OFFICIAL ACCEPTANCE SPEECH OF ACADEMICIAN ISMAIL OMAR GUELLEH ON HIS ADMISSION IN EUROPEAN TOURISM ACADEMY
OFFICIAL DECLARATION OF
H.E. ISMAIL OMAR GUELLEH
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF DJIBOUTI ON THE OCCASION OF HIS ELEVATION TO THE HONOUR OF ACADEMICIAN
Mr. President, Professor Dr. Anton Caragea,
It is with great joy and pride that I welcome this distinction.
Through me, it is Djibouti and its population that you just honor. Therefore, first of all, Mr. President, on behalf of the people of Djibouti, I thank you personally as well as the academy that you are leading for this mark of trust and esteem that you show us.
This distinction, Mr. President, as meritorious as it may be, we take it neither as a consecration nor as a reward. But as an encouragement. An encouragement to persevere on the path that we have traced in the development of tourism.
It is always rewarding to be supported in its efforts, especially by an institution like yours that has always defended a vision of tourism and culture centered on the human.
Ladies and gentlemen
There are different ways to define and perceive Djibouti and its people.
Some speak of us as a pebble in the middle of the desert. Others, no doubt nostalgic of a colonial era yet gone, we reduce to a sign on which is written "Territory of the Afars and Issas".
The most innovative identify us with a geostrategic basis for the military powers.
But fortunately for us, ladies and gentlemen, there are still many people around the world who do not reduce us to these anachronistic clichés and labels.
For us and for all those citizens of the world who have had the opportunity to stay in our country, Djibouti, it is this land of meetings and exchanges at the confluence of all roads, maritime, land and air.
For us and for all these citizens of the world, Djibouti is a story and even a prehistory that geology, geography and archeology keep telling through times and ages.
Those who marveled at the pristine beauty of the Lac Abbé, those who accompanied a caravan on the ice floe of Lake Assal, those there have the feeling of what is Djibouti. And it is probably because they felt the magic of a captivating space that Tazief and Rimbaud spoke in their time of "a book of open geology" and "a lunar landscape".
Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen
We are therefore looking forward today to this international recognition of our country as "World Capital of Culture and Tourism".
Our country contains sites that are well worth detours. I mentioned Lake Assal and Lac Abbé earlier, but I could have mentioned the prehistoric frescoes of Abourma or the primary Forest du Day.
I could also mention the extraordinary biodiversity of our flora and fauna which includes endemic species such as Djibouti Francolin or Beira gazelle.
I could also mention the extraordinary cultural richness of our communities. These nomads rooted in their territories. But also these citizens who are the fruits of a historic melting pot, and which makes Djibouti a haven of tolerance and living together.
Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen,
In our development strategy for our country, we are very sensitive to the benefits of tourism, its impact on growth, and its role in the fight against poverty. In a decade and thanks to all the efforts made to increase its attractiveness, our country has more than quadrupled the proportion of tourists.
Naturally, the Government is encouraging this job-creating dynamic for our youth and generating foreign currency for our economy. So much so that we have not hesitated to build the tourism industry as one of the economic pillars of the 2035 vision.
In the frenzied global competition that drives the tourism sector, we want to remain lucid to avoid falling into certain pitfalls.
We do not want to sacrifice to all-tourism territories and ecosystems that we know as fragile.
We do not want to build this still burgeoning sector on an economic model that plunders and torpedoes the ecological balance of territories and populations.
Faced with the short-term and consumerist promises of a tourism industry that often degrades, pollutes and destroys, we want to get out of the Manichean trap of all-tourism or its opposite, for a responsible solution that integrates the tourism industry into a development plan sustainable.
Djibouti has chosen a niche tourism that connects individuals, cultures and civilizations.
The choice of a tourism that has an important role to play in the dialogue of cultures and in living together.
The choice of balance between our development objectives and the indispensable protection of our social, cultural and environmental heritages.
It is a difficult choice whose dividends, although promising, are still meager.
But a choice that my country assumes for the sake of fairness and justice for future generations of our country.
Thank you for your attention!
ACADEMICIAN MIRCEA CONSTANTINESCU: PRESIDENT ISMAIL OMAR GUELLEH IS ONE OF THE GREATEST LEADERS THAT AFRICA IS HAVING TODAY!
HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT OF DJIBOUTI
ACADEMICIAN ISMAIL OMAR GUELLEH,
Your Excellency Mr. Presidents Ismail Omar Gulleh and Dr. Anton Caragea,
Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,
We are here for the induction ceremony of H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh, the President of Djibouti as the newest member of European Tourism Academy and to confer upon His Excellency as in academic tradition the Medal of Honor of the European Academy.
As prescribed by the protocol the presentation of the new member of Academic community is made public for the benefit of a global audience.
Analyzing the curriculum vitae along with the activity of the President Ismail Omar Guelleh we discover a complex person, a man of many talents, entirely dedicated to the development of his country, to the well being of the people of Djibouti, dedicated to building a favorable image of Djibouti in the midst of the international community.
Serving his countries in many administrative capacities gave him access to a high level of knowledge and expertise, and was fundamental for building a solid education and experience in managing the country, giving him an European and international perspective upon the transfer of knowledge, expertise and technology.
We can say that Djibouti is not only a beautiful country. But is having a great president in his service!
H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh loves his country and the people of Djibouti. He learned how important the resources are for a country, how important the expert management of such vital resources is for the well being and the successful development of Djibouti.
But during the years of his presidency he wanted more…He wanted to acquire knowledge of scientific management of the country, of its human resources and natural resources as well.
We may say that during his years of Presidency, President Guelleh put again Djibouti on the world map. A wise internal, regional and international policy made Djibouti a point of balance, a strategic area, an extensive zone of stability and peace. During the last decade, President Guelleh carried extensive talks and negotiations with the leaders of the most powerful nations of the world (United States, France, the traditional partner, and China, the new dynamic financial, economical and strategic partner).
Using a diplomatic language we may say that under the Presidency of H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh, Djibouti became a country exporter of security and stability at a local and global level.
President Guelleh also addressed in a positive manner to global problems that adversely influence mainly countries of the world: poverty and hunger, persistent unemployment and armed violent conflicts and climate change.
With Djibouti firmly inscribed this year as the number five economy in the world in terms of economic growth rate we can appreciate that Djibouti is on the right track.
The complex ties and trade policies connecting Djibouti with Ethiopia are also an example of successful cooperation between neighboring countries.
We will not analyze here in extensor the political activity of H.E. President Ismail Omar Guelleh , but taking actively part in the political life of his country, it gave him the opportunity to work with people of Djibouti, to be in the middle of people of Djibouti, to efficiently communicate, and being able to implement at the highest level the management of the country activities, reflecting the reality of Djibouti and the wishes of Djibouti people.
The most valuable resource of a country are its people, the young generation as educated people imbeded in a local and international culture and education.
And specially in this real we must emphasize a strong line of achievements that will highlight Djibouti future for years and years to come.
The honorary titles received in this regard by the President Ismail Omar Guelleh in Turkey, from the University Yildirim Beyazit, along with the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and in Ethiopia from the University Hararmayo represents only a tiny piece of recognition of the effort and the interest of the President in supporting the education and culture in Djibouti. For the interested we invite them to visit at least the 7000 students of the University of Djibouti (with Faculties of Law, Economics and Management, Science, Medicine, Engineering, Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences).
At last but not least, H.E. President Ismail Omar Guelleh carefully and efficiently supported many humanitarian initiatives developed in the projects coordinated by the First Lady Mrs. Kadra Mahamoud Haid, for the benefit of the health of many young women, for the empowerment of the new generation of women’s and opening the gates of education and responsibility for thousand of djiboutians.
His Excellency activity in the area of foreign affairs was indeed another work of impressive success.
As a diplomat he presented to the world the image of a peaceful country, of many resources and beauties, with people that praise hospitality, open in a friendly manner to the international community.
Today celebration when we crown Djibouti as a WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM is the direct recognition of these years of diplomatic activities, of investments in promoting the image of the country, opening vast infrastructure programs that made the Djibouti the place where all the trades, tourism and diplomatic roads of the world start.
Transforming Djibouti in the last twenty years in an oasis of peace, obtaining for his country the global recognition and inscription on WORLD CAPITAL OF CULTURE AND TOURISM list are historical achievements that need to be rewarded.
In recognition of his life-long contribution to the development of Djibouti, we are proud to hand over The Medal Of Honor to his Excellency Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of Djibouti and to recognize him as the newest academician of the European Tourism Academy.
EUROPEAN TOURISM ACADEMY
The European Tourism Academy is charged with proposing an European tourism strategy up to 2035.