Ethiopia: Elevating the Ethio-Turkey Relations to New Heights –

by Zelalem

The diplomatic relations between Turkey and Ethiopia goes back to 1896. It jump- started with a historic meeting to exchange experiences among delegates during the reign of Sultan Abdülhamid II and Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia. Following the discussion the first Ottoman-Turkish Consulate General was opened in Harar in 1912.

Following this the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey, the first of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa, was opened in Addis Ababa in 1926.Then Ethiopia opened its Embassy in Turkey in 1933. During the unfriendly communist Derg regime, Ethiopia’s Embassy in Ankara was closed in 1984. And it took over 10 years to re-open the embassy in Turkey in 2006.

Currently, the relations between the two countries is in a positive track. The Ethio-Turkish relations has got strengthened with a very constructive and fruitful engagements. Today,Ethiopia is Turkey’s trustworthy partner in Africa.

The visit by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was indeed a testament to the bent with which the government of Turkey views its relationship with Ethiopia. The visit had been really a significant step which would contribute to the deepening of the strong relations between the two nations. Similarly, Ethiopian leaders had paid a visit to Turkey to furthering the bilateral relations that is already in a good shape.

This long history between Turkey and Ethiopia, which allowed the two countries to grow financially and politically, is still strong. They have excellent bilateral relations which are characterized by ever-growing economic and political ties based on common understanding and mutual respect.

The constructive role Turkey plays in Africa is exemplary and shows the country’s determination to assure mutual benefits and foster growth and development in the continent. Ethiopia is one of the biggest markets in the African continent and is strategic to reach other countries that have access to the huge amount of Turkish investment loan.

Ethiopia is one of the four trading partners of Turkey in Sub-Saharan Africa. Out of the six billion USD Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Africa, 2.5 billion USD is channeled to Ethiopia.

The trade volume between the two countries had stood at 450 million USD in 2016 and efforts are underway in both sides to raise the figure to 1 billion USD in the near future.

The trade and investment volume of the two countries is increasing from time to time. Currently, about 150 Turkish investors are operating in Ethiopia with an aggregate capital of 2.5 billion USD. The investment projects have so far created more than 30,000 permanent jobs.

Turkey is planning to increase the trade and investment volume in the future. It is keen to sustain and step up its investment activities in Ethiopia. The visit by Turkish business delegation and the Ethio-Turkey business forum held yesterday is a case in point.

Ethio-Turkey relations is not only confined to economic areas. Seeing the significance of cultural bondage, Turkey government is actively engaging in areas of heritage preservation. Through Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) the government of Turkey has restored a 100-year-old Ottoman-era building found in the Harar town that is inscribed by UNESCO. The consulate building was built during the Ottoman era in 1912.

In a back scratching move, Turkish investors are benefiting from investing in the textiles, food processing, leather, energy production and generation activities. There are still greater opportunities of partnership in the areas of development finance, investment and bilateral trade.

Turkish businessmen are continuing their business operation as usual. The Ethiopian government has always been supporting the companies and Turkey values its ties with Ethiopia and continues to partake in investment activities. The strong bilateral relationship of the two historical countries is growing by the day. The economic cooperation of the two countries have witnessed mutual benefit.

As part of this economic cooperation Turkish Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci and a business delegation comprising 100 members had made a one-day visit to Ethiopia. They also participated in Ethio-Turkish Business Forum. During the discussion both countries have showed commitment to further deepen bilateral relation, and boost trade and investment.

As a sideline even the two sides have also signed memorandum of understanding and cooperation agreements in the areas of mining, standardization, small and medium manufacturing industries, electricity distribution and media partnership.

Drawn from MPs and business delegation and led by Turksih Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekc have also discussed with Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn on ways of further strengthening the already blossoming ties.

Such a laudatory visit plays quite a role in taking the win-win clicking between the two countries to new heights. .

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