Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Kenya, Ambassador Meles Alem, has underlined that Ethiopia and Kenya have witnessed a re-awakening of bilateral relations over the last year, revitalizing and re-energising a new development chapter for both countries. He emphasized the clarion call by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for neighbouring countries in the region to integrate. Ethiopia and Kenya, he said, with an intertwined destiny, should pursue a collective and complimentary outcome for the betterment of their 150 million people.
“Ethiopia and Kenya were strategic partners not competitors,” said Ambassador Meles, pointing out that it was no coincidence that the “Big Four” agenda in Kenya coincided with the main strategic areas of Ethiopia’s development agenda. There are sectors in which Ethiopia was technically and resourcefully endowed and possessed a strong comparative advantage, which could benefit Kenya. The leather industry was a case in point. Equally, Kenya was the ‘Silicon Valley’ of Africa; Ethiopia could benefit from the ICT superiority of Kenya in many ways. Kenya’s entrepreneurial spirit and the vibrant role of its media in nation building were good examples for Ethiopia to learn from. Ambassador Meles said the government of Prime Minister Abiy has made great strides to actualising the concept of medemer, a call for unity, synergy and harmony. This was timely and applicable to Kenya as well as Ethiopia.
Summit meetings between the leaders of Ethiopia and Kenya in 2018 and 2019 had re-awakened the Special Status Agreement of 2012 between the two countries and underlined that infrastructure development was a common enabler of their respective economies. Both heads of state had made bold commitments. They had agreed logistics for the One Stop Border Post should be put in place by the end of the second quarter of 2019; they had agreed to jointly inspect and supervise the Lamu-Garissa-Moyale and Moyale-Hawassa-Addis Ababa road networks. Ambassador Meles noted the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET) and the Moyale Joint City and Economic Zone projects also demonstrated the power of bilateral relations.
Ambassador Meles emphasized again that successful development of the Ethio-Kenya relations would demonstrate that both countries were partners and not competitors, with the exception perhaps of marathon running!Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, London, UK.