Newsletter of the Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to Canada
VOL.II. No.2 May 2015
Embassy Celebrates Ginbot -20 and the
50th Anniversary of the Establishment of
Diplomatic Relations between Ethiopia
and Canada
The Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic
of Ethiopia to Canada celebrated the 24thanniversary of the overthrow of the Dergue and
the golden jubilee of the establishment of EthioCanada diplomatic relations by holding a
reception at the Chateau Laurier on May 28th in
The colorful celebration was attended by
Canadian government officials, members of the
House of Commons, Senators, the Ottawa
diplomatic community and members of the
Ethiopian community.
H.E. Birtukan Ayano, Ambassador Extraordinary
and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Democratic
Republic of Ethiopia to Canada, remarked in her
speech that May 28 is a momentous day for the
peoples of Ethiopia as it brought to an end nearly
two decades of war and instability. She added that
it was a historic day for the Nations, Nationalities
and Peoples of Ethiopia as it was the beginning of
real transition to peace, stability, democracy and
economic development. She noted that Ethiopia’s
significant achievement in socio economic
development, the ability to implement huge
infrastructural projects and the stable peace and
security are all results of the May 28 Victory
which fundamentally changed the country for the
H.E. Ambassador Birtukan in her remarks on the
50th anniversary of the establishment of
diplomatic relations between Ethiopia and
Canada, said that people to people relations
between the two countries are much longer than
the fifty years of official government to
government relations. She recalled how Canada
and Canadians were among the first to be there for
Ethiopians by deploying massive humanitarian
assistance when Ethiopia was faced with
catastrophic drought and famine in 1984-85. She
noted that since 1991 relations with Canada are
gaining momentum as they are based on strong
partnership and common commitment to eradicate
poverty. She called on Canadian investors and
The Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in Ottawa is located at
1501 - 2 75 Slater Street, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1P 5H9. Tel: 613 565 6637 Fax: 613 565 9175
e-mail: [email protected] , Website:
business people to make use of the attractive
investment and trade opportunity in Ethiopia.
account of Ethiopia’s development and progress.
He particularly mentioned Ethiopia’s investment
in its youth. He also called on Canadian
businesses to join in one of the fastest growing
markets in Africa.
Members of Ethiopian Community in
Ottawa, Calgary Celebrate Ginbot-20
Ethiopians and Ethiopian Canadians in Ottawa
and Calgary celebrated Ginbot -20, victory, the
24th anniversary of the overthrow of the military
dictatorship of the derg in Ethiopia.
On the occasion the guest of honor representing
the Canadian government Hon. Lois Brown,
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of
International Development, congratulated the
people and government of Ethiopia on Ginbot 20
and the 50th anniversary of the establishment of
diplomatic relations between Ethiopia and
Canada. Hon. Lois Brown highlighted major
bilateral cooperation projects completed in
Ethiopia by Canadian assistance. She also
mentioned that there is a strong potential in
further strengthening participation of Canadian
business and investment in Ethiopia. She
expressed her wish for a stronger and vibrant
Ethio-Canada ties in the years to come.
Among the dignitaries present on the occasion,
Senator Don Meredith also gave his eye-witness
The community celebration in Ottawa was
conducted on May 31 in a town hall meeting. On
the occasion, H.E. Ambassador Birtukan Ayano,
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of
the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to
Canada, delivered a speech that emphasized
Ginbot-20 as the basis for Ethiopia’s current
strong track record on economic development and
poverty alleviation. She also noted the day marks
the beginning of Ethiopia’s democratic journey
and briefed the audience on the process of the
recent 5th general election Ethiopia conducted.
On the occasion, leaders of different community
organizations made remarks and took the
opportunity to call on members of the community
to support the ongoing development activities in
their homeland.
