Development of Georgian-African Union Relations

I'm honoured to be the first Georgian ambassador to Ethiopia, one of the oldest countries in the world, which despite its geographical distance, has had historical connections to my homeland for many centuries. Nowadays, Ethiopia is one of the largest states in Africa enjoying a high pace of development. The fact that the African Union (AU) headquarter is located in Addis-Ababa underlines the country’s leading role on the African continent.

Notably, Africa is the fastest growing continent whose importance is increasing every day. In the past couple of years, Georgia has made efforts to start ties and pursue productive and mutually beneficial cooperation with the African states. This policy is based on the acknowledgment of the fact that new friends and partnerships are essential to sustain individual progress and development in this globalized world. Hence, embassy is tasked with developing cordial partnerships with the host country as well as adjacent African states. 

Notably, Georgia aims to promote positive partnership based on mutual interest and capacity. We have been tasked to promoted cooperation as well as share reforms experience with states in transition, an area of cooperation of high interest to our African partners. On the other hand, Georgia’s participation in the EU led military operation in the Central African Republic (CAR) makes evident the attention Georgia pays to its partners and is willing and able to contribute to the peace and security in the World’s troubled spots. I was privileged to witness firsthand, during my visits to Bangui, how much Georgian soldiers were able to contribute  and was extremely proud to accept gratitude for Georgia’s contribution.

Throughout the year the highlight of our diplomatic work is the Annual Summit of the AU traditionally held in Adis Ababa, Ethiopia. This is an event at which 54 members States gather to discuss most pressing issues concerning the continent as well as to devise ways for further integration and development. Since 2011, when our country was granted an observer status in the African Union, Georgian Foreign Ministry delegation participates in Union’s summits, which gives us an unique opportunity to establish working, mutually beneficial relations with all the states of the African continent who are members of this organization. Despite the busy and packed working agenda, each year Embassy facilitates the meetings between the official delegations. This year, on the 26th-27th of January, the delegation of the Georgian Foreign Ministry, headed by the First Deputy Minister, David Dondua, took part in the 26th Ordinary Session of the African Union’s Executive Council (the Foreign Ministers of the AU).. On the sidelines of the session, the Georgian delegation held a number of bilateral meetings, during which the prospects of development of bilateral and multilateral co-operation between Georgia and African states were discussed. We agreed with several states to launch negotiations with a view to sign agreements in different spheres. The future plans of co-operation with international organizations were also mapped out. The Georgian delegation provided the African delegations with the information on the institutional reforms carried out in the country. In this connection, a number of African states expressed their interest to share Georgia's positive experience in the implementation of reforms in their relevant countries.

The delegations of the African states were also informed on the current situation in Georgia's occupied territories and on the current state of IDPs and refugees in Georgia. During the meetings, all  parties reaffirmed their Governments' strong support for Georgia's territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. 

Being cognizant of each other’s security concerns as well as opportunities of cooperation makes our interests stronger and clears the room for informed and cordial partnerships in the future. Therefore, we continue to strengthen existing ties and consolidate our partnerships even further. This has great potential - be it in the fields of politics, economics, culture or people to people relations. Needless to say, I am delighted to have an opportunity to make my contribution.

Vakhtang  JAOSHVILI
Ambassador of Georgia to the Federal Domocratic Repubic of Ethiopia
 Permanent Representative to the African Union