5 November 2019
ADDIS ABABA, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) — Ethiopia on Monday commended China’s support to the East African country’s capacity development endeavors as the two countries set to mark 50 years anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations next year.
Tilahun Sarka, Director General of Ethiopia-Djibouti Standard Gauge Railway Share Company (EDR), stressed the vital importance of China’s capacity development support at an event on Monday that marks the start of railway operations training for 47 Ethiopian train conductors.
Noting ongoing knowledge transfer activities that are jointly implemented by ERD, the Chinese government and the consortium of Chinese companies, Sarka also urged the new batch of trainees to effectively study train operations along with Chinese experts so as to realize the Ethiopian government’s ambition in building the East African country’s capacity in railway technology.
Sarka, who emphasized the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway to be a greater part of the continental ambition that envisaged connecting the African continent through railway networks, also urged Ethiopian and Djiboutian youth to take the lead in train operations, and help realize Africa’s quest towards becoming an integrated continent.
Sarka also underscored the “great advantage” presented for local engineers as they operate side by side with experienced experts drawn from the two Chinese companies that are currently undertaking all the maintenance, rail captaincy and control operations at the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway.
Liu Yu, economic and commercial counselor at the Chinese embassy in Ethiopia, who noted China as the East African country’s biggest trading partner, the largest foreign investors, the biggest project contractor, also stressed that “Ethiopia is China’s priority partner in carrying out production capacity cooperation with Africa.”
“The historic Ethiopia-China relations have become a model for China-Africa cooperation,” she added, as she emphasized cooperation in capacity development as one of the major areas of China-Ethiopia comprehensive strategic partnership.
“China has been dedicated to enhancing human resource development cooperation with Ethiopia, because we firmly believe it is better to teach a man how to fish than to give him fish,” Liu said.
By the end of October 2019, the Chinese government had trained over 8,300 participants of different professions for Ethiopia under China-Aid Framework, covering over 30 areas like agriculture, education, health, manufacturing industries, investment, public administration, security, according to the Chinese embassy.
Over 900 candidates were selected to pursue their graduate studies , masters or PhD degree, in China, including 228 candidates in 2019.