President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey visits Ethiopia

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Addis Ababa, late on Wednesday (January 21) on the first stage of an official visit to countries in the Horn of Africa. President Erdogan is accompanied by his wife and daughter, Emine and Summeye Erdogan, as well as ministers including Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtuand, a delegation of officials and businessmen. The President was received by Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Osman Riza Yavuzalp, the Turkish ambassador in Ethiopia. On Thursday (January 22), President Erdogan held meetings with President Dr. Mulatu Teshome and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn as well as other officials. President Mulatu was Ethiopia’s former ambassador to Ankara. Ewnetu Belata, State Minister of the Government Communications Affairs Office said “”President Erdogan is most welcome in Ethiopia at this time when the partnership between the two countries has reached a record high.” He said “Turkey leads the pack of industrialized countries in terms of foreign direct investment in Ethiopia, with more than 350 Turkish companies operating in Ethiopia to date and they have created jobs to more than 50,000 Ethiopians,” as well as providing for technology and knowledge transfer. According to the Turkish Ambassador to Ethiopia, Osman Riza Yavuzalp, Turkish investment in Ethiopia stands at US$3 billion. President Erdogan’s three-day visit to the Horn of Africa, which will include a visit to Djibouti where he will hold talks with President Ismail Omar Guelleh, is part of Turkey’s efforts to strengthen trade, economic and investment ties in the region. According to Turkish government data, the volume of trade between Ethiopia and Turkey reached US$422 million in 2013, and in the first 11 months of 2014 it was US$360 million, seven percent down on the previous period in 2013. A statement from the Turkish Presidential Palace said Turkey had “increasing economic, trade and investment ties with the countries in the region especially with Ethiopia.” It added that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit aimed to further strengthen and deepen the continued growth of these business ties as well as long-standing relations with Ethiopia and the region.