The Committee had a number of meetings that gave them a broad understanding of the political, economic and humanitarian situation on the continent, the interaction between the UN and the AU, as well as the security situation and ongoing peacekeeping operations.
The Committee met with the the chairperson of the AU Commission Dlamini-Zuma and the Commissioners for Economic Affairs and Infrastructure & Energy; three of Dlamini-Zuma's special advisers; Commissioner for Peace and Security Chergui; and Commissioner for Political Affairs Abdullahi. In all the meetings, the AU representatives referred to the newly signed agreement for strategic partnership (MoU) between AU and Norway as an important platform for further cooperation. Dlamini-Zuma spoke of Norway as a country that has always been a friend of Africa and hoped Norway's partnership with the AU would go beyond peace and security to include economic development. She emphasized the interest for cooperation on better utilization and management of Africa's "Blue Economy", where Norway can play an important role in capacity building.
The Committee had the opportunity to visit projects funded by Norway in the field. On Wednesday, the delegation travelled about 100 km west of Addis Ababa towards Ambo. They visited Chillimo forest, an area where they got to see participatory forest management, national green growth strategies, and programs such as REDD +, Energy + and climate smart agriculture. In Ambo town, the focus was on Norway's work with human rights, more specific a free legal aid project. The delegation also visited Ambo prison, where the project provides free legal assistance to inmates.
The Norwegian Government has selected Ethiopia as one of Norway's focus countries in their development cooperation, and it was therefore important for the Committee to get a better understanding of the situation in Ethiopia. The Committee met Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom and discussed both the situation in the Horn of Africa, human rights and the upcoming elections in Ethiopia. The delegation discussed the economic and social development with the State Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, and green growth with the Minister of Environment. They also met with the Human Rights Commission, the opposition, Norwegian civil society organizations and the UN Resident Coordinator.