Africa Moves To Protect Its Interests In Global Tax Rules, Stem Illicit Financial Flows
Jun 3, 2023 347
Addis Ababa June 3/2023(ENA) Africa moves to protect its interests in the global tax rules to increase revenues and stem illicit financial flows, according to African Union(AU). The African Union has issued a press release after concluding a three-day meeting of the Specialized Technical Committee on Finance, Monetary Affairs, Economic Planning and Integration- Sub-Committee on Tax and Illicit Financial Flows. The meeting under the theme “Tax in Africa: contemporary issues affecting the continent” and adopted recommendations that ensure African interests are protected in the design and implementation of the global tax rules, and ways to improve domestic resource mobilization for Africa’s development. The meeting discussed parameters of the African position on the promotion of inclusive and effective tax cooperation at the United Nations and on the consideration of the enactment of a Domestic Minimum Top-up tax for tax base protection ahead of the incoming global tax rules, it said. It also adopted recommendations to use the VAT toolkit by African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) for improved revenue collection on cross-border supplies; and identified areas where future legislative action or coordination would benefit Member States, The African Union and relevant partners, in regard to addressing the issue of wasteful tax incentives, stemming of illicit financial flows respectively, and improving continental domestic resource mobilization necessary for the development of the continent, it was stated. The digital economy has experienced unprecedented growth over the past few decades, transforming the global economic landscape and reshaping the way businesses and individuals interact. This phenomenon has been driven by rapid advancements in technology, widespread internet access, and the increasing penetration of smartphones and other digital devices. However, this increased consumption of digital goods and services, delivered across borders and intangible in nature, has brought with it challenges on the difficulty in establishing the appropriate jurisdiction for tax collection, as well as determining the value for taxation purposes.These developments have had a negative impact on Africa’s ability to mobilize revenues. Africa is therefore looking to actively engage in the global tax debate at the United Nations on international tax cooperation, and the opportunities it presents for increased domestic resource mobilization. Further, the new global tax rules will have an impact on existing national tax incentive policies and present an opportunity for African countries to protect themselves from ceding their taxing rights to countries where multinationals are resident on existing tax incentives lower than the 15 percent global minimum tax, according to the new rules. This requires African countries to enact domestic minimum top-up tax legislation to tap into this revenue. Similarly, revenue collection from e-commerce goods and services requires the implementation of simplified VAT regimes. African Union Commissioner for Economic development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals, Albert Muchang stated that to effectively operationalize the UN Convention on International Tax Cooperation, the process must be inclusive in incorporating the views of existing African structures and leverage the work of the UN Committee of Experts on International Tax Cooperation. He further said the member state-led intergovernmental body ought to have a well-resourced technical structure to focus on specific pain points in developing countries not addressed by previous initiatives to address gaps in tax cooperation. “At the continent level, the core issue is how Africa can develop tax administrations to increase investments from the current level of 20 percent of GDP to 40 percent. By incorporating the views of existing African structures, the operationalization process of the Convention will ensure accountability and full ownership by the Member States,” he added. United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Acting Executive Secretary, Antonio Pedro underscored the need for a complete overhaul of the global financial system, the creation of an operational debt relief and restructuring framework, strengthened domestic resource mobilization as well as an inclusive international tax system. “Global financial architecture reforms need to be coupled with an international tax framework that can ensure the taxing rights of African countries in an inclusive and equitable manner. As such, it is critical to formulate an African Position on the UN Tax Convention,” he added.      
