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Addis Ababa and the African Union

In 2019 the Trust extended the visit to Ethiopia to two days. Tour Manager Keith Richardson reported as follows: 'Our last day in Cape Town started off with outstanding Bursar presentations on Ethiopia and the AU. The visit to the African Union was extremely well organised. The foundations laid in Cape Town really paid off and when the first opportunity came to ask questions, at least 14 Abe hands went up at once. That set the tone for the day which was due to finish at 16.30 after a workshop with AU interns and it was only at 18.10 that we finally got away. - having sorted out all the AU problems for them!

Our dinner at the hotel that night was interesting. The entire hotel staff emerged from the kitchen, singing, dancing and carrying a cake with candles for bursar Samkezi. The hotel sound system blared out birthday music and the place rocked with dancing Abes and hotel staff. 'Best birthday I ever had,' said the newly turned 24 year old Abe.

On Friday we started off by going to the SA Embassy where officer Shaun Watson had arranged for Ambassador Mkaya to speak to us. He had opened the discussions by talking about South Africa's responsibilities in Africa and the ongoing problems of migration and refugees. He was sincere and fascinating and made us promise that we must come back next year.

Our afternoon meeting was with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) - a new addition to the programme. They rolled out the red carpet and laid on quality speakers. They did not take the Bursar enthusiasm of the responses and questions into account and instead of concluding at 5.00 pm, we eventually finished up at about 7.00 pm. We were then introduced to the Italian architect who was charged with revamping the assembly hall, the Haile Selassi Centre, where the OAU used to gather in the 60's. He insisted on giving us a personal tour.'

Posted: 2019/03/05 (11:22:51 AM)

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