Remarks by Amb Tan Jian on the Opening of
Dr. Mei Gengnian Road
(April 5th, 2018, Jima, Ethiopia)
Mr. Mekiyu Mohamed, Mayor of Jimma,
Prof. Fikre Lemessa, President of Jimma University,
Mr. Kora Tushune, VP of Jimma University,
Mr. Hasen Aba Meche, Representative of the Village,
Mrs. Zewditu Hayle, who has been guarding the tomb for years,
It was raining cats and dogs early this morning. It has stopped and is getting clear -- a good omen.
Today we gather here, celebrating the completion of the road construction and the start of its use.
The road is about 500 meters long, linking the main road to the tomb of Dr. Mei Gengnian, who sacrificed his life for servicing local people. It is financed by the Government of China, built by China Communications Construction Company.
At the outset, please allow me to thank the China Communications Construction Company for building the road and agreeing to its maintenance in the coming years.
My thanks also go to the Jimma city and people in the village for their support. I learnt that in building the road, the village people came to help voluntarily, and brought water and bread to the workers. It was a very touching scene.
This road is named after Dr. Mei Gengnian, a medical doctor who sacrificed his life in Ethiopia and was buried in the village. It will make it convenient for Chinese, Ethiopians and people from other countries to visit the tomb and pay tribute to Dr. Mei.
More than that, this is a road of connectivity. It will help local villagers to connect to the outside world. A year ago, people in the village came to us asking for building the road. We have acted on the proposal and here it is. It will contribute to poverty alleviation. As a Chinese saying goes, to get rich, you should be reachable; to get rich, build road and bridge.
This is also a road of friendship. It is a testament that the cooperation between our two governments is comprehensive and in-depth, like this road, reaching to the village people and to the grass root of Ethiopia. The bondage between our two peoples is strong. We Chinese have been with you Ethiopians and Africans, in your fight for political independence and in your campaign for economic development.
So, let's get connected!
May the China-Ethiopia friendly relations enjoy continuous development!
May Ethiopia enjoy prosperity and its people happiness!
Thank you all.