Strengthening Ties

Ethiopia – Turkey: Ankara’s ongoing economic and military support

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Ethiopia’s Tigray: New frontier for regional interests

By Samuel Getachew

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Posted on November 2, 2021 11:32

Turkey Ethiopia
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed speak to the media at a joint news conference in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. (Turkish Presidency via AP, Pool)

For the last two decades, the relationship between Turkey and Ethiopia has been based on economic interest. With Ethiopia’s goal of attracting foreign investment far from its former reality of an economy based on foreign aid, Ankara’s investments to Ethiopia have increased to $2.5bn.

Being one of the top three contributors of foreign direct investments (FDI) to one of Africa’s fastest growing economies – currently in the midst of a year-long war with its northern state that has contributed to its battered economy – Turkey has been one of the major players for the growth of the textile sector inside Ethiopia’s industrial parks.

This is in addition to its contribution to infrastructure projects, including Yapi Merkezi’s involvement in building a railway line worth $1.7bn, named Awash-Kombolcha-Hara Gebaya Railway project. The plan is to build a railway line that stretches from Ethiopia to Tanzania.

The project is now at a stand-still and effectively suspended because of the ongoing fighting that has spread from Tigray region to that of Amhara and Afar.

The relationship between Turkey and Ethiopia was in a downward spiral after the latter forged an alliance with the

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