TPLF Hires U.S. Lobbying Firm SGR for US $1.8m

Ethiopian hired SGR LLC Government Relations and Lobbying firm for USD 150,000 per month
Ethiopian regime hired ‘SGR LLC Government Relations and Lobbying’ firm for USD 150,000 per month to lobby on its behalf to U.S. policy makers, congress, the media and business leaders. (Photo: Girma Birru Geda, Ethiopian Ambassador to the U.S.)

By ESAT News,

The TPLF regime will pay US $1.8 million for the year 2017 to a U.S. firm, S.G.R. LLC Government Relations and Lobbying, to lobby on its behalf in a bid to influence U.S. policy makers to have a favorable view of the otherwise tyrannical regime.

According to the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed last month between the two sides, SGR will work with the regime to “develop and execute a public affairs plan to enhance the dialogue and relationship with policymakers, media, opinion leaders, and business leaders.”

The MOU further stipulates that SGR will campaign to “promote a better understanding of Ethiopia’s political, social and economic environment. SGR will work to strengthen U.S.- Ethiopia business outreach and grow foreign direct investment in Ethiopia.”

The document was made available at the end of last month on the website of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. (FARA) was enacted in 1993 and requires agents of foreign countries to disclose their relationship, activities as well as payments received.

The MOU was signed by Girma Biru Geda, Ethiopia’s ambassador to the U.S. and Greg Lowman, partner with SGR.

The Ethiopian regime had hired DLA Piper in 2006 for a monthly payment of 50,000 USD to engage in legal and public relations needs. DLA Piper had campaigned against a bill by the U.S. Congress that condemn the regime’s handling of human rights and arbitrary detention of dissents and critical journalists.

One of the executive orders by President Donald Trump, signed on January 28, 2017, bans executive branch employees from lobbying for five years after they quit their post.

39 thoughts on “TPLF Hires U.S. Lobbying Firm SGR for US $1.8m

  1. ኢትዮጵያ ከአሜሪካ ጋር ግንኙነቷን ለማጠናከር የማግባባት (Lobyying) ስራ ከሚሰራ ኩባንያ ጋር የ1.8 ሚሊዮን ዶላር ስምምነት ተፈራረመች

    ኢሳት (የካቲት 6 ፥ 2009) – የኢትዮጵያ መንግስት በተያዘው የፈረንጆች አመት ከአሜሪካ ጋር ያለውን ግንኙነት ለማጠናከር የማግባባት (ሎቢንግ) ስራ ከሚያካሄድ አንድ ድርጅት ጋር የ1.8 ሚሊዮን ዶላር ስምምነት መፈራረሙ ታወቀ።

    በዚሁ በአሜሪካ የኢትዮጵያ አምባሳደር የሆኑት ግርማ ብሩ መንግስትን በመወከል SRG-LLC ከተሰኘ ኩባንያ ጋር የፈረሙት ሰነድ የውጭ ወኪሎችን ጉዳይ የሚዘግበው ፎሪን ኤጀንትስ ሬጂስትሬሽን በድረ-ገጹ ላይ ባፈረው መረጃ አመልክቷል።

    በዚሁ ስምምነት መሰረት ኢትዮጵያ ከአሜሪካው ኩባንያ በየወሩ 150ሺ ዶላር ክፍያን በመክፈል ከአሜሪካ ጋር ያላትን ግንኙነት ለማጠናከር ጥረት እንደሚደረግ ለመረዳት ተችሏል።

    ከኩባንያው ጋር የተፈረመው ይኸው ስምምነት የአሜሪካ የምክር ቤት አባላትን በማግባባት በፖሊስ እና በተለያዩ ጉዳዮች ዙሪያ ኢትዮጵያ የምታነሳቸው አጀንዳዎች ትኩረት እንደሚያገኙ ኩባንያው በተያዘው አመት ዲፕሎማሲያዊ እንቅስቃሴዎችን እንደሚያካሄድ ታውቋል።

    ኢትዮጵያ በአፍሪካ ካሉ ሃገራት መካከል ለተመሳሳይ ስራዎች ከፍተኛ ገንዘብን በመመደብ ከግብፅና ከደቡብ አፍሪካ ጋር ተወዳዳሪ መሆኗን አፍሪካ ኢንተሊጀንስ የተሰኘ የደህንነት ተቋም ባለፈው አመት ይፋ ማድረጉ ይታወሳል።

