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Sheikh Tamim meets Ethiopian President Dr. Mulatu Teshome

Qatar’s Emir kicked off a tour of three African nations this week with high-level meetings in Ethiopia.

This is Sheikh Tamim’s first official visit to sub-Saharan Africa, besides visiting Sudan, since he became Emir in 2013.

While in Addis Adaba yesterday, Sheikh Tamim and Dr. Mulatu Teshome discussed ways to collaborate on infrastructure, educational and economic issues, QNA reports.

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Capetown, South Africa

Following his two-day visit there, the Emir will head to Kenya and then South Africa, which hosted the World Cup in 2010.

He is due back in Qatar this weekend to meet with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

What to discuss

All three African countries have relatively small representation inside of Qatar.

According to a 2017 population report, there are 22,000 Ethiopians living in Qatar, 14,000 Kenyans and only 6,000 South Africans.

CIAT/Wikicommons

Farm in Kenya for illustrative purposes only.

However, speaking to the Qatar Tribune, African diplomats said that there is much to gain by collaborating with the Gulf state.

The newspaper cited the Kenyan and Ethiopian ambassadors to Doha as saying issues such as counter-terrorism, scientific research and agriculture could all be advanced during high-level talks.

Thoughts?

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

C.Schubert/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Kenyan goat, sheep and beef will be on sale in Qatar supermarkets within the next two weeks following an agreement signed by both countries, according to a local media report.

Speaking to the Qatar Tribune this week, Kenyan Ambassador Galma Mukhe Boru said that fruit, vegetables and other products will also soon be shipped from Kenya to Qatar.

He added that the meat products will be frozen and flown into the country by Qatar Airways, and that live animals will be imported later on.

Currently, Australian and New Zealand livestock dominate the market in terms of meat offerings.

Food security

But Qatar, which imports 90 percent of its food, has been attempting diversify where its meat and poultry products come from in recent years.

And according to a recent government report, Qatar has also improved its food security by growing more produce and raising more livestock at home.

Qatar grew nearly 24 percent of the fruits and vegetables consumed in Qatar in 2013, up from 15 percent in 2009, states the latest agricultural report from the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics (MDPS), which was released last year.

Similarly, the country was 8.5 percent “self-sufficient” in meats in 2013, up from 6 percent in 2009.

Thoughts?

The State of Qatar condemns such cowardly and criminal acts which aim to destabilize security and stability and terrorize innocent people, and denounces the killing of innocent people.

An official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in response to an ongoing hostage situation at a Nairobi shopping mall after an attack there left at least 59 people dead and more than 175 wounded, as reported by QNA.

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Most of those who were killed were Kenyan nationals. But Al Jazeera reports that the gunmen appeared to be targeting foreigners and non-Muslims, and some of the victims include citizens of Canada and France.

Gunmen purporting to be from Somali militant group Al-Shabab have taken responsibility for the attack, telling Al Jazeera it was retaliation for Kenya’s military operations in Somalia.

The MOFA statement continued:

“The State of Qatar calls for bringing the perpetrators of this vile act to justice. He also expressed Qatar’s condolences and sympathy to the friendly governments and to the families of the victims killed in this criminal attack, and wished recovery to wounded people.”

The police and members of the militant group continue to exchange gunfire today, and hostages remain trapped inside the upscale Westgate complex for a second day today.

The Kenyan embassy in Qatar could not immediately be reached for comment.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by Business Insider on Twitter