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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.


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.


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)


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.


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’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.


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.


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.


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.”


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.

News in Brief Why the Global Debt of Poor Nations Must Be Canceled The 3rd Meeting of the Bureau of the Assembly of the African Union Heads of State and Government on COVID 19 INTERPOL launches a three-year Support Program to AFRIPOL Africa and the African Union In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the African Union (AU) and the Government of Rwanda have decided to postpone by one year the second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2020) initially set to take place from 1 to 7 September 2020 in Kigali, Rwanda. This decision was endorsed by the IATF2020 Advisory Council during its sixth meeting held virtually on Sunday (April 26), after careful assessment of the situation. The 55 member states of the African Union will soon receive further medical supplies for their COVID19 response, after the arrival in Addis Ababa on Wednesday (April 29), of the third batch from the Jack Ma Foundation. The supplies, weighing 125 tonnes, consist of 4.6 million single-use surgical masks, 500 000 civilian use KN95 masks: 100 000 medical-grade N95 masks: 200,000 pieces of protective clothing: 200,000 face shields: 2,000 thermometer guns: 500,000 medical gloves: 300 ventilators: 500,000 each of swabs, extraction and detection tests: and 100 infrared thermo detection machines. The three-year “INTERPOL Support Program for the African Union in relation to AFRIPOL” was launched on Tuesday (April 28). The online ceremony was presided over by the Executive Director of AFRIPOL, Dr. Tarek A. Shaarif, and INTERPOL’s Global Outreach and Regional Support Director, Ms. Roraima Andriani. The Program will enable the two institutions to work together to strengthen the capacities of the police agencies of the African Union Member States in Fighting criminal activities in the African Continent. It will also contribute to enhancing the technical and analytic capabilities of AFRIPOL as institutional and operational levels. The two institutions have also agreed to develop a concrete implementation plan that addresses the key areas of the continent, in line with relevant African Union Agenda, including the 2020 Theme of the year: Silencing the Guns, and Agenda 2063, among others. (See article) The board of the African Union’s COVID19 Response Fund held its first meeting, online, on Monday (April 27). AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat informed the newly nominated COVID-19 board of trustees that the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) estimates that implementation of the Africa Continental Strategy on COVID-19 will require USD $420 million over the next six months”. The Chairperson highlighted that the Union is using the economic, humanitarian, and health dimensions to get through the global pandemic. The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces in Dhobley on Monday (April 27) has handed over several boxes of hand washing soap and public sensitization materials to members of the local community as part of their support to combat the spread of the Coronavirus.“Today’s awareness campaign was important. We shared with members of the community the necessary preventative measures to reduce the spread and what to do when people start showing symptoms of the disease,” said Noor Bihi Osman, Coordinator of the Jubbaland Ministry of Health. The Force Commander of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Lieutenant General Tigabu Yilma, said that the operational capability of his forces and their capacity to conduct offensive operations against the enemy remains high. Lieutenant General Yilma was speaking in Baidoa on Monday (April 27), where he commissioned new operational vehicles and military hardware, which will add firepower and increase the mobility of AMISOM forces in clearing main supply routes, securing population centers and degrading Al-Shabaab terrorists in the Southwest State. The third round of the meeting of the Bureau of the Assembly of the African Union Heads of State and Government on the COVID 19 Pandemic was convened by Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa and Chairperson of the African Union, on 22 April 2020. This was a follow up to the two previous meetings (26 March and 3 April) of the Bureau of the Assembly on the same subject. (See article) Ethiopia The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved on Thursday (April 30) $411 million to help Ethiopia meet the urgent balance of payment needs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. It also approved a re-phasing of disbursements under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and Extended Financing Facility (EFF) arrangements that have been supporting Ethiopia’s economic reform program since December 2019, and a reduction in access under the EFF arrangement, to maximize financial support under the RFI. Germany on Thursday (April 30) announced a support package of 120 million Euro to help Ethiopia address the negative economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic. Funds will support the macroeconomic stability of the country, the safeguarding of jobs in the textile industry, and the procurement of medical goods in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Gerd Müller, has assured Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed that Germany will be a reliable partner on Ethiopia’s side in times of the Corona pandemic. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed continues his call for debt cancellation for low-income countries in a piece published in the ‘New York Times’ on Thursday (April 30). He appreciated the recent offer of the G-20 countries to some of the world’s lowest-income countries to suspend debt repayments until the end of the year. The Premier, however, argues the measure is by no means adequate given the gravity of the danger the COVID-19 pandemic poses on the economic survival of such lowest-income countries. “At the very least,” Abiy says,” the suspension of debt payments should last not just until the end of 2020 but rather until well after the pandemic is truly over,” adding, “It should involve not just debt suspension but debt cancellation. Global creditors need to waive both official bilateral and commercial debt for low-income countries.” (See article) Gedu Andargachew, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia and Sigrid Kaag, Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands have held a phone discussion on Thursday (April 30) emphasizing the need to take a joint approach in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. Gedu briefed Kaag about Ethiopia’s measures taken so far to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and curb its spread. He underscored that international coordination and partnership is crucial in fighting the border-less disease. Kaag agreed with Gedu’s belief for international cooperation and expressed her country’s commitment to supporting Ethiopia’s efforts