13th Ministerial Conference of WTO Kicks off in Abu Dhabi
Feb 26, 2024 374
Addis Ababa, February 26/2024(ENA) The 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) commenced today in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Ethiopia is attending the four-day meeting as an observer member of the organization. At the conference, WTO members will have for the first time dedicated discussions on sustainable development. Moreover, groups of WTO members will present concrete outcomes and next steps for their respective initiatives on plastics pollution, trade and environmental sustainability, and fossil fuel subsidies reform. Minister of Trade and Regional Integration and Chief Negotiator for Ethiopia's WTO accession Chala Gebremeskel, Foreign Affairs State Minister, Ambassador Mesganu Arga, State Minister of Finance, Eyob Tekalign, and Ambassador of Ethiopia to the UAE, Oumer Hussien are among members of the Ethiopian delegation. The conference is expected to deliberate on a range of issues that are affecting the world including multilateral trade system, WTO’s institutional reform, food security, tax and tariff reform activities. Ambassador Athaliah Lesiba, Chairperson of the WTO General Council, delivered a report highlighting progress on implementing commitments from the previous conference, including strengthening trade reviews and advancing negotiations on fisheries subsidies and e-commerce. Accession processes for Comoros and Timor-Leste are nearing completion, paving the way for their WTO entry. Discussions are ongoing regarding the Ministerial Declaration, with a draft document circulated for further consultations. Dedicated sessions are planned to finalize the declaration. According to Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration, Ethiopia is working to complete its accession to World Trade Organization.
High Interest Rate that Africa Pays Blocking its Development, Says US Economist
Feb 24, 2024 635
Addis Ababa February 24/2024 (ENA)The renowned American economist, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, underscored that the higher interest rate which Africa pays than any other part of the world is blocking its effort for development. The likelihood of interest rates staying high in 2024 and beyond presents unique challenges for many African economies, it was indicated. African countries’ public debt levels have risen significantly in recent years due to the rapidly increase public spending of respective governments to mitigate the effects of multiple global shocks such as Covid-19 and inflation, it was indicated. In an exclusive interview with ENA, Professor Sachs revealed that Africa pays much higher interest rates than any other part of the world. According to him, Africa needs capital, infrastructure, education and natural capital in order to build the continent and get great economic returns. However, the global financing system is not working right, the economist said. “It (Africa) should be the fastest growing region of the whole world, but with the interest rates so high, this is what is really blocking a lot of the continent’s development,” Sachs pointed out. Thus, the renowned economist stressed the need for reforming the international financial architecture that would allow Africa for access to low cost and long term finance. He said: “So the basic idea of global financial reform is to make sure that Africa can access low cost and long term finance so that it can really build the infrastructure for all the modernization that is needed.” The African Union currently expressed its commitment to accelerate the establishment of its own financial institutions to address the existing challenges of the current global financial architecture that does not favor Africa’s transformation and development needs. The push for Africa’s financial institutions is expected to improve Africa’s access to capital, impartial debt management mechanisms, and fair credit and risk assessments. In his capacity at the United Nations, the economist added that he is working on the agenda, pushing hard on other international financial institutions for this financial reform. I was very strongly advocating the African Union as the 21st member of the G-20, he said, adding that now we have a G-21 and we have to push very hard for the financial reform. The economist also criticized the rich countries that have not kept their promises, saying that “they talk a lot but they don't really deliver.” “That's why we need Africa at the negotiating table to say you have to deliver. There were so many promises on climate finance. So many promises are getting the debt structure to make sense. Very little was done.” Noting that the real negotiation is paramount, the renowned American economist stated that now this talk has to end and we need to take action.      