    በቀድሞው የአሜሪካ ፕሬዚደንት ባራክ-ኦባማ አስተዳደር የኢትዮጵያ መንግስት ለሎቢንግ ስራዎች ከፍተኛ ገንዘብ መድቦ ሲንቀሳቀስ እንደነበር የተለያዩ አካላት ይገልጻሉ። በአሜሪካ በቅርቡ የተደረገውን የመንግስት ለውጥ ተከትሎም ኢትዮጵያ SRG-LLC ከተሰኘው ኩባንያ ጋር ለአንድ አመት የሚዘልቅ ስምምነት ደርሳለች።
    በአሜሪካ ህግ መሰረት ማንኛውም የአሜሪካ ኩባንያ ከውጭ መንግስት ጋር የሚያደርጉትን ስምምነት ለህዝቡ ይፋ እንዲያደርጉ የሚያስገድድ ሲሆን የዚሁኑ ስምምነት ምክንያት በማድረግ ኩባንያው የደረሰውን ስምምነት ለመዝጋቢው ተቋም አስረክቧል።

    በፈረጆቹ ባለፈው ወር መጨረሻ ላይ በኢትዮጵያ መንግስትና በሎቢንግ ኩባንያው መካከል የተፈረመው ስምምነት ኢትዮጵያ በየሶስት ወሩ ክፍያን እንዲፈጸም የሚያዝ ሲሆን፣ ገንዘቡም በዌልስ ፋርጎ ባንክ በኩል ገቢ እንዲያደርግ በሰነዱ ተመልክቷል።

    የማግባባት ስራውን ለማከናወን ስምምነት የደረሰው ኩባንያ በበኩሉ ኢትዮጵያን በመወከል የመገኛኛ ብዙሃንን ጨምሮ የፖሊሲና የተለያዩ የቢዝነስ ጉዳዮች በአሜሪካ በኩል ትኩረት እንዲያገኙ የማግባባት ስራን እንደሚያከናውን በዶክመንቱ አስፍሯል።

    ይኸው በሚስተር ግሬግ ሎሙማን የተፈረመው ስምምነት የተለያዩ ተጨማሪ ወጪዎች በሚኖሩ ጊዜ ደንበኛ ወይም የኢትዮጵያ መንግስት እንደሚሸፍን ገልጿል።
    በአሜሪካ ህግ ይፋ እንደሚያደርጉ ከሚጠየቁ መረጃዎች ውጭ በሁለቱ ወገኖች መካከል የሚደረጉ ልውውጦችም ሚስጢራዊ ሆነው እንደሚቆዩ በሰነዱ ተመልክቷል።

    የአሜሪካው ፕሬዚደንት ዶናልድ ትራምፕ በምርጫ ቅስቀሳቸው ወቅት የምክር ቤት አባላት በሎቢንግ (በማግባባት) ስራ እንዳይሰማሩ አዲስ ህግ ተግባራዊ ማድረጋቸው ይታወሳል።

    በአሁኑ ወቅት በአሜሪካ 11ሺ 143 የተመዘገቡ የሎቢስት አካላት የሚገኙ ሲሆን፣ እነዚሁ ግለሰቦች የተለያዩ አለም አቀፍ ተቋማትና መንግስታትን በመወከል ከአሜሪካ መንግስት ጋር ያላቸው ጥቅም እንዲጠበቅ የማግባባት ስራዎችን እንደሚያከናውኑ መረጃዎች ያመለክታሉ።

  2. Trump’s lobbying ban

    President Trump imposed a lifetime ban on administration officials lobbying foreign governments, and a five-year ban on other types of lobbying.

    … hmmm …?!?!?

    1. TN, No surprise in American politics. They all lie to get elected and when elected they do exactly the opposite. Obama said the same thing in regards to Lobbying, but lobbyist flourished during his presidency. The only difference between Trump and others will be, at least we will have fun watching SNL 🙂

  3. That’s how the game is played, unfortunately! TPLF is smart for investing money in that space. The Government of Eritrea would be well-advised to do the same. But I am not holding my breath. The game in Washington is, YOU SCRATCH MY BACK, I WILL SCRATCH YOURS. If Eritrea spends money in the lobbying industry, not only would the sanctions be lifted shortly, there would be all sorts of dividends. You gotta grease those palms.

