Addis Ababa April 03/2018 Ethiopia’s stability has greater impact towards stabilizing the Horn of Africa in particular and the continent in general, UN Resident Coordinator Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie said.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, Eziakonwa-Onochie said Ethiopia has been at the forefront in peacekeeping and restoring peace and stability in the East Africa region.
“Stability in Ethiopia means stability in the rest of Africa. If it goes wrong here, it will go wrong in many other parts of the continent. So this is a very significant moment. The fact is that there was an Ethiopian problem solved through an Ethiopian solution, and that solution arrived at was done peacefully and democratically.”
Though located in a fragile region, Ethiopia “has been playing a very strong role in stabilizing the region", the UN Resident Coordinator noted.
She appreciated the democratic power transfer that took place and the appointment of the new Ethiopian Prime Minister by the House of People's Representatives.
“We believe that the moment we are witnessing today will contribute to strengthening even further the very strong role that Ethiopia has been playing in the Horn of Africa, in Africa at large, and also in the world,” Eziakonwa-Onochie stated.
Commenting on the address of the new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, she pointed out that “unifying the country is top on the list. It is important that Ethiopians feel unified and feel one as they approach development and other challenges.”
The Premier also talked about economic growth and jobs for youth. Not just jobs for youth but also engaging the young people democratically in getting their participation in inclusive way, because at the end of the day it is all about leaving no one behind, she stressed.
The UN Resident Coordinator called on the international community to strengthen its support to Ethiopia with major development projects that accompany its transformation both economically and politically as it would be very difficult to maintain stability without development.
Ghana's Ambassador to Ethiopia, William A. Awinador-Kanyirige said Ethiopia's contribution in bringing stability to the region and the entire continent is very crucial.
“Ethiopia is one of the very pivotal countries in Africa; and therefore stabilizing Ethiopia is going to help stabilizing not just the Eastern section of Africa but also the entire African continent,” he pointed out.
Awinador-Kanyirige added that it is important for African countries to pay attention to the pivotal country’s role, Ethiopia, to stabilize and help the other countries that are in most serious challenges.
Noting that democratic consolidation is a global challenge, the Ambassador stressed that “for us [Africans] to begin to look inwards and to take what our ancestors left for us and build on it rather than get carried away by anything coming from outside is very important.”
“The more Ethiopia is stabilized, the more it would be able to play its role in the African development agenda. So we wish Ethiopia well as it takes another consolidated democracy and development together in a manner that is inclusive and that does not leave anybody behind.”
Ambassador Awinador-Kanyirige stated that what he supports in Ethiopia is one of those positive developments that he sees in Africa and thinks that the country needs to build on it and move forward.
Ethiopia, with more than 8,300 peacekeepers on the ground, is one of the top troop contributing countries to the UN.
Addis Ababa April 03/2018 The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) is proactively expanding its social responsibilities through a new foundation that will be functional in few months, according to the Bank.
Health, education, environmental protection and preservation and other social responsibilities will be the major areas through which the bank intends to strengthen its social intervention.
Speaking to ENA, Promotion and Brand Manager of the Bank Legesse Tiko said charity named as “CBE Foundation” will further strengthen the bank's support for the society by allocating operational budget every year.
He elaborated that the foundation will reinforce the bank's interventions on the overall development endeavors in addition to its work on facilitating banking services.
“It will be established as a separate entity from the bank according to the rule and regulation of the country and it will work by taking all social works that the bank has been conducting up to now”, he said.
He added that the bank has also endorsed the establishment of the foundation with a purpose to address the bottlenecks and problems in coordinated and integrated manner with the government.
To date, the bank has been engaging in various sectors including health, education, social and environmental protection, he elaborated.
Legesse noted that bank has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Health to build health care centers in all regions of the country.
The bank has already provided 70 million birr budget for the construction of 9 health centers and it’s expected that the centers can afford services for 270,000 people per day.
So far, a health centre in Gambella Regional State has completed and transferred to the region's health bureau, he indicated.
He noted that the construction of two other health centers in Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Regional States will be completed in this fiscal year.
Furthermore, the construction of health centers in the other six regional sates is expected to complete around the mid of the coming year, he added.
Health Infrastructure Development Director at the Ministry of Health, Engineer Tadesse Yemane said that construction of the health centers is going on in line with the government aspiration to make health institutions available for the society.
“The aim of constructing the institutions is to make healthcare accessible to rural communities, increase the health coverage in each regional states and improving the quality of healthcare services”, he said.
He added that it will help to improve the accessibility of health institution as many societies, especially addressing health need of expectant and lactating mothers who face challenges due to the lack of health centre in their areas.
Addis Ababa April 02/2018 The 7th anniversary of the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is being marked at Benishanguel Gumuz Regional State in Guba town.
Government higher officials, representatives of various regional governments and other dignitaries have presided over a mammoth ceremony dedicated for the occasion.
The construction of the dam on the Blue Nile was officially launched seven years back on April 2 in the Benishangul-Gumuz Regional State, some 20 km east of the border with Sudan.
Ethiopia has been unwavering to ease poverty with embark on massive mega projects and many African countries are keen to acquire lesson apart from endowing support for the project.
Speaking on the occasion, Azeb Asnake, CEO of the Ethiopian Electric Power said more than 9,000 Ethiopians and 260 expatriate engineers are working on the GERD, which has now reached 65 percent of its construction.
Ethiopia’s power demand augmented every year by 30 percent in average has been engaged in the development of renewal energy sources to meet demand and national income from export.
GERD’s power generating capacity has now reached 6,450 MW following the design upgrading underway twice, which upon completion will be the largest in Africa.
Azeb also noted that upon completion of the projects at Genale Dawa, Koischa, Alutho Geothermal, Korbeti and Tulu Moye and Rapi Waste to Energy Project, the country will be able to produce some 10,000 mega watts of electric power.
Etenesh Mekuria State Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity said that the construction of GERD has helped to increase the unity among the peoples of Ethiopia.
Beyond accelerating development, the dam would become ideal for the developing countries, in which it imparts a lesson concerning resource mobilization and utilization.
Deputy Director GERD Office, Fikerete Tamir told ENA that Office of the Coordination of Public Participation of the Construction of GERD intends to raise 1.4billion Birr towards the construction of the dam.
According To HER, 48 billion Birr has so far been collected through the sale of treasury bonds and from offerings by various individuals and organization here and abroad.
The occasion is being marked with colorful festivities including cultural dances, various types of creative arts including public athletic shows.
Addis Ababa April 02/2018 Religious leaders and elders said the public should provide sufficient time and support for the new Prime Minister to perform successful activities in Ethiopia during his term.
The religious leaders said the peaceful transition of power is an important milestone for the peace of the country.
They expressed their joy over the appointment of Dr. Abiy Ahmed as prime minister and stated their hope that he would bring positive changes to the country.
Commenting about the appointment, Muslim and Christian religious leaders said the peaceful transition of power in the country would have a significant role to secure peace and stability in the country.
Therefore it is important to support the prime minister and work for peace and development in all areas.
Sheikh Omar Imam said “I believe Ethiopia has experienced lack of peace over the past two to three years, but I now believe peace will prevail.”
Sheik Omar added that the willingness of the former PM Hailemariam to resign and transfer power peacefully to Dr. Abiy makes the day historic. As a result, we hope we see things improve more than ever.
Pastor Belay Mekonnen said what is expected from the public is listening to the newly premier. The people have somehow lacked justice due to lack of coherence but the public has now to listen attentively as there are good indications in the speech he made.
Borana’s Aba Geda, Kura Jarso, who appreciated the event, said he hopes the process would lead to prevalence of a democratic system thus leading to peace in the country.
The new leadership should work for greater peace and prosperity of the country, Aba Geda Kura said, adding that the youth should choose non-violence means to bring a change.
He also said the premier should be supported and we also need to listen to the local leadership.
Addis Ababa April 02/2018 The newly appointed Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed called on competing parties to work with the government for the advancement of the country.
He vowed that his government will work to level the field for fair competition.
“We view competing parities outside of EPRDF as competitors and not as opposition, not enemies but friends”, he stressed.
The PM also extended invitation to non-violent groups to work together with the government on areas of common concern.
He underlined: “I call on you to help us make our efforts to create a culture of peaceful dialogue. Let’s work together for the advancement of our country.”
