Feature Article
Shuwal Eid -A Captivating Event   
Apr 16, 2024 688
Ethiopia is recognized by UNESCO as one of the leading African countries by registering different tangible and intangible heritages. In addition to the more than dozens of tangible heritages, the country occupies the most conspicuous place for registering various intangible world heritages at UNESCO including Meskel, Finding of the true Cross, Fichee Chambalala, the New Year celebration of the Sidama people, the Gada System, Oromo indigenous democratic socio-political system, Timket or Ethiopian Epiphany, and the Shuwal Eid Festival. These world intangible cultural heritages represent the rich diversity and cultural identity of Ethiopia and its various ethnic groups. They play a significant role in preserving traditional knowledge, promoting social cohesion, and fostering intergenerational transmission of cultural practices and values besides their economic benefits as tourist attractions. Shuwal Eid is one of these precious gifts that Ethiopia contributed the world. Shuwal Eid Shuwal is the tenth month in the Islamic (Hijri) calendar. It comes after the holy month of Ramadan, which Muslims worldwide are required to observe by fasting and other religious activities. The faithful will continue their six-day fast in the month of Shuwal following the celebration of Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. The voluntary fasting of Shuwal provides the faithful to have a chance to reap significant rewards to compensate the wrongdoings they might have committed during the holy month of Ramadan. Though Muslims across Ethiopia also fasts during Shuwal, the people of Harari, one of the regional States in Ethiopia, celebrate the end of the six day fasting on the 8th day of Shuwal with unique cultural festivities in a mammoth cultural and religious extravaganza. The celebration is observed in Harar for three days. Shewal Zikr, or the recollection and glorification of GOD (Allah), is held for three nights in different locations to start the celebrations. On the last day, there is a 24-hour ongoing celebrity event that draws large crowds of individuals dressed in vibrant costumes. Hararis congregate in the city from all directions and neighborhoods, usually taking part as spectators. Shuwal Eid, which has been inscribed by UNESCO in 2023, brings together people from all age groups and genders in the society. The streets of Harar will be crowded with people celebrating Shuwal Eid, including girls and boys who are exquisitely dressed in vibrant traditional clothing that captivates onlookers. The festival includes prayers and spiritual music, as well as scripture readings, dancing, music, and blessings of the almighty Allah. More than any other holiday, Shuwal Eid is adored by the teenagers of Harari as the platform is assumed conducive venue where youngsters throw eyes to each other, for marriage. The event also provides an opportunity for elders to bless the future generation and share their wisdom, while also teaching young people about cultural values, norms, customs and traditions. Shuwal Eid is transmitted within families and by participating in the celebration, as well as through formal educational and safeguarding measures in the sites where the festival takes place. It is a platform for the transmission of performing arts, oral traditions, traditional dress and other cultural elements. Shuwal Eid promotes social cohesion and a sense of identity. It also contributes to cultural exchange and supports the local community and artisans. Shuwal Eid was inscribed at UNESCO in November 2023 as a world intangible world heritage. This year, the Festival is being colorfully celebrated with multiple shows at Harar City this year for the first time after being inscribed at UNESCO last year. In addition to being a unique platform for marketing Ethiopia's tourism sector, the festival provides global sociologists and anthropologists with a study subject. The Ministry of Tourism could exploit this excellent opportunity for tourism development and image building for the country while media outlets are expected to document the entire process of the festival and prepare it to be used for tourist consumption. Harar is one of Ethiopia’s attractions as it is a museum of world heritages. The old city of Harar is a custodian of various cultural heritages which are being visited by tourists here and across the world. Squeezed into a mere 1 square kilometer, Harar boasts 368 passageways, making it the fourth holiest city in the world after Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem. The fortified city contained 102 shrines and 82 mosques, making it the biggest concentration of mosques in the world. It was renowned for being a hub for Muslim learning and trade, and it had its own currency at one point. Harar was the most significant commercial hub in the Horn of Africa for many centuries, connecting the ports of the Somali coast to the lush interior of Ethiopia, as evidenced by the vibrant markets and distinctive gey gar (city houses) of the city. In 2006, UNESCO designated Harar Jugol as a World Heritage Site. Shuwal Eid and other tangible and intangible cultural heritages found in the city need to be preserved and developed to enhance their contribution to the tourism sector. In this regard, four museums in Harar City have already been selected to introduce Shuwal Eid to local visitors and tourists with various cultural shows. The Ethiopian Heritage Authority is working with pertinent players to exploit the tourism potential of Shuwal. Deputy Director of Ethiopian Heritage Authority, Elias Shukur told ENA that various activities are being conducted to introduce the festival both at the national and international level. He added that efforts are being made to further develop the festival with its original cultural assets and values. The old city of Harar is a custodian of various cultural heritages including Shuwal Eid which are being visited by tourists here and across the world. Elias stressed that Shuwal Eid and other intangible and tangible cultural heritages found in the city need to be preserved and developed to enhance their contribution to the tourism sector mentioning that four museums in Harar City have already been selected to introduce Shuwal Eid to local visitors and tourists with various cultural shows. Harar is indeed a living museum that should be preserved to generation as it depicts ancient wisdom vital to our future. (By Solomon Dibaba )              
Unlocking Growth of Startup Ecosystem in Ethiopia
Apr 9, 2024 2259
A startup business is an entrepreneurial venture in the early stages of operations, typically created for resolving real life problems. It often focuses on developing innovative products, services, and solutions to address market needs and societal challenges. As startups solve society's needs, they attract investors and funders because of the tremendous growth opportunities. In recent years, Ethiopia has emerged as a beacon of opportunity in the global startup landscape. The country's commitment, both from the government and the private sector side, has set the stage for a remarkable transformation. During a recent panel discussion, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed emphasized the need to foster a strong startup ecosystem in Ethiopia. He pointed out the country's unique potential, citing the huge number of youth with a strong technological aptitude — over 60 percent in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at university level. These factors, the premier argued, could be instrumental in tackling Ethiopia's challenges, including high unemployment, low Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and limited tax collection. According to the premier, startups in Ethiopia range across all sectors. A very good thing is that international financiers are making commitment to finance Ethiopian startups. For example, Master Card Foundation has promised to invest about 700 million USD for startups, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation also extends a lot of support in this regard. The PM further recalled that Khalifa Foundation has announced the launch of a 100-million-USD fund for startups, small and medium scale businesses in Ethiopia. There are many interests from outside to support Ethiopian startups. Moreover, the premier reiterated the government's commitment to supporting startups, primarily driven by the private sector. This support will encompass policy frameworks, administrative assistance, and the creation of a favorable ecosystem for innovation. Noting the several key government initiatives taken to support the startup ecosystem, Abiy pointed out that the government's Ten-Year Development Plan positions technology as one of the five pillars for achieving prosperity – a critical policy move for startups. Above and beyond the supports, a National Steering Committee led by Deputy Prime Minister Temesgen Tiruneh has been established to oversee the overall functions of startups. The recent legalization of Fintech, which the government previously deemed illegal, demonstrates its commitment to embracing new technologies. Additionally, intellectual property rights are now recognized to address investor concerns. Artificial intelligence is also actively explored and adopted. The prime minister revealed that universities across the country have various incubation centers to nurture startups. "By implementing all these initiatives, we are laying the groundwork for a flourishing of robust startups ecosystem, offering a roadmap for sustainable growth and success,” Abiy pointed out. Furthermore, the premier noted the common practice of previous governments were banning new technologies due to lack of understanding and fear of potential risks. However, he emphasized that such a stance has detrimental effects, often leading to illegal activities. The new approach is to assess both the benefits and risks of emerging technologies. By taking calculated risks and learning from experience, the government aims to decree laws that minimize risks while maximizing the potential benefits. Prime Minister Abiy underscored that this commitment to continuous learning represents a significant leap forward in strengthening the startup ecosystem. While much work remains to be done to support the initiative, Ethiopia is poised to reap the rewards, potentially nurturing homegrown tech giants in the years to come. Encouraging startups in sectors like technology, healthcare, renewable energy, and consumer goods can intensify Ethiopia's resilience to economic shocks and global market fluctuations. Ethiopia's journey towards becoming a startup hub has been fueled by an unwavering commitment from both the government and private entities. This commitment is not just a paper work but a tangible investment in the future. Government initiatives, coupled with the enthusiasm of private enterprises, have created an ecosystem where startups can thrive.    
GERD: A Dream that Ethiopians Have Realized With Perseverance 
Mar 22, 2024 4334
BY A Staff Writer Ethiopians of all walks of life here and abroad are waiting for the 13th anniversary of the commencement of the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) whose cornerstone was laid by the late Prime Minister Melese Zenawi in 2011. The news of GERD was so overwhelming among Ethiopians in changing the status quo ante to shatter the age-old perception that Ethiopia would not be allowed to develop the Abbay River and generate hydropower. For many centuries, Ethiopia has been deprived of its natural rights to develop Abbay and getting loans from international financial institutions. In 2011, the Ethiopian government had to confront this age-old hegemony of the waters and doable standards imposed on the country with determination. Ethiopians regardless of ethnic identity, religion and ideology swiftly responded to the call of the government in unison and geared up to do whatever it takes to build the dam and generate electricity. Although the timeline was five years to complete the GERD, due to various factors, the dam has almost taken 13 years to complete. Over the last 13 years, Ethiopia has faced multiple challenges from both within and outside of the country. In particular, Egypt put pressure on Ethiopia to halt the construction of the dam. Ethiopia’s position has been clear. Abbay is a transboundary River; hence the resource is common to all Nile riparian countries and has to be utilized on win-win approach. Accordingly, Ethiopia called for collaboration and cooperation among the river basin states for mutual benefits and fair use of the waters. To this end, Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan signed Declaration of Principles in 2015 in Khartoum. And there have been several tripartite negotiations afterwards, though they did not bear fruits due to the old colonial position of Egypt. Ethiopia has also made it clear that the construction of GERD is based on international conventions on the utilization of Transboundary Rivers and was not intended to harm the lower riparian countries in any way but is intended to provide light and power for more than 60% of its population who are still dependent on unhealthy bio-fuel resources. Following the last five years where the incumbent government launched comprehensive reforms, the people and the Government of Ethiopia worked in unison, with untold tenacity and determination to address the challenges encountered and complete the dam. Apart from generating electricity, GERD has also huge potential for fishery and ecotourism. In line with Agenda 2063 and other sub-regional initiatives envisioned by African Union, GERD offers enormous potential and opportunity for regional development and integration in the Horn of Africa and Africa at large. It will serve as great inspiration for cooperation and coalition building among African countries. Indeed, the future economic development of Africa, to a greater extent, depends upon coalition building for collaboration and cooperation. GERD has also potential for tourist development in addition to sharing renewable energy which is very important for African economic self-reliance by developing continental energy resources. There are 70 islands created in the dam, waiting for local and foreign investors to engage in the hospitality industry. All told, thanks to the unreserved commitment of the people of Ethiopia and the government, the flagship Ethiopian mega project has reached 95% to be completed in few months of Ethiopian fiscal year. GERD, as the biggest hydropower dam in Africa is being built at the cost of 5 billion USD, clearly exhibits what miracles can Ethiopians perform to their beloved country regardless of the challenges facing them. Ethiopia is building the dam to generate electricity to about 60% of its 120 million citizens. While the electricity demand is growing by 30% every year, the dam’s over 5000 megawatt energy would not meet the country's growing needs. Sudan, Kenya and Djibouti are already connected with power grid, Ethiopia has also reached agreement with Tanzania to connect with power. In brief, GERD is a vivid manifestation of Ethiopia’s resolve to prosperity. Ethiopians ranging from school children to water fetching women, from firewood collectors to public servants, from farmers/pastoralists to investors and foreign citizens of Ethiopian residing overseas have made great contributions to the success of GERD. Not least but last, the local and foreign contractors and engineers labored much from dawn to dusk in a hostile climate along with members of the ENDF to protect the area from any threats.