Similarly, members of the Ethiopian diaspora in
Calgary celebrated the Ginbot-20 on May 30,
2015. Participants of the event vowed to be active
participants in Ethiopia’s various development
Ethiopia Conducts 5th General Election
Ethiopia conducted its fifth general election on
May 24, 2015. Since the adoption of a democratic
constitution in 1995, following a comprehensive
dialogue among the country’s nations,
nationalities and peoples, Ethiopia enjoyed a
pluralistic political platform for the people to take
sole ownership of political power and the decision
making process. Professor Merga Bekana,
Chairman of the National Electoral Board of
Ethiopia, noted that the 2015 Election was
characterized by a record number of registered
voters, with nearly 36.8 million voters registered
to cast their ballots at 45,795 polling stations
across the country. This was an increase of 15.3%
over the number of registered voters at the last
election in 2010. 2015 also showed a significant
improvement in the participation of women voters
with 17.87 million out of 36.83 million registered,
over 48.5% of the total. In 2010, the number of
women voters was 15.2 million. The number of
women candidates also showed an increase of
98% over the figure in 2010.
The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia also said
this election showed an improvement in
establishing all the necessary arrangements and
legal platforms required for a free, fair, peaceful
and credible election. After the election, the
National Electoral Board of Ethiopia said the
voting had been completed successfully with a
record turnout and a clear demonstration of
peaceful and orderly voting. The Chairman of the
Board, Professor Merga said he was proud of the
Ethiopian public for “your amazing and peaceful
participation in making the 2015 General Election
stable, smooth, peaceful and successful.”
Similarly, the President of the Coalition of
Ethiopian Civic Associations, Mr. Tadele Yimer
noted that the voting, the counting of votes, the
process of crosschecking and the joint signing of
minutes by political party representatives and
officials were all conducted in a free, democratic
and transparent manner. A total of 250, 000 public
election observers were assigned across all
constituencies and in all polling stations with over
41,000 civic society observers, representatives of
contesting political parties, and 59 African Union
The African Union Election Observer Mission,
headed by Hifikepunye Pohamba, former
President of Namibia, included 50 Short-Term
Observers and nine Long-Term Observers. Its
mandate was to make an independent, impartial
and objective assessment of the 24 May 2015
Parliamentary elections in the Federal Democratic
Republic of Ethiopia.
The Mission made a number of recommendations
and described the election as “calm, peaceful, and
credible” and said it “provided an opportunity for
the Ethiopian people to express their choices at
the polls.” The Mission congratulated the
Government, Nations, Nationalities and Peoples
of Ethiopia for holding of another periodic
election as provided for by the Constitution, and
said it had been “organized and conducted in
accordance with the constitutional and legal
provisions as well as the rule and regulations
governing the conduct of elections in Ethiopia.”
The election has also been “generally consistent
with the AU Guidelines on the Conduct of
Elections in Africa.” The Mission encouraged
“Political Parties, Candidates, their Supporters
and the Electorate to maintain the prevailing
atmosphere of peace that characterized preelection and Election Day and urged the use of
the legal channels of complaints and appeals
should there be any post electoral disputes.”
Ethiopia Inaugurates Wind Farm with
153 MWs
Adama Science and Technology and Mekele
universities were involved in the project.The
government is also ready to seriously involve
universities in other similar projects that the
country would undertake, the premier said.
He pointed out that the production of big
machinery would be carried out locally since the
power generation will be huge in the future.
Hailemariam urged the private sector to get
organized and engage in this sector that is now
handled by the Metal and Engineering
Efforts would be exerted to make the country, not
only self-sufficient in meeting its power needs but
also export electricity to neighboring countries in
the coming ten years, he noted.
Water, Irrigation and Energy Minister,
Alemayehu Tegenu stated that reliable and
sustainable provision of electric power is one of
the crucial inputs to faster economic growth that
the country has been registered.
To fulfill the demand of energy in the country,
renewable power generating projects such as
hydro, wind, geothermal, solar and dry waste is
being used, he indicated.
Adama II Wind Farm, which is capable of
generating 153 megawatts electricity, was
inaugurated on May 18, 2015.
This input would increase the 171 MWs electric
power obtained from wind to 324 MWs.Speaking
at the inauguration ceremony, Prime Minister
Hailemariam Dessalegn said the country is
striving to be among the few countries competing
in the sector by strengthening its activities in
generating renewable energy.
The Adama II Wind Farm Project, which was
launched in 2013, cost 345 million USD, it was
learned.Some 85 percent of the cost was covered
from loan obtained from China and the remaining
sum by Ethiopia.
The wind farm is expected to generate 477 GWs
electricity annually. (May 19/2015).
