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Embaixada da Etiópia
Brasília, Brasil

September 2, 2016.

News in brief

Africa and the African Union

The Heads of State and Government of African countries and Japan met in Nairobi last weekend (August 27- 28) for the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD-VI), co-organized by the Government of Japan, the African Union Commission (AUC), the UNDP, the World Bank Group and the United Nations. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said holding TICAD VI in Africa opened a new chapter in the relationship between Japan and African countries, and said Japan would commit US$30 billion in public and private support for infrastructure development on the continent. The opening ceremony was addressed by the President of Chad who is also the chairman of the African Union, Idriss Deby Itno, by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dlamini Zuma and by President Kenyatta of Kenya. 

Ministers from IGAD Member States met on Wednesday (August 31) in Addis Ababa to validate the IGAD Regional Investment Plan (IGAD-RIP) 2016-2020. The plan was developed to advance the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) process as well as rationalize the progress made towards addressing food security and nutritional challenges.

The meeting followed a two day workshop to review the Regional Investment Plan organized with the technical and financial support of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, together with the African Union Commission. 

A 10 day CEWARN course in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution in Nairobi ended on Wednesday (August 31). The course, organized by IGAD's Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanism (CEWARN) and the Nairobi-based Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations, brought together 33 local peace facilitators from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. CEWARN operates in the cross- border areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda by providing conflict early warning as well as supporting response initiatives.


Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, in a press briefing on Tuesday this week (August 30), referring to the disturbances in Oromia and Amhara Regional States, made it clear that the government had the responsibility to carry out its mandate to maintain law and order. It was also ready to deal with its weaknesses and carry out necessary reforms as a matter of urgency. Following the conclusion of last week's Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front Council meeting on the path of reform, he expressed his confidence in the ability of the party to resolve problems quickly. 

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairperson of the IGAD Council of Ministers, Dr. Tedros Adhanom who attended the meeting of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and leaders IGAD and COMESA on the margins of the 6th TICAD summit in Nairobi, Kenya on Monday (August 28) noting that the economy across IGAD and COMESA regions is hugely based on agriculture, called for Japan's cooperation to streamline along the continents' efforts of enhancing agricultural productivity and expanding industrialization.

Foreign Minister, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, who led Ethiopia's delegation to the TICAD VI Summit, addressed a high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage in Africa on the sidelines of the Summit in Nairobi. The meeting was held under the theme: "Universal Health Coverage in the New Development Era: Toward Building Resilient and Sustainable Health Systems." 

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Tedros Adhanom said farewell to the outgoing Thai Ambassador, Mr. Peerasak Chantavarin on Wednesday (August 31). The two sides agreed to forge cooperation in health tourism and investment sectors.  

State Minister Ambassador Taye Atske-selassie held discussions with UN special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Mr. Nicholas Haysom on Thursday (September 1). Discussions covered on ways of bringing lasting peace and stability in region, and particularly in South Sudan.

Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros held discussions with Ms. Katrina Gould, Canada's Parliamentarian Secretary to the Ministry of International Development on Monday (August 29). Discussions focused on enhancing cooperation between Canada and Ethiopia in the sectors of peace, security and development. Ms. Gould hailed the longstanding relationship between Ethiopia and Canada, praising government efforts in the education and health sectors, and said Ethiopia had managed to be a sea of stability in a hostile region.

State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Taye Atske-selassie met with United Nation Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) for Somalia, Michael Keating on Monday (August 29, 2016). The two sides discussed the forthcoming Somali election and reiterated the need for the implementation of governance and state formation as envisioned in the Somalia Vision 2016. They expressed optimism that Somalia will stick to the election time frame. State Minister Taye reaffirmed Ethiopia's commitment to work with the United Nations and other partners to ensure a peaceful and prosperous Somalia.

State Minister Ambassador Taye Atske-selassie attended the 94th anniversary of Turkey's National Victory Day, and described it an opportunity to remember Turkey's long and glorious history. Ethio-Turkish diplomatic relationship goes back to the end of 19th century. Since 2005 when the then Prime Minister Erdogan visited Ethiopia the two countries have embarked on  comprehensive cooperation which included investment, development projects, peace and security and people-to-people relations.

The Ethio-China (Guangdong) Economic and Trade Cooperation Conference was held in Addis Ababa on Thursday (September 1) with more than 150 business delegates from China and 300 local businessmen. The Governor of Guangdong Province, Zhu XiaoDan recommended four key areas of engagement: enhancing production capacity, expanding infrastructure cooperation, more exhibitions and forums, and enhancing people-to-people ties. New projects worth US$337 million were signed. Dr. Arkebe Equbay, Adviser to the Prime Minister, told the conference Ethiopia was planning to create 200,000 jobs in light manufacturing every year.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of strongly condemned the terrorist attack on the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday (August 30).  A Ministry statement said terrorism was always a threat to international peace and security and could never be acceptable under any circumstances. Ethiopia stands united in solidarity with the People's Republic of China and all who fight against this scourge.