The Battle of Adwa: A Shining Path to Pan Africanism
Mar 1, 2024 5248
BY SOLOMON DIBABA The Victory of Adwa is a hard won battle in 1896 during the reign of Emperor Menelik II. Following the declaration pronounced by the emperor that the sovereignty of Ethiopia was endangered by Italian Aggression, Ethiopians from four corners of the country marched to Addis Ababa and Were Ilu. Peasants, women and volunteers, artisans and others from all backgrounds and ethnicities left for Addis Ababa and Were Ilu to fend off Italian aggressors who had the support of the colonial powers in the Scramble for Africa. The victory of Adwa is commemorated annually on March 2 in Ethiopia. Exactly 128 years ago, more than 100,000, multi-ethnic, barefooted and well equipped but courageous Ethiopian irregular soldiers led by Emperor Menelik II and Empress Taitu and 12 commanders drawn from across the country marched for a historic face off with invading Italian Army equipped to the teeth with modern firearms at the hills of Adwa. The victory of Ethiopian youth army at the Battle of Adwa on March 2, 1896 is a historic landmark in the history of the black population across the world, particularly in Africa. It ignited two important phenomenological incidents in Ethiopian and African history including the decolonization of African and the continental vision of Pan Africanism. The victory at the Battle of Adwa immediately resonated across the world in complete negation of the invincibility of the diplomatic, political and military prowess of the European colonialists and their cry wolf of “civilizing mission.” Every year on March 2, Ethiopia and Africa mark the victory at the Battle of Adwa, in which Emperor Menelik II mobilized youth army of artesian, women and volunteers from all walks of life to repel Italian aggressors which received the blessings of the colonial powers in the Scramble for Africa in line with the resolutions of the Berlin Conference (1884-1885.) Professor Richard Pankhurst, in his book "Reflections on the Battle of Adwa," highlights the enduring significance of the Ethiopian triumph at the Battle of Adwa, which holds a prominent place in the collective memory of the African continent. This historic event stands as a remarkable testament, celebrated for over a century, and holds the unique distinction of being the sole secular occurrence in Africa's extensive chronicles to garner such prolonged recognition. A phenomenon such as Adwa is a complex nexus of various historical processes with wide ranging but as yet not fully explored meanings. Adwa does not only reflect its time, but that it also transcends it, and that the aspirations and meanings that flow from it have been a powerful constitutive force in the rise and evolution of modern African Pan Africanism. Indeed, it is an event that awakened the hope for emancipation and the struggle against colonialism and racism among Africans in the colonies and in the Diaspora. Black people across the globe celebrate one historical asset that occurred 128 years ago in a small town in northern Ethiopia. The Battle of Adwa was a rocket booster or a launching pad for the inception of Pan Africanism. This historic battle and the subsequent victory registered by irregular army of Ethiopia resonated across the world as the first victory against a colonial power ever to be won by an African country. History proves that the victory at the Battle of Adwa was not a victory only for Ethiopia. Although the Battle was fought in Ethiopia, the entire global peoples share this outstanding victory against a European colonial power that was thought to be invincible. It must be noted that the founding fathers of the former OAU were certainly inspired by the loft goals of pan Africanism. Kwame Nkrumah, who was undoubtedly one of Africa’s foremost freedom fighters, nationalists, writers, and thinkers, that influenced a generation of Pan-African nationalists and freedom fighters, and the founding member of the Organization of African. He foretold that “It is clear that we must find an African solution to our problems, and that this can only be found in African unity. Divided We fall; United, We Stand" become one of the greatest forces for good in the world. Will Africa live up to these expectations? The current trend is in the right direction but certainly there are huge challenges ahead before the lofty goals of Pan Africanism are achieved. Today, the African Union (AU) has creatively designed Agenda 2063. Ethiopia was and is indeed a forerunner in promoting the loft goals of Pan Africanism and the decolonization of the African continent by supporting major African liberation fronts like ANC. Moreover, in the sphere of integrating Africa, Ethiopia has already gone a long way in connecting Africa by aviation, railway line, road transport, telecommunication and supply of renewable hydro-electric power for the neighboring countries. The aspirations of the victory at the Battle of Adwa needs to be implanted in the African youth who are expected to continue to light up the torch of Pan Africanism. The spirit of Adwa will certainly continue to reverberate in the current pan Africanist battle against abject poverty, climate change and pursue common destiny. In this regard, Ethiopia has recently inaugurated a state-of-the-art memorial to honor those who fell at the Battle of Adwa. The Adwa Victory Memorial honors the bravery and resilience of Ethiopians in the face of colonial powers who labeled the continent Africa as dark. In addition to its historical significance, the Victory Memorial also serves as a symbol of pride, unity, and resilience for the Ethiopian people and Africa at large. It is a place of remembrance, reflection, and education, preserving the memory of the Battle of Adwa and its enduring legacy for future generations. Victory at the Battle of Adwa is indeed symbolic of how an irregular army of Ethiopia defeated an European army equipped to the teeth only because Ethiopians were united in purpose to ensure their freedom and territorial integrity. The lesson from Adwa was loud and clear, united Africans can overcome any challenge facing them.  
Adwa Victory Memorial Beyond A Monument
Feb 11, 2024 6769
The inauguration of Adwa Victory Memorial is more than revealing a monument and indeed is celebrating a legacy that goes beyond the bounds of time and place for all black people across the world. United Ethiopians forces in the Battle of Adwa 127 years ago made a landmark history by triumphing over Italian colonial powers. The Adwa Victory Memorial, built at the heart of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, which will be inaugurated today in the presence of high ranking government officials and invited guests, depicts this grand event and its significances. The Adwa Victory Memorial provides major historical events, pertinent individuals like Emperor Menelik II, Empress Taytu Betul, and generals who spearheaded Ethiopia's victory in the battle. It depicts significant historical issues like the spirit of pan-Africanism and the global black community's fight for freedom, which were sparked following Adwa's victory. This memorial is a vivid representation of a defining moment in history, embodying the enduring spirit and resilience of Ethiopia, Africa, and all who have faced oppression across the globe. It is crystal clear that Adwa is not merely an Ethiopian treasure; it is a jewel in the crown of African heritage and a beacon of hope for all oppressed peoples worldwide. This is due to the fact that Ethiopians did not just defeat a colonial power in 1896 rather they wrote a new chapter in history, fundamentally altering global perceptions about Africans. Besides, the victory shattered the then prevailing perception narrative against Africans as inferior and showcased instead a continent rich in strategy, bravery, and the unwavering pursuit of freedom. Along the years the echoes of Adwa Victory have resonated through generations, inspiring countless Africans to envisage a future unshackled from the chains of colonialism. Furthermore, it has been a source of pride and a rallying cry for change, igniting the flames of independence movements across the continent. Adwa through the memorial inaugurated today still stands as a living testament to the indomitable spirit of Africa, a reminder that unity and courage can overturn the tides of oppression. By building the Adwa Victory Memorial, Ethiopians are not only preserving a historical legacy but also reigniting a spirit of change and empowerment. It is a call to remember the past struggles and victories, to draw strength from them, and to continue the fight for a world where every person, regardless of race or origin, can live with dignity and opportunity. To put it in nut shell, the Adwa Victory Memorial is therefore, more than just a structure of stone and metal; it is a symbol of hope, a shrine of courage, and a school of inspiration for generations to come.  
Adwa Victory & GERD: Two Sides of Same Coin 
Feb 11, 2024 3973
Ethiopia has given not only to its citizens but to the black people across the globe a priceless gift by erecting Adwa Victory Memorial in the capital Addis Ababa. The Adwa Victory, which is not merely an Ethiopian treasure rather an African heritage, a beacon of hope for all oppressed peoples worldwide. The victory vividly demonstrates the fact that everything is possible if people work together toward a common goal. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is one of the memorials portrayed in the newly constructed Adwa Victory Memorial in the heart of Addis Ababa to show the fact that when people mobilized and organized, they can achieve whatever they wish. The Adwa victory has reignited the spirit of unity amongst Ethiopians in realizing the economic emancipation through the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). After more than 115 years, Ethiopians once again declared another analogical and historical call to build the largest dam in Africa which effectively symbolizes economic, social, and political and the quest for peaceful development in the spirit of Pan-Africanism. The victory of the Battle of Adwa which triggered the spirit of Pan-Africanism also echoed in the construction of GERD. The Adwa Victory and GERD are two sides of the same coin. In 1896, Ethiopians did not just defeat a colonial power; they wrote a new chapter in history, fundamentally altering global perceptions about Africans. Likewise, with GERD Ethiopians stood in unison; defied decades-old erroneous perception from every direction and practically made it a hope for cooperation and integration with the Nile River downstream countries as well as its neighbors. In addition to that, the Adwa Victory was solely won by Ethiopians without any support from outside. GERD unlike most of the current global grand flagship projects is entirely financed by the Ethiopian people through donation, buying-bond, and so on. It is being built with the blood, sweat and tears of the Ethiopian people from all walks of life. The GERD, which is now at the final stage, is expected to provide access to electricity to more than 60 million Ethiopians and provide affordable electricity to the service, industrial and agricultural sectors. For Ethiopian building the GERD is not a matter of choice, but an economic and developmental necessity and the way to pull out poverty for a nation of 120 million people. It is also pivotal in providing many benefits to the entire Horn of Africa region and beyond as well as accelerating regional integration. This clearly demonstrates that the current generation of Ethiopia through its leadership is replicating Adwa Victory to ascertaining economic emancipation. That is why GERD has been one of the memorials portrayed in the newly constructed Adwa Victory Memorial in the heart of Addis Ababa to show the fact that when people mobilized and organized, they can achieve whatever they wish. The newly built Memorial, which absolutely breathtaking in its architectural elegance and commemorates the historic Battle of Adwa, a moment of courage, unity, and victory for Ethiopia serves as a beacon of our past, depicting the commitment, strength and victory of not only the Ethiopian people but also the black people across the globe. Both Adwa and GERD convey clear message to the brotherly and sisterly people of Africa that they can genuinely ensure their economic and political independence as well as overcome the present day challenges if they work together to fortify their togetherness by freeing themselves from the centuries-old influence of the superpowers. The Adwa Victory Memorial, a monumental project located at the center of the capital, encompasses a museum, meeting halls, amphitheater, library, art gallery, exhibition center, and other facilities, all dedicated to honoring the heroes and heroines of the historic triumph and Africans.  
