"How to Build a Country from Scratch" -- A Discussion with Ambasssador Andebrhan Giorgis

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Drexel University, Mitchell Auditorium, Bossone, 3140 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Join special keynote speaker Ambassador Andebrhan Giorgis, a veteran of Eritrea's war of independence, a former senior government official and an international expert, in discussing what it took to establish a new country after decades of war and the global threat of piracy and terrorism in the Horn of Africa. Reception to follow.

Coming at a time when the world was grappling with a failed Somalia state, Eritrea’s independence from Ethiopia in 1993 was welcomed with tepid optimism. Its strategic location in the Horn of Africa makes the country an important player in regional stability and international peace and security.

Yet, Eritrea has contributed to more instability in the region – the United Nations has imposed sanctions and an arms embargoes in response to the country’s support of armed opposition groups and terrorist organizations that have destabilized Somalia and other parts of the region. Domestically, the promise of the independence movement has given way to political repression and socioeconomic crises.


Amb. Giorgis is a founding member of the central committee of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF). Upon independence, he served as President of the University of Asmara, Governor of the Bank of Eritrea, and a member of the Eritrean National Assembly. From 1995 to 1999 and from 2002 to 2006, Amb. Giorgis served as Ambassador, inter alia, to the European Union, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom as well as Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization and UNESCO. From 2000 to 2002, he was the Commissioner for Coordination with the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE).

Amb. Giorgis is currently a board member and Senior Adviser of the European Center for Electoral Support, a Senior Expert in the Peace and Security Section of the Global Governance Institute, and an Adjunct Professor of Diplomacy and African Politics at Vesalius College, Free University of Brussels (VUB). He has worked as Senior Advisor for the Africa Program of the International Crisis Group and advised the European Commission for the Preparation of an EU Strategy for the Horn of Africa. He holds a BSC and MBA from the University of Colorado and conducted doctoral studies at Harvard University.

This event is sponsored by Drexel University's Office of International Programs, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Africana Studies Department.

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