A 50-member Ethiopian parliamentary delegation led by Mihretu Shanko Gidi paid a visit to the Indian Parliament from February 20 to 25, 2023. The Parliamentary delegation, which included Government Chief Whips, Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons of Standing Committees, and Presidents of 12 Regional State Parliaments, traveled to New Delhi for a training program hosted by the Parliamentary Research and Training Institute for Democracies (PRIDE).
The visit coincided with both countries celebrating 75 years of diplomatic relations. It was the first time that India has invited a large parliamentary delegation from Ethiopia. The experience-sharing visit of the Ethiopian Parliamentary delegation underlined the growing importance of Ethiopia to India. There are several factors that highlight this intent. First, India and Ethiopia share a civilizational connection. Their relationship can be traced back to ancient times. The two countries have strong bilateral ties in multifaceted areas ranging from people-to-people to government levels in the areas of education, health, trade, and investment, among others.
Both countries also share a common viewpoint in their federal government structures. India’s journey over the last seven and a half decades has been quite significant in pursuing an effective parliamentary democracy based on a federal system. As a result of this, the recent visit by Ethiopian parliament members is pathbreaking in sharing experiences and best practices of the democratic and parliamentary experience of India. During a three-day experience-sharing visit to the Indian parliament, valuable discussions and training sessions were held with senior parliamentary officials on various aspects of parliamentary practices and procedures.
The leader of the delegation and assistant government whip at the House of Peoples’ Representatives, Mehretu Shanko, pointed out in his presentation about the exchange of experiences that India is one of the countries that have built an effective parliamentary democracy based on a federal system. He stated that Ethiopia is keen on learning from this experience and putting it into practice.
Prasenjit Singh, Head of the Secretariat of the House of Representatives of India, remarked in his welcoming remarks speech that India is a country that has been able to create a strong economy and democratic system in a relatively brief period after gaining independence from colonialism.
He further stated that Ethiopia and India are eager to expand experience-sharing in parliamentary procedures and will strive to promote people-to-people relations between the two countries.
Shri V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of India, hosted a reception in honor of the Ethiopian delegation. During the event, he emphasized the historical ties between India and Ethiopia, which date back over 2000 years. He also discussed the two countries’ expanding diverse partnerships in trade and investment, education, and capacity building.
The Ethiopian parliamentarians, for their part, stated that the exchange of experiences helped them gain insights on a variety of topics, including the general operation and organization of the Indian Parliament, the presentation and procedure of questions by members of parliament, parliamentary ethics, legislation, and the budgeting system.
The sharing of experiences also includes the organization, operation, and supervision of the House’s executive committee, Indian Federalism, and India-Africa ties. The delegation also paid a visit to the Election Commission of India, where they were informed on the institution’s purpose and functions.
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