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Embaixada da Etiópia
Brasília, Brasil

May 25, 2018

News in Brief

Prime Minister Dr. Abiy visits Saudi Arabia  and the UAE

The reconvened Phase II Revitalization Forum concludes with IGAD’s new proposal

…and discuss progress of the IGAD Drought Resilience and Sustainability Initiative

IGAD and partners consult on the Djibouti Plan of Action for Refugee Education…

Annual meeting of the African Development Bank focuses on industrialization

The Joint Africa-EU Strategy Reference Group on Infrastructure

Africa Day and “The Year of Combating corruption”

Addis Ababa hosts a Climate Change-Induced Migration Workshop

Africa and the African Union

Africa Day is celebrated throughout Africa on May 25, and the theme of this year is “The Year of Combating corruption; a sustainable path to Africa’s Transformation”. (See article)

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, arrived in Brussels on Monday (May 21) for the annual AU Commission meeting with the European Commission. The Chairperson’s delegation includes members of the Commission and senior officials. The meeting, following the 5th Summit between the African Union and the European Union held in Abidjan in November last year, and took stock of progress made in the follow-up to the Abidjan Declaration. The Chairperson used the opportunity to further the African Common Position on the post-Cotonou arrangements, and exchanged views with key Brussels-based stakeholders ahead of next week’s meeting of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, due to start in Lomé, Togo, on Sunday (May 27), and of the negotiations with European Union due to start in August.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo telephoned African Union Chairperson Moussa Faki at the end of last week to discuss ways to end the South Sudanese conflict. A State Department statement said Secretary Pompeo reaffirmed the “strong partnership” between the United States and the African Union and discussed their mutual interest to advance peace, security and human rights in Africa. They also discussed “the need to continue cooperation on diplomatic efforts, including urgently working to end the conflict in South Sudan” and ongoing preparations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for the general election in December this year.

The 53rd Annual Meetings of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank Group, held under the theme of “Accelerating Africa’s industrialization took place this week from May 21-25, in Busan, South Korea, and Bank President Adesina emphasized that the rapid economic development in Korea was an inspiration and a model to African economies. (See article)

The Government of Korea and the African Development Bank issued a Joint Declaration at the conclusion of the Ministerial Roundtable of the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) Conference in Busan, in which Korea announced a $5-billion bilateral financial assistance package for Africa. It will be delivered over two years through partnerships with various development agencies, including the African Development Bank Group. The Bank and the Republic of Korea also signed an agreement with the intent to provide up to $600 million towards the energy sector.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has released US$ 34.8m and US$ 43.8m grants for Somalia and South Sudan respectively under its “Say no to Famine – Short Term Regional Emergency Response Project” (STRERP). The STRERP will provide direct food, water, fodder and medical assistance to meet the immediate hunger and malnutrition needs faced by communities affected by drought, conflicts and famine. It will be targeting 804,000 people in Somalia and 300,000 in South Sudan. Implementation will be overseen by IGAD through an agency to be recruited in each country.

IGAD’s Drought Resilience and sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI), held its 5th IDDRSI Platform General Assembly meeting earlier this month (May 11) at Entebbe, Uganda. The meeting reviewed the progress made in implementing drought resilience during the past five years and considered proposals for a transformational agenda for the next five years. (See article)

IGAD and partners met on Tuesday last week (May 15) in Addis Ababa for the first consultative discussion on the implementation of the Djibouti Declaration and Plan of Action on Refugee Education. (See article)

A Climate Change Induced Migration Regional Workshop. Organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of Korea, the Hanns Seidel Foundation and Iceaddis Ethiopia opened on Wednesday (May 23). It aimed to cover the topic of climate-induced migration and to facilitate discussion on concerns and deliberations on migration, environment and climate change. (See article)

The Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) Reference Group on Infrastructure meeting was held at the African Union Headquarters last week (May 17 and 18). It considered “Mobilizing Investments for African structural sustainable transformation”, one of the guiding strategic priorities adopted at the 5th AU-EU Summit held in Abidjan in November last year. (See article)

Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed welcomed Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the National Palace on Friday (May 25). Prime Minister Dr. Abiy and President Kagame, sat for a tete-a-tete and deliberated at length on ways of further strengthening the longstanding and multifarious as well as excellent relations between Ethiopia and Rwanda.

Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed made a two-day state visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on Thursday last week (May 17), his first visit outside Africa. He held talks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual concern. The Prime Minister then visited the United Arab Emirates where he held talks with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. (See article)

Prime Minister Dr. Abiy met with the leadership of the Oromo Democratic Front (ODF), led by Lencho Leta, Chairman of the Front on Thursday (May 24). ODF leaders agreed to participate in Ethiopia’s political discourse peacefully. Both parties agreed to work on fostering Ethiopia’s national unity and deepening democratization.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu received Indian Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ambassador Anurag Srivastava on Friday (May 24). The Minister expressed his deepest condolences over the unfortunate death of Deep Kamra, CEO of Dangote Cement Factory, who died following an attack by unknown gunmen that took place while he was returning to Addis Ababa from the factory alongside two company employees. Dr. Workneh and Ambassador Anurag also discussed on ways to further strengthen the trade and investment ties between the two countries.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Aklilu Hailmichael Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to Ethiopia, Dr. Wasfi Ayyad on Tuesday (May 22) and discussed on the current and prospective cooperation between Ethiopia and Jordan.

