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Ethiopian Ambassador to the US Addresses Southeast Model
African Union 2011 Confab at Savannah State University

By Tsehaye Debalkew
Nov. 14 2011

The government of Ethiopia is positively disposed of to encourage and initiate cordial and ever burgeoning partnerships, between Ethiopian universities which are currently in the up-shoot in their phenomenal numerical strength and their sustainably ascending students and pedagogical growth on the merit of just and fair distribution upon the vast expanse of our country and their American counterparts for the mutual benefit of our sisterly nations.

The foregoing clarion call was made by Ambassador Girma Birru, Special Envoy and Ambassador Extra-ordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, to the US in a keynote statement he made at the Southeast Model African Union 2011 held at Savannah State University Addressing a packed audience of over 200 students and staff members in Savannah Georgia, last Thursday November 10, 2011.

Ambassador Girma praised the frontrunners who had conceived and designed the original and novice enterprise which he alludedto is convened to replicate model African Union meetings of the Executive Council and the Assembly of Heads of State and Government gathering which embodies so much positive value and good will, he reiterated.  Continuing his remarks Ambassador Girma underscored by saying that "I believe this forum will bring out information and analysis about Africa based on objective research.

"This is particularly important to American students, and the new generation primarily because of the obvious organic ties between Africa and the United States of America. Besides those connections, however, there is a critical necessity for the story of Africa to be told in the USA from an informed and factual perspective", he underlined.

Ambassador Girma succinctly compared the traditional and cynical pattern of presenting Africa by regrettably extorting that, "unfortunately, Africa rather appears to be defined by scary media stories, as well as reports of doom and gloom by some think tank and advocacy groups often replete with pre-conceived prejudices and stereotyping.  

It is a vital forum he exuded "to highlight an alternative narrative of the objective situation in the African continent as a place of hope and potential prosperity" and commended the organizers for the excellent initiative, and the provision of such an auspicious platform for an objective discussion about Africa.  

Ambassador Girma highlighted the ups and downs that the pioneering continental body, the OAU had traversed to bring its offshoot, the African Union (AU) and its various initiatives to its present encouraging fruition and focus of engagement, which is trying its level best to address its current challenges collectively in the spirit of Pan-African solidarity.

He went on to add that, it should be recalled that this same spirit was galvanized by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) during the struggle against colonialism and apartheid. Today the AU is leading a different struggle to liberate Africa from poverty, backwardness and conflict, he emphasized.

To demonstrate his assertion, the Ethiopian Special Envoy brought to light the timely role that the New Partnership for Africa`s Development (NEPAD) is playing as a tool of a comprehensive AU framework designed to manage the continents strategic partnerships and to harness the collective effort to extricate Africa from poverty, he surmised.

As a result of the efforts mentioned and other enabling factors, Africa is making significant progress in many aspects of its socio-economic development, he pin-pointed.

In this respect brought to the fore that, it is a source of confidence and optimism to see some African countries in the list of the fastest growing economies in the world.  He further stated that the list was compiled by the Economist magazine, which is an expert media outlet in the field. "This compelling testimony was not borne out of sympathy, but rather is the strength of the development trajectory in Africa. I am pleased to note that my country Ethiopia is in this list," the Ambassador accentuated.

The three-day special event was accompanied by African displays, Black Diamond Dance Troupe Performance and African fashion, Live Entertainment awards and certificates of participation, activities that had elevated the occasion to simulate and reflect African realities.