Ethiopia, Cuba Need to Exploit their Potentials to Further Boost Relations: Cuban Ambassador


Addis Ababa, September 28/2023(ENA) Ethiopia and Cuba need to exploit the ample potentials they have in many fields to further strengthen bilateral relationship, Cuba's Ambassador to Ethiopia, Jorge Lefebre Nicolas said.

The ambassador told ENA that Cuba and Ethiopia have been in close ties since the establishment of their diplomatic relations in 1976.

Cuba has helped Ethiopia during one of the most dangerous situation that Ethiopia faced in history where many Cubans came to this country.

He also recalled that many Ethiopians also went to Cuba to pursue their studies.

During the Heads of State and Government Summit of Group 77 + China which Cuba hosted  from 15 to 16 September 2023,  Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke met and discussed with Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel and other officials on the margins of the summit.

Ethiopia and Cuba have strong people-to-people relationship through the scholarship that continued over the years, Demeke stated, and noted “we have agreed to establish a ministerial consultation platform in order to elevate the special relationship we enjoy.”

Now Ethiopians who pursued their studies in Cuba are back home as doctors, engineers, agriculturalists and professionals in many other fields, Ambassador Nicolas said.

"Both countries have natural links established through years and there are also Cuban families here and Ethiopian families in Cuba. So it is a duty of us as a diplomat and politicians to strengthen that relationship,” the ambassador urged. 

"I think Cuba and Ethiopia in the last years have developed very notable economic capacity and economic power. But we can’t (fully) cooperate together in many fields. For instance, we in Cuba are very heavy drinker of coffee and Ethiopia has one of the best coffee industries. That is ground for cooperation,” he said. 

With a population of over 110 million people, Ethiopia has higher consumption of sugar, he said, adding that, the country has industries of sugar but not enough for Ethiopia. 

As Cuba has the knowledge and experience for many years in the sugar industries, we can establish cooperation on that and we have a potential also in biotechnology, the ambassador pointed out.

He further elaborated that Cuba has developed some important medication drugs, for instance, during the COVID, Cuba developed five vaccines against COVID-19, which opens ground for cooperation.

According to the ambassador, the level of development that Ethiopia and Cuba have reached is similar in some issues, but the cooperation is not worth of the existing potentials and we need to also learn experience from each other.

“We can learn from you (Ethiopia) of 110 million people. We are only 11 million people. So, it is supposed to be easier for us with the help of each other, we can achieve better resource,” he said.

There is popular people to people bonds between Cubans and Ethiopians, he said, adding we must keep that ties and take this to the political level, Ambassador Nicolas pointed out.


Ethiopian News Agency