“Ethiopia has become an important player in African politics and development over recent years with one of the fastest growth rates in not only Africa, but the world.“The improvements made in education and child mortality, particularly among girls, and in economic development have been phenomenal.”
Liberal Democrat peer and former Eastleigh MP Lord David Chidgey of Hamble-le-Rice is to set off on a trip to Ethiopia next week as part of a top-level parliamentary delegation.
The group, from the UK’s Inter Parliamentary Union, will visit the country to develop links with their counterparts and gain a better understanding of its role in the African Union.
Lord Chidgey, who is the Lib Dem spokesman on International Development and Africa in the House of Lords, was instrumental in cutting through the bureaucracy and red tape to allow the visit to go ahead.
Among the group’s priorities will be studying the role Ethiopia plays in pan-African regionalism, including as host to the HQ of the African Union, and seeking opportunities for expanding relations with the UK.
They will be discussing the role of the African Union in the continent’s security and development, particularly regarding recent events in Mali and Algeria.
The group will also spend time examining agricultural development in the country, particularly where investment has had an impact on improving nutrition.
Lord Chidgey sat as Eastleigh’s MP from 1994 to 2005.