The spokesperson of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, H.E. Ambassador Dina Mufti, gave the Ministry’s biweekly press briefing today (January 13, 2021) to the media. In his presentation, the Ambassador focused on political and Economic diplomacy as well as citizen-cantered diplomatic activities over the week.
I. Political Diplomacy
Prime Minister H.E. Abiy Ahmed held a phone conversation with the United States President, Joseph R. Biden, Jr. The two leaders discussed current issues in Ethiopia, bilateral relations as well as regional issues. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed shared with President Joseph Biden the status of Ethiopia’s role of law operations in the Northern part of the country as well as the efforts being made by the Government to address issues in relation to humanitarian assistance, human rights and rebuilding efforts in recently liberated areas. Both leaders affirmed the commitment to strengthen bilateral relations and to work collaboratively on matters of mutual concern.
The Ethiopian Diaspora Agency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia have held a symposium on Pan-Africanism on Tuesday (January 11).
State Minister H.E. Ambassador Birtukan Ayano had delivered a keynote speech raising many points on Ethiopia’s contribution to Africa and the ideals of Pan-Africanism. She said:
• Changes in leadership in Ethiopia have never changed Ethiopia’s commitment and loyalty to African causes.
• Africans should celebrate their success for meeting some of the ideals of Pan-Africanism, citing resistance movements against racial discrimination, colonialism, and neo-colonialism.
• She also thanked Africans and people of African descent for the solidarity that they have continued to show to Ethiopia in times of its needs, citing the 1935 mistreatment of Ethiopia by the League of Nations.
• She highlighted that although Ethiopia was frequently dragged to the Security Council almost every month by some forces, it was the Africans and friends of Africa that rescued us from unjustified attacks, she said.
On the occasion, two research papers were presented by H.E. Ambassador Tesfaye Yilma, Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the AU and ECA, and Dr. Samuel Tefera from Addis Ababa University African and Asian Studies Department:
• Ambassador Tesfaye Yilma, spoke on “Ethiopia, the AU, and the Diaspora in the context of Pan-Africans. ”He talked about the importance of AU flagship projects, such as the undergoing construction of the building for Africa CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) in Addis Ababa in collaboration with the government of China and the formation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
• Dr. Samuel Tefera called on the African Diaspora to act as Ambassadors to Africa in dispelling false narratives on the continent and shaping the foreign policies of international actors toward Africa and transferring knowledge for the industrialization of the continent.
The symposium drew more than 250 guests comprising Ambassadors of African Countries accredited to Ethiopia, and diplomats from Latin America and Eurasia, Ethiopians in the Diaspora, and friends of Ethiopia from African and Caribbean countries. The symposium entertained lively discussions on the ideals of Pan-Africanism and suggestions to hold such kinds of meetings on a yearly basis.
The Ethiopian ambassador in France, H.E. Henok Tefera had held productive discussions with Pan-African organizations in Paris on how to promote better links between all Africans in France and the home continent. They have agreed to work together on a sustained and continuous basis to promote travel and tourism to the continent, African cultures and history, Pan-African events, and African products.
Ethiopian Ambassador in South Sudan, H.E. Nebil Mahdi held talks with Honourable Angelina Teny, Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs of the Republic of South Sudan. The ambassador said the destructive acts of the TPLF have now been reversed due to the ENDF’s measures and Ethiopians unity at home and abroad. The Minister, on her part, said the Ethiopian Government has ensured that it has full capacity to stabilize its internal situations. She also said that the stability in Ethiopia is the stability of the whole region and Africa as well, she added. The two sides have also held deliberations on other issues of common concern.
The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in Nairobi, H.E. Meles Alem, had a meeting with the Acting Director of United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) Africa Office, Mr. Oumar Sylla. During the deliberations, the Ambassador and Mr. Sylla exchanged ideas on the major of cooperation between the Government of Ethiopia and UN-Habitat such as sustainable solid waste management, institutional coordination in the urban sector and urban development, technical support for integrated regional urban planning, resettlement of IDPs, and the WASH project.
II. Economic Diplomacy
State Minister H.E. Ambassador Redwan Hussein urged the Ethiopian community in the Diaspora to boost trade and investment activities in Ethiopia through their active engagements. The Ambassador made the call while delivering a keynote speech during a forum on ‘Diaspora Investment’ organized by the Investment Commission of Ethiopia. He also appreciated Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia in the Diaspora for their spectacular commitment to defending Ethiopia’s interests in times of its needs. He said Ethiopians in the Diaspora by Transferring money via legally recognized institutions, marketing Ethiopian made products, and investing in Ethiopia could help their country to minimize economic dependence and fight undue pressures.
An online discussion was held with stakeholders aimed at exporting Ethiopian leather and leather products to Greece. The talks, organized by the FDRE Embassy in Rome, were attended by investors and officials from the Ethiopian Leather Institute, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ethiopia and Greece. During the meeting, Ambassador Demitu Hambisa said Ethiopia has great potential to supply leather and leather products.
Ethiopian Ambassador in Sudan, H.E. Yibeltal Aemero, discussed with the leaders of Goldmine, a mining company in Sudan. He told them about the many investment opportunities available in Ethiopia and the government’s commitment to supporting foreign investors in Ethiopia. He said Ethiopia is the seat of the African Union and several international organizations, and the fact that Ethiopian Airlines flies to many countries will provide a good opportunity for investors to promote their products in many countries.
III. Citizen Centred Diplomacy/ Supporting Rehabilitation efforts
The Inter-religious Council of Ethiopia and Kenya signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday highlighting the message of compassion, healing, peace, mutual respect, and human dignity among people. The MoU is said to advance the people-to-people relationships between Ethiopia and Kenya by drawing on inter-religious, inter-cultural, and inter-civilization dialogue and cooperation between the two countries.
The Ethiopian embassy in Switzerland had held an online discussion with Ethiopians and Ethiopian-born professionals working in the health and other sectors in Switzerland on ways to reconstruct destroyed health facilities due to the conflict. Ethiopian Ambassador in Geneva, H.E. Zenebe Kebede, thanked all the participants for their prompt response to the FDRE Ministry of Health’s urgent call to rehabilitate destroyed medical institutions and supply looted medicine and medical equipment.
Dr. Mohamed Andris, Deputy Director General of the Ethiopian Diaspora Agency and Coordinator of the National Secretariat said the first round trip to Amhara and Afar regions affected by the conflict has been successfully completed. He said the Diaspora had witnessed the terrorist group’s extensive damage to the region’s infrastructure and facilities and was motivated to rebuild the area by developing better projects.
The Ethiopian Diaspora Agency had organized a forum to discuss what is expected of Ethiopians in the Diaspora in supporting rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in areas that are affected by the conflict in the northern part of Ethiopia. High level government officials from the Ministries of Education, Health, Transport and Logistics, Labor and Social Affairs, and Commissioner of the National Disaster Risk Management Commission have tabled reports on the level of destruction caused by the conflict. Their reports detailed the extent of damages to human lives, livelihoods, and displacements of people as well as the unprecedented destruction on health and education facilities, including public and private service giving institutions.
The Ethiopian Embassy in Israel has held a farewell ceremony to Ethiopians, people of Ethiopian descent, and friends of Ethiopia in Israel who are responding to Prime Minister, H.E. Abiy Ahmed’s call for the Great Ethiopian Home Coming Challenge. Present at the event, H.E. Ambassador Reta Alemu appreciated what Ethiopians in the Diaspora have done in defending Ethiopia’s interests and called on the home comers to participate in the rehabilitation and restoration activities at home.