By Amanuel Biedemariam,
THE Ethiopian Satellite Television and Radio (ESAT) Service, in collaboration with Ethiopian academics and pro-democracy advocates is hosting a two day symposium on, “Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa: Prospects for a Stable, Democratic and Prosperous Future” which will be held from May 9-10, 2015 at the Sheraton National Hotel, 900 Orme Street, Arlington, VA.
Ethiopia, the Horn of Africa and the prospects for peace and stability is also Eritrea’s interest. ESAT and the pro-democracy advocates in the Diaspora have been engaging Eritreans in the Diaspora for over a decade. In the past such an attempt has been made to involve Eritreans and Ethiopians in such an exchange with limited success.
After ESAT’s visit and subsequent interview with President Isaias Afewerki; the enthusiasm and energy within the Ethiopian Diaspora and amongst Ethiopians all over has been palpable. Today, Ethiopians are eager to engage and move forward with the hope of saving their country and creating a stable, peaceful and prosperous region.
This provides an opportunity for all stake holders to redefine and reshape attitudes, to bring ideas and educational materials that can help foster an environment conducive for future relations based on mutual respect, territorial integrity and with the interests of all involved in check.
This is also a great opportunity for Eritreans and Ethiopians to come together to showcase their unique cultures and traditions through song and dance. To that end, Eritrean Musicians will take part in the cultural event to showcase some of Eritrea’s traditional and modern music.
This is a unique moment and opportunity for Eritreans and Ethiopians to come together in purpose with the right intention. The success and the example this platforms establishes can set a precedent not only for Eritreans and Ethiopians but for the greater Horn of Africa region that desperately needs it.
This is a result of arduous journey that developed over time based on trust, communication amongst Ethiopians and Eritreans that worked quietly to get here with a mindset of expanding this endeavor throughout the US and Europe.
The presenters representing Eritrean perspectives are Elias Amare, Senior Fellow of the Peace Building Center of The Horn of Africa to present a paper on, “Eritrea and Ethiopia: Long-term Prospects for Building Durable Peace, Cooperation and Integration in the Horn of Africa.” Professor Asmarom Legesse will present a paper to set the record straight about False Labels that they try to attach with Eritrea and Sophia Tesfamariam will discuss Eritrean women during and after independence.
Please come and join this timely forum and musical occasion that can open the possibilities of a better understanding and future relations that is geared to benefit all.