in fighting the pandemic through both bilateral and multilateral institutions. The Government of Ethiopia has been taking tough economic measures to save lives and ensure quick recovery from the adverse effects of COVID-19, according to the Ministry of Finance. Finance State Minister Eyob Tekalgn on Thursday (April 30) said making available 15 billion birr to private banks to enable them to provide debt relief and additional loans to their customers are among the measures. The House of Peoples Representatives (parliament) on Thursday (April 30) has referred a resolution postponing the country’s general election to the pertinent committee. The resolution tabled by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) was sent to the Legal, Justice and Administration Affairs Standing Committee for further scrutiny. Before directing it to the committee, the House endorsed the resolution with a majority vote, one against and 18 abstentions. PM Dr Abiy Ahmed on Wednesday (April 29) met heads of competing political parties to discuss the current status of COVID-19, postponed election schedule, and legal options. The parties have explored various constitutional options for conducting the election, which was postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak in the country. The election was originally planned for August 29, 2020. Ethiopia on Wednesday (April 29) has reported one new case of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), out of 1, 408 samples taken over the past 24 hours. The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country has now reached 131. Fatalities remain at 3, with overall test count stands at 17, 842. A Chinese medical team dispatched by the government of China, on Wednesday (April 29) has concluded its 15-day mission to Ethiopia. Members of the team shared their experiences on prevention and control of COVID-19 to Ethiopian health experts. According to Dr. Lia Tadesse, Minister of Health, they also offered a virtual seminar to local health professionals. Minister of Health, Dr. Lia Tadesse, on Tuesday (April 28) has extended her appreciation to the Ethiopian Airlines Aviation Academy for repairing 31 mechanical ventilators in its workshop. In her official Facebook account, she wrote that the maintenance works being carried out to restore the functionality of the ventilators has an enormous role in supporting the fight against COVID19 in Ethiopia. National Metrology Agency and Black Lion Hospital have also maintained 6 and 8 ventilators and brought them to service respectively, according to the Minister. The Russian Federation on Wednesday (April 29) donated $10 million to FAO to assist the fight against the desert locust outbreak in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, and Uganda. The funds will be used to buy pesticides, fuel, vehicles, and sprayers, as well as for the employment and training of personnel for the pest’s elimination. FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu, welcomed the donation. Ethiopia’s President Sahle-Work Zewde on Tuesday (April 28) joined “Rise for All”, a new initiative that brought together women leaders to mobilize support for the UN Recovery Trust Fund and the UN roadmap for social and economic recovery from COVID-19 pandemic. The first to join the initiative are President Sahle-Work Zewde, Norwegian PM Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley, and other Executive Directors of UN agencies. “Rise for All” is the United Nations Secretary-General’s initiative which calls for solidarity and urgent action in response to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19. “Team Europe” on Tuesday (April 28) expressed its commitment to strongly support Ethiopia in its Coronavirus (COVID19) response. It has already provided €25 million as a rapid response to the Ethiopian health sector, out of the initial €200 million for 2020. “Team Europe” is an initiative launched by the European Union (EU) and the Member States to support partner countries around the world with €20 billion to fight the COVID19 outbreak. The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) on Tuesday (April 28) has signed a joint study agreement with GreenCom Technologies to build a gas processing plant in Ethiopia. The agreement is aimed at building a gas processing plant that also produces Petrochemicals and other industry inputs out of natural gasses. The gas processing project which is to be implemented jointly by the US-based GreenCom Technologies and Hyundai Engineering and Construction need more than $ 3.6 billion to be implemented upon the completion of the study. Out of the total budget needed to run the project, $70 million will be covered by GreenCom technologies, it was learned. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has adopted a national tourism recovery strategy to help the industry cope with the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic. Minister of Culture and Tourism, Dr. Hirut on Tuesday (April 28) said the strategy is amid at mitigating the impact of the pandemic in the tourism industry of the nation. The strategy was referred to different stakeholders for discussion, and incorporated recommendations of the tourism committee and regional offices, she noted. Ministry of Health said more than 27,000 people in Gurage zone have received yellow fever vaccination as part of the efforts to contain the disease. In a statement issued on Monday (April 27), Health Minister Dr. Lia Tadesse said that active case search was conducted in five kebeles of the district, and 1, 275 households and two schools were visited as part of the response effort. Eighty-six confirmed cases and four deaths have been reported so far, Dr. Lia noted in a statement. The 3rd-round medical shipment of Jack Ma Foundation arrived in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Monday (April 27). Representatives from the African Union (AU) and the Ethiopian Government attended the event held at the Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services. The medical supplies donated by Ma foundation include 4.6m masks, 500,000 swabs, and test kits, 300 ventilators, 200,000 clothing sets, 200,000 face shields, 2,000 thermal guns, 100 body temperature scanners, and 500,000 pairs of gloves. TsionTeklu has been appointed as State Minister for Economic Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, effective April 06, 2020. Prior to her new appointment, Mrs. Tsion has been serving as a State Minister of the Ministry of Education. Eritrea The Eritrean Ministry of Health on Thursday (April 30) announced that seven patients have recovered fully after standard tests at the National Laboratory and were released from the hospital. This brings the number of recovered patients to-date to twenty-six (26). The total number of confirmed cases in the country to-date is 39. The chairman of the sovereign council, Lieutenant General Abdul Fattah Al-Burhan Abdul Rahman, on Wednesday (April 29) has received a congratulatory message from President Isaias Afwerki, the President of the State of Eritrea, on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan. President Afewerki, on behalf of the government and people of his country, expressed his sincere congratulations to the Chairman of the Sovereign Council and members of the Council on this occasion, wishing Sudan and its people a further growth, development, and stability. Djibouti The US military base in Djibouti is going on lockdown after the second case of Coronavirus was confirmed, according to an American military newspaper. Camp Lemonnier, which provides the US military with a strategic foothold in East Africa, will go on indefinite lockdown to prevent further spread of Covid-19. A second sick contractor tested positive and was evacuated from Djibouti, prompting the lockdown of the base, reported Stars and Stripes newspaper. The US military on Tuesday (April 28) prepared to stop access to the Djibouti base and move personnel living in town to the army compound. The measures were described as temporary, according to a spokesperson for the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa. Kenya The first generation of desert locusts in Kenya has matured and is ready to breed, according to a United Nations agency. Desert locusts normally mature and start laying eggs from two to four months. This means that the first generation of locusts bred in the counties of Samburu, Isiolo, Wajir Mandera, and Marsabit could begin mass breeding. