Eritrea will seek to move at a fast pace relative to development as it seeks to recoup decades of economic slowdown, its president Isaias Afwerki has said.
The president was speaking in an interview with the Chinese global news outlet CGTN addressing predominantly the economic outlook of the country after normalization of relations with Ethiopia.
“We have to recoup lost opportunities, it’s an opportunity lost or opportunity cost of the last twenty years and more, recouping and rebuilding, it’s a dual purpose crossroads to me, we have to recoup what we have lost.
We have been in an abnormal situation for so long without any rationale without any justification, we are coming back to normalcy, it’s as simply as that.
“Definitely we need to move faster, we need to move in a better momentum and then we need to re-plan and plan for the future. Lost opportunity for the last twenty years, an opportunity for the coming twenty years,” Afwerki said.
Asked about the thaw in relations between Asmara and Addis Ababa since July 9, 2018; Afwerki responded: “We have been in an abnormal situation for so long without any rationale without any justification, we are coming back to normalcy, it’s as simply as that.”
The country has in the last few months sorted unfriendly relations with three of its key neighbours – Ethiopia, Somalia and most recently Djibouti.
Eritrea had suffered a level of economic isolation over the decades that it held a diplomatic spat with Ethiopia over a border ruling the latter had refused to implement. Under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ethiopia has accepted to implement the ruling.
Isaias Afwerki has also held talks with his Somali and South Sudanese counterparts on how to improve upon relations in the hitherto volatile Horn of Africa region.