12th Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Day celebrated colourfully in London
Wood-panelled and bedecked with Ethiopia’s tri-colour, the Porchester Hall in Bayswater, London, was the scene for celebrations of the 12th annual Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Day (#NNPDay2017). Over 350 Ethiopians representing many of the ethno-linguistic groups in the country, dressed in traditional outfits, and braved snow and sleet over the weekend (December 10) to attend the Embassy-organised event.
Picking up on the theme of day, “Buoyed up by our constitution, our unity in diversity propels our Renaissance”, H.E. Ambassador Hailemichael Aberra (Ph.D) reminded invited guests of the historic importance of the 1995 Constitution which had, for the first time in the country’s long history, enshrined in law the equality of the peoples of Ethiopia, guaranteeing their freedom through democracy and their right to self-administration through the establishment of the federal system.
“The fruits of the Constitution,” the Ambassador said, “are today being reaped in the educational sector where the establishment of new schools and universities has seen the enrolment of over a third of the country’s population in formal and informal education.” He also noted the significant gains made in rural development, with millions of farmers benefiting from access to sustainable inputs and climate-resilient agricultural techniques, primary healthcare and market opportunities, made possible through government investments in infrastructure development.
“Our differences and diversity
are beautiful and a source of strength”
The Ambassador also announced recent breakthroughs achieved in ongoing negotiations between the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and a plethora of legally registered opposition parties on reforms to the electoral system aimed at enhancing democratisation in the country by increasing the chances of opposition parties gaining seats. The Ambassador concluded by reaffirming to the audience that the country’s “differences and diversity are beautiful and a source of strength”.
The Deputy Head of Mission, Ababi Demissie, gave a presentation on the relevance of the celebrations to members of the Ethiopian diaspora and on the raft of measures the Government is deploying to encourage members of the diaspora to contribute to the ongoing development of their motherland. He called on diaspora communities across the UK to engage in the Ethiopian renaissance through investments on the ground, remittances, housing, image-building and the transfer of technology and knowledge. He emphasised the constructive role the diaspora should play in the country’s renaissance, urging both young and old to engage and contribute.
The evening concluded with a presentation from the Abeba Foundation, a diaspora youth association, and with traditional music and dancing.
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