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) – in an update dated Tuesday (April 28) – warned that the current situation in East Africa remains extremely alarming as more swarms form and mature in Ethiopia and northern and central Kenya. Eight police officers are feared dead after they were swept away by flash floods in Chemoe, Baringo North, on Thursday (April 30) night. The officers are said to have been pushing their vehicle which was stuck in the bed of River Kagir when the floods swept them away around 7.30pm. Baringo County police commander Robinson Ndiwa said one body had been recovered and the search for the others going on. Somalia Somalia’s health minister announced on Wednesday (April 29) evening that the country’s number of Coronavirus cases had risen to 582. In a press briefing, Dr. FawziaAbikar Nur said that over the past 24 hours, the central laboratory in Mogadishu had recorded 54 positive cases, 40 of the patients being male and 14 female. “We have no new deaths as a result of Covid-19. Thus, our past record of 28 deaths stands,” she said, adding that two patients recovered. Somali militant group al-Shabab has executed three of its own members for alleged spying on behalf of Western intelligence agencies, local residents and regional officials said. El Bur district commissioner Colonel Nur Hassan Gutale on Thursday (April 30) said the three men were executed by a firing squad late Tuesday in the center of the town as dozens of people watched. A Ugandan peacekeeper serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has tested positive for COVID-19 in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu, a military spokesperson said here on Thursday (April 30). “He is doing well and receiving great medical attention. Thanks to the UPDF (Uganda People’s Defense Forces) health officers that have gained practical experience through their support to the national anti-COVID-19 campaign,” said Richard Karemire, Ugandan military spokesperson. Somalia is experiencing a new wave of flash floods and Save the Children is warning of the devastating impact on children due to these multiple disasters. According to the recent reports, heavy rains is already wreaking havoc in some parts of the country while other riverine communities are left in fear as the Juba and Shabelle river levels continue to rise. On April 28th, heavy rains in Gardo town and surrounding areas caused flash floods killing at least 6 people, including 3 children and 31 people are still missing. Two civilians were killed and three injured in a United States airstrike in Somalia early last year, the US said in a rare acknowledgment of civilian casualties from United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) military operations. The deaths were mentioned on Monday (April 27) in a debut quarterly assessment report by AFRICOM on allegations of civilian casualties raised in connection with its operations against armed fighters in Somalia, Libya, and other African countries. “Regrettably two civilians were killed and three others injured in a February 2019 airstrike. We are deeply sorry this occurred,” AFRICOM’s commander, US Army General Stephen Townsend, said in the report. Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday (April 29) attended a high-level meeting on Somalia via video conferencing. Organized by African Union, the conference discussed “steps to be taken together to support political transition and peace processes in the aftermath of COVID-19,” Cavusoglu said on Twitter. South Sudan The former governor of the abolished Boma state David YauYau on Thursday (April 30) briefed President Salva Kiir about the security situation in the area which is now part of Jonglei state. The meeting comes days after allegations that YauYau rebelled again blaming Kiir for delaying the appointment of state governors and local governments. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the former Murle rebel said he briefed Kiir on the security situation in Boma after his two visits to the area, according to a statement issued by the South Sudanese presidency press service. Sudan The deputy head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, on Thursday (April 30) discussed the security developments in the disputed areas of Abyei with the South Sudanese presidential for security affairs. Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan Daglo “Hemetti” and Tut Kew Gatluak spoke by telephone about recent bloody attacks that took place in Abyei, according to the official SUNA. “The two sides agreed on the need to find radical and final solutions to the problem during the next two days,” said the agency without further details about these attacks. The African Union Representative in Sudan Mohamed Belisha Wednesday said the regional body would support Sudan’s request for a special political mission without any military component. Belisha met on Wednesday (April 29) with Kabbashi Shams al-Din, a member of the Sovereign Council and Omer GamarEldin State Minister for Foreign Affairs to discuss Sudan’s position on the upcoming UN political mission which will be set up on the basis of Chapter VI of the UN Charter. Sudan’s health authorities announced a jump in Coronavirus cases, with 67 new infections on Thursday (April 30) taking the total to 442 confirmed cases with 31 fatalities. A statement issued by the Federal Ministry of Health said that 59 new cases were registered in Khartoum state, two cases in Al Jazirah state, and one case in the states of Gedaref, South Darfur, West Kordofan, Northern, and Sennar. The ministry further said that the state of Khartoum recorded one death, among the previously announced cases, while two fatalities were recorded in Al Jazirah among Thursday’s cases. Sudan’s Anti-Corruption Committee has confiscated 79 real estate properties that were illegally acquired by leading members of the country’s Islamic movement during the regime of ousted President Omar Al Bashir. On Thursday (April 30), the Empowerment Elimination, Anti-Corruption, and Funds Recovery Committee announced that the confiscated properties in total amount to 36,411,114 square meters. The value of the seized funds is estimated at $1.20 billion. Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok pledged to support the appointment of Deputy Head of Mission for UNISFA in the disputed area of Abyei, said Jean Pierre Lacroix the head of UN peacekeeping department on Tuesday (April 28). On 14 May 2019, a month after the ouster of the former President Omer al-Bashir the United Nations Security Council decided to appoint a civilian deputy head for UNISFA to work with Sudan and South Sudan to establish the Abyei Police Service. Lacroix on Tuesday requested the Security Council to extend the UNISFA mandate for six months after reporting about the recent attacks in the disputed area and the need to end the intercommunal violence between the Ngok Dina and the Misseriya. U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan Donald Booth said he tried to convince the SPLM-N al-Hilu to engage in peace talks with the Sudanese government and stressed that he told them that his country would not support their demand for self-determination. Booth made this statement in a web event on Sudan and U.S. relations organized by the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Colombia University last week on Friday 24 April. Head of the Sovereign Council of Sudan, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, on Monday (April 27), received a phone call from U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to discuss Sudan’s removal from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. “In his phone call, Pompeo discussed arrangements to remove Sudan from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism (SST) and U.S. aid to Sudan in confronting the Coronavirus pandemic,” said a statement released by the Sudanese presidency. The Sudanese government on Sunday (April 26) dismissed reports about the control of the country’s largest port terminal of Port Sudan by Dubai’s DP World, one of the world’s biggest port operators. On Saturday Aljazeera TV reported that the Sudanese government is undertaking measures to hand over control of Port Sudan seaport to the United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s DP World. The Sudanese government and Darfur groups under the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) have reached an agreement to allocate 40% of the western Sudan region’s resources to its development for 10 years. The agreement was reached during a negotiation session that took place on Sunday (April 26) through video conferencing facilitated by the European Union in Khartoum and Juba. ***************** Why the Global Debt of Poor Nations Must Be Canceled By Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia Note: This article was published on ‘The New York Times’ on April 30, 2020 ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — On April 15, Group of 20 countries offered temporary relief to some of the world’s lowest-income countries by suspending debt repayments until the end of the year. It is a step in the right direction and provides an opportunity to redirect financial resources toward dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic. But if the world is to survive the punishing fallout of the pandemic and ensure that the economies of countries like mine bounce back, this initiative needs to be even more ambitious. At the very least, the suspension of debt payments should last not just until the end of 2020 but rather until well after the pandemic is truly over. It should involve not just debt suspension but debt cancellation. Global creditors need to waive both official bilateral and commercial debt for low-income countries. These steps need to be taken with a sense of urgency. The resources freed up will save lives and livelihoods in the short term, bring back hope and dynamism to low-income economies in the medium term and enable them to continue as the engines of sustainable global prosperity in the long term. In 2019, 64 countries, nearly half of them in sub-Saharan Africa, spent more on servicing external debt than on health. Ethiopia spends twice as much on paying off external debt as on health. We spend 47 percent of our merchandise export revenue on debt servicing. The International Monetary Fund described Ethiopia as being at a high risk of external debt distress. The dilemma Ethiopia faces is stark: Do we continue to pay toward debt or redirect resources to save lives and livelihoods? Lives lost during the pandemic cannot be recovered; imperiled livelihoods cost more and take longer to recover. Immediate and forceful action on debt will prevent a humanitarian disaster today and shore up our economy for tomorrow. We need to immediately divert resources from servicing debt toward responding adequately to the pandemic. We need to impede a temporary health crisis from turning into a chronic financial meltdown that could last for years, even decades. Ethiopia must spend an extra $3 billion by the end of 2020 to address the consequences of the pandemic, while our balance of payments is set to deteriorate. Increasing health care spending is essential, irrespective of debt levels, but we have less money on hand, and much of it is due to creditors. A moratorium on bilateral and commercial debt payments for the rest of this year will save Ethiopia $1.7 billon. Extending the moratorium till the end of 2022 would save an additional $3.5 billion. Low-income countries can use the financial resources freed up by cancellation or further deferment of debt repayments to invest in our battle against the pandemic, from providing necessary medical care to our citizens to ameliorating our financial difficulties. In October, the I.M.F. reported that the five fastest-growing economies in the world were in sub-Saharan Africa, which includes Ethiopia. In early April, the World Bank reported that sub-Saharan Africa would face its first regionwide recession in over 25 years and the region’s economy could shrink by as much as 5.1 percent. This is not a result of bad policies, mismanagement or any other ill typically associated with developing economies. The recession will be the product of the Coronavirus outbreak. Preventing or at least minimizing the recession is critical to maintaining years of hard-won economic gains across the continent. The current moratorium in bilateral debt collection until the end of the year will help, but it won’t be enough, given the gravity of the challenge we face. The moratorium must be extended until the Coronavirus health emergency is over or canceled altogether. The creditors need to do this unconditionally. Official bilateral creditors are no longer the principal source of external debt financing for many developing countries. Private-sector creditors, including investment banks and sovereign funds, are. They should play their part in the effort to rescue African economies from permanent paralysis with a sense of solidarity and shared responsibility. It would help avoid widespread sovereign defaults and chaos in the market. And it would be morally indefensible if resources freed up from a moratorium in bilateral debt collections were to be used to pay private creditors instead of saving lives. Most of our countries managed to borrow funds on the back of solid economic performance and highly promising and evidence-based development programs and trajectories. Nobody foresaw this promise being derailed by a once-in-a-century event such as the Coronavirus pandemic. Under these circumstances, there is no room for traditional arguments such as moral hazard. Low-income countries are seeking relief not because we squandered the money but because we need the resources to save lives and livelihoods. It is in everybody’s enlightened self-interest that the borrowers be allowed breathing space to get back to relative health. The benefits of rehabilitation of the economies of the hardest-hit countries will be shared by all of us, just as the consequences of neglect will harm all of us. ***************** The 