Ethiopian PM announces navy plans

Awasa, Ethiopia Photo: Wikimedia/Joe Castleman Awasa, Ethiopia

Ethiopia is planning to build a navy, despite having no direct access to the coast.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced the plan at a briefing with heads of the country’s National Defense Force, saying, "We must strengthen our capacity for [a] naval force in the future."

Ethiopia has been investing heavily in port infrastructure. It has agreed to develop Port Sudan on the Red Sea and has swapped shares in state-owned ports, airlines and telecommunications with neighbouring Djibouti.

A landlocked country having a navy isn’t unusual: Bolivia, Mongolia and Rwanda all maintain a small naval service.

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