(ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA) – Today, representing the 704,000 residents of Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser celebrated the renaming of an Addis Ababa street in honor of the collaborative relationship between the two capital cities. The Mayor of Addis Ababa, Takele Uma Banti, unveiled a newly-named street, “Mayor Muriel Bowser Street,” and announced the renaming of Gazebo Roundabout to “Washington DC Square” as part of the signing ceremony for the renewal of the Sister City agreement between the District and Addis Ababa. The agreement establishes a cooperative relationship to further the areas of economic development, public health, sustainability, culture, education, and government collaboration in both cities.
“I am delighted to accept this historic honor on behalf of all of the residents of Washington, DC,” said Mayor Bowser. “The DC region is proud to boast one of the largest populations of Ethiopians in the US, and this Sister City agreement is an effort to ensure we continue to collaborate and develop solutions that support the residents in both of our communities. Addis Ababa holds a special place in the hearts of Washingtonians, and now all Washingtonians have a place to call home in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.”
Home to more than 30,000 Ethiopians, the DC region has a multitude of Ethiopian business owners, families, entrepreneurs, community leaders, artists, and more. The Sister City agreement signing ceremony was part of a five-day mission led by Mayor Bowser.
“Today, we renewed our Sister City Agreement with Washington, DC to create lasting partnerships and cooperation on economic development, public health, culture, tourism and education. We are the capital to two great nations and there is so much we can learn from each other,” said Addis Ababa Mayor Takele Uma Banti. “To Ethiopians in DC, we need your passion, knowledge, expertise, creativity and the values that allowed you to be outstanding citizens and entrepreneurs in DC. As we lay down the cornerstone for this new road in honor of our partnership, I’ve no doubt that we’re cementing a moment in history to highlight the place of DC and its residents in Addis.”
The agreement confirms the two cities will, in short:
- Promote collaboration, information exchange, and joint ventures, with a special focus on the growth and development of business investment, trade and tourism and public-private partnerships
- Share information on best practices in the areas of government operation; including public works, transportation, technology, infrastructure and housing
- Share information on health polices and best practices to strengthen the capacity and effectiveness of prevention and treatment programs
- Promote the development of programs in the areas of culture, arts and education
- Share information and best practices the support a sustainable environment, including energy conservation and the green economy.
U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Mike Raynor attended the re-signing ceremony, as well as the inauguration of the Washington DC Roundabout and Muriel Bowser Street. At a reception held earlier in the day at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ambassador Raynor welcomed Mayor Bowser and her delegation saying, “…your visit embodies so many of the attributes that mark the long and rich relationship between the United States and Ethiopia: friendship, dynamism, good will, and the pursuit of partnerships that serve the best interests of both our countries and our peoples.”
Mayor Bowser also met Ethiopian leaders, including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who recently received the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, and President H.E. Sahle-Work Zewde, the first woman to be elected president.