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Embaixada da Etiópia
Brasília, Brasil
Week

Oct 30,2015

News in Brief

Africa and the African Union

 

The World Energy Council Executive Assembly and World Energy Leaders Summit took place in Addis Ababa all this week (October 26 -30) attended by senior government officials from across Africa.

 

The Council of the European Union adopted on Monday (October 26) its Horn of Africa Regional Action Plan 2015-2020. The Action Plan will be implemented through the EU Trust Fund to be presented at the Valletta Summit on Migration in November.

 

Ethiopia

 

The President of Switzerland, Simonetta Sommaruga, made a three day official visit to Ethiopia at the beginning of the week (October 25-27), holding talks with President Dr. Mulatu Teshome and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and addressed joint session of the two Houses of Parliament.  (See article)

 

The Third India-Africa Summit Forum opened on Monday (October 26) in New Delhi under the theme: “Reinvigorated Partnership-Shared Vision”. The Summit was addressed by Prime Minister Hailemariam. Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros also addressed the Foreign Minister’s meeting and the India-Africa Business Forum as well as Ethio-India Business Forum on the sidelines of the Summit. (See article)

 

The Economist “Ethiopia Summit’ was held on Wednesday and Thursday this week (October 28 and 29) under the theme: Driving Ethiopia’s development. Prime Minister Hailemariam opened the Summit with a keynote speech on Wednesday (See article).

 

Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom spoke at the Royal Institute for International Affairs, Chatham House in the UK on Friday last week (October 23). (See article)

 

Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom met the President of Somalia’s South-West State, Sharif Hassan Sheik Adan on Monday (October 26). 

Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, Motuma Mekasa told the World Energy Council Executive Summit this week that Ethiopia was working ‘aggressively’ to develop untapped renewable energy sources from hydro-power, solar, wind, geothermal and dry waste resources.

 

Liberia’s Deputy State Minster Anthony Quiwonkpa Esra Demir, along with other officials from the Embassy of Liberia to Ethiopia, visited the Diaspora Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday (October 27).

 

Ambassador Ababi Demissie, Director General for Public Diplomacy and Communication Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, addressed the 9th AISEC East African Pioneers Congress 2015 on Monday (October 26) in Addis Ababa.

 

A group of journalists, composed of five Ugandan and two Rwandan journalists, on a visit to Ethiopia, visited the Bishoftu Automotive Industry operations of the Ethiopia's Metal and Engineering Corporation (MetEC) and the Adama Wind Power Plant on Monday (October 25) and visited the Grand Renaissance Dam later in the week.

 

The first group of Somalia students given scholarships by the Ethiopian Government arrived in Addis Ababa on Monday (October 26). The Government is providing scholarships for 325 Somalia students. 

 

Djibouti

 

The Ministry of Higher Education and Research organized a Resilience, Research and Innovation conference this week (October 26-28) to review the role that research and innovations can play in guiding and enhancing the interventions to build resilience to drought and other shocks and stresses. The conference was co-organized by IGAD and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization.

 

Eritrea

 

The United Nations Security Council meeting on Friday (October 23) adopted resolution 2244 (2015), extending the arms embargos on Eritrea after the release of the latest UN Monitoring Group Report. (See article)

 

Swiss prosecutors said on Wednesday (October 28), they are investigating whether the Eritrean consulate has broken the law in allegedly forcing Eritrean Swiss-based nationals to pay a 2 percent tax by withholding consular services.

 

Somalia

 

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on a  visit to Saudi Arabia, met with the King Salman, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. The President was heading a delegation that included  the Ministers of Information and  Finance, as well as the Commander of the National Intelligence Agency.

 

President Mohamud, referring to the reported divisions within Al-Shabaab, over whether to join ISIS or stay linked to Al Qaeda, said the disputes were “symptomatic of a group that has lost its way”. Both  organizations were “destroyers” and Somalis, he said “do not need a new brand of horror and repression.”

 

The United Nations Security Council meeting on Friday (October 23) adopted resolution on 2244 (2015), extending the arms embargos on Somalia after the release of the latest UN Monitoring Group Report. (See article)

 

Dr. Ismail Jumale, Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Justice announced this week that judicial institutions in Puntland, the Galmudug Interim Administration, the Interim Jubaland Administration and the Interim South-West Administration were to be reorganized as part of an effort to restore the rule of law in Somalia.

 

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement on Tuesday (October 27) that flash floods in Somalia had destroyed thousands of makeshift homes, affecting over 55,000. It warned that up to  900,000 people in Somalia could be affected by the strongest El Nino weather phenomenon in decades.