3rd Meeting of the Bureau of the Assembly of the African Union Heads of State and Government on COVID 19 The third round of the meeting of the Bureau of the Assembly of the African Union Heads of State and Government on the COVID 19 Pandemic was convened by Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa and Chairperson of the African Union, on 22 April 2020. This was a follow up to the two previous meetings (26 March and 3 April) of the Bureau of the Assembly on the same subject. The meeting brought together nine Heads of State and Government, including Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minster of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The Chairperson of the African Union Commission and his team participated in the meeting. This round also included African Business Leaders to reflect on the AU strategy to combat COVID-19, and solicit their support for the effective and successful implementation of the strategy. It is to be recalled that at its meeting on 26 March 2020, the Bureau decided to establish a COVID-19 Response Fund and pledged financial support towards the efforts of the African Center for Disease Control (ACDC). Significant contributions were made by members of the Bureau and the private sector leaders towards both initiatives. The Bureau called on the rest of the AU Member States, the international community, and philanthropic entities to also contribute to these initiatives. President Cyril Ramaphosa underscored the devastating socio-economic impacts of the pandemic on African countries, and accordingly, emphasized the need for rapid and concrete support from international partners to ensure that trade and investment flows are not further disrupted by any measures that are not consistent with WTO rules during this extraordinary global shock. The Chairperson of AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat briefed the Meeting on the substantive progress made in operationalizing the COVID – 19 Response Fund, including the appointment of a Board of Trustees, as well as the legal framework of the governance and operational structure to ensure accountability and transparency. The Heads of State and Government and Business Leaders also expressed their strong support for a two-year debt standstill, as well as a proposal to addressing the private debt of African countries. In order to ensure effective implementation of the Africa COVID-19 response strategy, the Heads of State and Government agreed to convene a meeting with the Heads of State and Government who chair Regional Economic Communities (RECs) as soon as possible. This is instrumental to create synergy and coordination between national, regional, and continental efforts in tackling the Pandemic. The Heads of State and Government also encouraged the Business Leaders to establish a private sector platform to develop further proposals to support the Continental response strategy for combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bureau of the Assembly once again reiterated its unwavering support to the World Health Organisation (WHO) in its role in the fight against COVID-19, under the able stewardship of its Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. ***************** INTERPOL launches a three-year Support Program to AFRIPOL An online ceremony has launched INTERPOL’s operational working relationship with AFRIPOL, the African Union (AU) Mechanism for Police Cooperation on Tuesday (April 28), a statement issued by AFRIPOL indicated. According to the statement, the two organizations will now implement their joint action plan to position AFRIPOL as a strategic Pan-African policing partner and strengthen Africa’s fight against terrorism, organized and emerging crime, and cybercrime. The ceremony follows an agreement signed between INTERPOL and the AU in January 2019 to work together in tackling serious global crime. During the kick-off event, senior law enforcement leaders from both organizations underlined the importance of INTERPOL’s global network and policing capabilities in shaping a coordinated response in African law enforcement operations. “With region-specific capabilities an essential part of INTERPOL’s global police response, this new working relationship is the natural continuation of our long-standing work with African law enforcement, and we look forward to tackling Pan-African crime holistically, effectively, and together,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock. Law enforcement cooperation is vital to global security,” said Dr. Tarek Sharif, Executive Director of AFRIPOL, emphasizing that criminals are highly organized and collaborative, resulting in serious transnational organized crime. He expressed optimism that the joint program will enable concrete cooperation in addressing crime on the African Continent. Due to the forged powerful partnership between the two organizations, the statement said: “ AFRIPOL will now have access to INTERPOL’s wide range of global criminal databases and secure police communications network called I-24/7, enabling it to work directly with law enforcement in each of INTERPOL’s 194 member countries.” INTERPOL opened its Special Representative Office to the AU four years ago to build on the strength of its four African Regional Bureaus – Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Zimbabwe – and National Central Bureaus across Africa. Its AU office works to support the voice of law enforcement at the African Union as part of the efforts to strengthen security in Africa. Regarding cooperation in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, the Statement said: “With the kick-off event coinciding with the global pandemic currently exposing police to contamination in the line of duty, INTERPOL has issued guidelines for the safety of law enforcement agencies in Africa and beyond. As criminal groups continue to exploit social and economic changes generated by COVID-19, INTERPOL has alerted its member countries to associated crimes through its global threat assessment report that is updated regularly based on the experiences of its 194 member countries. The COVID-19 pandemic in Africa has seen increased cases of cybercrime, counterfeit drugs, and domestic and sexual violence.” According to the statement, INTERPOL will also provide operational support to its African counterpart. “INTERPOL has a long history of working with Africa’s law enforcement to support field operations against terrorism, cybercrime and a wide range of organized crime including human trafficking, fake pharmaceuticals, drugs, and environmental crime. INTERPOL is currently implementing throughout Africa a multi-million Euro project called “I-One” to equip National Central Bureaus with high-tech IT equipment and training to ensure sustainable law enforcement capabilities and security,” the statement reads. Similarly, INTERPOL’s WAPIS Programme enables effective collection of police information through a centralized national system and helps African law enforcement share information collected at the national, regional, and international levels. Today’s kick-off event represents the operational implementation of an INTERPOL – AFRIPOL joint action plan in line with the cooperation agreement, AFRIPOL’s five-year strategy, and work plan (2020-2024) and INTERPOL’s Strategy and Business plan for Africa, the statement added. According to the press release, Germany’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is sponsoring the project for the next three years (April 2020 – March 2023).

