National Day celebrated at time of renewal
The Ethiopian Embassy in London welcomed over 300 guests to a garden party yesterday for Ethiopia’s National Day, which celebrates the triumphant entry of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) forces into Addis Ababa on 28th May 1991.
In his welcoming speech, Ambassador Hailemichael Aberra Afework spoke of the “monumental crossroads” that Ethiopia faced 27 years ago, when “confronted with the existential choice between dissolution and evolution.” The Ambassador listed the “transformational change in our country’s history” while recognising “the sacrifices made by those before us, in pursuit of a greater Ethiopia.”
His Excellency highlighted the most recent reforms under new Prime Minister, Dr Abiy Ahmed, aimed at “widening the political landscape, speeding up the economic development, strengthening the rule of law and fostering national unity.” Noteworthy achievements so far include “the release of thousands of prisoners, the holding of wide-spread public consultations, negotiations with local opposition parties and those abroad” and the “offering of amnesty to the members of these groups to facilitate their re-engagement in the democratic process.”
The Ambassador also highlighted the EPRDF Executive Council’s decision “to expand mixed ownership or outright full privatisation of state-owned enterprises” and its intention “to implement the Algiers Agreement and the Ethio-Eritrea Boundary Commission’s decision.”
He concluded by thanking the UK Government and people for “their enduring commitment to the development and prosperity of Ethiopia over the last twenty-seven years”, when “our close partnership on issues of peace and security, terrorism, climate change and migration has remained steady and consistent, yielding results in the face of an ever-changing global context.”
Africa Minister Harriet Baldwin was represented by the FCO’s Julian Reilly, the Head of East Africa Department, who praised the two countries strong bilateral relations, especially in economic development and regional and international security, adding, “It is a time of great opportunity, new Prime Minister Abiy is driving forward a really exciting agenda of reforms, seizing new opportunities. This is great for Ethiopia, it is also great for British business, with huge commercial opportunity. The PM’s Trade Envoy Jeremy Lefroy was in Ethiopia only last week.”
Laurence Robertson MP, Chair of the Ethiopia and Djibouti All Party Parliamentary Group congratulated Ethiopia on the smooth transition of power and looked forward to the many business opportunities that Ethiopia offers, especially in the new economic climate.
Celebrity guests included TV space scientist Professor Brian Cox and Ethiopian-born British Poet Lemn Sissay.
Guests enjoyed exquisite Ethiopian cuisine from Mesi’s Kitchen restaurant in London, Ethiopian wines and the Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony, and were entertained by the renowned dance troupe, Dankira, dancing to a wide range of Ethiopian music.
The evening was also an opportunity to showcase investment to Ethiopia – all of the evening’s sponsors are encouraging investors by example, as they all invest in or trade with Ethiopia.
- The flowers, courtesy of JZ flowers, a leading producer of floral bouquets for UK retailers, can be found in Aldi UK and Aldi Ireland stores. Their Ethiopian roses are sourced through Herburg Roses, whose farm is based in the Sher complex in Ziway.
- The wine was from Awash Winery in Ethiopia, courtesy of 8 Miles LLP, a UK-based private equity firm focused exclusively on making investments in African businesses. In July 2013, a consortium led by 8 Miles acquired a 100% interest in Awash Wine Share Company.
- Ethiopian Airlines, the fastest growing airline in Africa and SKYTRAX certified four-star airline, transported the wine from Ethiopia.
- The premium Yayu Wild Forest coffee was provided by Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, an award-winning artisan coffee producer and roaster based in East London. Their Yayu and Yirgacheffee coffees from Ethiopia are available at Waitrose stores and online on Ocado as well as the Union Hand-Roasted website.
For further information contact the Press Office on 0207 838 3883 or 07563 582 009 and by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos from the reception can be found on our Flickr page: http://bit.ly/Ginbot20Flickr
Awash Winery and 8 Miles LLP
Established in 1936, Awash is the leading wine producer in Ethiopia. Its brands such as Awash, Gouder, Axumit and Kemila are household names in Ethiopia. The company has fully integrated operations, with two wineries in Addis Ababa and a 520 hectare farm outside Addis Ababa.
In July 2013, a consortium led by 8 Miles acquired a 100% interest in Awash Wine Share Company from the Ethiopian Privatization and Public Enterprises Supervising Agency.
UK-based 8 Miles is a private equity firm focused exclusively on making investments in African businesses.
Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopian) is the fastest growing Airline in Africa. In its seventy plus years of operation, Ethiopian has become one of the continent’s leading carriers, unrivalled in efficiency and operational success.
Ethiopian commands the lion’s share of the pan-African passenger and cargo network operating the youngest and most modern fleet to more than 110 international passenger and cargo destinations across five continents.
Ethiopian is currently implementing a 15-year strategic plan called Vision 2025 that will see it become the leading aviation group in Africa and is a multi-award winning airline registering an average growth of 25% in the past seven years.
Union Hand-Roasted Coffee
Union Hand-Roasted Coffee is an award-winning artisan coffee producer and roaster based in East London, founded by Jeremy Torz and Steven Macatonia in 2001 with a mission to work with farmers who produce high quality coffee and develop equitable trading relationships. They pioneered Union Direct Trade, making Union the first UK roaster to introduce a “trade-not-aid” way of linking sustainability with exceptional quality coffee.
Union recently launched the Yayu Wild Forest Coffee from Ethiopia which supports both the unique wild coffee biosphere and the surrounding community. This specialty coffee is sourced from one of the world’s last remaining and important places for the preservation of wild Arabica coffee.
With a RRP of £5.50, 25p from each pack of the Yayu Forest Wild Coffee Wholebean will be donated to the Yayu Project, which in conjunction with The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and The Darwin Initiative, aims to protect the wild coffee forest and surrounding forested areas to benefit livelihoods and nature conservation.
JZ Flowers and Aldi UK & Ireland
JZ Flowers is a family-business and a leading producer of floral bouquets for UK retailers, among which Aldi UK & Aldi Ireland.
JZ Flowers source their Ethiopian roses through Herburg Roses, whose farm is based in the Sher complex in Ziway.
JZ Flowers is the sole flower supplier to Aldi UK and Aldi Ireland – 90% of Herburg’s farm output can be found in Aldi stores.
Herburg farm is Fair Trade accredited, making JZ Flowers the biggest Fair Trade flower packer in Europe and Aldi the biggest Fair Trade flowers retailer in the UK (by bunches sold).
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