Map of Ethiopia

Speeches and Testimony



Monday, November 16, 2015


Akkam bultannii, indemen aderachu and good morning! It is an honor to be here and speak at this momentous global event to celebrate the 500 millionth Zithromax donation.

The global goal of eliminating trachoma by 2020 is a major piece in ending preventable blindness and suffering by millions throughout the world. Recently, we have seen significant progress toward the goal. From 2011 to 2013, the number of people at risk of developing Trachoma has been reduced from 314 million to 229 million. Host governments in endemic countries, donors, the World Health Organization, pharmaceutical companies, and others have shown a deep commitment to ending the neglect and eliminating trachoma.

However, despite the encouraging results and tremendous efforts from stakeholders, the disease is still the leading cause of infectious blindness worldwide with 232 million people at risk in fifty-one endemic countries. Fifty percent of the global burden is found in five endemic countries—India, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Guinea and Sudan—and Ethiopia has the highest burden in the world with 30 percent of the sub-Saharan burden.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

In-de-men a-de-ra-chu and good morning! It is a real pleasure to join you all this morning at this event to commemorate International Women’s Day. Thank you to my colleagues from USAID and Addis Ababa University for inviting me to participate and to speak about the important issue of women in development.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

And we are especially honored to have Ethiopia’s First Lady join us this morning to officially open the conference. She has been a very important advocate for strengthening the role of women in the professional world, and her presence today also shows Ethiopia’s support for this important initiative that addresses the role of women in agribusiness.


Friday, November 28, 2014

USAID and CCRDA share a common mission in Ethiopia.

At USAID, we fundamentally believe that ending extreme poverty requires inclusive, broad-based, sustainable growth; free, peaceful, and self-reliant societies with effective, legitimate governments; human development through health and education, and social safety nets that reach the poorest and most vulnerable. Similarly, our cross-cutting efforts in promoting good governance, empowering women and girls, and mitigating climate change are all essential to ending poverty.

Resilient, democratic societies don’t simply maintain stability: they are essential to sustaining development progress. At USAID we believe they embrace not only elections, but also legitimate, inclusive, and accountable institutions that effectively deliver services to all of their people, advancing human dignity and development. They have the ability to manage conflict, mitigate the impact of natural disasters, and forestall crisis that otherwise roll back development gains.

Why do we do this on behalf of the American people? In addition to the moral and humanitarian imperatives to assist those in need, the United States is safer and stronger when fewer people face destitution, when our trading partners are flourishing, when nations around the world can withstand crisis.


Monday, November 24, 2014

I am pleased to represent USAID at this very timely launch of the Lancet Every Newborn series here in Ethiopia designed to focus our collective efforts on addressing one of the most pressing issues for our child survival agenda, preventable newborn deaths. Thanks to the leadership and determination of the Ministry of Health and health workers across the country coupled with the support from many partners here today, much progress has been made in reducing under-five child mortality with Ethiopia proudly achieving MDG goal of cutting under-five mortality by two-thirds.

Yet while the 2014 mini-DHS results tells us that more mothers are giving birth with the assistance of a health care professional, even more are seeking ante-natal care, and many more are using contraception to space births. Newborns constitute 43 percent of under five deaths in Ethiopia, close to the world average of 44 percent, and represent a larger proportion of under-five deaths now than they did in 1990. Thus, despite progress in child survival, the single most important remaining cause of death among children less than five years of age is newborn deaths—deaths within the first 28 days of life.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

It is widely known that Ethiopia is the birthplace of Arabica coffee and exports some of the highest quality coffee in the world, including many specialty coffees such as Yirgacheffe, Harar and Sidama. Despite this long history and unique coffee culture, the Ethiopian coffee value chain has yet to realize its full potential for increased growth especially for the benefit of smallholder farmers.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

It is great source of pride for me to be here and mark two decades of close cooperation between the United States Government and the Government of Ethiopia through the Ministry of Education and my agency, USAID. This collaboration to improve education quality and equitable access to learning have resulted in many more children in school, far fewer dropping out, improved student learning, and, very importantly, more girls in primary schools. So let me begin with congratulations to all of you and your predecessors on this very measurable progress.



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I am profoundly honored by the invitation from the Embassy of Finland to make some remarks this morning at this roundtable. I would also like to thank Madame Ambassador Sirpa Mäenpää, USAID Ethiopia Mission Director Dennis Weller and colleagues Michelle Chen and Demissie Legesse for making my participation possible. And it would be remiss of me not to thank my friend and comrade, Kalle Könkköllä.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

 Greetings to everyone from the U.S. Department of State’s Africa Regional Media Hub. I would like to welcome all of our callers who have dialed in from across Africa. Today, we are joined by USAID Assistant Administrator for Africa, Earl Gast and Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa, Florie Liser. They are speaking to us from Washington D.C. We will begin with remarks from Assistant Administrator Gast, followed by Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Liser, and then we will open it up to your questions


Monday, July 7, 2014

It gives me the greatest honor and pleasure to be here today to pledge the U.S. Government’s support for the Government of Ethiopia’s unprecedented commitment to End Fistula and Transform Lives by 2020. We applaud the Federal Ministry of Health for its renewed focus on obstetric fistula and for taking the bold step of developing a Plan of Action to eliminate fistula by the year 2020.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It is a pleasure to see you all here today and thank you for coming to the closing event of USAID’s TransACTION project. I am also pleased to have this opportunity to share a few thoughts on our partnership in the fight against HIV and AIDS and what we have accomplished with the project. TransACTION was USAID’s flagship project—funded by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)—for HIV prevention here in Ethiopia. The project has been working hard to prevent new HIV and sexually transmitted infections and to strengthen linkages to care and support services in 119 towns. It has largely been successful in doing so.


Last updated: November 19, 2015

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