Escalating Ethio-Indian ties
President Ram Nath Kovind made a historic two-day trip to Ethiopia this week becoming the first Indian president to visit in 45 years.
This visit comes as Ethiopia is enjoying a growing trade relationship with the South Asian nation that is valued at one billion dollars while direct investment is valued at more than four billion dollars, making it one of the top investors in Ethiopias’ hot economy. Ethiopia remains the largest recipient of the nation’s concessional lines of credit to Africa.
The president was welcomed at Bole International Airport by his counterpart, Mulatu Teshome (PhD). His visit highlighted his nations support in the power sector, education and the healthcare sector. India remains one of the favorite destinations for medical tourists from Ethiopia.
On the second day of his state visit, the president signed an agreement on trade, communication and media to boost the bilateral ties to a new high and held talks with Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn.
The president also paid tribute to Ethiopia’s contribution to the International Solar Alliance providing cooperation, which was incorporated to advocate for the use of solar energy.
He addressed the India-Ethiopia Business Dialogue Forum, an entity that represents more than 100 Indian companies in the country on its 12th anniversary of marking the India Business Forum and marked the occasion with the release of a book that marked a rich relationship between the nations titled; India – Ethiopia: 70 Years of Diplomatic Relations.
“Indian investment has had a significant presence in manufacturing in Ethiopia and value addition to local resources,” he told the forum. “Trade relations between Ethiopia and India flourished during the ancient Axumite Empire from the 1st century AD”
He called India’s engagement with Ethiopia as strategic “vital hub” as it increases its relationship with the continent. He also noted how the most recent India Africa Summit in New Delhi that had his nation announce a concessional credit valued at USD 10 billion to Africa that is due to expire by 2020.
"We have also committed to a grant assistance of USD 600 million that will include an India-Africa Development Fund of USD 100 million and an India-Africa Health Fund of USD 10 million. The Asia-Africa Growth Corridor is another initiative brimming with potential," he added.
The last Indian president to visit Ethiopia was President V V Giri in 1972.