Headlines
Tourists Astounded by Ethiopia's Meskel Celebration Call Others to See it For Themselves
Sep 28, 2023 189
Addis Ababa, September 28/2023(ENA)- Some tourists who attended the celebration of Demera, the eve of Meskel, a UNESCO-inscribed Ethiopian Orthodox Church's biggest open-air religious festival, were astounded by its authentic religious and cultural dimensions calling others to see it for themselves. The celebration of Demera, marking the finding of the True Cross upon which Jesus was crucified, was held across Ethiopia decorated with Orthodox religious and cultural festivities. Predominantly, the event was colorfully marked at Mekel Square at the heart of the capital on Wednesday evening with huge gathering of followers of the church, Sunday school students, and members of the clergy dressed in robes and traditional clothes and several tourists. The ceremony has attracted tens of thousands, including tourists from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Some of the foreign tourists from different countries have told ENA that they were impressed by the open-air festival and its authentic religious and cultural dimensions. They called other foreign tourists, including from African countries and other in different continents to experience Ethiopia's magnificent tourist attractions such as this Meskel ceremony. Accordingly, Kinja Mulegwa from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) said visiting Ethiopia’s authentic Meskel celebration is important for Africans to find indigenous spirituality because colonialism has affected religion and culture in Africa.   In DRC, for instance, colonialism has affected traditional religion and culture, she pointed out. “We are still fighting to find our spirituality. And for us it is important to come and see this celebration of today.” Congolese culture and religion is influenced by outsiders essentially beginning from the era of colonization, she indicated. Similarly, American Reverend Grant Bushee, from New San Francisco, stated that he came to Ethiopia for the first time to learn about the Ethiopian religion and its similarity and difference to his own Anglican.   “The way you celebrate your faith is very impressive. This is a unique experience for me that I think very few of my country’s citizens ever get the chance to see. So I feel very blessed to be here today,” he said. Prior to the Demera celebration, Bushee was fascinated by the traditions and unique customs of various tribes in northern Ethiopia and he will visit the northern part of the country. Noting that he has visited many African countries, Bushee said: “Everything is totally different...much different from other countries. I have been to Africa. This is a very rich experience for me. I wish more Americans could come here and see this." He further added: “This country is so ancient and there is so much to learn about your culture and history. Even the early humans were here.” England-born Lauriel Reid, who is an English Language Teacher living in Ethiopia, said many tourists are not experiencing such an amazing ceremony in Ethiopia urging others to visit the country. “This is an experience of a lifetime, this is one of these experiences that you should have in your calendar at least once in your life…You have to experience it for yourself to know how you feel about it. That is my message. Experience Ethiopia for yourself.” Chinese Liu Qin who attended the Demera celebration for her first time in Ethiopia was particularly astounded by the huge gathering, traditional attires, and songs.   Noting that the organized ceremony is successful and very amazing, she regretted for not wearing the Ethiopian traditional attires. "It is very nice and this is my first time to come here and celebrate the biggest church and religion ceremony in Ethiopia. This is very successful and very amazing and a lot of people wore traditional cloth and I liked the Ethiopian culture." She called more Chinese tourists to visit Ethiopia. Ethiopia is number one in Africa with its UNESCO World Heritage preserving treasures reflecting its rich history, inspiring generations.  
Featured
IGAD Adopts Youth Policy to Strengthen Participation of Youth in All Regional Matters
Sep 28, 2023 256
Addis Ababa, September 28/2023(ENA)- The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has adopted Youth Policy with a view to promoting the rights of the youth and strengthens their engagement in all matters of the region. IGAD held a landmark ministerial meeting towards the adoption of the IGAD Youth Policy in Kenya, Nairobi, on Wednesday. It was indicated during the occasion that the IGAD Youth Policy is a crucial framework for promoting youth rights in the IGAD Region as it is designed to guide and mainstream youth priorities in policies, laws, and programmes aimed at empowering youth and ensuring their meaningful participation in political processes.   The policy is also believed to play crucial role for the development of a comprehensive roadmap and action plan to empower the youth in the region. The policy has been developed through extensive consultations with Technical Experts responsible for Youth Affairs from member states, National Youth Councils, Youth-Led Organisations, and the IGAD Secretariat. The ministers up on the conclusion of their meeting have issued a statement on the declaration of the adoption and implementation of IGAD Youth Policy Framework. The ministers agreed to establish IGAD technical experts and ministerial committees on Youth Affairs as a platform to oversee, follow up, and periodically take stock of the progress of the implementation of the IGAD Youth Policy Framework. They also called upon development partners, including the International Financial Institutions, to provide support to the IGAD Secretariat and its member states for operationalisation of the IGAD Youth Policy Framework.  
Orthodox Christians Across Ethiopia Celebrate Meskel
Sep 28, 2023 320
Addis Ababa, September 28/2023(ENA)- Ethiopian Orthodox Christians across the nation are celebrating today Meskel which marks the founding of the True Cross. Meskel festival is a religious event marked annually by Orthodox Christians to commemorate the founding of the true cross up on which Jesus Christ was crucified. According to scholars of the religion, the true cross was discovered by Empress Helena, mother of Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome. It is believed that in 4th century BC Empress Helena ordered the people of Jerusalem to collect wood after she received a vision in a dream telling her where to find the cross. And the smoke from a huge bonfire directed the site where the cross was placed.   The bonfire celebration was conducted on the eve of Meskel to commemorate the smoke that led Empress Helena to the site of the True Cross. Meskel celebration is considered the most important religious holiday in Ethiopia, largely because it’s believed that a piece of the cross Empress Helena found was brought to Ethiopia, and is housed in the mountains of Amba Geshen. The faithful across Ethiopia are today celebrating Meskel with various religious and cultural festivities across the country. The annual religious bonfire, Demera, was colorfully celebrated on Wednesday, on the Eve of Meskel in Addis Ababa in the presence of President Sahle-Work Zewde, Ethiopian Orthodox Church archbishops and other dignitaries. Demera is a colorful occasion that attracts a huge gathering of followers of the church, Sunday school students, and members of the clergy dressed in robes and traditional clothes and several tourists. The festival is one of UNESCO’s intangible heritages that become a world treasure with many cultural and spiritual values.  
Demera Colorfully Celebrated in Addis Ababa  
Sep 27, 2023 528
Addis Ababa, September 27/2023 (ENA) The annual religious bonfire, Demera, which is conducted on the Eve of Meskel commemoration, was colorfully celebrated in Addis Ababa in the presence of President Sahle-Work Zewde, Ethiopian Orthodox Church archbishops and other dignitaries. On the occasion, General Manager of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Abune Abrham, read the speech of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) Patriarch Abune Mathias. In his speech, Patriarch Abune Mathias said that Christians, especially followers of EOTC celebrate Meskel, the finding of the True Cross, every September 28. According to him, the Cross teaches us to respect others and promote humility, not selfishness. It also brings everyone together and reconciles them to God. The Cross is about peace, unity, equality, freedom and the salvation of mankind in general, the patriarch said. Above all, Patriarch Abune Mathias emphasized the importance of practicing the words of the Cross in our practical life. Culture and Sports Minister Kejela Merdassa said on his part that Meskel festival is celebrated in many different ways by Ethiopians. The festival listed among UNESCO’s intangible heritages has become a world treasure with many cultural and spiritual values, he added. Therefore, Kejela stressed the need to celebrate Meskel by avoiding hatred and revenge. “We must protect ourselves from thoughts that sow discord and cause strife,” the minister noted, adding that we must live in peace and free from hate preachers. Addis Ababa Mayor Adanech Abebie through her representative appreciated the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church for its historic contribution to preserve Meskel and make it a world heritage that has become a national pride as well as a tourist attraction center beyond its religious value. The mayor also conveyed her message by urging the residents of Addis Ababa city and Ethiopians to promote love, tolerance and solidarity for sustainable peace and development.          
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Politics
IGAD Adopts Youth Policy to Strengthen Participation of Youth in All Regional Matters
Sep 28, 2023 256
Addis Ababa, September 28/2023(ENA)- The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has adopted Youth Policy with a view to promoting the rights of the youth and strengthens their engagement in all matters of the region. IGAD held a landmark ministerial meeting towards the adoption of the IGAD Youth Policy in Kenya, Nairobi, on Wednesday. It was indicated during the occasion that the IGAD Youth Policy is a crucial framework for promoting youth rights in the IGAD Region as it is designed to guide and mainstream youth priorities in policies, laws, and programmes aimed at empowering youth and ensuring their meaningful participation in political processes.   The policy is also believed to play crucial role for the development of a comprehensive roadmap and action plan to empower the youth in the region. The policy has been developed through extensive consultations with Technical Experts responsible for Youth Affairs from member states, National Youth Councils, Youth-Led Organisations, and the IGAD Secretariat. The ministers up on the conclusion of their meeting have issued a statement on the declaration of the adoption and implementation of IGAD Youth Policy Framework. The ministers agreed to establish IGAD technical experts and ministerial committees on Youth Affairs as a platform to oversee, follow up, and periodically take stock of the progress of the implementation of the IGAD Youth Policy Framework. They also called upon development partners, including the International Financial Institutions, to provide support to the IGAD Secretariat and its member states for operationalisation of the IGAD Youth Policy Framework.  
Comprehensive Strategic, Cooperative Partnership of Ethioipa and China Boosts Bilateral Cooperation: Chinese Embassy Deputy Chief
Sep 27, 2023 529
Addis Ababa, September 27/2023 (ENA) The comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership between Ethiopia and China has deepened the bilateral cooperation in various fields, Chinese Embassy Deputy Chief Shen Qinmin said. The 74th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China was marked yesterday at the Sky Light Hotel. During the ceremony, Embassy Deputy Chief Shen Qinmin said China and Ethiopia have jointly made great efforts to promote peace and development in the Horn of Africa in a bid to make contribution to peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region. He also stated that the BRICS mechanism presents a new vision and new opportunities for the two countries' common development. “Ethiopia plays an important role in regional cooperation and global affairs. (Therefore) Ethiopia's joining BRICS will bring new vitality and the momentum to the BRICS cooperation and to build the mechanism into a key platform for a fair and just global political order and economy with inclusive and sustainable development.” According to him, China has been supporting development endeavors in Africa, particularly in Ethiopia. Through the Belt and Road Initiative, China helps Africa effort for modernization into a faster track. Moreover, Deputy Chief Shen Qinmin noted that both China and Ethiopia attach great importance to green development. “The Green Legacy initiative by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed highly dovetails with the concept of Chinese modernization characterized by a harmony between the human being and nature.” The two countries are committed to preserving the ecological environment so as to effectively cope with challenges posed by climate change, the deputy chief added. Ethiopia's Finance Minister Ahmed Shide praised China for achieving a lot of results in terms of economic development, poverty alleviation and societal development in state institutions to become the pillar of global order during the past 74 years. For the minister, Ethiopia is the best example when it comes to China-Africa cooperation. The cooperation between Ethiopia and China is very comprehensive and strategic, he added. As a result, the two countries have been working together in infrastructural development, including railway, expressway, energy, telecom, industrial development and capacity building, among others. Ahmed further noted that Ethiopia's membership in BRICS is going to add new dynamism for cooperation between Ethiopia and China. “The membership of Ethiopia to BRICS is the testament for the potential and bright future for Ethiopia, and for the comprehensive development and reform with which the country is embarking, given the population and geographic location.” Former President Mulatu Teshome on his part said that China has always been defending common interest in pursuing common prosperity of countries in Africa. As Ethiopia is one of the most promising countries on this continent striving at a faster pace like never before, the BRICS platform will help it to enhance its cooperation with other countries, the former president stated, adding that “our commitment to deepening cooperation with China and ASEAN countries for mutual benefit remains consistent. African Union Commission Deputy Chairperson Monique Nsanzabaganwa said China and Africa have forged an unbreakable fraternity in the struggle against poverty in the past 70 years. Africa and China have written a splendid chapter over mutual assistance amid complex challenges and set a shining example for building a new type of international relations, she added. “We need further opening up in new prospects for China-Africa cooperation, expansion of trade and investment, experience sharing on poverty reduction, strengthening cooperation on the digital economy.” Nsanzabaganwa reiterated that the African Union will continue to appreciate the Chinese accompaniment in the implementation of the global development initiative, which dovetails with African Union’s Agenda 2063 and UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.        
Ethio-Algeria Political Relations Will Get Transformed into Very Interesting Economic Ties: Algerian Ambassador   
Sep 26, 2023 750
Addis Ababa, September 26/2023(ENA) Algeria and Ethiopia will translate a very good political relationship to a very interesting economic tie that will benefit the two countries, Ambassador Mohammed Lamine Laabas told ENA. Algeria's Ambassador Laabas said during the commencement of a direct flight of Air Algérie to the Ethiopian capital on Friday that the flight is a concrete move to maximize economic benefit between the two countries. Since last year, the leaders and higher government officials of the two countries have been discussing direct air transport connectivity to bolster the bilateral relations. Accordingly, Air Algerie made its first direct inaugural flight from Algiers-Houari Boumédiène to the capital Addis Ababa. Ambassador Laabas stated that Algeria and Ethiopia will translate the decades-long very good political relationship into a very interesting economic tie that will mutually benefit the two countries. “We’ve been having very good political relations for many years. Now, opening this line, we will translate the very good political relations into a very interesting and benefitting economic, cultural, and commercial relations.” According to him, the lack of direct flight between Algeria and Ethiopia was a missing point to improve the overall relations of the countries. Even the Ethiopian Airlines, which flies to over 63 destinations in Africa using Addis Ababa as a hub, has gaps to connect North African and Sub-Sahran Africa countries. “We're going to benefit from the experience of the Ethiopian Airlines," Ambassador Laabas stated, adding that "this line is the first-ever opening to the Maghreb region. (And) we are delighted that our country has taken the decision to be the first Maghreb country to link with Ethiopia. That is very important. It was the only missing part of the network of Ethiopian Airlines." He elaborated that the lack of direct air connectivity had negative impact on the Maghreb and Eastern Africa regions. “This is what was missing --- this possibility to consolidate, to increase the commercial, economic relations while we are having very good political relation. Algeria has its goods, and Ethiopia has its goods. Now, we can exchange our goods directly without going through Europe, without going through the Middle East which used to increase the price of the cargo.” The direct air connectivity is also expected to positively impact the overall bilateral relations between Ethiopia and Algeria, according to the ambassador. “This will impact the other technical relations with the two countries. When you join directly the capitals, that will bring wealth for the two countries and companies. We are just bridging. Now you will see industries and companies find solution for their own problems. Now you will see companies do business in both directions,” Ambassador Laabas elaborated. Ethiopian leaders have visited Algeria and discussed with Algerian higher-officials last year and air connectivity was an issue. Establishing diplomatic relations in the 1960s, Ethiopia and Algeria have been enjoying strong political and diplomatic relations.
African Leaders Take Bold Stance on Need for Genuine Multilateral Institutions, Int’l Financial Systems
Sep 24, 2023 928
Addis Ababa, September 24/2023(ENA):- Leaders from African nations have echoed collective stance at the ongoing 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 78) stressing the need for a reformed multilateral institutions and international financial systems. The 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 78) is being underway in New York. African leaders participating at the assembly in their messages have echoed several issues critical to the peace and development of the continent including the impacts of climate change, unfair global financial system, poverty and conflicts. They have asked the UN to reform itself by identifying its shortcomings and demanded for permanent seat for Africa at the UN Security Council. The current AU Chairperson Comorian President Azali Assoumani said the UN need to undertake deep structural reform noting that Africa has the right to equally participate at global decision making bodies. He pointed out that Africa has the potential to play key role in the effective implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) citing the fact that the population of the continent is expected to surpass 3 billion at the end of this year. This necessitates Africa’s fair representation at international venues, President Azali Assoumani underscored. “Africa wants to make efforts with a view to protecting its rights by having permanent seat at the UN Security Council as this is the issue of equity and realizing the effectiveness of multilateralism.” In this regard, Assoumani also lauded members of the G 20 nations for including the African Union in their bloc.   The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa for his part stressed the need for institutions that are inclusive, representative, democratic, and advance the interest of all nations. “We require a renewed commitment for multilateralism based on clear rules supported by effective institutions.” This is the moment to proceed with a reform of United Nations Security Council to give meaning to the principle of sovereign equality of nations, he added. According to President Ramaphosa, the common African position on the reform of the UN Security Council is increasingly enjoying wide support. He further emphasized that the interest of Africa, the continent that supplies mines and other raw materials to the global community in large magnitude, should practically be ensured at the international finance system.   Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen said that reforming the Security Council is not a choice, but an absolute necessity, which requires the politically and morally justified allocation of permanent seats to Africa, demanding reformed and representative security council that is fit for purpose. “A new global collective security system that respects the sovereignty of member states and prevents conflict is vital. As a long time champion and active participant in the UN mandated peacekeeping operations across the globe, Ethiopia underscores that reforming the UN Security Council is not a choice, but an absolute necessity. We need a reformed and representative security council that is fit for purpose.” Demeke has also stressed the need for the United Nations to provide adequate financial support to African peacekeeping missions and the necessary capacity building to enhance law enforcement activities in individual countries. He said that Ethiopia believes that unilateral sanctions and inappropriate economic measures imposed on developing countries should be lifted without any preconditions noting that such moves are against the principles and procedure of the UN.   President of Kenya, William Ruto said for his part that the world is headed in a most undesirable direction. He said UN Security council has not been properly providing solutions to the current global challenges as its structure is not inclusive. Hence, President Ruto underlined the need to have an inclusive multilateral body stating the perusing with the status quo is unacceptable. “ It is moment like this the affirmative sprite of multilateralism, international collective action and global solidarity is most needed and should be attained,” Ruto underscored.  
All Must Come Together for Unity of Purpose for Peace and Prosperity, Says Deputy PM at UN General Assembly
Sep 23, 2023 964
Addis Ababa, September 23/2023 (ENA) Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonen, in his statement to the UN General Assembly today, has called on the international community to realize that humanity is at a critical juncture where all must come together for a unity of purpose for peace and prosperity. The deputy premier stressed the need to ask for having the necessary political will to choose the global partnership over geopolitical competition at a time when the world is faced with a multitude of challenges in such times. He further emphasized the need for cooperation in mitigating climate change, de-escalating nuclear weapons-related tensions, and working on reforms in the UN and international financial institutions for the sake of the wellbeing of humanity. Speaking on the Sustainable Development Goals, Demeke said the progress towards achieving them is off track, pushing the objective of eliminating extreme poverty by 2030 even further behind. The deputy premier, who recounted Ethiopia’s measures to align its 10-year Development Plan with the SDGs, has called for a renewed global partnership and firm political commitment to realize the objectives. In his remarks about climate adaptation and mitigation efforts, Demeke noted the need for support for Ethiopia’s Green Legacy Initiative. He also emphasized the need for institutional reform in the United Nations in general and the Security Council in particular. Reforming the Security Council is not a choice, but an absolute necessity which requires the politically and morally justified allocation of permanent seats to Africa.   Emphasizing Ethiopia’s commitment to peace, the deputy prime minister mentioned the Pretoria Peace Agreement. According to him, the agreement is a practical embodiment of “African Solutions to African Problems.” In connection with regional peace and integration, Demeke called for coordinated efforts for peace initiatives in Sudan. As part of the demonstration to Ethiopia's commitment to expedite regional integration, he mentioned the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam as a demonstration of the legitimate development aspirations of Ethiopians and the region at large. Furthermore, Demeke pointed out the crucial role international financial institutions are expected to play in augmenting the efforts of developing countries to take debt relief measures and provide development finance. The international financial architecture should be reformed with special considerations for Africa’s needs and priorities, he underlined. The general debate of the seventy-eighth session of the General Assembly will continue up to Tuesday, 26 September 2023.  
Ethiopia’s Participation at UNGA78 Successful : Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Sep 23, 2023 958
Addis Ababa, September 23/2023(ENA) Ethiopia’s participation at the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA78) has been very successful and created understanding about the interest of the country, said Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Meles Alem. The UNGA78 is going on in New York under the theme: “Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress, and sustainability for all'. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonen has carried out effective bilateral and multilateral diplomacy with some 30 high level officials of various countries and heads of UN organizations both at the78th Sessions of United Nations General Assembly(UNGA78) and on the margins of the summit. During the discussions, countries, international institutions and partners have got a good understanding of the Ethiopia, underpinning their development partnerships and cooperation, the spokesperson pointed out. The spokesperson also said the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has appreciated Ethiopia's handling of refugees during the discussion he held with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Demeke Mekonen. The secretary general described Ethiopia as an important player in multilateral diplomacy, Meles said. Ambassador Meles also said the desires shown by the international financial institutions to support Ethiopia is encouraging. As a result, the 78th UN General Assembly has created a good opportunity to increase Ethiopia's influence on the international diplomatic stage, he added. In an informal meeting convened by Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of Germany, Ethiopia has echoed the common position of African continent to get a permanent seat at the UN Security Council, according to the spokesperson. In general, the bilateral and multilateral diplomatic activities Ethiopia has carried at UNGA78 has been successful as part of achieving the target set out by the ministry in the Fiscal year to increase its allies and diplomatic clout, he pointed out. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonon is expected to deliver a speech at the General Assembly today, explaining the position of Ethiopia and his government.  
Politics
IGAD Adopts Youth Policy to Strengthen Participation of Youth in All Regional Matters
Sep 28, 2023 256
Addis Ababa, September 28/2023(ENA)- The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has adopted Youth Policy with a view to promoting the rights of the youth and strengthens their engagement in all matters of the region. IGAD held a landmark ministerial meeting towards the adoption of the IGAD Youth Policy in Kenya, Nairobi, on Wednesday. It was indicated during the occasion that the IGAD Youth Policy is a crucial framework for promoting youth rights in the IGAD Region as it is designed to guide and mainstream youth priorities in policies, laws, and programmes aimed at empowering youth and ensuring their meaningful participation in political processes.   The policy is also believed to play crucial role for the development of a comprehensive roadmap and action plan to empower the youth in the region. The policy has been developed through extensive consultations with Technical Experts responsible for Youth Affairs from member states, National Youth Councils, Youth-Led Organisations, and the IGAD Secretariat. The ministers up on the conclusion of their meeting have issued a statement on the declaration of the adoption and implementation of IGAD Youth Policy Framework. The ministers agreed to establish IGAD technical experts and ministerial committees on Youth Affairs as a platform to oversee, follow up, and periodically take stock of the progress of the implementation of the IGAD Youth Policy Framework. They also called upon development partners, including the International Financial Institutions, to provide support to the IGAD Secretariat and its member states for operationalisation of the IGAD Youth Policy Framework.  
Comprehensive Strategic, Cooperative Partnership of Ethioipa and China Boosts Bilateral Cooperation: Chinese Embassy Deputy Chief
Sep 27, 2023 529
Addis Ababa, September 27/2023 (ENA) The comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership between Ethiopia and China has deepened the bilateral cooperation in various fields, Chinese Embassy Deputy Chief Shen Qinmin said. The 74th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China was marked yesterday at the Sky Light Hotel. During the ceremony, Embassy Deputy Chief Shen Qinmin said China and Ethiopia have jointly made great efforts to promote peace and development in the Horn of Africa in a bid to make contribution to peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region. He also stated that the BRICS mechanism presents a new vision and new opportunities for the two countries' common development. “Ethiopia plays an important role in regional cooperation and global affairs. (Therefore) Ethiopia's joining BRICS will bring new vitality and the momentum to the BRICS cooperation and to build the mechanism into a key platform for a fair and just global political order and economy with inclusive and sustainable development.” According to him, China has been supporting development endeavors in Africa, particularly in Ethiopia. Through the Belt and Road Initiative, China helps Africa effort for modernization into a faster track. Moreover, Deputy Chief Shen Qinmin noted that both China and Ethiopia attach great importance to green development. “The Green Legacy initiative by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed highly dovetails with the concept of Chinese modernization characterized by a harmony between the human being and nature.” The two countries are committed to preserving the ecological environment so as to effectively cope with challenges posed by climate change, the deputy chief added. Ethiopia's Finance Minister Ahmed Shide praised China for achieving a lot of results in terms of economic development, poverty alleviation and societal development in state institutions to become the pillar of global order during the past 74 years. For the minister, Ethiopia is the best example when it comes to China-Africa cooperation. The cooperation between Ethiopia and China is very comprehensive and strategic, he added. As a result, the two countries have been working together in infrastructural development, including railway, expressway, energy, telecom, industrial development and capacity building, among others. Ahmed further noted that Ethiopia's membership in BRICS is going to add new dynamism for cooperation between Ethiopia and China. “The membership of Ethiopia to BRICS is the testament for the potential and bright future for Ethiopia, and for the comprehensive development and reform with which the country is embarking, given the population and geographic location.” Former President Mulatu Teshome on his part said that China has always been defending common interest in pursuing common prosperity of countries in Africa. As Ethiopia is one of the most promising countries on this continent striving at a faster pace like never before, the BRICS platform will help it to enhance its cooperation with other countries, the former president stated, adding that “our commitment to deepening cooperation with China and ASEAN countries for mutual benefit remains consistent. African Union Commission Deputy Chairperson Monique Nsanzabaganwa said China and Africa have forged an unbreakable fraternity in the struggle against poverty in the past 70 years. Africa and China have written a splendid chapter over mutual assistance amid complex challenges and set a shining example for building a new type of international relations, she added. “We need further opening up in new prospects for China-Africa cooperation, expansion of trade and investment, experience sharing on poverty reduction, strengthening cooperation on the digital economy.” Nsanzabaganwa reiterated that the African Union will continue to appreciate the Chinese accompaniment in the implementation of the global development initiative, which dovetails with African Union’s Agenda 2063 and UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.        