 

Twelve top officials in the Somaliland government including the Foreign Minister and the Minister for the Presidency resigned on Monday (October 25) following disputes within the ruling Kulmiye party. President Ahmed Silanyo accepted the resignations and appointed  Dr. Said Ali Shire as Somaliland’s new foreign minister.

 

South Sudan

 

South Sudan’s rebels, the SPLM-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO) on Monday (October 25) signed the minutes of the transitional security arrangements agreed at the security workshop in Addis Ababa. (See article)

 

The Final Report of the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan, headed by former Nigerian President Obasanjo, was released on Tuesday this week (October 27) together with ‘A Separate Opinion’ written by Professor Mahamod Mamdani. (See article)

 

Sudan

 

President Omer Hassan al-Bashir,  addressing a graduation ceremony at the military academy on Tuesday (October 27), renewed his call for rebels under arms to join in negotiations, pledging to provide the necessary guarantees to allow them to participate freely and present their concerns openly.

 

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Prime Minister Hailemariam attends the Third India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi

 

The Third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) was held in New Delhi, this week October 26 to October 29. The Official Document of this Third India- Africa Forum Summit emphasized that the event marked the celebration of the close partnership between Africa and India. It was an acknowledgement of the shared history of the two areas as well as of their future prospects.  The Summit allowed for consultations for the highest political level between the Heads of Government across Africa and the Government of India and provided a new thrust to their age-old partnership. It provided an opportunity not only to reflect on the past but also to define the road ahead.

 

During the week meetings of officials and of the Foreign Ministers took place in advance of the official opening of the Third India-Africa Forum Summit on Thursday, October 29, under the theme: “Reinvigorated Partnership-Shared Vision.” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the gathering of African Heads of State and Government, underlining that, “This is not just a meeting of India and Africa. It is that humanity has come under one roof.” He said India and Africa speak with one voice, serve under same blue helmets to promote international peace and security and stand together in the fight against hunger and disease. He also said that India and Africa should speak in one voice both at the United Nations and the UN Security Council. Prime Minister Modi welcomed the partnership of India and Africa, saying “Africa has rejoiced in our achievement and taken part in our successes.” He said “We will raise the level of our support towards a prosperous and integrated Africa” and stressed “Africa’s lofty vision and India’s development priorities have been aligned.” Prime Minister Modi went on to say that he had every confidence that the peoples of Africa will rise above their problems, noting that the continent had begun to replace the fault lines with bridges and economic reforms. Mindful of the fact that youth make up two-thirds of the population of both Africa and India, he added: “If the future belongs to the youth, this century is ours.” Prime Minister Modi also disclosed that the Government of India was offering additional concessional loans of US$10billion to Africa for the next five years.

 

In his address to the Summit, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn reminded the Heads of State and Government that the peoples of Africa and of India have had all-round relations for millennia. They had, more recently, fought together against colonialism, further strengthening their relationship. Africa and India, the Prime Minister said, were now working together, hand in hand, as part of their joint struggle, fighting for causes including poverty eradication, sustainable development, counter-terrorism and the efforts to achieve a fairer and more just world. Prime Minister Hailemariam said he believed the Third India-Africa Forum Summit would take the longstanding relationship to a higher level so that the people of Africa and India would benefit further and “take their rightful place in the affairs of the world.”

 

Reminding participants that Ethiopia had hosted the Second India-Africa Forum Summit, back in May 2011 in Addis Ababa, the Prime Minister noted that the Summit had been successful in adopting the Addis Ababa Declaration and the Africa-India Framework for Enhanced Cooperation. Reflecting on the Ethio-India partnership, the Prime Minister said, “I would note with satisfaction that Ethiopia was selected to host the India-Africa Integrated Textiles Cluster and work to implement this project is underway.” He said India’s support to Ethiopia’s efforts towards regional integration through the Ethio-Djibouti railway construction was in the tendering process. Ethiopia, Prime Minister Hailemariam said, had registered double digit annual economic growth over the last twelve years “thanks to the clear and participatory development policies and strategies we have followed”; and he noted that in order to sustain this high growth rate the country had just launched its Second Five Year Growth and Transformation Plan.

