May 31, 2014 – The Ethiopian Embassy in Brussels together with Ethiopians and Foreign Nationals of Ethiopian origin living in Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg colourfully celebrated the 23rd anniversary of the May 28 Victory Day and the 3rd anniversary of the launch of the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on Saturday.
On the occasion, Ambassador Teshome Toga, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ethiopia to the EU Institutions and the Benelux and Baltic countries said, Ethiopians have witnessed an incredible transformation of their country in the last two decades evolving from a “basket case” and a pathetic state to its present status as dynamic and strong nation with considerable political and economic power in such a short time.
Ambassador Teshome briefed the audience that the country has registered a successful broad based and fast economic growth in all sectors that has brought a positive change to the image of the country. He further elaborated the results achieved in the last three GTP years as 10.9% economic development in Agriculture, Industry and Service and infrastructure sectors and that Ethiopia is one of the few African countries on course to achieve the MDG goals by 2015.
Furthermore, Ambassador Teshome noted the commitment of the leadership to transform the country to a middle income status in the coming 10 years and the consistency of the Ethiopian leadership that has been repeatedly demonstrated to engage members of the Diaspora on the major development projects, the performance of the Growth and Transformation Plan, and the investment opportunities available in the country.
Regarding the 3rd anniversary of the launch of the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Ambassador Teshome underlined its significance and symbolism to all Ethiopians as a rallying point and that the GERD project will enable Ethiopia to completely cover the country’s internal power needs which have been growing at an average rate of 25% a year. He further pointed out the dam to be a reliable and affordable source of energy for the wellbeing of the population but also for the economic growth and poverty-reduction efforts being undertaken by the country.
In relation to the media campaign of Egypt towards the Dam, Ambassador Teshome explained Ethiopia’s position as demonstrated in its determination to promote fair and equitable utilization of the resource among all the Nile riparian countries and it was at the proposal of Ethiopia that the International Panel of Experts conducted its studies of the impact of the GERD project on lower riparian countries; and Ethiopia immediately accepted in full the recommendations of the IPoE Report, and has set about implementing them.
In this connections and contrary to some media reports, Ethiopia has not rejected proposals presented by Egypt but is encouraging Egypt to come back to the tripartite forum to genuinely negotiate for a win-win and mutually beneficial utilization of the River by all riparian countries.
Finally, Ambassador Teshome Toga, urged members of the diaspora living in the Benelux Countries to voice Ethiopia’s just stand on GERD and continue their contributions through buying of Bonds and mobilisation in collaboration with the GERD councils in each city. In addition he called up on members of the Diaspora to increase their participations in the country’s economic developments through investment and other capacity building activities.
During the event, Members of the Diaspora in the Benelux countries have raised 137,800 Birr for the construction of GERD.