CGIAR Supporting Ethiopia's Agriculture, Livestock Dev’t Through Research 
Feb 23, 2024 624
Addis Ababa, February 23/2024(ENA) The Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR) is working in Ethiopia to help the country leverage its livestock and agricultural resources for economic development. CGIAR is a global partnership that unites international organizations engaged in research about food security and its research aims to reduce rural poverty, increase food security, improve human health and nutrition, and sustainable management of natural resources. Researches indicate that Ethiopia has the potential to ensure its food security and make a difference in agriculture by properly exploiting the untapped potential of the sector. The government of Ethiopia, under its Home Grown Economy Agenda, has been implementing a number of programs in this regard with a view to enabling the country properly exploit its potentials to improve the sector as most of the country’s huge arable land has not yet been cultivated. The efforts so far carried out have been showing remarkable achievements in terms of agricultural productivity as witnessed in wheat irrigation endeavors. In an exclusive interview with ENA, CGIAR’s Regional Director, East and Southern Africa, Namukolo Covic told ENA that the center is supporting Ethiopia’s agricultural development in particularly in research. "We have several CGIAR research institutions that response to many government strategies.We work across the entire agriculture fields; in crops like maize, wheat, potatoes, vegetables, we also work on livestock," she added. There are a number of priority areas; the first priority area is on genetic improvement on both crops and livestock through the breeding activities, according to Covic. So, then production practices come on board for livestock, she noted stressing the need to bring on board good quality feed, but we also have to address issue of disease. For crops, it is the same thing, the genetics might give us the potential for higher productivity but if we're not using proper production practices, good land management, soil facility management, then we are not going to be able to attain those potentials. “So, our work focuses on these things, increase productivity and production through genetics improvement and also through production practices that allow us to leverage that genetic potential,” the Regional Director said. She stated that as a result, CGIAR looks at the country's ten-year prospective development plan (2021–2030) to guide the kind of research it conducts and ensure that any solutions it produces are pertinent to the goal of national development. In terms of green legacy initiative, Covic said "I personally find it to be a very useful directive from government." “As climate is changing, one of the ways in which Ethiopia can contribute to addressing climate change for better soil health through the green legacy program. So, by planting more trees we can help to reduce even greenhouse gas emissions, it helps us manage soil better, we can reduce soil erosion that damages the land.” The recent developments in Ethiopia in terms of developing a Food Systems Transformation pathway and roadmap and food based dietary guidelines provide an entry point to really transform Ethiopia's agricultural food system in such a way that it can deliver better for diets and nutrition, Covic said. Through the national research system, ministry of agriculture, Agriculture Transformation Agenct (ATI), the research we have done find fertile ground through which we can reach greater high, she said. CGIAR is a global partnership that unites international organizations engaged in research about food security. CGIAR research aims to reduce rural poverty, increase food security, improve human health and nutrition, and sustainable management of natural resources.  
UNDP Considering Ethiopia to Host Timbuktoo Initiative Hub
Feb 22, 2024 768
Addis Ababa February 22/2024 (ENA) Ethiopia is one of the countries that will be seriously considered to host the Timbuktoo initiative hub, a giant scheme with a determined mission of creating a Pan-African startup ecosystem, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). In an exclusive interview with ENA, UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa Director Ahunna Eziakonwa said that Ethiopia has a tremendous potential in innovation and entrepreneurship that would catalyze startups business. UNDP launched on 17th January 2024 the bold and ambitious Timbuktoo initiative together with African countries at a special session of the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland. The initiative is aimed at mobilizing one billion USD to transform 100 million livelihoods and create 10 million jobs, it was learned. Noting that Timbuktoo is a big initiative to boost the startup ecosystem in Africa, Eziakonwa said that Ethiopia is conducive for the advancement of enterprising and entrepreneurship among its youths. Therefore, “Ethiopia will be one of the countries that will seriously consider hosting the project.” According to her, UNDP is investing in Ethiopian universities to create space for young people to incubate their ideas and be able to actually influence sustainable development. “You have a lot of engineers here graduating out of the universities but not enough jobs for them. So we want to make sure that we create opportunities for these young people who are already skilled to be able to actually become employers themselves to be job creators, not just job seekers.” Eziakonwa added that UNDP here is very robust in Ethiopia, and it has been working with the Government of Ethiopia in many spheres.        
