Ethiopia-Somaliland Deal Will Diversify Economic Opportunities of Two Sides: Juba University Professor

Ethiopia and Somaliland signed will pave the way for Ethiopia to access the sea and diversify the economic opportunities of the two sides, Juba University, Peace and Security Studies Institute Professor Ter Majok told ENA. He noted that the deal will pave the way for Ethiopia to realize access to sea and implement its strategic vision. 'The MoU will pave the way to realize the aspiration of this great nation to have access to the sea…Access to the sea for Ethiopia is very important as it has a lot of strategic vision for the leadership of the country. Ethiopia joined the BRICS and being part of this big family needs for Ethiopia to find other ways to have economic growth and political cooperation,' Professor Majok said. He urged other African countries to start cooperation with each other this way and do business to facilitate trade, development, and regional integration and create new economic opportunities. 'For Ethiopia, it is a great move. Ethiopia will realize its economic growth because you will ha ve access to the sea and from the port after the destination, the goods that come to this country will boost the ongoing economic challenge that we are having and it will actually build the relationship in terms of businesses, in terms of connectivity between people and it will also enhance the already existing corporations,' he elaborated. He noted 'Access to the sea is very important. It's very important. Ethiopia is now part of the BRICS. So, for you to expand your economy, you need to think beyond the reasonable doubt of the current situation that we're in and therefore the two sides will build just the beginning of the integration of the two communities, I believe there will be roads that will be built and those roads will connect.' 'You will not have regional integration if we don't start interacting with each other,' Majok underscored, pointing out that recognizing the growing population and economy, Ethiopia has been trying to diversify its access to the sea to enhance its import-export trade. Eth iopia managed to get access to the sea, "this historic milestone,' he said. 'At least, we have where it can have access given the challenges that are in the region.' He suggested that tension which is coming following the deal should be prevented from escalation. 'But with the strong diplomatic engagement that Ethiopia has, I believe that Ethiopia will come out for this and have a mutual understanding. Ethiopia will not leave any stone unturned, whether in the region or beyond the region because it is all about the survival of the state. A state has to survive and it has to provide for its citizens...this was a milestone and Ethiopia has the right to do what is best for the nation for its people.' Stating that the MoU fosters regional integration and development undertakings, Professor Majok went on saying 'there will be this conductivity between Ethiopia and Somaliland. So there will be some joint projects that the two sides will add to the other countries that will benefit and will open new opportunities because you are going to have new development projects, and you will create jobs. People also will be moving from point A to the other point and for the aspiration of Africa Agenda 2063 connectivity is key.' There must be a link from the port to the last destinations and I believe it will bring a lot of good news, businesses, job creation, and so on, he added. Discussion, doing business and working together on different projects are crucial for regional integration and development, he said. 'It is the right time for the states to be engaged and be able to build on that aspiration of regional integration and beyond,' he noted. Source: Ethiopian News Agency