February 5/2022/ENA/ The greatest lesson that Ethiopia has learned over the past year is that without the solidarity of our African brothers and sisters, our existence as a nation would have been at great risk, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said today.
In his address to the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Union, the premier stated that the past year was particularly challenging to Africa in general and Ethiopia in particular.
Though Ethiopia’s challenge was internal in nature and a matter of maintaining law and order, “resolution of our internal matters was made exceedingly difficult by the role played by external actors,” Abiy noted.
The prime minister appreciated African brothers for their unwavering support and solidarity in the critical time.
“I wish to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support, solidarity and understanding as we underwent these trying times. As you are aware, despite the intransigence of the other side in this conflict, my government has taken a variety of measures to minimize the loss of life and destruction of property.”
According to him, the government has implemented unilateral withdrawal from conflict areas and used force that is necessary to ensure law and order, released high profile suspects with a view to creating a conducive environment for peace.
“We shall leave no stone unturned in our search for peace in our country,” he stressed.
The PM further pointed out that “the greatest lesson Ethiopia has learned over the past year is that without the solidarity of our African brothers and sisters, our existence as a nation would have been at great risk.”
Noting that peace and security are critical issues affecting the continent of Africa, he said new and complex problems that undermine its unity and sovereignty continue to emerge.
“Despite the African Union’s intensive engagement in addressing peace and security challenges of the continent, guided by the maxim ‘African Solutions to African Problems’, new and complex problems that undermine our unity and sovereignty continue to emerge.”
In light of this, Abiy called on African leaders to unite and stand together in order to realize Agenda 2063.
“The old saying is true. United we stand, divided we fall. Today, we stand proud and tall as Africans in the shadow of those who struggled to liberate and unite Africa. Our steadfast unity is the anchor and foundation of our Agenda 2063.”
A continent of 1.3 billion people, a substantial percentage of them young and dynamic, will drive Africa’s prosperity and pull it out of poverty as the continent set forth in its Agenda 2063.
The continental free trade agreement holds the greatest promise for effectively realizing continental integration and development, according to the premier, who added that the potential for increased intra-Africa trade, free movement of people and investments and self-reliance is a beacon for Africa’s renaissance.
The PM noted that instead of depending solely on trade out of Africa, collective effort to boost intra-Africa trade will protect the continent from the fluctuations of global economic and political changes.
“The more we know each other, the more we are able to cooperate and resist the forces that seek to divide and undermine us. You may recall a mere two months ago efforts were underway by some in the international community to create an atmosphere of fear to drive expatriates out of Ethiopia and discourage travel to Ethiopia. Those efforts were not successful. And will not be successful!”
Indeed, many fellow Africans joined the Great Ethiopian Diaspora Homecoming challenge and proved to the world that Ethiopia is a safe and culturally rich tourist destination.
Abiy said, “As a key pillar of our national reform agenda, tourism potential within Ethiopia has been augmented greatly in the past two years with many natural endowments developed to complement the historical and cultural heritage that already exists. Ethiopia remains open and welcomes all of our fellow African brothers and sisters.”