Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has snubbed Western donor countries and praised India and China as ‘dependable allies’ as he advised African countries to take advantage of the new the global frontier, created after the economic and financial crises. According to him, the stabilized political scene is ready to withstand pressure from “market fundamentalists”.
“On behalf of the people and our organization, I would like to express our gratitude to the Communist Party of China and Indian Congress Party who bequeathed us great assistance before consummating their effort to lift their own people from poverty. In this they have proven to be dependable allies.” Meles said.
“I would like to assure you that we will never forget your generosity as you have given us much from your people that are not yet fully freed from poverty,” Meles also said in a high profile opening speech at the ruling party’s 8th congress on Wednesday.
Meles, who was re-elected by his party congress as chair for another two years, says Africa is better off with new partnerships and partners.
According to the Ethiopian Premier the financial and economic crises that were triggered by Western countries have inadvertently opened new opportunities for Ethiopia and other African nations to forge strong links with nations other than the traditional economic powers.
“The crisis was the crisis of the neo-liberals [market fundamentalist] and they were the ones who were hurt the most,” Meles told his party’s congress that collected the elite some 1000 members in Adama, Oromia region for a three day congress.
The ruling party EPRDF is expected to form the details of the coming government’s foreign affairs policy in the coming weeks.
The PM argues that although the crisis has weakened the neo-liberal force contributing to its inability to detect the status of the global economic frontier, most African countries are yet to take advantage of the condition.
Meles insists that Africa should go pursue partnerships with the booming economies of China, India and Brazil. He argued that economies like Japan and other Asian countries have savings surpluses, against Western countries whose increasingly high trade deficits have contributed to their lower savings rates.
“The West; America and England, used to borrow from these savings. Now their economies can no longer afford to continue to borrow. Africa can now access that,” the PM explained.
Meles also assured that Ethiopia’s political condition has been stabilized and can sustain any pressure from what he calls market fundamentalists. The ruling party envisages Ethiopia’s economy and agriculture product, which are driven by export revenues, to double in just five years.
Among the main targets of the Horn of Africa country’s economic plan is the building of a 2000 kilometer long railway network. The project will be financed by the Chinese Ex-Im bank.
Among those present at the EPRDF congress was a delegation of the Communist Party of China led by Zhang Xuan, an alternate member of CPC central committee and deputy secretary of CPC’s Chongqing Municipal Committee. The delegation vowed that China will intensify its cooperation with Ethiopia.