ESL Striving to Make Ethiopia East Africa's Leading Shipping, Logistics Service Provider
Feb 22, 2024 606
Addis Ababa, February 22/2024 (ENA) A real capacity that makes Ethiopia a leading country in shipping and logistics services in East Africa is being created, according to Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Enterprise (ESL). Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Enterprise CEO, Beriso Amelo, told ENA that the enterprise has generated over 27 billion Birr revenue by transporting 400,000 tons of goods during the past six months. According to him, the enterprise has been carrying out a reform that takes into account the nation's economic growth and the growing demand of the people. This has yielded tangible outcomes, he stated, adding that the enterprise exceeded its plan to raise 17 billion Birr revenue by a significant margin and netted 3.2 billion Birr profit. The CEO has acknowledged the government's special attention to the advancement of the enterprise over the past five years. Seizing this opportunity we are working to make Ethiopia own the largest logistics service provider in East Africa, Beriso stated. As a result, effective expansion of Ethiopia's shipping transport and logistics destinations as well as building customer base have been underway. The performance of the Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Enterprise over the past six months shows not only its active involvement in the country's development but also the commitment to contribute to national goals through provision of efficient services. Moreover, Beriso pointed out the wide range of investment opportunities in shipping and logistics for those interested in the sector.      
Organization of Southern Cooperation Calls for Reforming Int’l Financial Architecture to Promote Fairness
Feb 22, 2024 591
Addis Ababa February 21/2024 (ENA) Secretary-General of the Organization of Southern Cooperation (OSC) underlined the need for reforming the international financial architecture to promote fairness. The global financial architecture only protects the needs and interests of creditors, Secretary-General of OSC, Sheikh Manssour Bin Mussallam told ENA. It is imperative to reform this financial architecture in a way that promotes fairness and mutual benefit of both the creditors and debtor countries, the secretary-general underscored. “It is true that international financial architecture remains creditor centric. It is only preoccupied with protecting the interests of creditors, but does not take into account the legitimate concerns of debtor countries like ours,” he stated. Mussallam added the organization of southern cooperation looks forward to working with the African Union (AU) particularly, AU Commission in particular in this regard. “In November of 2023, our ministers of finance decided to create a common leveraging union of models, the club. And the club acts as the first union of sovereign borrowers or debtors so that we can collectively negotiate debt relief but also the reform of the international financial architecture. We cannot, whether in Africa, Latin America or Asia, transform that international financial architecture one by one, we need to come together and try to fight with creditors as well for a win-win scenario.” Speaking on education, which the African Union has named 2024 as the year of education and its theme for its 37th annual summit, the secretary-general indicated that the education system in developing continents, including Africa, is dependent on European culture and history. “I think it's not just Africa. Also in Latin America, and Asia, our education systems remain very Eurocentric. The history of the world, in our schools remains the history of Europe. We also need to reflect our own histories, our own perspectives, our own narratives. And it is not possible that education systems still consider that African history started in the 60s and I think this is where there is a lot of work to do,” he revealed. Accordingly, the education systems should be transformed swiftly in order to reflect the contexts, realities, needs and priorities of the African Union member states, but also that Latin America and Asia. Mussallam also pointed out that Organization of Southern Cooperation is supporting the implementation of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which is one of the Flagship Projects of Agenda 2063 Africa's development framework. Underlining the importance of infrastructural expansion to connect Africa, the secretary-general pledged that his organization will continue to provide the necessary support for the success of this goal. “We share many member states with the African Union, and therefore the continental agenda is one that touches directly our member states where we support them in terms of infrastructure development, because if we want free trade among several countries, we need the infrastructure for that integration.” He further stressed the need for investing in the infrastructure to integrate the African countries, adding that “we are ready to support in any manner in desire for our common member states but also beyond because we believe that south-south, cooperation and African integration mutually reinforce each other” The Organization of Southern Cooperation (OSC) was established on 29 January 2020 by countries and organizations from across the Global South at the International Summit on Balanced and Inclusive Education held in the Republic of Djibouti, it was learned.
