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Africa Day Awards - July 2008 PDF Print E-mail

South Dublin County Ethiopian Partnership Project takes the Public Sector Award in the inaugural Africa Day Awards

On Sunday 27 July 2008 South Dublin County Council was successful in taking the Public Sector Award in the inaugural Africa Day Awards at a ceremony in the splendid surroundings of St Patrick's Hall, Dublin Castle for its South Dublin County Ethiopian Partnership Project.


This project is a unique venture that seeks to improve the well being of two towns in Ethiopia; Butajira and Werabe and which also provides financial support for a slum regeneration project in Addis Ababa – the Integrated Holistic Approach Urban Development Project.

The essential basis of the project is centred on capacity building through skill transfers coupled with a series of pilot projects in the two towns which seeks to achieve better corporate governance and improved delivery of public services. Consultation and interaction is at its heart and has proved rewarding to both sides. The project would not have achieved its current level of success without the support, experience and guidance of staff of the Dept. of Foreign Affairs both in Dublin and Addis Ababa.

The awards, an initiative of the Metro Eireann newspaper, aim to promote a better understanding of Africa, as well as to celebrate the indispensable contribution which people from Africa and Ireland are making towards cross-cultural cooperation.

The chairman of the judging panel – Mr. Niall Crowley, Chief Executive Officer of the Equality Authority – praised the Council “for going outside of its normal organisational boundaries to foster sustainable partnership links with its partner authorities in Ethiopia in a very open engagement based on mutual respect and understanding. The actions of the Councildemonstrate solidarity and creativity in contributing to change”

Mr. Clement Esebamen, Senior Policy Advisor to Minister for Integration, Conor Lenihan stated that “the project is one which the Minister is very familiar with since its inception three years ago and one which has his full support. It is an engagement which sets an example for other public service organisations to follow in terms of sharing of knowledge and experience with developing countries to make a very real and practical difference.”

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Deputy Mayor Gus O’Connell in accepting the award on behalf of the Council said “this is a very worthwhile project which has the support of the elected members, management and staff. Indeed, I had the privilege of visiting the two towns in April last on a monitoring and evaluation visit and was able to gauge at first hand the enthusiasm and commitment of both sides and the tangible benefits accruing to the local population. The County Manager Joe Horan and his staff can be justifiably proud of their achievements.”

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