Government negotiations

Parliamentary State Secretary Thomas Silberhorn pledges support for Ethiopia to respond to refugee crisis

Successful conclusion of Ethiopian-German government negotiations

Conclusion of the government negotiations between Germany and Ethiopia

05.09.2014 |

Addis Ababa – Germany will support Ethiopia in the current refugee crisis. This was confirmed by Thomas Silberhorn, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment, during his stay in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia is currently hosting some 630,000 refugees from neighbouring coun­tries, mainly from South Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia. This presents the coun­try in the Horn of Africa with enormous challenges.

In Ethiopia, Silberhorn chaired the German delegation at the Ethiopian-German gov­ern­ment negotiations on de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion for 2015 to 2017. New commitments for Ethiopia for the next three years total 119 million euros.

The Parliamentary State Secretary lauded the enormous progress which the coun­try had made, saying: "Ethiopia has achieved a lot and has become a linchpin for stability in the region. The Ethiopian gov­ern­ment has made major strides on social and economic de­vel­op­ment. At the same time, we would like to encourage Ethiopia to become even more open politically. Individual initiative, innovation propelled by the private sector, and ideas put forward by civil society are all beneficial for a country's de­vel­op­ment."

Silberhorn lauded the thrust of Ethiopia's de­vel­op­ment plan, which focuses on rural de­vel­op­ment and ag­ri­cul­tur­al productivity. The plan's ambition is to catch up on industrial de­vel­op­ment. Even though Ethiopia has seen constantly high growth rates for quite a number of years, and even though there is great ag­ri­cul­tur­al potential, more than half of the country's people are still living in pov­er­ty.

Silberhorn called on the Ethiopian gov­ern­ment to ensure that the parliamentary elections scheduled for 2015 would be free and fair. The itinerary of his visit also included talks with the African Union Commission. The BMZ is engaged in close co­op­er­a­tion with the African Union (AU), focusing on the priority areas of peace and security, regional integration and ag­ri­cul­tur­al de­vel­op­ment. The BMZ is supporting the AU, for instance, in de­vel­op­ing an African peace and security architecture. At the Institute for Peace and Security Studies at Addis Ababa University, Silberhorn announced that, in 2015, Germany would make a con­tribution to the Tana High-Level Forum on Security, thus providing continued support to the Institute, which is a think tank for peace and security policy.

The gov­ern­ment negotiations with Ethiopia focused on the challenges of under­taking a long-term reform of the country's education system and of strength­ening and modernising the ag­ri­cul­tur­al sector. Germany will continue to support the Ethiopian gov­ern­ment with regard to related reforms.

In the priority area of education, German assistance has focused on engineering. In future, Germany will expand its support to include the ag­ri­cul­tur­al sector, helping Ethiopia to improve vocational training in ag­ri­cul­ture.

Together with the German Agriculture Ministry, the BMZ will also assist Ethiopia in improving ag­ri­cul­tur­al productivity, thus enhancing food security. These and other activities are part of the BMZ's special initiative "One World – No Hunger".

In addition, Germany will address a new priority area under bilateral co­op­er­a­tion: the conservation of biodiversity in certain national parks and biosphere reserves in Ethiopia.

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