Adwa Victory Memorial: Symbolizes Victory of Black People Against Colonial Oppression
Feb 11, 2024 3051
Majestically perched on the center of Addis Ababa, locally known as Piassa with its ultra-modern architectural design with close proximity to the Addis Ababa City Administration complex and the first of its kind in Ethiopian and African history. Adwa Victory Memorial symbolizes the valor and tenacity of black Africa exhibited against colonial forces who branded Africa as the “Dark Continent.” This state of the art grand facility significantly added up to the natural beauty of Addis Ababa which is already the second diplomatic center of the world next to New York City. The Adwa Victory Memorial commemorates the historic Battle of Adwa, which took place on March 1, 1896. The battle was a significant event in Ethiopian history, as it marked Ethiopia's victory over Italian forces and ensured the country's independence and sovereignty during the Scramble for Africa setting a historic example for the independence movement of African countries back in 1960s. Immediately after the victory the news of Ethiopia’s victory resonated across the world through the global media of those days and resulted in the resignation of Crispi’s government. Moreover, the historic victory heralded the emergence of Pan Africanism and Pan African movements across the globe. The Adwa Victory Memorial museum serves as a tribute to the bravery, resilience, and heroism of Ethiopian soldiers and leaders who defended their homeland against colonial aggression. It also houses a collection of artifacts, documents, and photographs among other things that depict the historical events of the Battle of Adwa, Ethiopian history, and the struggle against colonialism.   Visitors to the Adwa Victory Memorial can learn about the events leading up to the battle, the strategies and tactics employed by both sides, and the impact of the victory on Ethiopia's national identity and the global anti-colonial movement. The Adwa Victory Memorial also highlights the contributions of key figures such as Emperor Menelik II, Empress Taytu Betul, and some 12 generals who led the Ethiopian victory in the battle. In addition to its historical significance, the Adwa Victory Memorial serves as a symbol of pride, unity, and resilience for the Ethiopian people and Africa at large. It is a place of remembrance, reflection, and education, preserving the memory of the Battle of Adwa and its enduring legacy for future generations. The Adwa Victory Memorial, which will be inaugurated today will be open to visitors and scholars interested in learning more about Ethiopian history, culture, and heritage, and it plays a vital role in promoting awareness and appreciation of Ethiopia's rich historical heritage and contributions to the global struggle for freedom and justice. This unique museum includes traditional war customs worn by warriors and the traditional armaments they used on the battle.   The Adwa Victory Memorial Museum features a number of assembly halls including venues for in-door sport. Pan African hall, the memorial's principal meeting venue, can hold up to 2,500 people at once. The memorial is built with cutting age technologies encompassing various facilities such as for indoor sporting events, an amphitheater, cafes, a green space, a gymnasium, a parking area for visitors' vehicles and other amenities that might offer social services to guests. The Adwa Victory Memorial Museum is expected to be one of the main tourist attraction centers in the city and will also serve as a search center for scholars’ who wish to work on Ethiopian history.      
Prime Minister Abiy Explains Major Achievements Registered During Half of EFY  
Feb 7, 2024 2628
During the 14th regular session of the House of People's Representatives (HPR) conducted today, the premier responded to queries from members of parliament (MPs) relating performance of federal government in this Ethiopian fiscal year. Peace and National Security The prime Minister emphasized that issues related to peace and national security of the country emanate from wrong approach to fulfill political objectives, lack of practices in resolving political problems through discussions but raising arms to bring political solutions. The premier told members of parliament (MPs) that he had the chance to discuss with various sectors of the population in Amhara regional state before some years and mentioned that the demands raised by the region focused on development needs, amendment of the constitution and settling disputes of boundary areas with neighboring states. Over the last five years, 53 road projects were designed in the state, of which 1,300 kms were completed, citing the 2.4 billion birr worth asphalt road under construction on Abay Bridge. Regarding demands to ammendment of the constitutional, the government has established inclusive national dialogue commission to incorporate all issues across the nation and reach national consensus. To this end, the government has established National Dialogue Commission. The premier also cited the peace talks held with Shene in Tanzania with a view to bringing lasting peace but did not bring about the intended result. Overall, the rejection of peaceful options by armed groups in the country has caused conflict and displacements, he noted. He stressed the need for exercising democratic principles and putting in place appropriate institutions to consolidate the supremacy of ideas and peaceful transition in the country. The government is ready for peace talks with forces who wish to build their country and continue their political objectives in a peaceful manner. However, he assured MPs that the government continues ensuring rule of law by taking measure against those forces who attempt to seize power through the barrel of gun. Fruitful Efforts in Tigray The federal government has undertaken several fruitful activities in improving transportation, telecom, bank services, and agriculture, among others, after the signing of the Pretoria agreement, the premier recalled. He revealed that over half billion Birr expenditure was made for the resumption of the air transport to Shire, Mekele and soon to Axum, which is currently under maintenance. The air transport has at least helped people with chronic diseases to fly to Addis and get medical treatment, he added. Ethio telecom has maintained over 1000 kms of optical fiber and 475 mobile sites while repairing over 20,000 landline telephones and started 4G service with hundreds of thousands of Birr in four cities of the region. As a result, the people of Tigray are now able to get the services of telecom and electricity through the joint collaboration of the federal government and the interim regional administration. The National Bank Ethiopian has also provided 10 billion Birr liquidity and some 600 bank branches are open, he said. Furthermore, he noted that some 217 factories have started operation following the Pretoria agreement, even if they still seek support. Through a special procurement, the federal government has imported 500 tractors and over 300 pumps to improve agriculture in Tigray, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed told MPs. According to him, about 630,000 hectares of land was cultivated in the region last Ethiopian year with the agricultural inputs support such as tractors, special seed, fertilizer and pumps provided by Ministry of Agriculture and regional states. Foreign Relations and Diplomacy The Prime Minister highlighted the major achievements in the sphere of foreign relations and diplomacy, mentioning Ethiopia’s full membership to BRICS. The country is connected in power grid with Kenya and efforts are well underway to do the same with Tanzania, he said. Highlighting Ethiopia's relations with Somalia, the premier emphasized that Ethiopia has paid dearly by sacrificing thousands of its daughters and sons to defend the unity, peace and sovereignty of Somalia and will continue to pursue policy of cooperation and friendship with the country. “The people of Ethiopia and Somalia are bound by blood. Many Ethiopians have died for the peace of Somalia. (And) no country has paid as much as Ethiopia for the peace of Somalia,” PM Abiy underscored. Therefore, Ethiopia has no intention of destabilizing Somalia and transgressing the sovereignty of Somalia. He recalled that Ethiopia has never invaded a country in its history. In spite of this, some quarters are trying to incite conflict between the two nations, which should not happen, Abiy underlined. “Ethiopia’s quest for access to sea is based on mutual benefit. This is useful not only for Ethiopia but also for regional cooperation," the premier reiterated. Moreover, “Somalis are our brothers, and we will grow together.” He pointed out that Ethiopia has recently trained Somali military recruits at the Hurso Training Center, and this shows that we do not have any intention to get into conflict with Somalia. Prime Minister Abiy elaborated his country diplomacy is centered around its national interest, giving priority to relations with neighboring countries. GERD Regarding the trilateral negotiation on GERD, Abiy said Ethiopia is ready to listen to the demands of the brotherly people of Egypt and accordingly address the issues to the best of Ethiopia's ability. He also urged Egypt to reciprocate Ethiopia’s demands. The information which claims that Ethiopia's filling of the GERD will cause the Aswan Dam's water volume to decrease has been practically disproved, Abiy noted. The GERD has proved the fact that there will be no significant damage to the lower riparian countries. Economic Achievements With regard to tax collection, the revenue collected in the first six months of the fiscal year amounted to 265 billion birr, achieving 98 percent of 270 billion birr target. This represents a 17 percent increase when compared to the same period last year. He acknowledged the need for further improvement, citing the experience of countries like Morocco and neighboring nations that collect higher percentages of their tax-to-GDP ratio He further underscored the significance of tax collection for promoting adequate development in the country, calling for necessary reforms to increase the tax revenue. Speaking about export and import trends, he stated that the country earned 10.7 billion USD. from goods and services, with an earning of 4.5 billion in the first half of this year. In terms of import, Ethiopia imported goods worth 17 billion USD last year, while this year's import amounted to 7.5 USD in the first five months. Inflation is a result of various economic challenges, primarily stemming from insufficient domestic production, he said, noting a slight decrease in inflation from 30 to 28 percent this year. The government's strategy to combat inflation involves boosting production, he stated, adding that successful outcomes have been registered in wheat and rice harvesting. The premier pointed out the significant reduction in spending on wheat by saving over 700 billion Birr annually. The government has not taken commercial loan during the past five years, the premier recalled, adding the nation has paid 9.9 billion USD debts in the stated period.
Egypt Should Opt for Genuine Cooperation
Jan 21, 2024 4282
By Bereket Sisay The recent fourth round of negotiations on the Great Renaissance Dam ended inconclusively due to Egypt's intransigence over the dysfunctional colonial agreement and its consequent unwillingness to reach an agreement on the dam, in particular to finalize the rules and guidelines for its initial filling and annual operation. Despite Egypt's blockade of a tripartite consensus, Ethiopia continues to build its colossal dam on the basis of equitable sharing of natural resources, with concrete construction due to be completed next June. But in an unusual diplomatic gesture, Ethiopia, as the upstream country, continues to plead with the downstream countries to accept its zeal to develop its natural resources without harming its neighbors, contrary to the modus operandi of contemporary realpolitik, if I'm not mistaken. Old Habits Die Hard… It is baffling how Egypt still deliberately misunderstands Ethiopia's position and obfuscates reality in its favour. Years ago, researchers proved that the dam would have no significant impact on the lower riparian countries. Moreover, Ethiopia has often expressed its intention not to harm its neighbors as a sign of its political commitment to regional cooperation. Against this background, Egypt has been busy accusing Ethiopia of neglecting the concerns of the riparian states and pursuing its own position at the expense of others. In reality, however, it is Egypt that is the hegemonic agent over this natural resource, to which Ethiopia contributes more than 80 percent while using zero; conversely, Egypt takes the lion's share while contributing nothing. However, there is no international law, including customary international law that supports Egypt's illogical assumption regarding ‘its water security’. The Egyptian side has created pitfalls against genuine cooperation and a way forward. The Baseless lament echoed by Egypt regarding Ethiopia’s dam is nothing but one of its conspiracies being orchestrated to deter Ethiopia’s aspiration for development, without causing harm on any of the riparian nations. Principle Stance, Diplomatic Push From the very beginning of the construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam, Ethiopia has made it clear that an internal development issue has driven the country to harness the Nile. Ethiopia has a huge population, while a significant portion of the population is still mired in abject poverty. This has been caused by compounding challenges but basically as a result of the lack of huge infrastructural facilities that have a huge impact on the human development in the country. Inadequate level of electric power is a major challenge as it is a basic recipe to intensify development in every sector. Ethiopia, in a move to avert this cycle of poverty and tilt towards a realm of development with fast economic growth, it has started the dam. The very notion of Ethiopia's quest to develop and start building the dam while using its natural resources is no different from Egypt's years of aspiration to use the Nile River, if we are really able to look at its basics. Again, Ethiopia did not just start building the dam out of the blue. The dam is being built in accordance with international laws governing transboundary water resources. What's more, the scientific studies carried out on the dam have proven that the dam will not have any significant negative hydrological, socio-economic and environmental impact on the downstream countries, and it is on the basis of this empirical finding that the nation has proceeded with the construction of the dam. This stance is firm and stands in stark contrast to Egypt's puzzling water security concerns, which have no legal basis whatsoever with regard to shared natural resources. Ethiopia's pragmatic stance implies, among other things, a simple inclination towards possible political and diplomatic exercises that double down on the principle of regional integration, an agenda for which Ethiopia is known. More importantly, Ethiopia has always made a diplomatic push to change course to a realm of genuine engagement, and this will continue in the future, as the government's interest’s show. Cooperation - A step forward The Nile is a shared natural resource that all riparian countries have the right to use and develop on the basis of equality and fairness. Any move that goes against this general practice could potentially turn the water into a point of contention rather than a variable for mutually beneficial development. This has been evident over the years as disagreements over the dam have arisen at different levels of the construction process, with Egypt unable to objectively understand Ethiopia's concerns. This has created mistrust that further limits cooperation on various regional agendas, including water resources. Thus, genuine negotiation is the only viable solution to this lingering stalemate. For this to happen, Egypt must first recognize Ethiopia's genuine intention to build the dam, the basic principle of fairness and equality vis-à-vis international water law, be it the Helsinki or any other conventional agreement on the use of transboundary water resources. The other major factor that could potentially change Cairo's mind would have been the status quo, as the principle of 'do no harm' has been upheld throughout the dam's construction. Moreover, Ethiopia has reaffirmed its commitment to uphold this principle in the future. In addition, the riparian countries should work towards the establishment of the Nile Basin Commission to promote equitable and reasonable use of the Nile waters. Despite the tripartite disagreement, and with no alternative option left for Ethiopia, the Grand Renaissance Dam is by now a done deal as its construction is already in sight. However, there may be a need to continue to use the Nile water for future needs, either for Ethiopia or for other countries, and such a legal framework is by far essential to avoid a split among the countries of the region to use water resources for mutual development. Ethiopia, together with other countries, is spearheading the agenda to accelerate the ratification of the Comprehensive Framework Agreement (CFA) by the member states of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), which is a prerequisite for the establishment of the Commission.      