Appreciating the unity of the country in diversity, Prime Minister Abiy said his government will work on leveraging the diversity which at time is manifests in the form of difference of opinion.
“…In nations, differences are assets, not liabilities. We are a budding democracy and it is in our differences that we often come up with the most groundbreaking solutions to existing problems”.
Premier Abiy added that the nation needs to find "more issues that unite us than divide us".
Addis Ababa April 02/2018 U.S. Embassy has welcomed the Ethiopian Parliament’s confirmation of Dr. Abiy Ahmed as the next Prime Minister of Ethiopia.
In a press release it sent to ENA today, the embassy stated that it looks forward to working with Dr. Abiy and the Ethiopian government on shared interests.
The embassy commended the peaceful transfer of power in accordance with Ethiopia’s Constitution.
The embassy expressed its readiness "to support the government’s rapid implementation of democratic and economic reforms.”
Addis Ababa April 02/2018 Premier Abiy Ahmed said policy directions will be set by evaluating the problems that have been occurring in different sectors.
In his first speech to the people and the parliament today, the Premier pledged that his government will work hard to solve the problems.
Even though the country is achieving rapid growth in poverty reduction, infrastructure and human resource developments as well as other sectors, it is still facing challenges, he said.
According to Abiy, lack of good governance, chronic poverty, lack of developed democratic culture, and spread of corrupt practices have led the country to a wide range of challenges.
Noting that corruption has led the country to unrest in recent years, the PM noted that establishing task forces only to solve the problem is not enough.
“The government does never want to see a country where one steals to be wealthy while another has to toil and moil to acquire wealth," he stated, adding that it will work with commitment to sustainably solve the problem and create conducive environment for fair and equal benefits of the people.”
Building a developed democratic system is the undeniable solution to solve recent challenges, and the government will work to expand democratic environment and solve grievances of the people, Dr. Abiy said.
The Premier called on stakeholders and partners to strengthen their cooperation with the government to solve the challenges.
Addis Ababa April 02//2018 Some members of the House of People's Representatives (HPR) have vowed to exert maximum efforts for the realization of the aspirations and demands of the people under the leadership of the new Prime Minister.
Tsegaye Danole from Sidama said this is a democratic and historical transition of power in the country. The newly elected Prime Minister is a young leader who knows the interest of the youth.
Tsegaye stated that he believes the PM will sort out the recent challenges of the country. "His educational and career qualification will help him to shape the leadership and realize what the country wants to achieve," he added.
“So I strongly believe that our country will continue its inclusive growth under the leadership of the new Prime Minister in collaboration with all Ethiopians”, he affirmed.
Tsegaye further stressed: “Be it Members of Parliament or the general public, we have to support him by leaving behind the tendencies of ethnic conflicts and rent seeking attitudes”.
Shibire Sherif from Jimma said on her part this peaceful power transition is a manifestation of the country`s democracy which has grown one step.
“Since our representation is for the people of Ethiopia, we have to make efforts to ensure the country`s economic and democratic progress. We, as MPs, have to work hard and I am ready to contribute my part”, she underscored.
Kassa Gugsa from Tigray said: “We are pleased by the appointment of the new young Prime Minister of the country. But without the effort of all Ethiopians, his single handed effort and vision will not be a reality.
“So we have to work for the implementation of every plan, program and strategy which will be directed by the Prime Minister”.
Abebaye Gezahegn from Oromia said: “I believe the new Prime Minister will resolve the recent crisis in the country through wise leadership. But this doesn’t mean that he will resolve every challenge by his own.”
Every section of the society, including the youth, women, and elders, in every corner of the country should be mobilized to stand alongside the Prime Minister, she urged.
Abebaye called upon MPs to exert maximum effort in monitoring and evaluating works. “To ensure our responsibility as MPs in proper manner, we have to stretch our monitoring and evaluating mechanisms from top to grass root level to respond to the concerns of the public”.
Fighting corruption and rent seeking, peaceful dialogue with competing parties, resolving disputes with neighboring Eritrea, among others, were mentioned among the next tasks to be tackled by the new Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was elected as the chairman of the ruling party EPRDF recently following the resignation of Chairperson of the party and Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Dessalegn.