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Erna Solberg Speech

The Norwegian Prime Minister's Visit to Addis Ababa

H.E. Prime Minister Erna Solberg met with Ethiopia’s President and Prime Minister and several African Heads of State and Government when she visited Addis Ababa the 8 – 9 February. The Norwegian Prime Minister participated in three side events of the 33rd African Union Summit and opened the exhibition “African Independence, Norwegian Solidarity” together with South Africa.

The fundamentals of Norway’s long-standing cooperation with African countries are mutual respect and long-term partnerships. Norway is a consistent partner and has supported peace and development work at the African continent for decades. The good bilateral relations and cooperation between Norway and African states, as well as between Norway and the African Union, will be maintained in the years to come. 

Norway´s Prime Minister Erna Solberg met with Ethiopia’s President Sahle-Work Zewde and women leaders to share experiences on capacity building for women leaders. Women’s participation and leadership in work and politics are vital for economic growth and welfare in Ethiopia. In the meeting between the Prime Ministers of Norway and Ethiopia, Erna Solberg emphasized Norway’s broad support for the ongoing reform process in Ethiopia regarding strengthening of democracy, good governance, nation-building, and human rights.

The Prime Minister attended three side events of the 33rd Ordinary Session of the African Union. The first side event was the official launch of the African Women Leadership Fund (AWLF), aimed at accelerating growth, support, and success of women-owned and operated companies. She also attended the launch of the book “She Stands for Peace – 20 Years, 20 Journeys”. The book commemorates the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. In Ethiopia, as in the rest of the world, women’s participation and rights are essential in peace processes. Thirdly, she attended the African Union’s side event on Blue Economy.  The issue of oceans is one of Norway’s key interests in international relations, and we are proud to have our Prime Minister as the chair of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy. In the side event, the Prime Minister presented the Panel’s achievements and experiences from Norway. 

Global health is another key focus area for Norway internationally. H.E. Erna Solberg visited Lærdal Global Health's project "50 000 Happy Birthdays" at Kazanchis Health Centre in Addis Ababa. The center is specialized in training midwives. Quality training programs for midwives and support apparatus are important to prevent deaths during pregnancy or childbirths.

Lastly, Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg and South Africa’s Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa opened the exhibition “African Independence, Norwegian Solidarity” at the African Union. The exhibition reflects upon the importance of solidarity and shared values between African states, as well as across the globe. Through multilateral cooperation, solidarity, and work for human rights, good results can be achieved.

We are pleased that the Prime Minister had a successful visit to Addis Ababa, and that Norway maintains good relationships and cooperation with African states and the African Union. More information and pictures from the visit can be found on Twitter (@NorwayInAddis @NorwayAU), Facebook (@NorwayInEthiopia), and Instagram (Norwayinethiopia)