Newly appointed State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Professor Afework Kassu received a Slovenian delegation headed by Matjaž Šinkovec, National Coordinator for Relations with African Countries and former non-resident Ambassador to Ethiopia on Friday (May 18) and discussed on bilateral issues. Prof. Afework noted the Ethio-Slovenian relations that dated back to ties with the former Yugoslavia, and underscored Ethiopia’s keenness to reinforce relationship with Slovenia and boost bilateral cooperation on a range of sectors.

Ethiopia and Denmark signed a 201 million U.S. dollars loan agreement on Thursday (May 23), which will be used to finance a 100 MW wind energy project. The loan agreement was signed between Admasu Nebebe, State Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation and Mette Thygesen, Ambassador of Denmark.

Ethiopia and the Netherlands signed a grant agreement amounting to 19.6 million Euros. State Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation, Admasu Nebebe, and B. Van Loosdrecht, Ambassador of the Netherlands signed the agreement on Wednesday (May 23). The grant will be used to finance the public health infrastructure project, particularly for the construction of Cardiac Care center at Black Lion Hospital.

An Ethiopian business seminar was organized in Daejeon, South Korea on Thursday (May 23). Ethiopia’s Ambassador to South Korea, Ambassador Shiferaw Jarso briefed heads of several South Korean companies on the tremendous investment opportunities in Ethiopia.

Ethiopian Airlines, the largest Aviation Group in Africa and a SKYTRAX certified Four Star Global Airline, has said that it will take delivery on 5 June 2018 of its 100th aircraft, a Boeing 787-900. The Airline is the first to operate a 100 aircraft fleet in the history of Africa. Ethiopian Group CEO, Mr. Tewolde Gebremariam said this milestone was a continuation of the airlines historic aviation leadership role in Africa and a testimony to the successful implementation of its fast, profitable and sustainable growth plan, Vision 2025.


Eritrea celebrates the 25th anniversary of its formal independence this week. On May 24, 1993, following a UN-supervised referendum, Eritrea was declared an independent and sovereign republic. Four days later it was admitted to the United Nations.


President Kenyatta on Thursday (May 24) unveiled government plans to implement a strategic water storage program that will increase the number of Kenyans connected to safe piped water by 9 million people by 2022. It will also increase the proportion of households with access to safe drinking water from 60 to 80% in the next five years.


Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire on Wednesday (May 23) announced a number of ministerial appointments: Hassan Moalim Hussein as Minister for Religious Endowment; Hassan Ali Mohamed, Minister for Defense; Dahir Mohamud Guelleh, Minister for Information; Abdiaziz Abdullahi Mohamed, Minister for Energy and Water; Hamza Saeed Hamza, Minister for Humanitarian and Disaster Management; and Abdifatah Mohamed Ibrahim as Minister for Public Works. In addition, the Prime Minister also appointed Assistant Ministers for Information, the Interior, Posts and Telecommunication, Health, and Humanitarian and Disaster Management, and State Ministers for Commerce and Security.

A delegation to Pakistan led by Minister of State for Interior Abdullahi Farah Wehliy signed an agreement with the Pakistan government this week for a grant of US$10.5 million and provision of technical assistance for development of Somalia’s National Identification System. Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority will develop and supply technology, software and equipment to enable Somalia to have a state-of-the-art national data and citizen registration system. Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi witnessed the signing of the agreement at his office.

Ministers of Justice and Attorney-Generals from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) on Friday last week (May 18) adopted an agreement for the accession of Somalia to the COMESA treaty. This paves the way for Somalia’s admission to COMESA at the next Summit later this year. This will increase the number of members of COMESA to 20.

A report by One Earth Future’s Oceans Beyond Piracy program, released on Monday (May 21) says the number of piracy incidents doubled off the coast of East Africa in 2017, 54 compared to 27 in 2016. It said: “Pirate activity in 2017 clearly demonstrates that pirate groups retain their ability to organize and implement attacks against ships transiting the region.” It also noted that additional threats complicated the maritime security picture in the Western Indian Ocean region, including a spill-over into the maritime space from the political conflict in Yemen.

