Ethiopia's Quest for Sea Access Public Agenda - Historian

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (file photo).

Ethiopia's aspiration to sea access should not be regarded as a mere agenda of the government or the ruling party and it has an overwhelming support from public at grassroots level, a historian pleaded.

History Assistant Professor at Wachemo University Asrat Ermolo (PhD) heighted the public's active involvement and support for the government's efforts to ensure a direct access to the sea. "The people ought to address internal disagreements through discussions and back the government to realize the nation's aspiration to sea ports.|"

Withstanding some groups' attempt to tackle Ethiopia's aspiration for mutual growth, the government should persist in its stance and focus on the solidness and appropriateness of the quest that also considers the interests of coastal neighbors.

According to him, Ethiopia lost its sea outlets due to political conspiracy and lack of interest from the previous government.

"During the reign of Emperor Haileselassie I, Ethiopia regained its access to the sea through a meticulous diplomacy and negotiation at international level and the current quest for sea-gate is a national demand that has been passed down through generations."

The scholar further pointed out that it is proper to make the appeal at this time, as the country has spent about 25 percent of its total budget on port fees. On the other hand, it is legitimate to claim sea-outlets for a nation with more than 100 million population and one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Access to sea is the major solution to cut poverty, attain sustainable economic growth and ensure the country's existence amid the fastest growing population.

Ethiopia's coastal neighbors are expected to see the former's aspiration to port access positively and consider the request from the perspective of mutual growth and as a tool to ensure peace and stability, the historian emphasized.

The East African countries could protect the Red Sea together for mutual benefit which ensures sustainable peace and partnership amongst them. Therefore, it is possible and proper to achieve mutual benefits through applying a win-win approach and there are ample experiences to share from different countries' success including Bolivia and Chile, Mali and Senegal, he remarked.

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