“You are looking at a new Ethiopia…we hope you jump in and ride with us” – Dr Eyob

17 Oct 2019

On 14th October, the Embassy hosted a business roundtable with State Minister of Finance, H.E. Dr. Eyob Tekalign Tolina on the recently launched  Homegrown Economic Reform Agenda. Present on the occasion were Ambassador Fesseha Shawel, the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ethiopia, Mr. Jeremy Lefroy MP and a number of British businesses from various sectors, including those looking to tap into Ethiopia’s diverse economy.

Welcoming guests, Ambassador Fesseha reiterated that Ethiopia is open and ready for investment and that the Embassy is ready to facilitate opportunities for British businesses.

Jeremy Lefroy MP began by congratulating Prime Minister Abiy on his Nobel Peace Prize award, adding that he has been impressed by the determination of Ethiopians over the last 18 months, and looks forward to supporting more UK investment to Ethiopia.

In his keynote address, Dr Eyob outlined Ethiopia’s Homegrown Economic Agenda, which was unveiled last month by Prime Minister Abiy after “several months in the making, spearheaded by some of Ethiopia’s finest minds”.

The Agenda is aimed at unlocking the country’s development potential and create a pathway for prosperity for all, prioritising sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, mining, tourism and ICT.

He also highlighted available investment opportunities including: Textiles and Apparel, Energy, Pharmaceuticals and Minerals. The potential is huge in Telecoms, Railways, Sugar and Logistics, he added.

Noting the reforms underway in Ethiopia, Dr Eyob concluded his address by saying: “You are looking at a new Ethiopia…we hope you jump in and ride with us.”

A Q+A session followed where questions on policy, the reform agenda, and future government plans were raised by delegates.

Dr Eyob concluded the session with this message to investors: “Forex shortages will not be the defining feature of Ethiopia’s economy, so you will need to change your talking points going forward.”

…Dr Eyob attends FT Africa Summit

Preceding the roundtable, H.E. Dr Eyob Tekalign Tolina and Ambassador Fesseha Shawel attended the FT Africa Summit, held at Claridges in London.

The annual event, hosted by the Financial Times – one of the world’s leading business news organisations, features high profile speakers in business, politics and economics, as well as heads of state committed to making business central to their development goals.

In his opening keynote address, H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa, began by congratulating Prime Minister Abiy and Ethiopia on the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Dr Eyob took part in the ‘Big Economies – Big Changes’ panel with Jose de Lima Massano, Governor of the National Bank of Angola, chaired by Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister and founder of Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.

Discussions focused on the prospects of two of the fastest-growing economies in Africa – Ethiopia and Angola – and their roles in the economic transition taking place in Africa.

On the side-lines of the FT Africa Summit, Dr Eyob held a private meeting with Tony Blair to discuss the details of the Economic Reform Agenda, and held discussions with Andrew Stephenson MP, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the UK Department for International Development. The two exchanged views on bilateral matters and Dr Eyob briefed Mr Stephenson on the ongoing reform process in Ethiopia.

Full coverage of the roundtable and FT Africa Summit, including an exclusive interview with Dr Eyob, is available on our YouTube page: www.youtube.com/EthioEmbassyUK.

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