Lia Tadesse, Ethiopia's new health minister, talks to the Thomson Reuters Foundation about the measures being rolled out to keep the country safe

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By Emeline Wuilbercq

Lia Tadesse became Ethiopia's health minister in mid-March, a day before the East African nation registered its first case of the new coronavirus.

As the pandemic takes hold in Africa - Ethiopia has 140 cases and neighbouring Kenya more than 450  - Tadesse talked to the Thomson Reuters Foundation about the race to protect refugees, women and other vulnerable people  from the virus.

Coronavirus: our latest stories

Are you concerned that Ethiopia's fragile health system could soon be overwhelmed?

If we get a lot of cases - and more severe cases - then that will definitely overwhelm the system. We are seeing this happen, not only in Ethiopia, but across the world.

We are preparing as best we can: increasing our intensive care unit capacity and dedicating more ventilators to treatment facilities in Addis Ababa and other regions.

The ventilators we have are still low in number - around 221 for COVID-19 - but we hope to get more soon.

We are working with countries to secure more aid.

Is there a risk that banning large gatherings and imposing social distancing will exacerbate social inequality?  

While we're trying to prevent COVID, we don't want people to die of other problems. The government is preparing social protections.

Most businesses and major projects are continuing to sustain the economy and daily workers.

The government is supporting vulnerable people affected by the measures through distributing food across the country.

Is the deployment of thousands of female community health workers across the country to educate and screen individuals working?

It's in progress. We only started this recently so we're hoping it will really support our COVID response.

Early detection is a key point for the mitigation of the epidemic.

These health workers are wearing masks and gloves and doing house-to-house surveillance to identify possible symptoms like fevers and coughs and to establish people's recent travel.

The health workers are also identifying people who have other illnesses but have not sought medical attention due to fears of the COVID epidemic.

Can girls and women still access sexual and reproductive health services?

Initially our communication was more focused on COVID-19 awareness but now we are also communicating key services like reproductive health.

Community health workers are ensuring that women are aware these services are available and that some like family planning can be accessed in their households.

Across the country we are educating about harmful practices like female genital mutilation and gender-based violence. It is a priority.

Are you concerned about Ethiopia’s ability to contain the disease in refugee camps?

Refugees and internally displaced people are one of the vulnerable populations we are looking at working with.

We are working with different partners like the Agency for Refugees and Returnees Affairs and the U.N.'s migration agency to ensure that these communities have the necessary health screening and that we are keeping them safe through measures like hand-washing.

April 30, 2020, 5:22 p.m. ET WASHINGTON — The International Monetary Fund said it approved $411 million in emergency assistance for Ethiopia under its Rapid Financing Instrument program to help the east African country battle the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement, the IMF said the board also approved Ethiopia's request for a suspension of debt service payments to the Fund, of about $12 million through Oct. 13. The suspension could be extended up to April 13, 2022, subject to the availability of resources under the IMF's Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust for poor countries. (Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Chris Reese)


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The Embassy wishes all Muslim Ethiopians and of Ethiopian origin in Canada a Happy Mawlid.


በካናዳ ለምትኖሩ ውድ ኢትዮጵያውያን እና ትውልደ ኢትዮጵያውያን በሙሉ፤
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Baga Irreecha Nagaan Geessan/Geenye!




Happy International Coffee Day!








ለመላው የክርስትና እምነት ተከታይ ኢትዮጵያዊያን እና ትውልደ ኢትዮጵያዊያን እንኳን ለመስቀል በዓል አደረሳችሁ።



The GERD Virtual FundraisingCampaign for 5 consecutive days

from August 15-19, 2020 by Ethiopians living in #Canada.

Coming together to make history and Leave our Marks.

በከናዳ ለምትገኙ ኢትዮጵያዊያንና ትውልደ-ኢትዮጵያዊን በሙሉ፣
ሚሲዮናችን “#አሻራዬን_አኖራለሁ!” በሚል መሪ ቃል ለታላቁ የኢትዮጵያ ህዳሴ ግድብ

እ.ኤ.አ ከኦገስት 15-19 ቀን 2020 ዓ.ም ለተከታታይ 5 ቀናት የሚቆይ

Virtual የገቢ ማሰባሰቢያ ፕሮግራም ለማካሄድ እንቅስቃሴ እየተደረገ ይገኛል::

በመሆኑም ገቢ ለማሰባሰብ የሚካሄደውን የonline Zoom ኮንፈረንስ እንድትሳተፉ እና በተከፈተ የአደራ አካውንት በe-tranfer በኩል እንዲሁም

በBank of Montreal አካውንት ቁጥር፡- 0005-1150-308፣

Transit number፡- 00056፣ Bank Code፡- 001

ድጋፍ በማድረግ የበኩላችሁን እንድታደርጉ አገራዊ ጥሪያችንን በትህትና እናቀርባለን!


















