Following a meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Monday, Italy’s visiting foreign minister, Luigi Di Maio, signed a 22 million euro concessional loan agreement.
The loan will be used to fund the development of Integrated Agro-Industrial Parks (IAIPs) in Bulbula, Bure, Yirgalem, and Ba’eker, as well as rural transformation centers (RTCs) near the IAIPs.
According to the ministry of finance, these facilities would help to create jobs in rural areas of the country, increase farmer incomes, generate export revenues, and substitute imports of agro-processed goods.
Finance Minister Ahmed Shide and visiting Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio signed the loan agreement on behalf of their respective governments.
According to the PM Office, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed met with Foreign Minister Di Maio prior to the signing of the agreement and discussed national and regional issues of mutual interest.
Similarly, the Italian Foreign Minister met with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen.
Following the meetings, Di Maio expressed Italy’s commitment to working with Ethiopia in particular and the African continent in general in a variety of areas in a Facebook post.
“Let’s strengthen the historic relations between Italy and Ethiopia and continue to work for the stability of the African continent.
“We are also on the forefront of unlocking wheat exports, and the next few weeks will be crucial,” he said, stating his country’s commitment “to ensure food security for the most vulnerable countries, starting in Africa,” the minister said
Di Maio is expected to end his two-day official working visit in Ethiopia today and then travel to neighboring Kenya on a similar mission.
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