By Tsehaye Debalkew
June 10, 2012
Patriotic Ethiopians and Ethiopian- Americans residing in and around the Metropolitan Area of Washington D.C. launched a triumphant fund raising event by purchasing bonds channeled towards the building of the Grand Renaissance Dam amounting to the tune of $ 1,500, 000 at the Chancery of the Ethiopian Embassy in the nation's capital here yesterday.
In what was a successful trail blazer occasion for other compatriot Ethiopians and Ethiopian-Americans in North America the event was graced by the presence of a high- level Ethiopian delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister and Chairman of the National Renaissance Council, Haile Mariam Desalegn.
The event which highlighted the all-round participation by Ethiopians and Ethiopian- Americans domiciling in the D.C. Metro Area in the realization of the building of the Grand Renaissance Dam, Africa's first 6000 MW Power House attracted an enthusiastic group of dignitaries and invited guests of more than 250.
Ato Negussie Birratu, Chairman of the D.C. Renaissance Council briefed the congregation of the activities undertaken by the leadership team to make the event a success and thanked all who at this historic juncture have heroically stood to be counted.
A power-point presentation which galvanized the audience followed by a robust question and answer session was made on the occasion by the General Manager of the Grand Renaissance Dam and Chief Engineer of the historic gigantic project Ato Simegnew Bekele.
The Chief Engineer revealed the strenuous effort made by the government and pertinent professionals who painstakingly took a great amount of necessary time to analyze and assess previous studies and execute on the ground appraisal before the offing of the project.
The Executive Manager stipulated to the audience the all-round national, regional and international importance of the Dam and its multi- dimensional implications for the all-over industrialization of our country and its timeliness.
Ambassador Girma Birru, Special Envoy and Ambassador Extra-ordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the US and non-resident envoy to Mexico, apprised the packed audience of the monumental task achieved in the last few months.
In this regard he recalled the egregious task was that of organizing Ethiopians and Ethiopian-Americans in North America by creating an enabling situation for them primarily to benefit themselves and play a worthwhile role in putting their hand in the nation building process by implanting their imprint to be reminisced by coming generations.
In his revealing statement the Ethiopian Special Envoy recounted the propitious political climate which is prevalent in present day Ethiopia that allows the free participation of the citizenry in matters ranging from the right to assembly, association, expression and faith up to and including the basic right to vote in elections that are held regularly at the county, district, state and federal levels.
He underscored that hitherto over 1200 Ethiopians and Ethiopian-Americans who have spurred all Ethiopians and Ethiopian-Americans to task have made it possible to chip in close to $4,000,000 in the form of bond purchases have taken leadership across the more than 45 cities in North America by forming Renaissance Councils. In continuation he made the clarion call up all Diaspora Ethiopians to further enhance their participation by way of accelerating their share in the nation building process presently in high gear.
The guest of honor whose stewardship of the high- level Ethiopian delegation was succinct, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister and Chairman of the National Renaissance Council, Haile Mariam Desalegn finally made a keynote address by praising the courageous Ethiopians and Ethiopian-Americans for making a positive difference by debunking pernicious prevarications by the few elements of doom and gloom who relentlessly voice doomsday theories.
The D/PM, FM and Chairman of the National Renaissance Council brought to light the determined commitment of the Ethiopian people and government to see through the final consummation of the project in the slotted time and made a salient appeal to all Diaspora Ethiopians to make their due contribution and race for going down in history in this time of rare occurrence of Renaissance and seize the hour.
Upon the invitation by Ambassador Mulie Tarekegn, Deputy Chief of Mission and Head of the Diaspora Community Department of the Embassy who was the Emcee of the Event, representatives of the D.C. Renaissance Council presented the D/PM and FM a plaque with the Bond Purchase of a little over $ 1, 500,000 inscribed on it.