Republic of Korea Will Continue To Strengthen Its Development Cooperation With Ethiopia: Ambassador Seokhee
Jun 2, 2023 855
Addis Ababa June 2/2023(ENA): Republic of Korea will continue to strengthen development cooperation with Ethiopia, Ambassador Kang Seokhee told ENA. According to him, Republic of Korea's diplomatic relations with Ethiopia is growing. The cooperation between the countries has in particular been consolidated in various development sectors, he added, stating that efforts are being made to further strengthen the relationship. Ambassador Seokhee reiterated that his country will enhance its support for the implementation of the agreement. Republic of Korea is making preparations to restart its development projects in the northern part of the country, he said. “We will support this peace process. Korea has development projects in the northern part of the country. Because of the conflict these projects have been delayed. We plan to facilitate the delayed development projects soon.” Republic of Korea government had provided 1.5 million USD for humanitarian aid and 10 million USD worth food aid, he stated. Ambassador Seokhee disclosed that activities are underway to provide additional humanitarian support and restart work on various development projects that have been disrupted. “We are considering other contributions to Ethiopia. The first one is to facilitate the ongoing development projects in the northern part of this country, and the other one is providing other assistances to Ethiopia.” Ambassador further revealed that Republic of Korea plans to provide over 8 million USD food and humanitarian aid to Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia.   Ethiopia’s diplomatic relations with South Korea dates back to the 1950s.                        
Plan Minister Calls on Stakeholders to Reinforce Agricultural Successes for Ethiopia’s Prosperity
Jun 2, 2023 440
Addis Ababa June 2/2023(ENA):-Plan and Development Minister Fitsum Asefa stressed the need for bringing everyone’s effort on board to sustain the ongoing effective development activities of the agriculture sector and ensure the growth and prosperity of Ethiopia. Recall Ethiopia has been making extensive investments in the agricultural sector to catalyze the country’s development and prosperity ambition. As part of the nation’s effort in the sector, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed opened Agriculture and Science exhibition at the Science Museum in Addis Ababa on 7th May 2023 under the theme “from the lab to the field.” Thus far, various sections of the society, government officials, students, teachers and others have visited the agriculture and science exhibition at the Science Museum. The exhibition was also visited by high level federal and regional government officials yesterday, including Finance Minister Ahmed Shede, Planning and Development Minister Fitsum Asefa as well as chief and deputy chief administrator of Sidma and Southwest Ethiopia People regions respectively.   Parallel to the Agriculture and Science exhibition, the officials also opened an exhibition that showcases the achievements of Yelemat Tirufat, (bounty of food in basket), a development campaign, which focuses on food crops and vegetables with high nutritional values in Sidama and the Southwest Ethiopia People’s regions. Yelemat Tirufat exhibition showcased fish, honey; various agricultural products, including fruits and vegetables, spices, and animal products. Minister of Planning and Development, Fitsum Asefa stated that effective activities are being carried out in spheres of Yelemat Tirufat , wheat production and green development programs. She also said that together with the growing mechanization of cluster farming, we are witnessing that Ethiopia is on the right track for food self-sufficiency. Ethiopia has been substituting imports of wheat and the commencement of supplying wheat to the international market is a clear indication of its effectiveness, Fitsum pointed out. Therefore, everyone should be on board to ensure the growth and prosperity of Ethiopia by sustaining the effective development activities being witnessed in the agricultural sector.   Engineer Negash Wagesho, Deputy Chief Administrator of Southwest Ethiopia People's region said on his part that the agricultural exhibition is a good demonstration that the agricultural sector can be successful if it is supported by knowledge and technology. Mentioning the vast agricultural resources in the region, especially coffee, sesame, spices, honey and animal products, he stated that if they are properly developed, they will contribute to the nation’s development. Chief Administrator of Sidama region, Desta Ledamo said that the development works being carried out in the agricultural sector have given great hope for the development of the country and improvement of the living conditions of the citizens.   As Sidama region has enormous potential resources, he noted that development work will be strengthened towards contributing to national economy beyond the region. More than 50,000 people have visited the agricultural and science exhibition, according to the Minister of Agriculture, Girma Amente.   The minister added that this agricultural fair has achieved great results in strengthening the agricultural sector adding that the interest and motivation of the visitors was more than expected.          
