As we enter a new year, the Eritrean community embraces new beginnings. The beginning of this year provides us with an opportunity to take a break, rejoice, and renew our spirits. For all Eritreans worldwide, this is a time of celebration, unity, and infinite hope - a moment that brings us together as we look forward to a brighter future.
Reflecting on the Past Year
Looking back, the year 2023 has been a true testament to the unwavering resilience and strength of the Eritrean people. The Eritrean community worldwide has thrived and reached significant milestones despite the numerous hurdles they encountered and the life-threatening challenges they faced. These obstacles have only strengthened their resolve and taught them valuable lessons about the power of unity, perseverance, and collective effort.
Eritreans have taken the global challenges as an opportunity to renew their commitment to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the country's independence. They are determined to preserve the legacy that these brave heroes left behind. Eritreans worldwide have adopted a new campaign slogan, "Walta," which means "Shield" in Tignrgna. This reflects their readiness to defend and promote their interests with renewed spirit.
Eritreans worldwide have made significant contributions in various areas, such as academics, sports, arts, and entertainment, as well as groundbreaking work in several fields. Despite attempts to bring them down, Eritreans continue to excel and rise in competitions across all fields, including international science competitions, music, fashion, beauty, cycling, and soccer.
Eritrea's global visibility has increased in ways many did not foresee. The world is starting to witness Eritrea's principled stances and approach to governance, which has raised praise from the African Bank for its lack of corruption. The world witnessed Eritrea's vitality and geopolitical strength in the most significant global stages. President Isaias Afwerki visited China and Russia and participated in the Russia Africa Summit, taking center stage and solidifying Eritrea's strong positions. Moreover, Eritrea participated in the BRICS Summit in South Africa, taking center stage and cementing relations with many countries of the Global South and beyond.
Eritrea showcased its strength and influence during the Saudi Africa Summit in Riyadh from November 10 to 13, 2023, an event aimed at fostering cooperation and investment between Saudi Arabia and Africa. President Isaias Afwerki engaged in significant meetings with various regional leaders, including Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Somali President Hassan Sheik Mohamud, focusing on matters concerning the security and stability of the Red Sea region—an area crucial for global trade and energy.
Eritrea has signed agreements with Saudi Arabia across several key sectors, including mining, finance, transportation, and tourism. The primary objective of these agreements is to strengthen bilateral relations and promote economic development in both countries. These agreements are expected to breathe energy into Eritrea's mining industry, which boasts abundant gold, copper, and potash reserves. Additionally, the agreements will help showcase Eritrea's potential in the tourism sector by highlighting its unspoiled coastline and historical landmarks. Furthermore, these agreements aim to promote security and collaboration in the Red Sea. Eritrea and Saudi Arabia have a common interest in this area.
Given the situation in Yemen and attacks on Israeli ships, the West needs allies in the region. Eritrea's strategic location, military strength, and unified population make it a valuable partner.
In short, Eritrea is in a highly strategic geopolitical position that only a handful of countries enjoy. This advantage was achieved through the internal sacrifices made by its people to become self-reliant and robust in all areas. Eritreans have made significant strides in various sectors, such as medicine, education, agriculture, and mining, and are now poised to take it to new heights through partnerships with major powers.
Despite agitations from various areas in the neighborhood, Eritrea remains focused on not being dragged into conflicts and instead on the bigger picture. For example, when PM Abiy Ahmed Ali and his PP party agents tried to incite Eritrea, we opted for calm.
As we move into the new year, it is essential to consider what the future holds for the Eritrean community abroad. We must focus on the road ahead and strive for excellence, harnessing our potential and contributing meaningfully to society. It is important to remember that solidarity is vital to achieving our collective aspirations. Our cultural heritage values tradition and togetherness, so we should remember this as we celebrate the new year with traditional dances, family gatherings, and feasts, uniting us in shared joy and festivity.
To achieve progress and prosperity, we must set collective goals for education, innovation, and development and contribute to our communities. We should nurture progress and prosperity while holding onto hope for peace, stability, and a bright future for Eritrea. However, to achieve this, we must strengthen our community structures, commit to serving one another, and lift each other in connection with the institutions in Eritrea. We need to be intentional about raising the standards of our conditions, using education and our talents to build our communities, and establishing a compelling presence that can advocate for Eritrea’s interests using the media and every tool at our disposal.
Conclusion: As we welcome the new year, let us carry forward the spirit of unity, resilience, and hope. I extend my heartfelt wishes for a joyous and prosperous new year to all Eritreans across the globe. Let us march hand in hand, united in purpose and driven by the aspirations of a brighter future.
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