Ethio-Algeria Political Relations Will Get Transformed into Very Interesting Economic Ties: Algerian Ambassador   
Sep 26, 2023 750
Addis Ababa, September 26/2023(ENA) Algeria and Ethiopia will translate a very good political relationship to a very interesting economic tie that will benefit the two countries, Ambassador Mohammed Lamine Laabas told ENA. Algeria's Ambassador Laabas said during the commencement of a direct flight of Air Algérie to the Ethiopian capital on Friday that the flight is a concrete move to maximize economic benefit between the two countries. Since last year, the leaders and higher government officials of the two countries have been discussing direct air transport connectivity to bolster the bilateral relations. Accordingly, Air Algerie made its first direct inaugural flight from Algiers-Houari Boumédiène to the capital Addis Ababa. Ambassador Laabas stated that Algeria and Ethiopia will translate the decades-long very good political relationship into a very interesting economic tie that will mutually benefit the two countries. “We’ve been having very good political relations for many years. Now, opening this line, we will translate the very good political relations into a very interesting and benefitting economic, cultural, and commercial relations.” According to him, the lack of direct flight between Algeria and Ethiopia was a missing point to improve the overall relations of the countries. Even the Ethiopian Airlines, which flies to over 63 destinations in Africa using Addis Ababa as a hub, has gaps to connect North African and Sub-Sahran Africa countries. “We're going to benefit from the experience of the Ethiopian Airlines," Ambassador Laabas stated, adding that "this line is the first-ever opening to the Maghreb region. (And) we are delighted that our country has taken the decision to be the first Maghreb country to link with Ethiopia. That is very important. It was the only missing part of the network of Ethiopian Airlines." He elaborated that the lack of direct air connectivity had negative impact on the Maghreb and Eastern Africa regions. “This is what was missing --- this possibility to consolidate, to increase the commercial, economic relations while we are having very good political relation. Algeria has its goods, and Ethiopia has its goods. Now, we can exchange our goods directly without going through Europe, without going through the Middle East which used to increase the price of the cargo.” The direct air connectivity is also expected to positively impact the overall bilateral relations between Ethiopia and Algeria, according to the ambassador. “This will impact the other technical relations with the two countries. When you join directly the capitals, that will bring wealth for the two countries and companies. We are just bridging. Now you will see industries and companies find solution for their own problems. Now you will see companies do business in both directions,” Ambassador Laabas elaborated. Ethiopian leaders have visited Algeria and discussed with Algerian higher-officials last year and air connectivity was an issue. Establishing diplomatic relations in the 1960s, Ethiopia and Algeria have been enjoying strong political and diplomatic relations.
African Leaders Take Bold Stance on Need for Genuine Multilateral Institutions, Int’l Financial Systems
Sep 24, 2023 928
Addis Ababa, September 24/2023(ENA):- Leaders from African nations have echoed collective stance at the ongoing 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 78) stressing the need for a reformed multilateral institutions and international financial systems. The 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 78) is being underway in New York. African leaders participating at the assembly in their messages have echoed several issues critical to the peace and development of the continent including the impacts of climate change, unfair global financial system, poverty and conflicts. They have asked the UN to reform itself by identifying its shortcomings and demanded for permanent seat for Africa at the UN Security Council. The current AU Chairperson Comorian President Azali Assoumani said the UN need to undertake deep structural reform noting that Africa has the right to equally participate at global decision making bodies. He pointed out that Africa has the potential to play key role in the effective implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) citing the fact that the population of the continent is expected to surpass 3 billion at the end of this year. This necessitates Africa’s fair representation at international venues, President Azali Assoumani underscored. “Africa wants to make efforts with a view to protecting its rights by having permanent seat at the UN Security Council as this is the issue of equity and realizing the effectiveness of multilateralism.” In this regard, Assoumani also lauded members of the G 20 nations for including the African Union in their bloc.   The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa for his part stressed the need for institutions that are inclusive, representative, democratic, and advance the interest of all nations. “We require a renewed commitment for multilateralism based on clear rules supported by effective institutions.” This is the moment to proceed with a reform of United Nations Security Council to give meaning to the principle of sovereign equality of nations, he added. According to President Ramaphosa, the common African position on the reform of the UN Security Council is increasingly enjoying wide support. He further emphasized that the interest of Africa, the continent that supplies mines and other raw materials to the global community in large magnitude, should practically be ensured at the international finance system.   Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen said that reforming the Security Council is not a choice, but an absolute necessity, which requires the politically and morally justified allocation of permanent seats to Africa, demanding reformed and representative security council that is fit for purpose. “A new global collective security system that respects the sovereignty of member states and prevents conflict is vital. As a long time champion and active participant in the UN mandated peacekeeping operations across the globe, Ethiopia underscores that reforming the UN Security Council is not a choice, but an absolute necessity. We need a reformed and representative security council that is fit for purpose.” Demeke has also stressed the need for the United Nations to provide adequate financial support to African peacekeeping missions and the necessary capacity building to enhance law enforcement activities in individual countries. He said that Ethiopia believes that unilateral sanctions and inappropriate economic measures imposed on developing countries should be lifted without any preconditions noting that such moves are against the principles and procedure of the UN.   President of Kenya, William Ruto said for his part that the world is headed in a most undesirable direction. He said UN Security council has not been properly providing solutions to the current global challenges as its structure is not inclusive. Hence, President Ruto underlined the need to have an inclusive multilateral body stating the perusing with the status quo is unacceptable. “ It is moment like this the affirmative sprite of multilateralism, international collective action and global solidarity is most needed and should be attained,” Ruto underscored.  
All Must Come Together for Unity of Purpose for Peace and Prosperity, Says Deputy PM at UN General Assembly
Sep 23, 2023 964
Addis Ababa, September 23/2023 (ENA) Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonen, in his statement to the UN General Assembly today, has called on the international community to realize that humanity is at a critical juncture where all must come together for a unity of purpose for peace and prosperity. The deputy premier stressed the need to ask for having the necessary political will to choose the global partnership over geopolitical competition at a time when the world is faced with a multitude of challenges in such times. He further emphasized the need for cooperation in mitigating climate change, de-escalating nuclear weapons-related tensions, and working on reforms in the UN and international financial institutions for the sake of the wellbeing of humanity. Speaking on the Sustainable Development Goals, Demeke said the progress towards achieving them is off track, pushing the objective of eliminating extreme poverty by 2030 even further behind. The deputy premier, who recounted Ethiopia’s measures to align its 10-year Development Plan with the SDGs, has called for a renewed global partnership and firm political commitment to realize the objectives. In his remarks about climate adaptation and mitigation efforts, Demeke noted the need for support for Ethiopia’s Green Legacy Initiative. He also emphasized the need for institutional reform in the United Nations in general and the Security Council in particular. Reforming the Security Council is not a choice, but an absolute necessity which requires the politically and morally justified allocation of permanent seats to Africa.   Emphasizing Ethiopia’s commitment to peace, the deputy prime minister mentioned the Pretoria Peace Agreement. According to him, the agreement is a practical embodiment of “African Solutions to African Problems.” In connection with regional peace and integration, Demeke called for coordinated efforts for peace initiatives in Sudan. As part of the demonstration to Ethiopia's commitment to expedite regional integration, he mentioned the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam as a demonstration of the legitimate development aspirations of Ethiopians and the region at large. Furthermore, Demeke pointed out the crucial role international financial institutions are expected to play in augmenting the efforts of developing countries to take debt relief measures and provide development finance. The international financial architecture should be reformed with special considerations for Africa’s needs and priorities, he underlined. The general debate of the seventy-eighth session of the General Assembly will continue up to Tuesday, 26 September 2023.  
