By Riches Soberekon
Ethiopia and the European Union (EU) have signed a significant cooperation agreement worth €650 million ($680 million).
The deal was announced by Jutta Urpilainen, the EU commissioner for international partnerships, during a press conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
This agreement marks an important step towards normalizing relations and fostering a strong partnership between Ethiopia and the EU.
The aid package aims to support Ethiopia’s post-war recovery and facilitate the implementation of crucial economic reforms.
The EU aid package, originally planned from 2021 to 2027 with a total value of €1 billion ($1.04 billion), was put on hold due to the conflict in the Tigray region.
With the recent cease-fire and the conclusion of the war, the EU has taken the opportunity to extend assistance to Ethiopia.
Prime Minister Ahmed expressed gratitude for the aid, highlighting its significance in the country’s recovery and economic reforms.
While direct budgetary support remains suspended, the EU has outlined political conditions that need to be met for reinstating such assistance.
The EU commissioner also emphasized the importance of an International Monetary Fund program to support Ethiopia’s economic reforms.
During her visit, Urpilainen is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Moussa Faki Mahamat, the chairman of the African Union Commission, to deepen the dialogue and explore avenues for enhanced cooperation.
It is important to acknowledge the severe humanitarian consequences of the Tigray conflict, including casualties, reports of massacres, mass rape, and allegations of enforced starvation. The EU has made it clear that full restoration of relations depends on accountability for these grave crimes.
This historic agreement between Ethiopia and the EU marks a significant milestone in their partnership, supporting Ethiopia’s recovery, reconstruction, and sustainable development.