ADDIS ABABA – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has held a discussion with French Minister of Culture, Franck Riester, at his office today.
The prime minister office says the discussion was focused on the progress on the restoration work of the Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela and the Jubilee Palace, currently being supported by France.
“Noting the strengthened relations between the two countries PM Abiy recounted the immense support of President Emmanuel Macron and encouraged expediting the restoration works,” says the PM office in a statement.
The French minister, on his part, said his visit is a commitment of the President Macron to the preservation of heritage important to both countries, and to sharing technical expertise and skills.
On Wednesday, Riester visited and officially launched the renovation project of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Ethiopia.
Prime Minister Abiy’s administration sees developing the tourism sector as one of the pillars of job creation and attracting investments to the east African nation.
His office claims the reservation of heritage sites including Jubilee palace “is, therefore, one of the key priority areas in the sector”.
Studies to determine restoration needs for the palace are nearing completion. The technical work is expected to begin in a few months towards readying the Palace for tourism, according to the PM office.