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Ethio-Australia Relationship Positive in Multifaceted Spheres: Australia Ambassador Niblett

Ethiopia and Australia have a very long-standing and positive relationship in multifaceted spheres, Ambassador Julia Niblett said.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Australia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Niblett recalled Dr. Catherine Hamlin was a pioneering Australian surgeon whose work for women with obstetric fistula in Ethiopia continued uninterrupted for more than half a century.

“She (Dr. Hamlin) is the most famous link between our two countries, but our relationship is more than these people-to-people links. We have a very positive engagement in mining and research collaboration sectors, among others.”

Speaking about recent relations, the ambassador mentioned the visit of Australia’s Assistant Foreign Minister Tim Watts who visited Ethiopia in February this year.

“It was the first visit by the minister in many years, and they (the officials) talked about the valuable work we can do together, including investing to help boost the economy, mining and mining services sector as well as renewable energy.”

Similar to the visit of the Australian Assistant Foreign Minster, an Ethiopian delegation led by Mines State Minister Million Mathewos attended the Africa Down Under (ADU) Mining Conference held in Australia to promote mining and mining services opportunities for Australian companies.

“It was really a great opportunity to showcase Australian mining investment potential, but also the expertise that Australia has in mining and mining services. I was very proud to be able to show the opportunity presented by Australian companies to the Ethiopian state minister,” she elaborated.

According to her, the Australian government is very supportive of growing the investment relationship here in Ethiopia.

There is the strongest interest from Austrian investors in the mining sector, which is a very important part of the Ethiopian economy, the ambassador underscored.

“My role is to bring people together to talk about opportunities and to try and open doors for potential investors in Ethiopia. We are (therefore) promoting and supporting investment opportunities in renewable energy,” Niblett added.

The minister revealed that one of the world’s Australian largest renewable energy companies visited recently Ethiopia to look for more opportunities for investment in renewable energy production because there are many opportunities in Ethiopia.

“We also have an organization, the Australian Trade Commission, and its job is to help provide support for Australian companies that are trying to enter into new markets.”

Moreover, the ambassador stated that another very positive bilateral collaboration between the two countries is in agricultural research.

“Later this week, I have the great pleasure to host a visit from one of the senior program managers from the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR),” she pointed out.

The work that ACIAR does with the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research has been terrific in working on issues like how to improve seeds and production in agriculture, which is so important for food security in Ethiopia, according to the ambassador.

She added that her country has also been re-invigorating the work on academic collaboration, i.e., the Australia-Africa Universities Network.

“About two months ago, we had a representative of that Universities Network from Curtin University in Ethiopia to revitalize the links we have with Ethiopian universities, not just with Addis Ababa University, which is a very important and long standing relationship; but also to develop relationships and partnerships with regional universities.”

This network is designed to not just undertake research and collaboration, but also encourage joint research so that the best minds of universities in both countries are applied to solving specific problems.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency