The Norwegian national day was celebrated in Addis Ababa on 17 May – as every year. This year however, the bicentenary of the Constitution requires an extraordinary celebration of our old nation. Our constitution was signed – during a brief interim period of independence – on 17 May 1814.
The Norwegian Embassy started this year’s celebration by arranging a reception for around 800 representatives from the political life, diplomats, civil society, international organizations, academia, media, private business, and other contacts. The Norwegian Ambassador gave a speech focusing on the democratization process and social development Norway has gone through during the last 200 years, and the principles enshrined in our constitution – the sovereignty of the people, separation of powers and individual rights.
The Ethiopian State Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Berhane Gebrecristos attended the celebration. In his speech, he emphasized the solid relationship between Norway and Ethiopia, and the wish to further strengthen the bilateral relations. The reception was followed by a big party with food, drinks and dancing.
The following day – the 17th of May – the Ambassador invited all Norwegians in Ethiopia to a traditional national day celebration in his residence. As every year, the children led the parade, singing traditional songs and waiving the Norwegian flag.
The renowned Norwegian professor Dr. Frank Aarebrot recently did a TV program titled “200 years in 200 minutes”. He described the Norwegian journey towards democracy and social development. The Embassy is continued the celebration of the bicentenary of the Constitution by inviting Dr. Aarebrot to Addis Ababa on Friday 30th of May (see attachment for more information). He held an open lecture at the Addis Ababa University, followed by a panel debate with Ethiopian and Norwegian researchers, discussing the applicability of the Norwegian journey in the Ethiopian society.