Ethiopia’s Participation at UNGA78 Successful : Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Sep 23, 2023 958
Addis Ababa, September 23/2023(ENA) Ethiopia’s participation at the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA78) has been very successful and created understanding about the interest of the country, said Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Meles Alem. The UNGA78 is going on in New York under the theme: “Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress, and sustainability for all'. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonen has carried out effective bilateral and multilateral diplomacy with some 30 high level officials of various countries and heads of UN organizations both at the78th Sessions of United Nations General Assembly(UNGA78) and on the margins of the summit. During the discussions, countries, international institutions and partners have got a good understanding of the Ethiopia, underpinning their development partnerships and cooperation, the spokesperson pointed out. The spokesperson also said the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has appreciated Ethiopia's handling of refugees during the discussion he held with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Demeke Mekonen. The secretary general described Ethiopia as an important player in multilateral diplomacy, Meles said. Ambassador Meles also said the desires shown by the international financial institutions to support Ethiopia is encouraging. As a result, the 78th UN General Assembly has created a good opportunity to increase Ethiopia's influence on the international diplomatic stage, he added. In an informal meeting convened by Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of Germany, Ethiopia has echoed the common position of African continent to get a permanent seat at the UN Security Council, according to the spokesperson. In general, the bilateral and multilateral diplomatic activities Ethiopia has carried at UNGA78 has been successful as part of achieving the target set out by the ministry in the Fiscal year to increase its allies and diplomatic clout, he pointed out. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonon is expected to deliver a speech at the General Assembly today, explaining the position of Ethiopia and his government.  
Social
Tourists Astounded by Ethiopia's Meskel Celebration Call Others to See it For Themselves
Sep 28, 2023 189
Addis Ababa, September 28/2023(ENA)- Some tourists who attended the celebration of Demera, the eve of Meskel, a UNESCO-inscribed Ethiopian Orthodox Church's biggest open-air religious festival, were astounded by its authentic religious and cultural dimensions calling others to see it for themselves. The celebration of Demera, marking the finding of the True Cross upon which Jesus was crucified, was held across Ethiopia decorated with Orthodox religious and cultural festivities. Predominantly, the event was colorfully marked at Mekel Square at the heart of the capital on Wednesday evening with huge gathering of followers of the church, Sunday school students, and members of the clergy dressed in robes and traditional clothes and several tourists. The ceremony has attracted tens of thousands, including tourists from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Some of the foreign tourists from different countries have told ENA that they were impressed by the open-air festival and its authentic religious and cultural dimensions. They called other foreign tourists, including from African countries and other in different continents to experience Ethiopia's magnificent tourist attractions such as this Meskel ceremony. Accordingly, Kinja Mulegwa from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) said visiting Ethiopia’s authentic Meskel celebration is important for Africans to find indigenous spirituality because colonialism has affected religion and culture in Africa.   In DRC, for instance, colonialism has affected traditional religion and culture, she pointed out. “We are still fighting to find our spirituality. And for us it is important to come and see this celebration of today.” Congolese culture and religion is influenced by outsiders essentially beginning from the era of colonization, she indicated. Similarly, American Reverend Grant Bushee, from New San Francisco, stated that he came to Ethiopia for the first time to learn about the Ethiopian religion and its similarity and difference to his own Anglican.   “The way you celebrate your faith is very impressive. This is a unique experience for me that I think very few of my country’s citizens ever get the chance to see. So I feel very blessed to be here today,” he said. Prior to the Demera celebration, Bushee was fascinated by the traditions and unique customs of various tribes in northern Ethiopia and he will visit the northern part of the country. Noting that he has visited many African countries, Bushee said: “Everything is totally different...much different from other countries. I have been to Africa. This is a very rich experience for me. I wish more Americans could come here and see this." He further added: “This country is so ancient and there is so much to learn about your culture and history. Even the early humans were here.” England-born Lauriel Reid, who is an English Language Teacher living in Ethiopia, said many tourists are not experiencing such an amazing ceremony in Ethiopia urging others to visit the country. “This is an experience of a lifetime, this is one of these experiences that you should have in your calendar at least once in your life…You have to experience it for yourself to know how you feel about it. That is my message. Experience Ethiopia for yourself.” Chinese Liu Qin who attended the Demera celebration for her first time in Ethiopia was particularly astounded by the huge gathering, traditional attires, and songs.   Noting that the organized ceremony is successful and very amazing, she regretted for not wearing the Ethiopian traditional attires. "It is very nice and this is my first time to come here and celebrate the biggest church and religion ceremony in Ethiopia. This is very successful and very amazing and a lot of people wore traditional cloth and I liked the Ethiopian culture." She called more Chinese tourists to visit Ethiopia. Ethiopia is number one in Africa with its UNESCO World Heritage preserving treasures reflecting its rich history, inspiring generations.  
Orthodox Christians Across Ethiopia Celebrate Meskel
Sep 28, 2023 320
Addis Ababa, September 28/2023(ENA)- Ethiopian Orthodox Christians across the nation are celebrating today Meskel which marks the founding of the True Cross. Meskel festival is a religious event marked annually by Orthodox Christians to commemorate the founding of the true cross up on which Jesus Christ was crucified. According to scholars of the religion, the true cross was discovered by Empress Helena, mother of Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome. It is believed that in 4th century BC Empress Helena ordered the people of Jerusalem to collect wood after she received a vision in a dream telling her where to find the cross. And the smoke from a huge bonfire directed the site where the cross was placed.   The bonfire celebration was conducted on the eve of Meskel to commemorate the smoke that led Empress Helena to the site of the True Cross. Meskel celebration is considered the most important religious holiday in Ethiopia, largely because it’s believed that a piece of the cross Empress Helena found was brought to Ethiopia, and is housed in the mountains of Amba Geshen. The faithful across Ethiopia are today celebrating Meskel with various religious and cultural festivities across the country. The annual religious bonfire, Demera, was colorfully celebrated on Wednesday, on the Eve of Meskel in Addis Ababa in the presence of President Sahle-Work Zewde, Ethiopian Orthodox Church archbishops and other dignitaries. Demera is a colorful occasion that attracts a huge gathering of followers of the church, Sunday school students, and members of the clergy dressed in robes and traditional clothes and several tourists. The festival is one of UNESCO’s intangible heritages that become a world treasure with many cultural and spiritual values.  
Economy
World Specialty Coffee Conference Underway in Tokyo
Sep 27, 2023 325
Addis Ababa, September 27/2023(ENA) World Specialty Coffee Conference and Exhibition 2023 are underway in Tokyo. The specialty coffee conference and exhibition was opened by Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Japan, Daba Debele along with president of Specialty Coffee Association of Japan and ambassadors of Coffee Exporting Countries, according to Ethiopian Embassy in Tokyo. The event, organized by the Specialty Coffee Association of Japan (SCAJ) in Tokyo, has attracted numerous coffee growers, exporters, importers and processors worldwide. Ethiopian Coffee Association president, general manager and 45 Ethiopian coffee exporters are participating at the event. Ethiopian Embassy in Tokyo along with exporters and coffee association is conducting Ethiopian specialty coffee conference showcasing a variety of Ethiopian specialty coffee beans, Ethiopian coffee ceremony aided by visual and video explanation. The event will last until September 29, 2023, and there will be side meetings between Ethiopian and Japanese coffee importers. The 2023 SCAJ World Specialty Coffee Conference and Exhibition celebrates the 20th anniversary of the SCAJ, and will also include lectures and cupping sessions. Founded in 1987, the Specialty Coffee Association of Japan aims to promote the consumption of specialty-grade coffee among Japanese consumers and support sustainable coffee production. The event will also host the 2023 Japanese barista, cup tasters, and coffee roasting championship.
Rice Cultivation, Production Increasing in Amhara Region
Sep 26, 2023 441
Addis Ababa, September 26/2023(ENA):- Rice cultivation and production have been increasing in Amhara region as a result of the efforts being carried out by the government to expand the development of the crop in the country, according to Agriculture Bureau of the Region. The government of Ethiopia has been undertaking various agricultural development activities with a view to ensuring food self-sufficiency, expand export trade and realize import substitution. Rice development program is one of these activities which is being implemented over the past few years as part of the efforts. There is a fast tendency of rice farmland and production increment in Amhara region which demonstrates the fact that the country has the potential to substitute rice import by strengthening domestic productions and even start export. Rice Crop Development Coordinator at Bureau, Eniye Assefa told ENA that some 5.4 million quintals of rice crop is expected to be harvested this season from Amhara region alone. The production is expected from the 83, 650 hectares of cultivated land in 17 rice growing districts, she added. Compared to the same period last year, land covered by rice showed an increment of 22,000 hectares and more than two million quintals in terms of production, the coordinator stated. This indicates that the land cultivated and the yield obtained is showing a tendency of increment. Moreover, she elaborated that Fogera National Rice Research and Training Center and other organizations have helped the farmers to ensure their food security and increase economic benefits with the improved varieties. About 61,497 hectares of land was cultivated with rice and collected more than 3.2 million quintals last year in the region. According to the National Rice Development Strategy there is a high tendency of rice farmland increment in Ethiopia particularly in Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz and Oromia Regions.    
