Addis Ababa, August 9, 2022 (FBC) – Dr. Ergogie Tesfaye, Minister of Women and Social Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia held talks with Dr. Virendra Kumar, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment of India, on August 08, 2022 in New Delhi.

Dr Ergogie expressed the long historical ties Ethiopia and India enjoyed for thousands of years that share many similarities in social and communal lives, and mentioned the historical migration of Ethiopians that settled to Gujarat and Indians migrated from Gujarat and settled in Ethiopia a long time ago.

Ergogie commended the Indian government’s support in the education system of Ethiopia and all the continuous academic scholarship opportunities provided to Ethiopian students.

She also expressed her gratitude to the Indian government’s support in vaccine provision to Ethiopia and other African countries during the difficult time of COVID pandemic.

Ergogie stressed the need to strengthen and take the relation to a more strategic level in different aspects of cooperation. She stressed the need to cooperate on the common responsibilities of their respective ministries focusing on people with disabilities, drug abuse and rehabilitation as well as schemes for senior citizens. She added her ministry’s work on a new project of building a center for senior citizens in Ethiopia, and noted the need to learn from the experiences of the Indian Government.

Dr. Virendra Kumar, in his part appreciated the various cooperation and collaboration so far established between India and Ethiopia and expressed Indian government’s interest to continue and further take the relation to a higher level.

Dr Virendra commended the Ethiopian government’s policies towards gender issues and appreciated the growing number of women in Ethiopian parliaments and the cabinet. He also congratulated Ergogie for being the only African to receive the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Distinguished Alumni Award for her outstanding achievements in her field.

Dr Virendra mentioned Indian government’s support to Ethiopia such as providing 8 million vaccines and medicines to Ethiopia during COVID pandemic time, Indian companies involving in the manufacturing of generic medicines in Ethiopian industrial parks and giving job opportunities to more than 75,000 Ethiopians, the 704 million USD (LoC) Line of Credit given to projects on sugar factories, as well as the various capacity building, trainings and scholarship opportunities through ICCR and other structures.

Going back to the historical events where around 5000 Indians who migrated to Ethiopia from Gujarat area and which the third generation are still settling in Ethiopia, Dr Virendra expressed his gratitude for the Ethiopian people for accepting and hosting Indians as their home.

The two further discussed on how to work together and share exces towards capacity building programs, empowerment, entrepreneurship and start up schemes and trainings for the youth, various schemes for people with poverty as well as different technical supports for differently able people.

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