Holmås commented, “Ethiopia has chosen a path of green development that is lifting people out of poverty. Given that it is one of the world’s poorest countries, its plans are impressive. The new MoU creates a good departure point for helping to improve the human rights situation in Ethiopia.”
The MoU covers all aspects of the close development cooperation between Ethiopia and Norway. Ethiopia is witnessing rapid development. It is playing a leading role in the African fight against climate change. It also has a key role in the efforts to bring about peace between Sudan and South Sudan and in Somalia. However, there are aspects of the human rights situation in the country that give grounds for criticism. The new MoU will enable Norway to step up its dialogue on these types of issues in a more systematic manner.
“I’m glad that I decided to travel to Africa for my first visit as minister. This has given me new insight into important issues. For me it has been crucial to be able to talk to people working with human rights and members of the opposition in addition to my talks with key representatives of the authorities. It would have been difficult to gain these insights without coming here,” said Mr Holmås.