Posted by: ALL AFRICA

The very old friendship and cooperative relationship between Ethiopia and Morocco is moving to new levels of practical cooperation, from the political to the economic sphere of partnership. The practical application of the new cooperative partnership between the two countries can be exemplified in many ways. Here, The Ethiopian Herald has met Ambassador of Morocco to Ethiopia Nezha Alaoui M’Hammdi to discuss on the ongoing bilateral relations and investment cooperation between the two countries. Excerpts:

How do you explain the relations between Ethiopia and Morocco in terms of business and people to people ties?

Regarding the partnership between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of Ethiopia, I just think that we are going to a new dynamics that is very logical and normal taking to consideration the legacy that we have together. Of course, the relations between Morocco and Ethiopia are not new. We have old ties of cooperation, especially since the visit of his majesty [King of Morocco] to Ethiopia. Today, we witness a new impetus or a new momentum that we are sharing together in terms of partnership other than normal; it is South-South partnership. We believe in Morocco that South-South Cooperation is very important because today the two African countries are much better than before. They can help each other in various sectors of cooperation, especially those related to sustainable development like human resource, environment, health, education and infrastructures for the mutual benefit of our population and to create socio-economic growth in both countries.

Thus, we now signed a total of 12 agreements under the legal framework of Morocco and Ethiopia. With these agreements, the two countries are going to diversify their cooperation and partnership. They are sharing expertise by looking at interests of both countries to help each other.

What are the major activities that the two countries are doing to tap the most advantages of such trade and investment cooperation and partnership?

Yes, the two countries have so far signed many business and investment agreements. The two countries so far agreed up on the total of 12 agreements and Memorandums of Understanding in the areas of agriculture, water management, sustainable energies, fertilizers, and trade promotion. For example, one of the agreements is signed for the establishment of a fertilizer production unit in Ethiopia with a total capital of 2.5 billion USD in the first phase, and 3.7 billion USD in total. One of those agreements is related to the OCP fertilizer plant, which is going to be finalized in Dire-Dawa, in order to help secure fertilizer for the Ethiopian agriculture.

This reflects shared vision of South-South Cooperation rooted on both sides, that African natural resources should be harnessed to drive Africa’s development and shared prosperity. Apart from creating legal agreement frameworks, the two countries held business forums, the first in Addis Ababa, on November 2016, and the second one in Rabat on May 2017.

To unleash the potentials in both countries, we are now planning to have other two trade and investment events between next September and October here in Addis Ababa. Until today, the embassy is registering Moroccan investors with big interest to come to the Ethiopian markets including the OCP project. Because investors in morocco believed that Ethiopian markets is huge and it represents big potentials. We all agree to say that Ethiopia has a success story with double digit growth and we would like to participate and contribute to that dynamic.