Dear visitors,

Welcome to the website of the Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to Canada. This website provides you with information and links leading to services provided by the Embassy. We provide information on trade, investment and tourism of Ethiopia as well as issues related to Diaspora to our visitors.

We would like to highlight issues that reflect the longstanding Ethio-Canadian relation in our website. Useful consular related resources are also included for Canadians, Ethiopians and Canadians of Ethiopian origin to further expedite our services.

I hope you will find this website useful and we look forward to serve you at the Embassy located at 275 Slater Street, Ottawa, Suite 1501, Ontario K1P5H9. We serve the public Monday to Friday, except on official Canadian and Ethiopian holidays, from 9:00a.m.--5:00 pm.

I thank you for your visit.

ETHIOPIA NEWS

Policymakers in the United States have a bifurcated approach toward Egypt. On the one hand, human rights abuse under President Abdel Fattah el Sisi upset scholars, Congress, and even privately some diplomats. On the other hand, the White House and Pentagon appreciate Sisi's no-nonsense approach to deradicalization and counterterrorism operations. Whereas Mohamed Morsi, the late president ousted in a 2013 coup (or, as Sisi's supporters would say, revolution), was a Muslim Brotherhood acolyte who flirted with both the Islamic Republic of Iran and Hamas, Sisi refuses to work with either regime. In Libya, Sisi also supports Gen. Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the more secular Libyan National Army, against the Turkey- and Qatar-backed Islamist regime of Fayez al Sarraj. While Egypt's position contravenes official U.S. policy which continues to support the Islamists, more out of annoyance at Haftar's antics and flirtation with Moscow than from any more principled stand, behind the scenes, both the CIA and Pentagon are more comfortable with Haftar and quietly applaud Sisi's efforts.

U.S. support for Sisi and ambivalence toward Sarraj explain why the Trump administration downplayed a 2016 incident in which Egypt reportedly imported approximately 30,000 rocket-propelled grenades from North Korea in violation of an embargo on purchasing weapons from that country. While the incident occurred before Trump's watch, the decisions about ramifications followed Trump's inauguration. Initial press reporting suspected Egypt was the ultimate destination of that weaponry, but this likely was inaccurate: The Egyptian military largely uses American weaponry but, under late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan military relied on the Soviet Union and its satellites for its supplies. Even today, Haftar's army prefers the old East bloc weaponry upon which their senior leaders were trained. East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and the Soviet Union are no more, but North Korea has similar weaponry,

Libya was a morass and proxy war before Cairo threw its weight behind Haftar, but the latest alleged Egyptian weapons transfer is different: It risks not only upending security in the Horn of Africa but also could catalyze a violent blowback in Cairo. At issue are reports that Egypt's Defense Ministry transferred more than a dozen types of weaponry to Somalia's Ministry of Defense in violation of a United Nations arms embargo. Cairo is playing a naive game of the enemy of my enemy is a friend. Egyptian authorities remain furious that the Ethiopians are moving ahead with the Grand Renaissance Dam, the completion of which could severely affect Nile flow into Egypt.

Somalia and Ethiopia are rivals, if not enemies. The two countries fought a bloody war in the late 1970s, and Ethiopian forces have entered Somalia several times since to push back Islamist forces or prevent their entrenchment in government. There are two problems, however.

First, there is a question of what the Federal Government of Somalia might do with the weaponry. Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, Somalia's president, has not only diverted aid meant to counter al Shabab in order to better fight his democratic rivals, but he has also encouraged al Shabab to stage attacks outside Somalia. It is possible that the weaponry will destabilize Somalia further if not end up with al Shabab.

Second, there is Somalia's broader diplomatic orientation. Despite the tens of billions of dollars the West and international institutions have invested in Somalia and its stability, Farmajo has reoriented Somalia's foreign policy toward Turkey and Qatar, two states which actively fund the Muslim Brotherhood and more extreme groups, and remain hostile to Egypt. Farmajo has appointed Fahad Yasin, a former Al Jazeera journalist and an extremist himself, to be director-general of Somalia's National Intelligence and Security Agency. Farmajo also welcomes SADAT, a Turkish private contractor group that also trains and supplies Hamas. Farmajo and Yasin can divert weaponry transferred to Somalia outside international controls more easily to radical groups, many of which make common cause with Egypt's Islamist opposition.

If Egypt seeks to pressure Ethiopia over the Great Renaissance Dam, the best way for Cairo to move forward would be to take diplomatic or economic action against the dam's foreign financiers. But Sisi's current approach will fail: The weapons his government has allegedly provided the Somali government are far more likely to end up in the hands of anti-Egyptian radicals than those who seek to counter Ethiopia. Perhaps, for the sake of regional security, it is time for the Trump administration to stop turning a blind eye to Egypt's weapons trade.

Michael Rubin (@Mrubin1971) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. He is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a former Pentagon official.

A Week in the Horn 22.05.2020

News in Brief

UN Secretary-General Calls for Continued GERD Tripartite Talks

Ethiopia Briefs Resident Ambassadors in Addis Ababa about GERD

PMO Delivers Briefings on COVID-19 and Green Legacy Initiative

Ethiopia, Sudan Conclude High-level Political Committee Meeting on Border Issues

Africa and the African Union

Ambassador Josefa Sacko, African Union Commissioner (AUC) for Rural Economy and Agriculture last week on Thursday (May 14), briefed the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) on measures being taken by the Department to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on food security in Africa. The brief centered on the status of the food system before COVID-19, the impact of Covid-19 on the food system and the response by her Department in mitigating the pandemic.

An African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) unit in Bilis Qooqani town on Friday (May 15) stopped a late-night attack on Jubaland Security Forces (JSF), killing and arresting several terrorists in the process, a statement issued by AMISOM said. AMISOM forces recovered several AK 47 rifles and rounds of ammunition from Al Shabaab elements who were neutralized during the foiled attack. The statement further stated that the two Jubaland Forces wounded in the ensuing battle are currently receiving treatment at the AMISOM Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Bilis Qooqani.

UNMISS said in a statement on Wednesday (May 20) that a patrol of military and civilian peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan has reached communities in Pieri, in northern Jonglei, who were affected by a series of intercommunal clashes at the weekend. The team is investigating reports that many people were killed, injured and lost their homes during the sudden outbreak of violence between armed Murle youth and Lou Nuer fighters. The patrol heard first-hand from local community members and military commanders about the impact of the violence, including testimony from relatives of people who were killed, injured and fled their homes.

In a new policy brief on the impact of COVID-19 on the African continent, the Secretary-General of the United Nations highlights the continent’s swift response to the pandemic, but also calls for global solidarity with Africans now and to recover better. In a video message recorded on Thursday (May 20), the Secretary-General said that most African countries have moved rapidly to deepen regional coordination, deploy health workers, and enforce quarantines, lockdowns and border closures. “[Africans] are also drawing on the experience of HIV/AIDS and Ebola to debunk rumors and overcome mistrust of Government, security forces and health workers,” said Mr. Guterres adding, “But, despite these efforts, the pandemic threatens progress achieved on the continent and will aggravate long-standing inequalities.

Ethiopia

Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed and his high-level delegation held virtual talks with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdala Hamdok on Thursday (May 21). The discussions focused on exploring amicable solutions related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) to resolve outstanding and misunderstood issues between the two parties. Responding to concerns raised by the Sudanese side, clarity was provided on environmental issues, dam safety and data exchange facilitation, according to the office of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister also provided progress information on the issues raised and highlighted the role the GERD will play in strengthening the economies of three countries concerned. Agreement was made for technical level discussions to continue, led by the Ministers of Water Affairs of the countries.

The outgoing ambassador of Ethiopia to Sudan, Shiferaw Jarso, on Thursday (May 21) held talks with Lt Gen Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, President of Sudan’s Sovereign Council. The two sides discussed on how to further strengthen ties between the two countries and their long tradition of resolving border related issue through dialogue. Al Burhan thanked the ambassador and Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed for contributing a lot to the restoration of peace and establishment of a transitional government in Sudan. Ambassador Shiferaw for his part extended his gratitude to the people and government of Sudan for the supports he was provided with during his stay in the country.

Ethiopia on Thursday (May 21) conducted 3,747 laboratory tests for COVID-19, out of which nine people have tested positive. All the confirmed cases are Ethiopian nationals, with the youngest being 20 years old and oldest 49 years, according to a statement by the Ministry of Health. One patient has recovered from the virus in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of recoveries to 123. Ethiopia has so far conducted 69, 507 laboratory tests and recorded 398 confirmed cases, with five deaths.

Minister of Waters, Irrigation and Energy Dr. Engineer Sileshi Bekele on Thursday (May 21) held a virtual discussion with Morocco’s Minister of Energy, Minerals, and Environment, Aziz Rabbah on ways of strengthening partnership in the field of renewable energy among their respective countries. The two ministers examined prospects for bilateral cooperation, especially in the field of renewable energies, where several opportunities exist for developing projects of mutual interest between the two nations.

The Chinese based Tencent Foundation has donated medical supplies to help Ethiopia in its efforts to curb the spread of the virus. Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed on Thursday (May 21) expressed his gratitude to Ma Huateng founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the foundation.

Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Gedu Andargachew and United Kingdom’s Minister for Africa, H. E. James Duddridge on Wednesday (May 20) held a video-conference call to discuss bilateral and regional issues between the two countries. Mr. Gedu gave briefings about Ethiopia’s stance on the GERD and reiterated the importance of returning back to the trilateral talks among Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt since dialogue is the only viable option to solve disputable issues. The discussion also covered the COVID-19 pandemic and UK support to the Ethiopian and wider African response to the scourge. Mr. Duddridge reaffirmed that the UK will continue to support Ethiopia’s and Africa’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. He also said unresolved issues regarding the GERD should be solved through dialogue.

Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Gedu Andargachew on Wednesday (May 20) bade farewell to the departing German Ambassador Brita Wagener. Gedu appreciated the German ambassador for her unrelenting efforts in further enhancing the long-standing relationship between the two countries. Ambassador Brita said she was happy during her stay in Ethiopia and thanked the Government and the people of Ethiopia for helping her spend a fruitful time in the country. During the occasion, the two sides underscored that cooperation between Ethiopia and Germany in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic should continue.

Rainbow Push Coalition urged US Congressional Black Caucus to pass a resolution against Egypt’s Letter to the UN Security Council, in a letter issued on Wednesday (May 20). According to the VOA, the letter indicated Egypt’s letter to the UN Security Council pushes Ethiopia into signing a neo-colonial agreement that will make Egypt hegemony over the Nile River. The letter wrote to USA’s Congressional Black Caucus Chairperson Karen Bass signed by Founder of Rainbow Coalition and the renowned Civil Rights Advocate Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. and its Chairman William D. Dickerson said Egypt’s claim is inexplicable for 85% of the waters of the Nile River originate from Ethiopia. The source of Ethio-Egypt dispute is a colonial legacy that Egypt is trying to hang on to, the letter said. The letter indicated that Ethiopia has done everything in accordance with international water laws.

