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Gebeta Sheger : Ethiopian Prime Minister hosts US $174,000 dollar per person dinner

In his Gebeta Sheger program, Ethiopian Prime Minister hosted 200 businessmen and representatives of international organization for US $174,000 dollar per person dinner at Menelik palace in the capital Addis Ababa .

Gebeta Sheger _ Ethiopia _ Menelik's palace
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed greeting his guests at Emperor Menelik’s imperial banquet hall of the 19th century. Photo credit : EBC

May 19,2019

Ethiopian prime minister has hosted Geteba Sheger – an expensive dinner on Sunday in the capital Addis Ababa. According to state media, the program started as early as 3 O’clock with a tour of Emperor Menelik’s palace in the vicinity of Arat Kilo.

As many as 200 representatives of organizations and individuals (businessmen to be exact) have purchased the entrance ticket at a cost of five million Ethiopian birr which is an equivalent of US $174,000.

The dinner is organized in Emperor Menelik’s, a progressive Ethiopian monarch who introduced modernization to Ethiopia and who engineered a decisive military victory over the Italian Colonial army at the battle of Adwa in the late 19th century, Giber bet (banquet hall.)

Sheger Gebeta _ Ethiopian
Emperor Menelik’s Geber bet. Photo source : EBC

Why so expensive dinner?

It is a fundraising drive to fiance Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s ambitious project of beautifying the capital Addis Ababa by treating waters of rivers crossing the city and developing riverside for recreational purpose and covers 56 kilometers. Project cost is estimated to be 29 billion Ethiopian Birr ( about $US 1.1 billion) and is expected to be completed in three years time.

Earlier during the day, Abiy Ahmed participated in a city clean up project which he initiated and ordered to be a countrywide periodic campaign.

The countrywide cleaning campaign is motivated by not only concern for sanitation and the environment but also by the idea of getting across a political message deemed to be relevant in terms of creating awareness along the line of conflict mitigation.

Because challenging radicalization of ethnic politics up front has become politically difficult, Abiy Ahmed’s administration is seizing the environmental cleanup project as a strategy to reach out to Ethiopians in different parts of the country to mobilize for unity and against radicalism with the message “clean the environment. clean thoughts of hate and discrimination.” Over 2 million Ethiopians are internally displaced due to radicalization and ethnic-based violence.

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  1. White collar crime as you know it.
    Vast majority of these organizations and investor people that ate this dinner costing $174,000 USD dollars a plate are in debt millions of USD dollars, which they borrowed from the governmental Commercial banks recently .

    Some ate this dinner because the Hailemariam Desalegn government confiscated their properties illegally and were told this dinner would be considered as a payback compensation for the loss they suffered during Hailemariam’s administration time.

    Charging $174,000 USD per meal to raise $1.1 billion USD dollars to beautify Addis Ababa’s trees and treat rivers, expecting the beautifying project like these will solve the ethnic tension in Ethiopia is not logical.Rather than treating rivers and trees ,Ethiopia should treat the Constitution to ease the ethnic tension.

    This strategy of beautifying the whole country and treating all rivers in Ethiopia is bound to take generations to accomplish and 10’s of billions of dollars debt, the ethnic tension is spreading destruction and loss in a speed not to mention that few months from now Ethiopia faces severe drought due to lack if rain .

  2. It was my understanding that currently 75% of the richest people in Ethiopia are women. The picture above looks like an event of Men’s prostate exam than a fancy dinner. Maybe it is to keep the old culture, where only Men go to this event as during Menilik’s time, if that was the case they should make it a free daily feeding center than a restaurant where people pay to eat. Menilik didn’t charge money for people to eat. If they charge money for food they might as well let us women eat too, as charging for food was Hailessealsie’s thing not Menilik’s . Hailessealsie charged for food at Wabe shebelle hotel, Ethiopia hotel and other hotels but not Menilik.

  3. Great Job mr. PM
    As it is becoming our custom we have radically opposite view of things. Should we stop building addis because some fanatics are fighting to Claim ownership? It is our capital and as such we should make it beautiful. As far as the fanatics are conserned they can keep shouting but they can’t out shout the six Milion or more people from all corners of the country who made addis Abeba what it is now.

  4. It is very amaizing and appericiable calling of campanies to invest in addis ababa in order to avoid dust and beatify river banks around 56km. A I happy with the project.

  5. This is a great initiative by the PM. People are criticizing the PM for initiating such a noble project. The money that he is collecting would otherwise not have been collectible if the cause was different. He is a man of integrity and can do so many different things at the same time.

    There is ethnic tension in the country doesn’t mean that all developmental endeavors should be arrested. In fact this kind of project may sap the energy away from TPLF perpetuated ethnic tensions.

  6. This is the best life . The public places of Addis Ababa are going to become liveable areas .
    Everyone knows the buildings and the inside residences of Addis Ababa are already the most beautiful places in
    the world , now when the public places are made beautiful too Addis Ababa Is going to be the most beautiful city in the world.When city becomes beautiful people become beautiful too.

  7. No matter what; Ethiopia has much more minde blowing negative thinkers than the rest. We will allways find at large,people who are lifting rocks to release the snake. No wonder why yuor hand is wide open to take than……

  8. It seems an irony to this, since lots of mess temptated the govt and the masses of the people but have no choice to do this kind of fund rising. I appreciate the moves that the PM follows ‘problem doesnt solve by crying or talking’ “hate doesnt give love”. Lets do it our job and tje redt is dust


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