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National Day celebrated at time of renewal




National Day celebrated at time of renewal

(Eth Embassy London) June 07, 2018 -  The Ethiopian Embassy in London welcomed over 300 guests to a garden party yesterday for Ethiopia’s National Day, which celebrates the triumphant entry of EPRDF forces into Addis Ababa on 28th May 1991.

In his welcoming speech Ambassador Hailemichael Aberra Afework spoke of the “monumental crossroads” that Ethiopia faced 27 years ago, when “confronted with the existential choice between dissolution and evolution.”The Ambassador listed the “transformational change in our country’s history” while recognising “the sacrifices made by those before us, in pursuit of a greater Ethiopia.”


His Excellency highlighted the most recent reforms under new Prime Minister, Dr Abiy Ahmed, aimed at “widening the political landscape, speeding up the economic development, strengthening the rule of law and fostering national unity.”Noteworthy achievements so far include“the release of thousands of prisoners, the holding of wide-spread public consultations, negotiations with local opposition parties and those abroad” and the “offering of amnesty to the members of these groups to facilitate their re-engagement in the democratic process.”

The Ambassador also highlighted the EPRDF Executive Council’s decision “to expand mixed ownership or outright full privatisation of state-owned enterprises” and its intention “toimplement the Algiers Agreement and the Ethio-Eritrea Boundary Commission’s decision.”


He concluded by thanking the UK Government and people for “their enduring commitment to the development and prosperity of Ethiopia over the last twenty-seven years”, when “our close partnership on issues of peace and security, terrorism, climate change and migration has remained steady and consistent, yielding results in the face of an ever-changing global context.”


Africa Minister Harriet Baldwin was represented by the FCO’s Julian Reilly, Head of the East Africasection, who praised the two countries strong bilateral relations, especially in economic development and regional and international security, adding, “It is a time of great opportunity, new Prime Minister Abiy is driving forward a really exciting agenda of reforms, seizing new opportunities. This is great for Ethiopia, it is also great for British business, with huge commercial opportunity. The PM’s Trade Envoy Jeremy Lefroy was in Ethiopia only last week.”

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Laurence Robertson MP, Chair of the Ethiopia & Djibouti All Party Parliamentary Group congratulated Ethiopia on the smooth transition of power and looked forward to the many business opportunities that Ethiopia offers, especially in the new economic climate.

Celebrity guests included TV space scientist Professor Brian Cox and Ethiopian-born British Poet LemnSissay who chatted with guests and had selfies taken with them.

Guests enjoyed exquisite Ethiopian cuisinefrom Mesi’s Kitchen restaurant, Ethiopian wines and the Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony and were entertained by the Dankira Dance Troupe, dancing to a wide range of Ethiopian music.

All of the evening’s sponsors are encouraging investors by example,as they all invest in or trade with Ethiopia.

ALDI is the biggest Fairtrade supermarket in the UK and all its flowers come from Ethiopia

  • Over the past two decades, Ethiopia has become a major force in global floriculture.
  • In just over 10 years, Ethiopia's flower industry has flourished making it the second largest flower exporter in Africa and the fourth worldwide.
  • These floral arrangements tonight are courtesy of JZ Flowers, a leading producer of floral bouquets for Aldi.
  • They source their Ethiopian roses through Herburg Roses, whose farm is based in the Sher complex in Ziway.
  • JZ is the sole flower supplier to Aldi UK and Aldi Ireland –  90% of Herburg’sfarm output can be found in Aldi stores.
  • Herburg farm is Fair Trade accredited, making JZ Flowers the biggest Fair Trade flower packer in Europe and Aldi the biggest Fair Trade flowers retailer in the UK (by bunches sold).


The wine was from Awash Winery in Ethiopia, courtesy of 8 Miles LLP - “8 Miles is very pleased to support Ethiopia’s National Day at tonight’s reception in London. The wine for tonight has been provided by Awash, the leading wine producer in Ethiopia, established in 1936. They produce and sell wine to hotels, restaurants, bars and supermarkets across the country and are one of several high quality African businesses owned by 8 Miles.”

Ethiopian Airlines transported the wine from Ethiopiaand the premium Yayu Ethiopian coffee was kindly provided by Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, an award-winning artisan coffee producer and roaster based in East London. Yayu coffee is available at Waitrose and online from Ocado as well as on the UnionHand-Roastedwebsite.


For further information contact the press office on 0207 838 3880 or 07717 603163

Background details


-          Ethiopia is now emerging as a wine destination.

-          Our wine comes from Awash Winery in Ethiopia, courtesy of 8 Miles LLP.

-          Established in 1936, Awash is the leading wine producer in Ethiopia.

-          8 Miles LLP, a UK-based private equity firm focused exclusively on making investments in African businesses, acquired a 100% interest in Awash Wine Share Company in 2013.

Ethiopian Airlines

-          Wine would not be here if it weren’t for Ethiopian Airlines - the fastest growing Airline in Africa.

-          In its seventy plus years of operation, Ethiopian has become one of the continent’s leading carriers, unrivalled in efficiency and operational success.

-          The airline has won numerous international awards and last year was awarded 4-star rating by Skytrax

-          Flies to more than 110 international passenger and cargo destinations across five continents.



-          Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee…coffee ceremony, etc.

-          Tonight’s coffee has been kindly provided by Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, an award-winning artisan coffee producer and roaster based in East London.

-          They recently launched Yayu Wild Forest Coffee from Ethiopia. This a new aromatic coffee which supports both the unique wild coffee biosphere and the surrounding community.

-          This specialty coffee is sourced from one of the world’s last remaining and important places for the preservation of wild Arabica coffee.

-          With a RRP of £5.50, 25p from each pack of the Yayu Forest Wild Coffee Wholebean will be donated to the Yayu Project, which in conjunction with The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and The Darwin Initiative, aims to protect the wild coffee forest and surrounding forested areas to benefit livelihoods and nature conservation.

-          Founded in 2001, Union Hand-Roasted Coffee pioneered Union Direct Trade, making Union the first UK roaster to introduce a “trade-not-aid” way of linking sustainability with exceptional quality coffee.


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