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A Country of Many Contrasts

Ethiopia’s judicial system gets €10 m EU support

EU-JusticeThe European Union has upped its support for Ethiopia in the area of justice and the rule of law, announcing a support package on November 29.

The 10 million euro support was announced after a meeting between Ambassador of the EU to Ethiopia, Johan Borgstam, and Ethiopia’s Chief Justice, Meaza Ashenafi.

CJ Ashenafi expressed appreciation to the EU for what she said was “its continued partnership and support to ensure the rule of law in Ethiopia.”

She stressed that the two parties had also held fruitful discussions on areas of importance and of mutual interest. Ashenafi since taking office as Ethiopia’s first female CJ has stressed the need to reform the judiciary.

“This is an honour and a distinct privilege. This kind of offer does not come every day, and this is a new chapter in our country as we go through a transformation.

“It will be a privilege if I am able to contribute to the independence of our judiciary… [and] the government is ready to ensure that I get all the support I need to build an independent judiciary,” she said.

“I am so happy that the glass ceiling is shattered and my daughters can dream of becoming anyone they want to be in Ethiopia,” she told the BBC.

Under the less than a year old administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia currently has its first woman president in career diplomat Sahle-Work Zewde.

A powerful peace minister in the person of Muferiat Kamil – Ethiopia’s first woman speaker of parliament, its first defense minister, Aisha Mohammed and eight other woman holding cabinet portfolios.

Its current twenty-seat cabinet is occupied by ten women. The government has received wide commendation internationally over its steps at empowering women to hold top leadership positions in the governance structure.