South Sudan

The seven-day long session of the IGAD High-Level revitalization Forum concluded on Wednesday (May 23) with a new IGAD proposal intended to bridge the gaps between all the Parties to the Forum’s second phase, launched on December 18, 2017.  This session of the Forum started last week, bringing together South Sudan stakeholders to discuss governance and security issues. (See article)


President Omer al-Bashir and Turkish President Recep Erdogan discussed bilateral relations between the two countries on Friday (May 18). They met in Istanbul on the side-lines of the extraordinary summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference on Jerusalem. They discussed bilateral issues, stressing the need to implement the projects agreed especially in the field of agricultural development. During President Erdogan’s visit to Sudan last December, the two sides signed 12 cooperation agreements and agreed to launch a strategic partnership covering agriculture, industry, minerals and health. They also underlined the importance of holding a meeting of their joint strategic cooperation council this year.


Prime Minister Dr. Abiy visits Saudi Arabia ….

Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed arrived in Jeddah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for a two-day state visit on Thursday last week (May 17). The visit followed an invitation from King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saudi, and his trip, which also took him to the UAE, was his first outside Africa after three visits to the neighboring countries of Djibouti, Sudan and Kenya. On arrival at King Abdulaziz International Airport, accompanied by a high-level delegation, the Prime Minister was warmly welcomed by high ranking Saudi government officials and Ethiopia’s Ambassador to the Kingdom, Ambassador Amin Abdulkadir.

The Prime Minister held talks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual concern. They also discussed further strengthening of cooperation in the areas of tourism, agriculture, investment, labor relations as well as energy.  The Crown Prince said Saudi Arabia would provide support for Ethiopia’s development efforts and he pledged to encourage Saudi investors to invest in Ethiopia. The two sides agreed to strengthen the people-to-people ties as well as boost agricultural and energy cooperation between the two countries. They also agreed to exploit and develop Ethiopia’s tourism potential and to conduct studies to realize electricity interconnection between them.

Upon the request of Prime Minister Dr. Abiy, up to a thousand Ethiopian prisoners were also released.

During his visit to Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Dr. Abiy also met with representatives of the Ethiopian Community in the Kingdom and discussed ways of further facilitating and bolstering their continued participation in the development endeavors of Ethiopia on various fronts. He also visited Mohammed Abdul Aziz Yahya, a 16-year-old Ethiopian, paralyzed and in a coma since 2006 after a failed operation, and met with Mohammed’s mother, Halima Muzemil.


…and the United Arab Emirates
After his successful visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Dr. Abiy and his entourage went on to the United Arab Emirates where he met with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. During their meeting, the two leaders considered ways of boosting ties of friendship and cooperation and discussed the latest regional and global issues of mutual concern. They also explored the prospects of bilateral cooperation across the economic, trade and investment fields for the mutual interests of both countries.

The Ethiopian Prime Minister highlighted the strong and special ties between Ethiopia and the UAE, expressing his confidence that the bilateral ties would see steady growth. He described the UAE as a ‘successful role model’ in the region thanks to the wisdom and far-sighted vision of the late founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, and the keenness of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to pursue this model of prudent leadership.

Sheikh Mohamed expressed his hope that the working visit of Dr. Abiy Ahmed to the UAE would contribute towards furthering UAE-Ethiopia’s cooperation ties in a manner that met the aspirations of the friendly leadership and peoples in both countries. Sheikh Mohamed emphasized the UAE’s firm policy of expanding its ties with friendly countries based on mutual respect, confidence and understanding and the delivery of mutual benefits. He said: ”The UAE and Ethiopia are maintaining good, evolving ties within the framework of the two leaderships’ keenness to further solidifying these ties and cooperation.” The UAE has developed successful clusters in tourism, health care, and the science and technology sectors which have attracted significant investments to serve as growth drivers. The two sides agreed to create a platform to attract high quality investment in these sectors.

Dr. Abiy also visited Masdar City in Abu Dhabi on Saturday (May 19). He was received by a delegation led by Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar (Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company); Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, the CEO of Masdar; and other Masdar officials.  The Prime Minister was briefed on Masdar’s mandate to deliver the renewable energy vision of Abu Dhabi and to catalyze clean technology investments in the Arab world and international markets. Masdar officials briefed the Prime Minister on Shams 1, the largest renewable energy project in the MENA region when implemented in 2013; London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind farm; and the 800-megawatt expansion of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai.

The Prime Minister also visited Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s flagship sustainable urban community, and the Eco-Villa, which showcases practical and affordable solutions in residential building design. He took a ride in one of the city’s Personal Rapid Transit vehicles and was briefed on the locally designed and manufactured Eco-Bus as well as visiting selected laboratories of the Masdar Institute, part of the Khalifa University of Science and Technology.


The reconvened Phase II Revitalization Forum concludes with IGAD’s new proposal

The seven day long continued Second Phase Revitalization Forum concluded on Wednesday (May 23, 2018) with IGAD’s new proposal that was hoped to bridge the gaps between all the Parties to the High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) launched on December 18, 2017 by the former Premier and Chairperson of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government Hailemariam Desalegn.