Global Alliance for the Rights of Ethiopians has donated COVID 19 protective supplies and testing kits amounting 11. 5 Million Birr to Ministry of Health on Wednesday (May 20). While receiving the donation, Ministry of Health Dr. Liya Tadesse said protective supplies offered by the alliance have a great role to reinforce the national COVID 19 control and prevention activities. Coordinator of the support, Amha Mekonnen said the donation includes Face Masks, Gloves, Instant Sanitizers, Test Kits and other protective equipment.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations in a statement issued on Tuesday (May 2019) said he is closely following developments related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).  He noted the good progress in the negotiations between the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Republic of Sudan thus far and he encouraged the three parties to persevere with efforts to peacefully resolve any remaining differences and to achieve a mutually beneficial agreement. (See article).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia in collaboration with the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity on 18-19 May 2020 gave briefings about the construction, filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam as well as the various trilateral meetings held with Egypt and Sudan to African, Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern Countries’ ambassadors residing in Addis Ababa. (See article)

The Prime Minister Office of Ethiopia on Tuesday (May 19) gave a short video briefing on key progress updates on COVID-19 and the launch of the Green Legacy Planting season. Taking the recent upsurge of COVID-19 cases into consideration, the statement said that the risk of spread still exists and people should continue to strictly adhere to measures that have been put in place by the government. The statement also covered COVID-19 mitigation and prevention measures that have been taken by the ministerial committee which was established to achieve this end. Drawing lessons from the experiences of tree planting initiatives in the previous year, the Prime Minister Office announced: “this year there has been a lot of work to prepare and meet the target that has been set for 5 billion trees within the rainy season.” (See article)

Finland has provided a €4 million support to help finance the implementation of Ethiopia’s One WASH National Program II (OWNP II). Ambassador of Finland to Ethiopia, Helena Airaksinen, signed the agreement representing her country. In a tweet on Monday (May 18), ambassador Airaksinen said that the agreement was made “to support Ethiopia to improve water and sanitation services and hygiene, which are all essential in COVID19 prevention.”

Sudan and Ethiopia have agreed to create a conducive environment for the resolution of the border issues between the two neighbors and to follow-up discussions next month. The agreement was announced in a joint statement released on Monday at the end of the meeting of the ’High-level Political Committee Meeting on Border Issues’ from 16 to 18 May in Addis Ababa. “The two countries have agreed to continue the discussion and to create a conducive environment for the resolution of the boundary issues within the existing frameworks and on the basis of agreed and signed documents,” reads the statement. Further, the parties agreed “to strengthen cooperation, to combat any illegal activities and ensure the security of people along the border area and reinforce people-to-people relations.” (See article)

Eritrea

The Ministry of Information stated that Eritrea’s senior delegation composed of Foreign Minister Osman Saleh and Presidential Adviser Yemane Gebreab met with First Vice President of the Sovereign Council, Mohammed Hamdan Deglo, and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in Khartoum on 17 and 18 May 2020. The discussions focused on bilateral ties and regional cooperation. At the meetings, the First Vice President Mohammed Hamdan Deglo expressed appreciation for President Isaias’ initiative to spur the partnership with Sudan and his efforts to promote regional cooperation. Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok for his part underlined the dividend of partnership and joint efforts of both countries for viable regional integration.

The 29th Independence Day Anniversary will be celebrated under the theme “Resilience and Progress”, the chairman of the National Holidays Coordinating Committee, Ambassador Zemede Tekle stated on Sunday (May 17). According to Ambassador Zemede, the 29th Independence Anniversary will be celebrated under prevailing global reality of the spread of corona virus and lockdown guidelines.

Ministry of Health announced last Friday (May 15) that one patient has recovered fully after standard tests at the National Laboratory and was released from hospital on the same day. This result means that all 39 confirmed cases in the country to-date have recovered fully. The Ministry said, “this important milestone should not induce complacency at this point in time.”

Somalia

The United States Africa Command (Africom) on Monday (May 18) confirmed the killing of two terrorists inside Qunyo Barrow area in Sothern Somalia on Sunday. In a statement, Africom said the two were killed in an air strike targeting Al Shabaab militants in an operation conducted in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia. “The US support to our Somali partners is and will remain strong,” said Africom’s director of operations Major General William Gayler. The statement claimed that there were no reported civilian casualties in the strike.

Somali Health Ministry on Tuesday (May 19) confirmed 47 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total tally of infections to 1,502. Fawziya Abikar, the Health Minister said the new patients are from the semi-autonomous region of Puntland which has 19, Banadir 13, Somaliland 8 and South West 7. Abikar said two patients succumbed to the deadly respiratory disease, bringing the total number of deaths since the pandemic was reported in the country to 59. She said 15 people recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of people who have been discharged from hospitals to 178.

HirShabelle state president Mohamed Abdi Waare on Monday (May 18) has presided over a key regional cabinet meeting held in Beledweyne city. The meeting focused on the current humanitarian situation in the Hiran region and ongoing efforts to mitigate the flood crisis in Beledweyne resulted from the heavy Gu’ rainfall. HirShabelle state leader urged his cabinet to work tirelessly and step up the mission to prevent the River Shabelle from flooding again to the town and nearby environs. The city has seen recurrent floods that uprooted hundreds of Somali families who became often IDPs in the region with no adequate humanitarian assistance from aid agencies.

A suicide bomb attack has killed a governor in Puntland state on Sunday (May 17), the second top official assassinated in the northeastern Federal State since March. Ahmed Muse Nur and several security guards were reported to have been killed in a huge blast targeted his vehicle while travelling in northern Galkayo city. Some reports suggest that the attack occurred outside the governor’s office. Last March, Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for a suicide attack that killed Nugal governor and former regional police boss in Garowe city.

Kenya

In Kenya, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and other aid agencies as well as the Government are strengthening their COVID-19 response, after authorities confirmed that two people tested positive for the virus in the Dadaab refugee camp. In Dadaab, isolation and quarantine centers with nearly 1,000 additional beds have been constructed, and 125 handwashing stations are being installed at food distribution sites, schools and markets, the United Nations stated in a statement issued on Thursday (May 20).

The International Court of Justice has postponed a hearing into Somalia and Kenya’s long-running maritime dispute by another 10 months following Kenya’s petition. Both countries claim sovereignty of an area in the Indian Ocean that is thought to be rich in oil and gas. The BBC reported that a letter sent by the court to both parties stated that the hearing scheduled for early June is now is delayed to 15 March 2021 due to the exceptional circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic.

Kenya has shut its borders with Somalia and Tanzania as the country strives to stem further spread of the coronavirus. In a televised address to the nation on Saturday (May 16), President Uhuru Kenyatta said he was imposing more measures after it emerged that some of the cases had crossed the border from Tanzania and Somalia. “If we do not take additional precautionary measures and get even more serious in implementing existing guidelines, the number of people who will get sick and die is going to rise sharply,” said President Kenyatta. The decree, effective Saturday midnight, does not affect cargo vehicles.

South Sudan

More than 200 people were killed and at least 300 others wounded in inter-communal clashes last weekend in South Sudan’s Jonglei state, according to local leaders. Local officials say armed youth suspected of being from the Greater Pibor Administrative Area carried out attacks in four villages on Saturday and Sunday. Young men reported to be wearing military uniforms raided several villages and burned two Uror County villages – Pieri and Pamai – to the ground, according to Pal Mai, former deputy secretary general of the now defunct Bieh state.

South Sudan’s First Vice President Riek Machar and his wife Angelina Teny have tested positive for Covid-19. Dr. Machar on Monday (May 18) said that he and his wife, who is also the Defense minister, had contracted the virus after interacting with infected members of the High-Level Taskforce on Covid-19, a team drafted to help fight the pandemic. A statement from his office said a number of his staffers, including security guards, also contracted the virus. South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir sent a message on Wednesday to his First Vice-President Riek Machar wishing him a speedy recovery. In a related news, South Sudan’s Information Minister and government spokesman, Michael Makuei, has also tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Alor Koul, chief administrator for Abyei, reacted positively on Monday (May 18) to word that the United Nations Security Council extended the mandate for Abyei for six months, but cautioned that renewing the U.N. mandate will not alone solve the dispute between Sudan and South Sudan over who controls the area. The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously on Thursday to extend the mandate of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) and urged Khartoum, Juba and local communities to take all necessary steps to ensure that the area is effectively demilitarized and to fully cooperate with UNISFA.

Sudan

A senior Sudanese official revealed that Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok discussed on Wednesday (May 20) with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir supplying Khartoum with additional oil crude for gasoline refined in Sudan. “Khartoum asked Juba to supply it with more than 20,000 barrels per day after the global decline in oil prices and in exchange Sudan will give South Sudan gasoline from El-Obeid refinery after refining the crude,” said the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Energy and Mining, Hamid Suleiman.

The head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council reiterated the position of his country that no peacekeepers are needed in Darfur region after the exit of the hybrid operation (UNAMID) from the western Sudan province. Abdel-Fattah al Burhan on Monday (May 18) received UNAMID chief Jeremiah Mamabolo who briefed him about the ongoing discussions between the African Union and the United Nations over the situation in Darfur after the planned withdrawal of the blue helmets by the 31 October 2020.

Sudan and Ethiopia have agreed to create a conducive environment for the resolution of the border issues between the two neighbors and to follow-up discussions next month. The agreement was announced in a joint statement released on Monday at the end of the meeting of the ’High-level Political Committee Meeting on Border Issues’ from 16 to 18 May in Addis Ababa. (See article)

The transitional government and the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) will initial the peace agreement on 20 June, announced the South Sudanese mediation on Sunday (May 17). The eight-month process had initially to last for two months but the parties continued to extend it month after month until the 9th of May when the mediation extended the negotiations with no time limit, as some observers say the process has lost momentum. After consultations with the parties, the South Sudanese mediation Sunday released a time table of the talks showing that the discussions will resume on 18 May and be concluded on 19 June.

Sudan’s donor conference will be held on 25 June, disclosed the European Union’s foreign affairs chief Joseph Borrell on Saturday (May 16). “We are going to hold soon, on 25 June, the Sudan Partnership Conference, together with Germany, the United Nations and Sudan,” said Borell who was speaking in a press videoconference. “It will be an opportunity for the international community to recall and renew their support for the ongoing political transition in Sudan and include, I hope, concrete pledges,” he added.

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UN Secretary-General Calls for Continued GERD Tripartite Talks

The Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres on Tuesday (May 19) issued a statement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) calling on Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt to peacefully solve unresolved issues through dialogue along with the spirits of the 2015 Declaration of Principles on the GERD.

Noting the good progress in the negotiations between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt, Mr. Guterres “encourages the three parties to persevere with efforts to peacefully resolve any remaining differences and to achieve a mutually beneficial agreement,” the statement said.

According to the statement, “The Secretary-General underscores the importance of the 2015 Declaration of Principles on the GERD, which emphasizes cooperation based on common understanding, mutual benefit, good faith, win-win, and the principles of international law.”

Mr. Guterres encourages progress towards an amicable agreement in accordance with the spirit of these Principles, the statement added.

It is known that the Declaration of Principles on the GERD emphasizes the equitable and reasonable utilization of the Nile water resources in line with accepted principles of ‘causing no significant harm’ as well as cooperation.

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Ethiopia Briefs Resident Ambassadors in Addis Ababa about GERD

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia in collaboration with the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity on 18-19 May 2020 gave briefings about the construction, filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam as well as the various trilateral meetings held with Egypt and Sudan to African, Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern Countries’ ambassadors residing in Addis Ababa.

Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, Dr. Eng. Seleshi Bekele and State Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Redwan Hussein gave the briefings to the African Ambassadors. Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia Gedu Andargachew and Eng. Gedion Asafaw on the other hand briefed Asia Pacific and Middle Eastern Countries’ Ambassadors.

