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Embaixada da Etiópia
Brasília, Brasil

September, 30, 2016

News in Brief

Africa and the African Union

The World Bank "Africa's Pulse," its twice-yearly analysis of economic trends, issued on September 29 says economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is likely to slip to 1.6% this year, the lowest level in two decades, due to continuing problems in South Africa and Nigeria. Growth fell to 3% in 2015 but some countries, including Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania, continued to record GDP growth above 6%. Albert Zeufack, chief economist for Africa said "Our analysis shows that the more resilient growth performers tend to have stronger macroeconomic policy frameworks, better business regulatory environment, more diverse structure of exports, and more effective institutions."

The Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Carlos Lopes, is stepping down after four years as head of UNECA. He told ECA staff on Thursday (September 29) that he was proud of what the organization had collectively achieved during those years including production of credible products like the Economic Report on Africa and Country Profiles that were increasingly being used by Member States in policy formulation. Mr. Lopes leaves office on October 30.

African Ministers of Foreign Affairs, together with their counterparts responsible for social development, health, gender and related issues, and representatives of the African Group from Addis Ababa, New York and Geneva, met in New York at the end of last week on Saturday (September 24) for a Ministerial Forum on "One Africa One Voice".

Oxfam International's Liaison Office to the African Union launched its new "Africa-China Dialogue Platform," (ACDP) at a meeting on Wednesday (September 28) with the aim of further opening debate and discussion on the growing Africa-China partnership. The meeting was held under the theme "African countries' engagement of China and other development partners to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2063."


Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn sent a message of condolences to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the death of Shimon Peres, the former President and Prime Minister of Israel. Prime Minister Hailemariam extended his sincere sympathies to his family, the government and the people of Israel. The Prime Minister was among dozens of world leaders, including President Obama, French President Francois Hollande, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Polish President Andrzej Duda, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Britain's Prince Charles who attended Mr. Peres' funeral on Friday.

Foreign Minister, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, addressed the fifth Annual Meeting of Foreign Ministers of Landlocked Developing Countries on Thursday (September 22) on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

State Minister of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Taye Atske-Selassie received a copy of the credentials of the newly appointed Ambassador of France, Mr. Frederic Bontems, on Wednesday (September 28). Discussions focused on further enhancing political and business consultations and cooperation at the bilateral, regional and multi-lateral levels as well as ways to co-operate in the UN Security Council.

The Ethiopian Embassy in Washington organized an event on Friday last week (September 230 to thank the Peace Corps for the tremendous job that its members have done in Ethiopia since 1962, and welcomed more than a hundred Peace Corp volunteers from across the US.  Ambassador Girma Birru paid tribute to the Peace Corps' huge  investment to education and other social sectors in Ethiopia. Nearly four thousand volunteers have served in Ethiopia in the education, community development, business development, agriculture and health sectors.

This year's Global Green Economy Index (GGEI 2016) ranks Ethiopia as one of the top 15 countries in overall climate change performance. It said Ethiopia's performance results had shown a significant progress since 2014, but noted that Ethiopia's perception results remained low.

The project manager for the 656 km electric railway, linking Addis Ababa to the port of Djibouti, said on Saturday (September 24) is now complete and it will be inaugurated in October. Trains will take no more than 10 to 12 hours for the journey between the port and Addis Ababa.

The Fourth International Addis Agro-food, Agricultural Machinery, Food, Food Technologies and Packaging Exhibition is set to be held from December 2 in Addis Ababa.  It will provide businesses and firms involved in areas ranging from agriculture to agro-processing with the opportunity to increase their sales and expand their footprint in Ethiopia. Last year, 50 companies attended the Exhibition.


Mr. Osman Saleh, Minister of Foreign Affairs told the UN General Assembly on Monday (September 26) that Eritrea had been subjected to  incessant and concerted hostility from the US with the objective of "regime change''.  However, he said Eritrea's regional and international engagement was growing, and the policy of isolating Eritrea was "slowly but surely failing". Eritrea was now determined "to work actively and constructively, in collaboration with its neighbors, for peace, stability and prosperity in the Horn of Africa and Red Sea regions." 

