Addis Ababa July 02/2017 Foreign Minister of Ethiopia said his country will work to enhance bilateral relations with Botswana and Zimbabwe.
Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu affirmed Ethiopia’s to boost cooperation during a bilateral discussion he had with foreign ministers of the two countries.
According to Spokesperson of the Ministry Meles Alem, the parties have agreed to work together on bilateral and issues of common interest.
The discussion held with Foreign Minister Zimbabwe Simbarashe Mumbengegwi was focused on enhancing the ties as well as on ways of sharing best practices.
Similarly, Workneh has also conferred with Botswana's Foreign Minister Pelonomi Venson Moitoi on issues of common interest and international affairs.
During the discussion two sides have agreed to establish joint ministerial commission, according to the spokesperson.
Addis Ababa July 02/2017 Ethiopia is promoting the aspired economic integration in the continent by harmonizing its renewable energy potential and create integration with neighboring countries, an official from the African Union said.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, Head of Energy Division, Department of Infrastructure and Energy at AU, Rashid Ali Abdallah said by developing its resources and supplying it to neighboring countries Ethiopia is contributing to regional integration.
Head noted that “As AU we are promoting integration and again Ethiopia is one of the countries that shows good example of integration by providing electricity to Sudan, Djibouti, and the various agreement supply energy for other countries.”
By harmonizing its renewable energy sources, Ethiopia not only will be enable to boost its economy but also can stimulate growth in other countries.
In this regard, neighboring countries are expecting clean and affordable electricity supply from the East African nation.
Apart from hydro, Ethiopia is rich with other renewable energy sources including geothermal. It is estimated that the country has the potential to generate 10,000 MW power from geothermal.
In this regard, the African Union is support Ethiopia in the development of more than eight thermal projects, he noted.
In 2012, the African body along with other partners has mobilized more than 150 million USD to support geothermal energy development in East Africa. Currently, AU is supporting 27 projects in East African countries including Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Rwanda and Burundi.
“We hope these potential could be developed for the benefit of the Ethiopian people and for the benefit of neighboring countries,” he added.
By developing its potential - up to 45,000 MW from hydro, over 10,000 MW from geothermal and 1 million MW from wind, Ethiopia will be an energy hub.
He said “We observe that Ethiopia they have remarkable success in developing their potential in hydro energy and the result that it also become the hub of supplying electricity to neighboring countries.”
However, he underscored the need for active private investment in the sector so as to properly develop the sources, mentioning Kenya’s case which he said is more advanced in engaging the private sector in the area.
In this regard, he urged the need to engage the private sector in the energy sector. “What I can urge Ethiopia and other countries to accelerate the effort to engage the private sector in the energy sector.”
By engaging all stakeholders in energy development, the Head said it is possible to increase access to clean and affordable energy in the continent.
“We can say that the sustainability of energy is very important, because we need to look at the structure on the system; we need to look at the cost of the energy. So, we can create sustainable energy sector in the continent,” he said.
Addis Ababa July 02/2017 Leaders of African countries are arriving in Addis Ababa to take part in the 29th ordinary session of the African Union Summit.
Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, Gambia's President Adama Barrow, Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma and King Mswati III of Swaziland arrived in Addis Ababa on Sunday.
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, Côte d'Ivoire's President Alassane Ouattara and Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Kumar Jugnauth arrived in Addis Ababa on Saturday.
The 29th Ordinary Session of African Union Summit will begin Monday at the AU Headquarter.
Addis Ababa July 02/2017 Hunger and undernutrition are decreasing in Africa but rate of improvement must accelerate and sufficient resources must be directed towards solutions in order to effect lasting change, according to the 2016 Global Hunger Index (GHI) Africa Report.
According to the report, no country had “extremely alarming” level of hunger - GHI scores of 50 points or more – in 2006. In 2000, there were eight countries categorized in the “extremely alarming” level.
Thirty countries saw a considerable reduction in their scores dropping by between 25 percent and 49.9 percent, while nine countries had managed to decrease their GHI scores by less than 25 percent.
