Abiy returned to Addis Ababa in the early hours of Thursday flying in from Frankfurt Germany where he addressed a cross-section of Ethiopians in Europe.
Frankfurt was the final leg of a three-city tour that started in Paris and on to Berlin, where he largely engaged in diplomatic engagements with respective leaders of Germany and France.
He also represented Ethiopia at the G20-Compact with Africa, CwA, summit that was hosted by the German government. Abiy made a strong case for G20 investment in Ethiopia which he stressed presented a competitive investment opportunity with ongoing reforms.
The Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt was his first engagement with fellow nationals with whom he shared three key messages – need for peace, respect for the upcoming electoral process whiles reiterating the need to contribute towards the ongoing reforms back home.
HE PM Abiy successfully concluded his 3 days 3 cities #EU visit & arrived Addis. He is very grateful for the support to him & his delegation in #Paris, #Berlin & #Frankfurt. He also appreciates diaspora’s org. committee, #Ethiopia-n diplomatic missions in #Europe &host countries.— Fitsum Arega (@fitsumaregaa) November 1, 2018
Europe was Abiy’s second tour destination after the United States, where he visited Washington DC, Los Angeles and Minnesota. Abiy has also made several trips to the Middle East, but most of them were connected to diplomacy or trade relations.
He has widely been hailed as a reformist leader whose neck-breaking reforms have turned Ethiopian national life on its head. He took over in April 2018 at a time the country was heading for implosion, according to security and political watchers.
His predecessor, Hailemariam Desalegn, specifically resigned to allow a new leader champion reforms. Abiy has at home and across the subregion attracted praise for his resolve to change Ethiopia forever. Internal security remains his biggest challenge till date.
Abiy woos G20 countries at CwA summit
Abiy’s talks with Chancellor Merkel centered on the following reform areas: “Cooperation on the reintegration of former combatants, agricultural mechanization, financial and technical cooperation,” chief of staff Fitsum Arega wrote on Twitter.
At the G20 Compact with Africa, CwA, summit helkd in Berlin, Abiy wooed investors to partner the government in key areas. he also sold the many initiatives underway to create a conducive investment climate.
“Ethiopia offers a competitive investment opportunity. I will like to take this opportunity and mention the strategic engagement we just started ….as a concrete example of what the compact initiative can deliver when focused on targeted investment, recruitment and facilitation.
“We would like to see similar, more investment from G20 countries and hope this platform continues to play a driving and catalytical role,” Abiy said in his address.
His last stop on the three-city tour is the German city of Frankfurt, his engagements are expected to be less on diplomacy but rather on interfacing with Ethiopians in the diaspora.
HE PM Abiy Ahmed also attended the #G20 Compact with #Africa Conference with the Compact members and heads of #IMF and #WB. He discussed during the meeting the package of reforms that set-in motion a fundamental transformation of Ethiopia’s political & economic system. #Ethiopia— Fitsum Arega (@fitsumaregaa) October 31, 2018
Abiy arrives in Berlin, meets Chancellor Merkel
Abiy Ahmed’s delegation arrived in the German capital, Berlin, on Tuesday morning. He has so far held a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The German Embassy in Ethiopia said the meeting will address reforms underway back home and investment opportunities for German companies plus peace efforts in the wider Horn of Africa region, specifically on the Ethiopia – Eritrea peace deal.
Abiy has since joined the second edition of the G20 Compact with Africa (CwA) meeting currently underway in Berlin. His last wtop will be the city of Frankfurt, where he is expected to meet Ethiopians nationals.
About the Compact with Africa
The G20 Compact with Africa (CwA) was initiated under the German G20 Presidency to promote private investment in Africa, including in infrastructure. The CwA’s primary objective is to increase attractiveness of private investment through substantial improvements of the macro, business and financing frameworks.
It brings together reform-minded African countries, international organizations and bilateral partners from G20 and beyond to coordinate country-specific reform agendas, support respective policy measures and advertise investment opportunities to private investors.
The initiative is demand-driven and open to all African countries. Since its launch in 2017, the CwA has sparked great interest. So far, eleven African countries have joined the initiative: Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo and Tunisia.
Update: PM #AbiyAhmed arrived in Germany. Part of a video by— Addis Standard (addisstandard) October 30, 2018
dw_amharicshows PM Abiy's convoy arriving in Brandenburg Gate, #Berlin. PM Abiy is expected to meet Chancellor Merkel. Ethiopia's reform process & investment opportunities for #German companies are top on the agenda. pic.twitter.com/9TYsU8u8RB
Rundown of Abiy-Macron meeting
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed met French president Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee palace on Monday with the two sides discussing a number of issues of mutual interest.
Three joint declarations were reached according to Reuters report.
- France agreed to provide support to protect and preserve the Lalibela churches.
- Macron also indicated that he will consider budgetary support to Ethiopia supplementing existing multilateral initiatives.
- Plans in urban development and Ethiopian Air transport development strategy were also on the agenda.
Macron praised Abiy for his local reforms and regional peace efforts and accepted an invitation to visit Ethiopia in March 2019.
“We will be by at your side in your efforts to open policies, unification of the country, calming domestic tensions. We will be by your side in your efforts of economic transformation and liberalisation. We will be there for the regional pacification you are leading”, Macron said.
Abiy in France, first stop of Euro tour
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Monday left the capital Addis Ababa for the start of his first European tour, chief of staff Fitsum Arega wrote on Twitter.
Abiy arrived in France where he is expected to meet the French president Emmanuel Macron. He is in Paris on the invitation of Macron dating back to June 2018.
“The two sides are expected to have bilateral discussions on a number of issues such as regional security, Ethiopia’s ongoing reform, trade and investment,” Arega added with photos showing Abiy and his delegation upon arrival.
Following the invitation of President Macron, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed just arrived in #Paris, #France. The two sides are expected to have bilateral discussions on a number of issues such as regional security, Ethiopia’s ongoing reform, Trade and Investment. #Ethiopia pic.twitter.com/CBNonjOdtT— Fitsum Arega (@fitsumaregaa) October 29, 2018
Abiy will head to Germany after Paris. He is also scheduled to interface with Germany’s Angela Merkel during his time in Berlin. He is likely to participate in the G20 Investment Summit with the Compact with Africa, CwA, nations of which Ethiopia is a part. The summit takes place on Tuesday October 30.
He is also expected to address Ethiopians living in Europe during his visit. Whiles his only stop in France will be Paris, over in Germany he will make stops in Berlin and in Frankfurt.
Abiy’s first diaspora tour since his appointment in April was to the United States, Abiy and his delegation made stops in Washington DC – where he met with U.S. vice-president Mike Pence.
He also met with heads of the International Monetary Fund, IMF, and the World Bank on the sidelines of his visit. He visited Los Angeles and then Minnesota to wrap up his tour.
Photo Credit: Ghideon Musa Aron, Facebook