The national, regional, and continental level values that can be gained in building the dam have been explained in the presentation. The presenters also stressed Ethiopia’s commitment to equitably and reasonably utilize its water resources in line with accepted principles of ‘causing no significant harm’ as well as cooperation. Following the briefing, the Ambassadors thanked the presenters for clarifying cloudy issues regarding the dam and stressed on dialogue as the only option to solve contentious issues. The African Ambassadors, in particular, called on the need to solve African problems through Africans highlighting that countries in Africa or the African Union can mediate the GERD talks whenever necessary.

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PMO Delivers Briefings on COVID-19 and Green Legacy Initiative

The Prime Minister Office of Ethiopia on Tuesday (May 19) gave a short video briefing on key progress updates on COVID-19 and the launch of the Green Legacy Planting season. Taking the recent upsurge of COVID-19 cases into consideration, the statement said that the risk of spread still exists and people should continue to strictly adhere to measures that have been put in place by the government. Since the first case that was announced within Ethiopia eight weeks ago and an initial responsiveness to precautionary measures that had been put in place, what we are witnessing is an increase in positive cases of COVID-19 cases is attributable to the gradual onset of complacency,” the statement said. The statement also covered COVID-19 mitigation and prevention measures that have been taken by the ministerial committee which was established to achieve this end.

According to the statement, the COVID-19 Ministerial Committee has been taking measures against breaches of the health state of emergency regulations that have been put in place. Hence, it said, “measures taken nationally over the past month against 44,200 establishments that were providing services that have been restricted or banned under the state of emergency including in breaches of physical distancing regulations. Similarly, action is continuously being taken against businesses that have been increasing prices on consumer goods hiding goods and not making them available to the market as necessary as well as related illegal activities.”

COVID-19 prevention and mitigation efforts around border areas have also been proceeding in close collaboration between federal and regional entities under the watchful eyes of the peace and security subcommittee, the statement said. “To this end,” said the statement, “a multi sectoral team has been dispatched to assess the needs in those areas and accordingly has been working to upgrade and expand the quarantine facilities that have been set up in that area.” “They have also been working to provide the necessary materials and equipment for these quarantine facilities as well as enhancing the border control measures to ensure that of COVID-19 cases are not on the increase in the border areas.” The statement also said that testing for cross-border truck drivers has also been ramped up.

As it relates to testing within the country, nationally, the testing capacity has been augmented with 26 laboratories. It’s to be recalled that when positive cases were announced within the country the nation did not have a strong testing capacities or facilities and in fact suspected cases would be sent outside of the country for testing but now there has been a concerted effort by the ministerial committee to expand these testing facilities and also ramp up the daily testing capacity that we have. According to the statement, “now we have 26 laboratories with 28 testing machines that have been put in place. As such on a daily basis we have seen the increase of actual testing being done nationally to be around 4,500, for example, in the past week.  And the maximum testing capacity has increased to 7,500 within the new laboratories that have been operational.”

In concluding the briefing on the COVID-19 prevention and mitigation efforts, the statement said, “it’s still imperative that all continue to follow the regulations or the measures that have been put in place by the State of Emergency Committee as they have been put in place to ensure that the spread is contained and that we are not pushed into a full-blown health crisis with grave consequences to the economy and data livelihoods.”

Proceeding to the second issue, i.e., the launch of the green legacy planting season as the part of the briefing, the statement said that the Government has drawn lessons from the experiences of tree planting initiatives in the previous year and plan to plant 5 billion trees within the rainy season for this year. The statement also recalled that last year in 2019 Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a national initiative aimed at planting 4 billion trees during the rainy season calling upon all citizens or all friends of Ethiopia living within the country to plant 40 trees per person, adding, “Coordination efforts had been spearheaded nationally and enabled reaching the goal set for that planting period.” The Ethiopian national planting day, i.e. July 29 2019, mobilized millions of people throughout the country to plant 353 million trees within a 12-hour period the statement said. According to the Ministry of Agriculture estimates, an average of 84 percent of all planted seedlings during the set target last year have been sustained.

Based on these lessons from last year as well as the preparation, the planting and all other related activities that had been undertaken to fulfill the set target last year and reviewing the lessons from what had had transpired, the statement said, “ this year there has been a lot of work to prepare and meet the target that has been set for 5 billion trees within the rainy season.” “So, the steering committee that was quite active last year chaired by the Minister of Agriculture has also been re-initiated.”

Nurseries throughout the country as have been preparing the requisite number of seedlings to be made available for the official launch of the planting season, the statement added. The briefing also noted that beyond aesthetics, the greening aspirations of the country is rooted in optimizing Ethiopia’s multi-faceted potential for development including in Eco-tourism as well and positioning Ethiopia to be a green and climate resilient economy. The statement ended saying that the Government is working on a clear roadmap for how people can plant in a COVID-19 responsive manner.

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Ethiopia, Sudan Conclude High-level Political Committee Meeting

Ethiopia and Sudan have concluded their ‘High-level Political Committee Meeting on Border Issues’ that was held on 16-18 May 2020 in Addis Ababa issuing a joint press statement.

The meeting was held in a cordial and friendly atmosphere reflecting the longstanding fraternal relations between the two countries based on good neighborliness and mutual understanding, the statement said.

The statement further disclosed that the two countries have agreed to continue the discussion and to create a conducive environment for the resolution of the boundary issues within the existing frameworks and on the basis of agreed and signed documents.

Being cognizant of the current situation along the border area of the two countries, the meeting “agreed to strengthen cooperation and to combat any illegal activities and ensure the security of people along the border area and reinforce people-to-people relations.”

The joint statement also indicated that the two sides have agreed to convene the next follow up High-Level Political meeting in Khartoum by the end of June 2020.

In the Meeting, the Ethiopian delegation was led by Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia, while, the Sudanese delegation was led by Omar Bashir Manis, Minister for Cabinet Affairs of Sudan.

Prior to the meeting, Omar Bashir Manis had delivered a message from the Prime Minister of Sudan Abdallah Hamdok to Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. The Prime Minister Office of Ethiopia disclosed that the two sides met “to discuss on key issues, including border issues, enhancing Ethiopia-Sudan economic ties, mitigating the effects of the COVID19 pandemic collaboratively and regional geopolitics.”

A Week in the Horn 15.05.2020

News in Brief

FM Gedu holds bilateral phone conversations with Estonian, Chinese and Irish Counterparts

Bureau of STC Meets to Support Continental Strategy on the COVID-19 Pandemic

FAO calls for Investments in Preparedness and Anticipatory Actions against Locust Swarm

African Union Opens COVID-19 Diagnostic Laboratory in Ethiopia

UNHCR calls for Massive Humanitarian Action in Somalia

Africa and the African Union

Huawei Technologies, represented by its CEO of the Ethiopia Office has donated 10,000 surgical masks to the African Union Commission to support its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. KilengaNaftal, Ag. Director of the African Union Medical and Health Services thanked Zhou Tianbing, and its Director of Public Affairs and Communication of Northern Africa, Mr. Wang Xinwei, who handed over the materials at the headquarters of the African Union on Tuesday (May 12 ). “We appreciate the quick response of Huawei as a reliable partner of the African Union at this difficult period, we can truly understand that a friend in need is a friend indeed”, said Dr. Naftal.

African Energy Ministers have agreed on a common strategy to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and to position the sector to power the recovery plan after the pandemic. The agreement was reached at an extraordinary meeting of the Bureau of the Sub-Committee on Energy of the Specialized Technical Committee meeting on Transport, Transcontinental and Interregional Infrastructure, Energy, and Tourism (STC-TTIIET) held on Tuesday (May 12) by video conference.

To ensure young Africans are taking personal responsibility to stay safe and are included in decision-making, the African Union Youth Envoy, Ms. AyaChebbi on Monday (May 11) joined hands with the AU Commissioner of Social Affairs,  AmiraElfadil, and AU Commissioner for Human Resources, Science, and Technology,  Prof. Sarah MbiEnow Anyang (HRST) to launch the African Youth Front on Coronavirus that aims to create a platform for youth to contribute to the implementation of African Continental Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Pandemic. Commissioner Amira, applauded the Office of the Youth Envoy for this initiative, citing the critical role of youth in the fight against COVID-19 in the continent. The African Youth Front on Coronavirus is a youth-led multi-stakeholders advocacy group designed to bring Africa youth to the decision-making table to ensure youth solutions are incorporated in Africa’s response to the pandemic.

The Bureau of the STC on Communication and ICT held a meeting by video conference last week on Tuesday (May 05) at the invitation of Dr. AmaniAbou-Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission. The main objective of this meeting was to discuss urgent actions to support the continental strategy on the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to implement the recommendations of the AU Heads of State and Government held on 3rd April 2020. In this regard, the meeting considered recommendations and adopted an action plan, as the ICT and Communication sector’s response to the pandemic. (See article)

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges, significant gains have been made against Desert Locust encroachment in East Africa and Yemen, with an estimated 720,000 tonnes of cereal saved from the swarms of migratory pests across 10 countries: enough to feed five million people a year, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Monday. However, agency chief QuDongyu stressed that more action is still needed to avert a food security crisis as the ongoing rainy season, which benefits farmers and pastoralists, also provides favorable conditions for locusts to breed. (See article)

The African Union has inaugurated the African Union COVID-19 Diagnostic Laboratory at its Pan African Veterinary Vaccine Centre, AU-PANVAC, office in Debre-Zeit, Ethiopia. The laboratory was inaugurated by the AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture  JosefaSacko and the Commissioner for Social Affairs  AmiraElfadil. Dr. Nick Nwankpa the Director PANVAC took the group on a tour of PANVAC laboratories which though designed to test the quality of vaccines and produce diagnostic reagents, was recently mandated to test COVID19 as well as to research into developing a new vaccine to fight the deadly pandemic. This is the first African Union specialized laboratory to be given such a mandate. (See article)

Ethiopia

The COVID-19 Ministerial Committee formed to prevent the spread of the virus on Thursday (May 14) held a discussion with the State of Emergency Inquiry Board. During the meeting that focused on the implementation of the emergency decree, the board briefed the committee on the findings of its field visit and tip-off it received from members of the public. The meeting evaluated the activities carried out so far as effective. The two sides also agreed to cooperate and scale up efforts towards issues that need consideration in the future. The discussion also underscored the need for awareness-raising to fill the gaps observed in exercising the scientific guidelines recommended to curb the spread of the virus.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on Thursday (May 14) has donated medical supplies worth 800,000 birr to the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to support its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. GirumHailu, Senior Advisor to the Health and Social Development Division of IGAD, handed over the medical equipment to DrLiaTadesse, Minister of Health. Dr. Lia on the occasion said the equipment will be used to support COVID-19 containment efforts at border areas as well as displaced-person and refugee camps. The medical supplies donated by the east African bloc include gloves, facemasks; hand sanitizers and other materials need to prevent the virus. Last month, IGAD also donated $100,000 to help Ethiopia in its fight against the pandemic.

Ethiopia and the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), signed a new development partnership agreement this week worth more than $230 million. The agreement underscores the American people’s continued commitment to investing in improving health, education, agriculture, economic growth, good governance, and strengthened resilience of Ethiopians, said a statement the US embassy in Addis Ababa issued on Thursday (May 14). Ethiopia’s State Minister of Finance, Admasu Nebebe, and USAID Mission Director Sean Jones signed the agreement to formalize the most recent American investment in Ethiopia’s long-term development.

