Cementing partnership that spans seven decades

The East African region ticks all boxes when it comes to international cooperation and relations. Situated in decisive geographic location and having nature’s bounty, the region impacts international ties, and collaboration and continues to become the epicenter of global politics. Its mammoth impact caches the eyes of different countries that need to establish strong diplomatic relations with the regional nations. And, being the linchpin of the region and anchor state with untapped natural resources, Ethiopia remains at the top in the foreign relation lists of many countries.

Its vanguard position in international relations has also placed Addis Ababa at the helm of global cooperation. Albeit the ties with the countries proved to be different in terms of areas of cooperation, Ethiopia was the first nation to establish diplomatic relations with the west.

For instance, Ethiopia and Sweden have elevated ties in the spheres of environment, politics and other different development sectors

.The two countries have a longstanding history of diplomatic partnership that spans several years. In a strong demonstration of commitment to economic development and regional integration, the Swedish government has recently expressed its intention to enhance trade and investment ties with Ethiopia.

Ambassador Hans Henric Lundquist, Swedish Ambassador to Ethiopia, emphasized the significance of economic growth in preventing future conflicts and stressed the need for increased trade between African countries and Africa and Europe.

Ambassador Lundquist highlighted Sweden’s historical contribution to African countries in building solidarity and capacity, particularly through people-to-people interactions. This partnership extends to Ethiopia, where the two countries have collaborated for 70 years, fostering mutual understanding and development.

Stockholm recognizes Addis’s importance in the Horn of Africa (HoA) and believes that the latter’s stability contributes to the solidity of the entire region. With its strategic location, vast economic potential, and natural resources, Ethiopia presents numerous opportunities for trade and investment. Sweden, through its broad development program in Ethiopia, actively seeks ways to strengthen trade and investment ties.

Currently, approximately 30 Swedish companies are operating in Ethiopia, indicating a favourable investment climate and the potential for mutually beneficial partnerships, according to the Ambassador. The focus on trade and investment reflects the former’s recognition of the transformative power of economic growth in preventing conflicts and fostering stability.

The deepening trade and investment ties between the two countries represent a significant step towards fostering economic development, regional integration, and long-term stability. This collaboration can contribute to Ethiopia’s journey towards sustainable development, poverty alleviation, and a prosperous future.

Moreover, the nations have collaborated in the fields of education and research. Swedish universities have established partnerships with Ethiopian academic institutions, facilitating student and faculty exchanges, joint research projects, and capacity-building initiatives. These collaborations have contributed to knowledge sharing, skill development, and academic advancements in various disciplines.

He mentioned that during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, Swedish assistance led to the construction of over 6,000 primary schools across Ethiopia, benefiting numerous Ethiopian students. The long-standing cooperation between the two countries, which has further advanced over the years, is characterized by the mutual benefit of the people and economies of both.

Sweden has also actively participated in supporting Ethiopia’s healthcare sector. The former organizations have closely collaborated with their latter counterparts to address public health challenges, including maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, and healthcare infrastructure development.

He further stated that Sweden has demonstrated its commitment to supporting Ethiopia’s national dialogue. The Stockholm government has actively engaged in supporting the National Dialogue and transitional justice processes. The ambassador emphasized the critical importance of this national consensus in resolving conflicts, tackling poverty, and addressing other societal challenges.

Sweden’s dedication to supporting Ethiopia’s national dialogue processes reflects its long-term commitment to the latter’s stability, peacebuilding, and socio-economic progress. By promoting dialogue, justice, and reconciliation, Stockholm aims to contribute to Addis’s transformation and the building of an inclusive and just society.

The collaboration between the two countries in promoting peace and security, both regionally and internationally, is another significant aspect of their partnership. The countries have cooperated in peacekeeping missions under the United Nations, with Ethiopia’s troops contributing to peacekeeping efforts in various conflict-affected regions.

Also, the two nations have established a strong bilateral relationship aimed at addressing pressing environmental issues and promoting sustainable practices. They have collaborated on mitigating climate change, protecting natural resources, and preserving biodiversity. This collaboration exemplifies the power of international cooperation in addressing global environmental challenges.

Sweden, with expertise in its environmental stewardship and commitment to sustainability, has actively supported Ethiopia in its efforts to protect and preserve its natural heritage. The partnership between the two countries has resulted in several noteworthy initiatives and achievements.

One crucial area of collaboration is the preservation of forests. Sweden has played a key role in assisting Ethiopia in sustainable forest management and combating deforestation through the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) initiative. The former’s financial support, technical expertise, and knowledge sharing have enabled Ethiopia to invest in forest conservation, restoration, and sustainable land use practices. This collaboration has not only contributed to carbon sequestration but has also had positive socio-economic impacts, such as job creation and community development.

Moreover, Addis Ababa and Stockholm have joined forces to address issues related to water resource management, and pollution control, and assist in the development and implementation of sustainable water resource management strategies. It has played a pivotal role in improving access to clean water, ensuring efficient water usage, and mitigating the impact of pollution on ecosystems and communities.

Furthermore, the commitment to renewable energy is another cornerstone of the bilateral relationship. Sweden, a global leader in renewable energy technologies, has supported Ethiopia’s ambitious plans to harness its abundant renewable energy resources. Through technical cooperation, capacity building, and financial assistance, Stockholm has facilitated the development of renewable energy projects in Addis, such as wind farms and solar power installations. These initiatives have not only contributed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions but have also enhanced Ethiopia’s energy security and stimulated economic growth.

Besides, the partnership between the two countries extends to sustainable agriculture and land management. Sweden has also provided support and expertise to Ethiopia in promoting sustainable agricultural practices, soil conservation, and land restoration. It has helped the latter farmers adopt climate-smart techniques, improve productivity, and enhance resilience in the face of climate change impacts.

The two countries are poised to achieve greater milestones in their bilateral relations. This multifaceted partnership aims to foster sustainable development and improve the well-being of both countries.



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