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Embaixada da Etiópia
Brasília, Brasil

February 02, 2018

News in Brief

The 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union…

…A Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) is established…

…Leaders and Stakeholders urge meaningful actions to end hunger by 2025…

The Malabo Declaration Review and Africa Agriculture Transformation…

…Leaders urged to renew commitment to a malaria-free Africa…

… OAFLA launches its “Free to Shine” campaign…

…Equal Access of African Women to High Level Positions…

…Africa Business and Investment Forum calls for “Partnership not Support”…

…NEPAD’s Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee meeting

The 60th Extraordinary Session of the IGAD Council of Ministers

AU Peace and Security Council discusses combating terrorism

Tripartite Meeting between Egypt, Ethiopia and the Sudan: “very constructive”

Ethiopia and Mongolia look for expanding bilateral ties and cooperation

Somalia launches its 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan

News in Brief

Africa and the African Union

The 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union, of the Heads of State and Government, was held on Sunday (January 28) and Monday (January 29), concluding the week-long AU Summit, held under the theme: “Winning the fight against corruption: A sustainable path to Africa’s Transformation”. President Paul Kagame of Rwanda took over as AU Chairman for 2018, replacing President Alpha Condé of Guinea. (See article)

Among the series of events and sideline meetings were:

The launching of the first AU Agenda 2063 Flagship project, the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) on Monday (January 29) (See article)

A Forum on “Renewed Partnership to End Hunger in Africa by 2025”, hosted by the AU Commission with the Government of Ethiopia on Sunday (January 28). (See article)

A meeting on the Malabo Declaration Biennial Review and Africa Agriculture Transformation Scorecard on Monday (January 29) (See article)

A meeting on the World Health Organization’s latest World Malaria Report 2017 and the need to renew commitment to attain a malaria-free Africa by 2030. (See article) 

The launch of “Free To Shine”, a new campaign aiming to help end childhood AIDS in Africa by 2030 by the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) on Monday (January 29). (See article)

A meeting on “Equal Access of African Women to High Level Positions at the African Union and in the United Nations Systems” on Sunday (January 28). (See article)

The African Business and Investment Forum, a high-level public-private sector dialogue, was held on Tuesday (January 30). (See article)

President Macky Sall of Senegal, chair of the New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD)’s Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC) opened HSGOC’s 36th Session on Saturday (January 27). (See article)

The IGAD Council of Ministers held an Extra-Ordinary Session on Saturday (January 27) under the chairmanship of Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister. The meeting to discuss the High-Level Revitalization Forum on South Sudan was attended by the Foreign Ministers of Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda, the Minister of Cabinet Affairs of South Sudan; the Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC); IGAD’s Executive Secretary and the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan as well as the Special Envoys and representatives of the AU, UN, EU, the Troika and China, Co-Chairperson of the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF). (See article)

The AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) held its 749th meeting on Saturday (January 27) at the level of Heads of State and Government, on the theme: “Towards a Comprehensive Approach to Combating the Transnational Threat of Terrorism in Africa”. (See article)

AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres signed a Framework for the Implementation of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development on Saturday (January 27). This follows the signing of the peace and security framework between the AU and the UN in April 2017. The joint AU-UN sustainable development framework envisions stronger coordination between the two organizations to ensure that the UN’s 2030 Agenda and the AU’s Agenda 2063 are mainstreamed and integrated into the national planning frameworks of Member States. It stresses the nexus between peace, security and development in the implementation of the two Agendas in Africa and outlines monitoring processes to ensure challenges are addressed. An Action Plan to operationalize the framework will be discussed and agreed when the two leaders meet again in April 2018 for the 2nd Annual AU-UN Conference.

UN Secretary-General Guterres said on Saturday (January 27) that strong cooperation with the African Union was essential for the United Nations to be able to fulfill its mandate: “For the United Nations, the most important partnership is the partnership with the African Union.” The UN Secretary-General said that across the three main pillars of the United Nations, development, peace and security, and human rights, the African continent was key to solving global problems. The international community would not be able to have successes in development if Africa did not succeed in development and take advantage of its youth ‘dividend’. The global community could not secure lasting peace and security if Africa was unable to manage its conflicts or failed to make strong efforts at conflict prevention and resolution.