Amhara Regional State Revenue Bureau on Wednesday (May 13) has announced a cancellation of income tax debt amounting 1 Billion Birr. The tax debt cancellation is aimed to back the business community hit by the coronavirus pandemic fallout thereby ensure quick economic recovery in the region.

Ethiopian Airlines on Tuesday (May 12) announced that it has transported 10,000 Kg of medical supplies to Mogadishu, Somalia and Khartoum, Sudan in response to COVID 19. The airlines stated that out of the total medical supplies, 7,000 Kg is delivered to Khartoum while the remaining 3,000 Kg is conveyed to Mogadishu, the airlines indicated. It is to be recalled that the airlines has so far delivered medical supplies and COVID 19 protective equipment donated by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma to 46 African countries so far.

Ministry of Agriculture on Monday (May 11) stated that Ethiopia has managed to secure close to 400 Million US Dollars from the export of horticultural products over the last nine months. A Horticulture Investment Director at Ministry of Agriculture, Mekonnen Solomon said the horticulture export income has shown an increment compared to the same fiscal period of the previous year, which was 318 US Dollars. The flower bouquet export has also started again as some countries are easing coronavirus restrictions, Mekonnen Solomon stated. The Director noted that almost 50 to 60 percent of flower companies have re-started exporting their products.

Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia,  Gedu Andargachew handed over a message from Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed to the President of South Sudan  Salva Kiir on Saturday (May 09) in Juba. The two sides exchanged views to further bolster relations between Ethiopia and South Sudan. State Minister  AmbassadorRedwanHussien and Ethiopia’s Ambassador to South Sudan,  TerferiTadesse were part of the Ethiopian delegation. South Sudan’s Minister of Presidential Affairs,  MayiikAyii Deng and Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister  Beatrice KamisaWani attended the meeting.

The trust fund committee of the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), has extended a $10 million concessional senior loan for the development of the 50mw Tulu Moyo geothermal power plant project in Ethiopia. CTF is one of two trust funds within the Climate Investment Funds (CIFs) that promotes scaled-up financing for demonstration, deployment, and transfer of low-carbon technologies with significant potential for long-term greenhouse gas emissions savings. In a press release issued last week on Friday (May 08), the African Development Bank (AfDB) welcomed a decision by CTF to diversify Ethiopia’s energy mix.

South Korea has donated medical supplies to Ethiopia to help the country in its battle against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The medical equipment includes over 28,000 testing kits, 150,400 face masks, and a disinfectant solution. It also provided 1.8 million birr aid in cash. Ambassador of South Korea to Ethiopia, Lim Hoon Min, handed over the medical supplies to Ethiopia’s Minister of Health, DrLiaTadesse. The Ambassador on the occasion said his country will cooperate with Ethiopia in the fight against the pandemic. South Korea will also share its experience in COVID-19 battle with Ethiopia. DrLia said the donation will further strengthen Ethiopia’s on-going COVID-19 containment efforts.

Ethiopia’s Immigration Nationality and Vital Events Agency on Wednesday (May 13) said five more border checkpoints will be opened within a month. The new checkpoints will be established in Afar, Somali and Amhara regional states as well as in Dire Dawa city administration, said DesalegnTerresa, public relations and communication director at the agency. The opening of the new checkpoints will bring Ethiopia’s total number of checkpoints at border areas to 17, according to the director. The establishment of the checkpoints would have a significant role in reducing the virus from spreading by preventing illegal border crossers, Desalegn stated.

Ethiopia on Thursday (May 14) has reported nine new cases of COVID-19, out of the 3,580 samples tested over 24 hours. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 272. Of the new confirmed cases, five are from Addis Ababa and four from Jigjiga quarantine facility in the Somali regional state. All the confirmed cases are Ethiopian nationals aged between 17-66 years, according to the Ministry of Health.

The International Organization for Migration last week on Friday (May 08) said that the number of internally displaced people in the Horn of Africa has dropped in the past six months.  This is largely due to 1.3 million Ethiopians who were uprooted by communal violence in 2019 having returned home.

Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Gedu Andargachew, has held a series of bilateral phone conversations with Foreign Affairs Ministers of Estonia (May 08), China (May 11) and Ireland (May 13). The discussions focused on further strengthening Ethiopia’s bilateral relations with the stated countries and underlined the need to join in hands in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. (See article)

Eritrea

The Eritrean Ministry of Health on Monday (May 11) announced that one patient has recovered fully after standard tests at the National Laboratory and was released from the hospital on the same day. This brings the number of recovered patients to-date to thirty-eight (38). The number of confirmed cases in the country to-date is 39. “As underlined last week,” the Ministry said, “ the positive and preliminary achievements obtained so far reflect the effectiveness of the medical and other crucial measures and guidelines that have been pursued within the overall GOE strategy of prevention.” The announcement further said that this important milestone should not induce complacency and the grave threat of the pandemic has not been eradicated.  

Kenya

237 people have lost their lives due to floods as rains cause havoc across the country, according to official statistics. The worst affected areas are around Lake Victoria, Lake Naivasha, Tana River, Nzoia River, and parts of Central Kenya along tributaries that flow into Tana River from The Aberdares. “As of Wednesday (May 13) morning, Kenyans who have lost their lives due to floods are 237,” said Eugene Wamalwa, the Devolution Cabinet Secretary, “That is a very high number compared to those Kenyans who have lost their lives to COVID-19 who are about 33.” He said 161,000 households are also affected or displaced.

Thirty Kenyans have succumbed to coronavirus out of 193 infected among the diaspora population, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday (May 13). Speaking during a virtual meeting with the Senate Ad hoc Committee on COVID-19, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary RaychelleOmamo further said four of those infected are in critical condition and admitted to Intensive Care Units. “I would like to caution that the information we are giving is based on what we are getting from our missions abroad, and not a reflection of what could be happening on the ground because registration is voluntary. The people who have lost their lives are from various countries and the list will continue to evolve as we get more information from our missions,” Omamo said. Countries, where deaths have been reported, include the United States of America, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Sweden Switzerland, South Africa, and France.

Somalia

In Somalia, the UN said that more than half a million people have been affected by flooding following the rise in the level of the Shabelle River due to heavy rains in both Somalia and the Ethiopian highlands.  In addition to COVID and water-borne diseases risks, the country is also facing the worst desert locust infestation in 25 years, with new swarms reported in Somaliland, Puntland and Galmudug States.  Despite these threats, funding for humanitarian operations in Somalia remains very low.  As of today, the revised 2020 Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan calling for more than $1 billion is only 16 percent funded.  Aid organizations and authorities are scaling up their efforts and have reached nearly 160,000 people with life-saving assistance across the country.

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) last week on Friday (May 08) warned that the safety and welfare of Somalia’s 2.6 million internally displaced people are being threatened by heavy flooding, conflict, a crippled economy, impending desert locust swarms and the spread of the COVID-19 virus. (See article)

King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) provided on Tuesday (May 12) urgent response and relief assistance for the people affected by the floods that hit an area in Galmudug, Somalia. The assistance includes the distribution of 700 food baskets weighing 63 tons, benefiting 4,200 individuals. Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief in Galmudug extended thanks and appreciation to KSrelief for supporting the Somali people in all circumstances.

South Sudan

United Nations on Wednesday (May 13) said that two coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites in Juba. “In South Sudan, our peacekeeping colleagues tell us that the Ministry of Health has confirmed two COVID-19 cases in Protection of Civilians sites in Juba,” said StéphaneDujarric UN spokesman on Wednesday. Dujarric further said that UNMISS personnel were expecting this development, “given the rising number of cases confirmed within communities across the city”. The number of confirmed cases in South Sudan hit 203, according to the health ministry.

South Sudan announced the resumption of domestic and international flights from Juba airport seven weeks after its closure, despite the continued spread of coronavirus in the country. David Subek Dada, the head of the South Sudan civil aviation ordered to the airport starting from Tuesday (May 12) in line with a presidential directive to ease coronavirus lockdown rules. In a letter to all airline companies operating in the country, Dada said his country will abide by all the rules for the safe reopening of air travel, including social distancing in airports.

Sudan

In a statement released on Wednesday (May 13), the collegial presidency said Yassin Ibrahim Yassin was nominated to replace late minister Jamal Omer who died in Juba last March. Under the transitional constitution, the defense and interior ministers are nominated by the military component and appointed by the prime minister. Ibrahim who is from North Kordofan worked in eastern and southern Sudan before independence. He also worked as a teacher at the Joint Command and Staff College in Khartoum.

The Sudanese Prime Minister, Abdallah Hamdok, has launched fresh consultations with political and civil forces to discuss the challenges of the transition process in the country. The delay in the implementation of the transitional agenda, particularly the formation of the parliament, the appointment of state governors, and the peace process among others remain the main concerns of the political forces that brought him to power last year. “Hamdok started a series of meetings with the political and civil forces of the revolution, as part of his efforts to broaden consultations on the transitional period and the challenges facing the transition process in the country,” said a statement, issued by the Council of Ministers on Monday (May 11).

The Sudanese finance minister Ibrahim al-Badawi on Sunday (May 10) praised the European Union (EU) for its “continuous support” to Khartoum following this weekend’s Friends of Sudan meeting hosted virtually by France. “We thank you—the FriendsofSudan in the European Union—for your continuous support to the Sudanese people, this time in the form of a €460 million package, and for your encouragement of our government’s ambitious reform program to rescue the Sudanese economy,” al-Badawi said in his Twitter post. The Sudanese official was responding to a tweet by the managing director for Africa at the European External Action Service KoenVervaeke in which he noted the €460 million package.

About 10 people were killed and dozens were wounded in intercommunal clashes in Kassala state between the Nuba and the BeniAmer on Sunday. “The number of victims of the armed clashes between the two parties rose to 10, and dozens were wounded,” medical sources in Kassala told the media. The conflict started on Tuesday, after a fight between two people in a bakery, before it developed into a tribal conflict on Thursday evening and Saturday morning. Kassala Governor, Major General Mahmoud Mohamed Hamed, said that The security forces contained the first frictions that took place Thursday between the Nuba and BeniAmer,” but they hostilities resumed on Friday morning where some houses were burnt.

Peace talks between Sudan’s government and the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) have been extended with no time limit said South Sudanese Chief Mediator in a statement released on Saturday (May 09). Tut Gatluak said the government and the SRF, during the previous rounds, have demonstrated their seriousness to achieving true peace in Sudan. “Given the urgent need for a comprehensive and lasting peace agreement in Sudan, the mediation decided that the negotiations between the two parties should continue until the resolution of outstanding issues and comprehensive and durable peace is reached.

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FM Gedu holds bilateral phone conversations with Estonian, Chinese and Irish Counterparts

Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Gedu Andargachew, has held a series of bilateral phone conversations with Foreign Affairs Ministers of Estonia (May 08), China (May 11) and Ireland (May 13). The discussions focused on further strengthening Ethiopia’s bilateral relations with the stated countries and underlined the need to join in hands in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his conversation with UrmasReinsalu, Foreign Affairs Minister of Estonia and President of the Month of the United Nations Security Council,  Geducongratulated Estonia and the Minister for assuming the Presidency of the UN Security Council for the month of May 2020 and assure him the full support and cooperation of Ethiopia. The Ministers noted the grave danger COVID-19 poses on the well being of humanity and emphasized cooperation among nations is crucial to neutralize the effects of the common threat. The two sides underscored that the contentious issues among Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt regarding the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam should be resolved judiciously. Last month on April 17, President SahleworkZewdie had held a telephone conversation with her Estonian counterpart, President KerstiKaljulaid on ways of containing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Talking with Wang Yi, State Counselor and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China on Monday (May 11), Gedu appreciated the Chinese people and Government on their successful battle against COVID-19. He also expressed his profound appreciation for the efforts being made by the Chinese Government and private companies to provide medical supplies and protective gear to African countries including Ethiopia. Recalling the long-standing relations between the two countries, Gedu also expressed that he has an unshakable belief that China would consider Ethiopia’s request for debt relief.

The Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs reiterated his Government’s appreciation and gratitude to Ethiopia for standing shoulder to shoulder with China in this difficult moment. According to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, “Wang noted Ethiopia’s strong support for China’s fight against COVID-19 and the fact that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali was the first among African leaders to call President Xi Jinping to express support and sympathies. As the virus continues to spread in Africa, China has readily stepped forward to send multiple batches of supplies in support of African countries’ fight against the disease. Ethiopia’s substantial assistance for the transfer and distribution of Chinese supplies has demonstrated the country’s great sense of responsibility as a leading African country. It is also a vivid testament to the solidarity, coordination, and cooperation between China and Africa in our joint fight against COVID-19.”

Wang underlined that as Ethiopia’s longtime friend and trustworthy partner, China has provided a large amount of urgently needed supplies through various channels to fully support Ethiopia’s response efforts. The medical team sent by the Chinese government has successfully completed its mission in Ethiopia and their work has been applauded by people from all walks of life. The Chinese Minister also said that China would take the 50th anniversary of its diplomatic relations with Ethiopia as an opportunity to elevate the all-round bilateral cooperation to new levels.

In the conversation between Gedu Andargachew, and Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade,  Simon Coveney on Wednesday (May 13) Gedu expressed his gratitude for the development assistance received from Ireland which is in line with Ethiopia’s development strategy. He also expressed gratitude for the solidarity and high-level commitment shown by Ireland to working together during this pandemic. The Irish Foreign Minister thanked Gedu for expressing condolences for the COVID-19 victims in Ireland. Raising concerns on the spread of the pandemic and loss of life in Ethiopia and Africa, Simon Coveney stressed the need to work in unison to face the challenges posed by the virus.

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Bureau of STC Meets to Support Continental Strategy on the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Bureau of the Specialized Technical Committees (the STC) on Communication and ICT held a meeting by video conference last week on Tuesday (May 05) at the invitation of Dr. AmaniAbou-Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission. The main objective of this meeting, according to the African Union Statement, “was to discuss urgent actions to support the continental strategy on the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to implement the recommendations of the AU Heads of State and Government held on 3rd April 2020.”  “In this regard, the meeting considered recommendations and adopted an action plan, as the ICT and Communication sector’s response to the pandemic.”

According to Dr. Abou-Zeid, “the crisis of COVID-19 has become the biggest catalyst for large scale digital transformation in Africa, as electronic services have now become more essential for relations between the government and citizens.” She thanked African Information Ministers and all workers in the sector as well as telecommunications companies and digital applications for the great effort, procedures, and exceptional services that were made available in light of this great challenge. She further called on all African states to take advantage of the current valuable opportunity to accelerate the process of digital transformation on the continent and allow rapid economic recovery and resilience by building a new reality based on technology and digitization.

The STC Bureau Chair,  Dr. Amr S. Talaat, Minister of Communications and Information Technology of the Arab Republic of Egypt applauded the efforts by African countries and the African Union Commission to promote digital solutions and services and for the work done by the African Union Commission towards the adoption of the Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa 2020-2030 by the Heads of State and Government in February of this year. The Minister stressed the importance of utilizing the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), particularly artificial intelligence (AI) in providing applications to address the crisis, through coordination with the African Union’s AI Working Group, which was formed by a decision of the Ministerial Meeting of the Specialized Technical Committee for Communications and Information Technology, with the aim of formulating a unified African position on artificial intelligence through the guidance of Egypt’s proposal in this regard.

Minister Talaat further underscored that the current crisis reflects the importance of formulating national strategies to build a digital society that will serve as the backbone of development, noting the importance of having a strong information and communication technology infrastructure to enable citizens to access all basic services while taking into account social divergence. On their final declaration, the Ministers called upon “All multilateral financial institutions and partners, including the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank, and others to support the rapid implementation of the Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa (DTS) and contribute to the AU Digital Fund”.

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FAO calls for Investments in Preparedness and Anticipatory Actions against Locust Swarm

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Wednesday (May 13) announced that the current situation created by the new wave of swarm invasion due to newly bred locusts remains extremely alarming in East Africa where it is an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods since. FAO, in a statement issued on Wednesday, said that the swarm breeding coincides with the current growing season. “New swarms from current breeding will form from mid-June onwards, coinciding with the start of the harvest. At this time, there is a risk that swarms will migrate to the summer breeding areas along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border as well as to Sudan and perhaps with West Africa,” the statement related.

The statement further said: “During the past week, mature swarms in Kenya moved further north in the northwestern counties of Marsabit and Turkana to lay eggs. So far, only some of the hatching and a few hopper bands have been detected. In Ethiopia, swarms declined in the south due to control and breeding while mature swarms moved into the northeast (Afar) and eastern (Somali) regions. Hopper bands continued to mature near Dire Dawa as well as in adjacent areas of northwest Somalia. In central Somalia, mature adults are present near the Ethiopia border in Galguduud region. Control operations continue in all three countries. In South Sudan, limited breeding is underway in the southeast near Torit where a few hopper bands have formed.”

The statement described “worrisome” and “threatening” situations created by the swarm in the Arabian Peninsula, in Iran, Pakistan, and India while assuring that the situation remains calm in West Africa. It said: “There is a risk that a few swarms from spring breeding areas in Arabia and East Africa (Kenya and Ethiopia) could reach the eastern part of the Sahel in eastern Chad starting in about a month if they migrate before the summer rains commence.” “While the current threat is assessed as low,” the statement continues, “it can change significantly in the coming weeks based on rainfall, winds, and the locust situation in Arabia and East Africa. Therefore, investments in preparedness and anticipatory actions should be immediately and quickly scaled up to face this potential threat.”

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African Union Opens COVID-19 Diagnostic Laboratory in Ethiopia

The African Union last week on Friday (May 08) announced that it has inaugurated the African Union COVID-19 Diagnostic Laboratory at its Pan African Veterinary Vaccine Centre, AU-PANVAC, office in Debre-Zeit/Bishoftu, Ethiopia.

The laboratory was inaugurated by the AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture,  JosefaSacko, and the Commissioner for Social Affairs  AmiraElfadil.

Dr. Nick Nwankpa the Director PANVAC took the group on a tour of PANVAC laboratories which though designed to test the quality of vaccines and produce diagnostic reagents, was recently mandated to test COVID19 as well as to research into developing a new vaccine to fight the deadly pandemic. According to a news release by the AU, this is the first African Union specialized laboratory to be given such a mandate.

AmiraElfadil cut the ribbons for the inauguration in the presence of Commissioner JosefaSacko; Dr. KelingaNaftal, Acting Director of the AU Medical Center; Dr. Benjamin Djoudalbaye representing the Director of the Africa CDC, Dr. John Nkengasong; Dr. DiopYahya, Head of AU Clinic laboratories and other senior members of the AU Commission.

During the visit, the Commissioners were also given a presentation on the establishment of PANVAC and the role it played in the eradication of the deadly pandemic Rinderpest in the 1970s.

The African Union Pan African Veterinary Center of the (AU-PANVAC) is a specialized technical office of the African Union Commission under the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture. The Union’s news release said: “AU-PANVAC is the only AU Organization mandated to provide International Independent Quality Control of all Veterinary Vaccines either produced or imported into Africa and the production of Essential biological reagents for animal disease diagnosis and surveillance.”

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UNHCR calls for Massive Humanitarian Action in Somalia

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) last week on Friday (May 08) warned that the safety and welfare of Somalia’s 2.6 million internally displaced people are being threatened by heavy flooding, conflict, a crippled economy, impending desert locust swarms and the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

UNHCR calls for a strong and coordinated response from the international community, national and local Somali authorities as well as humanitarian actors to meet the massive humanitarian needs.

The United Nations said: “Earlier this week, UNHCR and the Government airlifted emergency supplies — including soap, blankets, sleeping mats, kitchen sets, and plastic sheets — to help more than 8,000 people in Baidoa, Bardheere and Qardho.  A second airlift is set to take place as early as today, with UNHCR’s assistance expected to reach a total of 37,000 people.”

Continuing with Somalia, the International Organization on Migration (IOM) warned on Friday that hundreds of migrants are stranded in Bossaso in Puntland due to border and sea-crossing closures as a result of the pandemic.  Every year, scores of migrants, mainly from landlocked Ethiopia, pass through Bossaso to cross the Gulf of Aden to Yemen, hoping to proceed onwards to Gulf countries.

                                                                                                                                                               

When COVID-19 hit, Alpha Abebe immediately thought of the economic impact on all the people she has worked so closely within Toronto’s East African community – and how best to support them.

Experienced in community development and engagement work, Abebe, an assistant professor in McMaster’s Faculty of Humanities whose teaching largely focuses on equity and community leadership, quickly assembled a group of community leaders on WhatsApp to determine what was needed the most.

“Once information started coming out about government resources like the CERB [the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit] I realized how accessing it was going to be challenging for some people in the community, especially those with language barriers and limited technology skills,” she says.

Soon, an active group of volunteer translators mobilized to translate announcements and government resources into Amharic, Tigrinya, and other languages spoken in Ethiopia and Eritrea and made their work available on a multi-language website.

Eventually, an email address and a text helpline were set up for people to ask questions and request support. They were also able to share information about other community initiatives, such as volunteer grocery delivery.

The site now includes sections on health and medical advice, money and government benefits, and children’s education and resources. There are also tailored resources, such as an FAQ for taxi and rideshare drivers, because of how many people in the community work in this sector.

Abebe, who was born in Toronto and whose parents are Ethiopian, explains that many low-income community members are also employed in essential jobs, like personal support workers or manufacturing – which meant many people were trying to decipher the government’s directives while juggling childcare, homeschooling and anxiety about exposure to the virus.

Abebe describes one man who contacted the network daily with questions, who turned out to be helping more than 200 Tigrinya-speaking people in a community outside of Toronto, filling out more than 80 CERB applications for others.

“It’s been heartwarming to see how ready people were to fill the gaps that existed despite their own struggles,” Abebe says. “On the other hand, it’s hard to see how much need there was. People shouldn’t have to stand in the gap where the government and the private sector should be helping.”

By the end of April, the website had had more than 7,000 unique users – according to some estimates, more than 10 percent of the total Ethiopian and Eritrean community in the city.

While the work of the website has mostly concentrated on communities in Toronto, Abebe is now starting formal research to determine what the needs may be in the rest of the province, and how communities can work on their own as well as with government to meet those needs.

She hopes to eventually include the Somali community, which, along with the Ethiopian and Eritrean communities, are among the top five source countries for new refugees in Canada.

The pandemic has hit immigrant and racialized communities particularly hard, Abebe says, especially in the wake of funding cuts to community agencies – but the social solidarity is a silver lining in a challenging situation.

“The resilience and ingenuity of these communities in the absence of more structured support have been incredible. Pulling together these resources has definitely been a collective effort of dedication and support from many people.”