AfBC Underscores Crucial Role of Private Sector in Making Continental Free Trade Area Succesful
Feb 21, 2024 485
Addis Ababa February 21/2024 (ENA)The President of the African Business Council (AfBC) has stressed the pivotal role of the private sector for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to succeed. In an exclusive interview with the Ethiopian News Agency, AfBC President Amani Asfour said that the Continental Free Trade Area has a major role in promoting intra-Africa trade. And in order for the AfCFTA to succeed Africa needs to increase intra-regional trade between the countries by building the capabilities of the private sector, financing it and improving policies. According to the president, medium and small sectors need supportive policies and legislation so that they can grow in Africa. She stressed that governments should support the sector by no less than 40 percent and not importing products found in Africa. The private sector should on its part build its capabilities to meet international standards and link institutions with industrial technology in order to enhance competitiveness, Asfour elaborated. The president, who noted the abundance of natural resources in Africa, underlined that countries must support the private sector to strengthen African industry so that African resources can have added value. Asfour pointed out as an example that lithium is found in Africa and there is a demand for batteries at the continental level in Africa because 40 million electric cars are needed by 2030. These cars need batteries and Africa can manufacture the batteries. To achieve this, however, there must be interconnected policies and industries. Countries should give incentives to the private sector to add value to these green minerals, she elaborated. With regard to enhancing the provision of job opportunities, the president said that the private sector must have a role in developing skills, education, and promoting digital technology among young people as this enhances human development on the continent. She pointed out that building the capabilities of young people and arming them with technology is one of the ways to play a role in strengthening the private sector for manufacturing, which enhances investment and human development in Africa. Asfour further stated that African countries must develop the experience of trading local products at the continental level in order to increase their trade, and implement the Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.    
AUC Chair Lays Cornerstone for Construction of State of The Art Laboratory Complex In Bishoftu
Feb 21, 2024 1260
Addis Ababa February 21/2024 (ENA) The African Union Commission (AUC) Chair, Moussa Faki Mahamat has laid a cornerstone for the construction of state-of-the-art laboratory complex in Bishoftu town of Ethiopia at AU’s Pan Veterinary Vaccine Centre (AU-PANVAC). It was indicated during ground-breaking ceremony held today that the laboratory will be constructed for 56 million USD on 3.9 hectares of land within three years. The event is a pivotal moment in AU-PANVAC's journey as it embarks on the construction of a New Laboratory Complex, with the full support of the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (US-DTRA), according to a statement issued by AU. This facility will not only align with international standards on biosafety and biosecurity but will also empower the Center to fulfil its mandate more effectively. African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment, Ambassador Josefa L. Sako, Ethiopia’s Minister of Agriculture, Girma Amenti, Dr. Robert Pope, Cooperative Threat Reduction Director at the US-DTRA and other invited guests have attended the ground-breaking ceremony. Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat said on the occasion described the groundbreaking ceremony as an important milestone that would further strengthens the cooperation between the AU and America. The new laboratory will enable African to employ its own way of preventing and controlling various animal diseases for it serves as a facilitator of technology transfer and center of excellence, Mahamat stated. Agriculture Minister, Girma Amenti for his part said the government of Ethiopia has given a great deal of priority to livestock sector through its national program being implemented under the ‘Bounty of the Basket’ (Ye Lemat Tirufat) initiated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed focusing on the improvements of dairy, poultry, egg, honey, fish and meat production. The Minister also revealed that Ethiopia has been engaged in the production of more than 20 types of vaccines to prevent and control the various animal diseases. The country has already commenced exporting some of these vaccines to African nations, he added pledging to provide the necessary support to the construction of the new laboratory complex. Dr. Pope, Director of Cooperative Threat Reduction Director at DTRA stated that capacity building trainings will be provided with a view to prevent and eradicate animal diseases.   The AU-PANVAC, was established as a Specialized Technical Office (STO) of the AUC based in Ethiopia, following the Headquarters Agreement signed on the 8th July 2003 between the Government of Ethiopia and the African Union, during the AU summit held in Maputo, Mozambique. The Center is at the forefront of the fight against animal diseases as well as zoonotic diseases with its mission to “Promote the use of good quality vaccines and reagents for the control and eradication of animal diseases in Africa”. The center was officially launched in 2004 as African Union Specialized Technical Office, and this year marks the 20th anniversary of its operationalization within African Union Commission.      
