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Ethiopia: Washington Update

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11/28/12

  04:56:39 pm, by admin, 388 words  
Categories: Washington Update

Ethiopia: Washington Update

Ethiopia: Washington Update

By Mesfin Mekonen


The elections are over leaving the power structure in Washington largely unchanged, but there are likely to be personnel changes at both the State Department and in Congress that could impact U.S. policy to Ethiopia. The next Secretary of State will seek to exert his/her influence by appointing new staff. This will probably include senior officials with responsibility for Africa. A senior State Department official says major changes in the department's Ethiopia policy are unlikely -- unless there is some strong press for change.

The most powerful force for change is Congress. Ethiopian-Americans should focus on our elected representatives in Congress. A small number of dedicated individuals can have a huge impact on Congress, and Congress can dictate or change American policy.

We have seen that organizing the Ethiopian Diaspora to contact members of Congress and prompting major news media to report about Ethiopia issues has been effective in the past. There are strong supporters of Ethiopian human rights and democracy in Congress, but it will take a lot of work to get Ethiopia on the agenda.

To Supporters of democracy and human rights in Ethiopia, it is time to build on the impressive achievements of the Ethiopian-American community in the 2008 session of Congress, when the House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation promoting Ethiopian human rights, democracy and economic prosperity. This time we need to get both houses of Congress to pass legislation.

There are many, competing priorities in Congress. The ONLY way we will succeed is by making our voices heard. Members of Congress respond to their constituents. The bill will help Ethiopia to be independent of foreign aid. Ethiopia can feed itself by employing modern agricultural technologies, and help eradicate HIV/AIDS and tropical diseases.

Changes in Congress include leadership of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Two friends of Ethiopia, Chris Smith (NJ) and Ed Royce (Calif.). It looks like Royce will be appointed to lead the committee. He and especially Smith are actively interested in promoting democracy and human rights in Ethiopia. Smith has been working very hard to get legislation introduced and passed to support human rights and democracy in Ethiopia. There is a chance it will be enacted in the coming weeks, but if it is not, it will be necessary to start over again in the new Congress.

4 comments

Comment from: Haile [Visitor]
Haile

Breaking news
Source ;-Ethiopian First

PM Hailemariam just nominated two Deputy Prime Ministers and Three ministers. The Parliament is currently debating on the issue. Since EPRDF dominates the Parliamentes the Parliament, these nominees are expected to be confirmed.

Deputy Prime Minister: Ato Muktar Kedir.

H.E. Ato Muktar will be Civil Service Minister as well. His portfolio also covers responsibility on good governance.

Deputy Prime Minister: Dr. Debretsion G/Michael

H.E. Dr. Debretsion will be responsible for areas related to Finance & Economy

Foreign Minister: Dr. Tedros Adhanom

Health Minister: Ato Keseteberhan Admassu

Trade Minister: Kebede Chane

P.S. H.E. Ato Girma (from Medrek) challenged the nomination of Ato Kebede Chane.

11/29/12 @ 02:15

11/29/12 @ 02:19
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]
TEDDY

Do not expect any political change from the Obama Administration .What really counts its only our own determination and fight .

11/29/12 @ 03:24
Comment from: Kebede [Visitor]
Kebede

Dreaming change from American than Ethiopian and Ethiopia itself how some people heading towards wrong direction pulling others with the like feathers. Not only endless none sense journey but killing golden time if it is used developing themselves and their country. Aid for development and protecting people who are not in food insecurity and other related problem is shame something shame. No country in the earth plant where there is no aid in understanding. There aid in America and developed western countries. Many Diaspora who are standing against aid in Ethiopia they are living in modern social welfare below aid level. They do not consider thier welfare life as a shame. Even they have opportunity to work, they donot want go. They think people without any opportunity depending on the temporary aid in Ethiopia home as shame. They seem Love Ethiopia land than People. It is very shame standing with such folks.

11/29/12 @ 13:48
Comment from: Solomon [Visitor]
Solomon

@Mesfin Mekonen: there is one Ethiopian proverb that describes you well: “A fool sings the same song all the time.”

11/30/12 @ 01:33

rebtel

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