Why Did Ethiopia Become Focal Point for World Leaders to Come? – Awramba Times

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ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA - JULY 27: US President Barack Obama inspects the Ethiopian Honor Guard ahead of a  meeting with Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Desalegn in Addis Ababa on July 27, 2015. Barack Obama officially begins a two-day visit to Ethiopia, the first-ever trip by a US president to Africa's second-most populous nation and the seat of the African Union. (Photo by Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama inspects the Ethiopian Honor Guard ahead of a meeting Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn in Addis Ababa on July 27, 2015 (Photo by Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

By Robel Yohannes
Over the past few years, various government officials and world leaders have paid official visits to Ethiopia. Turkish President, Chinese Prime Minister, Italian Prime Minister, US President among other prominent world leaders have made their way to the National Palace in Addis, some of them for the first time in their country’s history. This is despite the fact that vocal criticism of human rights abuse thrown at it by international human rights group, some Ethiopian opposition groups and other entities. To get an insight into the variables that best articulate these dynamics and other related issues, The Ethiopian Herald held an execlussive interview with Costantinos Berhutesfa (PhD), Professor of public Policy at School of Graduate Studies, AAU. He is also Board Chairman of Ethiopia Aid and Trustee of African Humanitarian Action. Hereunder follows the first part of the interview.

In the midst of widespread accusations from human rights groups and Ethiopian opposition groups, many world leaders have visited Ethiopia over the past few years. The Turkish President, Chinese Prime Minister, President Barack Obama among other prominent world leaders have visited Ethiopia. Why is that?

The first thing is Ethiopia is the political and diplomatic capital of Africa. So, there is no way for leaders to avoid coming to Ethiopia. The second thing is Ethiopia is a major player in Africa politics, including the fact that the country is seat to important regional institutions like the AU, UNECA. Thirdly, despite being located in one of the most difficult neighborhoods in Africa, which includes countries like South Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea, Ethiopia with its large population has become very stable amid this confusion. Also, in the last three year, the passing of our former Prime Minister Ato Meles Zenawi also attracted a lot of emissaries to come here for his funeral. Read more

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