BY BILAL DERSO
ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have expressed their keenness to work together for the development and promotion of cultural heritages with a view to consolidating people-to-people relationship beyond the government-to-government ties.
The above was disclosed on Tuesday in a webinar meeting the UAE Embassy held with different stakeholders under the theme Dialogue on Arts & Culture of the UAE & Ethiopia.
Speaking at the discussion, UAE Embassy Political, Economic and Media Affairs Section Head Talal Al-Alzeezi said that extensive promotion of cultural heritages and sites as well as art scene has enabled to portray his country’s positive image among the global community.
Talal also expressed UAE’s desire to share its experience to promote its diverse culture and establish successful institutions that enables it to be an art hub of the Middle East to Ethiopia and consolidate partnership and cooperation in the stated areas.
The head further stated that the two countries have done promising jobs to widen their cultural cooperation and expressed his optimism that the dialogue could open the door for more engagement.
Teferi Teklu from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism told the meeting that the Ethiopian government has given due attention to utilize culture and art to promote the ongoing progress of the nation and its efforts in development, peace and democracy. The government has also been paying equal consideration to attract private investments in culture and art industries by providing different incentives and employing structural adjustments.
Teferi also noted that Ethiopia is desirous to see the strong diplomatic and economic partnership with UAE replicated in culture and art and prioritizes working with the latter to attract investments in the sectors.
“Festivals, cultural days, art visits, experience sharing, training, performances and cultural exhibitions are instruments to enhance cultural diplomacy and pave the way for people of the two countries to get to know each other better.”
Mesai Haileleul from Addis Fine Arts Gallery said for his part that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) has done outstanding jobs to encourage art and his enthusiasm for the sector is demonstrated in various mega projects of Addis Ababa. “By the same token, the UAE’s leadership commitment to art is absolutely remarkable.”
The gallerist called on the government to incentivize the art industry thereby putting Ethiopia’s connection with the UAE and the rest of the world in a good position.
The presentation of research papers on the two countries’ untapped cultural and artistic assets was made part of the program. Mentioning several countries’ experiences in employing culture and art and protecting strategic benefits and promoting positive images, the papers advised Ethiopia and the UAE to follow suit.
The webinar, which aimed to present the two countries’ experiences in culture and art, was attended by representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations and the media.
The Ethiopian Herald August 19/2021