We Did Not Stress Our Unity As Much As Differences, Says Ethiopian President

By Staff Reporter

President-Sahle-WorkOctober 7, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- In a speech delivered to the joint opening session of the House of People’s Representatives and House of Federation, Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewdie introduced her government’s sweeping plans for this Ethiopian fiscal year (2012).

Addressing the legislatures on Monday, October 7, 2019, the president said the government has done a multi-dimensional and inclusive reform last year during which it expanded the political landscape and registered sound economic growth.

The government’s reform on handling human rights, building democracy and fair utilization of the country’s resources were also fruitful. The achievements, however, were not fully successful as there were structural problems in some sectors and require additional time, the president said

According to Sahle-Work, the reform will continue this Ethiopian year as well with principle of Medemer (synergy), as articulated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and based on the three pillars of reform, namely strengthening the political and economic gains, rectifying the previous mistakes and meeting the demands and benefits of the coming generation.

By doing so, the Ethiopian President said the government will work to safeguard the unity of the country, scale up the pride of the Ethiopian people and bring about prosperity.

“Last year, we did not work on our unity as much as we did on our differences. The economic growth did not ensure fair utilization of resources and failed to address inequality and bring about inclusiveness growth, the president stressed.

Sahle-Work said the government will focus on resolving instability and conflicts through empowering its security institutions.

“The security institutions will be empowered in a way to dry up conflicts from their sources. The necessary training will be offered to prevent conflicts. Hence, the reform tailored to capacitating the federal police would be fully implemented this year,” the president continued.

The president recalled that more than two million people who had been displaced due to conflicts and violence since last the government introduced reform last year. “The number of displaced people has gone down to about 100 thousand with joint efforts of the federal and regional governments.”

Sahel-Work said, as part of the ongoing reform, the government would create strong and competent federal police and improve professionalism among members of the defense forces in the shortest time possible. The reform would also be applicable to regional police as well to ensure prevalence of peace in every corner of the country.

According to the Ethiopian President, the government would be engaged in empowering members of the federal and regional police to help the nation conduct the upcoming national elections successfully. The peace building activities would be held through conducting discussion fora and consultations in different parts of the country.

Sahle-Work went on saying that about 100 thousand volunteers will be deployed for the peace building activities this Ethiopian year. Without the participation of the general public, it is impossible to ensure peace in the country, the president argued.

The public would be involved in giving tips while witnessing activities that would disturb the peaceful activities of the public, she said, adding various efforts would be made to strengthen national consensus among the people of Ethiopia.

The government would work on expanding access to information said the president who advised the public to reject misleading information.

According to the president, the upcoming national elections will hold three major values. It should not in any way repeat the same mistakes witnessed in previous elections. It should be free, fair and acceptable by most of the Ethiopian people, and it should also ensure the participation of the political elites as well as the general public.

The government would practice the principles of consensus and participatory political system to build democracy in the country. This would be done in consultation with competing political parties and elites to create mutual understanding tailored to strengthening the unity of the country.

She also called on the people of Ethiopia, the media, political parties, and elites, civic institutions to actively participate and discharge their part for the successful conduct of the upcoming elections. “The government will take legal measures for any violations during the election process,” Sahle-Work warned.

The president was optimistic that the successful conduct of the upcoming elections would positively contribute to betterment of political situations in the country.

Speaking about the justice system, Sahle-Work said the government would launch a three-year program with special focus on ensuring freedom of judges, increasing access to justice services and expanding transparency. The reform in the justice system would be supported with trainings to be offered to all stakeholders in the sector

Sahle-Work said the government is set to pass verdicts on 250,000 cases this Ethiopian year as it improves the legal knowledge of the community, particularly that of students.

In a surprise move, the government will introduce a new penal code, trade law and administrative law this year. The first two laws were enacted 60 years ago, the president said.

With regards to the economy, the president said the recently homegrown economic reform would be implemented in a way to rectify imbalance on the country’s macro economy, increasing the participation of the private sector and creating adequate and reliable job opportunities to the youth.

Implementation of the homegrown economic reform involves in creation of favorable investment climate, improving the country’s economic structures and improving power supply and telecom services as well as introducing high standard logistic services

The president said a job-creating committee, led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, would work on generating job opportunities both at home and overseas, and job seekers would be offered the necessary training so as to help them to compete in international job markets.

Resource mobilization activities would be reinforced both from local and international sources to attract as much foreign currency as possible. Negotiations would be made with lenders to ease the burden of external debt and export trade will be beefed up in the current year, according to the Ethiopian head of state

State-owned enterprises, including Ethio Telecom and sugar factories, would be privatized wholly or partly this year, the president said, adding that the nation will have three Ethio Telecom operators before the end of this year.

To increase agricultural production and productivity, the government would be engaged in modernizing the agriculture sector and expanding mechanized farming, said the president and added “efforts would be exerted to help farmers use modern technologies through development agents.”

Substituting wheat imports would be one of the prime focuses of the government by expanding irrigation farming in different parts of the country, she added.

The president further said Ethiopia would launch its first satellite in December this year from China. The manufacturing of the satellite is nearing completion at Entoto Space Science Institute.

In the current Ethiopian year, the government is set to expand drinking water supply in rural areas by building 50,000 water institutions and rehabilitating 13,000 others.

With neighboring Eritrea, Ethiopia has already launched diplomatic relations and air transport service and negotiations are underway to establish legal framework to determine all-rounded relations between the two countries.

The president stressed the need for Ethiopia to have a strong unity, economy, political system, defense capability and foreign relations to become competitive internationally.

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