The Embassy of Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in Ottawa, Canada, is pleased to communicate the result of a successful meeting on March 4, 2010, to form the Ethio-Canadian Friendship Association. The Association was conceived as an independent and a non-political organization with a mandate to foster and promote strong ties between Ethiopia and Canada.
The meeting was initiated by the Ethiopian Embassy. Attendees included professionals, diplomats, civil society representatives, members of the Ethiopian Diaspora, Canadian adoptees of Ethiopian children and Canadian Friends of Ethiopia.
In his opening remark, the Chair of the event Dr. Getachew Mequanent said that Canadian multiculturalism (whose ideals promote mutual respect and global citizenship) would provide many opportunities to strengthen strong ties between Ethiopia and Canada including mobilizing resources to strengthen the capacity of Ethiopian institutions to fight poverty and support the practice of democracy and respect human rights.
The Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to Canada W/o Almaz Amaha noted that Ethiopia, like Canada, has a rich and unique multicultural history including the co-existence of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. She said that Canada and Ethiopia shared mutual strategic interests, as development partners and key players in the promotion of regional peace and security. W/o Almaz also talked about the promising results achieved in the different sectors of society to transform Ethiopia into a middle-income country by 2025. She mentioned the growing relationships between Ethiopia and Canada including the recent signing of a bilateral agreement that allows the Ethiopian Airlines to fly to Canada, and reiterated the commitment of the Ethiopian Embassy to working with community organizations that promote mutually beneficial relationships between the two countries.
There was a consensus that the Ethio-Canadian Friendship Association could serve the interests and aspirations of diverse stakeholders by fostering friendships and encouraging social, economic and cultural ties between Ethiopia and Canada. After informative and constructive exchanges of ideas and views, the participants of the event agreed to create Organizing Committee and three other support committees to work on the various aspects of designing and structuring the Ethio-Canadian Friendship Association. Sixteen (16) people of diverse professional backgrounds volunteered to get involved in these committees. Participants acknowledged and praised the leadership of the Ethiopian Embassy to organize the first meeting of the Association.
Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to Canada
Ottawa, March 8, 2010