A new partnership between Ethiopia and the Gambian government aims to tackle a major poverty problem that has plagued the country for decades.
In the last four years, more than 1.4 million Gambians have been displaced due to land disputes between neighbouring countries.
But now, Ethiopia and Gambia have launched a new initiative called Ethiopia and Zambia Development Projects to address the crisis.
The initiative is the result of Ethiopia’s decision to work with Zambia to develop and build a new high-speed railway linking the two countries.
“We hope to become a partner in this project,” Ethiopia’s Minister of Development, Agriculture and Tourism, Haji Ali Gebre, told the BBC.
The new project, named Ethiopia and South Africa Development, aims to increase the speed of the railway and develop land that can be used for agriculture.
Ethiopia is also investing $500 million to build a high-tech park in the Gambias capital, Accra.
“It will be one of the first infrastructure projects of this kind,” Mr Gebra told the news agency.
“This is a significant investment, and one of its biggest challenges is that it will take many years.”
The Gambia is a developing country with a long history of conflict and poverty.
More than one in four Gambians live below the poverty line, and a quarter of Gambias children live in extreme poverty.
About 40% of the population is female.
It is also a country with the highest infant mortality rate in sub-Saharan Africa.
Ethiopia has a long-standing relationship with Zambias capital Accra, with which it has developed a railway, and in the early 1990s, Zambia helped Ethiopia with its first high-technology park.
But the relationship has soured in recent years due to political tensions between the two states.
In 2018, Zambias president and prime minister were charged over allegations of corruption.
Ethiopia and its neighbours have struggled to resolve land disputes.
Ethiopia, Zambes neighbours, and African Union countries are struggling to deal with the legacy of the Gambi civil war that erupted in 1991.
The war, which claimed more than 200,000 lives, has left the country in ruins.
The conflict ended when the UN peacekeeping force was disbanded in 2015.
The country is currently fighting a civil war between government forces and fighters from the rebel group, FDLR, which is believed to be fighting for independence from the country.
Ethiopia signed a peace deal in 2018, but a new war erupted in 2018 that left more than 6,000 people dead and caused widespread destruction.
Ethiopia was recently criticised for its slow response to the conflict.
Zambia’s President of the country, Paul Kagame, has said the conflict should not be used as a bargaining chip in peace negotiations.