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Ethiopian-Somali Symposium in Perth/Australia

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On Sunday, 23rd February 2014, the Ambassador of Ethiopia Mr. Arega Hailu Teffera addressed a symposium of Ethiopian-Somalis in Perth from Canberra. The theme of the symposium was to identify major challenges and obstacles that may affect the role of the Diaspora community in positively contributing towards the development of our country.

 Ambassador Arega in his speech has indicated that the celebration of the nations and nationalities day in Somali regional state on December 8, 2013 was  an important and significant political event which has given the people and government of the region the opportunity to host their sisters and brothers from the rest of Ethiopia and showed the achievements in the region after successfully dislodging anti-peace elements in the region.

He also added that the Somali region has made tremendous changes due to the construction of roads, water facilities, irrigation schemes and provision of wireless telecom system as major infrastructure developments. On top of these putting people at the center of development, there is significant growth and improvement in primary education, high schools, vocational training centers and the establishment of Jigjiga University.

 He also mentioned that access to health services has also increased due to the establishment of several clinics, health stations and hospitals.

Finally,  he has encouraged Ethiopian Somalis to actively participate in Ethiopian-Somali Development Association and contribute to the growth and development  of the region and the nation at large through investment, trade, remittances and technology transfer. He also invited all Ethiopian Somalis to put their finger prints on the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam through bonds and  reiterated  that the Embassy will do everything possible within its mandate and  work closely with Ethiopian Somalis for the development of the region and the nation at large. 

Following the opening speech of H.E. the Ambassador of Ethiopia, Somali colleagues who visited the Somali region recently have made presentations to the community. Discussions  covered the overall development and peace and stability in Somali Region and  Ethiopia where millions of people are continuing to graduate out of the abject state of poverty.

The attendees were encouraged to become familiar with the Ethiopian Diaspora Policy aimed at deepening benefits and participation in the country's development endeavors. Attendees were encouraged to make use of the benefits forwarded to them by the Ethiopian Government including through the recent housing scheme aimed to benefit Ethiopians including those in the Diaspora and also participating in the renaissance dam construction.

Leaders of the community vowed to continue fighting anti-peace elements by exposing any terrorist and criminal activities to both sides. Both here in Australia and back home in Ethiopia. They said they will continue on uncovering any anti-civilian disruptive plots orchestrated by anti-peace elements such as Alshabaab, ONLF and bringing the perpetrators to justice.

The meeting was completed with the community members' expressed intent of organizing a bond-sale event for the renaissance dam in the months to come. A similar event will be organized in the coming months.

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