Sunday (September 25) was the fifteenth anniversary of the arrest of eleven leading journalists and editors and the closure of the country's independent media. Then arrests came a week after the detention of eleven leading ministers and political figures, members of the G15. More than half are believed to have died in the remote Eiro'ero prison where they have been held in solitary confinement and "in inhuman conditions," ever since.


The International Court of Justice at The Hague last week held hearings on the "Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean, in the case of Somalia and Kenya." The Court will now consider the preliminary objections raised by Kenya against the application Somalia filed at the International Court in August 2014. It will announce its judgment and its decision on whether to open court proceedings some time next year. 

State House has announced it will host a Youth Summit on Monday next week (October 3). It will consider "where we are, what the consequences of the government's youth policies, empowerment funds are, and what we can do to hasten the pace of growth, and to spread entrepreneurship among the young."

The Kenyan soldiers fighting in Somalia have received their pay and allowances, the Presidency announced on Sunday (September 25). A State House Spokesman said an agreement was signed between AMISOM and the European Union, under which payments were made to soldiers serving in Somalia.


The Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team, citing financial, political and security challenges, announced a month's postponement of parliamentary and presidential elections on Monday (September 26).  Upper House elections will now be held on October 10, and the Lower House electoral process between October 10 and November 23, and the Presidential election on November 30.

The second phase of the Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle state formation conference  opened in Jowhar on Thursday (September 29). Up to 300 delegates, including  high-ranking government officials, regional administrations and local professionals as well as IGAD representatives were present. Elders from both Hiiraan and Middle-Shabelle reiterated their commitment to the process. The Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Dr. Yahye Ali, said the second phase of the conference would approve the state's constitution; the third phase would select parliamentarians. He expressed optimism that the State would be up and running by October 15.

The Africa Union has deployed a short-term technical electoral support team in Somalia. A statement from the AU on Saturday (September 24) said the team would reinforce AMISOM's Political Unit and will be in Somalia until November 5. The two person team will be tasked with duties including collection of information on the implementation of the agreed electoral process.

South Sudan

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) says South Sudan's humanitarian response is severely underfunded despite the deepening crisis in the country. OCHA said this week that only 54% (US$691.8m) had so far been received out of the US$1.3 billion called for under the 2016 South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan to respond to the most life-threatening needs of 5.1 million people.

South Sudan's First Vice President Taban Deng Gai told the UN General Assembly on Friday (September 23) that the South Sudan government consented to the a Security Council resolution calling for the dispatch of additional troops to Juba, but added "we have to engage more with the UN on the details pertaining to the implementation of this resolution."


President Omer al-Bashir reiterated his call to political and armed opposition leaders to join the national dialogue and renounce war on Monday this week (September 26).  Receiving the recommendations of the societal dialogue, the President vowed to include these in the comprehensive national document to be produced after the end of the dialogue conference on October 10, in order to achieve "national and societal peace."

Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said on Tuesday (September 27) that Sudan's hosting of former South Sudanese First Vice President Riek Machar in Sudan was temporary because he had been admitted to a hospital in Khartoum. Mr. Ghandour said "Sudan would not be a bastion to any opposition of any neighboring country".

The Sudanese government and the United Nations have agreed to hold a meeting in Khartoum on October 17 to resume discussions over an exit strategy of the hybrid UN/AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID). In June, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of UNAMID until 30 June 2017, describing the situation in Darfur as continuing to constitute a threat to international peace and security. UNAMID has been deployed since December 2007 and involves nearly 20,000 troops.

The World Bank Group's latest Country Economic Memorandum for Sudan was released on Sunday (September 25) under the title "Realizing the Potential for Diversified Development". It calls for the Sudanese government to accelerate structural transformation and economic diversification and to implement a combination of institutional, macroeconomic, and sectoral reforms in order to create a more diversified, non-natural resource economy.