Ethiopia: Coming Forward to Meaningful Cooperation –

Ethiopia and Sudan enjoy a well established historical relationship that dates back to the civilizations of Axum and Meroe states. This historic relation exhibits age-old political, economic, social and cultural bond that resulted in bolstering the dynamic relations.

This relation is one of the several strong bilateral relations Ethiopia has been cultivating diligently with the neighboring nations over years. Designing prudent foreign policy, this government has strongly encouraged the principle of addressing issues of common interest on the basis of constructive dialogue in a way that promotes mutual benefits.

Fortunately, Ethiopia’s diplomacy orientation has reinforced the effectiveness of the country in scoring considerable successes in its diplomatic endeavour. As a result, the strong diplomatic relationship with the neigbouring countries, the nation has been contributing a great deal in ensuring sustainable peace in Africa in general and East Africa in particular.

Over the past two decades, besides the prevailing peace and stability in the country and relentless effort to ensure durable peace and stability in the horn has enabled the nation to register double digit economic growth for the last ten plus years in row.

Indeed, the success must be attributed to the effectiveness and authenticity of the country’s foreign policy that promotes regional integration and sustainable peace in Africa. Of the relations with neighboring countries, the relations between Ethiopia and Sudan has been steadily growing in many areas of cooperation. It is worth mentioning here that the number of Sudanese investors in Ethiopia is in the top.

Vividly, the frequent visit by the officials of the two countries is a showcase to the ceaseless effort being made to cementing the historical relations between the two sisterly nations.

The recent visit by the Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu to Sudan is a part of this effort. The minister reiterated his country’s unwavering commitment towards furthering relations with the Sudan.

Dr. Workneh explicitly stated Ethiopia’s conviction aimed at establishing proper and sound cooperation with the Nile Basin countries for mutual benefits. In this regard, both nations have demonstrated notable cooperation in the utilization of the Nile River.

The relations and cooperation they forge is exemplary in the region for the regional power integration as the two nations promoting Nile as a source of cooperation and mutual benefits among the riparian countries.

Thanks to the foreign policy of Ethiopia, it has successfully ensured peace across the nation and beyond. It has kept on reaping the benefits of its bold foreign policy initiative through improving relations with neighboring nations.

The Ethiopian government is working very hard to take this mutual interdependence to a higher level for to consolidate the partnership with Sudan. The economic and security interdependence it has developed with Sudan considered to be a model for mutual benefit and growth where the political leadership of the two nations come forward.

For instance, the volume of trade exchange between the nations has been increasing significantly with 27 percent annual growth since the Preferential Trade Agreement was signed ten years ago.

The signing between Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn and President Omar Al-Beshir was far sighted step forward in accelerating economic integration endeavors.

According to the agreement, the two nations continue working together in trade, tourism, energy, mining, water, agriculture, forestry and investment. The Agreement also encourages trade promotion through business-to-business relations.

Ethiopia as leading country taking practical steps for regional power connection, it has been supplying power to Sudan following the completion of the Ethiopia-Sudan Transmission Line. Harnessing its renewable energy sources, Ethiopia continues to supply power to the neighboring countries. Certainly, this would help Ethiopia to boost its ties with neighboring countries and give impetus to realize one of the African Union aspirations, economic integration.

Having shared relatively long border, Ethiopia and Sudan have enjoyed historical relations that gained momentum in economic sphere especially over the last two decades.

Once characterized the most unstable region of the world, thanks to the evolving cooperation among the nations in the region it has been changing the tarnish image of the region. More to the point, the two countries need to intensify effort to make the region peaceful and stable. Cognizant of this fact, Ethiopia’s role and contribution, which is acclaimed by many , should further be consolidated.

Seemingly, countries of the regions should come together for the same cause. When the two countries come more closer there would be better opportunities to explore their untapped potential. In this regard what Ethiopia and Sudan is doing promising. However, to benefit the best out of their relations they need to take practical measures that would help them materialize their agreements. To this effect, both sides should capitalize on the opportunities to take the relations between the two countries to a new level of cooperation and meaningful partnership.

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