Ethiopia Perfect Partner for Development, Investment in Africa: American Analyst
May 30, 2023 709
Addis Ababa May 30/2023 (ENA) With its enormous comparative advantages, Ethiopia is a perfect partner for development and investment in Africa, the American political-economic analyst Lawrence Freeman said. Freeman, who is known for closely following Ethiopian affairs, told ENA that the two-year long war in the northern part of Ethiopia has come to an end and swept the way for development and investment to the east African nation. More importantly, the relative peace that Ethiopia has been enjoying after the Pretoria accord has created a conducive environment to reinforce efforts on reconstruction, recovery and investment activities, the analyst noted. Everybody is happy that the war is over, Freeman said, adding that there is now going to be a process of reconstruction that could be used as a means to expand the entire Ethiopian economy. The European Union (EU) as well as its member countries and the United States have now been normalizing their bilateral ties with Ethiopia, a country considered a longstanding diplomatic partner of the West. The American analyst further pointed out the need to enhance financial support and maximize investment beyond a geopolitical interest in Ethiopia. The country has untapped potential for luring massive global investment in the areas of agriculture, manufacturing, and energy, among many other areas. Mentioning the agricultural potential of Ethiopia as an example, he noted that most of the arable land is not cultivated. “Most of the land in Ethiopia, what we call arable land that could be cultivated, is not being used. Only a tiny fraction of Ethiopia's arable land is actually under cultivation. There are certain crops that are being grown. That has to expand and that itself can help relieve some of the poverty and hunger questions.” According to him, the country could attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from around the world since its agricultural potential is tremendously undeveloped. He appreciated the recent success story of Ethiopia on wheat production and its export that started this year. In this regard, Freeman believes that Ethiopia can play a crucial role for agricultural investment alone in Africa where the continent spends 45 billion USD for food import annually. This analyst further noted that the country can also attract giant global energy companies and make contribution to the Horn of Africa and beyond. Freeman also noted that Ethiopian Airline, the most advanced airline industry in the African continent, can serve as a manufacturing capability to build and repair engines by attracting investment “We can begin to use some of that capability. We are talking about 10,000 of square feet of space you used in Ethiopian Airlines to maintain those planes. We can begin to use some of that capability and transform it into manufacturing capability of finished products and goods that Ethiopian would consume and would not have to buy from abroad.” Finally, he stated that Ethiopia has built industrial parks that could be considered as comparative advantage to bring more investors.  
European Union Encourages Ethiopia to Exploit Everything But Arms Market Scheme
May 30, 2023 442
Addis Ababa May 30/2023(ENA):- The European Union Delegation Head in Ethiopia, Ambassador Kobia, has urged Ethiopians to exploit Everything But Arms (EBA) market scheme, a highly preferential system for the country. In an exclusive interview with ENA, Ambassador Roland Kobia revealed that there are 7,200 export products on the EBA list that Ethiopia can exploit. The European Union is the second largest trading partner and export destination to Ethiopia. The country exports 20 percent of its goods with the total worth of 130 billion Birr, he added. In order to enhance the trade linkage between the two sides, the EU is looking for ways to further create a favorable market environment for Ethiopia, the head pointed out. According to him, one of the EU trade preferential systems to Ethiopian export goods is Everything But Arm, a tariff reduced trade regime like the American African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). “I am always surprised about how much Ethiopians know about AGOA, but how little they know about the European system, Everything But Arms (EBA),” Ambassador Kobia wondered. He further explained that Ethiopia has basically all the products, and these can be exported to the European Union market without any customs duties and zero percent taxes as well as without any quantitative restrictions. Ambassador Kobia urged the country to exploit this market opportunity to a maximum, even if it is one of the top five countries that benefit from the EBA system. “We are offering to let you know that the EU has 450 million inhabitants and it is one of the richest markets in the world. So we are offering the possibility to ensure export to one of the richest as well as the biggest markets in the world in a highly preferential way.” The head added that the EU is looking forward to an increased partnership and engagement with Ethiopia in many spheres.      
