Somaliland aviation minister visits China

BEIJING (Somalilandpress) — Breaking new ground in Somaliland’s foreign relations and starting a new phase in Somaliland-China ties, Somaliland aviation minister, Mr Ali Waran Adde, on Thursday led a delegation to Beijing, the Chinese capital for an official visit.

According to local reports, Mr Waran Adde, whose traveling with the mayor of Hargeisa is believed to be in China to sign contract with number of Chinese firms who would refurnish and expand Hargeisa’s main airport – Egal International airport.

The Chinese government, who has been engaged with African states in recent years, has rolled out the red carpet to welcome the Somaliland officials.

Once upgraded, Egal international airport will be one of the largest airports in the Horn of Africa and will meet international standards according to the minister.

The mayor of Hargeisa, Mr Hussein Ji’ir is also expected to sign a number of construction projects with the Chinese including the rehabilitation of Hargeisa’s neglected roads. The Chinese are also expected to deliver construction equipments to Somaliland.

Many analysts believe this is a new beginning for Somaliland-China ties and could lead to an era of solidarity and cooperation between Hargeisa and Beijing.

China’s investment in Africa has grown rapidly in the first three quarters of 2009 to 77% and the volume of projects in Africa by Chinese firms grew by 42% which is said to be worth $20 billion U.S. dollars.

Mr Waran Adde is also said to be welcoming Chinese businesses to make investments in Somaliland.
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Mr Waran Adde is seen by most Somalilanders as one of the few competent and active ministers in the Rayale government. Since taking up the aviation portfolio he has rehabilitated most Somaliland airports and is currently working on expanding not only Egal International airport [Hargeisa] but also Berbera to ‘ease the pressure on Egal airport’  according to him.

He brought also fire trucks and installed proper lights for night operations. He was also responsible for connecting Ethiopian Airlines, which is considered one of the best airlines in Africa to Egal Airport. However Ethiopia airlines suspended it’s flight in October 2008 after twin-suicides rocked Hargeisa.

Below you can see designs the Chinese companies have presented to Mr Waran Adde in August of last year.

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Somalilandpress, 23 January 2010

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