian peoples.

The events included theatre and folkloric performances that embody the African dimension and highlight the Ethiopian civilisation, which includes more than 80 ethnic groups, each with its own language, culture, customs and traditions.

On the other hand, a number of Qatari charitable societies and organisations have contributed to the collection of relief materials and aids for areas affected by desertification in Ethiopia and refugee and poor areas.

Qatari institutions also play an important role in increasing employment opportunities and work in the health, education and other sectors. Qatar and Ethiopia have long standing relations since decades ago. In 1995, the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries was officially announced.

In recent years, there has been a remarkable development in bilateral relations, which were expressed by a large number of high-level mutual visits and the signing of bilateral agreements strong.

During the past five years, figures indicate a significant increase in the number of agreements and memorandums of understanding aimed at regulating and developing relations and providing more opportunities for better investment of the potential of the two countries for the interests of their peoples.