Addis Ababa – Meiso Railway line
The Addis Ababa- Sebeta- Miesso railway
project, part of the railway line that links Ethiopia
with Djibouti, was inaugurated on May 18, 2015.
has undertaken extensive agricultural activities
during the last five years in order to ensure the
nation's growth and transformation.
Prime Minister HaileMariam Desalegn and other
high level officials attended the inauguration and
the trial of the 340km railway line.
Alongside with this, efforts have been exerted to
enable industrial development take over
agriculture, he added.
The railway line will play major role to boost
trade ties with Djibouti and areas, where the line
crosses in Oromia, Somali and Dire Dawa.
Even though the country's investors have been
engaged in micro and small-scale enterprises as
well as medium industries, the establishment of
industrial park is transforming them to industries,
according to the premier.
The railway will commence operation within the
coming six months.
Adama Industrial Park would be built on 340
hectares of land, it was indicated.
Meanwhile, foundation was also laid for the
establishment of an industrial park with an outlay
of over 1 billion birr in Dire Dawa city.
The cornerstone for the industrial park to be built
on 5,000 hectares of land was laid by the Prime
Construction of other railway lines including the
Sebeta - Dewele will be launched soon, Prime
Minister HaileMariam Desalegn said.
Industrial Park to be Constructed in
Adama, Dire Dawa Cities
The government is ready to provide all the
necessary support for investors engaged in
industrial parks as it wants the industrial sector to
play a leading role in the development of the
country, Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn
He said the leading industrial city in the country
would revive after the completion of this project.
A cornerstone for a modern stadium was also laid
during the ceremony held in the city.
He said the government also plans to construct
additional 5 airports across the country in the
Second GTP.
Gov't Expending 29 Billion
Annually for Road Development
The Prime Minister laid cornerstones for
industrial parks in Adama and Dire Dawa cities.
The nation's road coverage, which was 1,081
kilometers in 1991 has reached 100,000
kilometers, according to the Ethiopian Roads
After laying down the foundation for the
industrial park in Adama, he said the government
The road development sector has been registering
16 percent annual growth, it was indicated. The
road development program underway since 1996
has also been contributing to the development of
the sector.
The country which had no private local
contractors 24 years ago has now 93 contractors
and 60 consultants, he stated.
Authority Communications Director, Samson
Wondimu told ENA that the 100,000 kilometers
asphalt and concrete roads were built with over
180 billion birr in the past 24 years.
The construction of asphalt roads that connect the
nation with Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya and
Djibouti have also been contributing hugely to the
export and import trade of the country, according
to the director. (ENA Addis Ababa May 25/2015)
Out of this, 39,056 km are woreda roads and
24,509 km rural, while 8,984 km are asphalt and
2,084 km gravel roads.
Business and Economy
Moody’s Report Supports Ethiopia
Current Bond Rating of B1
Moody’s Investors Service said in latest comment
on the credit analysis of Ethiopia, on Friday (May
29) that the country’s favorable growth prospects
and low debt burden supported its B1 rating. In a
Credit Analysis it said the current government
bond rating (B1 Stable) is supported by its strong
growth prospects, prudent fiscal management and
large and stable donor inflows. A research report
said "we expect public sector investment to
continue to drive economic expansion in the nearterm, with growth averaging around 10% in real
terms over the next two years.” The report said
risks stemmed from possible external shocks, such
as an economic slowdown in major export
partners, constraints to the financing of Ethiopia's
investment projects, or a protracted slump in
commodity export prices. It said the prudent
government spending controls and efforts to
mobilize domestic revenues had led to low and
stable deficits and noted the five-year plan had
focused on rebalancing the economy and
improving agriculture, rural development and
infrastructure. About 60% of government
spending was directed towards public investment
projects in sectors such as health, education,
agriculture and transport. The report said the
federal government budget execution has been
tight over the last decade and current spending
was closely monitored. At the same time, the
report said tax collection was weak and the
government needed to implement effective
revenue-enhancing measures. Debt servicing costs
had risen slightly but were still low compared to
peers, and the debt burden and servicing costs
were low. The Credit Analysis examines
Ethiopia's credit profile in terms of economic
strength, institutional strength, fiscal strength and
susceptibility to event risk, the four main analytic
factors in Moody's Sovereign Bond Rating
Ethiopian Launches Non-stop Flights
from Addis to Sao Paulo
Ethiopian Airlines, the largest airline in Africa, is
pleased to announce that it has started serving Sao
Paulo, a city in the fifth continent in its route
network, with a non-stop flight from Addis Ababa
since April 25, 2015.
