Youth Centre Built With Hungarian Support Opens in Ethiopia

  • 19 Apr 2023 6:25 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Youth Centre Built With Hungarian Support Opens in Ethiopia
A youth counselling centre built in part from funds contributed by the Hungarian government has been inaugurated in Ethiopia, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Addis Ababa.

Hungary contributed 160 million forints (EUR 429,000) to the construction of the centre that will enable young people in Ethiopia to stay in and return to their homeland, Szijjártó told the inauguration ceremony, according to a ministry statement.

The minister underscored the importance of supporting local communities so that they can remain in or return to “their homeland of hundreds of years or more”.

“Our basic principle is that help should be taken where it is needed rather than bringing problems where there aren’t any yet,” Szijjártó said. Europe has been facing strong migration pressure in the recent period, which poses serious security challenges to migrants’ countries of origin, transit countries and their destination countries, he said.

Migration should be prevented rather than encouraged, he said, and called for creating the circumstances that will enable people to remain in their homeland. This is what Hungary is doing in some fifty countries worldwide, most of them in Africa, Szijjártó said, adding that Hungary was prepared to keep financing such projects in the future, too.

As a country with one thousand years of Christian statehood, Hungary feels responsibility for all Christians, Szijjártó said, adding that Christianity was the most persecuted religion in the world today.

He said it was frustrating that this issue was not getting the attention it needed, while Muslim countries were putting significant emphasis on fighting Islamophobia and supporting Muslim communities.

This, he added, raised the question as to why the governments of Christian countries “are not brave enough” to display a similarly firm stance, saying that many took a “hypocritical and unreasonable” position on the issue.

Szijjártó: Support to Africa Key to Stopping Migration to Europe

Supporting Africa is key to improving the quality of life in countries at the root of illegal migration to Europe, and so to stopping rather than managing illegal migration, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Addis Ababa.

A Hungarian-Ethiopian agreement in the works on economic cooperation and the elimination of double taxation is part of that effort, Szijjártó said. The root causes of migration have become stronger in recent years, mirrored in the growing migration pressure in Europe which the European Union’s measures have failed to address, Szijjártó said.

Since EU policies “inspire one migration wave after the other, cooperation has become a priority with African countries willing and able to keep young citizens home, who are also of key importance for the future of their homeland,” he said. Cooperation between Hungary and Ethiopia aims to help the latter country in retaining its citizens, he said.

Hungary will double the number of university scholarships for Ethiopian students next year, to 100, he said.

Hungarian companies are also playing an important role in the development of Ethiopian agriculture, and in digitalisation, he said.

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