The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) is expected to discuss the midway performance of the ambitious Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) at its ninth regular summit to be held from March 23-26 in the city of Bahir Dar.
The congress, the first to be held since the passing of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in August 2012, will be held under the banner “Meles’ teachings for strong institutions and the movement of developmental forces for our renaissance”.
Redwan Hussein, Head of EPRDF’s secretariat, said the party made a conscious decision to hold this year’s congress, two and half years after the last one which was conducted in September 2010 in the town of Adama, to review the implementation and progress of the GTP.
The central points of discussion at the congress are expected to include housing development, job creation, increasing productivity in the agricultural sector, increasing the income of the urban population, good governance issues and the public’s participation on governance issues.
“Through this conference we will examine in detail the past performance of the GTP and assess areas of weakness and strength. We will focus on applying ourselves diligently on the weak parts and continue the momentum on the strong parts for the remaining two and a half years of the GTP thereby enhancing our performance,” said Redwan. He further noted that the vision, goals and performance at various levels of the program will be discussed.
The much touted succession process of the party will also be another major item up for discussion.
A new 180-strong EPRDF council will be chosen at the congress along with a 36-member executive council, leading to the appointment of a new Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson.
A meeting of the Audit commission will convene and new appointments to the commission are expected.
The meeting shall assemble 1,600 delegates from core parties of EPRDF, together with 900 invited guests. EPRDF also foresees the participation of a more than 42 member delegation from 15 foreign parties of which nine are from Africa, three from Asia, two from Europe and one from Latin America.
Established in 1989, EPRDF is an assembly of four constituent parties, which are the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO), the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) and the Southern Ethiopia Peoples Democratic Movement (SEPDM).