Avatar photo

Greg Dorey


14th December 2015

አመሰግናለሁ Farewell…

gregTime to move on and let someone else take a turn. This is my last day in extraordinary Ethiopia as the British Ambassador. Goodbyes are never easy, but I have had an amazing four years getting to know this place – full of hospitable people and outstanding experiences. But as is common for most diplomats, we know our time representing our country abroad is limited. So now here is the time for me to say goodbye and head for pastures new.

For a range of development, foreign policy and security reasons Ethiopia matters to the UK. It is growing economically, populous, emerging from poverty and busy making rapid infrastructural progress. Its geopolitical location makes Ethiopia vulnerable but it is a comparatively stable country in a troubled Horn of Africa. It is also doing a commendable job of stabilising the region’s peace and security.

Diageo, Unilever, Vasari, Duet, Delonex, Stratex and New Age are among the British companies who have invested in Ethiopia in my time here. And I am pleased I have been able to convince some others to take Ethiopia seriously. It’s not the easiest country in which to invest, but given the longer-term potential, any significant company with patience, the right business model and a global mindset should be here.

I was fortunate to travel and see many parts of Ethiopia in my time here, and I especially enjoyed the Simien and Bale Mountains. There are a few other places I would loved to have explored but couldn’t – foremost among them the Danakil Depression. The last trip I had out of Addis was to the Tigray region to see refugee camps in North Ethiopia. I have also visited a very full range of institutions – schools, prisons, hospitals, farms etc. Ethiopia is a magnificent country and I hope my fellow citizens continue to come here to visit and that the tourist industry keeps growing in size and quality to embrace them.

I have been privileged to have some excellent hosts and colleagues, including from the large diplomatic community and my own Embassy: the smart and efficient team of security guards,  the gardeners who make our compound so beautiful, the technical works and corporate services teams who keep everything running smoothly, the Residence staff who ensure guests enjoy their time with us. And I will miss the tortoises. leopards and monkeys…..

Ethiopia is changing fast. On the back of the tremendous developmental change of the past decade, I hope to see further dramatic economic and political transformation in the near future. The top leaders will need to continue to fight off corruption and to create the enabling environment to contain the massive socio-economic changes happening in Ethiopia, while opening political space and encouraging journalists to perform a challenge function which identifies and helps iron out problem areas.

I have boosted my social media interactions considerably here, not least through my @GregDoreyFCO Twitter account and my blog https://blogs.fcdo.gov.uk/gregdorey/. I have enjoyed engaging with some active tweeps and media figures here and found my Twitter Q&A sessions especially stimulating. Government to government engagement is not enough in modern diplomacy and social media is a way to get out our messages to a wide community about what we think is important and what is happening in bilateral relations.

In very recent weeks, I was proud of the UK government’s support to the government of Ethiopia in seeking to grapple with the once-in-30-years El Nino effect now ravaging parts of  Ethiopia – not just a recent additional contribution of £45m but also our work to help corral the International Community to assist in ensuring that all the development gains are not lost as a result.

With all the shared effort here – on climate change, Financing for Development, Somalia, South Sudan etc. and migration going into the future, I am sure Ethiopia and UK will continue to be strong and strategic allies. We have so many shared objectives in common. 
It has been a pleasure and privilege to have lived and worked here for four years – and that includes working on Djibouti, African Union and UNECA issues too. Thank You! Amesegenallo‘. My gratitude and thanks….

7 comments on “አመሰግናለሁ Farewell…

  1. Good Luck to you and Alison for the future ! Your tenure here will be a difficult act to follow.
    Sorry to have missed you before you went – I have now joined the DfID LIFT programme, taking me into my 5th year in Ethiopia.
    PS I think that we all remember the opening weekend of Bale Mountain lodge as a signal event of British-led investment in Ethiopian tourism.

  2. Dear HE Greg
    You have been an amazing British Ambassador in Ethiopia. HRH Queen Elizabeth, our Government, UK & Ethiopian citizens can be very proud of your open, inclusive, honest and friendly approach.
    I sincerely hope the FCO give a new job that maximises your immense talent, personality and communication skills.
    Kindest regards
    Mr Gary

  3. Your Excellency, Ambassador Greg Dorey
    I was hoping to meet you physically in Addis. The British Embassy used to organize gathering of friends, especially those who studied in UK for higher degrees. I was hoping to meet you, expecting such occasions may happen. Unfortunately I saw you on ETV talking to the president, ending your ambassadorship of UK to Ethiopia. Honestly speaking I was saddened.
    Through your blog, you provoked me to think of different issues that affect Ethiopia and the world. I have responded to most of them, I think. I hope you will be in touch with your followers from where you may be.
    I am impressed by the interest and concern you have shown to issues that affect humanity and by your special interest and love to Ethiopia. If you are used to drinking ‘tej’ and eating ‘kitfo’ just ask, we will ship them to you to wherever you may be. This reminds me of British Council officer who worked in Ethiopia. I met him in Lisbon. When he got introduced to me in a welcome party organized by his office( was the director of the office,–1990s) he spent most of the evening talking to me about Ethiopia and how much he misses the ‘tej’ and ‘kitfo’.
    Your Excellency you have posted a note which every one of us should take seriously. The county is in transition and needs to take measures as appropriate to the context to ensure that the transition is sustained. Ensuring peace and security is the primary concern of any government and especially those that are located in a volatile region like the horn of Africa and the Middle East. However, what are the mechanisms that should be addressed to ensure peace and security have to be reflective of democratic practices and values , good governance and sustainable development. One cannot think of peace and sustainable security with hungry stomachs and angry minds.

    Your Excellency, wish you good health and success in your works.

    Hailom Bantyerga (PhD)

    Professor ( associate) AAU

    1. Dear Professor, Very sorry not to have met. We certainly want to maintain links with all who have studied in the UK – and would want to encourage alumni to organse activities and connections too. I will continue to work with social media, but will have to leave it to colleagues based in Addis to take a lead on Ethiopian issues. I strongly agree though with your point that peace and security, democratic values etc. are interelated and must be pursued in parallel in order to be sustainable. Finally, it is good to know where to come when I am feeling “tej” withdrawal symptoms! Best regards, Greg

  4. Thank you Sir ;

    You are the most communicative diplomat that I ‘ve ever seen .For me your excellency is people’s ambassador. In the future , I m proud of you to serve Ethiopia as promoter the nation’s vision and development .

    Adebabay Abay

  5. Thank you sir! I have been following your blogs and seeing your social media posts also. You have been very active and I must say visible on both and managed to promote the UK in good ways. Thank you also for your hospitality also, for inviting me and fellow Chevening alumni, to your home at the Embassy and had a good networking opportunity. Wish you the best of lucks in your next endeavor!
    With Kind Regards

    1. Thank you for the kind comments, Bethlehem. We greatly value our Chevening network and I am sure my successor will want to keep up the connection. All the best, Greg

Comments are closed.