Researcher Stresses Need for Strengthening Manufacturing, Input Suppliers Linkage
May 30, 2023 345
Addis Ababa May 30/2023(ENA):- The linkage between manufacturing and input suppliers should be strengthened in order to achieve sustainable economic growth in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa University Post-Graduate Coordinator and Researcher Mariamawit said. In an exclusive interview with ENA, Mariamawit Fikresellasie said efforts to link industries that use agricultural products, employ large number of people, and produce export products must be strengthened. She stated that local investors should give priority to agri-business manufacturing and pay attention to engagement in comprehensive market linkages. Industrial parks should be developed and private investors supported to enter the sector. In order to achieve this quickly, there is a need to create a linkage between industrial development and agriculture and service development sectors based on a positive and proportionate level of development. If we start with light manufacturing, then there is medium and high level, Mariamawit noted, adding that we can start with agribusiness as our economy focuses on agriculture. According to the researcher, the nation can start with agro-processing and agri-business industry and move on to light manufacturing and then to medium and large processing. But these need linkage. Each sector must be linked not only in the manufacturing sector, but manufacturing should also be linked to agriculture, manufacturing and then the service sector. We have to create what we call backward forward linkages, she stated. Mariamawit explained that it is a viable practice for industries worldwide to produce finished and semi-finished raw materials that add value to each other and create multi-faceted connections to become competitive in the international market. In order to alleviate the shortage of foreign currency needed for industrial development, any developing country should expand its comparative advantage products and services to the international market, according to the researcher. In particular, Mariamawit pointed out that it is necessary to link agriculture-related industries to the mining and tourism sectors. Educational institutions also need to produce manpower required by the industries.
Australia Announces 29 Million USD In Humanitarian Aid For Africa, Middle East
May 30, 2023 1069
Addis Ababa May 30/2023(ENA):-The Australian Government announced it will provide an additional 29 million USD to humanitarian partners to respond to the growing food security crisis and to assist vulnerable people in the Middle East and Africa. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of people at risk of acute food insecurity, increasing to 350 million people globally. Australia is deeply concerned for those impacted by conflict, those experiencing extreme hunger and the consequences of crises on global stability and security. According to Australia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Humanitarian Emergency includes 15 million US dollar to address increased humanitarian, displacement and protection needs of people in drought-affected areas in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. Four million US dollar will be provided in food and nutrition support to the most vulnerable in Yemen and 10 million US dollar for food and monetary assistance to refugees and vulnerable populations in Lebanon and Jordan, it was indicated. This package builds on humanitarian support already delivered, including 25 million US dollar in emergency assistance announced in February to respond to growing global food insecurity and humanitarian crises affecting Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan, the ministry added. Australia’s ongoing response is part of broader efforts to address the underlying causes of crises and food insecurity globally, which includes long-term financial and technical support to build resilient communities and food systems. Australia has also committed 6 million US dollar to support those affected by the conflict in Sudan.
