Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó (L) and his Ethiopian counterpart Demeke Mekonnen
Migration must not be managed, but stopped, and the best way to do this is to improve conditions in the countries of origin, and cooperation between Hungary and Ethiopia is part of this, the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade emphasized in Addis Ababa on Tuesday. Péter Szijjártó was on a visit in Ethiopia where he held talks with Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen, Trade Minister Gebremeskel Chala, and Education Minister Berhanu Nega, among others.
The minister stated that the causes of migration have become increasingly serious globally over the past year, which has led to an increase in immigration pressure in Europe, and that the continent’s response measures have “failed.”
“Instead of being able to protect itself from migratory pressures, Europe’s policies in Brussels are inspiring new waves of migration, and cooperation with African countries that are able and willing to keep young people who are key to the future of their countries at home is therefore particularly important,” he underlined.
He pointed out that Ethiopia has done a lot to achieve this goal in the recent past, and the Hungarian government is also working with the East African country to create the conditions for as many people as possible to stay in the country, so that they do not have to leave for Europe and risk their lives on the dangerous journey. The minister warned that
Africa’s population is growing at an extraordinary rate. If we do not help African countries retain their own populations, Europe will face migration pressures in the coming years that will be virtually unmanageable.”
Szijjártó praised bilateral cooperation in higher education, and said that Hungary has so far provided university scholarships to fifty Ethiopian students a year, but in view of increased interest, this number will be doubled from next year.
He stressed that
Hungarian companies are also playing an important role in the development of Ethiopian agriculture, so that the sector can provide people with sufficient quantities and quality of food.
Hungarian companies are also involved in the country’s digitalization, which also contributes to the modernization of the economy and thus ensuring the conditions for local employment. “To this end, we are concluding an economic cooperation and double taxation agreement with the Ethiopian government,” he added.
The minister also inaugurated the Youth Counseling Center for disadvantaged youth, for the establishment of which Hungary has provided the Ethiopian Catholic Church with a grant of around 160 million forints (EUR 430,000).
Szijjártó stressed in his speech at the opening ceremony that the center provides programs for young people who want to leave their home country, thereby helping them to stay there and giving those who have already left the country the opportunity to return home.
Featured photo via Facebook/Péter Szijjártó