Ethiopia and France sign a grant agreement worth 32 million euros for two projects related to the rehabilitation of electrical infrastructure in war affected areas in north Ethiopia and strengthening of food security in the country.
The Foreign Ministers of France and Germany, Catherine Colonna and Annalena Baerbock respectively, paid a two day official visit starting from Thursday January 12-13 2023 to explore how France, Germany and the EU could support the country and its people on the path to lasting peace.
It is said that the support will meet the needs expressed by the local authorities by addressing 12 million peoples in Tigray, Amhara and Afar region affected by the war.
The first project will support the rehabilitation of the electrical network in North Amhara, Afar, and Tigray, including around Alamata for the supply of electric equipment including electric transformers and high voltage lines. It is said that 10 million people will stand to benefit from stable access to electricity in the northern region.
The second project is 10 million euro co-funded with the EU, and will focus on food security with short term support to agricultural activities in all three regions, benefiting 400,000 farmers, including women who were victims of the conflict in different part of the country with the aim to help restart agriculture through distribution of seeds.
The ceremony took place on January 13, 2023 with the presence of the Secretary of State to the Minister of Finance, Saemereta Sewasew, CEO of the Ethiopian Electric Power Company (EEP), Ashebir Balcha, and the European Union Delegation to Ethiopia.
The two Foreign Ministers held discussions on this issue with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen and the country’s President Sahle-Work Zewde and officials from the African Union. PM Abiy Ahmed tweeted that the, “in-depth and fruitful discussions” he held with the two Foreign Ministers were “reflective of the strong relations Ethiopia holds with both France and Germany.”
Germany and France supported the transport and distribution of 50,000 tons of the wheat donated by Ukraine for Ethiopia and Somalia to a tune of US$14 million each through the WFP. Germany covered the costs for the delivery to Ethiopia while France covered the costs for the delivery to Somalia.
The conflict which broke out in November 2, 2020 between the federal government and the TPLF group has now stopped after 2 years following the peace deal held in November 2022 in Pretoria South Africa. The deal has seen steady progress with basic services restored to the Tigray region, increased aid, and a first handover of heavy weapons by the TPLF to Ethiopia’s federal forces.
The AU brokered the Tigray peace deal to which monitors arrived in the region this month to oversee its implementation. Earlier this week the national defense force has announced withdrawal of Amhara region forces from the region.