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USAID offers USD 30.4 mln for election

USAID offers USD 30.4 mln for election

The United States, through its Agency for International Development (USAID) is set to offer USD 30.4 million, to support the upcoming election within Ethiopia. The funds are to support the National Elections Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) and help it build its capacity in order to run “free and fair elections.”

“These elections belong to the Ethiopian people, and we are proud to be welcomed as a partner in supporting free and fair elections, and ensuring that the voices of Ethiopians in every corner of the country are heard, as this country continues its remarkable journey,” USAID Ethiopia Mission Director, Sean Jones said as it signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the chair of NEBE, Birtukan Midekssa.

This comes as the United States is becoming more engaged in Ethiopian affairs, despite little interest from President Donald Trump, including the push for a deal to help solve a longstanding dispute over the Nile Dam with Egypt.

The nation was visited by its Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo earlier this month, who has hailed some of the recent reforms of the nation as the US tries to slow down the overwhelming influence of China within the continent.

Pompeo also held an audience with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) and a number of actors, including incubators inside the headquarters of blueMoon.

According to the United States embassy in the capital, “Under the partnership, US support will utilize technology and leverage the reach of the Ethiopian media to educate the public about elections, while ensuring greater transparency and promoting meaningful participation among all citizens in the political process—with a focus on women, youth, and other traditionally marginalized groups.”

USAID has been a premier partner for the developmental ambitions of the nation, funding a slew of projects to help Ethiopia meet its developmental goals. The USAID project is to be implemented by the Consortium for Election and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS).