Addis Ababa March 06/2018 International Organization for Migration (IOM) has called on religious leaders to continue exerting efforts in preventing irregular migration.
Addressing the National Religious Leaders Consultative Workshop on Irregular Migration and Trafficking in Persons held today, Migration Management Unit Project Manager at IOM Yves Hatungimana said religious leaders play very important role in reaching community members.
“In our engagement with community members at grass root levels, field reports indicate that community engagements, especially our grass roots community conversation groups where religious leaders take active role have become very successful in mobilizing the community to understand better the consequence of irregular migration,” he explained.
According to Hatungimana, these activities have contributed to achieve behavior changes on illegal migration and provided forum to explore livelihood alternatives at home.
The manager has therefore called on religious leaders and stakeholders to continue taking proactive measures to reach out the communities to make well informed decisions on irregular migration.
IOM National Program Officer Liyunet Demsis emphasized on the public participation, especially the rural community’s awareness on irregular migration which she said "is increasing and families and religious fathers are playing a big role."
According to her, the number of irregular migrants in SNNP regional state has declined from 20,000 to 13,000 on average in 2016.
She also stated that religious leaders and other stakeholders should continue working to explain the risks of irregular migration by creating awareness among the community.
Board Chairman of Inter Religious Council of Ethiopia, Nebureid Elias Abrha said the council is working on awareness creation and community participation against irregular migration.
The one-day consultative workshop is aimed at creating common understanding on irregular migration and strengthening the cooperation of stakeholders to enhance the movement against irregular migration.
Addis Ababa March 06/2018 United Arab Emirates (UAE) praised the vital role Ethiopia is playing in combating extremism apart from maintaining security in the Horn of Africa.
The second Ethio-UAE Joint Technical Committee Meeting was held yesterday in Addis Ababa, which serves as an effective platform for the development of the bilateral cooperation at various levels within a range of economic sectors.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Suleiman Dedefo, Director General of the Middle East Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated the several common objectives Ethiopia and UAE share on regional and international issues related to peace, security and development.
He commended the potential areas of cooperation and the number of achievements witnessed in the last few years, which he said, demonstrated the commitment of the two sisterly countries.
He also expressed the importance of the growing trade relations and investment ties between the two sides, while also noting that that there has been an increase in the number of Emirati investors now reaching more than 98 with a combined capital of over 10 billion Birr.
Assistant Minister for Economic and Trade Affairs of the UAE, Mohammed Sharaf, on his part praised the vital role Ethiopia is playing in combating extremism apart from maintaining security in the Horn of Africa.
Sharaf affirmed that the leadership of both countries has prioritized their relationship, which is based on mutual respect while praising the key role of the Ethiopian government in maintaining security in the Horn of Africa.
He noted the UAE direct investment in Ethiopia for the years 2003-2017 amounted to around $523 million, and described this as very encouraging, while UAE investment outflows are expected to increase with further investment agreements.
The UAE is the second largest destination for Ethiopian exports and imports in the Middle East.
The Joint Technical Committee Meeting will continue tomorrow, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Addis Ababa March 06/2018 The World Bank has reportedly approved 375 million USD International Development Association (IDA) credit to support Ethiopia’s goal of achieving universal electricity access by 2025.
According to a press release of the World Bank, the approved credit will directly support the National Electrification Program (NEP), which requires an estimated investment of 1.5 billion USD over the first five years, and provides one million last-mile household connections.
World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia Carolyn Turk was quoted as saying that “through this program, we hope to facilitate the provision of electricity services to all Ethiopians nationwide by 2025. This means that children will be able to study at night, health facilities will be able to provide life-saving services and businesses will be able to operate optimally.”
The program supports the three pillars of the NEP: Grid electrification, off-grid services, and sector capacity and institutional reform and is intended to optimize electrification efforts to maximize the development impact of electricity services, irrespective of where someone happens to live.
Senior Director for Energy and Extractives at the World Bank, Riccardo Puliti said “while the immediate focus will be on financing new connections, the program will also help Ethiopia strengthen its energy institutions and the overall sector, so that the benefits of expanded electricity services can continue for years to come.”
Ethiopia has the second highest available generation capacity in Sub-Saharan Africa with nearly 100 percent coming from renewable energy generation (mostly hydropower), and vast and mainly untapped solar, wind, and geothermal clean energy resources.
Over the past decade, the Government of Ethiopia has launched one of the most successful electrification programs in Sub-Saharan Africa, expanding the grid network coverage to nearly 60 percent of towns and villages, the release noted.
Despite these major strides in the sector, the country still has the second largest energy access deficit in Sub-Saharan Africa (after Nigeria), and the third in the world, it added.
With support from the World Bank, Ethiopia had launched National Electrification Program (NEP) to strategically shift from infrastructure development to the delivery of adequate, reliable and affordable electricity services in 2017.
The NEP is sustainable, transparent, and locally grounded electrification roadmap driven by a customer centric approach. The program has the potential to leverage additional multi-donor financing and involvement in the sector.
National Electrification Program is aligned with the World Bank Group’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity, the Country Partnership Framework for Ethiopia, the Sustainable Development Goal 7 as well as the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.
The program will be implemented by the Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Electricity as well as the Ethiopia Electric Utility and disbursement of funds are linked to the achievement of tangible and specific results.
Addis Ababa March 06/2018 Countries must respect Ethiopia's decision on declaring state of emergency to protect constitutional order and safeguard the wellbeing of its citizens, Ambassador Mohamed Idriss Farah said.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, Ambassador of Djibouti to Ethiopia, Mohamed Idriss Farah said "the decision is entirely Ethiopia’s and Ethiopians and anyone need to respect it."
“Some Western people are saying why Ethiopian people are taking this state of emergency, but I think they do not know the history of Ethiopia. We as neighboring country and as brother we understand very well,” Ambassador Farah pointed out.
The six-month emergency rule, which was endorsed by parliament on March 2, 2018, is aimed at protecting the Constitution and the constitutional order as well as ensuring security and stability of the country.
“The Western people never know Africa especially, Ethiopia which is an old country and has its own specificity and we need to respect this specificity of Ethiopia and the very strong decision coming from the Ethiopian government,” he urged.
Mentioning that has irreplaceable role both for Djibouti, the Horn region, and Africa at large, the Ambassador appreciated “I think it was an important decision coming from the Ethiopian authority.”
“For today and for this moment I think it (the state of emergency) will be important to secure everything and we understand very well,” he expressed the importance of the state of emergency.
Farah stated that having the strong commitment of the leadership and political will including the Prime Minister's resignation as part of the solution, it will not be difficult for Ethiopia to bring everything to normalcy.
The implementation of the state of emergency proclamation as well as the measures taken in its implementation will be monitored by the inquiry board established under the proclamation.
It is recalled that US embassy in Addis Ababa had expressed its statement of disagreement on the decision of imposing state of emergency as a means of handling the incidents of violence that led to loss of life.
Addis Ababa march 06/2018 The government of Ethiopia in collaboration with the Danish Energy Agency has published a roadmap for the development of wind farms.
The Roadmap will enable the mobilization of private investments much needed in the area more realistic.
The roadmap covers spectrum of issues including site selection, grid and bankable data to power sales, financing, procurement policies as well as operation and maintenance.
The Roadmap launched at the Danish-Ethiopian Wind Farm Project Development Seminar held on Monday.
Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity Seleshi Bekele during the occasion said the government is initiating a series of actions towards transforming the power sector regulatory framework to involve private sector.
“The provision of adequate power supply, creation of a more resilient power system through diversification of the generation mix, regional power system integration and power trade as well as scaling up access of electricity to all,” he added.
He said there is a great need for concerted efforts to develop robust institutional, regulatory and legal frameworks, to achieve an attractive business environment.
Upgrading institutional arrangements in line with the Public-Private Partnership law will enable to have speedy and efficient delivery process to meet the ever-growing demand for electricity of the country.
“Wind power in the diversified energy mix will contribute to protect frequent droughts due to climate change that poses a strategic threat to our hydropower, which will continue to be the power system backbone for years to come,” he noted.
Danish Ambassador to Ethiopia, Mette Thygesen said the Roadmap will enable the mobilization of much needed private investments.
It aimed at providing an up-to-date, logically organized framework for prioritizing initiatives and procedures for developing and scaling up wind power in Ethiopia.
She noted that modern wind power is cost-effective energy source and can be installed in a short timeframe.
“Never lose sight of the ambitious aim of ensuring access to electricity for all Ethiopians by 2025 and to develop into a middle-income climate resilient green economy during the next decade,” she emphasized.
A preliminary study indicates that Ethiopia has a huge potential of wind energy which is estimated 1,000 GW much higher than the hydropower energy.
Addis Ababa March 06/2018 A four-day international agro-industry investment forum, which has attracted more than 3,000 participants, is underway here in Addis Ababa.
The forum organized by the government of Ethiopia and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) focuses on food processing, textiles and garment, leather and leather products, and allied sectors such as packaging and renewable energy.
Opening the forum yesterday, President Mulatu Teshome said the government is investing heavily to increase the productivity and the production level of agriculture and strengthen deeper linkages with agro-processing and value addition in various sectors.
At the center of the country agro-industry development endeavors is the development of zones and agro-food parks in strategic location across the nation, he said.
According to the President, “agro-industry parks are built in an integrated manner to address constraints related to land access, infrastructure, trade logistics, customs regulation and skills.”
In this regard, he added that the government is taking proactive measures to expedite the establishment process of four pilot agro-industrial parks by allocating seed funds to support infrastructure development.
Industry Minister Ahmed Abtew on his part said his ministry has been striving long and hard to create competitive and attractive ecosystem for the implementation of comprehensive and inclusive industrial development strategy and road map that will lead the country to be a hub in 2025.
“To achieve this, the government is fast tracking industrial goal development. In just three to five years we have seen three states of the art textile industry clusters, which are already attracting internationally recognized manufacturers, in Hawassa, Mekele and Kombolacha”, the Minister added.
According to him, the country is engaging in developing the agro-industrial sector by expanding the investment horizon in the first phase.
UNIDO Director-General, Li Young said Ethiopia is building for the future by opening investment in large-scale of development projects.
“UNIDO will take this opportunity to commend the Ethiopian government for its commitment to achieve GTP 2 and leading the country toward attaining a middle income country status by the year 2025”, Young added.
Participants from the public and business sectors, including current and potential investors, international and domestic enterprises, industry associations, international organizations and financial institutions are taking part in the four days forum.
Addis Ababa March 06/2018 Ethiopia over the past decade has managed to transform its horticulture sector from scratch to about 270 million USD export business.
The sector that has managed to attract more than 100 companies has so far relied on farmlands scattered in various areas which have the potential for the sector. Horticulture farms occupy about 3000 hectares of land dispersed across the country.
According to Ethiopian Investment Commission, the government is considering the idea of organizing the sector into cluster and gathering farms in parks.
Deputy Commissioner of EIC, Dr. Belachew Mekuria told ENA that the idea is to collect horticulture farms in parks designed for this purpose.
“It is not proper to let the industry with such high job creation potential and important role in the foreign trade to rely on dispersed farms: It should be in cluster industrial parks” he said.
He said potential areas for horticulture clusters have been identified in various parts of the country.
“Five big clusters are prepared in the country in Bahir Dar, Hawassa, Arbaminch as well as North [Ethiopia] which have one stop services and zero liquid discharge filtering system” Belachew said.
By doing this, the country hopes to concentrate horticulture farms in parks like the industries. It would help companies to get access to one stop services.
It would also enable companies to easily access air transport to major market destinations, proved by the recent move by the Ethiopian Airlines to open direct freighter services dedicated to flowers between Bahir Dar and to Liege, Belgium.
The pledge by the Airline to avail similar freighter services from other flower producing regional states such as Hawassa and others, display that products from these areas would easily reach market destinations.
However, providing farms for companies in various parts of the country will continue, till this cluster system get into effect.
According to the Horticulture and Agriculture Investment Authority, some 6,000 hectares of land has allotted for horticulture investment in various areas this year.
Dr Adugna Debela, Deputy CEO told ENA that attracting companies is being underway by promoting the available land as well as incentives offered to companies.
He said the Authority has introduced new incentive packages to support the sector and to attract local and foreign companies.
Local companies were expected to bring 30 percent of the total initial capital to get loans from development bank of Ethiopia to start their businesses. This has now reduced to 15 percent.
Tax relief is another incentive extended to companies. If a company managed to export 85 percent of the production for three consecutive years, it is entitled to eight years tax relief and exemption from duties on imports of capital goods and equipments.