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Technology
Microsoft Choses Ethiopia as One of Africa New Digital Development Programe
Sep 21, 2023 4263
Addis Ababa, September 21/2023(ENA):- Minister of Innovation and Technoogy, Belete Mola held productive discussion with Microsoft senior leadership about technology collaboration, and philanthropy intersect for the mutual benefit between Ethiopia and Microsoft. The Minister, who is attending the 78th UNGA in New York, briefed the senior leadership of Microsoft about Ethiopia's current state in terms of technological advancement, digital transformation, and areas of growth. He also highlighted Ethiopia's potential as a Business Process Outsourcing (PBO) destination given its large, young, affordable, and trainable workforce, along with the country's strategic location and time zone advantages. The minister has discussed the initiatives and steps taken by Ethiopia to create a conducive environment for BPO, such as infrastructure development, training programs, and policy frameworks; explore opportunities for Microsoft to consider Ethiopia as a potential BPO hub for its operations. Belete also explained Ethiopia's vision for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its potential to drive growth, innovation, and efficiency across various sectors. The Microsoft leadership reiterated how these can serve as foundations for deeper collaborations with Microsoft; explore opportunities for Microsoft to assist in building AI capacities in Ethiopia, whether through educational programs, research partnerships, or investments in AI startups. He also elaborated Ethiopia’s desire for expanding its digital infrastructure; explore potential partnerships where Microsoft could play a role, such as in providing cloud services, data centers, or other technologies. He further highlighted Ethiopia's emerging startup ecosystem and the potential for innovation; and discussed ways Microsoft could support Ethiopian startups, be it through funding, mentoring, or providing tools and resources. The Minister talked about Digital Governance and Cybersecurity where he explained the need for secure digital platforms for governance and public services. Microsoft has pinpointed how digital solutions could revolutionize sectors like healthcare and agriculture in Ethiopia; discuss potential partnerships, pilot projects, or initiatives where Microsoft's technology can make a meaningful difference. During the meeting bothering sides reiterated on the importance of the partnership, and Belete has expressed gratitude for Microsoft's interest; mutually agreed to take concrete steps in assigning a working team on both sides that will work on an action plan towards steps ahead. The Microsoft leadership has appreciated Ethiopia's keen interest to partner with Microsoft. The minister finally has thanked Microsoft to include Ethiopia to be one of the top 3 African countries for their new Digital Development Program; and appreciated the team the fact that they are planning to visit Addis Ababa on the last week of October for the furtherance of the partnership.  
Finance Ministry, Commercial Bank of Ethiopia Launch Gov't Procurement Card 
Aug 31, 2023 2582
Addis Ababa, August 31/2023 (ENA) The Ministry of Finance and Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) launched the Government Procurement Card today. The bank and the ministry organized a workshop on government electronic payment performance with representatives drawn from the financial sector and different institutions in the country. During the workshop, CBE President Abe Sano and Finance State Minister Eyob Tekalign officially launched the Government Procurement Card. The Government Procurement Card will enable government budget offices to make digital payments and use government expenditure properly, it was indicated. Implementing government procurement card will play big role in the economy and contribute to the facilitation of Ethiopia’s economic digitization drive. State Minister of Finance, Eyob Tekalgn said works will be underway in collaboration with stakeholders in order to make the procurement card project effective. He said enormous efforts have been carried out to realize the strategy of Digital Ethiopia, noting that the realization of digital transformation is one of the pillars of the country’s home grown economic reform. The use of electronic payment in government procurements is one of the key tasks in this regard, the state minister added. He pointed out that cooperation with the bank will bring a great deal of changes as government procurement plays crucial role in the Ethiopian economy stressing the importance of implementing digital payment system in easing the vulnerability of financial sector. CBE President Abe Sano said for his part the electronic payment system being implemented in the country has been showing encouraging outcomes within a short period of its operation indicating that more than 3.3 trillion Birr was transacted through the system during the concluded Ethiopian budget year alone. More than 170 institutions use CBE electronic transaction, it was learned. .                                            
ICT Not Luxury for Today's Ethiopia: Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Associations President 
Aug 9, 2023 5083
Addis Ababa August 9/2023(ENA):- Information and communication technology is not a luxury for today’s Ethiopia but a means to transform the agrarian economy to digital economy, Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Associations President said. A two-day India-Africa ICT Expo 2023, which brought together 30 ICT companies from India and over 10 from Ethiopia opened today in Addis Ababa.   Addressing the expo, Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Associations (ACCSA) President, Mesenbet Shenkute, said ICT has great potential to accelerate human progress and to develop knowledge societies. ICT is also vital in promoting technology transfer and capacity building, strengthening multi-stakeholders partnership, and enabling data monitoring and accountability, among others, she added. For Mesenbet, information and communication technology is not a luxury for today’s Ethiopia, but a means to transform the agrarian economy to digital economy. Innovation and Technology State Minister Huria Ali stated that the expo is crucial to share experiences of other countries in various areas, including education, health, tourism and other infrastructures, as India has internationally known ecosystem. According to her, the expo will also help to enhance capacity building, strengthen existing relations and work together between India and Ethiopia and other African countries. India's Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC) Director-General Arun Gupta said TEPC mainly targets promotion and development of export of telecom equipment and services. Telecom installation services, operation and maintenance services for telecom hardware as well as software, telecom network management services, and telecom consultancy services are among its services.   Citing that ICT sector has been the major driver for the economic growth of the world, Gupta said , noting that India has now all the ingredients of a globally competitive telecom industry. The Government of India, along with Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC) and the Indian Embassy in Addis Ababa, organized the expo. The India-Africa Expo is expected to build and solidify partnership between India, Ethiopia, and other African countries in ICT and related sectors, according to the organizers of the expo.  
Sport
Environment
Ethiopia Committed To Full Implementation of SDGs, DPM & FM Demeke Says
Sep 21, 2023 1060
Addis Ababa, September 21/2023(ENA) Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen said Ethiopia is committed to the full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Demeke paid a courtesy call to the President of the 78th UN General Assembly, Dennis Francis, in New York and exchanged views at length on the current global agenda of the General Assembly. On the occasion, Demeke noted that the implementation of the SDG agenda deserves continuous attention and a series of considerations. Ethiopia remains committed to implementing the global agenda as it complements the ten-year national development plan, Demeke added. Moreover, he told the President of the General Assembly that Ethiopia has undertaken various projects , such as the Green Legacy, successfully. Francis also expressed his satisfaction over the extraordinary measures Ethiopia is undertaking to achieve the targets of the SDGs. He elaborated that UNGA will press for more funding to support the global south, including Africa, to succeed in achieving the SDGs. Similarly, Deneke met with the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Gerd Muller at the sidelines of UN 78th General Assembly. Muller said that UNIDO is committed to support various development projects in Ethiopia. Ethiopia's peace, stability, and development are the priorities of UNIDO he said, adding that in October 2023, UNIDO will convene an international conference in Addis Ababa. Demeke thanked Muller for his personal initiatives and expressed the desire of Ethiopia to have strong working relations with UNIDO. The meeting took place on the margins of UNGA 78 in New York. Demeke also met with other senior government officials from Europe and the Middle East, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  
PM Abiy Pledges to Bequeath Prosperous Ethiopia to Future Generation
Sep 18, 2023 1228
Addis Ababa, September 18/2023(ENA):- Through the united efforts of the Ethiopian people, we will bequeath strong and prosperous Ethiopia to future generation, Prime Minister Abiy said during a completion program of the second phase of the first year’s Green Legacy Initiative. The closing program of this year’s second phase of the Green Legacy initiative was held in the Jogo basin area, Lomi Woreda of East Shoa Zone, Oromia region in the presence of Prime Minister Abiy, all chief administrators of regional states and agriculture bureau heads. Speaking at the occasion, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed stated that numerous forums on the impacts of climate change have been held at the global level. As regards mitigating the impacts of climate change and taking concrete actions, progress has not been made, he said, adding, however, Ethiopia’s Green Legacy Initiative has been exemplary in mitigating climate change impacts and taking concrete actions. The premier also disclosed that 7.5 billion tree seedlings have so far been planted this year in the second phase of the Green Legacy Initiative. Combined with the two phases of the Green Legacy initiative, Ethiopia is set to plant 50 billion saplings in four years, Abiy elaborated. For instance, Abiy mentioned that the Jogo basin area was barren areas four years ago, but now the area is covered with green plants. The prime minister further mentioned that the local communities have contributed a lot for this success and they are now engaged in beekeeping activities following the green development in the area. He also explained that the massive green development activities that Ethiopia has embarked on are helping the nation to prevent soil erosion, increase rainfall and maintaining ecosystems. Moreover, Abiy said green development is becoming a big economic source in Ethiopia. He further stressed the need for prioritizing fruit, coffee, tea and other market-oriented green development activities. PM Abiy also expressed the appreciation of his government to the people of Ethiopia for their immense contributions and achievements in the Green Legacy initiatives during the past years. Mentioning the successes that are being recorded in Green Legacy initiative, the construction of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), wheat farming and in Lemat Trufat, Abiy urged the public to replicate the successes in all sectors. He also stated that effective activities are being carried out with the cooperation of the government and the people, ensuring the inevitability of Ethiopia's journey to prosperity journey. The prime minister also underscored that there will be no earthly power that can stop Ethiopia's journey of the ongoing far-reaching reform to ensure its prosperity. “We will bequeath a strong and prosperous Ethiopia to the next generation with the united efforts of its people.” It is to be recalled that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched the second phase of the Green Legacy Initiative in June 2023 in the Afar region under the theme: “Let’s plant the future today.” Combined with the 25 billion seedlings planted in the last four years, Ethiopia will become the first country to create forests by planting 50 billion saplings by the end of the second phase of the green initiative, it was indicated. According to the plan, 60 percent of the saplings will be used for agroforestry, 35 percent for forest cover and 5 percent for urban ornaments.  
