On Saturday, April 23, the Houston Airport System hosted a luncheon in Houston honoring Her Excellency Roman Tesfaye, First Lady of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
“The Houston Airport System realizes the potential impact of nonstop service between Houston and Ethiopia, and it was a great opportunity for us to be able to share those benefits with Her Excellency Roman Tesfaye during her visit to our City,” said Chief External Affairs Officer Saba Abashawl.
Houston enjoys a strong connection to Ethiopia:
More than 14,000 Houstonians and about 50,000 Texans are from Ethiopia
More than 80 Houston companies have trade ties to Ethiopia
Houston is Ethiopia’s fifth largest trade partner in the U.S.
Annual Trade value of $92.4M that has quadrupled over the last decade
Because of this strong connection, the Houston Airport System is proactively looking to expand commercial and cargo air service to west Africa and the Horn of Africa—the eastern region of the African continent.
During her visit to Houston, the First Lady met with multiple organizations including Texas Children’s Hospital and MD Anderson Cancer Center to discuss health cooperation with Ethiopia. Cervical and breast cancer are the leading causes of cancer deaths among women in sub-Saharan Africa.
Air cargo trade including the shipment of medical equipment accounts for about 30 percent of all trade between Houston and Ethiopia. There is also significant demand from business and leisure passengers for the convenience a nonstop commercial flight would offer.
The event was attended by the First Lady of Houston Ashley Turner, Senator Rodney Ellis, Consul General of Ethiopia Gezahgen Kebede, Houston Aviation Director Mario Diaz and local community and business leaders.