Crown Princess, Mette-Marit, opens conference in Ethiopia

Crown Princess Mette-MaritEthiopia.Crown Princess Mette-Marit.Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix

Crown Princess Mette-Marit demonstrated long-term Norwegian efforts to improve health services in Ethiopia when she opened a health conference in Addis Ababa.


The royal couple are visiting the country on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD), and one of the main themes during the visit is health.

‘Ensuring good health for people is vital for society to function and develop,’ she
stressed on Wednesday at the Ethiopian-Norwegian Co-operation Conference on Health and Higher Education.

The Crown Princess said that it is a challenging task to provide a population of nearly 100 million people with good healthcare.

Norway can contribute

‘This task is for the Ethiopian government, but Norway and Norway’s institutions
can contribute to Ethiopia’s efforts to build a robust health system, ‘ she said.

The Crown Princess showed that Norwegians have made a long effort in this direction.

‘Norwegian missionaries were the first, and without their efforts, many of our joint projects today would not have existed.’
The princess noted that Norwegian oncologists are currently in place at the Black Lion Hospital to help strengthen cancer treatment in Ethiopia.
Princess Mette-Marit also spoke about the fight against leprosy, HIV and ebola. She emphasised that while fighting the stigmatising disease,  leprosy, had been very difficult, there are still many challenges ahead in the work against HIV and ebola.

Conflict-filled country

The royal couple travelled to Ethiopia with a Norwegian delegation of approximately 50 business leaders. The visit lasts until Thursday, when the prince will visit a refugee camp in the north of the country.

It is not just an African country in growth and development, with opportunities for Norwegian business, which is now visited by the Norwegian delegation. Ethiopia is also very much a country in deep conflict.

The country’s authorities are accused of human rights abuses, marginalisation of ethnic groups, and armed groups are in conflict against each other. It is also one of the world’s most corrupt countries, according to ‘Transparency International’.


©  NTB Scanpix / Norway Today