Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom (UK),   Jeremy Hunt said UK will offer the necessary assistance to Ethiopia run transparent, free and fair elections for the coming year.

Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, Jeremy Hunt, announced today 15.5 million Euros assistance to Ethiopia’s national election.

Speaking at the 2019 World Press Freedom Day celebration that started here in the African Union, Hunt said UK will offer the necessary assistance to Ethiopia to run transparent, free and fair election next year.

According to the foreign secretary, the money will enable the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) to run transparent election and enhance communications and engagement for the board.

He added that UK is also committed to support the conduct of the election to be without any electoral violence through enhanced monitoring.

“If successful and peaceful, the elections in May 2020 will be a major step towards building a democratic culture in Ethiopia and will lay a platform for a continuation and deepening of the inclusive reform Ethiopia has been making,” Hunt undrescored.

The foreign secretary appreciated the current Ethiopian leadership under Prime Minister Abiy who transformed the political discourse by allowing the creation of hundreds of websites, blogs, and newspapers.

“Since the Prime Minister assumed office last year, Ethiopia has climbed the World Press Freedom Index faster than any other country, rising 40 places and showing just how much can be achieved when the political will exists,” he added.

Hunt also announced a new Chevening Africa Media Fellowship program that will provide 60 exceptional African journalists over the next five years to gain experience in newsrooms of Britain’s leading media organizations.

At the end of this year, applicants from eleven African countries, including Ethiopia, will be eligible.