His Excellency Ambassador Berhanu Kebede welcomed MPs last night. Ethiopian community leaders and business people from both the UK and Ethiopia were also at the dinner. The business dinner was held at the Ethiopian Embassy Londonon the 31st of October. The dinner was jointly hosted by the Ambassador and Laurence Robertson MP, the chairman of the Ethiopia All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG).
The event marked the long-standing relations that exist between Ethiopia and the United Kingdom. The relationship between the two countries have gathered momentum particularly in the last 21 years. During the past 21 years the people and government of Ethiopia have been engaged in a political and economic transformation process, the Ambassador said in a welcoming speech.
Ethiopia’s renaissance process has registered significant results with the economy growing at a rate of above 11% for the past 10 years. Ethiopia is on track to become a middle-income country by 2025. The huge expansion of infrastructure in the energy, transport health and education sectors is remarkable. The increase in universities from 2 to 32 – has put the Ethiopian development process onto a sustainable path, the Ambassador said.
Alongside economic success has been the building of democratic institutions and Ethiopia’s pivotal role in bringing peace and stability to the region, both recently in Somalia and Sudan where Ethiopian troops remain in Abyei and Darfur, and previously elsewhere on the continent of Africa and beyond it. Ethiopia has contributed and is committed to the global fight against international terrorism.
Ambassador Berhanu Kebede praised the leadership of the late Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi
The Ambassador praised the leadership of the late Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi who had left a strong legacy. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi had represented Africa to great effect on the issue of climate change at G8, G20 and in other international fora.
“In all its endeavours to bring peace and stability in the region, and to bring sustainable development in Africa, Ethiopia has been working closely with the United Kingdom. The current Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, has repeatedly stated that Ethiopia will continue the legacy of the late Prime Minister, which includes the enhancement of the partnership between our two nations” the Ambassador said.
The Ambassador welcomed the news that a parliamentary and business delegation, led by Laurence Robertson MP, was to visit Ethiopia soon. The Ambassador especially felt that UK companies have not yet exploited enough the trade and investment opportunities that exist in Ethiopia. Recent developments involving Diageo, Nyota, Tullow Oil and Pittards have encouraged multi-national companies to recognise Ethiopia as a potential investment destination.
In a responding speech, Laurence Robertson MP praised the progress that Ethiopia had made. He confirmed the UK government’s commitment to on-going support for Ethiopia. Ethiopia receives the largest amount of UK aid given to any developing country because of the Ethiopian government’s effectiveness in spending it. He said he was very pleased that an APPG delegation was to leave for Ethiopia soon accompanied by UK business people which would help further strengthen the excellent relations that exist between the two countries.
Over 60 guests enjoyed full Ethiopian hospitality – a wide range of delicious dishes, drinks and the traditional coffee ceremony, and were able to establish mutually beneficial relations.
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