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ADDIS ABABA (HAN) May 20.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. By Zelalem Girma. The people and government of Ethiopia have recently celebrated the fifth year anniversary of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), a multi-billion dollar hydro electric project, being constructed on the Blue Nile river, in the Guba Woreda, Benshangul-Gumuz State.

They are cognizant to the fact that constructing the Dam has many fringe benefits to the country’s economic growth through providing sustainable cheap power for local consumption as well as for neighbouring countries’ intakes. To put their finger-prints on this national holding, citizens are providing their impassioned support to GERD since the beginning.

These days, people are buying bonds, lottery tickets, and donate funds in passion to contribute for the construction of the Dam. Many have gone beyond this to contribute significant amounts of their earnings to the Dam construction through lottery draws. Every citizens in all parts such as civil servants, farmers, businessmen, military personnel, students, prisoners, and religious leaders and worshipers have jointly offered their support. It can be said that the whole nation has uttered together in a salient volition to the great significance of the project.

Indeed, many governmental and private institutions have been extending support through providing tangible material and financial contributions. They are investing their knowledge, wealth and labour for the construction of the Dam.

Similarly, high government officials have recently bought the Grand Renaissance Dam lottery tickets to contribute their share, and strengthen the irresistible public support for the project.

After buying lottery tickets from lottery vendor at his office, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said that he bought the lottery tickets to take the share of himself and his family members. He noted that the lottery will be vowed for us, but the main thing is not for ultimately get money, rather it is just to make contribution for the construction of the grand dam besides other contributions like bond purchase and donation.

The premier stressed that the provision of a 10 million Birr amount lottery prize indicates the country’s rapid growth in all aspects. The premier called on the public to keep their support inwards actively to buy lottery tickets and put their legacy on the Dam, a driver of the Ethiopian Renaissance.

President Dr. Mulatu Teshome has also bought GERD lottery tickets at his office on the same day. He said, “This lottery is not the same as the ordinary one, rather it is the means that helps us to put our finger-prints on our Grand Renaissance Dam project. I bought the lottery to make contribution for the construction of the Dam, and inspire the public to participate on the purchase of these huge lottery tickets.”

Among from the higher government officials who bought Renaissance Dam Lottery tickets, Minister of Communication and Information Technology, and Coordinator of Finance and Economy Cluster with a Rank of Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Debretsion Gebremicheal on his part noted that the people and government of Ethiopia has been committed for the realization of the flagship project since its inception.

Being the second to purchase four thousand two hundred Birr lottery tickets from lottery vendor next to the Premier, he assured that he will continue ahead to buy and support the construction of the Dam.

Likewise, National Council for the Coordination of the Public Participation for the Construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam Office Director Roman Gebresilassie on her part said that the lottery was launched to enable every citizens contribute for the construction of GERD which will continue till the completion of the Dam.

As it is fully financed by local funds, this grand project needs the willpower of the people with an intent to get out of poverty. The people are reacting their dedication and commitment to carry out their civic and moral responsibilities to the project.

According to her, this senior governments’ lottery purchase occasion would provoke the public to buy the lottery, and create commitment to finalize the sale of lottery tickets. As a fund-raiser, the lottery would play an important role in providing the opportunity for the public to contribute their share. So, the Director called on the public to buy the lottery that is expected to solicit 100 million Birr for the GERD. She indicated that the lottery tickets would be on sale until June 7, 2016.

As the dam is currently progressing well, this will be an enthusiasm and great anticipation for Ethiopians living in every corner of the world. No doubt about the public participation for the project is increasing through time. Therefore, the wider public should reiterate their generous contribution for the GERD shown in the last five years. The active participation of the public helps the nation to register dynamic economic development and enhance the capacity to complete mega projects.

In fact, the participation of the public has been showing exceedingly an encouraging commitment. Employees continue donating their salaries, make all Ethiopians firmly united, and cultivate respect, love, and admiration among themselves. Every citizen has to show an encouraging commitment in providing fund from their monthly salaries for the success of the construction.

Moreover, the project has also brought millions of Ethiopians unitedly in national development endeavors, and has proved the renascence of the country.

The Dam will also have a source of multiple benefits such as tourist destination, eco-museum, biological refugee and other investments. Exactly, the project is the largest infrastructural project ever being undertaken by the fund drawn from Ethiopians. Recognizing the benefit of the project in building sustainable power capacity to the country, the people and government construct the GERD to make it instrumental in sustaining the country’s economic development thereby improving the well-being of the society.

Encouraging the local funds, those who are living abroad must play their due role through purchasing lottery tickets through their representatives with an intention to support the dam and for the success of the growth of the nation that requires the participation of all Ethiopians.

The people and government have committed, not to hold-back the continual support that may continue for some years. Up on completion, people should be aware of the fact that the project will help make the country the power hub of East Africa and assist to boost regional integration and development efforts in the region.

A praise should be delivered to those who initiate the support through many ways. It is essential to mobilize the necessary resources and strengthen cooperation that will increase benefits to all.

It is a promise to every Ethiopians to put themselves in a place of taking action and, not to refrain from providing support. To make this undertaking the most essential, the people should not expect the government knock at their doors to finalize this national holding project. Now, all GERD construction participants should not drag their feet to keep the support for the construction of the Dam.

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