Visit of the President of the French Republic to Addis Abeba (25th May)
The President of the French Republic, François Hollande, came to Addis Ababa on May 25th, 2013, along with Mrs Yamina Benguigui, Minister of the Francophony to take part in the ceremonies of the 50th Anniversary of the creation of the Organization of African Unity, (which became the African Union).
Invited by Ethiopian Prime Minister, Mr Hailemariam Desalegn, Chairman of the African Union, the President was the only European Head of State to express himself. In his speech (here), he paid tribute to the actions achieved over the past 50 years, which allowed the completion of decolonization and the end of apartheid, evoking Nelson Mandela.
He then underlined three challenges that France and Africa have to cope with together in the fields of security, development and the fight against the climate change, to which Meles Zenawi contributed a lot.
The participation in this event as well as the dinner of the Heads of State and Government offered by the Ethiopian Prime Minister allowed the President of the Republic to speak to his host and to numerous African Heads of state as well as the President of Brazil and the United Nations Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki Moon.
During his stay, the President of the Republic also paid a visit to the French high school “Lycée Guebre Mariam”, which is celebrating its 65 years. He spoke to the pupils’ class representatives. He then met up with the French community and he expressed his gratitude for its commitment in the promotion of the interests of our country and concluded his speech by saying "trust France because France trusts you". The President then spoke to our fellow citizens who reserved him a warm welcome.