በካናዳ፣ በኢትዮጵያ እንዲሁም በአለም ዙሪያ ለምትገኙ የእስልምና እምነት ተከታይ ኢትዮጵያዊያንና

ትውልደ ኢትዮጵያዊያን በሙሉ አንኳን ለ1441 ዓመተ-ሂጅራ የኢድ አል አዳሃ በዓል በሠላም አደረሳችሁ።




እንኳን ደስ አላችሁ ውድ የኢትዮጵያ ልጆች:-

ግድቡ የመጀመሪያ ሙሌት ተጠናቆ ወደ ቀጣይ ምዕራፍ መሻገራችንንን በታላቅ ደስታ በድጋሚ እያበሰርን በቀጣይ

በፍጥነት የሚጠበቁትን ስራዎች በማጠናቀቅ ከዳር ማድረስ ያስፈልጋል፡፡

ለቀሪው ስራ የናንተ ድጋፍ ወሳኝ በመሆኑ በኤምባሲው በተከፈተው የአደራ አካውንት

እንዲሁም በኢትዮጵያም በተከፈቱት የባንኩ ቁጥሮች በመለገስ ድጋፋችሁን፤ አለኝታችሁን እንድትገልጹና

ታሪካዊ የሆነውን አሻራ እንድታኖሩ ጥሪ እናቀርባለን፡፡

የቦንድ ግዢን በሚመለከት በኤምባሲው የማንሸጥ ሲሆን አገር ቤት በህጋዊ ተወካያችሁ በኩል ማስፈጸም ይቻላል፡፡

ኤምባሲውም በሚያስፈልገው መልኩ ለመርዳት ዝግጁነቱን እየገለጸ ወደ ኤምባሲው በመደወል እና

በቀጣይ የምናወጣቸውን መረጃዎች ድህረ- ገጻችንን  እና በፌስ ቡክ ገጻችን 

ስለምንለጥፍ እንዲከታተሉ እናሳውቃለን፡፡

በጋራ እጃችን ተባብረን እንጨርሳለን!
አባይ የኛው ሲሳይ!


Congratulations Ethiopians!!!
Please use the following Accounts to donate to finalize the construction of #Dam.

We have set up a trust account and email transfer to save you of the hassle.
In addition, accounts were set up in #Ethiopia in different money exchanges,

which we have stated below.

NB. We did not attach information for bond sale as we do not sell at the Embassy.

However, should you would like to buy,

we will provide the important information.

You can call the Embassy or

visit our website and facebook pages for Power of Attorney requirements.
lets make history!
our dam our destiny!
Ethiopian Nile Rights!

Trust Account Set up by the Embassy:-
Bank Account No. 0005-1150-308
Transit No. 00056
Bank Code 001
Bank Name Bank of Montreal(BMO)
Email Transfer :-


Bank Account Numbers set up in Ethiopia for Dollar and Birr Donations
Dollar Exchange 1000001071077
Birr 1000291929609



'እንኳን ደስ አለን፤ሐምሌ 12/2012 ዓም ከምሽቱ 4 ሰዓት ላይ የህዳሴ ግድብ የመጀመሪያ አመት ሙሊት ተሳክቷል:

ውሃው የሚያስፈልገውን 4.9ቢ.ኪዩቢክ ሜትር በመያዝ ከግድቡ አናት ላይ ፈሷል ይህም የተሳካው ወደታችኛው

ተፋሰስ የሚሄደው ውሃ ሳይቋረጥ ነው፡፡'

ክቡር የውሃ፣ መስኖ እና ኢነርጂ ሚኒስቴር ኢንጂ. ስለሺ በቀለ Via twitter

እንኳን ደስ አላችሁ! እንኳን ደስ አለን!






Good News!!!

In response to your requests, we have set up the seamless money transfer platform

to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Trust account.

Please use the email transfer at:-

to contribute and Make History.



በቅዳሜ፣ ጁላይ 18 ቀን 2020 በ10:00 a.m. (በኦታዋ፣ ካናዳ አቆጣጠር) የሚካሄደውን ውይይት

ከታች በተቀመጡት የዙም ማስፈንጠሪያ፣ የዌብናር መለያ እና ማለፊያ ቁጥር ይመልከቱ።

Please see below the Zoom link, Webinar ID and Password to join

the conference held to take place on Jul 18, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Topic: LIVE Conference on the State of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD…
Password: #ItsMyDam#

Or iPhone one-tap :
Canada: +14388097799,,83763340067


0#,,0863765778# or +15873281099,,83763340067


Or Telephone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial

a number based on your current location):
Canada: +1 438 809 7799 or

+1 587 328 1099or +1 647 374 4685 or

+1 647 558 0588 or +1 778 907 2071 or

+1 204 272 7920
US: +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 or

+1 346 248 7799 or

+1 669 900 6833 or +1 929 205 6099 or +1 253 215 8782
Webinar ID: 837 6334 0067
Password: 0863765778
International numbers available:



Do not miss out on the Virtual dialogue on the current issues with regard to the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Held to take place on Saturday, July 18th, 2020 @ 10:00 a.m.(Eastern time).


We will be joined by H.E Minister of Foreign Affairs Gedu Andargachew and Technical Teams from Ethiopia.


ጠቃሚ መረጃ ካናዳ ለምትገኙ ኢትዮጵያዊያን!
መጪው ቅዳሜ እ.ኤ.አ ጁላይ 18 ቀን 2020 ዓ.ም በኦታዋ ሰዓት አቆጣጠር ከ10 am ጀምሮ ታላቁ የኢትዮጵያ ህዳሴ ግድብ በሚመለከት የሚካሄደውን ውይይት እንድትከታተሉ እንጋብዛለን።








It is Her Dam!!!