African E-Trade Group Says Working To Enhance Digital Intra, Inter Trade in Africa
May 29, 2023 657
Addis Ababa May 29/2023(ENA):- The African E-Trade Group ((Ae Trade) is working to enhance intra-and inter-trade in Africa. The African E-Trade Group (AeTrade) is a multi-stakeholder group of African professionals and business people with a vision to develop and implement e-empowerment program that will enhance intra-and inter-African trade. AeTrade Group organized a sensitization forum on Africa job creation today at the UNECA, under the theme ‘Accelerating Job Creation, Digital and Financial Inclusion in the implementation of the AfCFTA’. Speaking on the occasion, AeTrade CEO, Mulualem Syoum, said the group brings together the public and private sector partners to develop projects that leverage the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for the benefit of Africa’s present and future entrepreneurs. Following the AU decision to accelerate digital and financial inclusions and work together with all stakeholders, the Africa diaspora initiative is helping to create one Africa market, he said. He also said that digitalization is one of the fast tracking for growth as well us to boost intra African trade as well us to be part of the global trade. Therefore, in partnership with the AU, AeT launched a digital market place, in 2020 , he said. According to him, the website is designed to enable African producers throughout the continent to display and sell their produce online and boost intra African trade. In less than seven years from now, some 95 percent of the global trade will be undertaken digitally, he said. Therefore, the group will provide support to member states, and enable African SMEs to trade in digital platforms, he pointed out. Trade is going to be knowledge based in the near future, he said, adding its platform will create enabling environment for SMEs where they can be able to know about the place of the surplus, and the shortage. Creating affordable finance is also the goal of the group, he said, adding that doing all with partners and affiliates, within the next 15 years, our target is to create between 80 to 225 million jobs. Speaking on his part, State Minister of Labor and Skills, Nigussu Tilahun, said the government of Ethiopia supports job creative initiative. According to him, Ethiopia is making effort to create jobs for the young people. ‘We develop a national plan of action for job creations and commit ourselves to its implementation ‘ he said. As part of our effort, we undertook two national job summits where we provide actors in the labor market the ecosystem and a platform to come together discuss the challenges and provide innovative solution and celebrate successes, he said. Acting Secretary General of the UNECA, Anthony Pedro, said that in 2035, the number of productive human resources in Africa will reach 450 million. Therefore, countries should respond to the rapidly growing number of job seekers by formulating strategies and using job creation options in the continent. He pointed out that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) is one of the great opportunities that governments should work with determination for its realization.    
DPM & FM Demeke Calls on Chinese Companies to Invest in Ethiopia
May 28, 2023 502
Addis Ababa May 28/2023 (ENA) Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Demeke Mekonnen has called on Chinese companies to invest in Ethiopia. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Demeke Mekonnen is on an official visit to China leading a high level Ethiopian government delegation. In his speech at the investment forum held in Guangzhou, the main investment center of China today, Demeke asked Chinese companies to invest in Ethiopia, seizing up the best investment opportunities in the country. He said Ethiopia and China have a strong relationship and emphasized that it should be strengthened further in the economic sphere. More than 300 investors from the manufacturing, agricultural, mining, energy, pharmaceutical, and other sectors participated in the investment forum. During his stay in Guangzhou, Demeke has also visited companies related to electronics, information technology, and power generation and invited them to engage in Ethiopia, according a statement from Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Guangzhou has a population of 16 million and is the capital of China's business hub, Guangdong Province. In related news, Demeke met and discussed with the Mayor of Guangzhou, Guo Yonghang, where he emphasized the need to create a relationship between Guangzhou and Ethiopian cities in order to strengthen people-to-people ties. Similarly, the mayor called on the Ethiopian manufacturers to make Guangzhou their destination for Ethiopian export products. Ethiopia's ambassador to China, Tefera Derbew, made a statement on the occasion, saying the business forum will further solidify relations between the two countries. According to Zhao Qing, Director General of the Guangdong Province's Department of Commerce, numerous businesses in Guangdong involved in manufacturing, building infrastructure, mining, telecommunications, and other industries desire to enter and operate in Ethiopia.    
Malawi Keen to Share Experience of Ethiopia in Energy Sector, Boost Trade Ties
May 26, 2023 567
Addis Ababa May 26/2023(ENA):-Malawi wants to share the experience of Ethiopia in the energy sector and strengthen trade relations, Charge d'Affaires Diana Jere said. Malawi's Charge d'Affaires at the Embassy in Ethiopia, Diana Nkomba Jere said the two countries really need to strengthen their bilateral relations in many fields so that both can benefit. We need to strengthen trade between Malawi and Ethiopia because Ethiopia is a big and larger economy, she added. In Malawi, “we are struggling with energy issue, and we might get some help and guidance and direction from Ethiopia. We do need to boost our economy through trade and energy.” According to her, the two countries also need to find ways of engaging each other in bilateral issues. For example, the issue of free movement of people and people getting across Malawi without permission to go there. As a government, we need to work together to ensure that these issues are resolved amicably and find ways of making sure that our people are interacting at equal basis, she elaborated. In this regard, the Charge d'Affaires said that the African Continental Free Trade Area is important because if we put a lot of restrictions in a way people move, that would be like a shortcoming to free trade. Therefore, we need people to learn from each other, teach each other and benefit from each other countries skills and knowledge so that the two countries can benefit, she stated. “Africa is blessed in a way that we have different economies. There are some countries who are doing very well and those can teach the other countries. Because if one country is remaining behind, it means the other cannot progress very well. So we need to find a way of balancing the two.” Jere further said that as Africa we are saying that we want Africa to be in this way. “One thing that I want to agree with the 2063 Agenda is that we want an Africa that is working together with less conflict and respect each other.” Official documents show that Ethiopia and Malawi had diplomatic relations as far back as the 1960s and the two countries have been working very closely together in various areas.      