Renowned American Economist Forecasts Very Fast Growth for Decades in Ethiopia
Feb 21, 2024 3733
Addis Ababa February 21 /2024 (ENA) The renowned American economist, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, said that Ethiopia will be a very fast growing economy for decades to come. Speaking to ENA, the economist also hailed Ethiopia for its ambition to have a regional integration in trade and commerce as well as infrastructure across the Horn of Africa and beyond. According to him, big development changes are taking place in Ethiopia in various spheres. "I'm a big believer that Ethiopia will be a very fast growing economy for decades to come. And already I can see with my own eyes, the big changes that are taking place in this country. When you move around Addis Ababa, you see a city that's being modernized." Professor Sachs elaborated that he has witnessed new industrial parks, railway, and other infrastructure development in many places of Ethiopia. In particular, he praised the country’s big boosts of agricultural productivity in the Oromia region and other parts of Ethiopia. Ethiopia, with a very bold investment strategy and now membership in the BRICS, will also have great leverage to lure investment and finance, particularly from the Gulf countries, the economist stated. "I want closer connections of the Gulf countries with Ethiopia. There is a lot of finance potential in Saudi Arabia, in the Emirates and so forth. They can help to invest a lot in the infrastructure in this country. So I think that the prospects are good." Moreover, the economist noted that the BRICS is a very important grouping, which has got almost 40 percent of the world output when you combine China, India, Russia, Brazil, and South Africa, Ethiopia and Egypt as well as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Emirates and Iran. The BRICS are making plans for better finance, for a better payment system for using non-dollar settlements. And there's the bank of the BRICS, the New Development Bank in Shanghai, China. “Now that Ethiopia is a member of the BRICS, it should tap into financing from that bank. And this will be more projects, more investment, and more opportunities for growth. So I'm a big supporter of the BRICS process.” Asked about Ethiopia’s ambition for regional integration, Professor Sachs said the Horn of Africa really needs peace, economic cooperation, and investment. "Regional integration is basically crucial. This is a basic lesson of economics. Neighbors should cooperate with each other. Unfortunately, sometimes neighbors don't cooperate with each other." Ethiopia is a big country in this region, but it wants good cooperation with all of the neighbors. And I would say to the neighbors, go for it, build ports, build connectivity, build railway lines, build power lines and fiber lines. This would benefit everybody, the celebrated American economist elaborated.
Ethiopia's Joining BRICS Boosts Ties with Members, Offers Alternative for Pan-African Aspirations   
Feb 21, 2024 603
Addis Ababa February 21 /2024 (ENA) Ethiopia's membership in the BRICS will not only solidify its relationship with the other member states but also offers an alternative for Pan-African aspirations, Xinhua News Agency Addis Ababa Bureau Chief Liu Fangqiang said. According to him, this development is a catalyst for addressing global challenges faced by developing countries and offers insights on achieving the African Union's Agenda 2063. The bureau chief stated that Ethiopia’s membership will definitely strengthen the relationship between Ethiopia and other members, including China, as witnessed by what the Brazilian President Lula da Silva said at the opening session of this year’s AU Summit. The president said that Brazil will engage more with Africa, urging the two sides to contribute more for a fairer world. The bureau chief sees the BRICS alliance as a great example of global south cooperation and key to networking emerging economies and tackling pressing issues together. “The BRICS alliance, a great example of global south cooperation, can play an important role in networking emerging countries and addressing global challenges, particularly those that disproportionately affect the developing countries in the world such as climate change, technology divide, peace and security, among others.” Liu Fangqiang also highlighted China’s commitment to Africa’s development and shared future, citing Chinese President Xi Jinping's initiatives at the China-Africa Leaders Dialogue to support Africa's industrialization, agricultural modernization, and talent development. This expression of commitment aligns with Xi's message to the recently concluded AU summit, expressing his desire to collaborate for a high-level China-Africa community with a shared future. According to Liu, such an