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France pledges EUR 40 mln
The National Trade Steering Committee holding its regular meeting at the office of the Prime Minister on Tuesday

France pledges EUR 40 mln

In a bid to improve the current national identification system, France has pledged to provide EUR 40 million to Ethiopia to finance the pending national digital ID project, The Reporter has learnt.

It can be recalled that the initial concept for the transformation of the paper-based national ID system to a digital one was initiated back in 2009. Consequently, the Ethiopian government in coordination with the World Bank has been undertaking different implementation phases of this project for close to a decade.

In this regard, back in 2016, the World Bank has provided USD 300 million under its Transport Systems Improvement Project which has introduced a digital technology into the traffic and transport management system. Among other things driving licenses will also be digitalized. 

The latest pledge from France came months after a high-level meeting was held entitled, “the Digital Identity for the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063,” where Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) has emphasized the need for digital identification.

The support from France was announced on the Official visit of French’s Economic and Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire.

“President Emmanuel Macron, last March, decided with PM Abiy Ahmed to reinforce the economic relationship between our two countries, and I really want this enforcement to be as concreted and as successful as possible,” said Le Maire.

“France has agreed to advance its cooperation with Ethiopia in energy, logistics and telecommunications sectors,” said Finance Minister Ahmed Shide. “ In this regard, the digital ID project Ethiopia will be launching soon,” he said.

In related news, upon his visit, Le Maire and his delegation visited Ethiopian airlines and has met with Ethiopian Aviation Groups (EAG) CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam.

“The recent launch of a regular flight to Marseille by Ethiopian Airlines is indicative of the growing partnership between Ethiopia and France. There is a huge potential for further partnership in aviation-related areas,” said Le Maire.

The discussion points between Tewolde and Le Maire includes, “orders placed by EAG for Airbus, cooperation with the ADP group and loans granted by French Development Agency (AFD) to EAG to continue its development,” reads a statement released by France’s Ministry of Economy and Finance.