New Ethiopian Ambassador to the UK Assumes Post

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Teferi Melesse has assumed the Ethiopian Ambassador post to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland yesterday, September 14, 2020.

Teferi, who replaced the previous Ethiopian Ambassador Fesseha Shawel, was welcomed by Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office officials and diplomatic staff following his arrival into the UK over the weekend.

According to the Embassy of Ethiopia in the UK, the Ambassador’s priorities will be to facilitate cooperation between the two countries in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, coordinating regional peace and security, promoting trade, and tourism and investment and climate change.

Ambassador Teferi joined the Diplomatic Corps in 1993 and has held numerous positions in Addis Ababa and abroad, most recently as Consul General at the Consulate-General of Ethiopia in Guangzhou, China.

Previously, Teferi served as Director-General for Public Diplomacy and Communications, Chief Advisor to the Minister on Capacity Building, and Director in the Ethiopian Expatriate Affairs Directorate-General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Addis Ababa.

The Ambassador’s other roles abroad included Consul General at the Consulate-General of Ethiopia in Geneva, Switzerland; Chargé d’affaires at the Ethiopian Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe as well as Minister Counsellor at the Ethiopian Embassy in Brussels, Belgium.

Regarding his appointment, Ambassador Teferi said that he was delighted to be the new Ethiopian Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Teferi added that he would find further opportunities where Ethiopia and the UK can further develop their strategic and relations in the years ahead.

Bilateral ties between Ethiopia and the UK date back to 1903. Ethiopia is the largest recipient of aid from Britain in Africa. Britain’s support is mostly directed into education, health, and the One Wash program, a program that aims to modernize how water and sanitation services are delivered in Ethiopia.

As part of the global fight against Covid-19, the UK allocated a 19 million euro funds to Ethiopia in April 2020.  The UK was also the largest donor to the now postponed national election, pleading over 582 million Br to support the election that was supposed to take place this year.

Several UK businesses have invested in Ethiopia, including well-known multinational companies such as DIAGEO, a beverage and alcohol company, TESCO, groceries and general merchandises retailer, and Unilever, the British-Dutch consumer goods company. 

Ethiopia also wants to strengthen its existing engagements with the UK further as the UK moves into a future outside of the European Union.