Addis Ababa, July 12/2021(ENA) The Government of Ethiopia should strengthen economic ties with South Sudan to facilitate energy trade between the two countries, Ethiopia’s Public Diplomacy and Economy honorary Consul in South Sudan Aysheshim Teka urged.
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit awarded Aysheshim the South Sudanese honorary citizenship in 2019 for supporting national cohesion, unity and development in the country during tough times.
The renowned businessman, Aysheshim, who has been active in mobilizing people for huge sporting events, including Great Runs in South Sudan to support peace and development, was assigned as honorary consul of Ethiopia for public diplomacy and economy since 2020 by the government.
He organized the Great Run in Juba as a Chairman this July on permission from the president as part of South Sudan’s 10-year Independence Day anniversary where more than 20,000 people participated, including high-level government officials and athletes to encourage peace and unity in the country.
Aysheshim told ENA that the people-to-people relationship between Ethiopia and South Sudan have to be transformed into economic ties, by developing integrating road infrastructure, especially to facilitate energy trade between the countries, including petroleum, electricity and other commodities.
“Ethiopians and South Sudanese share over 1300Km border, they are culturally linked through Anuak and Nuer ethnic groups living in both sides of the border, plus we drink from the same Nile River,” he said.
The successive governments of Ethiopia since Emperior Haileselassie I have been supporting South Sudan during their tough times and due to this support the people of South Sudan consider Ethiopia as their second home, Aysheshim recalled.
However, the economic relation between Ethiopia and South Sudan is yet unremarkable, according to him.
He urged the governments of both countries to facilitate infrastructure development and strengthen diplomatic relations.
“Most of all the relationship between Ethiopia and South Sudan should be strengthened. The countries should be connected with economy and enhanced public diplomacy as well as infrastructures like roads should be developed.”
Stressing the need to develop infrastructures connecting the countries, he said “the Government of Ethiopia should push for the development of infrastructures, including roads linking the countries, to strengthen economic tie with South Sudan, a country rich with natural resources, especially petroleum.”
According to him, the Ethiopian government has constructed many roads in Gambella region around the border with South Sudan.
“But, there is lack of road on the South Sudan side, thus, the Government of Ethiopia shouldn’t wait until they built the roads because South Sudanese leaderships were in conflict and may face capacity and technical limitations right now. So the Ethiopian government should support them in order to widen the relationship for mutual benefit.”
South Sudan is petroleum rich country where Ethiopia could import and Ethiopia can also export electricity after completion of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, he noted.
Calling on pertinent bodies to discuss on infrastructure development to facilitate trade exchange and economic activities he said “We should talk with the South Sudanese authorities on petroleum and electricity trade which needs road connectivity.”
The Government of Ethiopia should discuss with the South Sudanese authorities to develop linking roads to import petroleum and export commodities and electricity, Aysheshim recommended, adding that most commodities in South Sudan came from Uganda.