It was on 12th June 2017 that the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government convened in Addis Ababa and decided inter alia to revitalize the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) and entrusted the mandate to the IGAD Council of Ministers.   As per this decision, the IGAD Council of Ministers were tasked “to discuss concrete measures to restore permanent cease fire, to full implementation of the peace agreement, and to develop a revised and realistic timeline and implementation schedule towards a democratic election at the end of the transition period.’’ The IGAD Leaders appointed a Special Envoy for South Sudan, Ambassador Ismail Wais, who will help the Chairperson of the IGAD Council of Ministers and consult widely before and after to the convening of High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF).

During the pre-forum consultation phase the Chairperson of the IGAD Council of Ministers Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu accompanied by his colleagues, members of the Council and the Special Envoy met and held intensive talks with the parties to the ARCSS and estranged groups in Addis Ababa, Juba, Khartoum as well as Pretoria.

Consecutive consultations held in different periods and venues were co-chaired by the State Minister of Foreign Affairs Mrs. Hirut Zemene, acting on behalf of the Chairperson of IGAD Council of Ministers, Dr. Workeneh.  This was hoped to immediately address and find solution to the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in South Sudan by bringing to the table the Government and the opposition armed and non-armed groups to discuss the way forward towards the full and timely implementation of the peace agreement.

Later, in December 2017 at the First Phase of the HLRF, many were optimistic when the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan Ambassador Ismail Wais and the Co-Facilitators of the Forum Ramtane Lamamra, Hanna Tetteh and George Rebello Chicoti announced the successful conclusion of the first phase of the HLRF with the signing of an Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access.  However, following the reports of Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements
Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) to the Council of Ministers of IGAD (Council of Ministers), that there have been severe violations of the CoH, including the killings of civilians, inflicting serious mental and physical injuries on people, rape, and sexual violence and looting. The Council of Ministers while commending those Parties and individuals who have shouldered their responsibilities under the CoH and were working hard to see it work, strongly condemn those who have violated the truce and reaffirmed its full commitment to take appropriate action against those violating the CoH. IGAD partners, the AU, the UN, the Troika, IPF, China and others have also condemned the spoilers and called for the necessary measures.

Taking note of the fact that fighting while talking is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated, the IGAD opened its doors for all Parties to the Process to engage and forge constructive efforts towards compromise for the benefit of the people of South Sudan. The two weeks long Second Revitalization Forum has been an important venue to undertake useful dialogues on responsibility sharing and transitional security arrangement mechanisms.

Stressing on the need to narrow the gaps between their positions, the South Sudanese parties and stakeholders at the Forum recommended that the IGAD Council of Ministers intensify its engagement with parties in order to assist them make the necessary compromises.  Welcoming this recommendation, the Council made a decision during its last Extra-Ordinary Summit to immediately undertake shuttle diplomacy before the resumption of the Forum. Accordingly the Council undertook several activities to-date in forging shuttle diplomacy and engaging with the parties in intensive consultations and organizing a two days workshop on governance and security.

It was following these intense engagements with the parties that the adjourned 2nd Phase Revitalization Forum resumed last week (May 17). This forum was unique because IGAD has offered encouragement for the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) to facilitate the Intra-South Sudanese dialogue. The Parties, then, formed a Leadership Committee and sub-committees on Security and Governance. The moral and spiritual leadership has played its own positive role in narrowing the gap between parties and mad steps towards one another on outstanding issues. Dr. Workneh in his closing remarks on Wednesday (May 23) expressed the intra-South Sudan Talks as “a worthy experience that helped IGAD to draw lessons from the Parties’ interactions.”

Though the progress by the Parties to resolve outstanding issues was comparatively better than previous dialogues, they were unable to reach breakthroughs. It was against this backdrop that the IGAD has submitted a bridging proposal to narrow the gaps based on identified challenges during the Process. In his closing remarks, Dr. Workneh noted: “You may hear that some parties are not happy or other parties are content with the proposal of IGAD. But our consideration is strongly anchored on how the South Sudanese people would finally attain peace and tranquillity.”

IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan Ambassador Ismail Wais thanked the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) for facilitating the dialogue over the days and encouraged doing the same here and back home. Ambassador Berhanu Kebede, on behalf of JMEC Chairperson, Festus Mogae, noted the IGAD proposal as “critical” and urged parties to resolve outstanding issues in pursuit of lasting peace.

Parties were submitting their reactions on formal written papers to the IGAD Council of Ministers. The next step would be a meeting of the Council of Ministers of IGAD in the near future. Thereafter, the Council will report to the Summit to deliberate on the outcomes of the revitalization process.


…and discuss progress of the IGAD Drought Resilience and Sustainability Initiative

IGAD’s Drought Resilience and sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI), made up of IGAD Member States, the IGAD Secretariat, Development Partners, UN agencies, Civil Society Organisations and members of the private sector, is committed to ending drought emergencies in the Horn of Africa. It held its 5th IDDRSI Platform General Assembly meeting earlier this month (May 11) at Entebbe, Uganda. IDDRSI was set up following the Joint Nairobi Summit on “ending drought emergencies in the Horn of Africa” held in September 2011, and the IGAD Secretariat was charged with the responsibility to lead and coordinate implementation.

