U. S. Ambassador Geeta Pasi Visits Hawassa, discuss AGOA issues

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Geeta Pasi, Ambassador of the United States to Ethiopia has visited Hawassa. During her daylong visit, the Ambassador met with business leaders, workers, academics, and journalists to discuss about U.S. government programs to hear from them about their experiences in their respective fields.

The Ambassador visited the Hawassa Industrial Park (HIP), the first sustainable textile and apparel industrial park in Africa, where she had the opportunity to meet with Hibret Lemma, CEO of Hawassa Industrial Park Investors Association (HIPIA) and talk to HIPIA members.

The workers told the Ambassador the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), a duty and quota free export to the US and other support from the United States had positively impacted their lives.  She also spoke with women who are beneficiaries of United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Worker Wellness Alliance about the program’s efforts to help women integrate into formal work and life in the surrounding communities.   

Ambassador Pasi underscored that Ethiopia and US have a shared goal to ensure that the people of Ethiopia continue to benefit from AGOA. The US stands ready to work with the government to this end.

In a statement to the press, she reaffirmed U.S. support for continued partnership with Ethiopia.  Since 2000, the AGOA – has been a foundational element of U.S. economic and commercial engagement with Africa.

The legislation that created AGOA established criteria for eligibility, which are reviewed annually. These criteria includes the requirement that a beneficiary country not engage in gross violations of human rights.  ”The United States is committed to our partnership with Ethiopia,” she said.

The Ambassador had honored to have an opportunity hear from young Ethiopians working to bring about peace and prosperity in their country, in part, by partnering with USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives. Student leaders from Hawassa University were joined by Dr. Debrawork, the Dean of the College of Law and Governance, to share their efforts to promote peace on campus and in communities.   

Ambassador Pasi also visited Hawassa University, with which the U.S. Embassy has had a long and very fruitful relationship, including English language education and journalism, programs that benefit students and the people of Ethiopia.  She spoke with University President Dr. Ayano Berasso, Vice President Dr. Tafesse Matios and Vice President Dr. Fiseha Getachew, about their work to prepare the next generation for the future.

Since taking on her role as U.S Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ambassador Pasi has visited the regions of Amhara, Sidama, Somali, South and Tigray regions to build upon the valued partnerships between the people of the two countries.

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