Voice of the Global South
Jan 11, 2024 6350
By Awad Abdusebur Even after several decades of colonization by the West, Indians are still celebrated for preserving their culture, traditions, and rituals. We in African countries also know Indians very well through their famous romantic movies and music performances decorated with beautiful traditional attires without forgetting their distinguished services they are rendering to us as teachers and mentors both in high schools and universities. Another feature that makes India well-known worldwide is the Taj Mahal, the most magnificent structure ever built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal, the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan's favorite wife. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Taj Mahal, built completely of white marble in the 17th century, symbolizes not only the world's greatest architectural achievement but also the unity, harmony and togetherness of the diverse cultures, languages, and religions of this great people of India. This world’s populous nation with more than 1.4 billion people has now been emerging as one of the most influential country in the world particularly in terms of economy and international diplomacy. During my journey to this giant nation last December, with a group of over thirty journalists from sixteen African countries, I had the opportunity to personally witness these unique elements of the country. The Indian External Affairs Ministry arranged a week-long familiarization program that highlighted the nation's accomplishments in the fields of international relations, economic development, democratization and technological advancement, among other areas. In our conversation with Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, as part of the visit, we were able to understand the nation's foreign policy toward emerging nations, especially those on the African continent, is actually quite realistic. India's diplomatic and international relation endeavors being carried out to help ensure the overall benefits of developing nations are remarkable. The county is striving to realize the aspirations of Africans and other developing nations through a variety of international mechanisms, such as the South-South cooperation. These efforts are now bearing fruit for the benefit of both India and African nations. AU & The G20 India made a commitment to accelerate South-South collaboration when it was awarded the G20 presidency last year. The goal was to create a world where all people would benefit from fair political and economic engagement. The Group of Twenty (G20) is one of the huge and most influential blocs established 24 years ago by the finance ministers and central bank governors of member nations in the wake of the Asian financial crisis with a goal to discuss about international financial and economic matters. Nothing is more critical than bringing the multifaceted interests of the global South to the attention of such stage as many scholars, researches and political economy analysts share same idea about the importance of addressing the developmental, political and economic needs of the developing nations with a view to creating a peaceful world in which everyone lives the happy life they deserve. India has made a number of initiatives in the last year as part of its efforts to safeguarding the interests of the global south. It advocated for developing countries' interests and concerns on the global arena while representing the Global South in the G20. It has made an effort to raise awareness of the issues and goals of the Global South while emulating international collaboration and solidarity. One of the successful achievements in this regard is the inclusion of the African Union (AU) in G-20, whose members represent 85 percent of the global GDP, over 75 percent of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population. The European Union, which is the largest regional economy, is part of the G20 together with 19 other major and advanced economies. Since the decisions made in this bloc are very influential in shaping international politics and economic relations, adequate representation of Africa in the group is crucial not only for the continent to achieve its aspiration for transformation, but also for the effective implementation of all decisions by the group. Hence, it would be possible to argue on the fact that AU’s inclusion in the G-20 will boost the group's legitimacy and acceptance of its decisions by all global players, including the Global South and stakeholders in the global economy. Under India's presidency last year, the African Union (AU) was admitted as a permanent member of the bloc. India made the proposal, which received unanimous support from the G-20, for the AU to become a permanent member. India pursued this goal as part of its overarching plan to strengthen South-South cooperation. In terms of international diplomacy, India's backing of the African Union's admission to the G20 is seen as historic. It not only makes the AU's bid stronger, but it also demonstrates India's genuine commitment to the realization a more just and representative international order. Strong and sincere international cooperation and partnerships are essential to addressing the enormous difficulties facing the modern world, which is beset by countless natural and man-made disasters. Therefore, by utilizing the opportunities in multilateral entities, integrating the AU in the G20 is advantageous for both sides to accomplish their own agendas, which when combined would bring about positive changes in the global system in terms of establishing a more equitable, prosperous, and sustainable world. In his recent interview with local media, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “ India’s G20 Presidency has sowed the seeds of confidence in the countries of the so-called ‘Third World.” He also stated that the efforts to create an all-inclusive multilateral forum will be intensified in collaboration with the developed nations, “because today, they are acknowledging the potential of the Global South more than ever before and recognizing the aspirations of these countries as a force for the global good.” AU’s inclusion in the G-20 would also help African countries to avert their daunting development challenges the nations have been encountering in terms of loans by international financial institutions such as the World Bank and IMF, in improving the existing debt architecture, security and undesired geopolitical constraints affecting the continent. India Champions Africa's BRICS Ascension As an original BRICS founding member, India has long intertwined its roots with Africa's ambitions. Now, as Ethiopia and Egypt join the alliance under India's backing, the continent gains a vital megaphone to articulate its voice on issues of trade, sustainability and global equality. Born in 2006, BRICS has blossomed into a formidable force representing high-growth emerging economies. Its core vision champions equitable and sustainable development worldwide. This resonates deeply across Africa's 54 countries seeking to transform deprivation into prosperity. India has pledged to fortify cooperation with Africa under the BRICS banner. As a pioneer of South-South collaboration, it offers Africa in-depth technological expertise and IT knowledge transfer, alongside investments in infrastructure, agriculture and green energy. These shall aid African nations in fulfilling the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Africa's Agenda 2063. So as Africa realizes its rightful place at the BRICS table with Egypt and Ethiopia now included, India remains a trusted ally, walking hand-in-hand towards a brighter, shared future. Many consider the BRICS as one of the major influential groups in the contemporary global geopolitics and economy as it is an important alliance that brought some of the world's leading emerging economies together representing large percent of the world's population, GDP, and trade. The BRICS aspire to foster growth that is equitable, sustainable, and beneficial for all countries by establishing a very strong and deep cooperation among their member nations in addition to establishing balanced diplomatic and international politics worldwide. This is a good opportunity for Africa. Being the most deprived and unprivileged continent in the world, Africa needs the BRICS to help it reverse this reality. Currently, three African nations are represented in the bloc out of the ten members. Analysts claim that South Africa, Ethiopia, and Egypt's membership in the BRICS is essential to effectively advancing the continent's transformational efforts and giving it a voice in the international sphere. The BRICS is an alliance that strives for fairer and just global political and economic exchanges by eradicating the existing discrimination through strengthening the South-South Cooperation. In this regard, the BRICS is significantly vital global partner to realizing Africa’s aspiration for transformation as the effective implementation of South-South cooperation could be a driving force to attaining the various development instruments of the continent including Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2063. The three African nations in the BRICS would play crucial role in voicing and safeguarding the continent’s economic and diplomatic interests in the global stages in collaboration with the nations in the bloc including India, which is one of the pioneers in realizing the objectives of global South that strives for the equal political and economic engagement with the global north. Indo-African Ties The other important thing that I was able to witness during the familiarization tour with the group of African journalist to India is the country’s enthusiasm to work with countries in Africa for shared development. In all our conversations with pertinent officials including External Affairs Minister, investors, scholars, and heads of several institutions in the country, Africa was the center of discussion. The country has been taking several measures towards strengthening its ties with Africa in the areas of trade, investment, technology exchange, infrastructure development, mitigating impacts of climate change among other vital development sectors. India has demonstrated its commitment to Africa through a series of events dubbed the India-Africa Forum, which have been conducted since 2008. The most recent one took place in 2015 and featured participation from more than 50 African nations. In light of their shared basic priorities, both sides agreed to step up their cooperation in all areas of development with the ultimate goal of eradicating poverty, as outlined in Africa's Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals, among other very important matters. The efforts have so far been bearing fruits in strengthening the ties of African countries with India. The volume of trade between India and African nations is increasing. As of right now, trade between the two countries has reached 103 billion USD, placing India behind the EU and China as Africa's top trading partners. India has invested a total of 70 billion in Africa; by 2030, the Confederation of Indian Industry hopes to have increased that sum to 150 billion. Along with forging solid alliances with African countries, the India Export Import (EXIM) Bank is financing large-scale development initiatives across the continent. Along with having robust public-private partnerships and safeguards against debt distress, India is also the second-biggest lender in Africa. The African Development Bank (ADB), which New Delhi joined in 1983, serves as the primary conduit for Indian aid. Opportunities are still there to be tapped for the benefits of both Africa and India. For instance, the country offered billions of US dollars in concessional loans to help Africa's socioeconomic development in the areas of infrastructure, irrigation schemes, solar electricity, cement, sugar, and textile factories, technology parks, and railroad infrastructure, among other things. India is prepared to share its cutting-edge technology advancements that I have visited during my stay in Hyderabad, India’s largest technology city that aspires to become global giant in information technologies and digital economy. When the African journalists visited the International Solar Alliance (ISA) headquarters in Haryana, India, they were also able to witness India's dedication to addressing the challenges posed by climate change. The Indian government took the initiative to form ISA during the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in 2015 held in Paris, France, with the aim of advancing solar energy technologies as a way to provide carbon-free energy access from solar radiation. At the moment, Africa comprises more than half of the ISA member states. African nations and India are currently collaborating to develop solar energy projects across the continent. Additionally, the ISA and the African Development Bank are collaborating to build 10,000 MW of solar power plants in the Sahel with the goal of supplying electricity to around half of the 600 million Africans who remain off-grid. Being member of the G-20 and BRICS, as well as the leading advocate of South - South Cooperation and genuine multilateralism, coupled with its fast growing economy with technological advancement, India is among the most important nations across the globe. What I have clearly understood from my weeklong visit is that India gives top priority to Africa. Hence, I am obliged to accept the fact that India is key nation to partner with to help realize Africa’s aspiration for acquiring fair position in the international stages, eradicating of the current prejudicial global political and diplomatic engagements and ensuring equitable development by extricating poverty.