Prime Minister Hailemariam, Sudan President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and Egypt President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, had a successful meeting on Monday (January 29) and underlined that “at all levels the three countries should work as one, not as three” and agreed to meet once a year to enhance relations and cooperation. (See article)

Prime Minister Hailemariam met with UN Secretary-General Guterres in Addis Ababa on Saturday (January 27). They exchanged views on regional peace and security and the Prime Minister briefed the Secretary General on the Agreement signed by the parties in South Sudan. He urged the international community to back the efforts being made to maintain peace in South Sudan and called for strong measures against parties that violated the December Agreement signed in Addis Ababa. Mr. Guterres commended IGAD for the efforts made to restore peace in South Sudan and pledged to push the parties for implementation of the agreement. They agreed on the need for the international community to support Somalia to help it build its state institutions.

Prime Minister Hailemariam, designated AU Champion for the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP), organized the meeting on the Malabo Declaration Biennial Review and Africa Agriculture Transformation Scorecard on Monday (January 29) in collaboration with the African Union Commission. (See article)

UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, M. Lacroix at a meeting with Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu  on Tuesday (January 30) that the UN would like to see more Ethiopian peace-keepers under the “Blue Helmet.”Ethiopia is currently the number one troop provider to the U.N. with 8,326 peacekeepers on the ground. Dr. Workneh who briefed M. Lacroix on regional peace and security issues, stressed Ethiopia would continue to commit itself to global peace and security.

Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh met with the Minister of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane at the AU on Monday (January 29) .They discussed ways of further boosting bilateral ties through the annual Joint Ministerial Commission and Senior Officials Meetings. The 5th SOM is scheduled to be held in March and the 4th JMC in April. They also discussed the peace process of South Sudan and Ms. Nkoana-Mashabane commended Ethiopia’s role in the IGAD-led Revitalization Forum.

Foreign Minister, Dr. Workneh met with China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong, on Monday (January 29). They expressed their agreement to strengthen the two countries’ strategic partnership, with emphasis on development endeavors. Dr. Workeneh said “China is a true partner of Ethiopia in our effort towards development and eradicate poverty.”  Mr. Xiaodong underlined China’s willingness to further uplift the partnership in all areas of common interest.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Hirut Zemene received Davaasuren Damdinsuren, State Secretary of the Foreign Affairs of Mongolia on Friday (February 2). (See article)

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs said the ban on Ethiopian citizens travelling abroad for employment was lifted by the government on Tuesday (January 30). The ban was introduced five years ago in advance of diplomatic and labour agreements with hiring countries. The government has so far made bilateral labor recruitment agreements with Jordan and Kuwait and is set to sign similar agreements with Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. An agreement concluded with Saudi Arabia has also been tabled for the government for approval.

The UN Global Emergency Response Fund on Sunday (January 28) released US$10million to urgently help the most vulnerable people displaced in Ethiopia due to the conflict along the borders of the Oromia and Somali regions. This followed a visit by Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mark Lowcock, to IDP camps where, he said, need was far greater than the response that has been able to be provided so far. He noted the government had taken the lead in the response efforts but said these funds would complement the government’s efforts.

Ethiopian Airlines Group announced on Saturday (January 27) that it had  launched a direct freighter flight from Bahir Dar to Liege, one of the largest Ethiopian flower importer destinations. With daily freighter services to Belgium, Liege and Brussels, Ethiopian now transports a total of 130 tons of flowers.

Ethiopia is hosting the Second International Agro-Industry Investment Forum in Addis Ababa from March 5-8. The Forum will focus on food processing, textiles and garments, leather and leather products, as well as allied sectors such as packaging and renewable energy. It will feature participants from the public and business sector, including current and potential investors, international and domestic enterprises, industry associations, international organizations and financial institutions, as well as representatives from the Government of Ethiopia.


President Kenyatta, meeting UN Secretary-General Guterres at the AU in Addis Ababa on Monday (January 29), called for more support for AMISOM: “Stability in Somalia is key for the region and anything we can do to ensure the progress so far achieved is sustained, we should do,” he said. He said the UN and the AU should ensure practical and realistic AMISOM exit timelines.

President Kenyatta told the AU Peace and Security Council meeting in Addis Ababa that Kenya had established a strategy to counter radicalization of youths by terrorism groups, operating through its National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC), a multi-agency mechanism.