 

Earlier in the week, on Tuesday, October 27, Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom addressed the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting at the Third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS). Thanking the people and Government of India for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to the Ethiopian delegation, Dr. Tedros commended the Senior Officials of the IAFS for the good work they had done in finalizing the Outcome Document for the Summit.  He noted the long relationship between India and Africa and their shared experiences of fighting colonialism and apartheid.  This, he said, was the basis for an inclusive partnership based on mutuality, complementarity and a true sense of solidarity. Reminding his listeners of the successful Second India-Africa Summit, Dr. Tedros said that while the outcome of such meetings could provide the basis for the strong existing cooperation between India and Africa, both parties also needed to work together to enhance cooperation and move it to a higher level. He noted that the India-Africa partnership was based on the framework and key areas of priority action established by the African Union’s Agenda 2063 which provided the solidarity and mutual understanding of the partnership. Dr. Tedros emphasized the need to put in place a regular review mechanism to scale up the framework for strategic cooperation. The Minister said Africa was grateful for India’s support as demonstrated in the free market access extended to the exports of Least Developed Countries. Touching on the Ethio-India partnership in particular, Dr. Tedros emphasized that India was one of Ethiopia’s key partners. Ethiopia highly valued and welcomed India’s support for Ethiopia’s development endeavors.

 

Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros also addressed a Plenary Session on “Collaborating to Address Africa’s Infrastructure Needs” at the India-Africa Business Forum in New Delhi, on Wednesday (October 28). Noting that Africa was currently the continent with the fastest growing economy, with average economic growth of five percent, Dr. Tedros said that this impressive growth needed to be complemented “by the right policies geared to sustainability”. On the need to foster intra-regional links in Africa, he emphasized that Regional Economic Communities should play a vital role in realizing goals and pave the way for gradual integration as laid down in the African Union agenda 2063. Notwithstanding Africa’s weak infrastructure links and financial difficulties, the Minister reminded his listeners that Africa “should value the support of the many bilateral and multilateral financial institutions in which the Indian Government also participates.” The Minister pointed out that Africa has enormous untapped renewable energy potential with similar potential for development. He urged the need to stand together to make use of these important resources for “our social and economic growth targets”. Africa‘s renewable energy potential, he said, “not only supports our massive needs for industrialization and infrastructure development but also nurtures the future of our continent.” Equally, Africa should make sure that the right infrastructure backbone is properly laid down, the Minister said, adding: “in an information age, Africa can’t achieve its development objectives without efficient and effective telecommunications networks”. Dr. Tedros noted that Ethiopia was a strong advocate of both national and regional infrastructure development, and that it was now connected by highways with all its neighbors. It was planning to double up its road expansion to 200,000 kilometers by the end of its Second Growth and Transformation Plan in 2020. It had made significant strides in energy generation, focusing on both rural electrification and regional integration projects. Dr. Tedros pointed out that Ethiopia was endowed with more than 60,000 MW of potential sustainable resource in hydro-, wind, solar and geothermal energy. It had also embarked on a railway expansion project which he said was “in tandem with keeping down the cost of doing business and bringing about efficiency for thriving import and export needs”. The Minister disclosed that the construction of the major railway project connecting the Addis Ababa to the country’s main outlet at Djibouti port would be completed before mid 2016. This, he pointed out, would “revolutionize the transit corridor logistics and make Ethiopia a land-linked rather than a land-locked nation”. Touching on air transport development, Dr. Tedros noted that the Ethiopian Airlines, nearly 70 years old, has now become an excellent example of a leading corporate entity as the most profitable airline in Africa and with a world renowned safety record.

 

On October 28, Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros also opened an Ethio-India Business Forum on the sidelines of the Summit. He said Ethiopia and India enjoyed rich, long-lasting and historic relations, but despite this the investment flow and trade volume between the two countries was not what it should be. The two countries should, he said, make efforts to regularly nurture their relationship.  The Minister stressed that both Ethiopia and India had huge potential for moving ahead with a strong partnership. Ethiopia, he said, had significant untapped resources. The Minister underlined major reasons for investing and doing business in Ethiopia, including the fact that Ethiopia is one of the fast growing economies in the world. In addition, its credit ratings were two Bs and a B+, it was pressing ahead with the construction of industrial parks, there was enhanced market accesses availability for exports through AGOA, EBA and Indian duty free tariff preferences, an Investment Promotion and Protection framework as well as avoidance of double taxation, expansion of roads and railway network and very low energy costs. Ethiopia is on the road to transformation, Dr. Tedros said, adding “Come and join us! And when you do, come for a long-term partnership.” Following Dr. Tedros’ address, Mr. Fitsum Arega, Commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission also dealt at length with the investment opportunities, policies and incentives in Ethiopia. During the event, Government-to-business and business-to-business sessions were held between members of the Ethiopian business community and their Indian counterparts.

 


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