Ethio-UK Relation

1.    Diplomatic Relations of Ethiopia and UK

The Diplomatic Relation between the two countries are based on mutual respect, true friendship and a common vision for global peace and prosperity. Historically, Ethiopia and the United Kingdom have enjoyed rich diplomatic relations covering a range of areas, including, but not limited to, trade, culture, education, and development cooperation. Great Britain was among the first countries to open an Embassy in Addis Ababa, while Ethiopia was the first African country to establish an Embassy in London.  The official relations of the two countries started in 1897 when both countries signed an agreement in May of the same year. Britain opened its legation in Addis Ababa in the same year while Ethiopia opened its legation in London in 1923. Currently, Ethiopia has Embassy in London and the UK has also Embassy in Addis Ababa.

1.1.  Bilateral Relation

1.1.1.      Development Cooperation

§  The UK government, through the Department for International Development ( DFID), provides more than 300 million pound bilateral assistance to Ethiopia per annum. Since 70% of Ethiopia’s budget is pro-poor focusing on education, health, and food security, etc the contribution of the UK Government development aid is quite effective.

§  The United Kingdom is one of the reliable partners in Ethiopia’s endeavor for development. Apart from financial and technical cooperation, it is also a very good source of investment. It is the only country that is providing us direct budget support.

§  The Ethiopia Jobs The compact initiative is innovative cooperation, which is designed to help finance Industrial parks and create jobs for more than one hundred thousand people. DFID alongside the EU, the European Investment Bank, and the World Bank have agreed to participate in this promising venture.

§  In 2018 Ethiopia was the second-largest recipient of UK development support after Pakistan. Furthermore, of the total development aid that Ethiopia receives from the UK, nearly 80 percent of it goes to the provision of social services such as education and healthcare and other direct development-related activities. The UK government has expanded its development work with the Ethiopian government through its support for the country’s industrialization drive and growth through greater trade, investment, and job creation.

§  In the current year, the United Kingdom(UK) is donating 15.5 million Euros to help upcoming Ethiopian elections.

§  The UK has been providing support to Ethiopia during humanitarian crises such as drought and internally displaced people. At this time DFID Ethiopia is contributing to support the internally displaced people. 

1.1.2.     Trade

§  Trade between the UK and Ethiopia is also growing. According to the data of Ethiopia Customs and Revenue Authority, the trade volume between the two countries is 2.3 billion USD in 2016 with a trade balance of 1.1 billion USD. Major UK export items to Ethiopia are Power generating machinery and equipment, General and specialized industrial machinery, Transport equipment, Beverages,  Chemical materials, Medical equipment, and related products.  While major UK imports from Ethiopia are Leather goods, Fruits and vegetables (Fresh or Chilled), Coffee (Not Roasted or Decaffeinated), Leather prepared after Tanning/Crusting including parchment Dressed Leather.

§  In June 2017 Ethiopian Airlines has signed a $ 1.5 billion agreement with British engine maker Rolls Royce which is one of the major areas of cooperation

§  UK announced that the UK’s export finance available to Ethiopia has increased to 7 billion ETB (£200 million).

1.1.3.     Investment

§  Investment from the UK into Ethiopia is growing, albeit from a low base. UK`s Investment in Ethiopia has increased considerably in recent years. A number of British firms have invested in sectors such as mining, food and drink, the leather industry and renewable energy. Major UK businesses that operate in Ethiopia include well-known companies such as Tesco, Duet, Glaxo Smithkline, Diageo, KEFI, Tullow Oil, Pittards, New Age, Startex International, Vasari Global, CDC and Unilever, which is currently opened its factory to produce detergents in Ethiopia.

1.2. Multilateral Diplomacy

§  At the global level, both countries have collaborated closely on issues ranging from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the campaign against Climate Change and the common fight against terrorism. The governments of both countries have been active in various global fora dealing with these issues. This has been particularly true of their partnership and cooperation at the G8 and G20 – a true example of the win-win cooperation possible between developed and developing nations.

§  The two countries collaborate on a number of issues of common concern, forming a sound basis for their relations at the bilateral, regional and global levels. At the regional level, both countries aspire to see a stable and secure environment in the Horn of Africa. Both are keenly aware of the importance of working together to ensure peace and stability in the region in general and in Somalia, in particular.

2.   High Level of Exchanging Visits

Former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn visited the UK for the participation London Somalia Conference on, held from 10-11 May 2017, at a time he met with  Prime Minister Theresa. The two exchanged ideas bilateral, regional and global issues, about peace and stability in the region in general and in Somalia, in particular. The Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt paid a visit Addis Ababa on May 2, 2019  meet with senior Ethiopian officials including with our Prime Minister H.E.  Dr. Abiy Ahmed and Foreign Minister H.E. Mr. Gedu Andargachew.

3.   European countries and European Union Affairs Directorate Generals main activity with the UK are: to enhance development cooperation, further strengthening economic cooperation particularly at the sphere of trade, tourism and investment as well as cooperation on peace and security at the multilateral platform.

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