President Mohamed Abdullahi, attending the AU Summit, met with the UN Secretary-General Guterres in Addis Ababa, on Sunday (January 28).He thanked the UN for its continued support to Somalia in the fields of peace and state-building. Mr. Guterres expressed optimism for one-person, one-vote elections in Somalia.

Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre launched Somalia’s 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan on Tuesday this week (January 30) in Mogadishu. The Government-led, UN-supported humanitarian response plan is looking for $1.5 billion to address the needs of 5.4 million people. It was presented jointly with a Recovery and Resilience Framework, outlining the way forward for recovery and longer-term resilience, to address the root causes of recurring humanitarian crises. The RRF is based on a Drought Impact Needs Assessment (DINA), carried out by the Federal and Federal States, in partnership with the EU, UN and the World Bank. (See article)

The new Mogadishu mayor and Benadir governor, Abdirahman Omar Osman (Engineer Yarisow), took the oath for office on Monday (January 29) following a handover ceremony event held in the capital. Abdiweli Sheikh Ibrahim Mudey, acting President and first Deputy Speaker of the House of the People, Federal MPs, Ministers, and civil society members attended

Ambassador Madeira, head of AMISOM said in an interview on Saturday (January 27)  that AMISOM’s planned withdrawal by 2010 “cannot be met without urgent help from the international community… The U.N. and other partners must understand that this enterprise needs additional resources.” 1,000 of AMISOM forces withdraw last year; Ambassador Madeira said he hopes another 1,000 troops will withdraw this year.

Below average rainfall for the fifth consecutive growing season, has aid agencies expressing concern about this year’s harvest, expected to begin in April. Food production is expected to be below normal in most of Somalia, according to a recent survey by Somalia’s Food Security and Analysis Unit, and without continued large-scale assistance food security is expected to deteriorate in the next five months.FAO says 4.4 million people are in need of support, and nearly three million people are close to a humanitarian disaster.

The AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui, on Monday (January 29) called for more support from the UN to realize national elections in Somalia by 2020. He said the AU budget for peacekeeping operations in Somalia would last only until May: “As much as we regain territories, degrade terrorist group Al-Shabaab, we need to train and prepare Somali national forces to take over for these interrelated processes progress to be sustainable.”

Lt. General Jim Beesigye Owoyesigire took over as AMISOM Force Commander on Wednesday (January 31), replacing Lt. General Osman Noor Soubagleh, who had held the position July 2016.  General Owoyesigire pledged to enhance security across Somalia and continue the work already started, especially capacity building of the Somali National Army. His priorities will include overseeing the gradual and conditions-based transfer of the security responsibility from AMISOM to the SNA and destroying the remaining pockets of Al-Shabaab. He said: “All of us here have one problem, and that is Al-Shabaab. We need to fight him, break his backbone and then finally eradicate him. That’s my goal and I will achieve it.”

South Sudan

In a joint meeting on the sidelines of the 30th AU summit on Saturday (January 27), UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, AU Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, Current IGAD Chairperson called for full compliance with the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access. The three organizations “strongly condemned” the violation of the agreement by the parties involved and stressed the need to take actions on parties that violate the peace accord.

Festus Mogae, Chair of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), said members of IGAD must “maintain a unified approach, demonstrate one voice (and) challenge those who peddle self-interest” in the implementation of the peace agreement. They must not “squander” the opportunity of a renewed push to end the war. The next session of the High-level Revitalization Forum is due to start on February 5.


President Omar Al-Bashir met President El-Sisi of Egypt on the sidelines of the AU on Sunday (January 28) to discuss recent developments in the region, as well as ways to boost bilateral relations. They agreed to form a joint ministerial committee to deal with all outstanding bilateral issues.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N al-Hilu) has extended a unilateral cessation of hostilities in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile for four months just as a government delegation is due to meet with the SPLM-N in Addis Ababa this week to discuss a permanent cessation of hostilities agreement. The SPLM-N Agar faction has refused to participate. AUHIP mediators will also be meeting the opposition Sudan Call to discuss the political roadmap for a negotiated settlement and democratic reforms this weekend.

South Africa and South Sudan have signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in Defence. South Africa’s Defense and Military Veterans Minister Mapisa-Nqakula said the agreement would pave the way for the formation of a Joint Defense Committee which will meet regularly. It will allow exchange of knowledge and training in peace keeping and support as well capacity building, and joint exercises. Defense Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk said it will strengthen relations between the two countries.