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On December 5 and 7, U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Ervin Massinga undertook significant visits to Mekelle and Bahir Dar. The purpose of these visits was to engage with regional government officials and university leadership, gaining valuable insights into the U.S. government’s ongoing programs and activities in these areas.
During the Mekelle visit, Ambassador Massinga held crucial discussions with leaders of the Tigray Interim Regional Administration. The focus was on the progress of implementing the Pretoria Agreement, a pivotal step towards establishing sustainable peace in northern Ethiopia. Furthermore, he engaged with Mekelle University’s President Dr. Fana Hagos and U.S. government-sponsored exchange alumni. The conversations centered on identifying avenues to strengthen U.S. support for education and economic development in the region. As part of his visit, the Ambassador also visited a nutrition site supported by USAID.
In Bahir Dar, the Ambassador conducted meetings with key figures, including Amhara Regional President Arega Kebede, Bahir Dar Mayor Goshu Endalamahu, and Bahir Dar University President Dr. Firew Tegegne. These discussions provided firsthand insights into how the crisis in Amhara is impacting essential institutions and the broader populace.
These visits build upon Ambassador Massinga’s trip to the Afar region on November 29. The objective of these engagements is to comprehensively assess the impact of U.S. government programs in each region, gaining a nuanced understanding of local challenges and opportunities.
According to the State Department, a holistic approach that aims to inform strategic decisions that will further strengthen relations with local partners, institutions, and the government is needed in Ethiopia. The Ambassador plans to extend these travels to other parts of Ethiopia, fostering lasting relationships and evaluating the effectiveness of U.S. government assistance in promoting America’s enduring relationship with Ethiopia.