Researchers Stress Need for Synergy Among Stakeholders to Achieve SDGs in Ethiopia
May 26, 2023 545
Addis Ababa May 26/2023(ENA):- Synergy among stakeholders is significantly fundamental in order to help expedite the implementation and achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Ethiopia, researchers underscored. The 3-day national conference on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), was held under the theme "The Road to Sustainable Development Goals in Ethiopia: Drivers, Challenges, and Prospects." Researchers and ministries of various sectors and development partners have participated in the national conference organized by the Addis Ababa University, College of Development Studies. Speaking to ENA, Addis Ababa University, College of Development Studies Dean, Tesfaye Zeleke said the overarching aim of the Conference is to create an environment for academic community, policymakers and development practitioners to communicate existing research findings, share development practices, and foster debate on development issues to guide policies towards achieving SDGs. The Conference focused on thematic areas including population and development, development governance, gender and inclusive development, energy transition and inclusive urban development. Natural resources management and green development, food security and poverty, and infrastructure development were also among the thematic areas, he said. According to him, regarding SDGs, several efforts are underway by the government, academia and different non governmental organization and civil society organizations. However, a full scale implementation and achievement of goals requires even more collaboration among of stakeholders in order to help achieve the implementation of SDGs, he said. The importance of drawing synergy between academia has also been indicated by the researchers, Tesfaye added. Some of the major findings of several research papers presented over the last three days include the need for better resources mobilization for achieving the SDGs in addition to the strong collaboration among all stakeholders, he said. Lack of coordination among different stakeholders involved in the implementation of SDGs and integrating various sectors is among the key findings of the papers presented during the conference.    
Japan Provides 3 Million USD for  Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission
May 26, 2023 596
Addis Ababa May 26/2023 (ENA) The Government of Japan has provided 3 million USD to support the Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission. Japan’s Ambassadors to Ethiopia Ito Takako and UNDP Resident Representative Tuhan Saleh inked the agreement. The grant will be channeled through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), it was learned. Speaking during the signing ceremony of the grant today, Japan’s Ambassador Ito Takako said the assistance will enable the commission to become more efficient, transparent and ultimately credible institution. The finance will go toward enhancing the staffing and technical office capacity of the ENDC and strengthening public awareness of the national dialogue process. According to a press release of the embassy, the project is expected to contribute to the participation of approximately 1.5 million people in the national dialogue across Ethiopia. Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission Chairperson, Professor Mesfin Araya extended gratitude to the people and Government of Japan for the financial support, and extended his optimistic view about the success of the dialogue in the country. “While carrying out extraordinary task on the ground, we count on development partners, the Government of Ethiopia, and friends of Ethiopia to support us throughout the process where we value and acknowledge open heartedly the support and enthusiasm,” the chairperson said. UNDP Resident Representative Tuhan Saleh said the assistance is a showcase of what Ethiopia’s partners and the international community around the world are doing to support the national dialogue. “The Ethiopian national dialogue is a significant and unprecedented initiative with the potential to write a new social contract for Ethiopia through dialogue and debates around critical issues with direct relevance to democratization, lasting peace, and sustainable development of the country,” Saleh added. The Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission was established by the House of People’s Representatives in February 2022 with a three-year mandate to lead an independent, inclusive, and transparent national dialogue across the country.    