    1. You don’t know how Eritrea works. The land of the truth doesn’t have to bribe anybody for the illegal sanctions to be lifted, and lifted they will be. Stay tuned!

    2. Are u advocating bribe to a foreign Gov. while 20,000,000 Ethiopians are starving to death. the useless Minority leaders of Ethiopia wastes $150,000 a month bribing to stay in power. you must be Brainless Dedebit

        1. IQ, do you know that animal the Bible calls Lucifer and Quran Sheytan? He was at the right hand of God himself but his pride got in the way and God, most kind, merciful had to throw him to earth which man is paying for his debt till this day, if you are Christian or Axumawite like us, I suggest reading(Ezekiel 28:17) and learn from it. Also, accept the world as it not how it should be. Don’t you know even Isreal, with all the power of influence in American politics lobby congress to death? By comparison, African states are nowhere near that influence, please tell Wedi Afom if he is not going to lobby in the near future, at least election like Somali? Just saying

          1. Wow, good thing you did not say election like TPLF. The 100% winner of the Ethiopian electorate. Funny, the same Ethiopian electorate are rising up to overthrow the regime. Funny you speak of Lucifer. Isn’t true that Lucifer like the TPLF is known for trickery and dishonesty?

            Ok, let’s take the world as it is. Saddam Hussein Iraq like TPLF Ethiopia was the USA pimp. Well, see where Iraq is today and you know what happened to Meles Zenawi and Saddam Hussein. Well, both are 6 feet under. A life of deceit only leads to perdition. Let’s see if your money is going to save you from the wrath of Ethiopian people.

        2. What do you think Herman cohen is doing ?
          1.8 m for a favaorable us policy is a good investement. The gain will be more.
          bribe or bride or lobby? You don’t know the difference? For a high iq person you are not that smart

        3. Lamba,dawit and B Adal:
          I understand your theoretical argument but let us be realistic and truthful as that is the Modus Operand in 21st Century World Business and Diplomacy 101.
          $2 Million per year to stay in power and to have a protection by/from the Super Power of the world..?
          Are you kidding me? That is cheap, indeed. And guess what?
          They have succeeded very well…and they will do so…and they will stay warmer and we will stay in Cold…
          What did Eritrea gain or succeed in paying $50K per month to a similar Firm in Washington DC or paying more than that to Mr. Muzunghi…aka Cohen?
          Get it real.
          If paying $2- 5 Million per annum would get us out of the cold and from the sanction,well,I would contribute my share towards it.
          You know what the par time job of Amb Sium Mesfin has been?
          Bribing the IGAD,the AU and the UN Diplomats .for good…and he always carries $millions in his Diplomatic Samsonite.

        4. Empty rhetoric,emotions and bravado will not take us no where, people.
          What the heck has the so called failed Self-Reliance has to do here?

          1. I think the difference between Asmara and Washington DC is ideological. TPLF does not have real ideological guide. TPLF is like a prostitute that cares only for money. USA (government that is controlled by huge cooperations) has deep pockets and only cares for African prostitutes that would cater to all of its evil desires. So, do you see the dilemma.

            The road that Eritrea is taking is narrow and difficult, but in the long run Eritrea would be successful. TPLF Ethiopia is taking the wide easy road. TPLF will have it easy, but in a long run Ethiopia is going to get ruined beyond repair. So, have patience. In the mean time try to see what you could do for your country.

          2. Are you really Hizbawi?
            We could talk and argue endlessly about the Eri-US Relationship and its hiccups.
            Why is Eritrea “….taking a narrow and difficult road” though?
            In the long run?
            When and how long is that ‘In the Long Run?
            There are issues me and you might have no clue about as there is NO Transparency and Accountability that I know of….
            Fifteen year is not Long enough?
            I understand that we are victims for the most part of….But are we really innocent fully from our end?
            I doubt it.
            We need to ask and dig deeper….
            in Fifteen years, we are messed up more than we have been for 50 years, relatively speaking.
            I know Eritrea is the victim but am wondering if there are ways that we can get out …???
            “Ideological difference..”??
            OOhh boy,in the 21st century diplomacy, what maters is “Interest” and survival.

