Source: All Africa

The first ever mission of Ethiopian women business entrepreneurs to Scandinavia visited Norway earlier this month.

The mission led by Ethiopia's First Lady, Mrs. Roman Tesfaye made a successful visit to Oslo at the beginning of the month (October 3-8). The aim of the trade mission was to showcase their products and meet potential buyers in Norway. The delegation included women entrepreneurs from different sectors, textiles, leather, jewelry and coffee as well as banking and logistics.

The program was organized by Partnership for Change of Norway and the Center for Accelerated Women's Economic Empowerment of Ethiopia in collaboration with Norwegian African Business Association and the Enterprise Federation of Norway. During their stay in Oslo, the women entrepreneurs have made some successful business deals with their Norwegian counterparts and established future business networks.

The Association of Coffee Rosters has organized a coffee cupping program for professionals and coffee rosters as well as potential buyers of Ethiopian coffee. The mission participated in a seminar to bring interested businesspersons and organizations together.

In a keynote address, First Lady Roman outlined the efforts of the government to support economic empowerment of women and encourage them to take part and benefit from development. She stressed that the Government strongly believed in the crucial importance of women in achieving economic growth and sustainable development, and reiterated that economic empowerment of women was a top priority in the development agenda.

State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Norway, Mr. Morten Hoglund said Ethiopia and Norway enjoyed strong bilateral relations going back a long way. He noted the Norwegian government has chosen Ethiopia as one of twelve priority countries to strengthen long-term engagement and provide for more effective development aid.

He said Norway's partnership with Ethiopia would continue to focus on areas like renewable energy, forestry and agriculture. He pointed out that their partnership would support the Ethiopian government's ambition of becoming a middle-income country by 2025.

During the seminar, Mr. Erling Olstad, the CEO of Mester Gronn and Mrs. Benedicte Eie, Sustainability Manager of H&M in Norway briefed participants about their business in Ethiopia.

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