Every year, the German Embassy in Addis Ababa collaborates with a German state to celebrate German Unity Day, a historic occasion that marks the unification of East and West Germany. In 2023, the Free State of Bavaria, represented by the Bavarian Office for Africa, took the lead in organizing the 33rd German Unity Day celebration. This event organized within the German Embassy compound, was conducted in close collaboration with the German Embassy in Addis Ababa and drew a diverse crowd of over 1,500 attendees.
The event featured a guest list, with attendees including prominent Ethiopian ministers, Ambassadors and diplomats, African Union and European Union delegates, and distinguished guests from the private sector. The occasion also hosted various Bavarian partners, including the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Menschen fur Menschen, and Bildungswerk der Bayerischen Wirtschaft (bbw), who proudly displayed their work and projects throughout Ethiopia and Africa.
The event kicked off with the German Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ambassador Stephan Auer, delivering the opening speech. The Ambassador emphasized that German Unity Day was achieved through a peaceful revolution, thanks to the tireless efforts of brave men and women. The unity of Germany stands as one of the happiest moments in German history, a testament to what can be achieved through determination and unity. Following that, Mrs. Melanie Habelitz-Wollgam, the head of the African Department at the Bavarian State Chancellery, in her speech highlighted the office’s commitment to fostering cultural, scientific, economic, and development cooperation between Bavaria and Africa. This dedication is a driving force behind the success of Bavarian-African initiatives.
The Ethiopian Minister of Finance, H.E. Ahmed Shide, also took the stage and congratulated Germany on 33 years of unity. He acknowledged the role of German Unity in shaping global development and how it contributed to building Germany’s strong democratic institutions, underpinned by national unity, cohesiveness, and a robust economy.
German Unity Day in Addis Ababa celebrated its 33rd edition with a distinct Bavarian touch. The event beautifully merged contemporary elements with timeless traditions, including a taste of Oktoberfest. The Bavarian Office for Africa set up a beer garden that quickly became the event’s most popular attraction. Guests were treated to the delightful flavors of Bavarian Hofbräu München beer and Hofkeller white wine. Meanwhile, traditional Bavarian dishes, directly from Bavaria, added to the culinary experience.
The Bavarian Office’s presence at the event was not just about food and beverages; it was also an opportunity to showcase the collaboration between Bavaria and Africa. The Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs presented various infomaterials that promoted Bavaria-Africa economic-cooperation, while the Bavarian Office for Africa’s major development partner Menschen fur Menschen and bbw showcased the transformational projects throughout the continent. In addition, guests were presented with traditional Bavarian Gingerbread adorned with Bavaria-Africa imagery. The Ethiopia-Bavaria pins, symbolic of the strong partnership, were also distributed, serving as a visible reminder of the cooperation between the two regions.
In conclusion, the 33rd German Unity Day celebration was a true testament to the enduring cooperation between Bavaria and Ethiopia, with Bavaria taking the lead in showcasing its rich culture and traditions. It was an occasion marked by unity, celebration, and a shared commitment to furthering global development and collaboration.