Sehay, Jan 30, 2014
Recent years have witnessed fundamental geopolitical
shifts in the world. The role of Africa is rising. It is rapidly becoming an
influential player in an increasingly multi-polar world.
In the current environment of global economic
uncertainty, African countries, despite slightly slower rate of growth, will
continue to be amongst the fast performers, thus making the continent a vital
center of economic development and a growing political influence.
The above narrative is what Prime Minister Hailemariam
has been emphasizing at every forums, meetings and gatherings in the last year,
during his tenure as the chairman of the African Union (AU).
To say PMH has had an extraordinary year is not an
overstatement. To be the leader of one of the influential countries in the
continent, chairman of a regional body (IGAD), and a continental regime (AU) is
indeed an extraordinary undertaking.
What’s also remarkable is how he managed to juggle such
multi-dimensional responsibilities with wit like a seasoned technocrat and morph
those imperatives in to one influential strategy.
As the premier transfers his chairmanship to Mohamed Ould
Abdel Aziz (president of Mauritania), let’s look back at the year that was and briefly
reflect on his achievements.
On Africa’s external relations: PMH’s objective has been
deliberate and focused. It was aimed at achieving stable balance of power and
the development of truly continental agenda. Africa is of course benefiting from
the time-tested friendship with China. But, PMH also made sure the continent’s
relationship with India, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, the Arab world, G8, and
G20 develop on a strong mutually beneficial basis.
On internal (continental) dynamics: PMH’s goal of strengthening
intra-African fuse is both visceral and a matter of principle. He sought to
promote multilateral trade, investment, eliminate the existing security
challenges and prevent the emergence of new ones.
He also underlined the importance of the social and
economic development of the continent through pragmatic, accountable, and
transparent political system. He urged fellow members to adhere to the charters
of the continental body and give due attention to good governance to which the
people of Africa are entitled.
The premier also called for everyone to commit to
ensuring peaceful development in every region. In order to achieve those goals
the PMH emphasized economic integration, primarily through regional cooperation
forums, like IGAD, COMESA, and EAC.
This is the approach IGAD, to which Ethiopia is a member,
is committed to. Ethiopia’s effort and commitment to the security and stability
of the Horn of Africa is exemplar.
For more than a decade, Ethiopia has been at the fore
front working toward developing regional and multilateral ties to support the
aforementioned agenda and it is paying dividend. By now IGAD member states have
made significant progress in establishing regional economic, political and
In short: in order to strengthen peace, stability and
prosperity in the continent, PMH highlighted the cooperation and adherence to
the rules and guidelines of the AU by all member states with no exception.
And when it comes to the continents relations with the
rest of the world, PMH called for transparent and mutually beneficial economic
ties. He also threw back a reminder for the world to acknowledge Africa’s
growing political leverage in global affairs and so its demands are heeded.
PMH has proven that when it comes to strengthening,
defending and promoting the interest of Africa, Ethiopia’s undiluted and fervent
mantle is unparalleled.
Thank you Mr. Premier, you’ve made the nation proud.