PM Abiy Says Strong, Resilient Hands of Ethiopians Continue to Make History 
Sep 18, 2023 1291
Addis Ababa, September 18/2023(ENA):- At the completion of this year’s season the second phase of the Green Legacy initiative, we achieved more than our intended target, i.e. 7.5 billion saplings have been planted nationwide, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed twitted. The completion program of the second phase of the Green Legacy Initiative was held in the presence of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and chief administrators of all regional states as well as head of agricultural bureaus at Lume district of East Showa Zone, Oromia region. The premier added the government honors the hard work and perseverance shown by our people. It is to be recalled that Prime Minister Abiy launched the second phase of the Green Legacy Initiative in the first week of June this year in Afar region under the theme "Let’s Plant Our Future Today". In his remark, Abiy emphasized that the successes being registered in Green Legacy initiative and other sectors demonstrate the inevitability of Ethiopia's journey to prosperity. He stated that 7.5 billion saplings have been planted in the first year's Green Legacy Initiative, and some 32.5 billion saplings have been planted since the start of the initiative. He also pointed out that the nation has set a target of reaching 50 billion saplings in the first and second phase of the Green Legacy initiative. Abiy underscored that there will be no earthly force in the future that can stop Ethiopia's progress and prosperity. The nation will have attained a target of planting 25 billion saplings by the end of the second phase of Green Legacy which runs for four years. According to the plan, 60 percent of the saplings will be used for agroforestry, 35 percent for forest cover and 5 percent for urban ornaments, it was learned.  
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Ethiopian Diaspora Demand Egypt to Change Counterproductive Posture on GERD
Apr 4, 2023 26517
Addis Ababa April 4/2023 (ENA) Ethiopians in the Diaspora have called on Egypt to change its counterproductive posture and find mutually beneficial agreements on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). In a statement the diaspora issued yesterday, they noted that Ethiopia is the main source of the Nile by contributing 86 percent of the water to the Nile basin states while utilizing less than 1 percent of the potential for hydroelectric power. Ethiopians are currently building the GERD on the Blue Nile that is financed entirely by Ethiopians and is a crucial project for the country's development as it will provide clean, renewable energy and lift millions out of poverty. About 65 percent of the 122 million of Ethiopia's population have no access to any form of electricity. The much-needed electricity will facilitate economic growth for Ethiopia and the region, the statement elaborated. The dam will promote regional cooperation and integration while offering opportunity for eleven countries of the Nile Basin to work together to manage the river's resources more efficiently and effectively, it added. The GERD is being built with the highest environmental and technical standards to achieve the objectives of the national electrification program and the execution of Ethiopia’s Climate-Resilient Green Economy Strategy. According to the statement, Ethiopia has provided scientific evidence and expert testimonies that GERD will not significantly affect the flow of water downstream, and provided compelling arguments for the need for equitable use of the Nile's resources by all countries in the region. The diaspora further said they understand that the GERD has raised concerns in Egypt about the downstream effects on the Nile's flow and water availability since Egyptians have been misinformed about the GERD for many years. But on the contrary, the dam will provide several benefits to Egypt and Sudan, including increased water flow during dry seasons and decreased flooding events. “We want to assure Egyptians that Ethiopians are committed to fair and equitable use of the Nile's waters without harming our downstream neighbors. We recognize that the Nile River is a shared resource, and we support finding a mutually beneficial solution.” As Ethiopians in the Diaspora, we reiterate our support for fair and equitable use of the Nile River and call on the Egyptian people and Egyptian Diaspora to question the misinformation about the GERD in Egypt's mainstream media and embrace the spirit of friendship and cooperation by understanding that the GERD is a project of great national importance to Ethiopians that will benefit Egyptians by ensuring a reliable and predictable supply of water, that Ethiopians have the right to use their water resources for the development of its people and economy, in accordance with the principles of equitable and reasonable utilization without causing significant harm. Efforts to destabilize Ethiopia by the regime in Egypt, will indeed affect the historical and diplomatic relations dating back to several thousand years, the long-term interest of the Egyptian people and make Ethiopians less trusting in cooperating on the GERD and future hydropower projects on the Nile, they warned. The diaspora groups urged Egyptian leaders to engage in constructive dialogue with the leaders of Ethiopia regarding the GERD and steer away from their counterproductive posture of calling for a “binding agreement” on the GERD filling and the subsequent operations as an imposing instrument on water sharing that Ethiopians will never accept. The GERD can be a source of cooperation and collaboration between our two countries rather than a source of conflict, they underscored. "Ethiopians believe that, through dialogue and understanding, peaceful and equitable agreements that benefit all parties involved can be realized to build a brighter future for all people in the Nile basin. Belligerent positions by Egyptian leaders stating ‘all options are open’ are contrary to the spirit of the 2015 Declaration of Principles signed by Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt." According to the statement, such postures will surely harm Egypt's long-term interest and impede trustful cooperation with the Ethiopian people and government. They asked Arab League and its member states to refrain from interfering in the issue of the GERD, which is the sole concern of the three riparian countries (Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt) and their shared regional organization (the African Union), which is mediating the talks to find ‘African Solutions to African Problems.’ The issues remaining on the table at the trilateral negotiations under the auspices of the African Union are being narrowed to a handful of critical matters on equity and justice, on which the Arab league nations have no business or legal right to be involved.
Africa’s Sustainable Growth Hinges on Science, Technology and Innovation: Experts
Mar 3, 2023 21527
Addis Ababa March 3/2023/ENA/ Achieving the ambitious targets of the 2030 and 2063 Agendas of Africa requires leveraging the power of science, technology, and innovation (STI), according to experts. A press release issued by the ECA stated experts at the Ninth African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development have emphasized the crucial role of STI as a key driver and enabler for ensuring economic growth, improving well-being, mitigating the effects of climate change, and safeguarding the environment. They also underscored the need to strengthen national and regional STI ecosystems by fostering innovation, promoting entrepreneurship, and investing in research and development. By doing so, the experts said that Africa can harness the potential of STI to accelerate its socio-economic progress and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and the African Union's Agenda by 2063. The session, held on 2 March 2023, builds on the recommendations of the Fifth African Science, Technology, and Innovation Forum, which accentuates the central role of STI and digitalization during the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for the necessary infrastructures for the development of STI, plans, and policies that are action-oriented towards strengthening its full implantation. The experts highlighted that despite advances in STI, significant gaps remain in bridging the scientific and technological divide between developed countries and Africa. The highly uneven global distribution of scientific capacity and access to knowledge threatens to derail the goal of leaving no one behind, which is the central and transformative promise of Agenda 2030. “We need a clear political will from governments to ensure science, technology, and innovation is a reality. By doing so our education systems will be capacitated to deliver knowledge that is vital to solving Africa’s sustainability challenges,” Niger Higher Education and Research Minister Mamoudou Djibo said. The strategy includes the establishment of universities as centers for excellence and investments in education, technical competencies, and training in the fields of science, technology, research, and innovation. These initiatives are crucial in accelerating progress towards achieving global goals. However, in order to fully leverage the potential of STI, significant investments in research and development are required. National systems also need to be strengthened, Namibia Information and Communication Technologies Deputy Minister Emma Theophilus, stated adding that “strengthening our national systems for STI is a key game changer for rapid structural transformation in Africa. Leveraging the digital transformation can achieve a stronger, smarter, and more inclusive recovery.” Emerging evidence suggests that an STI and digital Africa can be a springboard to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs and fulfill the aspirations of Agenda 2063.
