$3 Billion, Laughter

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) recieved his first reciprocal state visit on Friday, June 15, 2018, from Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Abiy welcomed the Crown Prince at Bole International Airport, where Foreign Minister Worqeneh Gebeyehu (PhD) and recently appointed Army Chief of Staff, Seare Mekonnen (Gen.), were in attendance. Reciprocating Al Nahyan’s gesture during his visit to the Abu Dhabi last month, Abiy insisted on paying back the Crown Prince driving from the airport to Bole Lemi Industrial Park then to the Jubilee Palace. There, the two had coffee, ate popcorn and Abiy gave a tour of the Palace before a present to Al Nahyan of a horse.

Behind the merrymaking were the serious matters of signing agreements. UAE has agreed to deposit a billion dollars with the Ethiopian central bank as well as signed investment agreements estimated to be worth two billion dollars. The investments will be made in agriculture, tourism and renewable energy, according to UAE officials.

This foreign currency injection into the economy comes at a time of severe forex crunch that has led to business slowdown as well as a shortage of goods such as medicine, construction materials and packaged food items.

Published on Jun 16,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 946]



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