Environmental Studies Professor Says Nation Should Focus on Completing GERD and Related Works
May 26, 2023 714
Addis Ababa May 26/2023(ENA):- Ethiopia should focus on completing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and work on related developments, Addis Ababa University Environmental and Development Studies Professor Belay Simane said. Recall that the Arab League issued a resolution regarding GERD, and Ethiopia criticized it saying that it's an affront to African Union member states efforts to amicably resolve the issue. Professor Belay told ENA that Ethiopia should focus on completing the dam and work on related developments rather than reacting to the Egypt-led Arab League decisions because it will not affect GERD's success. "I am sorry to react this way. But for me, whatever is decided or issued by the Arab League is irrelevant and we do not have to give emphasis to it." Instead, the professor stressed that Ethiopia needs "to focus on how to successfully implement and enhance the success of GERD and other related development-oriented works." According to him, the Egyptians are using the Arab League to calm down their internal problems and get support from the West as they are the center of the geopolitical situation in the Middle East. Professor Belay suggested that Ethiopia focus on finishing GERD and work on related development works such as tourism, fishery, transport, and greening of the buffer zone, among others. “What we need to focus on is to really work hard in order to finish it (the dam) as soon as possible, and also to work on other development-oriented works like the tourism sector, like the fishery, like the transport sector, and other related issues like the buffer zone, the greening of the buffer zone, and upstream greening in order to protect from siltation.” The scholar elaborated that Ethiopia has made it clear from the beginning that the outcome of GERD should be used in a very joint and win-win situation for the three countries. “We have also made very clear and transparent offer to work together. What is bad news from that end is the resistance from the Egyptian side. They do not want to lose the hegemony over the Nile River. On the other hand, they want to deny and maintain the colonial treaties, which we cannot really accept.” Professor Belay said the downstream countries are aware of the long-term benefits of GERD, but the Egyptians, in particular, are ignoring that to continue the colonial time water hegemony. “We've done the environmental and social impact assessment of the GERD, and to be honest, with the exception of short time decrease during the filling, they are not going to be impacted by the GERD. Rather, the Sudanese and next to Sudanese the Egyptians are going to benefit from the GERD in the long run. They know it, but what is the focus of their attention is different from the hydrology impact. It's a political game that they're playing,” he elaborated. The scholar advised that the Egyptian side understand the hydrologic impact, the environmental impact as well as the social impact of the GERD and agree on equitable use of trans-boundary rivers and also admit that Ethiopia has the right to use its own resources and also contribute to the upstream development in order to maintain the life of the Blue Nile. “We are protecting it (the river), and they are using it. This does not work forever. So if they're reasonable and they come with their conscience to negotiate, I think the Ethiopian government and even the panel of experts are open to work and to discuss with Egyptian scientists and politicians. So it's up to them. The ball is in their hands.” According to Professor Belay, “many people are really blaming Egyptians. Egyptian scientists are misinforming the world, the region, and particularly the West because the GERD does not significantly impact the livelihood and water availability of downstream. (And), they know it!” The scholar recommended that the three countries work together in a win-win situation to benefit from the river's water resources in a peaceful, environment friendly, and politically harmonious way.    
