President Sahle-Work delivers maiden address at the opening of Parliament

8 Oct 2019

Ethiopia’s House of People’s Representatives (HoPR) and House of Federation (HoF) opened a new session on 7th October.

Addressing the joint session for the first time as President of Ethiopia, H.E. Sahle-Work Zewde presented some of the key social, economic and political directions and plans that the government will pursue in the new Ethiopian year, which started on 12th September.

National security and stability are major targets for the government, President Sahle-Work said, adding that the government “will implement activities that focus on national reconciliation and understanding,” aiming to sustain the ongoing national reform.

“The government will strive to make sure that the next elections will be more democratic, free and fair than previous elections,” she said. She also stressed that the public’s role in supporting the Ethiopian government’s resolve for assuring a democratic election procedure, is important.

Noting the major aspirations of the homegrown economic reform, President Sahle-Work also outlined some of the major plans in the economic sector that include ensuring macroeconomic stability, promoting private sector intervention in key economic sectors, and integrated job creation efforts.

The President praised the joint efforts made by the federal and regional states in returning internally displaced people (IDPs) to their areas of origin. She said the number of IDPs has reduced to less than 100,000, from more than two million. It will be up to the government to return and rehabilitate the remaining IDPs in the future, she said.

The President also noted that, as a result of Ethiopia’s citizen-centred diplomacy, more than 90,000 Ethiopian nationals had returned to Ethiopia from exile.

President Sahle-Work also disclosed that Ethiopia’s first-ever satellite will be launched into space in December this year from a centre in China. The satellite, once it commences its operations, will help Ethiopia modernise its agricultural sector. “The satellite will provide all the necessary data on changes in climate and weather-related phenomena that will be utilized for the country’s key targets in agriculture, forestry and natural resources protection initiatives,” she said.

The President added that the country will have three telecoms operators, including Ethio-telecom. Two international companies will join Ethiopia’s telecoms industry next year.

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