    3. No Shame weyanit dedbelo ,you sitting there and you are encouraging to bribe is to investing .Wow Agamish ፣ኣየ ወያኒትሲ አስከ ኣይትሰኣዩ ከተሰሕቈንና “ነቐረጸት ከበዲስ ማሕጎማ” ሐነጎለ ዘይቡሎም ።

      1. I have to agree with the guys saying lobby, and lobby as much as you can afford it. Like it or not, the game of today’s politics is lobbying campaign contributions etc…as long as it is within the law of the country you should do it. There is a saying “you do lunch or you will be lunch”. But for Gov of Eri, I gather the thinking is if you start engaging in that manner there is no stopping, my advice is do a cost benefit analysis and the answer is easy, especially for Eri how much is a human life cost? How much could have been saved if the money was spent twenty years ago? I am just asking a question not knowing much about GoE.

        1. Selam Habte, I don’t know much about the GoE lobbying efforts either.

          Let me tell you what I know a little bit of. When it comes to US policies towards Africa, aid agencies have a lot more influence than private lobbying firms in DC. This is because there are a lot of aid agencies out there that have their own public affairs experts working around the clock to protect their interest. In fact, there are case studies out that show how US aid agencies always out number and outmaneuver hired private lobbying firms in DC.

          Now, there are a few things private lobbyist do that aid agencies can’t and wouldn’t do on behalf of foreign gov, such as schedule meetings with US officials; educate/inform/sway/handle targeted US officials, etc.

          So, it easy to see here why TPLF might have hired this private lobbying firm. The Ethiopian opposition groups have been noticed by members of US congress. TPLF figured it needed to cover this base side too.

          Lastly, I want to say that Eritrea will never be able to compete with Ethiopia in this front. Period. Think about it: TPLF got hundreds of aid agencies – public and private – on its corner. 2013 figures show that these aid agencies handle up to $4 Billion worth of aid for Ethiopia every year. Therefore, these aid agencies will always favor Ethiopia over Eritrea – anytime and day of the week – always tilt the balance in favor of TPLF Ethiopia. In my view, anyone who argue otherwise is distorting reality.

          1. Hi Observer, everything you said makes perfect sense, I just wanted to point out that today in politics the playing field is different and the rule of the game is changing depending whose interest is at stake. The point you made about competing with the darling of NGOs is not a road Eri would take, I hope. But, some sort of representation should be a given at all events/ meetings/conferences etc… It is like having a public defender in court of law as opposed to having a million dollar lawyer. Thank you!

          2. I agree, Habte. The GoE should hire a few of them. On the other hand, I can only imagine what the detractors of the GoE would say if they spent $1.8 million towards this effort. Thanks for the good discussion!

          3. Mr/Ms One Observer:
            U R right on spot, on this .
            But we have to do better form our end as well with the minimum resource we have.
            The Atlantic Council Meeting is one we could learn and influence indirectly the US Policy Makers.
            PIA answered it that we are not going to bribe the way the others do.
            BUT,hey,if it helps us to come out of the ‘Cold” they trapped us in, and if it will help our national security Interest in any way,why NOT, if at all we have the minimum resources?
            I agree with him in principle but/ and hope he is acting in a diplomatic way as we have to follow the Modus Operand of the New World Order System.
            For sure we are doing something underground and behind the scene.
            Remember that doing the Right and JUST Things is NOT part of the Modus Operand of the world.

  4. Putting lipstick on a Pig, TPLF style

    The international community, as we speak, are scrambling to raise one billion dollar in order to feed over 10.5 million starved-to-death Ethiopians. The irresponsible worthless regime on the one hand throws money in an attempt to improve its ugly, criminal image. TPLF thinks a lipstick by a lobbying firm will make its tainted image look a little prettier. But you know, you can put lipstick on a pig; it’s still a pig. Putting lipstick on a pig does not make the pig a swan!!