Private Sector Agenda Given Great Attention at HoA Initiative Ministerial Dialogue
May 25, 2023 594
Addis Ababa May 25/2023(ENA):The Finance Ministerial meeting of the Horn of Africa Initiative (HoAI), held on the sidelines of the African Development Group Annual Meetings, has given great attention to the private sector agenda, according to the Ministry of Finance. The ministerial meeting of the HoAI was held today in Egypt. The meeting was led by Ahmed Shide, Ethiopia's Finance Minister, and Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, the AfDB's Vice President for regional integration, who was the co-chair and host for the meeting. The meeting was convened in the presence of development partners, namely, the African Development Bank, the World Bank, and the European Union, and focused on the role of the private sector in the Horn of Africa. The ministers reflected on the importance of engaging with private sector actors to attract additional investments for regional projects, especially those that promote green and sustainable development, considering the challenges of debt sustainability and the risk of constrained traditional concessional financing. “We should strengthen collaborative actions to create an enabling environment for private sector investments in our region. When carefully managed, I believe it would not only boost our economic growth but also contribute to our peace and security," said Minister Ahmed Shide. In addition, Director of the Multilateral Cooperation Department at the Ministry of Finance and the current Head of the HoA Initiative Secretariat, Abebe Tadesse, gave an update on the preparation of a strategic roadmap to foster economic and social development in the borderlands of the HOA sub-region. He emphasized the urgency of building up on existing regional initiatives by involving national and regional stakeholders across sectors and assessing the challenges and the most promising opportunities in borderlands for scaling up effective interventions with the support of partners. At the meeting, the Ministers of Djibouti and Somalia signed a financing agreement with the African Development Bank to implement a transport corridor project which is key in connecting both countries as well as for regional integration in the Horn of Africa. The project is in its first phase. Ethiopia's Finance Minister Ahmed Shide expressed his gratitude to all the development partners who attended the meeting and asked them to provide more support by increasing their commitments to fund the HoAI's pipelines. The HoAI is a platform for dialogue and cooperation among member countries of finance ministers and three development partners, namely, the African Development Bank, the World Bank, and the European Union.
African Economies Remain Resilient Amid Multiple Shocks: AFDB
May 25, 2023 337
Addis Ababa May 25/2023 (ENA) African economies remain resilient, amid multiple shocks, with average growth projected to stabilize at 4.1 percent in 2023–24, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB) Economic Outlook 2023. The theme of the 2023 African Economic Outlook is Mobilizing Private Sector Financing for Climate and Green Growth in Africa. The Economic Outlook 2023 is being published as African countries are dealing with multiple shocks, including the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, disruptions to global supply chains due to Russia-Ukraine prolonged war and a tightening of global financing conditions, it said. These shocks have reduced the continent’s real GDP growth from 4.8 percent in 2021 to 3.8 percent in 2022. “However, African economies remain resilient, with average growth projected to stabilize at 4.1 percent in 2023–24.” The report further elaborated that the growth outlook is subject to significant downside risks, including, subdued global growth weighing on Africa’s exports, persistence of tight global financial conditions exacerbating debt servicing costs; significant losses and damages due to frequent extreme weather events exacerbating fiscal pressures; prolonged Russia-Ukraine war, which is increasing global uncertainty; and persistent disruptions to global supply chains. The African Economic Outlook 2023 underscores the urgency to fast-track climate action and green transitions to drive the continent’s inclusive and sustainable development. A new research based on African countries’ latest submitted Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) estimates that private sector financing will need to grow annually by 36 percent until 2030 to close the continent's climate finance gap, evaluated on average at 213.4 billion US dollar per year. This will be important to address the continent’s climate financing needs, estimated at as much as 2.8 trillion US dollar over 2020-2030, or 250 billion US dollar annually. Unlocking private climate financing will require addressing both demand- and supply-side barriers while developing innovative financing instruments to tap into the continent’s enormous investment opportunities in climate and green growth, the report pointed out. The report also highlights the important role of Africa’s huge natural capital, valued at 6.2 trillion US dollar in 2018, in bridging the prevailing climate finance gap and promoting green growth transitions. Through sustainable management, Africa's abundant natural capital can be transformed into financial assets to complement financing for climate adaptation and mitigation, as well as into investments that support green growth transitions. This will require the deployment of appropriate policies and instruments, including fiscal instruments, to better understand the true value of Africa’s natural capital and strengthen local content and value addition. It will also build institutional capacity to address gaps in governance that have prevented the continent from realizing the full potential of its natural endowments and create regional value chains and markets to benefit from cross-regional synergies.  
Ethiopian News Agency