Ethiopia, EU launch joint project to promote nation’s culture

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,Feb 13th, 2014- It has been said and it is still being said that Ethiopia is a country of unique characteristics of her own. Her uniqueness is of course related to the peculiar culture, tradition, language and both tangible and intangible heritages which belong to the world as well. Though it is a cradle of human kind and land of remarkable natural and cultural heritage, the country has not benefited from these resources.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MoCT) has been taking a wide range of actions to raise the number of domestic and foreign tourist flow to the country. The flow ofdomestic tourism, despite its improvement over time, needs to be given due attention. In general, the Ministry is convinced that developing the tourism sector is a direct indication of supporting the development of the nation.

It is then with this understanding that the government of Ethiopia and the EU have reached agreement to work together towards unleashing tourism potential of the country. Thus, the European Union and MoCT Monday launched a joint project known as ‘Promoting Heritage and Culture for Ethiopia’s Development‘.

The Union granted 10 million Euros (260 million birr) to the MoCT to help promote the country’s heritage under five classified projects that include capacity building activities, palaeontological heritages, state cultural development project, training institutions in the music sector and grant scheme for cultural industries.

The financial agreement between the two parties was signed in July 2013 to execute the project over the coming five years.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Minister of Culture and Tourism Amin Abdulkadir said: “Culture has come to the forefront in the global discourse and gained unanimity as the fourth pillar of sustainable development.” Amin also said that the government has paid due attention to foster cultural development.

Citing the gifts of Ethiopia to the world as far as promoting mutual understanding and preserving universal values, Amin said that the country has nine world heritages, 12 manuscripts as world human memory, one intangible cultural heritage, and two biosphere reserves. Adding,he said, documents have been submitted to enable the inclusion of remaining heritages in UNESCO’s list.

EU Delegation Head to Ethiopia Ambassador Chantal Hebberecht also said that the EU is indeed privileged to work in partnership with the government of Ethiopia in the effort to conserve and promote the country’s unique culture and remarkable cultural heritages.

The Ambassador also said: “Along with the vision of economic transformation there is a parallel vision of creating culturally promoted Ethiopia. These two visions are not separate; they are inextricably linked.”

The project is aimed at achieving the goals set in the National Cultural Policy adopted by the Ministry to realize the long-term contribution of heritage and culture to the socio-economic development of the country by preserving and developing heritages sites and through improving their management.

Source: Ethiopian Herald