Ethiopia-Somaliland Port Deal Heralding Era of Optimism
Jan 6, 2024 6930
Ethiopia-Somaliland Port Deal Heralding Era of Optimism By Henok Tadele (ENA) On the momentous day of January 1, 2024, Ethiopia etched its name in the annals of history as it inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Somaliland, heralding a dawn of partnership and cooperation for access to sea and ports. This landmark agreement sets the stage for multifaceted frameworks of collaboration, carrying immense significance for both signatories. The MoU stands out as a testament to Ethiopia's unwavering ambition to secure vital sea access and expand its reach to seaports, ushering in a new era of enhanced cooperation and regional integration in the Horn of Africa. Moreover, it empowers Ethiopia to assume a more proactive role in championing peace and security within the region. According to the Government Communication Service, this agreement presents Ethiopia with a golden opportunity to establish a permanent and dependable naval base and commercial maritime services in the Gulf of Aden through a lease arrangement. Additionally, it outlines provisions for equitable sharing of the lease's benefits with Somaliland, including a fair share for Ethiopian Airlines. Furthermore, the MoU encompasses clauses that facilitate a thorough assessment of Somaliland's pursuit of international recognition by Ethiopia. This comprehensive MoU serves as a resounding testament to the unwavering commitment of both parties in fortifying their friendship and addressing historical challenges. It paves the way for strategic collaboration and mutual development, fostering an environment of optimism and propelling the nations towards shared prosperity. As the New Year commenced, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed shared the joyous news with Ethiopians, Somalilanders, and proponents of peace and prosperity, expressing gratitude for the blessings bestowed by the Creator as he signed the agreement with President of Somaliland, Musa Bihi. He hailed the agreement as a "dawn of mending fractures." emphasizing the significance of the MoU with Somaliland. He expressed his optimism about the MoU’s potential to foster collaboration, mutual growth, prosperity, and lasting peace. The premier reiterated Ethiopia's commitment to shared progress and resources, without imposing its will on others. The agreement holds immense potential for transformative impact. With sea access, Ethiopia can reshape regional and global trade routes, leveraging its strategic location and large consumer market of over 120 million people. This shift is expected to significantly reduce costs and inflation within the Ethiopian market, as it introduces additional routes to port and grants Ethiopia greater control over its maritime logistics. While substantial investment will be required for port infrastructure and capacity enhancement, the agreement marks a crucial step towards Ethiopia's economic evolution. The agreement sets the stage for Ethiopia to emerge as a leading trade and prosperity hub in East Africa, capitalizing on its position along the Red Sea. The agreement signifies a new chapter for Ethiopia, granting it access to the Port of Berbera in Somaliland. And it is poised to propel Ethiopia into a new era of economic growth and prosperity. Ethiopia Sets Sail To New Horizon The groundbreaking port agreement in Somaliland lends landlocked Ethiopia for access to sea and ports, slashing costs and unlocking global trade opportunities.The implications could be transformative. Ethiopia can reshape trade flows through Berbera Port over the next 50 years by leveraging its vast consumer market. Home to over 120 million consumers, Ethiopia is positioned to leverage these advantages to become a fulcrum in regional and global commerce, reshaping trade flows between Asia, Europe and Africa. The country will also set sail on sea towards an anchorage brimming with possibility - poised to become the gateway to East Africa where fortunes await for generations to come. New Port Deal Charts Course for Economic Ascendancy Ethiopia, a nation long synonymous with ancient history and captivating landscapes, has etched its name onto a modern-day narrative of remarkable economic expansion. Over the past two decades, this East African powerhouse has charted a breathtaking course, transforming from an agrarian economy into a dynamic hub of industry, infrastructure, and burgeoning services. This meteoric rise, fueled by an average annual GDP growth for many years has lifted millions out of poverty and earned Ethiopia the coveted title of Africa's fastest-growing economy. This is not without challenge. This landmark agreement with Somaliland grants Ethiopia strategic access to the Port of Berbera, a gateway on the Red Sea offering a potentially significant reduction in maritime trade costs. Analysts envision this move as a transformative one, capable of positioning Ethiopia as a pivotal trade nexus between Asia, Europe, and Africa. The influx of investments, industries, and global commerce could propel annual GDP growth to a new high over the next decade, further solidifying Ethiopia's position as an economic powerhouse. As the world watches with anticipation, Ethiopia navigates the uncharted waters of this transformative deal. Should it successfully harness the opportunities presented, the nation stands poised to redefine its economic trajectory, soaring to new heights and cementing its place as a beacon of success on the African continent. In nutshell, Ethiopia has emerged as a steadfast beacon of peace in the tempestuous Horn of Africa. As the fastest-growing power in the Horn of Africa, it has actively engaged in mediating disputes in the region, while spearheading monumental regional integration projects, such as hydroelectric dams and transport corridors. In addition, shared investments in port infrastructure and streamlined cross-border trade forge common interests between Somaliland and Ethiopia, intertwining their destinies and strengthening interdependence. Perched strategically along the multifaceted coastline of the Red Sea, Ethiopia is widely known as a vigilant guardian against the persistent threats that besiege this restless region.With a steadfast commitment to regional stability, Ethiopia strives to navigate the currents of uncertainty and chart a course towards a peaceful and prosperous future not just for itself but for all.      
Ethio – China Cooperation for Shared Prosperity
Dec 27, 2023 5284
By Tiruwork Ayalew From the end of July to November 2023, 80 journalists from 70 countries gathered in Beijing, the capital and diplomatic center of China, to explore and experience Chinese culture, history, socio-economic development, politics and diplomacy under the framework of the China International Press Communication Center (CIPCC). I was among these journalists joining from Ethiopia. The program gave me the chance to become acquainted with the culture of other journalists and their experiences in the media. We were given different lectures on China’s socio-economic development, diplomacy, culture, science and technology, as well as journalism training and internships with China’s media organizations like CGTN. We visited different cities, provinces, infrastructure projects, manufacturing facilities, cultural sites, and historical places, which helped me gain a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of China. Moreover, I had the opportunity to cover major international events like the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and China International Import Expo (CIIE). All of these activities and experiences are invaluable for covering the real story about China. During my stay in China, I realized the country has many different narratives from which journalists can draw lessons for developing countries like Ethiopia. As a journalist, I witnessed China’s past achievements and ongoing efforts to create a better future and promote shared growth through initiatives like the BRI and CIIE. China’s history, economic development, culture, poverty reduction, inclusive policies, peace and security efforts, hospitality, diplomacy, work ethics, time management, and public spirit amazed me. Especially notable is what China achieved over the past three decades in poverty reduction, setting an example for developing countries like Ethiopia. To lift people out of poverty, China implemented various policies that helped millions of citizens escape destitution and become the world’s second largest economy. According to Professor Wang Sangui, a Chinese anti-poverty researcher, China achieved remarkable poverty alleviation through economic development policies and targeted interventions. Sustained rapid economic growth was a key driver, fueling rural reform, agricultural development, job-creating manufacturing, and urbanization. Since the mid-1980s, China also implemented direct regional and household poverty targeting. Regional targeting drove faster development in poor counties and villages, while recent precision targeting of households helped lift the remaining poor above the poverty line of $2.30 per day. Together, these strategies enabled China to eliminate absolute poverty and build a moderately prosperous society, meeting its first centenary goal. Professor Wang has witnessed the fruits of development even in remote villages, now connected through high-speed rail and other infrastructure. Since 2013, China pursued a targeted poverty alleviation strategy as the core of its anti-poverty drive. All identified poor households gained access to specialized programs while those near the poverty line were closely monitored. Additional strategies included relocating 10 million people from harsh environments to more hospitable areas to improve their prospects. Governments mobilized 600 billion Yuan for relocation subsidies during the 13th Five-Year Plan, facilitating job placement, transportation and integration of resettled households. Ecological compensation policies also aided poverty alleviation, subsidizing families who returned farmlands for reforestation and grassland conservation. Many poor people became forest rangers, earning stable salaries. The results have been remarkable. Since the late 1970s, China lifted 874 million citizens out of poverty, with the poverty rate falling from 88.3% to less than 1% in 2015. Progress accelerated after 2013 when precision targeting helped lift 100 million poorest rural residents out of poverty within just 7 years. China achieved the historical milestone of eliminating absolute poverty nationwide. Professor Wang stresses that as millions transitioned from poverty towards moderate prosperity, China refocused policies on growing together with developing countries. The Belt and Road Initiative promotes collaborative prosperity through infrastructure, trade and humanitarian assistance. Over 150 countries, including my native Ethiopia, have signed on. Professor Huang Yanghua, Professor of economics and head of Department of Industrial economy at Renmin University of China, explains that over the past decade, China provided substantial investments and market access enabling shared growth. With sustainability emerging as a global priority, China's people-centered, egalitarian development model offers solutions. Its rapid translation of policies into poverty alleviation successes provides a blueprint for developing countries like Ethiopia to adapt and achieve broad-based prosperity. Key Lessons for Ethiopia Structural economic transformation is critical:- China lifted over 800 million people out of poverty through rapid industrialization, infrastructure building, technological upgrading and growth in higher-productivity sectors. Ethiopia's 10-year plan similarly targets GDP growth averaging 10% annually, shifting the economy from agriculture towards export-oriented manufacturing and value-added services. Success requires attracting private investment into supportive policies and public goods. Trade, FDI and global value chains are accelerators:- Export-led growth played a major role in China's poverty alleviation, accessing foreign markets and technologies. Ethiopia aims to grow exports from 32.6% to 42.1% of GDP through greater competitiveness and participation in value chains. Priorities like industrial parks, skill development and trade logistics can boost manufacturing and enable firms to integrate into global production networks. Innovation and technology raise productivity:- From rail and digital networks connecting China's countryside to e-commerce and agricultural tech, technology sharply cut poverty by raising productivity, connectivity and capabilities. Ethiopia's digital and innovation pushes can likewise prepare farmers and informal workers for higher-income work while improving delivery of health, education and other services. Partnership and collaboration share success:- South-South cooperation has been integral to China's development assistance philosophy. Joint projects like skills centers and industrial zone development can directly transfer experience while aligning with Ethiopian priorities. A collaborative mentality and two-way exchange will produce shared gains. Professor Wang stresses taking China's successes as a reference but adjusting policies based on local realities. Sustained economic growth enabled China's poverty alleviation by generating opportunities for the poor. Relevant strategies for Ethiopia include boosting productivity through training and prioritizing export-oriented sectors. Professor Huang also advises developing labor-intensive light manufacturing initially, as it absorbs surplus low-skilled labor, provides on-the-job training, and builds modern production capabilities. With abundant labor, industries like leather and garments can drive Ethiopia's early industrialization while meeting rising consumer demand. Professor Keyong a professor of foreign studies at Minzu University of China highlights China's ethnic harmony policies, caring for all groups' rights and interests within a strong legal framework. As in Ethiopia's constitution, laws safeguarding minorities must be strictly implemented. Mutual respect and understanding enable unity and synergy across diversity. Ethiopia's rich history shows past success uniting a multi-ethnic state towards national development. In summary, pillars for adapting China's experience include sustained and equitable growth, export orientation, pragmatic industrial policies, quality infrastructure, and cultural unity with diversity, technological leapfrogging, and global collaboration. Via people-centered development cooperation with partners like China, Ethiopia can progress towards its goal of becoming Africa's icon of prosperity. China has always been expressing readiness to strengthen its bilateral cooperation with Ethiopia in all aspects of development. This cooperation is being demonstrated in various development activities in Ethiopia including mega infrastructure projects such as railways, roads among other.
