During his address to the Indian diaspora in Ethiopia, President Ram Nath Kovind on 4 October said that the Indian community abroad has contributed in building good relations around the world.
"It is my first visit out of India after being elected as President and I have been struck by the extraordinary goodwill, love and affection for India in this country. Out community around the world has contributed in building our grovel relations," said President Kovind.
He further said that the Indians here have been at the center of India-Ethiopia relations and have contributed immensely with their knowledge and skills to grow Ethiopian industries.
"As teachers and educators you have given a helping hand to the nation building in this country. As entrepreneurs you have created economic opportunities and imparted skills to local leaders and as tech professionals and workers you have added knowledge, value and expertise to the Ethiopian industry," said President Kovind.
Adding, "Our contemporary, people to people connect, is just one part of the India and Ethiopia story. We have been engaging and embracing our Ethiopian brothers and sisters for ages."
He also elaborated on how Indians landed in Ethiopia long back as merchants and monks with spices and thoughts and took back the Ethiopian wisdom.
"Out forefathers first came to this biblical land years ago. They came as merchants and monks as explorers and travelers. They came with spices and took back the golden wisdom of Abyssinia," said President Kovind.
"Centuries later our engagement becomes more sedentary. Indian merchants and artisans started settling down here. This may be the family story up many of you here are present, especially those from Gujarat and western India," he added.
He also assured the Indians residing in Ethiopia of complete help and support by the Indian government.
"To our Indian community, here I assure that we will be behind you to hold and support you."
"As we all know your approach to an engagement to Ethiopian people has also been quite helpful through cricket tournaments and Bollywood musicals you have captured their hearts and minds. What else can possibly explain that people here have learnt Hindi not to express themselves but to hum and sing Bollywood tune," he added.
He further said, India wants to do more as development partner for Ethiopia, where the Indian community can be a critical connect between the two countries.
"With India's growing stature and recognition come greater expectations and responsibilities. We want to do more as a development partner for Ethiopia. You can be a critical connect between the two countries."
President Kovind, who arrived in Addis Ababa from Djibouti, was received at the airport by his Ethiopian counterpart Mulatu Teshome.
This is the first visit by an Indian president to Ethiopia in 45 years after President VV Giri's trip in 1972.
The president will be addressing the India-Ethiopia Business Dialogue, and along with Teshome, he will also inaugurate the Indian Technology and Innovation Exposition, which is being organised here by FICCI from October 5-7.
Earlier on 3 October, Kovind, while addressing nearly 200 Indians in Djibouti, thanked the country for their role in helping Indians to evacuate from Yemen two years ago.
On his first overseas visit after assuming office, the President of India also stressed, "We should not ignore or isolate our roots, no matter where we stay."