February 7, 2011
Somali Region President Urges Community to Enhance Engagement in Peace, Development
President of the Somali Regional State Abdi Mohammed Omer briefed and discussed on Sunday peace and development activities and progress made with Ethiopian Somali community in the UK.
At the head of the high level delegation which included the Speaker of the Regional Council, the President elaborated at great length changes being effected in various sectors showcasing how the expansion of education has availed the populous equal opportunities, empowering them in deciding their future. The region, now providing education to hundreds of thousands of students owns seven higher learning institutes including a university and a nursing college.
President Abdi cited water supply projects in Liben, Afder, Warder and Shinile zones, irrigation schemes, road construction and that of health posts which have been instrumental in improving the livelihood of the Somali people.
Underlining the importance of peace for development in the region, he said, following the signing of the peace accord with UWSLF and the faction of the ONLF, further gains were made as focus was enhanced in various fields of endeavour. Measures taken by the Federal as well as the Regional State have further marginalized the anti-peace elements both inside and outside of the country. Appreciating participation and engagement by members of the Ethiopian Somali Diaspora community in trade, investment and other sectors of development, the president reiterated his call for broader involvement in the nation-building effort both at regional and federal level.
The President expressed his gratitude for the support members of the UK community have given for peace and development in the region.
In an opening remark he made at the gathering, Ethiopian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the UK, Berhanu Kebede welcomed members of the Somali community residing in the UK and urged the over 400 participants to actively engage in the implementation of the Five Year Growth and Transformation Plan which envisages to achieve the MDGs and ensure the sustainability of the rapid economic growth that put the country among the fastest growing economies in Africa.
Citing plans to double the country’s GDP, agricultural production, achieve universal education and expand the rural road network in the country, the Ambassador underlined the imperative to redouble efforts to enhance the pro-poor Government projects that lifted millions out of poverty.
The furtherance of good governance, development, peace and the building of democratic institutions, he noted, would be the major focus of the Federal Government as well as the Somali Regional State and called on the Diaspora to engage in all spheres of endeavour.
Deputy Head of Mission at the Ethiopian Embassy in London, Ambassador Abdirashid Dulane, on his part commended the community for their support to the development and peace efforts underway and emphasized the need to bring onboard academics, elders, women and the youth for them to play a crucial role in the development of the Somali Region by organizing their respective associations.
The role of the Diaspora, he said, should intensify in the fight against poverty and this could be realized through the mobilization of resources and business undertakings.
Community representatives from Norway, Finland and Sweden had also taken part in the London gathering.
Participants at the meeting expressed support for the Regional Government and pledged to remain engaged in the peace and development underway in the region.
In its recent trip to the US, the high level delegation had a successful and historic deliberation with over 2500 Ethiopian Somalis in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
LONDON, SW7 1PZ
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