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Finland President, Sauli Ninisto, on a three days official visit to Ethiopia

Finland commits itself to step up development cooperation in Ethiopia so as to support “reform measures”

Finland _ Ethiopia
Finnish president,Sauli Ninisto, and Ethiopian President Sahle-work Zewde during the reception at the national palace. Photo credit : office of the president of Ethiopia

October 15, 2019

President of Finland, Sauli Ninisto, is on a three days official visit to Ethiopia. He arrived at Bole International Airport in the capital Addis Ababa on Monday evening.

On his second day in the country, he met with President Sahle-Work Zewde at the National Place. He extended a warm welcome and they held a discussion on matters of bilateral and multilateral issues.

They have also discussed regional issues. The two sides have expressed commitment to work together and further strengthening ties.

Speaking at a press conference on the occasion of the president’s visit, Sahle-Work Zewde said “we have discussed on our bilateral relations and consequently reached into an agreement that the Ethio-Finnish bilateral relation is progressing well based on mutual respect and common understanding and we have agreed to strengthen this cooperation further in areas of common interest,” as reported by the office of the President of Ethiopia.

Finland is committing itself to enhance development cooperation in Ethiopia in light of the need to speed up  “Ethiopia’s reform programmes,” as president Sahle-Work put it

Finland _ Ethiopia
Finish president meeting with Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed. Photo : office of the prime minister

Mr. Sauli Ninisto also met with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The visiting president expressed his congratulations to Abiy Ahmed who won the Nobel Peace Prize last week. 

News update from the office of the prime minister cited him as saying “…the Nobel Prize is 10% recognition and 90% assignment to work harder for peace…”

Then the prime minister reportedly updated the finish president on a range of reforms undertaken by his government and priority areas in the realm of development. 

Africa-Europe relations was also a point that PM Abiy raised during the discussion. The two sides reportedly discussed on ways of building relations that are mutually beneficial.  

Based on information from the embassy of Finland in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Finland have a modest trade relation currently but there is an an interest in expanding it further. 

The two countries started development cooperation more than half a century ago in the 1950’s.  

Finland has a range of development programs in the country in a range of areas including rural development, provision of clean water and sanitation, and education, among others. 

The budget allocated for development programs  for the years between 2016 and 2019 is about EUR 55 million. And it was apparently spent in the above mentioned development areas. 

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