Vancouver Ethiopian Blog

Ethiopian life in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Ethiopian Community of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada

The Ethiopian Community of British Columbia (ECBC) has existed since the first group of Ethiopians started arriving in the mid/late 70’s, after the dethroning of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974.

Ethiopians in the greater Vancouver area are now estimated at more than 4,000. Those who arrived since the 1970’s (and the freshly arriving Ethiopian immigrants) in BC have mostly settled in or around the city of Vancouver.

ECBC had a general annual election on Saturday October 10, 2009. Seven directors have been elected, out of whom 2 were women. I am happy to see that women are getting involved in the community. Historically, a very limited number of women had shown interest in getting involved in the community.

ECBC has posted photos and highlights of the election in its website.

Tekle Mikael Abebe has been installed as President. I have a lot of respect for Tekle. I have been following his comments and contributions at the weekly Radio Ethiopia show and found him to be a very talented, smart, witty, articulate and balanced person. I fully trust Tekle’s judgement in executing his duties as the president of the community. Tekle has been in Canada for less than 5 years, but has shown a tremendous ability of leadership and political maturity and has energized some of the old timers.

It is true that one person alone (in this case Tekle) can not do much by himself. Remember the quote, “it takes a village to raise a child“? Therefore, Tekle needs the support of his elected 6 directors, and the community at large. One of the past big mistakes of the ECBC has been relying too much on elected officials and expecting miracles. The seven directors can not do any thing with out the support of every member. I hope that all Ethiopians understand this and give a supporting hand when needed.

In order for ECBC to become successful, we need to avoid political and tribal divisions and focus on what is common to all of us – being Ethiopians. Every Ethiopian has the freedom to support whatever political organization he/she sees appropriate, but must not dictate his/her philosophy on to others. Gone should be the days of accusations, blaming and finger pointing.

ECBC has existed in the Vancouver area for more than 35 years now, but has not accomplished much. It is true that there are some individual successes in town, but as a community, we have failed miserably. Immigrant community failure is not limited to only Ethiopians; it is typical of other African and Middle East immigrant communities (and other nations) in Canada. I am not here to blame anyone for our failures, but we need to see forward, not backward, if we want to succeed.

Old timers are approaching their retirement age, and some have already been retired. So, the big question is what kind of ECBC are we going to pass to our children? I hope a better, stronger, understanding, friendly, inviting community – not at its present state!

I hope that, this election will bring a renewed hope in the community and will bring the members together.

I look forward to seeing the first event the new committee will be having, although I am not sure what event it might be. I definitely expect a great event.

Thank you to all elected directors of ECBC for the commitment you have made for 1 year, until October 2010.

I wish all the best of luck for the freshly elected directors!


October 15, 2009 - Posted by | Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Awesome blog!

    I thought about starting my own blog too but I’m just too lazy so, I guess Ill just have to keep checking yours out.

    Comment by Savannah | October 17, 2009 | Reply

  2. […] a House or Not to Buy (Parts 2), To Buy a House or Not to Buy (Parts 3),  Thanksgiving and the Ethiopian Community of British Columbia (ECBC). Now it is time for a technology post, which I am very much interested […]

    Pingback by Just How Big is the Internet? Let us Print the Entire Internet, Honey! « Vancouver Ethiopian Blog | October 22, 2009 | Reply

  3. Hi,
    Just wondering why do you write as anonymous?Why don`t you write a little bit more about yourself?Like your name,what you do etc etc..

    Comment by John | November 23, 2009 | Reply

    • I don’t think we need information about the author. As long as I get good information from him/her, I am not worried who’s the owner. Why you worry about his job and name?

      Comment by Tameru | January 25, 2010 | Reply

  4. […] October 15:  Ethiopian Community of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada […]

    Pingback by Ethiopian Vancouver Blog: Looking at My 2009 Posts « Vancouver Ethiopian Blog | January 6, 2010 | Reply

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