Ambassador Teferi meets UK Minister for Africa
In his third week in office, Ambassador Teferi Melesse, met with Foreign Office Minister for Africa, James Duddridge MP, for introductory discussions.
The Minister briefed the Ambassador on his recent visit to Ethiopia, expressing great optimism in the current administration’s reforms and the opportunities it would yield for further UK investment into the country.
The Ambassador welcomed further UK investment, urging UK businesses to enhance their efforts while personally assuring all investors of the Embassy’s readiness to support and engage with them throughout their investment journey. In particular, the Ambassador encouraged the British pharmaceutical industry to explore the untapped opportunities present within Ethiopia, highlighting the country as a gateway to the rest of Africa.
The Minister lauded Ethiopia’s leading role in climate change initiatives, namely its focus on the renewable energy sector as seen through extensive projects in hydropower, geothermal and wind.
Finally, the Minister gave assurances that the UK would continue to maintain its commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on overseas development assistance as it exits the European Union, confirming that Ethiopia would not be affected. The Ambassador welcomed this commitment and expressed confidence that bilateral ties between the two countries would be strengthened following the UK’s departure from the EU.
In other news, the Evening Standard ran a piece on Mr Duddridge wearing a “splendid tie” at the House of Commons in August.
The inspiration for the tie is a design by renowned Ethiopian artiste, Afewerk Tekle – one of his many masterpieces – in this case a stained-glass window entitled “The struggle and aspiration of the African people”, which hangs in Africa Hall at the United Nations building in Addis Ababa.
According to the Minister, the tie was “a gift from the Minister of Finance in Ethiopia…I promised him I would wear it at the dispatch box and send him a photo.”
The Minister added, “Diplomatic ties with Ethiopia are strong.” Too right!
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