A Week in the Horn 08.05.2020

News in Brief

Ethiopia Participates in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit on COVID-19 response

A Pledge for Africa

President Isaias Afwerki visits Ethiopia for a two-day Summit with PM Abiy Ahmed

High-Level Meeting on Somalia calls for Continued Support to the Country

Africa and the African Union

The Ministers in charge of Communication and ICT, met through Video conferencing on Tuesday (May 05) as the Bureau of the Specialized Technical Committee on Communication and ICT, organized by the African Union Commission (AUC) to consider strategies and actions to support the continental strategy on the COVID-19 pandemic. In a communiqué issued later, the Ministers agreed to work together to ensure a coordinated continental response to the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its impacts.

The African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM, issued a statement on Tuesday (May 05) expressing its heartfelt condolences to the families of those who perished in the plane crash on Monday (May 04) in Somalia. The aircraft which left Baidoa, had six people on board and was approaching Bardale, south of Somalia, and 300km northwest of the capital Mogadishu when it crashed. The Mission welcomes the decision by the leadership of Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia to investigate the incident, the statement reads.

Ethiopia

Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed on Thursday (May 07) said the government would take measures against activities violating constitutional laws so as to protect the safety and security of the public. According to the Prime Minister, those who complained of the issue of the constitutional interpretation put forward as an option to postpone the election have not legal grounds to do so. The HPR is the highest authority of the federal government. Only the ruling Prosperity Party has a legislative power to lead the nation till COVID 19 crisis is over and the upcoming election held.

Ethiopia has reported 29 new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on Thursday (May 07), the highest new cases in a single day. According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Health, all the confirmed cases are Ethiopian nationals.

Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Gedu Andargachew on Wednesday (May 07) exchanged a phone call with his Canadian counterpart François-Philippe Champagne to discuss ways of strengthening cooperation to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Gedu briefed his Canadian counterpart about Ethiopia’s efforts to tame the virus and expressed the country’s commitment to forging a united front in the region and assuage the dangers posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Champagne noted the Global level threat created by the spread of the virus and expressed his country’s commitment to joining hands with Ethiopia in fighting the common enemy. The Canadian Minister also appreciated Ethiopian Airlines for its flying services given to Canadians who were stranded in various countries due to the virus.

Innovation and Technology Ministry on Wednesday (May 06) announced that Ethiopia is now technologically well equipped to launch electronic transactions. This was indicated when the ministry discussed the electronic transaction draft bill with the human resource and technology standing committee of the House of Peoples Representatives (HPR). Constructive ideas and recommendations have been obtained from the meeting with the standing committee so that the country runs the new transaction system with full preparedness, said Dr. Abrham Belay Minister of Innovation and Technology.

Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Wednesday (May 06) held a telephone conversation regarding the domestic, regional and global challenges posed by the pandemic, and expressed solidarity with each other at the time of the crisis. The Indian Prime Minister “assured Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali of Indian support to Ethiopia, for ensuring supplies of essential medicines and ameliorating the economic impact of the pandemic,” an official statement said.

Ethiopians across the nation on Tuesday (May 05) have observed the 79th anniversary of patriots’ victory over fascist Italian forces. In Addis Ababa, it was celebrated at the victory monument around Arat Kilo in the presence of members of the community, representatives of the Ethiopian Patriots Association, and high ranking government officials.

Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi exchanged a phone call on Monday (May 04. The leaders we agreed on the importance of debt relief for developing countries to withstand the COVID-19 challenges as well as to quickly absorb and recover from economic shocks. Prime Minister tweeted, “We will work together to ensure the progression of our economies.”

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Monday (May 04) participated in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Contact Group online summit, organized under the theme “United against COVID19.” As one of the 25 founding member states of NAM, Ethiopia has been an active participant since 1955. One of the key outcomes of the online summit includes strengthening the values of international cooperation among the NAM member states in efforts to mitigate the effects of the COVID19 global pandemic. (See article)

The European Commission hosted a virtual pledging conference on Monday (May 04) to raise money to fill “immediate funding gaps” in vaccine research for the COVID-19 pandemic. In line with the agendas of the pledging conference, Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed writes a piece on ‘Project Syndicate’ underscoring the need to listen to Africa’s pleas to help the world better fight the pandemic. (See article)

Ministry of Trade and Industry on Monday (May 04) said it has banned 2500 metric tons of nonstandard products from entering the country over the past nine months. The goods were banned from entry for failing to meet Ethiopia’s compulsory product quality standard requirements, the Ministry indicated. Among the banned goods include 2304.95 metric tons of steel coils, 28.7 metric tons of corrugated iron sheet, 180 cartons of soap, 142 cartons of solar batteries, 150 cartons of electric wires, and 43.22 metric tons of inputs for roofing iron production.

The Ethiopian Defense Force and the African Union’s Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have announced that the Ethiopian army has successfully delivered shipments of military logistics and equipment to Baidoa state of South-Western Somalia in its first-ever cross-border shipment, traversing the dangerous route filled with land mines and explosives allegedly planted by Al-Shabaab. In a joint statement, the Defense force and AMISOM issued last week on Wednesday, the successful convoy to deliver the military logistics to AMISOM is a landmark achievement which boosts the confidence of both the local armed forces as well as AMISOM.

The National COVID-19 Resource Mobilization Sub-Committee, with the help of Ethiopian Missions in various countries, has managed to collect more than 100 million Ethiopian Birr In monetary and non-monetary terms from the Ethiopian Diaspora and other entities. This was disclosed on Tuesday (May 05) in a statement given to local media outlets by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gedu Andargachew, Head of the Prime Minister’s Office Press Secretariat, Nigusu Tilahun and Ambassador Birtukan Ayano, representing the Fund Raising Committee, and Ethiopian Diaspora Agency Director-General, Selamawit Dawit.

The Government of Ethiopia on Tuesday (May 05) issued a statement paying condolences to the recent plane crash victims in Somalia. “It is with deep sorrow that we learned about the crash accident of African Express on Monday (May 04) on a flight from Baidoa to Bardale in Somalia.” Said the statement adding that reports from the accident site have shown that the unfortunate accident has claimed the lives of six individuals, all citizens of Somalia and Kenya, and that investigation into this incident is underway by the competent authorities of the Somali Federal Government. The statement further said, “The Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia would like to extend its deepest condolences to the families and friends of the deceased in this terrible accident.”

Ethiopia’s Information Network Security Agency (INSA) on Saturday (May 2) said it has foiled a total of 538 cyberattacks over the last nine months. Out of the total, 263 were ransomware attacks, according to the national cybersecurity center at the agency (Ethio-CERT). The other attacks were 106 hacking, 105 web attacks, 54 infrastructure targeted spying, 9 cyberinfrastructure disruption and 1 internet fraud, it added. The attacks reported in the third quarter have shown a 68% increase compared to the previous two quarters of this fiscal year.

Billene Seyoum, from the Press Secretariat Unit of the Prime Minister Office, on Saturday (May 02) has given a video briefing summarizing key developments in regards to COVID-19 mitigation work nationwide as well as other recent related issues. The statement presented details on the effects of COVID-19 on the much anticipated national election schedule and subsequent deliberations of the government and competing political parties to give a legally and constitutionally viable resolve to the issue. The briefing also illustrates some of the activities of the COVID-19 Ministerial Committee and Sub-committees in alleviating the health crisis.

Eritrea

President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea arrived in Addis Ababa on Sunday (May 03) morning for a two-day Summit with Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed. The two leaders discussed bilateral ties, the fight against COVID-19, locust infestation, and other regional matters. President Isaias and his delegation also visited a number of agricultural and water development projects in the Zeway area of the Oromia Regional State. President Isaias was accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Eritrea Osman Saleh and Presidential Adviser Yemane Gebreab. (See article)

Kenya

194 people have been killed by floods in Kenya since last month. 30 of them died since Tuesday (May 05), washed away by floods in various parts of the country where heavy rains are being experienced. Most affected parts are around River Nyando, River Nzoia, River Tana, and parts of Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot. Interior Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa said security forces have started moving people in flood-prone areas to safer grounds following imminent danger posed by the ongoing rains across the country.

Somalia

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) in Somalia on Wednesday (May 06) said that at least 16 people have died and more than 200,000 have been affected by torrential rains and floods since the April-June rains began. The most affected area has been the northeastern state of Puntland where heavy downpours April 27 killed eight people and displaced more than 22,000.

An African Express Airways (XU) Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia airplane crashed on Monday (May 04) in the town of Bardale, in the southern Bay region during a cargo flight transporting medical supplies to help fight against the coronavirus. The crash left six passengers dead.

Two Turkish military airplanes carrying the third batch of medical supplies to help Somalia fight coronavirus arrived in the capital Mogadishu on Monday (May 04). The shipment followed two previous batches of medical aid, including new Turkish-made ventilators last week. “We can’t thank you enough,” said Somali Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad. “We are profoundly indebted to our brothers and sisters of Turkey.”

The High-Level Virtual Meeting on Somalia took place last week on Wednesday (April 29), co-chaired by the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the African Union (AU) and also attended by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the European Union (EU), United Nations (UN), Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States. (See article)

South Sudan

The Executive Secretary of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu today (May 08) disclosed on his Twitter page that after announcement by the Presidency of South Sudan of the allocation of States in the country on Thursday (May 07), First Vice President and Chair of the SPLM/IO Dr. Machar addressed a letter to IGAD Chair, Heads of State and Government, and the IGAD Secretariat expressing concerns. The Executive Secretary said, “IGAD is working towards addressing these for lasting peace in South Sudan.” President Kiir on Thursday (May 07) issued a statement saying that the presidency in a meeting chaired by President Kiir and after “thorough deliberations” and “in the spirit of collegial decision making” decided to give the SPLM-IG six states, the SPLM-IO three states, and SSOA one state.

Sudan

Sudan’s donors’ conference will be held in Germany next June, said a statement issued by the Friends of Sudan after a videoconference meeting chaired by France’s foreign ministry on Thursday (May 07). In a statement issued in Paris, French Minister Jean- Yves Le Drian voiced the support of the Friends of Sudan for the transitional government to achieve the goals of democratic transition and economic reforms set in the Constitutional Declaration. Also, the statement disclosed that the long-time awaited donor meeting to support Sudan will take place in Berlin next month.

About 30 civilians were killed in South Darfur state in intercommunal violence on Tuesday (May 05), according to a statement by the office of the Sudanese prime minister. As the hybrid peacekeeping force prepares to exit Darfur definitively, reports from the western Sudan region points to the increasing tribal fighting and attacks on civilians, further destabilizing one of Sudan’s most volatile regions. In a statement issued on Wednesday, Governor Hashim Khalid said that the fighting between Fellata and Rizeigat began on Tuesday at 03:00 am on the backdrop of cattle rustling and its transfer to Tullus area, home of the Fellata people. He added that the violence very quickly spread in the region to include the areas of Balail, Hajir Togo, Umm Kuja, Abujabra, Damso, Tulus, and Katila.

The United States has not yet decided when an ambassador will be sent to Khartoum said Michael Pompeo who expressed hope to do it soon. On Monday (May 04) Foreign Ministry said that the State Department accepted the nomination of Nur Eldin Satti as the first Sudanese ambassador to Washington since more than two decades ago. In a press conference held in Washington on Wednesday Pompeo was asked whether his administration approved Satti nomination and when they would send an ambassador to Khartoum. The Secretary of State praised what the Sudanese have achieved after the ouster of the former President Omer al-Bashir and stressed that Washington wants to support the democratic transition in Sudan. Meanwhile, in a statement released on Monday (May 4), Khartoum said Washington accepted the nomination of Nur Eldin Satti “as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Sudan to the United States of America”.