    1. You sound badly furstrated and lost all your hope of seeing TPLF / WEYANE gone any time soon (supposed to be before 2017). All your pipe-dreams and ill-wish vis-a-vis WEYANE -TIGRAY have now evaporated into thin air and as always the pround and gallant prople of TIGRAY have come out victorious against all adversaries. Tigrian nationalism has been re-galvanised and our people are organised and United more than ever. Hence smart TPLF will keep ruling and influencing events in the entire horn of Africa and the next big event for us to witness will be then when The Tigrian Warlord in Asmara gives up to the will of nature and God knows what will unfold for our neighbours in the North after Wedi Afom says ሩጫየን ጨርሻለሁ so good bye to his people. Especially after hearing his New Year address in February 🙂 and after almost 30 years of independence shamelessly confessing to the world that in Singapore Eritrea ማይ የለን: መንገዲ የለን: ሂረጊጎ የለን : መበራህቲ የለን : ትህተ ቀርፂ የለን: አየር የለን we understand the real reason behind your grudges and bone-deep hate against TPLF and the people of TIGRAY. May Lord help you survive Halenga – WEYANE and the George Washington of Eritrea from Tembein TIGRAY.

      1. “ማይ የለን: መንገዲ የለን: ሂረጊጎ የለን ..”
        So what do you want him to say? He is just comparing things with what we were really suppose to be achieving at this time and, obviously he thinks it’s not enough and that we need to do more. He is naturally not guregna like your Dedebit-graduate leaders. So what did you really expect him to say? Do you expect him to say, “we have oil, we have gold, we have potash …. and so no Eritrean needs to work”?
        You remind me of Chenawi saying “I’ll make sure that every Ethiopian eats 3 time a day”!!! Kikikiki
        So lets talk about you, do you have water for all Ethiopians? Do you have electricity for all Ethiopians? Do you have infrastructure in all parts of Ethiopia? Well, these things might be luxury for you and so let me ask you the MOST important question woyane needs to answer at this time: Do you have FOOD for all Ethipoians?

      2. Ayte Alula
        You know you are living in borrowed time, until the real Ethiopians overrun your fortified city. What a pity did you forget your MLLT was elected and won 100%. You have been a laughing stock as of lately guys by every seasoned diplomate and analysts of the region. I think you are living still in the dark age as your very name indicates, sooner or later you will face reality it is around the horizon and it spels Oromo and Amhara.

  5. Weyane will do any thing to sty on power ,Ethiopian Government (TPLF) 16 million are starving to death and the money that was found by hand out (by donation) have to spend it For Lobbyist !!!!What did you expect ? No shame for Ethiopian regime or for the lobbyist not surprising .1.8 Million to give for Lobbying .Thank God for President Trump for imposing a life time lobbying Ban.The shameless TPLF what are they are going to do.NO AID TO THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT .

  6. Ethiopia Related —Report of the Attorney General to the . Congress of the United States on the . Administration of the Foreign Agents . Registration Act of 1938, as …

    The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) was enacted in 1938. FARA is a disclosure statute that requires persons acting as agents of foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity to make periodic public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal, as well as activities, receipts and disbursements in support of those activities. Disclosure of the required information facilitates evaluation by the government and the American people of the statements and activities of such persons in light of their function as foreign agents. The FARA Registration Unit of the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section (CES) in the National Security Division (NSD) is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Act.

  7. Weyane threatens 500000 people!

    The development of dams and plantations in Ethiopia’s lower Omo Valley, which have caused a drop in the water levels in Kenya’s Lake Turkana, is a threat to the livelihoods of some 500,000 indigenous people in Kenya and Ethiopia, the Human Rights Watch warned in a statement Tuesday.

    HRW said that, based on satellite imagery received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Lake Turkana’s water levels have fallen by nearly 1.5 meters since January 2015.

    The alkaline lake, which is the world’s largest desert lake, is a key fishing ground for the indigenous Turkana people of northern Kenya.

    The water from the Omo River is the main source for the lake whose northern end stretches into Ethiopia.

    Felix Horne, senior Africa researcher at the human rights group said that “the predicted drop in the lake levels will seriously affect food supplies in the Omo Valley and Lake Turkana, which provide the livelihoods for half a million people in both Kenya and Ethiopia.” …..

    1. We know which country is threatened by the dams we are building and Kenya is not the one. The threatened knows exactly who he/she is. 😉

  8. what can you Think Weyane can do?Weyane is dead so let Weyane Tegaru consume even more and die alone.Weyane can not renovated Tigria from slavery and can not buy and build a new identity-self confidence for Tigria.weyane is now a fog and just need a Little nudge.

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