His Excellency Dr Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, visited Expo 2020 Dubai today in the latest strengthening of important collaborative relationships between the UAE and African nations.

The Ethiopian Prime Minister was received by Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai.

He was briefed on the ongoing preparations to host The World’s Greatest Show, and his country’s pavilion, which will tell the rich history of Ethiopia, demonstrate the richness of its culture, and showcase the aspirations of its youth to millions of international visitors.

HE Dr Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, said: “Our two countries are strong strategic partners, united by a shared vision of a prosperous future for Africa. The new UAE Consortium for Africa, which will support initiatives including youth skills and digitisation, will serve to deepen this partnership and the close bonds we enjoy.

“I believe Expo 2020 will be an opportunity for all African nations to show the world the incredible progress we have already achieved, as well as our potential for the future. We can learn from other development models, including that of the UAE, and we will contribute to Expo’s global platform to discuss and resolve challenges that face us all.”

HE Reem Al Hashimy said: “We are extremely honoured to host His Excellency Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed at Expo 2020, and we look forward to an amazing Ethiopian participation at what will be a World Expo for all.

“Ethiopia’s participation at Expo 2020, the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, is of great significance because of the country’s weight and position in the African continent, and it will be an unprecedented opportunity for Ethiopia and Africa as a whole to work with all countries to create a better future. Expo 2020 Dubai is a unique gateway for African countries, businesses and individuals that will connect them with the world and open new horizons.”

At Expo 2020, the Ethiopia Pavilion, under the theme ‘Land of Origins and Opportunities’, will showcase the great potential of the country and enhance its global positioning. It will open wider opportunities for Ethiopia’s key sectors, such as agro-industry, textile and clothing, leather products, mining, ICT and power generation. It will also highlight the country’s cultural richness, heritage, arts and ethnic diversity.

The UAE and Ethiopia enjoy strong bilateral relations, with long-standing commercial and historical ties. These relations have been strengthened further in recent years with increased exchanges and economic cooperation, especially between the leaderships of the two countries.

The visit of the Ethiopian Prime Minister follows the recent announcement by HE Reem Al Hashimy of the UAE Consortium for Africa, a new initiative with an investment of USD 500 million (AED 1.84 billion) that will help fulfil the vision of a ‘turbocharged’ and connected new Africa, driven by its youth.

The consortium is a long-term builder of human capital on the continent, with two immediate priorities: digitisation and youth. It will align the UAE Government and its private sector’s commitment to Africa, combining ambition for progress and resources to support it to assist development and investment, contributing to an optimistic new future vision for Africa.

The UAE and the African continent have enjoyed a close partnership since the UAE’s formation almost 50 years ago in 1971, and even earlier, and these latest developments build yet further on that solid platform.

According to the UAE Ministry of Economy, the UAE accounts for 17 per cent of Ethiopia’s total exports to Arab countries, and 14 per cent of Ethiopia’s total imports from the Arab region. The UAE accounts for 15 per cent of Ethiopia’s total foreign trade with Arab countries, and ranks as Ethiopia’s third Arab trade partner.

In 2018, non-oil trade between the UAE and Ethiopia reached about USD 850 million (AED 3.12 billion), while the volume of UAE exports to Ethiopia increased by 46 per cent, compared to 2017.

The African Union will participate in its first World Expo at Expo 2020, displaying the rich history and achievements of the continent through its own pavilion. At Expo 2020, each participating country will have its own pavilion for the first time in the 169-year history of World Expos, giving all nations the opportunity to showcase their achievements, innovations, aspirations, and cultures to the world.

Expo 2020 opens its doors on 20 October 2020, running for six months until 10 April 2021.