By Amos Fofung
As the Ethiopia Partnership Forum, hosted by U.S. Department of State roundoffs, hopes are high for a new dawn as the country located at the horn of Africa opens its doors to foreign direct investments.
The two-day conclave took place at the Loy Henderson Auditorium of the U.S. Department of State in Washington, with dozens of potential investors and top business leaders answering present with one mission – have firsthand information of Ethiopia investment potentials, so as to better direct their investments in the country.
Discussions on investment opportunities in Ethiopia as well as on the political and economic reform measures spearheaded by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed were held with Fitsum Arega, Ambassador of Ethiopian to U.S brandishing his country’s potentials and readiness to boost foreign direct investments in the country reputed globally for its airline carrier, the Ethiopia Airlines, rated among the best in the world.
With talks centered on Ethiopia’s economic outlook and increasing U.S. Foreign Direct Investment, stakeholders from Ethiopia led by their newly assigned Ambassador to the US, Fitsum Arega presented the countries opportunities in infrastructure; telecom, power and transportation and agriculture among others.
During presentations with included a question and answer session, a segment was dedicated to examination methods of boosting startup in the Country which are categorized as an engine to economic growth.
In his keynote address, the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Tibor Nagy commended the efforts and strides put in place by the new ambassador and his team for such a historic forum.
Congratulating Ethiopia for sealing a peace agreement with Eritrea, the statesman affirmed his commitment to support the country by engaging US companies on the need to invest in Ethiopia.
“Why Ethiopia; because of the remarkable changes that has taken place in Ethiopia over the last years. Both what Prime Minister Abiy has done in the region and also what the new Ethiopian government is doing to open political and economic space for outside investment,” Tibor Nagy said as he responded to questions from journalists.
“As we all know, Ethiopia’s population just like the rest of Africa is growing dramatically, the continent is full of young people and what all young people want is jobs; so what the governments has to do if they want to take the continent forward in a positive direction is to find ways to provide jobs and those jobs will not come from development assistance, they are going to come from foreign direct investment. I will like to do everything possible to dynamize American businesses and direct them to counties like Ethiopia cause they provide just the type of investment that Africa needs; ethical, technology transfer and providing medium and high paying jobs that Africa needs,” he added.
The two-day gathering featured a partnership networking forum geared at accelerate American investment and engagement in Ethiopia and contribute to transformational change of Ethiopia’s economic and commercial landscape took place as the EU-Ethiopia Business Forum runs in Brussels.
The DC forum hosted by the U.S Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Partnership and Bureau of African Affairs brought together a number of U.S. and Ethiopian business leaders and investors, corporations, philanthropists, impact investors, and others.
With this, Ethiopia has demonstrating a clear intent to engage more actively with the private sector as the country strives to maintain its growth and meet its goal of reaching lower-middle income status by 2025.