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Members of the ruling EPRDF party gathered in Bahir Dar for the 9th Party Congress to review the mid-term performance of the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP)

and elect a Chairman and Deputy Chairman. There are high expectations that the current chairman, Hailemariam Desalegn, and his deputy Demeke Mekonnen will be re-elected.
The congress, the first to be held since the passing of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in August 2012, will be held under the theme “With the ideas of Meles, a stronger organization & development forces for the renaissance”.
The party made a decision to hold this year’s congress two and half years after the last one, which was conducted in September 2010 in 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.

Before the congress
Four veteran leaders of the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) have resigned as part of the succession plan of the Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which aims to revamp the TPLF leadership by introducing newcomers.
Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, Ambassador Berhane G/Kirstos, Arkebe Oqubay and Zeray Asgedom, who have been serving the TPLF as members of the central committee while also serving the country in various top government positions, had submitted their resignation at the Mekelle conference.
Meanwhile, the central committees of the four organs that make up the EPRDF – TPLF, ANDM, OPDO and SEPDM – in their respective regular sessions held on Tuesday March 19, deliberated on various agendas.
A document entitled “Remembering Meles Zenawi” was one of the agendas on Tuesday’s session of the 11th conference of the TPLF Central Committee.
Similarly, the 10th conference of ANDM, during its session on Tuesday discussed agendas related to industrial, social and infrastructure development.
Efforts made to expand small-scale and micro enterprises were fruitful, it was noted. The sector has managed to create over half a million jobs over the past two and half years. The conference underscored the key role of small-scale and micro enterprises for industrial development.
New roads have been built in the Amhara Regional state, increasing from 7,682km to 8,739km over the last two and half years, while 889 new rural localities were provided with electricity.
In a related development, Tuesday’s session of the 7th conference of OPDO dealt with the current developments in the social and economic sectors.
The work being done to improve agricultural production and productivity is encouraging, the participants noted and called for it to be strengthened further.
The conference described ongoing efforts to expand education and health services as well as road infrastructure as promising but called for more attention to the quality of education and the provision of clean water. Meanwhile, the ongoing 8th conference of SEPDM, also during its session on Tuesday, dwelt on organizational and good governance affairs.
The conference agreed that current endeavors to address problems related to land administration, taxation, budget utilization and procurement had to be reinforced.
SEPDM has managed to increase the number of its members from 1.5 million to 1.7 million over the past two and half years, it was noted.
Meanwhile, the Oromo People Democratic Organization (OPDO) re-elected Alemayehu Atomsa and Muktar Kedir as Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the Organization, respectively, at their conference in Adama on Thursday, March 21.
The Organization also elected Central Committee members.
The Tigray People’s Libration Front (TPLF) re-elected Abay Woldu and Dr Debretsion Gebremichael as Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the Front, respectively.
The 8th Organizational Conference of the South Ethiopia People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM) concluded in Hawassa on Thursday March 21, re-electing HaileMariam Desalegn and Shiferaw Shigute as the Movement’s Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson, respectively.
The Conference elected 15 Executive Committee members and 45 others to represent SEPDM in the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) Council.
Redwan Hussien, Mekuria Haile, Siraj Fagessa, Dr. Shiferaw Teklemariam, Alemayehu Assefa, Dessie Dalkie and Tesfaye Beljigie were elected EPRDF Central Committee members.
Teklewold Atnafu, Melese Alemu, Muferiyat Kamil, Tagesse Chafo, Debebe Abera and Sani Redi were elected as S.E.P.D.M. Executive Committee members. The list includes the EPRDF Central Committee members listed above.
The Assembly concluded its meeting by nominating 250 members who would participate in the EPRDF Organizational Assembly that is being held in the town of Bahir Dar from 23 to March 26, 2013.