Addis Ababa and Washington D.C. tie
a historic knot of Sister City Accord
Tsehaye Debalkew December, 11, 2013
A signing ceremony of Sister City Agreement between Addis Ababa
and Washington, DC took place to-day, when Mayor Diriba Kuma of Addis Ababa and
Mayor Vincent Gray of Washington D.C. inked their signatures heralding of the
coming into effect of an all-round cooperation and partnership between the two Metropolises.
Mayor Diriba Kuma in his key note speech he delivered during the
signing ceremony reaffirmed his strong belief that the overwhelming power of
Sister City relationships in citizen diplomacy and
cultural and economic exchanges will have a profound impact across the purview
of our sister cities and indeed within the horizons of our countries.
He hastened to add that these partnerships create opportunities
for the sister cities to learn from each other in the areas of economic
development, education, social, youth and cultural projects or exchanges and
And in light of the foregoing statement Mayor Diriba, expressed
his firm belief that Addis Ababa as a young and bustling City shall make good
of the auspicious opportunity thus created due to the concord by leveraging on
best practices accrued from.
The relationship between the two countries is grounded in common
values and a shared history of family and friends. Ethiopia being one of the
pioneering countries to pursue diplomatic relations with the United States over
a century ago, the Mayor of Addis Ababa accentuated.
"I am glad to express my government's felicitation at
continuing to strengthen and deepen our hitherto existing relationship with the
signing of today's agreement between Addis Ababa which is the seat of the
African Union and the hub of our nation and Washington D.C. the seat of the US government"
Mayor Diriba Kuma ascertained.
Mr. Diriba stated that the two capital cities, Addis Ababa and Washington,
DC, are embarking on a long-term partnership to link the citizens, city
governments, and business, cultural,
and academic communities, he underscored.
Mr. Diriba Kuma exuded his confidence that the cooperative
venture will be highly beneficial to the diverse and cosmopolitan citizens of
both capitals who serve as beacons of culture and people to people diplomacy
for their respective nations.
Mayor Gray on his part said that in sister cities agreement
continues to expand its reach to new and emerging regions of the world to
strengthen global citizenship which he said have been amply testified by the
huge turnout of the Ethiopian Diaspora to witness the historic signing ceremony
The sister city relationship between Washington DC and Addis
Ababa is a relationship between cities, but more important, a relationship
between the people of those cities, especially so as Washington D.C. boasts of tens
of thousands of Ethiopian émigrés domiciling here.
Mayor Gray expressed his belief that the agreement between the
cities of Washington D.C. and Addis Ababa, which are the burgeoning venues and centers
of the global diplomatic community will have an over arching influence on
others to follow suit.
“This agreement is inspired by the large and vibrant Ethiopian
Diaspora here in the District and by Ethiopia’s emergence as one of the fastest
growing economies in Africa,” he underlined.
A young Ethiopian high school student expressed his happiness of
the signing of the sister city agreement between Addis Ababa and Washington DC
which event he said has triggered a special feeling in him.
The sister city agreement signing ceremony took place at
the John A.
Wilson Building in Washington, D.C. Officials say the initiative will pave
the way for various joint projects between the two municipalities in areas of
Present during the ceremony were Ambassador Girma Birru, Special
Envoy and Ambassador Extra-ordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ethiopia to the US, Dignitaries
from Addis Ababa City Council and officials from the D.C. Council, Officials
from the State Department and the Ethiopian Embassy in D.C. and invited members
of the over four hundred large Ethiopian Diaspora society from the Metropolitan
The accord makes the Ethiopian capital the fourteenth
sister city of Washington, D.C.