expanding alternative bloc like the BRICS is crucial to cooperatively solve challenges of African countries and to contribute to the success of the AU’s aspiration. Commenting on the progress made by Africa towards Agenda 2063, he said “the first decade has passed in the implementation of the continent’s development blueprint Agenda 2063. (And) notable achievements have been made in various fields, including the establishment of a continental free trade zone, increasing infrastructure connectivity that brings member states closer physically, and a growing voice on the international stage through AU’s membership in the G20.” However, the bureau chief emphasizes the need for stronger African peace and security architectures, efficient governance structures, and increased access to quality education. “To realize a continent that is integrated, prosperous and peaceful, there is still a lot of work to be done. The AU has seen a number of unconstitutional changes of governments in Africa recently. There are still conflicts, big or small, in some African countries, which definitely hinder economic development and people’s livelihood. Socio-economic development is impossible when a country is tortured by wars, and its people are trampled by conflicts. Therefore, African peace and security architecture and the African governance architecture need to play a bigger role in countering these challenges.” Liu Fangqiang further urged international financial institutions to offer long-term financing solutions to empower African countries towards achieving their ambitious goals. With Africa's youth population exceeding 60 percent, he also underscored the importance of education and vocational training as cornerstones for sustainable development, security, and talent development. “I am glad to see that education has been selected as the theme of this year for Africa. More schools need to be built and more teachers need to be trained to get these children back to school.” However, he pointed out that more work needs to be done to support these children and youth through vocational and technical training, and help them get necessary skills to make a living. Education serves as the cornerstone for sustainable development anywhere in the world, especially in developing countries. The Chinese journalist echoed Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's message that "Africa's growth should be of global importance," and concluded by urging external players to support Africa's journey towards a brighter future.
Morocco-Ethiopia Relationship Showing Progress in Past Few Years: Ambassador M’hammdi
Feb 20, 2024 418
Addis Ababa, February 20/2024 (ENA) The bilateral cooperation between Ethiopia and Morocco has been showing progress especially in the past few years, Ambassador Nezha Alaoui M’hammdi told ENA. Morocco Ambassador to Ethiopia, Nezha Alaoui M’hammdi said that the agreements signed to strengthen the relationship between the two countries in 2016 were among the engines that strengthened bilateral relations between the two countries. According to her, Morocco Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita has recently held talks with his Ethiopian counterpart Taye Atske Selassie about ways of enhancing bilateral issues on the sidelines of the 37th African Union Summit Ambassador M’hammdi stated that the discussions and agreements have helped to strengthen the partnership between the countries, in addition to expanding the scope of cooperation between institutions in various fields, including sports, culture and industry. The historical relationship between Ethiopia and Morocco has not transformed into trade and investment cooperation to the extent desired, she noted, adding that the countries must work to strengthen cooperation in these spheres. Yet, Ambassador M’hammdi revealed that a fertilizer factory project is being implemented in Dire Dawa in line with the agreement signed between the Moroccan Fertilizer Company and the pertinent Ethiopian party. The ambassador further pointed out that Morocco wants to expand its investments in the field of fertilizer production and increase its activities in various fields, including manufacturing and agriculture. In this regard, the Moroccan embassy in Ethiopia is working to involve Moroccan investors in the field of investment in Ethiopia, she said. Ethiopia and Morocco have a good relationship in the field of education, the ambassador noted, adding that her country provides educational scholarship opportunities for Ethiopian students in various fields in Morocco. Ambassador M’hammdi indicated that the coming period of cooperation between the two countries is bright and there is a mutual desire to transform the relationship into a strategic partnership. The diplomatic relationship between Ethiopia and Morocco began in 1966.  
