By Binsal Abdulkader
ABU DHABI, 4th March, 2022 (WAM) — An ethnically rich Ethiopia is keen to learn from the UAE’s unity and robust rule of law, a top official of the Ethiopian parliament told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).
“Within 50 years, from the scratches, if the UAE reach this level, there is a lesson. I think the basic lesson is the unity. And they [UAE] maintain the rule of law, that is beautiful,” said Tagesse Chaffo, Speaker of the House of People’s Representatives, Lower Chamber of Ethiopian Parliament.
In an exclusive interview with WAM at the Ethiopian Embassy in Abu Dhabi on Thursday evening, he added, “In Ethiopia we have to work on our unity. There are many different ethnicities there. We have a federal system, that’s very good. Then there are some problems nowadays, so we have to work on it. So, we will get experience [and learn] from the United Arab Emirates.”
Threat to UAE poses risk to humanity
Chaffo said there is very big potential in sharing such experiences. “It should be the basis for our [bilateral] link and friendship and our development. That’s very important.”
He pointed out that that people from more than 200 countries are living in the UAE in a friendly environment. Therefore, he stressed that any threat to the UAE posed a risk to the humanity and strongly condemned the recent terrorist attacks by Houthi militias on the UAE.
The Speaker is leading an official delegation, including four cabinet ministers, that attended the Ethiopian National Day celebrations at the Expo 2020 Dubai on Wednesday. They are also meeting with “our various stakeholders in the UAE,” he said.
1bn bilateral trade to grow further
Economic relationship is a cornerstone of the UAE-Ethiopia bilateral relations, the official affirmed. “We have around US$1 billion worth bilateral trade annually. But we hope that in near future we can do more and more.”
Ethiopia is among the ten countries that the UAE wants to increase its annual exports to by 10 percent, as announced in the country’s ‘Projects of the 50’ initiative.
Ethiopia has a historic and strategic relationship with the UAE and wants to further strengthen it, the parliament speaker said.
“The UAE leadership is close to our leadership, and they stood with us during the challenging times. So, this our commitment,” the official asserted.
As the parliament speaker he is happy about the ongoing cooperation between parliaments of both countries, which will be further enhanced in the coming days.
Chaffo said the UAE’s Federal National Council having 50 percent women’s representation among the members is an inspiring development.
Ethiopia has also started a reform three years ago and one of its objectives is enhancing women’s representation in all sectors, he said.
Ethiopia’s President of the Federal Supreme Court, the National Election Board, and chairpersons of six out of eleven parliamentary committees are women, the speaker noted.
Message to 200,000 Ethiopians in UAE
Around 200,000 Ethiopians are living in the UAE, and they are working in almost all sectors of the economy, Chaffo said.
Both countries have signed an agreement to ensure that recruitment of Ethiopians for jobs in the UAE is done legally.
“My message for our community here is that the leadership [of the UAE] is friendly. So that there is a conducive environment and opportunity here. So, work hard and obey the rules here. So that you will benefit from economic development.”