Hawassa U.S the Ante As It Hosts AU’s High-Profile Conference

The fastest growing town in Southern Ethiopia, Hawassa, has taken its urban status up a notch by readying itself to host a major international conference following Addis Ababa’s suit.

As of earlier this week, Hawassa, the capital of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State (SNNPR), marked a new chapter while hosting a high-profile conference of the African Union ministers and ambassadors for the first time since it was founded half a century ago.

Hawassa town was the only urban center that was established with a modern master plan pioneered by Emperor Haile-Selassie in 1960.

During the past few years, Hawassa has been growing remarkably and emerging as a shining star in terms of infrastructure development and competitiveness to host grand events more than any other town other than Addis Ababa.

Once more, the town managed this week to successfully accommodate the AU’s ambassadorial gathering. Since the foundation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963, the pan-African body has been confined and hosted only in Addis Ababa until it went to Bahir Dar for the first time this year in January. The Adama town of the Oromia Regional State also became the other town to host similar events while Hawassa could achieve the same status by being the next town in the nation hosting AU’s event.

While delivering an opening speech during AU’s gathering held at Haile Resort, the chief administrator of the region, Dessie Dalkie, said, “Our town is a testimony of our development with the quality and efficiency to be a well qualified and self-contained town that simultaneously proves the entire development plan being exerted all over the nation.”

Ethiopian veteran diplomat Konjit Sinegiorgis, who is currently Ethiopia’s Ambassador to the AU, on her part said, “… the meeting of the AU being held in Hawassa is part of our reformation program that the government strives for which is aimed at strengthening urban development.”

Addressing the conference commissioner of the AU Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma (Ph.D.), said, “Africa has great potential for tourism, when looking at the beauty of Lake Hawassa and the surroundings.

“If we continue to develop our infrastructure, we can attract many more tourists than we do today. We must also invest and continue to preserve our cultural heritage, in all its richness and diversity, because this is part of our strength as a continent. We salute the region for its efforts in this regard|.”

Zuma recalled that the very reason for the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) 50 years ago on May 25, 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was to liberate Africa from the dehumanizing yoke of slavery, dispossession, colonialism and apartheid. “The vision, solidarity, commitment and bravery of our forebears triumphed and because of them we are here today,” she stressed, explaining that African forebears also strove for continental unity based on the full political, social and economic integration and development of Africa. “Although Africa has made strides towards the fulfillment of its integration, much more still remains to be done,” Zuma said. For the past few consecutive years, Hawassa has been honored ‘The best Town of the Year’ by the Ministry of Urban Development and Construction over hundreds of towns.

Apart from the infrastructure development and the boosting of the industrial sector, Hawassa is one of the richest towns heading to be a No. 1 tourist destination.

Relatively speaking, the town, at the heart of the rift valley, offers almost better and fancier hotels and resorts next to Addis Ababa.

The likes of Haile Resort, Lewi Resort and South Star Hotel are among the leading hotels and accommodations that Hawassa boasts to lead in the forefront.

The town seemingly strives to present itself as an alternative place in accommodating more local, regional and global events besides Addis Ababa.

Source : The Reporter

Leave a Reply