Prime Minister Dr. Abdullah Hamdouk made a phone call on Monday (May 04) with the President of the State of South Sudan, Lieutenant-General Salva Kiir Mayardit, during which they discussed the progressing bilateral relations between the two countries and ways of enhancing them further for the common interests of the peoples of the two countries. The two sides have also discussed the recent incidents that happened in the area of Abyei, and affirmed the need for strict and swift intervention to reach a comprehensive solution to end the conflict in the area during the coming days.

Sudan’s Foreign Minister Asma Abdallah said she is optimistic about Sudan’s removal from the terror list despite the “obstacles” raised by the American administration. Abdallah was speaking in a talk show at the Sudan TV on Saturday (May 02) evening within the government efforts to improve communication with Sudanese people and to explain what has been achieved in the program of the transitional period.

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Ethiopia Participates in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit on COVID-19 response

The Online Summit of the Heads of Governments and Heads of States of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Contact Group in response to COVID-19 was virtually conducted on Monday (May 4, 2020) under the theme of “United against Covid-19”. During the Online Summit of NAM more than forty Heads of Governments and Head of States from Asia, Africa and Latin America were among the participants including the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr. Abiy Ahmed. The heads of several International Organizations including UNSG, UNPGA, DG of WHO, EU and the AU Commissioner have also participated in the virtual summit and provided briefings about the unprecedented socio-economic and humanitarian impacts of COVID-19 and called for the need to strengthen multilateralism and international solidarity in the fight against the pandemic. This virtual summit has deliberated thoroughly on the need to strengthen cooperation and making an effective contribution towards the global efforts of tackling the unprecedented challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Heads of States and Governments, as well as International Organization participants have accentuated the devastating socio-economic impacts of the pandemic particularly on developing countries, and underlined the need for a global, coordinated, game-changing, people-centered and intensified international response. The importance of a spirit of solidarity and renewed multilateral selfless cooperation was highlighted. Leaders have further underscored that developing countries need not only debt suspension but also debt cancellation.

In the Online NAM Summit, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has emphasized how the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic distressed human life and health, particularly in Africa. He underlined the pandemic has a devastating impact on the hard-won economic gains of the continent. The pandemic also undermined exports and imports including the capacity for timely purchase of essential equipment and medical supplies, he added. He called global leadership, coordination and solidarity not only to defeat the pandemic but also to quickly repair the enormous damages left in its wake. He stated that our collective vulnerability to this pandemic is a reminder that contemporary challenges are not bound by national or geographic borders.

The Premier has mentioned what has been done in Ethiopia in the fight against the impact of COVID-19. He mentioned some of the proactive measures his government has taken, including the declaration of a State of Emergency, to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate its long-term economic impact. He said the government is closely working with religious leaders, civil society organizations, community leaders, women, and youth groups and volunteers from a cross-section of our society to raise awareness and to ensure no-one is left behind.

He further stated that the African economies are going to suffer significantly from the wider spillover effect of the pandemic on our health system and ensuring food security for the most vulnerable countries. The premier also underlined the need to extend debt payment suspension beyond 2022, until the pandemic is over and for such supports to involve not just debt suspension but both full official bilateral and commercial debts cancellation. He urged the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement to campaign for a global Marshall Plan for all our economies, including debt cancellation and rescheduling as well as other large scale support for Member states in distress. Many Leaders including Prime Minister Abiy reiterated their unwavering support to the World Health Organization (WHO) in its role and effective mandate delivery in the fight against COVID-19.

In conclusion, the summit has adopted a Political Declaration that underlines the importance of international solidarity in the fight against the COVID-19, inter-state cooperation in the provision of medical supplies and equipment, as well as strengthening multilateralism for post-pandemic economic and social stability and developments. In the Online summit, a Non-Aligned Movement Task Force has established with the task to work out a database that will include the basic humanitarian and medical needs and requirements of NAM Member States. The data organized by the Task Force will be submitted to all donors for concrete and timely international support.

Ethiopia as one of the founding members of NAM has been actively participating and promoting its principled positions in the Movement starting from 1955 Bandung Conference. Ethiopia actively engaged itself in advocating anti-colonialism, International peace and security, disarmament, and other issues of NAM in various International forums.  Ethiopia remains committed to the NAM ideals and principles and solidarity with its members in the fight against the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) as a body constituting two-thirds of the membership of the United Nations is a unique platform-with a meaningful influence-that is capable of countering any attempts aimed at undermining the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter.

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A Pledge for Africa

By Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia

Note: This article was first published on ‘Project Syndicate’ on May 1, 2020

In 34 of Sub-Saharan Africa’s 45 countries, annual per capita health spending is below $200, and measures like lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, and even frequent handwashing to combat COVID-19 are nearly impossible to implement. This simple fact underscores the urgent need for the Global Health Pledging Conference on May 4.

ADDIS ABABA – The world will not be free of the COVID-19 pandemic until all countries are free of the coronavirus that causes it. This simple fact underscores the urgent need for the Global Health Pledging Conference to be held on May 4. Only by acting now to support developing countries’ ability to combat the disease can the world avoid a second wave of the virus this autumn.

African Union leaders welcome the offers that are now coming in of test kits, ventilators, and personal protective equipment (PPE) from the developed world. But if we are to turn the tide against COVID-19, the world’s richest countries must hear and respond to the developing world’s pleas for a comprehensive strategy to overcome the dual public health and economic crisis we face. Up to now, there has been a huge disconnect between the rhetoric of rich-country leaders – that this is an existential, once-in-a-century global crisis – and the support for the world’s poor and developing countries than they seem willing to contemplate. Indeed, until last week, African countries were spending more on debt payments than on health care. In 34 of Sub-Saharan Africa’s 45 countries, annual per capita health spending is below $200 – and barely reaches $50 in many of these countries. Such low levels of spending make it impossible to fund acute-care hospital beds, ventilators, and the drugs needed to confront diseases like COVID-19. Paying for doctors, nurses, X-ray technicians, and other health professionals, together with their equipment, can seem almost like a luxury. Worse yet, many of the measures available to richer economies as they work to mitigate the disease – lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, and even frequent handwashing – cannot easily be implemented in much of the developing world. In often-overcrowded cities, social distancing is all but impossible, and there are not enough resources to provide adequate sanitation and, in many cases, the running water that people need.

So, what must be done? For starters, Africa’s governments need an immediate flow of funds to enable investment in health care and social safety nets. Here, the most effective starting point is debt relief. So far, relief from bilateral debt is available for the 173 members of the International Development Association (the World Bank’s concessional lending arm for the poorest developing countries) only until December. To meet our immediate needs and to plan ahead, we need an agreement for debt relief not just for this year but for next year as well.

Beyond debt relief, the grant and lending ceilings of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and other multilateral development banks will need to be raised substantially. And an issuance of international money – the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights – to raise $1.5 trillion must take place soon. We in Africa are asking for this support not only for ourselves, though our needs in this crisis are perhaps greater than they have ever been. We in Africa seek the help of the developed countries (including China) so that we can do our best to protect the entire world from a return of this scourge. But time is short. Africa may be among the last places on Earth to be struck by COVID-19, but the disease remains as potent and deadly as ever. If we are to eliminate the threat, every country needs to do what it can to accelerate the search for a vaccine and ensure that it is available everywhere. To that end, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations needs sufficient funding – $3 billion immediately, with more in 2021 and beyond –  not only to develop and produce a vaccine for those who can afford it but also to be in a position to distribute it equitably around the world. And Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance needs the funds to ensure that this happens.

Likewise, a coordinated global effort could greatly accelerate production of the PPE, testing kits, and ventilators that are needed in every country and on every continent, and ensure that these life-and-death supplies are fairly distributed, not hoarded by the rich and few. Countries that have few coronavirus cases and are beyond the pandemic’s peak should be willing to help poorer countries by sending lifesaving equipment to them. And, looking ahead, we should be building up stocks of these supplies for emergencies, so that we can help each other the next time we need help the most.

All of these issues are on the agenda for the Global Health Pledging event on May 4. We ask all countries in a position to do so to participate, to listen and advise, and, most important, to give.

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President Isaias Afwerki visits Ethiopia for a two-day Summit with PM Abiy Ahmed

President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea arrived in Addis Ababa on Sunday (May 03) morning for a two-day Summit with Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed. The two leaders discussed bilateral ties, the fight against COVID-19, locust infestation and other regional matters. President Isaias was accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Eritrea Osman Saleh and Presidential Adviser Yemane Gebreab.

Following the discussion between the two leaders, President Sahle-work Zewde hosted a luncheon for the Eritrean President & his delegation. Former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, and, President of the Oromia Region Shimeles  Abdissa, attended the luncheon hosted by the Ethiopian President. President Sahle later tweeted, “It was a renewed pleasure to join our Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in welcoming President Isaias Afeworki who is on a two-day visit to Ethiopia. We hosted him in the stunning park coming up on Entoto Mountain, a truly amazing place to relax and unwind.” President Isaias Afwerki and his delegation also visited some sites in Addis Abeba.

On the following day (May 04) President Isaias Afwerki and the delegation accompanying him visited  a number of agricultural and water development projects in the Zeway area of the Oromia Regional State. The leaders inaugurated the Meki-Zeway Irrigation Development Project followed by a visit to the Flora-vegi fruit and vegetable seedlings nursery. They also visited the Dugda woreda seedlings nursery. The two leaders also had further discussions on bilateral cooperation and regional issues.

In the visits to the development sites, President Isaias and his delegation were also accompanied by former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Foreign Affairs Minister Gedu Andargachew and, Water, Irrigation and Energy Minister, Sileshi Bekele.

President Isaias Afwerki returned home on Tuesday (May 05) after a fruitful working visit to Ethiopia which, according to the Ministry of Information of Eritrea, “was marked by extensive talks on the enhancement of bilateral ties, regional issues of mutual importance and site visits to developmental projects in Oromia Regional State.”

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High-Level Meeting on Somalia calls for Continued Support to the Country

The High-Level Virtual Meeting on Somalia took place on 29 April 2020, co-chaired by the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the African Union (AU) attended by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the European Union (EU), United Nations (UN), Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States. According to a communiqué issued subsequent to the meeting, the meeting comes at a time when the world including Somalia is battling with the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19.

In addition to the challenges posed by the novel coronavirus, the meeting expressed concern on the floods, locust invasions, and conflicts that caused loss of lives, internal displacements and made humanitarian services difficult to attain. The meeting called for the promotion of a people and partnership centric approach in support of the Somali people. Participants encouraged the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States to continue to engage in regular political dialogue at all levels and strengthen technical level engagement on security cooperation and development in addition to tackling the threat posed by Al-Shabab.

The meeting commended Somalia’s commitment to restoring macroeconomic stability through the strengthening of macroeconomic management, rebuilding financial institutions, and improving governance. The meeting also appreciated the crucial reforms in the security sector underscoring their importance “to bolster the governance and institutions of Somalia, which in turn strengthens security.” Acknowledging that Al-Shabaab still poses an existential threat to the peace, security, and stability of Somalia and the region as a whole, the meeting noted. “strengthening Somali capacity to defeat the asymmetric threat posed by the organization, in particular, its use of improvised explosive devices, and to restore State authority over Al-Shabaab-controlled territory is a priority for Somalia and international partners.”