Ethiopian Airlines has announced it will commence services to Windhoek, Namibia, via Gaborone, starting from October 4. This will bring the number of Ethiopian Airlines' African destinations to 53.

The national power company, Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) announced on Saturday (August 27) that Tanzania had agreed to purchase 400 MW of Ethiopia's hydro-power processed electricity. Tanzania will become the fourth country purchasing electricity from Ethiopia, after Kenya, Djibouti and Sudan.  EEP's Chief Executive Officer, Azeb Asnake said Ethiopia has also signed Memoranda of Understanding with Burundi and Rwanda, and it has plans to link its grid with South Sudan, Uganda and Yemen.


Foreign Minister, Osman Saleh, met the Japanese Foreign Minister, Fumio Kishida, in Nairobi on the sidelines of TICAD VI to discuss bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual concern. The meeting focused on education, sport, trade and investment.


President Uhuru Kenyatta told the opening session of TICAD VI that the occasion signaled the collective ambition to build shared prosperity for all Africans. The Summit was part of Africa's search for increased opportunities in global trade and a part of the response to Africa's need for competitive business environments, deepening of regional integration and better infrastructure. It was, he said, a collective platform for Africa to achieve the appropriate ingredients for development. The President also called on Japan to contribute to Africa's war against terrorism and other related security issues.

MPs on Thursday (Spetember1) approved the military pact between Kenya and the United Kingdom, worth Sh7.5 billion a year, which provides for continued support for Kenyan security forces deployed with AMISOM. The UK High Commissioner to Kenya praised the new Defense Cooperation Agreement as cementing the "longstanding military partnership between the two nations." The MPs called for the speeding up of visas issued to Kenyans and for a review of the UK ban on miraa.


The Hiiraan and Middle Shebelle state formation conference will resume on September 3, a year after the talks collapsed following disagreements and mistrust between the Federal Government and elders from the region. Interior Minister Abdirahman Mohamed Hussein announced this week that the conference will be in Jowhar. IGAD special envoy for Somalia Mohammed Abdi Affey said the conference must be inclusive and adhere to the constitutional framework.

The death toll from a suicide truck bomb detonated outside the SYL Hotel in Mogadishu on Tuesday (August 30) reached 26 and at least 50, people injured, included three ministers. The Secretary-General's Special Representative in Somalia, Michael Keating, and the Special Representative of the AU Commission Chairperson, Ambassador Madeira "strongly condemned" the attack. They commended the alertness, vigilance and swift action of the Somali Security Forces "for preventing what would have been a large-scale attack."

The US State Department has designated Abdikadir Mumin, a former Al-Shabaab commander, a global terrorist. Abdikadir who is based in Puntland, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State militants last year along with 20 of his followers. The State Department said designation "exposes and isolates organizations and individuals, and results in denial of access to the U.S. financial system."

The British Ambassador to Somalia, Harriet Mathews, visited Hargeisa this week and warned that any further delays in holding the upcoming presidential elections in Somaliland, due in March next year, would tarnish its image and reputation. During her visit, Ambassador Mathews met Somaliland President Ahmed Mahmud ‘Silanyo' for talks on the importance of holding the presidential and parliamentary elections as scheduled and on the judiciary and security sectors in which "my government is heavily involved."

South Sudan

President Salva Kiir me the head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the country (UNMISS), Ms. Mageratte Leoj on Thursday (September 1). The closed door meeting focused on the implementation of the peace agreement, and took place in advance of a planned visit by a delegation from the UN Security Council, next week.

Kenyan President Kenyatta met with South Sudanese President Kiir in Juba on Tuesday (August 30) to discuss modalities on how to implement the South Sudan Peace Agreement. IGAD is due to hold another Summit to discuss recent developments in the second week of September. He said "Kenya will support you to restore peace in the country. This is the country you fought for decades and we will help you." 

Last week, the cabinet approved a budget proposal for the 2016/17 fiscal year, nearly tripling spending to 29.6 billion South Sudan pounds ($520 million). This week Finance Minister Stephen Dau said this meant the government needed US$300 million in aid and loans to support the budget. He said if the budget is approved by the transitional National Legislative assembly "we will seek support from the donor community in terms of grants or external borrowing."


The U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Ambassador Donald Booth, said on Tuesday (August 30) that he would continue efforts to convince rebels to sign a cessation of hostilities agreement with the Sudanese government. Ambassador Booth had been meeting Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, head of the government delegation to the talks on the Two Areas, to discuss ways to push forward peace talks. He urged all parties to join the national dialogue.

China's Minister of Agriculture will visit Khartoum later this month (September 21-24). He will head a delegation including representatives from animal, agricultural and railways investment companies. Sudan's Higher Committee for Supervising Sudanese-Chinese Relations described the upcoming visit as a new shift in the Sudanese-Chinese partnership in the areas of agriculture and livestock.