Dine for Nation Parks: Wonderful Places with Gorgeous Sceneries
Dec 22, 2023 5516
Addis Ababa December 22/2023 (ENA) Building on the experience and success of prior projects such as Unity Park, Sheger Riverside and Entoto Park projects in Addis Ababa, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched the Dine for Nation initiative in August 2020 to develop three new world-class tourist sites in different regions. Dine for Nation is part of the national project initiated by the premier in a bid to develop eco-friendly tourist destinations.   The projects developed are Gorgora in south of Gondar on the north shore of Lake Tana; Lake Wonchi, “a piece of paradise” with hot springs and water falls; and Koysha, a uniquely situated place in green hills and lush forests. Gorgora is a beautiful town located on the shore of Lake Tana at a distance of 61 km from the historic town of Gondar, Amhara region. This sleepy port town will enchant with its offer of ancient monasteries, lakeside relaxation and endemic wildlife. Lake Wonchi is another bright feature of Ethiopia located about 150 km away west of Addis Ababa in the Oromia region; and it is expected to be one of the most spectacular tourist destinations in Ethiopia. The incredible beauty of the crystal clear waters that lie in the crater and the greenery of the alpine vegetation make the landscape unique. The other newly introduced tourist destination under the Dine for Nation project, Koysha is situated in the green hills of South West Ethiopia. With its rich natural, artificial and historical resources, it is the biggest of all the three projects in terms of size, content and diversity. Ethiopia is among the oldest independent states with more than 3000 years of history. Spectacular chains of mountains, caves, lakes, rivers, dense forests and deep gorges are some of the natural wonders found in Ethiopia. These sites are therefore rich with various endemic animals, birds, and plants. Besides possessing numerous man-made and natural tourism attractions, Ethiopia is the cradle of humankind that makes it among the top tourism destinations in the world. Through the facilitation of basic infrastructure, multidimensional investments, recreation and hospitality, tourism is expected to catalyze the local economies. When fully completed, the projects will play a significant role in creating a beautiful eco-tourism environment by changing the appearance of the surrounding area.   They will also turn the potential natural resources and beauty of the areas into economic benefits. In general, the huge development works that are being carried out in tourism sector at the national level are crucial for the development of the economy. The projects, whose construction have been nearing completion, are believed to give impetus to strengthen the tourism sector of Ethiopia as they offer the untapped opportunity for investments in eco-tourism. Meanwhile, the third flagship Dine for Generation initiative will be launched at Geralta of Tigray, Hayk of Amhara, Jimma town of Oromia, Arbaminch town of South Ethiopia Region, Niin Lee Palm Spring Lodge of Afar, and Jigjiga town of Somali regions. Also, two other private investments will be launched in Benishangul Gumuz and South West Regions to expand tourism. All in all, these spectacular places will make Ethiopia a land worthy of visit for international tourists.
COP 28: An Occasion Ethiopia Successfully Advances Its Climate Diplomacy
Dec 20, 2023 4546
Bereket Sisay The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28), held from November 30 to December 13 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, took stock of the progress made over the years and set a new course in the fight against global warming, notably by reaching a historic agreement on the transition away from fossil fuels. However, the agreement was criticized by developing countries, among others, for failing to make concrete commitments on financial support for their transition away from fossil fuels. Despite the accord on the final document, the world is once again caught in a dilemma as the toll of climate change continues to mount, while the nerve-wracking question of whether these ambitious promises will be kept or, if past trends are anything to go by, fallen short. Developing Countries Apprehension COP 28 attempted to resolve an outstanding issue for developing countries by agreeing to a Loss and Damage Fund. The need for the fund was based on the fact that developed countries should take responsibility, based on their sheer level of historical emissions, as part of the burden-sharing of the global south, which is bearing the brunt of current global warming. Following the approval of the L&D Fund, developed countries pledged a total of $700 million by the end of the conference. This is a huge step forward, but it falls short of what is needed, as it covers only a meagre 0.2% of the losses that developing countries suffer each year as a result of the threat of global warming to which they have contributed little. Moreover, the pledges are not significant given that losses and damages in developing countries are estimated at more than $400 billion per year. Nevertheless, there are various questions about how the fund will be sustained, how it will deliver, and other critical factors to address major gaps in compensating the most affected countries. And it is up to developing countries to drive the agenda until it is pragmatically translated into action. Despite the progress made in approving the research and development fund, the concerns of developing countries have not been fully addressed in line with the lack of financial commitment on how to transition away from fossil fuels and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Indeed, low-income countries have been calling for a framework to help them attract more adaptation finance and to link the adaptation goal to specific financial targets, but financial delivery is not in sight. This is partly related to the burden-sharing of the global south, as a significant number of countries are financially capable, which severely hampers investment in capital-intensive innovative technologies for climate adaptation. UN data from November shows that developing countries will need between $215 billion and $387 billion a year to adapt to climate change in this decade alone, while only $21 billion in public adaptation finance will be available by 2021. This is a huge gap and a new financial deal is needed to close it. In particular, financial support is needed to accelerate climate-smart agriculture. Many countries, particularly in Africa, are currently facing various socio-economic challenges as a result of higher temperatures, droughts, changing rainfall patterns and climate variability. This threatens to reverse some of the development gains and push millions of people into higher levels of extreme poverty. Ethiopia’s Climate Action Ethiopia is one of these developing countries facing the challenges of climate change. Despite the impact of lack of adequate financial support for its climate action, as part of the Global South, yet it has been implementing various types of adaptation and mitigation strategies by once own internal resource mobilization. And, COP 28 has helped the country to showcases its effort in averting climate change and its effort to contribute its fair share for the common global challenge. In his remarks at the summit, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PHD) highlighted the home-grown solutions Ethiopia has been implementing to reduce emissions and build resilience, citing the Green Legacy Initiative launched in 2019 as a nature-based solution to avert climate apocalypse. Under the Green Legacy Initiative, 32.5 billion seedlings have been planted so far, while the country aims to plant 50 billion by 2026. "Our goal is to reach 50 billion by 2026. When completed, it will be the largest reforestation project in the world," said the Prime Minister." This initiative is successfully reducing carbon emissions, preserving our biodiversity, creating jobs and boosting sectors such as tourism. Furthermore, Ethiopia's pavilion at the summit showcased the country's efforts to combat climate change, in line with the Prime Minister's remarks at the opening of the summit. The pavilion also showcased Ethiopia's efforts to transform its food system by planting various drought-tolerant crops and using climate-smart irrigation technology. This has resulted in some concrete achievements over the years, such as the production of wheat on 6 million hectares in one year. The platform also provides an opportunity for Ethiopia to showcase its efforts to promote nutrition-sensitive agriculture, including livestock and dairy products, through a programme called 'Yelemat Tirufat', which loosely translates as 'Bounty of the Basket'. This programme alone is playing a crucial role in transforming the country's food system from subsistence to a more productive output. This is a huge step towards achieving the goal of food security, while at the same time contributing to a more nutritious diet that will help build a healthier society in the long term. In addition, visitors to the Ethiopian pavilion were amazed at what Ethiopia is doing to tackle climate change, citing Ethiopia's efforts as exemplary and expressing their willingness to work together. Representatives of international organisations and officials praised Ethiopia's leadership on climate change, saying that Ethiopia's journey towards a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy serves as an inspiration for other developing countries facing the challenges of climate change. They also acknowledged the challenges Ethiopia faces and stressed the importance of international cooperation in addressing climate change. This is indeed a good opportunity for Ethiopia to promote its climate action and pave the way for partnerships with countries and international organisations. Ethiopia has also hosted and participated in various events and conferences related to climate change, and while this gives a direct impetus to its climate diplomacy, it is crucial for Ethiopia to strengthen its multilateral engagement and cross-sectoral cooperation. Building a Sustainable Future In short, COP 28 was an important opportunity to further strengthen action to avert climate catastrophe. Moreover, the Summit has recognized that developing countries, especially African countries, are grappling with the challenges of climate change, while at the same time calling for more support for these countries to help them build resilience. We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that the fight against climate change requires a concerted effort and that any retreat from a comprehensive approach would have negative consequences in terms of missing the climate target. Therefore, addressing the concerns of developing countries in particular, and fast-tracking the Loss & Damage and Adaptation Funds would have a huge impact on accelerating climate action, rather than hindering progress. Reinforcing this idea, Prime Minister Abiy stressed that "the biggest challenge to scaling up the solution is the cost of capital and the way international finance is structured". He went on to say that no country can effectively address the climate challenge if debt is a burden, and urged the international community to help countries address debt, the climate challenge, and pursue more equitable and sustainable economic growth goals through the distribution of funds.  
The Implementation of Transitional Justice and National Dialogue Will Define Ethiopia's Future
Dec 16, 2023 4525
By staff writer Ethiopia, a nation renowned for its rich history and diverse cultural heritage, has been grappling with internal conflicts for decades. Internal conflict still persists in the country. However, a glimmer of hope is emerging with the signing of the Pretoria Agreement in November 2022, marking a crucial step towards lasting peace in the northern part of Ethiopia. Now, Ethiopia steps onto the path of reconciliation, radiating from renewed aspirations for peace and stability. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian government has adopted a comprehensive approach to address the root causes of internal conflicts, paving the way for a more equitable and harmonious future. At the heart of these endeavors lie two pivotal initiatives: transitional justice and national dialogue. The initiatives aim to redress historical grievances, promote human rights as well as facilitate constructive engagement among political elites to reach consensus on major national issues and forge national unity. Transitional justice stands as a beacon of hope aims to address past injustices and human rights violations through mechanisms of accountability, reparations, and reconciliation. Simultaneously, the national consultation seeks to cultivate inclusive discussions and consensus-building, fostering national unity by addressing longstanding grievances. In his recent address to foreign diplomats, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Demeke Mekonnen spoke with unwavering conviction about the nation's peace efforts, emphasizing the significance of transitional justice and the national dialogue in steering Ethiopia towards enduring stability. These initiatives, he explained, reflect the government's unwavering commitment to healing historical wounds, nurturing unity, and fostering a shared vision for Ethiopia's future. Demeke acknowledged the challenges ahead, emphasizing the need for "genuine commitment and unwavering determination" from all stakeholders. He called for constructive engagement in the national dialogue process, stressing that "truth-telling, forgiveness, and reconciliation are fundamental to building a lasting peace." The success of these initiatives will hinge on several critical factors, including inclusivity, ensuring all voices are heard and represented in the national dialogue and transitional justice processes. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in his explanation he gave to members of parliament (MPs) in mid-November, 2023 said that all should support the Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission for the benefits of citizens and the country. Abiy stressed that "we have to help the commission in every way we can. Everyone should help them for their benefits," he noted and emphasized a missed opportunity is regrettable. And in conducting transitional justice and inclusive national dialogue, transparency, open communication, delivering accountability for past human rights violations and ensuring fair and equal access to justice for all; and political will as well as sustained commitment from all political actors to prioritize peace and dialogue over division and conflict are imperative. Transitional justice refers to measures implemented by countries emerging from periods of conflict. It may involve judicial processes like trials, truth commissions, reparations programs, security sector reform. In Ethiopia's case, experts say transitional justice is essential to come to terms with a history of violence among political elites that has perpetuated cycles of political turmoil and harmed civilians. “Ethiopia really needs a comprehensive transitional justice policy that has to be implemented in a very genuine, independent and impartial process,” according to Mareshet Tadesse, a member of transitional justice working group at the Ministry of Justice. As Ethiopia continues its journey towards peace, the resilience of its people and the unwavering determination of its leaders serve as a beacon of hope for a brighter future. Through transitional justice and national dialogue, Ethiopia is charting a new course, embracing the values of accountability, reconciliation, and unity. This journey represents a testament to the nation's enduring spirit and a renewed commitment to peace, setting the stage for a future defined by harmony, equality, and shared prosperity.    