“The meeting encouraged the FGS and FMS to maintain dialogue and unity of purpose to agree on a common vision of federalism and finalize the constitutional review, and, in preparation for the elections, move forward on the electoral legislation,” the communiqué reads.

The meeting appreciated the efforts of AMISOM in keeping peace in Somalia so far and underscored the need to identify the threats to Somalia’s stability and security in the current context, and to take a fresh look at what steps need to be taken by Somalia and international partners to enable Somalia to assume primary responsibility for security and enable the completion of AMISOM’s mandate.

The meeting also underscored the need for continued regional political consensus in support of a Somali-led and owned agenda. It called on the regional and extra-regional players to continue playing a united and cohesive role in supporting Somalia. The meeting commended IGAD, the UN, EU, UK, USA, Turkey, and other bilateral partners for their continued financial and material support to both the FGS and AMISOM.

Interview


Notice and event announcement

 

 

The African day is the Commemoration of the founding of the Organization of African Unity, established on May 25, 1963. On this day, many African Countries celebrate the hard-fought achievement of their freedom from European Colonial Powers.

 

On this day the #founding fathers established the OAU with objective among others to abolish slavery and help one other on the fight to end colonialism. A constant reminder of sacrifice, bravery, brotherhood and persistence. Happy African Day!

 

#Ubuntu

# I am because we are

#Africa we want to see

#the future is now

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ለካናዳ፣ በኢትዮጵያና በመላው አለም ለምትኖሩ የእስልምና እምነት ተከታዮች በሙሉ እንኳን ለ1441ኛው የኢድ አልፈጥር በዓል በሰላም አደረሳችሁ በማለት ኤምባሲው ምኞቱን ይገልጻል።

The Embassy wishes the happiest 1441st Celebration of Eid Al- Fitr to all Muslims in Canada, Ethiopia and around the World.

 

 

 

 

 
For all Ethiopians, Ethiopian Origin in the diaspora and Freinds of Ethiopia
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In addition to the mechanisms of mobilization of resources for the prevention of the Corona Virus -COVID-19, Ethiotelecom has created a seamless platform to donate.

Please follow the link below and contribute your share in saving lives. 

 

 

 

Important Notice!!!



In accordance with the Canadian Federal and Provincial authorities and the direction of our Government, the Embassy suspends all in-person Consular and Diaspora services starting from March 25, 2020 till further notice.



All service requests shall be made to the phone numbers, emails or provided post address stated under:

For Consular Matters:

                         Ms. Tsehay Astale, Tel (343) 996 5643 and,

                         Mrs. Negisti Halefom, Tel (613) 262 1269

                     Email: consular@ethioembassycanada.org

For Diaspora Matters:

                           Mr. Abekrie Abdu, Tel (613) 302 5954

Email: diaspora@ethioembassycanada.org

For emergency and other matters:

                             Mrs. Frehiwot Kifle, Tel(613) 558 0286

Email: info@ethioembassycanada.org



Postal Address: 1501-275 slater st, Ottawa, K1P5H9

 

 

 

 

 

  በክቡር የኢ.ፌ.ዴ.ሪ. ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ዶ/ር አብይ አህመድ በውጭ ለሚኖሩ ኢትዮጵያውያንና ትውልደ ኢትዮጵያውያን ወጣቶች የተላለፈ መልዕክት


በውጭ አገራት የምትኖሩ ወጣት ኢትዮጵያውያንና ትውልደ ኢትዮጵያውያን ባላችሁ የክረምት ዕረፍት ጊዜ በአገር ቤት በበጎ ፈቃድ አገልግሎት መስክ እንድታገለግሉና የወደፊቷን ኢትዮጵያ ለመገንባት የበኩላችሁን የማይተካ ሚና እንድትጫወቱ በክቡር ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትራችን መልዕክት ተላልፏል፡፡

ስለሆነም፣ በዚህ በጎ ፈቃድ አገልግሎት ለመሳተፍ የምትፈልጉ ወጣቶች በኤምባሲው በኩል በአካል በመቅረብ፣ በስልክ ቁጥር(613) 565 6637(የውስጥ መስመር 213) እና (613) 565 6637(የውስጥ መስመር 204) በመደወል እና በኢሜል አድራሻ merga.feyisa@ethioembassycanada.org እና fiseha.zerihun@ethioembassycanada.org ፍላጎታችሁን በመግለጽ እንድትመዘገቡ እያስታወቅን፣ መንግስት እናንተን በተቀደሰ ተግባር ላይ ለማሰማራት አስፈላጊውን ዝግጅት ያደረገ መሆኑን እንገልጻለን። 

የኢትዮጵያ ኤምባሲ 
ኦታዋ፣ ካናዳ
ሰኔ ፣ 2011 ዓ.ም.

 

INFORMATION REGRDING THE DIASPORA TRUST FUND

 

 Invitation for Bid

 

Name of Country: Ethiopia

 

Name of Project: Procurement of 400,000 MT wheat grain or milling wheat for Ministry of Trade and Industry (Ethiopian Trading Business Corporation).

 

Procurement Reference number: PPPDS/ETBC/ICB/PG/131/03/2011

 

  1. The Public Procurement and Property Disposal Service (PPPDS) on behalf of Ethiopian Trading Business Corporation have funds with the Procuring entity’s budget to be used for the Procurement of 400,000 MT milling wheat.
  2. The PPPDS invites eligible Bidders for the supply of goods and services mentioned above.
  3. Bidding will be conducted in accordance with the International Competitive Bid (ICB) procedures, contained in the Public Procurement and Property Administration Proclamation of the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and is open to all Bidders from eligible source countries.
  4. Interested eligible bidders may obtain further information from PPPDS and inspect the bidding document at the address given below at 7(a) from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm until bid closing date.
  5. A complete set of bidding documents in English may be purchased by interested bidders at the address given below at 7(a) upon payment of a non-refundable fee of Birr 200.00 (two Hundred Birr) or equivalent amount in easily convertible hard currencyThe method of payment will be in cash.
  6. Bid must be delivered to the Address below at 7(b) on or before 31st January 2019 at 10:0 0 am.
  7. All bids must be accompanied by a bid security amount valued at 100,000 birror equivalent amount for each lot in the form of CPO or an unconditional Bank counter guarantee from domestic Commercial Banks. The bid security should be in the name of Public Procurement and Property Disposal Service. Bids will be opened in the presence of the bidders or their representatives who choose to attend the event at the address below at 7(b) at 10: 15 am on 31st January 2019.

 

(a) Documents will be issued at Ministry of Finance, compound No.2, block 5th, 1stfloor, room No. 101, Telephone 011-1-540524, 011-1-223755/22

 

(b) Bids must be delivered to, and will be opened at PPPDS, Ministry of Finance, compound No.2, Block No. 5th, 1st floor conference Hall.

 

PPPDS reserves the right to reject any or all bids and any items on the bid.

 

Public Procurement and Property Disposal Service (PPPDS)

 

Tel. 011-1-540524, 011-1-223755 or 011-1-223722

 

Website; http://www.pppds.gov.et

 

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

 

 

 ለውድ ተገልጋዮቻችን በሙሉ፡-

 

ኤምባሲያችን በፓስፖርት፣ ቪዛና የሰነድ ማረጋገጫ አገልግሎቶች ላይ ባለው የምንዛሪ ልዩነት የዋጋ ለውጥ ያደረገ መሆኑን እየገለጸ አገልግሎቶቹንና የዋጋ ዝርዝር በተመለከተ በድኅረ ገጻችን Consular Section በሚለው ሜኑ ስር የምታገኙ መሆኑን እንገልጻለን፡፡

 

የኢ.ፌ.ዲ.ሪ ኤምባሲ

ኦታዋ ካናዳ

 

  

ለሁሉም ኢትዮጵያዊያንና ትውልድ ኢትዮጵያዊያን

 

በካናዳ በጉዲፈቻ መንገድ የመጡ ህፃናትና ወጣቶች እንዳሉ ይታወቃል፡፡ በመሆኑም ሚሲዮናችን እነዚህን ዜጎች በማግኘትና ፍላጎት ያላቸውን ከቤተሰቦቻቸው ጋር ለማገናኘት እንዲሁም ያሉበትን ሁኔታ ኤምባሲው ለማወቅና ለመደገፍ ስለፈለገ ይህ መረጃ እንዲደርሳቸውና አድራሻቸውን እንድታሳውቁን በአክብሮት እንጠይቃለን፡፡

 

ስልክ ቁጥር (613) 565 6637 ext 204፣ 207፣ 213

 

ወይም በኢሜል፡ info@ethioembassycanada.org

 

የኢ.ፌ.ዴ.ሪ. ኤምባሲ ኦታዋ

 

 

Announcement Agraf

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Announcement [ለውድ ተገልጋዮች!!] Agraf

ጉዳዩ፡ የውክልና ሰነዶችን የማረጋገጥ አገልግሎት አሰራር ላይ የተደረገ ለውጥን ይመለከታል፡፡
ከዚህ ቀደም አገልግሎቱ ያላበቃ የኢትዮጵያ ፓስፖርት ወይም አገልግሎቱ ያላበቃ የትውልድ ኢትዮጵያዊ መታወቂያ ካርድ ለያዛችሁ ተገልጋዮች ያዘጋጃችሁትን ውክልና ኖታሪ [ Notary] በማድረግ ብቻ ወደ ኤምባሲያችን በመላክ የማረጋገጥ ስራ ስናከናውን መቆየታችን ይታወቃል፡፡ ሆኖም ከሰኔ 14 ቀን 2010 ዓ/ም [ ከጁን 21/2018] ጀምሮ ማንኛውም ወደ ኤምባሲያችን የሚላኩ ኖታሪ [ Notary] የተደረጉ የውክልና ሰነዶች ወደ ኤምባሲያችን ከመላካቸው በፊት እንደሌሎች ሰነዶች ኦታዋ በሚገኘው የካናዳ ግሎባል አፌየርስ [ Canadian global Affairs in Ottawa ] ከተረጋገጡ በኋላ ወደ ኤምባሲያችን መላክ እንደሚኖርባቸው በአክብሮት መግለጽ እንወዳለን፡፡በሌላ በኩል የውክልና ሰነድ መስጠት ለሚፈልጉ ቫሊድ የሆነ የኢትዮጵያ ፓስፖርትና ትውልደ ኢትዮጵያ መታወቂያ ያላቸው ተገልጋዮች ኤምባሲው ጽ/ቤት በአካል ቀርበው ሰነዱ ላይ በመፈረም በቀላሉ አገልግሎት ማግኘት የሚችሉ መሆኑን እናሳውቃለን፡፡   

ቆንስላ አገልግሎት 

ለበለጠ መረጃ እባክዎ www.ethioembassycanada.org ይጎብኙ፡፡


 

Embassy Address:

1501-275 Slater Street, Ottawa Ontario
K1P 5H9 Canada 

Tel (613) 565 6637 / Fax (613) 565 9175

 Email: info@embassyofethiopia.net 
     or  info@ethioembassycanada.org  

For consular services

Email: consular@ethioembassycanada.org

Embassy's Address


 Embassy Address:

1501-275 Slater Street, Ottawa Ontario
K1P 5H9 Canada 

Tel (613) 565 6637 / Fax (613) 565 9175

 Email: info@ethioembassycanada.org  

For consular services

Email: consular@ethioembassycanada.org


 

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