The meeting was opened and chaired by Uganda’s Minister of State for Relief and Disaster Preparedness, Musa Ecweru. Others attending included Gabriel Negatu, Director General of the African Development Bank; Myra Benardi, Head of the Agriculture Section of the European Union; Ambassador Mahboub Maalim, Executive Secretary of IGAD; and representatives of Germany, Switzerland, European Union, UN Agencies and Civil Society Organisations, as well as Members of the IGAD Committee of Ambassadors and IGAD Partners’ Forum. Also present were representatives of the relevant ministries from IGAD countries.

The objective of the meeting was to review the progress made in the implementing drought resilience during the past five years and consider proposals for a transformational agenda for the next five years.

The meeting recognized that building resilience in the region was a lengthy and challenging process, to be undertaken at sub-national, national and regional levels and requiring multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder involvement. It noted the progress made in the last five and the renewed commitment of IGAD Member States and Development Partners to end drought emergencies, and the role of the IGAD Secretariat in pioneering efforts in building resilience through improved coordination, information, response and research.

It recognized the preparatory work to develop infrastructure and increase investment in the arid and semi-arid lands of the region It decided to expand cross-border initiatives to include all forms of cross-border cooperation approaches to benefit from the AU Convention on Cross-border Cooperation (the Niamey Convention), and instructed the IGAD Secretariat to follow up with issues to ensure full operationalization of the IGAD Cross-Border Development Facilitation Unit based in Moroto, Uganda. It suggested the IGAD protocol on free movement of persons should include trade in goods and services and supported the development of the IGAD Protocol on Transhumance by ensuring safe access of pastoralists to corridors of pasture, water and basic social services.

It called on IDDRSI Platform Members to adopt and implement Resilience Measurement and Knowledge Management, and to design strategies to address bottlenecks that impede the effective implementation of IDDRSI. It called for sufficient resources to support the staff and activities of the Platform Coordination Unit. In their communique, IDDRSI appreciated the support of the African Development Bank, the World Bank and the European Union, Switzerland and other critical partners, and appealed to all development partners to continue their support to IDDRSI and diversify resource mobilization.

The meeting also endorsed the roadmap for the revision of the IDDRSI Programming Framework Documents, taking note of global frameworks, such as the Global Compact for Migration, the Global Compact on Refugees and the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework. Adopting the recommendations of the 8th Platform Steering Committee, the meeting acknowledged the results achieved so far but accepted that much more needed to be done differently and innovatively to guarantee the achievement of IDDRSI goals.


IGAD and partners consult on the Djibouti Plan of Action for Refugee Education…

IGAD and its partners met on Tuesday last week (May 15) in Addis Ababa in the first consultative discussion on the implementation of the Djibouti Declaration and Plan of Action on Refugee Education. The meeting of IGAD Ministers of Education or IGAD educational representatives was also attended by representatives from EU, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNESCO, FAO, the World Bank, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, USA, GIZ, Global Partnership for Education, GESPI and Education Cannot Wait.

The meeting followed the conference convened on December, last year, in Djibouti by the Ministers of Education of IGAD member states in a regional conference on education for refugees in IGAD member states. During that meeting, the Ministers recalled relevant national, regional and international strategies and frameworks. These included the Nairobi Declaration on Durable Solutions for Somali Refugees and Re-integration of Returnees in Somalia and its accompanying plan of action, agreed at an IGAD Heads of State and Government Summit in March 2017. Other relevant initiatives include the IGAD regional migration policy framework and its Migration Action Plan for 2015-2020; the African Union’s agenda 2063 on education; the 2016 New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants, including its Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF); and in addition, the appropriate UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

At the meeting held in 2017, IGAD’s Ministers of Education issued a communiqué which gave directives to take collective responsibility to ensure that every refugee, returnee and member of host communities have access to quality education in a safe learning environment within their respective countries without discrimination. They agreed to establish an IGAD regional experts and ministerial committee of education to oversee the proper implementation of all agreed standards, policy instruments and frameworks for education for all, including refugee returnees and members of host communities.

Opening last week’s two-day meeting, the Director-General responsible for School Improvement Program and Support of the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Education, Ato Yasabu Berkneh, emphasized the leadership of IGAD on this very important matter, a critical tool for change. Acknowledging the large number of refugees, returnees and IDPs in the region, now amounting to several million, urged IGAD Member States to implement the Djibouti declaration at national and sub-national levels. He also called on development partners to support programs emerging from the plan of action in addition to addressing other social challenges the region faced. The Acting Director for Health and Social Development at the IGAD Secretariat, Ms. Fathia Alwan, underlined that education for refugees was an important element in the need for implementing that element of IGAD’s mandate charged with responsibility of addressing socio-economic needs of vulnerable communities in the region that include refugees, cross border mobile populations, women, youth, disabled and the aged.

