By Ruth Brook
The Embassy of India to Ethiopia had many reasons to celebrate this past Friday as it marked their homecoming to their previous location and kicked off the festivities for India’s 70th Republic Day.
“These celebrations are truly special for us,” said Ambassador of India Anurag Srivastava.
The homecoming is almost four years in the making, the Ambassador explained. The embassy relocated in November 2016 in order to have the previous diplomatic space renovated to reflect the longstanding relations between Ethiopia and India, 2020 marks their return.
The occasion was celebrated with a reception at the newly refurbished premises, with high level dignitaries, Ambassadors, members of diplomatic corps as well as representatives from UNECA and AU in attendance.
This year also marks 70 years of strong diplomatic relations between Ethiopia and India. The Ambassador spoke on the mutually beneficial relationship between the countries, highlighting achievements in health, education and technology sectors.
In May 2019, the India-Ethiopia Innovation & Technology Commercialization Programme was launched with the purpose of sharing technological innovations and to “migrate least 50 successful innovations in areas like healthcare, agriculture, water & sanitation and environment & forestry.” This project aims to create 50 small to medium enterprises in the next five years, the Ambassador said.
He also spoke on the advances India has made as a country, in the last five years rural sanitation coverage in India has reached a whopping 99%. He further stated that the cheapest data service in the world is found in India, redefining governance and making for a “Digital India”.
The people of India recently participated in the 17th general election which was the largest democratic exercise in human history with more than 610 million voters taking part. It was also monumental in that the highest number of women representatives were elected in these elections, the Ambassador explained.
“In this process, a new India is emerging – an India which is not avoiding challenges but taking them head on; an India which insists on complete solutions to problems, not just on some incremental changes.”
The festivities will continue with a flag hoisting ceremony on Sunday, 26th January 2020 and into next week with a food festival “Taste of India” at Hyatt Regency from the 25th of January until the 5th of February.
By Ruth Brook