The Relationship Between Angola and Ethiopia Is Historic: Ambassador Bembe
Nov 23, 2023 7067
Addis Ababa,November 23/2023(ENA)-Angola’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Miguel César Domingos Bembe has spoken exclusively to ENA on the bilateral and multilateral cooperation between the Ethiopia and Angola on related issues. Excerpts follow: ENA: Ambassador, thank you for your time for this interview. First, I would like to say congratulations on the 48th anniversary of Angola’s independence. Ambassador Bembe: Thank you very much. I would also say thank you for the opportunity ENA has granted me to address various issues inherent to bilateral and multilateral cooperation between the Angola and Ethiopia. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate ENA on its 80 plus years of existence, always at the service of Ethiopia, in the hard work of producing and distributing stories in texts, audio and video news on national, regional and international issues. To say a few words about Angola’s independence, I would like to remind that this achievement took place in a complex and challenging national and international context, influenced by the division dynamics of the Cold War. When proclaiming Angola’s independence to Africa and the world on 11th of November 1975, the first President of the Republic, Dr António Agostinho Neto, made a commitment to defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and well- being of the Angolan people and a determination to contribute to the liberation of the oppressed peoples of the continent and the world. After nearly three decades of internal conflict, Angola finally achieved lasting peace on 4th of April 2002. Now Angola celebrates 48 years of independence, the country stands as an example of conflict prevention, management and resolution in Africa, which resulted in the designation of President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço as African Union Champion for Peace and Reconciliation in Africa, in May 2022, in Malabo, Republic of Equatorial Guinea. Our recent past has taught us to prioritize dialogue and political consultation in the framework of an ever more dynamic democracy that respects and values differences of opinion and advocates reinforcement of the country’s current environment of peace, security and stability. As part of the celebrations of the 48th anniversary of Angola’s independence, I would like to highlight the inauguration, on November 10, 2023, of the new International Airport Dr António Agostinho Neto (AIAAN). It covers an area of one 1,324) hectares, with a capacity for 15 million passengers and a cargo volume of 130,000) tons per year. The airport will be fully operational in three phases, the first of which will be cargo services, which began on the 11th of this month; the second, domestic flights, which will begin in February 2024 and the third international flights is scheduled for June 2024. ENA: What do you think should be done to strengthen the existing relations between the two countries for the benefit of their peoples? Ambassador Bembe: Indeed, the relationship between Angola and Ethiopia is one of history and friendship, inspired by the defence of multilateralism in the resolution of global problems and Pan-Africanism as the basis for the implementation of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, entitled “The Africa we want.” Both countries share common values, based on the principles of democracy, good governance and respect for human rights, the prevention, management and peaceful resolution of conflicts, the regional security and stability, the protection of the environment and the fight against climate change, the promotion of growth and inclusive sustainable development and the acceleration of the process of continental integration, including inter and intra-African trade. I recall that diplomatic relations between Angola and Ethiopia were established in 1977 and remain aligned with the interests of the respective governments. It is pertinent to expand and diversify these relations beyond diplomatic cooperation, with the aim of matching the current economic development and strategic influence of both countries. We also need to capitalize on the opportunities of its geopolitical location (Angola, at the crossroads between the southern and central regions of the African continent, and Ethiopia, at the crossroads between Africa, the Middle East and Asia). To this end, I would like to emphasize the need to consolidate the bilateral legal basis by concluding legal instruments, among others, general agreement on cooperation in the economic, technical, scientific and cultural fields, as well as political consultation. I believe that it is very important to revise the legal instruments, specifically in the fields of air services which have been in effect since 1977 and trade instruments since 1981. I also believe that we should be looking at new areas of cooperation with comparative advantages, namely in the agricultural sector, in the agro-processing and pharmaceutical industries, in the development of industrial parks, as well as in the oil pipeline industry. As I mentioned earlier, both countries signed the Bilateral Air Services Agreement in May 1977, which was supplemented by a Memorandum of Understanding in September 1998 to allow their airlines to operate daily passenger and cargo services between the two capitals. In January 1981, the two countries signed a Trade Agreement on the Exchange of Products and Goods, under which Ethiopia began exporting meat, oilseeds and wine to Angola. For its part, Angolan exports to the Ethiopian market included oil products, crude oil, aluminum foil, marble, flour and fish oil, among other products. The two countries also set up a joint commission between their ministries of foreign and trade to monitor the implementation of the agreement. The parties recognized the need to establish cooperation bases that are more in line with their current political, economic and social development and that offer reciprocal advantages. ENA: What are the key areas in which the two countries can work together in the future? Ambassador Bembe: I think I have made it clear that the relations of cooperation between Angola and Ethiopia have great potential for strengthening and diversifying, especially in the economic and investment fields. The leaderships of both countries are strongly committed in promoting this potential, particularly in the fields of aviation, oil and gas, mining, telecommunications, coffee, tourism, health, culture, sport and financial services. ENA: In recent times, the economic potential of Ethiopia and Angola has emerged as a force capable of increasing bilateral cooperation. What should be done to strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries? Ambassador Bembe: In fact, in recent decades, the economic development potential of both countries has been emerging as a driving force behind more comprehensive bilateral cooperation. To increase this cooperation, we are also planning to hold an Economic Forum to encourage the establishment of a structured and dynamic relationship between companies, chambers of commerce and sectoral associations in both countries to foster cooperation in the private sector. On the other hand, I think it is important to have political consultations at higher level to assess cooperation and prepare the conditions for a multi-sectoral ministerial meeting, during which legal instruments already initialed could be signed; the revision of the Air Services Agreement, providing the legal framework for a possible program of aeronautical training or maintenance and repair of Angolan aircraft. I would like to take this opportunity to reinforce relevant information already shared, that our diplomatic mission is preparing an interactive Economic and Business Forum on investment opportunities in Angola, scheduled for the 27th of this month of November, with the aim of attracting investment in various areas of activity. With this event, we will be taking an important step towards strengthening economic cooperation between our countries. ENA: What is the international and regional cooperation of the two countries like for mutual benefit and in African issues? Ambassador Bembe: In the multilateral context, our relations are also very strong and should be continually reinforced. I emphasize cooperation in the field of peace and security, particularly in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations and beyond, an area in which Ethiopia has a great deal of experience. In this context, in 2020, Angola approved a law authorising the deployment of military and paramilitary contingents outside the country as part of humanitarian aid and peace support operations. The threats posed by terrorism and violent extremism in Africa are security challenges that require the two states to take concerted action within the framework of existing national and continental mechanisms. This is a good opportunity, as Angola will be a member of the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC-AU) for the 2024-2025 biennium and will preside over the destinies of the continental organization in 2025. ENA: What is your opinion on the participation of the two countries in speeding up the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)? Ambassador Bembe: With regard to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), it is essential to align the national political agenda of each state with the goals pursued by this flagship project of the African Union, a common market of around 1.3 billion people. Angola, as a state party, ratified and deposited the required legal instruments in November 2020, thus contributing to the entry into force of the Agreement in January 2021. The Angolan Government, led by President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, is working to improve the business environment in the country and on the continent, boosting industry and encouraging an increase in national production, through several strategic plans. In this context, Angola seeks to domesticate or appropriate international commitments under the United Nations’ Agenda 2030 and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Ethiopia, thanks to its great agro-industrial potential, should take a leading role in the operationalization of the AfCFTA, expanding inter and intra-African trade, while at the same time promoting support for other African states through the sharing of knowhow, thereby boosting the growth of the food production and processing industry on the African continent.  
Highlights of Prime Minister Abiy's Response to the House of Peoples’ Representatives
Nov 15, 2023 6784
BY STAFF WRITER In his response to the queries raised by the members of the House of Peoples' Representatives (HPR) during its 4th regular session held yesterday, Prime Minister Abiy dwelt upon, among others, major challenges facing the country, achievements made in the macroeconomic sphere and Ethiopia’s legitimate and genuine quest for sea outlets based on win-win approach. MPs raised issues pertaining to peace and stability in the country, agricultural development, inaugurated and ongoing national development projects, diplomatic issues, matters related to accession of ports, civil service reforms, education and public health. On local Issues Currently, the major reasons for the challenges facing Ethiopia emanate from emotionally charged sentiments and conspiracy-oriented narrations, the premier remarked. Prime Minister Abiy noted that by pulling our ideas together like the tributary rivers of the Nile, the narrative to be built should be in a manner conducive to peace, development and prosperity of mankind. He pointed out that coming out of extremist ideas and accommodate a balanced thought is what Ethiopia is expecting and needs from every citizen at this particular moment. Recalling the situation in Amhara region, the premier said the state of emergency declared on Amhara region has brought about relative peace and order. The intention of the illegal armed groups to dismantle the regional government has been thwarted, the premier said. By virtue of a millennial history, socio-cultural and economic interaction, the people of Ethiopia were and are multi-national. A country cannot be built by a single narration, the premier underlined, adding that it is necessary to work together for a common cause by listening and respecting each other. To this end, the government focuses on critical and inclusive agendas of national significance and would never resort to fomenting divisive views. The country is seeking a grand narrative which is built for decades to replace polarized views with multi-national unity. On National Dialogue Everyone should support the Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission for the benefits of citizens and the country, Prime Minister Abiy underscored. As there are difference of opinions and disagreements among various opinion leaders and segments of society on some fundamental national issues, it is necessary to alleviate and resolve the differences and disagreements through a broad based inclusive public dialogue and reach national consensus. We have to help the commission which has been working with great diligence in every way we can, the premier said. On Macroeconomic Achievements Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed stated that Ethiopia has doubled its GDP over the past five years from around 84 billion USD to about 164 billion USD by following multi-sectoral economic approach. Stabilizing the macroeconomy was one of the targets of the Homegrown Economic Reform Agenda Amid many man-made and natural challenges in Ethiopia and in other parts of the world including conflicts, COVID-19, pressure of fluctuation of the international trade system, the nation has managed to double its GDP for the first time in history, the prime minister affirmed. He recalled that Ethiopia’s GDP was about 84 billion USD by the time he came to power, adding that the country’s GDP has now reached about 164 billion USD. The per capita income has also reached 1549 USD from 882 USD five years ago which registers double growth. Ethiopia is one of the few countries in Africa and around the world that are registering fast economic growth. The industry sector registered 6.9 percent growth last Ethiopian budget year following the growth of the electric sector, recording the highest growth by more than 12 percent. The construction and manufacturing sectors also registered 7.1 percent and 7 percent respectively during the stated period. Manufacturing is one of the critical sectors for the nation, Prime Minister Abiy stressed and added total production capacity of factories were around 47 percent, but now it reaches 55 percent increasing by 8 percent due to the activities launched by Ethiopia Tamirt Movement. On Ethiopia’s Legitimate Right for Sea Outlets Ethiopia will continue raising the issue of getting access to sea and alternative port through win-win approach, the premier underscored. With a population of about 47 million and low economic growth 30 years ago, Ethiopia had two ports, he recalled The premier thanked the government and people of Djibouti for contributing to the growth and development of Ethiopia by allowing the country to use their port over the past years, adding "we have no concern and fear from Djibouti government and people, but we need the neighboring countries, including Djibouti, to understand our concern." According to him, it is important to find an alternative port as Ethiopia's economy and population are growing at a high rate. “Ethiopia didn't ask an inappropriate question that is out of the law. Ethiopia has no desire to fire a shot at neighboring countries. But, we are saying let us discuss this in terms of the law and business.” Ethiopia believes that the issue of port should be resolved immediately and without delay, Prime Minister Abiy said. Neighboring countries and governments of other countries should understand that we have submitted a request to get access to sea by sharing Ethiopian Airlines, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam or other organizations, and that we are committed to common development. As Ethiopia needs peace, prosperity, and development, it is ready to discuss about the issue of port with all friends who believe in this agenda.  
