World news story

Director of UK Consular Services visited Ethiopia

Charles Hay, Director of the UK Consular Services, visited Ethiopia this week to familiarize himself with one of the most diverse consular regions in the world.

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Charles Hay, Director of the UK Consular Services with the British and Commonwealth Community in Shashemene
Charles Hay, Director of the UK Consular Services with the British and Commonwealth Community in Shashemene

The visit also helped him gain a better understanding of the factors that affect the effective delivery of consular services in a country like Ethiopia.

Charles Hay, Director of the UK Consular Services with the British and Commonwealth Community in Shashemene
Charles Hay, Director of the UK Consular Services with the British and Commonwealth Community in Shashemene

During his stay, he travelled to Shashemene, 250 km from the capital Addis Ababa, to explain his role and get a better understanding of the challenges facing the British and Commonwealth community in Ethiopia. Mr Hay said he is delighted to meet the community and learn what life is like for them in Shashemene. He highlighted that helping British nationals overseas is a vital part of the work of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

The Director handed over cricket sets to the community donated by the British Embassy in Addis Ababa and individuals from the UK. The British and Commonwealth community in Shashemene is working to set up a youth cricket team involving Ethiopian youth in Shashemene. Cricket is not a common game in Ethiopia.

As part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June 2012, staff of the British Embassy played with a team from the British and Commonwealth Community in Shashemene. The community hope that they will organize similar games in a bid to strengthen their relationship with the British Embassy.

In 1948 Emperor Haile Selassie invited members of the Ethiopian World Federation, the Rastafarian movement and other people from Jamaica and the wider Caribbean to come to Ethiopia and gave them 500 acres of land in Shashemene to allow them to settle. There are about 800 Rastafarians currently living in Shashemene.

Published 11 April 2013