French President Emanuel Macron arrived in Addis Ababa,Ethiopia today for a two days official visit. Ethiopian ministry of foreign affairs reported that he will be meeting President Sahle-Work Zewude and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia to discuss bilateral and regional issues to focus on the mutual benefits of the two nations.
Ethiopia’s first president and former ambassador to France Sahle-Werk Zewude, also studied natural science at the University of Montpellier, France said to France’s TV5 “Ethiopia awaits Macron with impatience.” Calling the visit helps to make ‘secular ties with France.’
PM Abiy invited Macron to visit Ethiopia on his trip to France last October. He will also be visiting Lalibela rock-hewn church which will be renovated by the French team as promised by the president.
Ethiopia is a key export market for France. Dozens of top French business leaders accompany Macron for both Ethiopia and Kenya legs of his journey. Beyond a defence agreement signed between Addis Ababa and Paris, business deals are expected to be cinched in both countries, including more than $3 billion worth of contracts in Kenya.
President Macron’s trip to East Africa was started yesterday. Like recent French presidents, Macron has called for opening a new chapter in French-Africa relations, proclaiming business and political ties with former colonies, is old history. Still, his first stop was to a familiar country, Djibouti, where he had meet a long-time meet leader, Ismail Omar Guelleh, and visited France’s largest military base in the world.
A four days visit of the president will be finalised in Kenya which will be a first visit by a French president since Kenya’s 1963 independence.