The Djibouti Declaration made a strong commitment for IGAD Member States and Development Partners to take collective responsibility to ensure that every refugee, returnee and members of host communities could have access to quality education in a safe learning environment without discrimination. Four work-streams have now been identified to carry the Plan of Action forward. These included: inclusion of refugees in national education systems; minimum standards and targets, regional mechanisms to recognize qualifications; and strengthening the capacity of the IGAD Secretariat to coordinate the implementation process. The Ministers agreed in their communiqué last year to integrate education for refugees and returnees into national education sector plans by 2020.


Annual meeting of the African Development Bank focuses on industrialization

The 53rd Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the African Development Bank Group, held under the theme of “Accelerating Africa’s industrialization took place this week from May 21-25, in Busan, South Korea. Prior to the meetings, African Development Bank President Adesina briefed journalists that the share of manufacturing sector in Africa’s GDP had declined to about 10%. He said that Africa was de-industrializing, with industrial value-added falling. Between 2012 and 2018, he said, Africa lost roughly $72 billion in terms of value-added. He said:” That is not acceleration. That is deceleration. What Africa needs right now is turn around that trajectory.” Currently Africa’s industrial GDP per capita is estimated around $700 compared to the figures for Latin America and East Asia, around $2300 and $3,500, respectively.

President Adesina emphasized that the rapid economic development in Korea was an inspiration and a model to African economies. He said: “African countries should learn from Korea’s rapid economic growth most especially in the areas of industrialization and manufacturing. I thank the Korean Government for supporting Africa’s development.” Mr. Adesina noted that Africa’s relationship with Korea was based on a model of cooperation, adding that Korea’s economic prospects were more challenging than those of most African countries. He stressed the partnership between Korea and Africa would be necessarily “win-win”. “This partnership”, he said, “will help increase productivity by stimulating technological progress and innovation while simultaneously creating more skilled jobs in the formal sector of our economies.”

Korea’s Deputy Prime Minister and Strategy and Finance Minister, Dong Yeon Kim, suggested Africa should fast-track industrialization strategies based on his country’s experience., using innovative approaches involving tailored strategies, looking to focus on the 4th Industrial Revolution, involving robotics, virtual reality and artificial intelligence, having an inclusive and people-driven industrialization, and smart infrastructure.  Mr. Kim also spoke of Busan’s long and special relationship with Africa going back to the arrival of troops from Ethiopiathe Kagnew Battalionarriving there in 1951 to join the United Nations forces at a time when its troops had retreated to Busan. He said: “Our African allies including Ethiopia and South Africa helped the Korean development and get out of the ashes during the Korean War”

Young-Ju Kim, Chairman of the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), said that as the global economy continues to recover, many countries around the world are paying close attention to the vast potential of Africa. “If we could combine Korea’s know-how with Africa’s immense growth potential, we could become important partners in creating win-win outcomes for future prosperity,” he said. He emphasized that Korea would always be a reliable friend to countries across Africa and a true companion in Africa’s journey towards greater economic development and industrialization.

Opening the AfDB meetings, President Adesina said State-led industrialisation would drive millions out of poverty. He noted the example of Ethiopia which was, he said, on an industrialisation drive with the State as a key player. He said: “Ethiopia is a very good example and you can see what is happening there in terms of hubs.” He said that fast-paced industrialisation required the State to play a critical role, while also emphasizing the need for balance between the role of the State and the private sector.” The industrialisation of Africa is one of the bank’s high five areas aimed to lift Africa out of poverty. Other priority areas are to feed Africa, light up and power Africa, integrate Africa and improve the quality of life for the people of Africa. Mr. Adesina said the bank was also investing in infrastructure and governments’ support of infrastructure was critical in driving the industrialisation agenda. It is estimated that Africa has an infrastructure financing deficit of between $68 billion to $108 billion annually.

President Adesina said the African Development Bank plans to invest $35 billion over the next ten years towards its focus on industrialization. The Bank’s industrialization strategy hopes to help Africa to raise its industrial GDP from a little over $700 billion today to over $1.72 trillion by 2030. This will allow Africa’s overall GDP to rise to over $5.6 trillion, while moving GDP per capita to over $3,350,” he said. He said AfDB will leverage on its investment in industrialisation to raise additional funding to support the “industrialise Africa” agenda.  “It’s not just the money that we invest, but how much we are leveraging on. We plan to leverage about $56 billion in support of industrialisation in Africa,” he said. He said the question was not where the money comes from, but “it’s just really knowing exactly what needs to be done”. The private sector, President Adesina said, was looking for where to invest its money and required a favourable environment. He said it is important to handhold the private sector when they want to invest. He said: “If you look at the areas of the world that have industrialised, you will find that the State was always there for the private sector supporting them not just leaving them. We need to support a lot of public private partnerships. The public sector has to reduce the risk of exposure by the private sector.”

