Your Excellency State Minister of Health Dr. Lia Tadesse
Mr. Damian Halloran, Vice President of Abbott Laboratories
Friends and Colleagues,
Thank you all very much for being here this evening, especially our distinguished Ethiopian colleagues and a very impressive delegation of executives from Abbott Laboratories.Abbott is an American company offering a range of products and services focused on helping people live longer and healthier lives – a goal we all share, and to which the U.S. Government has been contributing for many years here in Ethiopia.
The delegation is here to identify ways that Abbott can expand its partnership with Ethiopia, and to leverage its tremendous capacity to support Ethiopia’s efforts to address its public health challenges. Over the course of this evening, I hope you will have opportunities to build connections and discover opportunities to collaborate on our shared goals to improve overall health in Ethiopia.
The United States is Ethiopia’s largest bilateral contributor of development investment, and health is a major part of that. Over the course of fifteen years, we’ve invested over $3 billion in combatting the spread of HIV alone, and we continue to provide about $200 million per year in support for cross-cutting areas like maternal and child health, preventing malaria and tuberculosis, and improving nutrition.
In recent months, the United States has inaugurated new medical facilities and launched a number of initiatives to improve access to health care. For example, in collaboration with the Ethiopian government, we’re investing in a new, five-year, forty million dollar Health Financing Improvement Program, which will work with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health as well as other public and private entities to provide Ethiopians with better primary health services while reducing their out-of-pocket expenses.
We’ve also partnered with the Ministry of Health to launch the Electronic Regulatory Information System, which will be used to track health commodities across the entire distribution chain to make sure people have better access to medicine and essential health supplies.
As a result of these and many other investments in support of the strong commitments and efforts of the Ethiopian government, Ethiopia has made huge progress in improving the health of its people. These accomplishments demonstrate that investments in Ethiopia, and partnerships with Ethiopia, are good bets.
And while we’re proud of the results of the partnerships between our two governments, we’re equally excited to leverage the power of the American private sector to take this progress even further. In that regard, we’re working to support Prime Minister Abiy’s economic reform agenda, which includes a focus on creating an environment where private investments can thrive.
That means supporting a level playing field where public tenders are transparent and decisions are made on a competitive basis focused on the total value delivered, not just the lowest cost. We’re ready for U.S. companies to compete for these opportunities, because we are confident they bring top value to Ethiopia. This is where companies like Abbott come in.
Not only do they offer top-quality products and services, but they understand that their own success is linked to the success of their partners. And they come prepared to invest in achieving that mutual success. Abbott has a long history of working in Ethiopia, and they’re here this week to deepen their understanding of the priorities and goals of their Ethiopian partners and to jointly explore areas for further collaboration to address health care challenges.
Please be assured that my Embassy team and I are ready to do everything we can to help. Now, I’d like to invite her Excellency the State Minister of Health, Dr. Lia Tadesse to say a few words.