Lately, he also served as a permanent representative to the UN, before he was appointed Ambassador to Ethiopia in 2011. Following his election as the president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, paid a visit to Ethiopia and discussed with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi different topics. The visit resulted in the establishment of a joint ministerial committee, which regularly meets to deliberate on investment and political matters. The purpose of the joint committee was to facilitate discussions on bilateral and continental issues. The common stance on recognizing the then Libyan rebel forces, NTC, was one of the results of the discussions of the joint committee.�
The two countries being power houses in their respective regions, the relationship between the two countries is assumed by some as strategic in the sense that it could provide leadership model to the rest of the continent while doing their part to represent the continent in world affairs.
What exactly is the status of Ethio-Nigerian relationship at present?�
I would say the relationship is excellent. It has been so for quite some time now and, of course, we have enjoyed very friendly relationships historically. But I think that in the last one year or so, things have been absolute, in the sense that we are going down a different line, where we are focusing on a holistic relationship between the two countries. Being the two most populous countries in Africa, we don’t want to look at the relationship purely from the political point of view but also into the economic, social and cultural spheres and how this will translate into mutual benefits for the people of Ethiopia and Nigeria.
I imagine that there is a big market waiting to be tapped. Only a few days ago the summit of the African Union focused on intra-Africa trade and how to boost it. I believe that Nigeria and Ethiopia, working together as partners, can serve as a vehicle to push for greater integration of the continent. So the cooperation between the two countries is a shining example of what other African countries can do