ADDIS ABABA, May 6 (Xinhua) — Ethiopia and China on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for their partnership on a project dubbed Africa Information Super Highway, a project for cooperation between China and Africa in information and communication technology (ICT).
The MoU will enable the two countries to carry out joint activities under the framework of the Africa Information Super Highway for the East African region and beyond.
Dr. Debretsion Gebremichael, Ethiopian Minister of Communication and Information Technology, and Liu Lihua, Chinese Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology, signed the agreement at a ceremony held in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
The two sides have also held talks over the project, ways of going forward towards its implementation and successful realization.
The Chinese vice minister told reporters after the discussion that his delegation had held talks with the Ethiopian side and also signed the cooperation MoU for joint construction of Africa Information Super Highway.
Stating that China and Ethiopia have been cherishing a long-standing relation and cooperation in various areas, Liu said the MoU signed in Addis would further strengthen the existing cooperation in general and in the ICT sector in particular.
“China and Ethiopia have a time-cherished history of good relationship and friendship. Thus, we have strong confidence that this cooperation in the area of ICT would also proved to be another success,” he said.
“China and Ethiopia have a wide areas of cooperation. Thus, we believe this MoU would really be beneficial for improving the quality of life of Ethiopian people as well as promoting the socio-economic growth in this country,” he added.
During the latest summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in South Africa’s Johannesburg last December, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced about 10 major areas of cooperation with Africa.
The cooperation between China and Africa in the ICT sector is one of the initiatives announced by the Chinese president.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Debretsion, who is also Ethiopia’s Finance and Economic Cluster Coordinator with the rank of Deputy Prime Minister, noted that the project would help Ethiopia accelerate the on-going rapid economic growth.
The project will also benefit countries in the East African region and beyond, noted the Ethiopian minister.
He expressed Ethiopia’s commitment to working together with China towards its success.
“This big project has a lot of contributions to Ethiopia and many other African countries. We work together with the respective companies that have been assigned by the Chinese government. I would also like to say we will collaborate on all fronts in particular the different projects that have been intended in East Africa,” stated Debretsion.
“We feel that Ethiopia will benefit out of this engagement. It will have more contribution in developing this super highway with other East Africa and beyond,” he said.
“We are committed to working with you to ease all the challenges that we can encounter, and finally we will have a great achievement that would be good for China and good for Ethiopia, and for many other African countries as well,” he noted.
“This (the project) will contribute a lot to our development. Ethiopia is growing fast, and for the future development of our ICT sector not only in communication but also ICT as an industry. We expect this super highway will have a lot of contribution in accelerating our growth,” he added.