Ethiopia Zooms in On Public Diplomacy With U.S.

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Ethiopia will work to capitalize on the large Diaspora to further consolidate ties with the government of the United States and promote its vision of development, peace, democracy and fair utilization of Nile waters through the year of 2013, Ethiopian Ambassador to the U.S. said.

Speaking to The Ethiopian Herald, Ethiopian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the U.S., Fitsum Arega stated that prime attention has been given to employ Ethiopians and foreigners of Ethiopian origin to lobby the U.S. government in that Ethiopia has full right to utilize cross-border rivers in an equitable manner. Ambassador Fitsum highlighted that the majority of the Ethiopian Diaspora living in the U.S. want to see a country with strong and vibrant economy and prosperity; and they have been hugely engaged in informing the various U.S. government institutions that the GERD is being built in a way that ensures the benefits of Nile lower riparian countries.

Noting that the Ethio-US cooperation is growing as they are working hard to enhance partnerships in a range of sectors, he said that consolidated diplomatic efforts are underway to aware the U.S. policy making bodies that the GERD will have positive outcomes to both Egypt and Sudan. “Ethiopia and the U.S. have worked in partnership for many years to combat terrorism and their collaboration has been witnessed success by bringing peace and stability in the turbulent Horn of African region.”

Equal consideration has also been given to mobilize the Diaspora’s economic participation in some priority areas including agriculture, agro-processing, health, tourism, trade and industry thereby contributing share to their home country’s development. The diplomatic missions encourage members of the Diaspora to set up joint ventures with U.S. companies that would significantly contribute to the enormous knowledge and technology transfer to Ethiopia.

“The government understands that an integrated engagement of the Diaspora is important towards the realization of Ethiopia’s prosperity,” the ambassador stated, adding that the Embassy has been exerting effort to widen the commendable investment the Diaspora have registered in the health sector to other areas.

He further pointed out that the diplomatic missions have been hugely engaged in promoting Ethiopia’s conducive business climate and government’s commitment to foreign investment. Accordingly, the Ethio-America Doctors Association has built a state-of-the-art hospital in Addis Ababa whilst members of the Diaspora witness a growing desire to partake in Ethiopia’s medical industry.

U.S.-based medical professionals have also actively involved in government’s COVID-19 control efforts and they have been availing coronavirus preventive medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE) and webinar trainings to health professionals. Members of the Diaspora also donated one million USD to ease the economic impacts of the pandemic.

According to Ambassador Fitsum, Ethiopia is committed to strengthen governance and political pluralism in keeping with the principles enshrined in its constitution and it has been partnering with the U.S. government to bring radicalized individuals who took part in the attack of diplomatic missions to justice.

The diplomatic missions will exert maximum efforts to closely working with the Diaspora and encouraging the latter to support the development of the country, in particular Dine for Ethiopia Program financially, professionally and in other ways in the New Year, the ambassador remarked.

Ethiopia and the U.S. established diplomatic relations in 1903.

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