Feature Article
The Commemoration of Meskel
Sep 26, 2023 422
BY SOLOMON DIBABA The Ethiopian New Year comes up with various religious and cultural celebrations which are marked indoors among families and outdoors with the entire public in mammoth paraphernalia. Meskel, the holiday celebrated in commemoration of the unearthing of the True Cross is celebrated with the building of Demera bonfire. This year Meskel is celebrated in Ethiopia even when two more tangible Ethiopian heritages, the Bale Mountain National Park and Gedeo Natural landscape have been inscribed as world tangible heritages. Ethiopia has registered 15 tangible and intangible world heritages becoming the top country in Africa in registering the heritages. Meskel, meaning the cross in Amharic is an annual religious national holiday among the faithful of Ethiopian Orthodox Church. It takes place on the 27th of September. In addition to its religious values, Meskel coincides with the end of the main rainy season (June to September) and the onset of Ethiopian spring in which fields and meadows in the country are carpeted with mesmerizing Ethiopian daisies, locally known as Adey Abeba, with their captivating yellow colors which majestically carpet the Ethiopian fields. The daisies prevail September until a few weeks of October and then disappear and reappears same period the following year. The commemoration of Meskel started with Demera, a ceremonial burning of a large bonfire. It is a special event that is conducted on the Eve of Meskel to recall the smoke that led Empress Helena to the site of the True Cross. In the afternoon of September 27, dozens of Sunday school students and members of the clergy and move through Meskel Square chanting spiritual songs that last for hours. Hundreds of thousands of people from diverse communities also flock to the square in Addis Ababa as colorfully dressed priests chant hymns and prayers and perform their unique rhythmic dance in front of the pyre. At the climax, the patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church lights the bonfire. According to the teaching of the church, the True Cross, was thrown in a ditch or well, and then covered with pile of dirt and earth for many years until Empress Helena, mother of Constantine, guided by revelation identified the place where the cross of Jesus had been buried. Accordingly, Empress Helena was told to build a bonfire, light it and discover the cross that had been buried. She ordered the people of Jerusalem to bring wood and make a huge bonfire. After adding frankincense, the bonfire was set ablaze. Then, the smoke raised high up to the sky and then bended to the ground, spotting exactly where the True Cross had been buried. As darkness begins to set in, the Demera is set ablaze, declaring joyful jubilation and ululation. The following day is the official day of the commemoration of the finding of the True Cross, Ethiopians attend liturgy and a feast and celebrate with family and friends. Many take the ash from the Demera and apply it on their foreheads with a shape of a cross. It is also an occasion when many urbanites, for example, the Gurage people pay a visit to their families in rural villages to mark the holiday together. The Demera festival of the Meskel holiday, dates back to 1600 years. It has been registered as world intangible heritage by UNESCO since December 2013, as the first intangible Ethiopian heritage. During the festival, a special species of birds known as ‘YeMeskel Wof -Meskel’s Bird’ also appears. Generally, the word 'YeMeskel Wof' is used to call the four bird species, namely the northern red bishops, indigo-birds, whydah and widow birds, and yet it has more than ten species under it. These birds are also enjoyed by bird watchers during Meskel. These birds are endemic to Ethiopia, and do not migrate from one place to another as other birds do. September is their reproduction season and the color of their feathers gets changed in order to attract opposite sexes. Due to this change, it looks that they are new birds that appear only at this time of the year. Meskel is a major tourist season in Ethiopia. Thousands of tourists from many countries converge in Ethiopia to enjoy the festival. Tourists particularly enjoy Meskel celebration in Addis Ababa. The True Cross is said to have been brought to Ethiopia and is kept at Amba Gishen, which itself has a shape of cross.  
Quality Legal Education for Promotion of Justice in Ethiopia
Sep 24, 2023 683
BY SOLOMON DIBABA The Addis Ababa University School Law commemorated its Alumnae Convention and 60th Anniversary of its founding in the presence of government higher officials from the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme Court and various institutions on the 23rd of September 2023. Established on 23rd September 1963, Addis Ababa University school of Law is the oldest law school in Ethiopia, pioneering in legal education in both undergraduate and graduate levels. The Law School was established with a mission to produce competent, ethical and responsible profession who can actively contribute towards the prevalence of the rule of law, equality, human rights, democracy, social justice, tolerance and development. The basis for the establishment of the Faculty of Law was laid down by the momentous decision to codify the laws of Ethiopia gave rise to the need of trained lawyers who could understand, interpret, and apply them.   Speaking on the convocation of the former Haile Selassie I University in 1961, the late Emperor Haile Selassie said, “We would ask for the immediate founding of a Faculty of law where our own students may be trained to enter the legal profession. Our empire has need, its government and its commerce for well-educated lawyers and particularly for those who have been trained in their own university, in their own codes and customs.”   The author of this article recalls that the completion of the codification of the laws of the country from 1951-1952 and the consequent issuance of the 1954 Revised Constitution backed up the establishment of such a school for training qualified legal experts. The writer notes that for 40 years out of 60 Addis Ababa University Faculty of Law was the only higher institute for training legal professionals in the country.   Over the last several decades the Law School was engaged in its flagship publication, Journal of Ethiopian Law. Nonetheless, the School was also publishing thematic research publications including Ethiopian Constitutional and Public Law, Ethiopian Civil and Commercial Law series and international law research papers on major contemporary local and global policy and legal issues are debated on regular annual conferences.   As part of its legal social services, the School is running 6 legal aid centers to provide general free legal services to local community members. Out of the 6 one center is reportedly dedicated to providing free legal services for refugees and asylum seekers.   Addis Ababa University School of Law Library established in 1964 boasts one of the finest collections of over 30,000 periodicals, reference books, over 10,000 e-books on law journals and dissertations. To date, the School of Law has graduated more than 6000 highly skilled legal professions who are currently serving in various government institutions.   Over the last several years the author recalls that members of the Law School have been participating in the legal reform programs the government undertaken. The professionals and scholars of the Law School are also networking with Justice and Legal Systems Institute. As stated by several speakers on the occasion, the author is of the opinion that the administrative autonomy granted to the Addis Ababa University could be exploited by the School of Law to further promote the prevalence of quality and practical legal education in the university.   The celebration of the 60th anniversary of the School of Law is of significant importance at a time when Addis Ababa University granted its autonomy very recently. The autonomy status is also crucial in accelerating the growth and development of the school in its aspiration to become a preeminent center of excellence for legal education and scholarship in the changing global, regional and national order, he noted.   The Addis Ababa University Law School can also serve as a unique center for the improvement of legal education in other public universities across the country by establishing projects that are geared towards building the capacity of the legal schools in these universities.   The Law School can assist in developing some kind of public legal education program in cooperation with CSOs and professional associations in the country. This is important because a huge gap is being observed in public adherence to the rule of law, conception of their constitutional rights and obligations as citizens.   The Law School provides lectures and seminars in English and new students are on several occasions challenged by their inability to comprehend legal concepts in their proper context. The author holds the opinion that legalistic English needs to be taught as a full course particularly for under graduate students who may also need extensive tutorial classes. This could be supplemented with practical knowledge with orientations on the practical legal technical application of the laws of the country at the various levels of courts of law.   The author would also like to stress on the growing significance of conducting researches on important legal issues pertaining to the protection of the environment, natural resources of the country, cyber-attacks, computer crimes and other crimes related to the modernization of the socio-economic development of the country.    
Ethiopian News Agency
2023