Eritrea, Ethiopia make peace, thanks to UAE's soft power

Eritrea with a small population of about five million has suffered immensely.



Peace and political stability take nations forward. After decades of conflict, Eritrea and Ethiopia have settled their territorial dispute and given peace a chance. The move will have ripple effects in North Africa as diplomatic relations have been reinstated between the two countries, and emotional ties are getting a new life. The truce is expected to bring revolutionary reform, to say the least, and transform the region. The UAE had been striving for this positive move, and has played a pivotal role in the process.
The UAE has even honoured the heads of the two countries with the Order of Zayed, which signifies the importance it accords to the move. For years Eritrea and Ethiopia had exhausted their resources to feed the conflict. However, with the peace deal, both nations will now be able to concentrate on improving their countries economically and make use of their strategic location.
Eritrea with a small population of about five million has suffered immensely. It is now in urgent need of economic resuscitation and the UAE could help ease its isolation and lend a hand in development. The UAE had earlier agreed to provide a financial aid package and modernise Asmara International Airport, build new infrastructure, and increase fuel supplies to Eritrea. Ethiopia, too, stands to gain as much. The International Monetary Fund has forecast that Ethiopia would be the fastest-growing economy in sub-Saharan Africa this year. Its economy is likely to gain as investors from the world over scramble to get a piece of the opportunities.
The youth in both the countries would benefit with more jobs being generated. But what separates the UAE from the rest of the investors is its drive to use investments to bring stability and prosperity in countries. It's not in the rush for the 'land grab' like many other countries that have been rushing to the African continent for its vastness of resources. Just last month, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development pledged Dh11 billion in assistance to Ethiopia. It's the beginning of a new era, and the UAE is keen to be a part of it.


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