Tigrai Festival 2017 In Las Vegas was a complete Success!
(Aigaforum) 08-03-17 - Tigrai Regional Government Representatives Assured Festival Tigrai Participants TPLF is strong and the Deep Tehadeso movement of the EPRDF is progressing well.
Festival Tigrai is an annual event sponsored by Uinon of Tigreans in North American (UTNA). This year it was held in Las Vegas Nevada from July 31 to August 3rd.
This year’s festival was well attended. Delegates from Tigrai government, a representative from the ministry of foreign affairs and Ambassador Berhane from the Ethiopian Consulate in Los Angeles were among the invited guests.
During the weeklong event, UTNA and North American Tigray Development (TDA) as well as Tigrai Youth Association held their own organizational meetings.
UTNA held its annual congress on July 31st and elected new board members that will lead the organization for the coming next two years. UTNA also amended its bylaw which was submitted and discussed at chapter level prior to the meeting
On Aug 2rd Tigrai Government delegates that included Ato Gobezay TPLF CC member and Meles Academy Director in Tigrai, Ato Eyasu TPLF Head Office deputy director and Ato Estifanos from MoFA held a very successful public meeting .
Ato Eyasu went in detail to explain the state of Tigrai and the challenges faced and progress made in all sectors. Ato Eyasu explained Tigrai has come a long way since EPRDF assumed power in Ethiopia. He said despite the challenges of drought, the progress made in the agriculture sector is good! He stressed Tigrai is rich in mineral resources, so much so, most woreda/district/ in Tigrai have gold deposits!
In some areas, he said to the pleasure of the audience, precious stone deposit have been uncovered in many localities! Eyasu also said the progress made in the education sector as well as road expansion is also very good.
Answering about the quality of education Ato Gobezay said the quality of education has not gone down from what it was but needs improvement. He stressed the government primary effort was the expansion of education and not quality. After achieving nearly 100% of primary education the government is now engaged in improving quality as well as the expansion of secondary schools. Gobezay told the audience there will be a new system in place in the coming year to address the issue of quality.
Ato Estfanos from the foreign ministry office assured the audience Ethiopia’s security is well guarded. He stressed Ethiopia is monitoring the red sea region as well as developments in South Sudan. He stressed the heightened interest of foreign powers in the red sea is being monitored and that all relations with South Sudan is in good standing.
The meeting which lasted close to four hours ended with a message from Ato Gobezay stressing the participants must remain engaged with the government. He assured the government is seriously working to hasten the democratization process as well as the fight against poverty.
The organizers of the festival reminded the audience to plan ahead for next year’s festival which will be held in Tigrai. As you all know UTNA was the pioneer of Diaspora festival in Ethiopia when it held its festival in Mekelle three years ago. Since then other diaspora community in North America and elsewhere have held similar festivals in Ethiopia. UTNA recognized many community leaders and old time UTNA leaders for the commitment to support UTNA’s mission. Aigaforum was recognized for its contribution to highlight community events and its tenacity to remain engaged promoting unity in diversity. UTNA appreciated Aigaforum’s role in fighting the extermists and for being fair and balance.
The event was warmed by an all-night party hosted by the local chapter UTNA members of Las Vegas on August 2nd 2017. Old time renowned musicians from early TPLF band mesmerized the audience by singing songs from the old days of the TPLF. The hall was very crowded and Las Vegas hot summer was in its climax yet reading the faces of the participants Tigrai nationalism was at its peak!
The upbeat mood and nationalistic fervor of the audience was an amazing thing to witness. UTNA must take this opportunity to do more and harness the energy to a common good and cause!
Other milestone achieved during the week-long event was the formation of the Tigrean Youth in North America Association and the well-attended TDA annual Conference. TDA International Director Dr Tadelle gave a brief update of TDA activities and answered few questions. We will have more on TDA and Dr Tadelle presentation as well as the Tigrean Youth Association formation.