Ginbot - 20 (May 28) commemorated in London

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Addis Ababa, 6 June 2014 (WIC) - Ethiopians, development partners and friends of Ethiopia converged at the Ethiopian Embassy in London in a colourful celebration of the 23rd anniversary of Ginbot – 20 (May 28), which led to the emergence of a new democratic order.

Ethiopia has guaranteed the human and democratic rights of its people in a new constitution that has liberated nations, nationalities and peoples, stipulating their right to self - administration on the basis of equality and justice.

Under the leadership of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), significant changes have been achieved in all sectors of the macro economy, making Ethiopia one of the ten fastest growing economies in the world.

Massive projects now under construction are at the centre of the five-year Growth and Transformation Plan that envisages expanding health and education facilities, infrastructure development, telecommunications and power generation.

In a speech at the event, Berhanu Kebede, Ethiopian Ambassador to the UK, said the new government took no time in mapping out plans setting its priorities and identifying poverty as a formidable enemy that should be addressed immediately, to reverse the downslide of the economy, which badly needed an overhaul.

The Government of Ethiopia, he noted, set in motion pro-poor policies to pull the national economy out of the doldrums, has modernized agriculture and industry, expanded educational and health facilities, created an environment conducive to peace and stability and put in place a new democratic order.

Comprehensive development plans, drawn up to tackle the root causes of deprivation, have reduced deep-seated misery and abject poverty. Ethiopian agriculture-led industrialization has triggered improvements in farming techniques and the use of fertilizers and improved seeds, leading to consecutive bumper harvests.

Ethiopia has become food secure at the national level, bringing its annual crop production to over 250 million quintals. The transformation in agriculture is feeding into the budding large-scale manufacturing industries.

Rising Foreign Direct Investment, a number of new ventures and investments, a flourishing tourism sector and the critical involvement of the private sector as the engine of economic growth and development, are unmistakable signs of the new emerging Ethiopia, which is the second most populous nation in sub-Saharan Africa.

Today I am proud to tell you companies like Unilever, Tesco, Diageo, Nyota Minerals, South West, Pittards and many more are operating in Ethiopia, as partners of our development that is fast-changing the Ethiopian economic landscape, the Ambassador said.

The long-standing and amicable bilateral relationship with the UK is gaining momentum and cooperation on issues of common interests have reached a new high with the exchange of visits at the highest levels.

As a nation highly focused on its transformation, Ethiopia has been undertaking mega projects including the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and other hydro-dams, which are expected to produce 10,000 MW of electricity by 2017.

It is also engaged in the construction of ten sugar factories, 37 cement factories, about three thousand kms of rail network, 130,000 kms of roads, health and education facilities, as well as telecom and ICT facilities.

A mosaic of nations and nationalities, Ethiopia celebrates unity in diversity. In addition, Ethiopia, as one of the founding members of the Organization of African Unity and the seat of the African Union and the Economic Commission of Africa is a staunch supporter of sustainable development and regional peace and stability on the continent and beyond.

It is working tirelessly, alongside IGAD and other AU member states, for peace and security across the continent and globally as part of the international community.

Expressing his conviction that Ethiopia would register impressive gains in the pursuit of faster development, Ambassador Berhanu called on compatriots and partners to forge cooperation for the success of the shared objective of seeing a modern, prosperous and viable Ethiopia in the years to come.

At the event, bouquets of flower were presented to H.E. Khaled Al-Duwaisan GCVO, who is the
Ambassador of the State of Kuwait and the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps as well as Alistair
Harrison, Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps.

In remarks he made, Alistair Harrison congratulated the people and Government of Ethiopia on their economic achievement, which he described as exemplary.

He said the UK government would continue in its partnership on development to see Ethiopia become a nation with a vibrant economy. Khaled Al-Duwaisan GCVO congratulated Ethiopia on its 23rd anniversary of Ginbot-20 and referred to its long history and the recent development and progress the nation has achieved.

Video footage depicting the socio-economic transformation in Ethiopia was screened and a musical show by Dankira, an award winning musical group, staged as part of the entertainment program at the event. Present on the occasion were parliamentarians, government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, Ethiopians residing in the UK and invited guests. (Press release from Ethiopian embassy in UK)

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