8 March 2018

Ethiopia's Growing Diplomacy, Strategic Importance


Ethiopia's role in the international arena is not as it had been two or three decades ago. Now, the influence of the country in several aspects, including economic, political and peace and security spheres, has significantly increased. So does the attention the country receives from the international community. Ethiopia has also been striving to create a healthy and cooperative ties with countries, regional and continental blocs as well as prominent international institutions.

The philosophical underpinning of the country's foreign and national security policies gives due emphasis to diplomatic engagements that aim at advancing the country's rapid economic development and regional economic integration.

As a country that emerged out of turmoil nearly two and a half decades ago, Ethiopia has been striving to achieve peace, stability, democracy and sustainable development both internally and regionally. It is for this essential purpose that the nation has undertaken successful diplomatic activities at multinational and bilateral platforms.

Putting economic diplomacy at the center of it all, the country transforms the political relations it creates with countries to mutually beneficial economic prosperity.

Ethiopia's emergence as the leading country in attracting Foreign Direct Investment also shows the effectiveness of its economic diplomacy. Many nations across the world want Ethiopia to engage in mutual dialogue and bilateral economic and political ties.

In turn, Ethiopia's significant economic achievement has contributed a lot to its growing influence in the diplomatic sphere.

Besides achieving sustainable economic growth, Ethiopia has also been playing constructive role in the Horn of Africa by sending peacekeeping forces in countries that are hit by civil conflicts and promoting regional economic integration by expanding infrastructure such as roads, railway line, and power connectivity. The country is also hosting over 800, 000 refugees from the neighboring countries.

It is this central role that the country has been playing that enabled it to gain increased attention and acquired political acceptance across the globe.

An addition to this is the fact that Ethiopia is one of the oldest states in the world to form diplomatic relations with various countries since ancient times. In modern history, the country took part in international platforms in the 1920s. It has also played significant role in resisting colonialism, being beacon of freedom for black people.

It is this tradition that enabled the country to become the seat of the African Union and Economic Commission for Africa and other various international organizations and embassies.

As it has been demonstrated in various aspects, the stability and economic development of Ethiopia has a positive impact on various international interest groups. And the country's emphasis on mutual trust and cooperation has turned many to look into the country.

This week alone, among others, the foreign ministers of the US, Russia and the UAE, Rex Tillerson, Sergey Lavrov and Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed respectively would visit Ethiopia. Besides the Ethio-UAE Joint Ministerial Forum and the Ethio-France Business forum would be held here in Addis and the President of the World Trade Organization would confer with President Mulatu.

It is expected that yet another fruitful discussions that guarantee regional peace and stability to further boost development and regional economic integration that ensure the interests of all would be held.


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