However, of the 42 African countries for which 2016 GHI scores could be calculated, only three fell within the "low" hunger category, reducing their GHI scores by 50 percent.
Some 28 countries reported to fall under the “serious” category, while five countries categorized under the “alarming” level. According to the report, only seven countries in all developing world had “alarming” level of hunger.
In terms of absolute change, Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced the greatest improvement compared to other regions - its GHI 2016 score is 14.3 points lower than its 2000 score.
In terms of percentage, the region, which had a substantially higher GHI score in 2000, experienced a moderate improvement with 32 percent of GHI score last year.
Despite the improvement, the report underscored the need to accelerate reduction rate in order to reach the Sustainable Development Goals of zero hunger by 2030.
Addis Ababa July 02/2017 The African Union has finalized revising the Migration Policy Framework for Africa and formulating its ten-year implementation plan to improve migration governance, Commissioner for Social Affairs Amira Al Fadil said.
During a press conference she gave Sunday, Al Fadil said that the multi-faceted challenge of irregular migration within and outside the continent is a key problem that the AU is seized with.
To improve migration governance on the continent and curtail the tide of irregular migration, Al Fadil said AU is establishing a joint Labor Migration Program.
The Migration Policy Framework for Africa, adopted by the Executive Council of the AU in 2006 articulates the AU’s overarching approach to migration.
It serves to provide the necessary guidelines and principals to assist governments and their regional economic communities in the formulation of their own national and regional migration policies.
According to the commissioner, about 70 to 80 percent of migration happens with in the continent.
“Our collective efforts in social development, political affairs, peace and security, rural economy and agriculture among others will create a conducive environment for inclusive economic growth and jobs for our young people to harness the demographic dividend”, she said.
On the other hand, Al Fadil said the African Union Campaign to End Child Marriage is playing an important role in advancing advocacy, capacity development and creating social movement to end the harmful practices and ensure that children enjoy their lives to the fullest.
The campaign has also contributed to the development of clearly defined national strategies and action plans to end the harmful practice of child marriage.
Child marriage not only deprives them of their childhood, health and education, it limits the potential of the entire continent. 15 out of the 20 countries with the highest rates of child marriage are in Africa.
In 2014, in an effort to improve the lives of millions of girls, AU launched its first Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa.
Addis Ababa July 02/2017 Africa is moving on the right track towards realizing Agenda 2063, African Union’s framework for transformative growth, AU Commissioner for Economic Affairs Dr. Anthony Mothae Maruping said.
During a press conference he gave Saturday, the commissioner noted that progress is being made in different areas.
Economic growth, infrastructure development and free movement of people are among the areas that the continent shows progress.
Economic transformation in the continent involves strengthened productive capacity, increased productivity, stronger competitiveness, diversification in all sectors and value addition as well as regional integration, he said.
Progress is being made also in development of road and rail network infrastructure, including renewable energy generation like solar, wind and geothermal among others.
“You see hydropower as a robust investment coming up, so electricity in rural areas and other places, and access to finance and other things are improving”, he said adding “all this conditions are very good and give us optimism.”
According to the commissioner, roadmap for silencing the guns by 2020 adopted in March 2017 and there is a steady improvement with regard to free movement of people.
He further noted that joint domestication, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Agenda 2063 should become a reality through joint and coordinated efforts of key players.
Member states are encouraged to provide training, capacity building and experience sharing on Agenda 2063 among national stakeholders. “Africa’s development partners all accepted to cooperate within the context of agenda 2063”.
To date 36 AU member states have received domestication missions from the AU and technical partners.
Regarding the youth, the commissioner said over 40 percent of Africa’s population is under the age of 15, and a further 20 percent are between the ages of 15 and 24.
It is expected that the number of African youth between the ages of 15 and 24 will double by 2045 to over 400 million which make Africa a young continent.
It is important to benefit the youth from every economic activity to make the development sustainable, he added.
He urged the need to exert maximum effort to create conducive atmosphere so as to mobilize and engage the youth towards realization of Agenda 2063, the continent’s blueprint for attaining accelerated, stable and inclusive growth.