Space is the limit

(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

“Space is the limit” were the words of Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, Tian Jian at a press conference held on 27th December 2019 at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China. Referring to the launch of the first China-assisted, Ethiopian satellite ETRSS-1 as one of the many successes between the two countries, Ambassador Tian expressed his optimism in bilateral relations between Ethiopia and China in 2019 and excitement for the potential of 2020, which will mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-Ethiopia diplomatic ties.
The Ambassador said that 2019 saw the commencement of the China-aided Beautifying Sheger Project, as well as continued growth for the Ethiopia-Djibouti Railway. Industrial parks along the Ethiopia-Djibouti Corridor reached an export volume of 110 million USD with a year-on-year increase of 35%.
Furthermore, China’s international e-commerce giant, Alibaba Group, established the Digital Trade Hub in Ethiopia to grow its digital economy.
Agriculture has been a paramount focus for China and will continue to be, the Ambassador said. The introduction of bamboo as a resource to exploit was mentioned during the press conference, with the ambassador stating that bamboo resources can be utilized to “reduce poverty and help grow the economy.”
“This is an important sector and we are committed to working closely with Ethiopia and we hope that we can make a difference,” said Ambassador Tian.
In healthcare, China is sprouting the Center of Disease Control headquarter for Africa, in Addis Ababa and considering the commencement of the Malaria Curbing Project in Ethiopia.
As for the coming year, Ambassador Tian mentioned the potential for growth in many sectors, namely healthcare, agriculture, tourism, investment and trade.
“For both China and Ethiopia, 2020 would be a historic year.”