New International Development Secretary in debut visit to Ethiopia

27 Aug 2019

UK’s new International Development Secretary, The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, made his debut trip to Ethiopia in August, where he met with various Government officials and British investors to discuss the opportunities and challenges of working in Ethiopia.

While meeting Prime Minister Abiy, the two discussed issues of mutual interest including Ethiopia’s political and economic situation, its role in the region and ways to strengthen the relationship between the two countries.

Appreciating the homegrown reforms underway under the Prime Minister, Mr. Sharma affirmed the continued support of the UK Government to Ethiopia. The Prime Minister, on his part, expressed his gratitude to the UK Government for its continued engagement in Ethiopia’s development endeavours.

…Ethiopia, UK sign £120m grants

Two grant agreements totalling £120 million were signed by the visiting International Development Secretary and Mr Admasu Nebebe, State Minister at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

According to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, £95 million will be used to finance the Strengthening Climate Resilient System for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Service (SCRS-WaSH) programme, which aims to improve access to climate-resilient water, developing sanitation services and good hygiene practices.

The remaining £25 million will be used to finance phase 4 of the Ethiopian Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP), which aims to increase access to safety net and disaster risk management systems, complementary livelihoods services and nutrition support for food insecure households in rural Ethiopia.

…Support for British businesses

During his visit to Ethiopia, Mr Sharma called for the UK to lead the world in mobilising private sector investment to create jobs and to build the sustainable economic growth that will lift millions out of poverty.

Accompanied by the Deputy Chief Administrator of the Oromia Regional State, Mr Shimelis Abdisa, Mr Sharma visited the Unilever Ethiopia factory, a great example of a British investor benefitting from investments in Ethiopia. There, he met with female entrepreneurs working in partnership with Unilever which, alongside UK aid, is providing vital training and expertise to help women start their own retail businesses selling affordable household products.

Mr Sharma also heard how UK aid is supporting operations at Modjo Dry Port. Aid at Modjo is improving systems to reduce the costs and time it takes for goods to move through customs, making the flow of trade through the Dry Port more efficient.

In meetings with British businesses, discussions focussed on how UK aid can make it even easier for British businesses to invest and trade in Ethiopia.

…new Commission to boost quality infrastructure projects

During his visit to Ethiopia Mr Sharma also announced a new International Development Infrastructure Commission that will be made up of UK and international business leaders. The Commission will leverage the very best of British expertise, and make recommendations to improve the planning, delivery and financing of infrastructure projects. This shouldhelp make investment in infrastructure in developing countries more attractive to global businesses and investors.

The Commission will help facilitate private sector support to build more sustainable and resilient cities and improve access to clean energy and water.

International Development Secretary Alok Sharma said:

“An extra $2.5 trillion is needed every year to end poverty in developing countries and the UK must mobilise private sector investment to overcome this challenge.”

“Alongside the lifesaving work of UK aid, we need to boost infrastructure projects that form the backbone of economic growth.”

“This Commission will aim to turbo-charge investment in green, sustainable infrastructure, leading to more jobs, better access to basic services and opportunities for businesses, creating the UK’s future trading partners.”

Alongside mobilising private sector investment, Mr Sharma also announced extra UK aid specifically for Ethiopia as it builds more sustainable infrastructure, helping cities to grow in a green way and providing affordable clean energy.

Mr Sharma’s visit comes ahead of the UK-Africa Investment Summit in 2020 which will look to build on future opportunities for trade between the UK and African businesses. As of 2018, trade between the Continent and the UK was worth over £33 billion.

Latest News

Browse all
The Ethiopian Pulses, Oilseeds and Spices Processors-Exporters Association, in collaboration with the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Ministry of Trade and Industry, is hosting the 9th International Conference on Pulses and Oilseeds at Sheraton Addis Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on November 29 and 30, 2019. For further information, visit the conference website.
16 Sep 2019
International Conference on Pulses and Oilseeds in Ethiopia
Ethiopians, at home and abroad, will celebrate the beginning of the new year - Enkutatash - on September 12. On the occassion, Ambassador Fesseha and staff at the Embassy wish all Ethiopians celebrating the new year a joyous, peaceful and productive 2012! Melkam Addis Amet!     
11 Sep 2019
Ethiopian New Year Message from the Ambassador
Ethiopia is heading for a historic National Election in May 2020, expected to be the freest, fairest and most inclusive ever held in the country. With preparations afoot across the political spectrum, this election holds the promise of embedding a truly inclusive and participatory democracy for the long haul.
30 Aug 2019
Historic 2020 Elections Represent Hope on the Horizon
The Embassy will host a solo exhibition - I Appreciate You - by London-based artist, Catherine Chambers, for two weeks from 20 September. The majority of works that will be exhibited will be oil portraits of friends in Lalibela, a place that has strongly influenced her work.
29 Aug 2019
“I Appreciate You” – solo exhibition by Catherine Chambers
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been announced as this year’s recipient of the Hessian Peace Price in recognition of his indispensable role in achieving a historic peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea following a 20-year state of “no war no peace”.
28 Aug 2019
Prime Minister Abiy to receive Hessian Peace Prize
UK’s new International Development Secretary, The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, made his debut trip to Ethiopia in August, where he met with various Government officials and British investors to discuss the opportunities and challenges of working in Ethiopia. While meeting Prime Minister Abiy, the two discussed issues of mutual interest including Ethiopia's political and economic situation, its role in…
27 Aug 2019
New International Development Secretary in debut visit to Ethiopia
In a courtesy visit to the Embassy on 16th August, the President of the World Tourism Forum, Bulut Bağcı announced that the World Tourism Forum board has chosen the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, H.E. Dr Abiy Ahmed, as the recipient of the 2019 World Tourism Award for"Leader in Tourism". PM Abiy is recognised for his outstanding efforts to advance the tourism…
16 Aug 2019
Prime Minister Abiy awarded “Leader in Tourism”
Ambassador Fesseha met with the President of the World Tourism Forum, Bulut Bağcı, following his recent trip to Ethiopia where he held meetings with various stakeholders. Briefing the Ambassador about his visit, Mr Bağcı said that the 2020 World Tourism Forum will be held in Addis Ababa.
16 Aug 2019
Ethiopia to host World Tourism Forum
The rock-hewn churches of Lalibela are among Rough Guides 100 Best Places on Earth to visit. An enigmatic and utterly beguiling country, Ethiopia has endless intrigue. From its unique cuisine to its ancient language, there’s very little that’s familiar about this place, and your trip will be all the better for it.
13 Aug 2019
Lalibela churches among Rough Guides’ 100 Best Places on Earth
Ambassador Fesseha is among speakers at an upcoming event at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) entitled Financing the future of the Belt and Road in Africa. The event will take place on 20 September and will focus on China's investment in Africa and explore the future of Sino–African development relations.
9 Aug 2019
Ambassador Fesseha to speak at ODI event
In an unparalleled move to go greener, Ethiopia made history by planting 353,633,660 million trees in the space of just 12 hours, on 29th June, setting a new world record. This ambitious tree-planting drive is part of PM Abiy’s #GreenLegacy Initiative which aims to plant 4 billion trees by the end of October.
2 Aug 2019
Ethiopia unites in record-breaking tree-planting campaign