LA vows to help Addis go green
On a visit to Addis Ababa during which she met with Mayor Diriba Kuma and other high-level government officials, Fabiola Vilchez, president and executive director of Sister Cities of Los Angeles, Inc., said there are areas Los Angeles could cooperate with Addis, renewable energy solutions among them.
During an exclusive interview with The Reporter Wednesday, Vilchez said that there are ongoing activities that would facilitate the establishment of sisterly relations between LA and Addis Ababa, and Mayor Diriba has welcomed that initiative. In pursuit of forging sister-city relations, LA would cooperate in the areas of renewable energy sector, a field the city has arguably played a vanguard role among the biggest American cities.
Vilchez also held meetings with officials of the Ministries of Trade; Science and Technology; and Culture and Tourism at which areas of mutual cooperation were discussed, she told The Reporter. Trade in coffee, tea and other commodities is an area where LA could avail technical support for aspiring Ethiopian businesspeople, and exchange visits could be considered as a route to that end. In addition to renewable energy solutions, there is a room for the supply of electric vehicles to Addis. LA companies are also said to be willing to link up with local counterparts to do business.
According to Vilchez, there are areas for the two cities to learn from each other. Like Addis, LA suffers from traffic congestion, housing shortages and other infrastructural problems.
Formal requests have been submitted to the office of the mayor of Addis Ababa with a view to instituting sister-city relations by August next year.
Next to Washington, D.C., Vilchez noted that LA is home to a sizeable community of diaspora Ethiopians. In this regard, she spoke of LA’s “Little Ethiopia” quarter as a place hosting a vibrant diaspora Ethiopian community, who Vilchez says has a strong attachment to its birth country.