Ethiopia's Natural Quest For Sea Outlet Offers Dividend For All
Oct 28, 2023 6754
BY BEREKET SISAY Ethiopia has made bold assertion about its natural and legitimate right to sea outlet. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed recently made presentation to Ethiopia’s members of parliament about the importance of access to the sea. The underlying principles of his presentation, were among others, while pursuing for the common destiny of the peoples who have consisted in any of the country, for instance, in Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, Kenya and Eritrea, the peoples deserve utilizing resources in the region for mutual benefits as they have common heritage, language and culture. It is against this backdrop that Ethiopia has offered for equitable and fair utilization of resources, in this case, sea outlets, and the issue must put on table for peaceful dialogue and discussion. Let alone in 21st century where mutual cooperation, shared vision and mutual benefits, multilateralism and give and take are much articulated in the global stage, these notions were among the core guiding principles for the United Nations, African Union and other regional and international blocks. Even if we follow the currents trends among nations in the region, there are collaborations, despite variations in magnitude. If wisdom prevails, countries in the region will intensify their endeavors and explore all avenues for common prosperity. Given historical, geographical, cultural and inter-dependence nature of the neighboring peoples, negotiations and give and take principles are in their best interest. For its growing population and economy, Ethiopia's lack of access sea outlets for its foreign trade is a major obstacle to the country's attempts to boost its exports and reap the benefits as desired. Needles to mention, the lack of direct access to the coast diminishes the country's export performance as it discourages business entities due to operational cost of freight in the logistics network. In support of this argument, studies have shown that landlocked developing countries continue to face structural challenges in accessing global markets. As a result, landlocked countries often lag behind their maritime neighbors in terms of overall development and foreign trade due to their distance from the coast. The UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States report shows that lack of territorial access to the sea, remoteness and isolation from global markets, additional border crossings, cumbersome transit procedures, inefficient logistics systems, weak institutions and poor infrastructure cause LLDCs to incur significantly higher transport and other trade transaction costs than coastal countries. These high costs have an enormous trade-restricting effect, which has a direct negative impact on economic growth and puts LLDCs at a disadvantage in realizing their full potential in support of their sustainable development efforts. Moreover, dependence on another country's port is not a sustainable and viable option for a nation, as it is based on principles agreed between countries, as opposed to having its own natural direct access. Thus, it is possible to conclude that lack of access to sea routes and exposure to high transportation and transit costs puts Ethiopia at significant economic disadvantage position and for this it is not surprising that Ethiopia is now reconsidering options to gain access to the Red Sea. Moreover, gaining access to the sea would have a huge positive impact on Ethiopia's economy, giving a new impetus to the country's overall development. Sea outlets will further stimulate the economy, of course with dividends to all. This is because the sea outlet will enable Ethiopia to reconnect to one of the world's most important trade routes - the Red Sea, which, according to the European University Institute, now carries around 80% of the world's trade by sea, as well as more than 12% of the world's seaborne cargo and 40% of Asia's trade with Europe. Given Ethiopia's geo-strategic location, the lack of direct access to the Red Sea is an obstacle to the country's future. So, Ethiopia's call for access to the Red Sea can be achieved through peaceful diplomatic engagement with neighboring countries. More importantly, neighboring countries should first deem Ethiopia’s request as a legitimate concern as part of a regional agenda for shared economic prosperity. What's more, Ethiopia's willingness to offer part of its national assets, such as taking a share from Ethiopia Airlines, Ethio-telecom, including the Great Renaissance Dam, attest that Ethiopia is calling for a genuine partnership and win-win cooperation. This is not solely for Ethiopia but a dividend for all who are engaged. This is the explicit call that the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has made to countries in the region. There are countries that have gained access to the sea after long diplomatic efforts. For example, it was sincere diplomatic negotiations that led to Poland's gaining of access to see, and it's no different for Ethiopia to seek direct access to the Red Sea through mutually beneficial and peaceful diplomatic means. Therefore, neighboring countries must be open for dialogue as sea outlet for Ethiopia is imperative both for its current as well as future economic goals and dividend for all. Ethiopia's request for sea access is not a matter of competing interests between neighboring countries, but of mutually agreed benefits that will further regional economic integration in the context of shared development agenda. It must be noted that the Horn of Africa, which has long been characterized as a hotspot of insecurity and fragility, can easily transform the region into one of sustainable peace and development as long as the countries of the region are inclined towards such a mutually beneficial agenda, and this is incumbent on all the countries of the region.  
ENDF: National Pride of the Ethiopian People 
Oct 26, 2023 6181
BY SOLOMON DIBABA The Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) is marking its 116th Army Day with various events that depict the heroic feats it has accomplished for over a century. Over the course of its glorious history, the ENDF has defended not only the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country but also demonstrated an exemplary anti-colonial struggle that set an example for the decolonization of Africa and all countries and peoples who were languishing under the yoke of the imperialist colonial forces. The recent history of the country shows that the defense force has repulsed scores of external aggressions and forces that threatened the statehood of the country. This article outlines some of the most unique features of the Ethiopian defense force both at national and international level. First, the ENDF is a national force of peace which has been engaged in international peace keeping missions under the auspices of UNSC over the last several decades and to date. Suffice it to mention the heroic internationalist stance of the ENDF in Korea, Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, and Somalia. In these missions, apart from keeping peace, the Ethiopian missions were actively engaged in supporting communities in the countries by providing livelihood inputs, including supply of relief food and water, construction of schools, clinics and other infrastructure facilities. The ENDF has now become a center of science and technology specializing on the promotion of the defense capabilities of the nation. Apart from the above mentioned contributions, ENDF has become a pan Africanist force that rendering trainings and organizing the defense forces of several African countries in various areas of the defenses sector. Among other things, the ENDF has been contributing to the mitigation of natural and man mad calamities which were cause by the effects of climate change in Ethiopia. The defense force contributed to provision of relief food and water supplies to areas affected by drought in the country. The ENDF has now become an important center of higher education and learning in various areas of military and non-military capacity building programs. This has helped the defense force to effectively carry out mega projects in the country. Moreover, one of the most important contributions of ENDF is related to the promotion of import substitution in which machineries and other technical goods, heavy duty trucks are now produced in ENDF technological enterprises. It must also be noted that ENDF has pioneered in the struggle against terrorists that plagued the Horn of Africa. The army foiled repeated intrusions of Al-Shabaab and ISIS terrorists in almost all cases by its own efforts. As a bulwark of peace and development, the peace and sovereignty of Ethiopia has been maintained despite the challenges. Above all, the ENDF is the guardian of the constitution and rule of law in the country. It will continue to be the sole defender of peace, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.  
Sea Outlet for Ethiopia Is not Luxury 
Oct 21, 2023 5217
BY SOLOMON DIBABA The international law of the sea establishes principles and mechanisms so that landlocked countries can have access the sea and integrate into the global maritime system. In this regard, Ethiopia’s resolve to have access to sea in the neighboring countries based on mutual benefits and respect is legitimate. To this end, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed emphasized the importance of discussions on sea ports with leaders of neighboring countries. Discussion among leaders of the region will further consolidate socioeconomic cooperation and durable peace in the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia’s accession to ports is an important component of its socio-economic, diplomatic, political, historical and socio-cultural development. First, Ethiopia’s strategic and geostrategic location and proximity to the Red Sea, linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Indian Ocean, Middle East, Persian Gulf and Far East countries. Ethiopia is at close proximity with major important ports the region. On the other hand, a significant portion of the global fossil fuel trade is being transacted through the Red Sea which makes access to ports on the Red Sea highly critical for Ethiopia. Second, access to ports has a critical bearing on the national security of Ethiopia. Given the power rivalry on the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia cannot be indifferent to any level of threats to the national security, peace, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Ensuring national security as an important diplomatic, political and economic center linking to the Horn and the rest of Africa, the issue of access to ports to Ethiopia peacefully and through negotiations, “ is not a matter of luxury but a question of survival” according to a recent presentation Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed delivered to members of the parliament (MPs). Third, having access to ports would enable Ethiopia to share its own natural resources with Africa and the rest of the world thus contributing to the global economic development in the context of BRICS, Belts and Roads Initiative, Agenda 2063, AfCfTA and African economic integration. And fourth, access to ports will further promote Ethiopia’s cultural and historical relations with coastal countries. Fifth, Ethiopia has now reestablished its national naval force, with accessing ports in partnership with Red Sea littoral states, where the nation can contribute to the protection of safety of commercial ships by combating sea piracy and sea terrorism. Sixth, unfettered access to the Red Sea will enable Ethiopia to export its processed and semi-processed agricultural products, minerals etc. and import manufactured goods, IT products and other commodities. Seventh, Ethiopia will further enhance her political assertiveness among countries in the world and Africa in particular to advocate for pan Africanism through which African countries can use their own resources for development and build their national economies. So, the issue of ports is a matter of concern for the nation—i.e. the entire citizenry here and overseas. This writer would like to conclude this article with quotes from Prime Minister Abiy’s presentation: “Ethiopia is endowed with population, resources and skilled manpower. There are some remaining things that should be addressed through time. However, this matter prevents Ethiopia from acquiring its place and position in Africa. We need access to the sea. We need the Red Sea. We need Indian Ocean. However, it is important to explore options. Is our option one and only one? It is important to explore alternatives by inquiring the type of options as it will enable us to comprehend the matter better.”      
Ethiopian News Agency