President Adesina said the formula for the wealth of nations was clear: “rich nations add value to all they produce; poor nations simply export raw materials. Africa needs to industrialize and add value to everything that it produces – from agriculture, to minerals, oil, gas and metals. Africa needs to move away from the bottom to the top of the global value chains.” He pointed out: “African farmers work hard every year to deliver 75% of global cocoa production but Africa reaps less than 5% of the profits from the $120 billion annual market for chocolate. Africa accounts for 50% of the world’s gold production but only receives 4% of the $300 billion revenues in global gold earnings”.

On the side-lines of the meetings, the Bank and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Monday, May 21 to step up collaboration to boost Africa’s industrialization. Mr. Adesina said: “The Bank launched in 2016 its Industrialization Strategy for Africa 2016-2025, which was the outcome of collaborative work with UNIDO and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. The signing of the present MoU is key to our Strategy’s implementation.” He noted: “The Bank already benefits enormously from UNIDO’s expertise in developing policies, programmes and knowledge tools which supports our member countries to industrialize.”

Last year, the Bank allocated US $1.2 billion to Industrialize Africa, identified as one of its High 5 development priorities. The new agreement facilitates the Bank and UNIDO cooperation on joint activities of shared interest in areas such as agro-industry development, circular economy, eco-industrial parks, investment in innovation and technology, enterprise development, trade and capacity-building, and access to finance. The MoU is in line with objectives set in the Bank’s High 5 strategy, the African Union’s Agenda 2063, the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III), the UN’s Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the G20 Initiative on Supporting Industrialization in Africa. Philippe Scholtès, Managing Director at UNIDO said: “Achieving Africa’s industrial potential will not happen by chance; strong partnerships such as the one our two organizations have now formalized are key,” adding, “This partnership will create significant opportunities and facilitate our work together towards the operationalization of IDDA III (2016–2025)”.

In a panel discussion, The Emir of Kano, Sanussi Lamido, former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, urged African states to be more transparent in the management of their economy, saying corruption is a real obstacle to the development of the continent. He said: “Perceptions matter a lot. It is therefore urgent to improve transparency in our states, because it is clearly linked to good governance.” He stressed that “We have to accept that we have a transparency problem and we need to fix it. We must tackle corruption, block capital outflows and create opportunities to create new jobs”. At a panel discussion, he called for African states to take measures that strengthen the transparent management of public affairs and put an end to cross-border smuggling and the loss of revenue suffered by states.

However, even absolute transparency alone will not be enough to ensure the full transformation of African economies. This needs Africa to accelerate its industrialization and strengthen its cooperation with other regions of the world. As the largest development finance institution in Africa, the African Development Bank plans to mobilize around US $ 35 billion over the next ten years to finance industrialization programs in Africa. While bringing real added value to the continent’s economies, the continent’s industrialization acceleration program will create thousands of jobs and protect the states from volatile commodity prices, and if Africa wants to be efficient and have quick returns, the industrialization of Africa must be based on strengthening cooperation between the continent and other parts of the world.


The Joint Africa-EU Strategy Reference Group on Infrastructure

The Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) Reference Group on Infrastructure meeting was held at the African Union Headquarters last week (May 17 and 18). The central theme of the meeting was consideration of one of the guiding strategic priorities adopted at the 5th AU-EU Summit held in Abidjan in November last year. It had the main objective of contributing to the implementation of the conclusions of the summit as well as the political declaration under Strategic Area 3: “Mobilizing Investments for African structural sustainable transformation”.

The meeting has reiterated the 5th AU-EU Summit’s conclusions on infrastructure cooperation and the way forward in line with a focus on the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA). Considering the state of progress and the way forward in implementation within a challenging infrastructure context, how to scale-up Investment for Infrastructure within the potential for synergies between the European External Investment Plan (EIP) and PIDA was the point of emphasis. The discussions took into account an understanding of the nexus approach in ensuring food, water and energy for an ever-growing population, enhancing the financial viability of water projects and providing innovation opportunities for rural electrification from digitalization in Africa.

The Reference Group on Infrastructure is mandated to steer the strategic infrastructure roadmap within the framework of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy. It, therefore, addressed the 2018-2020 Africa-EU infrastructure agenda across a number of different sectors: energy, water, transport, and digitalization. It called for strategic coordination and agreement between partners on actions related to the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), as well as for the potential of digitalization, investment promotion, climate change and the role the new European Investment Plan is expected to play for quality infrastructure investment and delivery.

The EU Director for Infrastructure and Energy Mr. Cheikh Bedda, chairing the opening session of the meeting, noted the satisfaction of the leadership of the AU Commission with the work relating to infrastructure. He recalled that the meeting was happening in a special context as issues of sustainable development were of concern to Africa’s citizens as well as Europe’s. Mr. Cheikh emphasized the success in the first phase of the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa and noted the support to the program from the EU. He stressed that that the AU needed to draw lessons learned from the first phase to assist in the implementation of the second phase.

