Tuesday, 28th February 2017
President Sirleaf in a handshake with H.E. Dr. Mulatu Teshome - President of the Federal democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
Photo Credit: EXECUTIVE MANSION
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has lauded the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia for its unprecedented transformation over the last several years in various spheres of human development. She said Ethiopia has now become not just the political capital of the continent but economic hub of Africa as well.
According to a dispatch from Addis Ababa, President Sirleaf was speaking on Day One of her official State Visit to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia during bilateral talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister, H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn.
The Liberian leader said the visit was intended to review and strengthen bilateral and diplomatic ties between Liberia and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia – two countries she referred to as the oldest independent African Republics.
She described Ethiopia as a regional investment powerhouse with vast experiences that could be of enormous benefits once tapped into innovatively. She acknowledged Ethiopia’s crucial role during the formulation of the SDGs especially in strongly advancing and articulating the ‘Common African Position’, which were fully incorporated into the final documents. She praised the ‘financing facility’ as a critical contribution of Ethiopia that will inform the realistic integration and domestication of the SDGs.
President Sirleaf said Ethiopia remains a shining star of Africa in the rail transportation sector in Africa amid its latest modernization initiative; and is home to the single largest hydroelectric dam on the African continent.
She intimated that Liberia is also going through a period of transformation after a period of difficult past characterized by three separate shocks including the Ebola Virus Disease. She thanked Ethiopia for deploying its professionals – mainly young people who made invaluable contributions to the fight against the Ebola virus without an incident. She said the young medical professionals from Ethiopia and other parts of Africa and the world helped to inspired Liberian ownership that fought the virus resiliently to end it.
Amid Liberia’s commitment towards diversification of the agri and agro-processing sector aimed at value addition – it was important to foster the kind of cooperation that would enable Liberia benefit from the huge experiences that Ethiopia can bring to bear.
Welcoming the Liberian leader – Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn congratulated President Sirleaf for the visit and praised her exemplary leadership on the African continent. He said the historically intertwined relations of both countries helped to emancipate those African dogged by the claws of colonialism.
Prime Minister Dessalegn said the exceptional leadership demonstrated by President Sirleaf as Chairperson of the Regional Group ECOWAS in ending the Gambian crisis without rancor is a clear manifestation of an engrained Stateswoman.
The Ethiopian Prime Minister noted that given that Africa has crossed the Rubicon of colonialism – it was important to embark on a journey of economic emancipation that would lead to job-creation and give a better future to the young generation. He expressed Ethiopia’s preparedness to work with Liberia in very critical areas of mutual benefit in the best interest to both countries.
He also commended President Sirleaf for giving Africa its deserved respect. Ethiopia, he added will respectfully articulate Africa’s case as a Non-Permanent Member of the UN Security Council. Prime Minister Dessalegn indicated that with progress in sight to modernize the Roberts International Airport – the resumption of normal flight to Liberia appears likely.
Meanwhile, President Sirleaf also paid a courtesy call on the President of Ethiopia, H.E. Dr. Mulatu Teshome – during which the two leaders exchanged notes on the historical ties between both nations and peoples. Their discussion also focused regional, continental and global issues.