AU Membership in G20 Important in Fostering Diversified Global Alliances, Cooperation: Former Chair
Feb 20, 2024 421
Addis Ababa, February 20 /2024 (ENA)-Former African Union (AU) Chairperson and Comoros President Assoumani said the inclusion of Africa in G20 is important in fostering diversified global alliances and opportunities for cooperation. In an interview with the Ethiopian News Agency (ENA), the former chair said Africa's membership in the G20 on September 9, 2023 holds great significance in achieving industrialization and collaborating with organizations. Joining the G20 will not only diversify global alliances and open avenues for cooperation but also helps to attract investment for local resource processing and manufacturing, he added. Noting that AU's main priority is to achieve industrialization, President Assoumani stated that the membership will help the continent expedite industrialization, besides its contribution to strengthening Africa’s global alliances. "Africa has a lot of resources, but unfortunately we do not process them in the continent. That is why it is important for us to work with organizations like G-20 so that they can invest in Africa and process and produce goods in Africa." Moreover, he urged the Union and its member countries to strive for Africa's rightful place in international organizations. During his tenure, the former chair acknowledged challenges related to peace and security, climate change, food crises, and the blue economy the continent faced. Expressing concern over the Union's previous unsuccessful endeavors, he emphasized the importance of a stronger AU to drive positive change. According to him, most of the issues planned by the Union in recent years have failed. And “if we continue on this path, we will not be able to bring about better changes than in the past.” The president also added that it is time for the African Union to be stronger than ever in tackling the problems. Despite the shortcomings, he revealed that institutional reform is progressing successfully. Furthermore, President Assoumani noted that the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) remains a flagship project for the AU. While progress in integration and establishing the AFCFTA zone has been slower than anticipated, he stressed the need for strong efforts to accelerate ratification of the AFCFTA Agreement. The president commended achievements in terms of ratifications and tariff offers submitted to the AFCFTA Secretariat. Emphasizing the need for unity among African leaders to address challenges such as peace, security, and development, the former chair called for a stronger AU to effectively tackle these issues and promote Africa's economic independence. President Assoumani, who is succeeded by Mauritania's President Ghazouani as AU Chairperson, finally pointed out the adverse effects of the frequent coups d'etat and conflicts in Africa.
UN Assistant-secretary General Commends Agricultural Event Organized by Ethiopia  
Feb 20, 2024 391
Addis Ababa February 20 /2024 (ENA) United Nation Assistant-secretary General and African Risk Capacity (ARC) Group Director General Ibrahima Cheikh Diong commended the agricultural event organized by Ethiopia on the sideline of the 37th AU Heads of State and Government summit. Ethiopia hosted a a successful high-level event on Food Self-Reliance in Africa, titled "Africa Can Be Food Self-Reliant: Climate-Smart Solutions and Collective Action for Food System Transformation," on the sideline of the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Union's Assembly of Heads of State and Government. On the occasion, the country shared her productive agricultural experience to the Africans, according to the ministry of Agriculture. The country has been also working on green legacy to prevent climate change coordinating with food system to secure food sufficient and modernize agriculture. Minister of Agriculture Girma Amente has discussed with United Nation Assistant-secretary General and African Risk Capacity (ARC) Group Director General Ibrahima Cheikh Diong. During the discussion, Minister of Agriculture Girma Amente stated that the Ministry of Agriculture has done a great contribution to bring Ethiopia into ARC membership and on the next step as well as working with other line ministries and institutions. Girma added that Ministry of Agriculture and affiliate institutions are looking forward to work with ARC to create capacity in terms of creating resilience in our agricultural food system.Ibrahima Cheikh Diong on his part explained that Ethiopia has organized a success full event on Agriculture that embedding African countries. Congratulating Ethiopia for the success of the event, he added that Ethiopia as a member of ARC Group, we look for working with the ministry and rest of the government to contribute in building the resilience of the country. Furthermore, the Director General noted that Ethiopia has tremendous experience in building resilience, as the result, the ARC Group look for the benefiting the experience for the rest of Africa, basing African solution to African problems.
Ethiopian News Agency