Ethio-Swedish ties continuing to make progress

Sweden finances construction of over 6,000 schools

ADDIS ABABA– The Ethio-Sweden relations have further evolved in different arenas keeping the momentum of the age-old ties between the people and economies of the two countries, according to the Swedish Ambassador.

The Ethio-Swedish solidarity panel discussion was held yesterday at Addis Ababa University (AAU) in the presence of AAU University Interim President Samuel Kifle (PhD) and other high-level guests.

Speaking at the occasion, Ambassador Hans Henric Lundquist stated that his country, which remains without any geopolitical claims and no colonial past, is a preferred partner in the times of fierce geopolitical competition, exactly as what the world is today, a very polarized world.

According to him, the two countries’ solidarity and partnership was remarkably deepened after 1924 when Ras Tafari visited Oslo, where he met with the Swedish King and the Archbishop. “As Ethiopia was anticipating war, it wanted to strengthen its defense capabilities and in 1934, Sweden sent officers to help to train the Ethiopian military. When Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935, four of the officers left the Swedish armed forces and fought for Ethiopia in solidarity with their host country.”

The Ambassador further mentioned that in 1945,  Sweden loaned five million kronor to Ethiopia, its first ever credit for development work. This was followed by a large-scale recruitment of Swedish experts, particularly medical staff and teachers, army and police officers, lawyers, geologists, agriculturalists, and technicians to help build an efficient state.

“Also, numerous Ethiopians enrolled in more than 6,000 primary schools that were built across the country with Swed­ish assistance in the 60, 70, and 80s. Furthermore, the Ethio-Swedish long standing cooperation, which is further advancing over the years, is character­ized by the mutual benefit of the people and economies of the two countries,” he remarked.

Sweden is marking 70 years of develop­ment assistance to Ethiopia, which is its first official development cooperation in Africa.



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