“Today marks the beginning of the global virtual campaign to support the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).


We urge all Ethiopians and friends of #Ethiopia to join hands with the Campaign and to be Ambassadors of the #GERD by using the hashtags #ItsMyDam #እኔምለአባይአለሁ across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.


Post about the Dam, share all campaign content, and comment on GERD-related news. Let us spread the good news of the #RenaissanceDam.”








በካናዳ ለምትገኙ ኢትዮጵያውያንና ትዉልደ ኢትዮጵያውያን ኮሚዩኒቲ ማህበራት በሙ:-

በወቅታዊ የታላቁ የኢትዮጵያ ህዳሴ ግድብ ግንባታ ዙሪያ webinar (Zoom Meeting) ለመወያየት ... ለቅዳሜ ጁላይ 4/2020 ጥሪ ማስተላለፋችን ይታወቃል:: ሆኖም ስብሰባዉ ለሌላ ቀን በመተላለፉ ተለዋጭ ቀኑን በቅርብ የምናሳዉቃችሁ መሆኑን ከይቅርታ ጋር እንገልጻለን::

የኢትዮጵያ ኤምባሲ



I am here for Abay!  I am here for GERD!

I stand for Equitable use of the Nile Waters!

Please join the GERD Worldwide Virtual Campain from July 02-05,2020.




Happy Canada Day!


በካናዳ ለምትገኙ ኢትዮጵያውያን እና ትውልደ ኢትዮጵያውያን በሙሉ


የታላቁ የኢትዮጵያ ህዳሴ ግድብ ግንባታን በማስመለከት በኢትዮጵያ ጉዳዩን የሚከታተሉ ከፍተኛ ባለሞያዎች፣ ኤምባሲው እና በካናዳ የሚገኙ ባለሞያዎች(Alliance for GERD in Canada) በመተባበር ግድቡ አሁን ያለበትን ሁኔታ፣ ከግድቡ ሙሌት እና አስተዳደር፣ ወቅታዊ ሁኔታዎች ላይ እንዲሁም ከተሳታፊዎች በሚነሱ ጥያቄዎች ላይ በwebinar(Zoom Meeting) በማድረግ ውይይት ለማድረግ በዝግጅት ላይ እንገኛለን።

የውይይት መድረኩ በቅዳሜ እ.ኤ.አ. ከጁላይ 4/2020 በ10:00 a.m. Ottawa time (Eastern time) ለማድረግ የታቀደ ሲሆን የ Zoom ID እና Password ከስብሰባው በፊት እንደምናሳዉቅ እየገለጽን በዚህ ታሪካዊ መድረክ እንዲገኙ በአክብሮት ተጋበዛችዃል።


To all Ethiopians and Ethiopian Origins residing in Canada


The Embassy in cooperation with Higher Officials from Ethiopia and a Professional Group (The Alliance for GERD in Canada) Plan to Host a Webinar (Zoom Meeting) on Saturday July 4th 2020 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time.

The discussion among other things would be pertaining to the current status of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the Filling and Operation of the dam and would attempt to address the questions and concerns of the Community with regard to the Tripartite Negotiation process. Accordingly, you are cordially invited to take part in this historic forum.

P.S. The Zoom ID and Password will be shared right before the conference.






የኢ.ፌ.ዲ.ሪ ውሃ ሚኒስትር ክቡር ዶ/ር እንጂ ስለሺ በቀለ በኦታዋ የኢትዮጵያ ኤምባሲ መሪ ከሆኑት ክብርት አምባሳደር ናሲሴ ጫሊ፣ ምክትል ሚሲዮን መሪ አምባሳደር ለገሰ ሀይሌ፣ ከኤምባሲው ሰራተኞች እና በካናዳ ከሚገኙ ኢትዮጵያዉያንና ትዉልደ ኢትዮጵያዉያን Alliance for Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Canada ከተባለ የባለሞያዎች ስብስብ ጋር ዛሬ እ.ኤ.አ በጁን 26/2020 በቪዲዮ ኮንፈረንስ በህዳሴ ግድብ ላይ ውይይት በማድርግ፤ ግድቡ የሚገኝበትን ደረጃ፣ የአገራችንን አቋም እና የመሳሰሉት ላይ ገለጻ በማድረግ ቡድኑ አገር ቤት ካለው አካል ጋር ተቀራርቦ በመስራት በሞያው አገራቸውን እንዲያገለግሉ እና የአገራቸውን ጥቅም ማሰጠበቅ እንደሚገባ አሳስበዋል።

አምባሳደር ናሲሴ ጫሊም ግድቡን በተመለከተ ሁሉም ኢትዮጵያዊ ከአገሩ ጎን እንደሚቆም እና በመቀጠልም ዲያስፖራውን እንዲሁም አለም አቀፍ ማህበረሰብን የማንቃት እና የማነሳሳት ስራ እንደሚሰራ አሳውቀዋል፤ ቡድኑ በበኩሉ ከአገሩ ጎን በመቆም የአገራችንን ጥቅም ለማስጠበቅ እንደሚሰራ እና በሞያ፣ በሞራል እንዲሁም በሚያስፈልግ ነገር ሁሉ ለማገልገል ዝግጁ መሆኑን ገልጿል።






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!



# 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.





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Embassy Address:

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

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


For consular services


Embassy's Address

 Embassy Address:

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

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


For consular services




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