Birmingham Peace and Development Conference
Press StatementFebruary 22, 2011
Ambassador Abdirashid Dulane, the Ethiopian Deputy Head of Mission to the United Kingdom held a large and well-attended peace and development conference in Birmingham on 20th February with the Ethiopian Somali Diaspora communities from, Birmingham, London, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, and Liverpool.
Ambassador Abdirashid Dulane, thoroughly briefed 250-300 community representatives about the current peace and development efforts underway in the Somali Regional State, the Federal and Regional Governments' active engagement with Ethiopian Somali Diaspora in Europe and the USA and their intention to strengthen and intensify this important relationship.
Ambassador Abdirashid said the Federal Government has drafted a national five year Growth and Transformation plan, which plans to double the GDP and agricultural output and puts emphasis on national infrastructure such as roads, railways, power stations and telecommunication hubs, ensures capacity building at every level and strives to achieve MDGs, among other things.
Ambassador Abdirashid also spoken at length about the peace agreement signed between the Government and UWSLF and ONLF. He said the peace agreement has led the two organizations to engage themselves in development and rehabilitation activities and the previous combatants have now either become partners in the State's development or are undergoing rehabilitation and learning skills to meaningfully contribute to the society and themselves. He added that the minority ONLF Asmara Group, which is still bent on destruction and doesn't entertain any meaningful support within the state and in the Diaspora community, has now, along with all its futile exercises, hit a dead-end.
Finally, he said the regional state and the federal government recognize the important role of the Diaspora in boosting the country's and state's development efforts and called upon the participants of the conference and all members of the Ethiopian Somali Diaspora to actively participate and contribute in the realization of the GTP either through knowledge and technology transfer, trade and investment, and other priority areas of interst to them in an effective and organized manner.
Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
LONDON, SW7 1PZ