Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
February 18, 2020
MODERATOR: Good afternoon. Welcome to the joint press briefing of His Excellency Ato Gedu Andargachew, Foreign Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and His Excellency U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. The press briefing will go as follows: First, the two principals will give a brief statement – first His Excellency Ato Gedu Andargachew, and next His Excellency Michael Pompeo. Following their statements, we’ll take two questions from the members of the media.
For the first question we have here Ms. Morgan Ortagus, spokeswoman – spokesperson of the State Department. She will call out for the visiting media. The next question I’ll give the opportunity to the resident media. Thank you.
FOREIGN MINISTER GEDU: Welcome again, Your Excellency Michael Pompeo, Secretary of State of the United States of America. It is a great pleasure for us to be here with you. Welcome, Excellency.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you.
I also want to commend the Ethiopian people on their bravery and thank them for their sacrifices as members of UN and African Union peacekeeping missions in Somalia and elsewhere. The AU’s increasing security work makes it a more effective multilateral organization. Peace in Africa will be won by Africans. I discussed that effort today with the AUC Chairperson Faki.
Investments in security provide the stability that allow Ethiopian citizens and citizens of other nations to flourish. At the same time, Prime Minister Abiy’s reforms are driving growth and encouraging American business to expand right here in Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s business-friendly climate has made it a welcome place for American companies like Coca-Cola and PVH, the makers of iconic brands like Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger – they’re all expanding here. Today, more American businesses are looking to get in, and investors are interested in everything.
America’s value as a partner goes beyond the quality of what we make. Partnership defines our very engagement. We invest in people and prioritize global health and economic empowerment. Our investments uphold transparency and sovereignty. Our companies, too, employ local people, Ethiopians. Our track record of being a force for good when we invest economically is unchallenged.
Today, too, I am pleased to announce the United States is providing $8 million in additional funding to support regional locust control operations in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia.
Look, we’re also a force for good economically in Ethiopia through President Trump’s W-GDP Initiative. I’m eager to meet some very creative and hardworking business leaders tomorrow morning. Their embrace of free enterprise points the way forward for Africa’s economic success.