Passengers to and from Sao Paulo will enjoy
maximum connectivity to destinations in
Ethiopian world-wide route network in Africa,
Middle East, Asia and Europe. The new non-stop
flight will enhance travel on the China – Africa –
Brazil trade lane. Addis Ababa, 13 May 2015
Foreign, Local Horticultural Investors
Cultivate 1,787 Hectares of Land
According to a press release from Ethiopian
Airlines, Ethiopian tri-weekly flights to Brazil are
operated using the ultra-modern Boeing 787 from
the major hub in Addis Ababa. The start of this
non-stop service to Sao Paulo reduces transit stops
for customers traveling from the rest of Ethiopian
Brazil is the largest national economy in South
America and the eight in the world. Brazil has a
diversified economy including agriculture,
industry, and a wide range of services such as
ecotourism, leisure and cultural tourism.
Sao Paulo is the biggest city in the country and
has significant cultural, economic and political
influence both nationally and internationally. The
city is home to several important monuments,
parks and museums.
“We are very pleased to be able to enhance the
quality of our product and improve our
competitive edge. The non-stop flight secures
increased connectivity and reduced transit time for
our customers. The new non-stop Addis Ababa –
Sao Paulo flights will provide efficient
connections for customers from almost all of our
destinations in the other four continents we
serve.” said CEO Tewolde Gebremariam.
Some 11 new local and foreign companies have
become operational in horticulture sector this
Ethiopian year.
Director-General of Ethiopian Horticultural
Development Agency, Alem Woldegerima said
that the companies have been cultivating 1,787
hectares of land.
Among the companies, nine are engaged in
vegetables and fruit development and the rest in
floriculture. The farms are located in Oromia,
Amhara, Tigray and Somali regional states, it was
The foreign companies engaged in horticultural
export development sector are from Israel,
Canada, Egypt, Spain, Belgium, India, the
Netherland and Kuwait.
In addition, an Israeli company is finalizing the
process to get engaged in vegetables and fruit
development on over 3,000 hectares of land in
Somali regional state, the director-general stated.
Other companies are meeting the preconditions
for development to cultivate flowers, vegetables
and fruit on 400 hectares of land in Amhara and
Oromia regional states, it was indicated.
The number of investors getting engaged in
horticultural export development has been
growing steadily due to the favorable investment
policy of the country and the support given to
investors, Alem pointed out.
to receive tourists. “So, we are looking at working
towards improving all the services, including
hotels, lodges, transportation and professional tour
"We are working on that heavily in terms of
improving our sites, our services, at the same time
we are introducing Ethiopia to the rest of the
world," noted the CEO.
More than 130 companies are currently engaged
in the sector in Ethiopia and the sector has so far
created over 180,000 permanent and temporary
jobs, it was learnt.
Tourism and Culture
Ethiopia Aim at Being Among Top Five
Tourist Destinations in Africa
The Ethiopian Tourism Organization (ETO) has
said it is making strong efforts to promote
Ethiopia to the rest of the world towards realizing
the vision of becoming among the top five tourist
destinations in Africa by 2025.
During an exclusive interview with Xinhua,
Solomon Tadesse, ETO Chief Executive Officer
(CEO), said his organization has a vision of
having about 5 million tourists to the country to
generate about 7 billion U.S. dollars earnings
from the tourism sector by 2025.
To realize the vision, Solomon said improving
services is one of the top priorities of his
The Blue Nile Falls
"So, one of the responsibilities would be capacity
building as well as marketing products and
destination development, and then working with
all our stakeholders is another important part."
added Tadesse.
With very old history, diverse culture, beautiful
landscape, rich wildlife range as well as suitable
weather, Solomon said Ethiopia has the potential
for tourism, which can contribute to its economic
The CEO also stated that his organization is
working with stakeholders to boost the sector in
the country. (Xinhua)
"Top priority for us now is to make sure that
Ethiopia has all the services, world class services