Jared Stirland | Staff Writer | [email protected]
His Excellency Zerihun Retta Shumye, consul general of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in Los Angeles spoke to UVU on Thursday, April 2 in the Liberal Arts building.
“I am here today as an expression of friendship. I want to share to you what Ethiopia is today.” said Shumye who began his power point presentation entitled Ethiopia, the Land of Tomorrow with a history of Ethiopia’s diverse Muslim and Christian populations.
His lecture was focused on the importance of strong secular governments and fighting poverty in Africa in order to unite the continent through interdependence.
“We (Ethiopia) want to bring international stability, making the world one village by revamping (our) participation in regional and international markets,” said Shumye. “Poverty is Ethiopia’s only enemy.”
Ethiopia is sometimes called The Water Tower of Africa, due to numerous rivers running through the country. Part of their growing economy stems from hydropower as a result of dams, and Ethiopia supplies Djibouti with 62 percent of its energy.
Agriculture makes up 43 percent of Ethiopia’s GDP, and “for the last 13 years has been in double digit growth.” said Shumye, citing the decrease from 11 percent to 2 percent in defense expenditures spending, this money has been used “to spend more GDP on social infrastructure” such as education, health care, and agriculture technology.
“Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world; it now has the largest economy by GDP in East and Central Africa. Our students will benefit greatly from our guest’s expertise.” said Rusty Butler, vice president of the Office of International Affairs and Diplomacy.
The largest land locked country in the world, Ethiopia has a federal government with nine states and two chartered cities, which is governed by a bicameral legislature including a House of Federation, which is appointed by the states and a House of People’s Representatives, which is elected by the people.
“Our purpose is to provide Africans to be the captains of their own souls and destinies,” said Shumye.