Muferiat Kamil, minister of Peace, was glad to see two high-ranking United States diplomats at her office in Wollo Sefer area on November 28, 2018. While the US has been supportive and positive of the government's reform agenda, the topic of the brief discussions at the Ministry concerned some of the grave problems facing the country, particularly youth unemployment and intercommunal conflicts.
The high-level diplomats with Muferiat are Michael Raynor, US ambassador to Ethiopia, and Tibor Nagy (left-centre), US assistant secretary of state for African affairs. For Nagy, this was part of a three-day visit to Addis Abeba and his first since his confirmation by the US Senate in July.
Nagy, who served as US ambassador to Ethiopia between 1999 and 2002, also met with Foreign Minister Worqneh Gebeyehu (PhD) and Defense Minister Aisha Mohammed. In addition, the secretary led the sixth annual High-Level Dialogue at the headquarters of the African Union with Kwesi Quartey, deputy chairperson of the African Union Commission.
The United States has sought to strengthen its relationship with Africa following the growing influence of China in the continent over the past decade. The Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act was recently signed into law by President Donald Trump, extending the lending limit to 60 billion dollars and introducing new financial instruments for development financing. There is also an initiative, Connect Africa, that is expected to push one billion dollars in investment into the continent over the next two years.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's (PhD) administration has shown interest in the American system, having undertaken institutional reforms inspired by the American lines. This included the establishment of a press secretariat, using correspondents specifically assigned to the Prime Minister's Office, as well as establishing the Ministry of Peace, a federal agency with responsibilities and mandates similar to those of the United States Department of Homeland Security.