Allowing companies export products of others is also another incentive included in the package. Through the consolidation system, companies can now export their products as well as outputs produced by others in order to improve export performance.
“It [consolidation system] is a system that a single exporter purchase products from flower farms of others, it can be similar or different in kind, and export in a higher volume.” he said.
This will enable the exporters to supply diversified products, and increase foreign earnings, he added.
Last year the sector has helped the country to earn about 270 million USD and more than 130 million USD was secured over the first six months of this Ethiopian fiscal year.
Horticulture is the third export commodity of the country in terms of earning revenues next to coffee and sesame.
Addis Ababa march 06/2018 The European Union will further strengthen the multifaceted relationship with Ethiopia, Deputy Secretary General for Economic and Global Issues, Christian Leffler said.
Following his talks with Foreign Affairs State Minister Hirut Zemene, Leffler told journalists that the EU will strengthen its relationship with Ethiopia, one of the strategic partners of the bloc.
The Deputy Secretary General said, “We work together in wide range of issues of bilateral, multilateral and regional issues.”
Leffler said “We have an opportunity to talk about many of these issues of bilateral and multilateral issues and we look for to continue the engagement with Ethiopia.”
The discussion between the two officials was focused issues that would support Ethiopia’s efforts in maintaining peace locally and in the region, Ministry Spokesperson, Meles Alem said.
They have also discussed on ways of enhancing cooperation on the issue of migration.
The State Minister has also held bilateral discussion with Portuguese Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Teresa Ribeiro on various issues of mutual concern.
The officials exchanged views on a wide range of areas of common interest including bilateral, multilateral and regional issues.
The discussions were focused on how to further strengthen bilateral relationship between the Ethiopia and Portugal and agreed to work together on international arena and issues of mutual interest.
The two sides discussed the need for increased Portuguese investment in Ethiopia in order to boost trade and investment exchanges.
After the discussion, Secretary of State Teresa Ribeiro said “we have conducted very interesting and fruitful discussion on many issues of common interest.”
“We have to decide what could be the next step to increase our strong relationship. We have very historical relationship between our two countries - Ethiopia and Portugal. Ethiopia for Portuguese is homage, you know for us it is magic place,” Ribeiro said.
She expressed her country’s desire to cooperate with Ethiopia in agriculture, tourism and culture.
Ribeiro said, “I think now we could look at the past to improve the future both countries and really to strive to have common relations that could help to achieve our property for both countries, for Ethiopian and Portuguese populations.”
Addis Ababa March 05/03/2018 Though the government has been tolerating violations in the hope that disturbances in some parts of the country would subside, it would no more tolerate trespassing of the Proclamation on State of Emergency, Attorney General Getachew Ambaye warned today.
In his briefing to journalists on the recently issued directive, the Attorney General said the security forces have been tolerating grenade attacks and other violent acts during the past 15 days under the state of emergency.
The Command Post will not henceforth negotiate any violation of the Proclamation on State of Emergency and will firmly maintain peace and order.
He stressed that the Command Post will take measures to ensure rule of law and control violators.
Even if the government released prisoners and dropped charges of some people, Getachew said “it would be naïve to get any of that after the declaration of the state of emergency.”
According to him, the directive has two parts that deal with restrictions across the country and areas that are to be specified by the Command Post.
Communicating with any of the groups and individuals categorized as terrorists, disturbing transport services, cessation of public service delivery, demonstrations, protest in sport centers, hindering the movement of basic supplies, officially or secretly campaigning for protest, and attempting and participating to undermine the unity of the Ethiopian people are among the restrictions applicable across the country.
Defense forces, police, and the national security can take measures on anyone who violates the directive, except diplomats, the Attorney General pointed out.
Noting that the public was a key player in restoring peace and stability in the last state of emergency, Getachew stressed that “the people should obey the orders of the Command Post to bring peace and tranquility within a short period.”
The Command Post can search anyone, anywhere and at any time without court warrant, but the person has the right to ask for identification card as well as request for observers from the community police and public, he added.
The six-month emergency rule, which was endorsed by parliament on March 2, 2018, is aimed at protecting the Constitution and the constitutional order as well as ensuring security and stability of the country.