Interview with Dr AddisAlem Balema Vice President of Tigrai, Ethiopia
(Aigaforum) May 25, 2016 - Dr AddisAlem Balema is Vice President of the Tigrai Regional State and veteran TPLF member currently serving as one of the executive member of TPLF.
Among his current responsibilities are overseeing the economic development of the region and urban development. He has served as Ambassador of Ethiopia to Italy, China and as Director General of the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) prior to his current assignment.
Dr AddisAlem was gracious enough for a telephone interview with us.
Addisu Bahta and Isayas Abaye discussed with him about the current economic health of Tigrai, issues with good governance and building democratic institutions.
He also touched the Embasyneyti and Wolqayit /Tsegede issues that confronted the Tigrai government over the last few months
Dr AddisAlem said, TPLF is a dynamic organization capable to overcome obstacles. He said there are no challenges EPRDF or TPLF cannot overcome! However, let alone a front of four organizations which EPRDF is, even a single organization goes through tough times.
Answering about the relationship between the Amhara government and Tigrai, he said the two governments are talking on some issues and he has no doubt all issues will be resolved amicably.
Covering the issue with abduction of people from border areas by the Eritrean government foot soliders, he acknowledge the Eritrean government is a menace to peace but its negative influence on the economy is minimum and is restricted to border areas.
He said the new rail road that will be completed in few years will connect Tigrai with Djibouti and make the advantage Eritrea has over Ethiopia as far as having ports mute! This will further complicate Eritrea’s fate! Without a similar rail road connecting Eritrean ports to Ethiopia there will be little need for Ethiopia to use the ports. He said the Eritrean government is more harmful to its own people and country than Ethiopia.
He also noted EPRDF may become a single party down the road but there is no immediate plan to transform the Front to a Party due to many reasons. He said things will remain the same for the foreseeable future.
Dr AddisAlem reminded the diaspora to come and invest in the country. He said the investment culture now is more than ever conducive.