A Public Meeting by high officials of the Government of Ethiopia was held in London on 24th April 2010
April 28 2010
A high level delegation, led by H.E. Ambassador Tewolde Gebru visited London recently. The delegation included W/ro Genet Wolde, Speaker of the House of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region, Ato Alemayehu Atomsa, Head of Public Relations of the Oromia Region and Ato Tesfaye Wolde, a Representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The government officials gave a detailed account for a great number of participants of different political persuasions, about the political, economic and social developments that are taking place in Ethiopia.
The officials elaborated the wide range of development activities being carried out to expand the healthcare service as well as the coverage of primary, secondary, tertiary and vocational education throughout the country.
Primary education is now accessible to all children. The expansion of secondary education in the country is increasing, while 23 universities have been constructed and ten more are in the pipeline, which will improve tertiary education. In line with the expansion of education coverage, the government is implementing a range of strategies that will improve the quality of education.
In the health sector, besides constructing health posts in every kebele in the country, 30,000 health extension workers have been trained and deployed, most of whom are women.
With regard to infrastructure development, this year the country’s road network has increased by 20 percent since 2005.
In the telecommunications sector, fibre-optic cables now link Ethiopia with the rest of the world through major ports in neighboring countries, school-net and agri-net programmes are being implemented and land-line and mobile telephone coverage have massively expanded during the past 5 years.
Regarding the expansion of the supply of electricity, mega hydro-electric projects have been constructed in different parts of the country and power coverage has grown immensely.
As a result of all these development activities, Ethiopia has registered double digit economic growth for the past six consecutive years.
Concerning the upcoming Fourth National election scheduled to take place on May 23rd 2010, the members of the delegation gave detailed accounts about the measures taken so far. The three main targets of the government are first, to conduct a free, fair and democratic election, second to make the election credible so that it satisfies the public and finally to win the majority vote and lead the country for the coming five years.
To achieve these targets, the officials said, the election law has been improved, a new electoral board has been established, opposition political parties are participating in the nomination of board members and a new election code of conduct has been agreed and signed by 65 parties including the ruling party.
In addition, media air-time has being allocated to contesting parties so they can reach out and communicate their party policies and programmes to the voters. Financial support has also been allocated for political parties and international and local observers are ready to observe the elections.
NB: the full video version of the discussion will be available soon.