Mr. Paolo Ciccarelli, European Commission Official, addressed the meeting on the involvement of the EU Commission in the partnership with the AU Commission. He underlined the importance of reforms and providing an enabling environment for the investment to succeed. Mr. Ciccarelli further noted that energizing Africa, digitalizing Africa, and interconnecting Africa, would be the main avenues to engage within the AU-EU Infrastructure agenda during the period 2018-2020.

The conclusions of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy Reference Group on Infrastructure were

used to guide the 2018 AUC-EC College-to-College (C2C) Meeting which took place on Wednesday (May 23) in Brussels, as well as relevant other fora of JAES partners in relation to infrastructure.


Africa Day and “The Year of Combating corruption”

Africa Day is celebrated on May 25, and the theme of this year is “The Year of Combating corruption; a sustainable path to Africa’s Transformation”. Africa Day is the annual commemoration of Africa’s independence, freedom and liberation from colonialism. The continental body, the Organisation of the African Unity, now the African Union, held its founding conference, hosted by Emperor Haile Selassie in Addis Ababa on May 25 1963. The African Union was officially launched in 2002 at the Durban Summit, tasked with accelerating and deepening the process of economic and political integration.

The meeting in 1963 brought together more than thirty African nations and established a charter to improve the livelihood of member states across Africa. The 1963 conference also called for the observance of African Freedom Day once a year to mark, “The onward progress of the liberation movement, and to symbolise the determination of the People of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation.”

Africa Day celebrates the launch of the OAU in Addis Ababa 55 years ago by the Heads of State and Government of independent African states and witnessed by leaders of African liberation movements. It allows Africa to celebrate significant political, social and economic achievements since the establishment of the OAU. It offers the opportunity for people to pay tribute to the heroes and heroines of Africa who sacrificed their lives to defeat colonialism and apartheid and provide for the protection of sovereignty and human dignity. It presents all Africans with an occasion on which to reflect on the state of the continent and the individual as well as collective roles each must play in the efforts for the realisation of Africa’s integration.

In January 2015, African Heads of State and Government adopted Agenda 2063, as the development blueprint for Africa’s next fifty years; the way forward stressing the continental commitment to eradicate poverty. Agenda 2063 is “. . . both a vision and an action plan. It is a call for action to all segments of African society to work together to build a prosperous and united Africa based on shared values and a common destiny”. The AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government adopted the first 10-year plan to begin implementation of Agenda 2063 in January last year.

Agenda 2063 is the strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years. Its builds on and seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development. The guiding vision is the AU Vision of “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in international arena”. Agenda 2063 is founded on the Constitutive Act of the African Union; the African Union Vision; the 8 Priority Areas of AU 50th Anniversary Solemn Declaration; Regional and Continental Frameworks; Member States’ National Plans and African Aspirations for 2063.

The seven African Aspirations are: A Prosperous Africa, based on inclusive growth and sustainable development; an integrated continent, politically united, based on the ideals of Pan Africanism and the vision of Africa’s Renaissance; an Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law; a Peaceful and Secure Africa; an Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, values and ethics; an Africa whose development is people driven, relying on the potential offered by people, especially its women and youth and caring for children; and an Africa as a strong, united, resilient and influential global player and partner.


Addis Ababa hosts a Climate Change-Induced Migration Workshop

The Climate Change Induced Migration Regional Workshop opened Wednesday (May 23) in Addis Ababa at Iceaddis Ethiopia. The workshop was jointly organized by the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, the Hanns Seidel Foundation and Iceaddis Ethiopia, an innovation hub and technical incubator. A team of experts from the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representatives from relevant government ministries, specialized agencies from Ethiopia and East Africa, Civil Society Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations, United Nations and other stakeholders working in the areas of human migration and climate change took part.

The workshop aimed to provide a holistic overview of the topic of climate-induced migration and to facilitate discussion in the international, regional and national concerns and deliberations on migration, environment and climate change. As climate-induced migration touches upon cross-cutting issues such as migration management, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and development, the workshop also promoted discussions and exchange of practices and experience among organizations, the academia and civil society as well as providing trhe opportunity for a regional discussion for policy makers, experts and specialized agencies. With Ethiopia’s active role in the IGAD climate change process, the workshop also intended to build upon the recommendations of the 9th and 10th Regional Consultative Process on climate change, human mobility and displacement.

Mr. Debassu Bayleyegn from the Ethiopian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, underlined the continent’s commitment to the betterment of its community and its serious determination to change the environmental outcomes. He noted Ethiopia’s success in reaching a milestone by setting its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) emission reduction target to 64% by 2025.  Two experts on the areas of environment and migration from the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abraham Tesfaw and Mulualem Getachew from the Directorate-General of International Organizations also provided an overview of the national context and presented key issues in relation to migration and environmental change in Ethiopia. Professor Kim Dongsku, from the South Korean National Diplomatic Academy, provided a general presentation of the topic, focusing on key concepts of climate-driven migration.

The three-day workshop closed on Friday (May 25)  after a series of presentations and discussions highlighting regional and international dialogue, and policy processes and discussions on migration and the impact of climate change theory and practice.