Ethiopian Airlines has decided to partner with the African Union to make peace happen by pledging to support some of the communication and travel needs of the 2010 Year of Peace and Security program. Additionally, Ethiopian Airlines will distribute the Flame of Peace, the unifying symbol for all nations committed to bringing about peace on the African continent, to various African destinations.
By making this commitment, Ethiopian Airlines joins a growing number of private sector, international and civil society partners who are beginning to respond to the call by the AU Commission to work with it to achieve the objectives of a conflict-free Africa.
The CEO Mr. Girma Wake, speaking on the partnership, said, "Throughout its 65 years of existence Ethiopian Airlines has endeavored to bring Africa together and to link it to the rest of the world, thereby contributing to its socio-economic integration and development. We have faith in Africa’s capacity to grow and become an economic powerhouse. Achieving peace and stability on the continent will go a long way in unlocking Africa’s enormous potential, and enabling its people to benefit from its abundant resources. This is why we are joining this timely initiative by the African Union."
Peace and Security Commissioner, Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra, speaking on behalf of the African Union Commission, thanked Ethiopian Airlines, and called on other stakeholders in all sectors to emulate the airline’s example.
He added, "To achieve peace between nations and non-violence in our homes, communities and schools requires everyone’s involvement. While governments and international organizations have a key role to play, businesses can also make a meaningful contribution to the quest for peace in Africa. The AU encourages them to join hands with it and its Member States to make peace happen in 2010 and beyond, for a peaceful and stable Africa will contribute to the creation of a conducive environment for investment and economic activity."
The AU Commission is reaching out to businesses, to support the Year of Peace and Security through various means, including by urging them to sign the Make Peace Happen Industry Charter, as a demonstration of their commitment to contributing to efforts to end conflicts and sustain peace in Africa.
Ethiopian Airlines, one of the largest and fastest growing airlines in Africa, made its maiden flight to Cairo in 1946. With the recent addition of flight services to Pointe Noire, Ethiopian provides dependable services to 39 cities in Africa and a total of 59 international destinations spanning throughout four continents.
Ethiopian won the NEPAD Transport Infrastructure Excellence Awards 2009 on November 25, 2009 and "Airline of the Year" award from the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) on November 24, 2009, bringing the total Awards honored since January 2009 to five.
In August, 2008, Ethiopian won “the 2008 Corporate Achievement Award” of Aviation & Allied Business for setting the pace towards the development and growth of the African aviation industry.
Ethiopian is also the first African carrier to win the 2008 Brussels Airport Company Award in recognition of its distinguished long haul operations witnessed through the introduction of new routes, new products, and close cooperation with Brussels Airport in marketing activities.
Ethiopian was the winner of the ‘2008 Best Airline in Africa Award’ at the African Travel Award ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria, for its excellent network and convenient connections in Africa.
Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam Group Chief Executive Officer