HE Dr. Lia Tadesse, Minister of Health
Mr. Damian Halloran, Vice President of Abbott Laboratories
Friends and Colleagues,
Thank you all for being here this evening, especially our distinguished Ethiopian colleagues and an impressive delegation of Abbott Laboratories executives. Abbott is an American company that offers a range of products and services focused on helping people live longer and with a life healthier – a goal we all share, and for which the US government has contributed for many years here in Ethiopia.
The delegation is here to identify ways in which Abbott can expand its partnership with Ethiopia and leverage its tremendous capacity to support Ethiopia's efforts to address its public health challenges. Throughout this evening, I hope you have opportunities to build connections and discover opportunities to collaborate on our shared goals to improve overall health in Ethiopia.
The United States is Ethiopia's largest bilateral development investment donor, and health is an important part of that. Over fifteen years, we have invested more than $ 3 billion in combating the spread of HIV, and we continue to provide about $ 200 million a year in support of cross-cutting areas such as maternal and child health, malaria and tuberculosis prevention, and improve nutrition.
In recent months, the United States has inaugurated new medical facilities and launched a series of initiatives to improve access to health care. For example, in collaboration with the Ethiopian government, we are investing in a new Health Financing Improvement Program of five years and forty million dollars, which will work with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and other public and private entities to provide Ethiopians. with better primary health services, reducing the expenses paid.
We have also partnered with the Ministry of Health to launch the Electronic Regulatory Information System, which will be used to track health commodities throughout the distribution chain to ensure that people have better access to essential health medicines and supplies.
As a result of these and many other investments in support of the Ethiopian government's strong commitments and efforts, Ethiopia has made tremendous progress in improving the health of its people. These achievements demonstrate that investments in Ethiopia and partnerships with Ethiopia are good bets.
And while we are proud of the results of the partnerships between our two governments, we are equally excited to leverage the power of the US private sector to push that progress even further. In this regard, we are working to support Prime Minister Abiy's economic reform agenda, which includes a focus on creating an environment where private investment can thrive.
This means supporting a level playing field where public procurement is transparent and decisions are made on a competitive basis, focusing on the total value delivered and not just the lowest cost. We are ready for American companies to compete for these opportunities because we are confident that they bring value to Ethiopia. This is where companies like Abbott come in.
In addition to offering high quality products and services, they understand that their own success is linked to the success of their partners. And they are prepared to invest in this mutual success. Abbott has a long history of working in Ethiopia, and they are here this week to deepen their understanding of the priorities and goals of their Ethiopian partners and to jointly explore areas for future collaborations to address the challenges of health services.
Make sure my embassy staff and I are ready to do everything we can to help. Now I would like to invite Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Lia Tadesse, to say a few words.