Ethiopia Actively Promoting Regional Integration through Infrastructure Dev't: Experts
Jul 13, 2024 383
Addis Ababa July 13/2024 (ENA) Ethiopia is actively pushing for regional integration not only in terms of trade but also several areas such as infrastructure and energy; and it can in fact be described as even a leader of the African integration journey, ECA experts noted. In an exclusive interview with ENA, African Trade Policy Center Coordinator at ECA Melaku Desta said Ethiopia can be seen as an active participant and a leader in the journey towards African integration. This involves efforts to improve and expand physical connectivity such as roads, railways, ports, and energy networks that link Ethiopia with its neighboring countries and the broader region. By investing in and enhancing infrastructure, Ethiopia aims to facilitate smoother trade flows, foster economic cooperation, and strengthen political ties with its regional neighbors, Melaku elaborated. He further explained that historically, Ethiopia has not been extensively engaged in regional integration efforts. Its approach to such initiatives has often been characterized as reluctant. But, over the past six years, Ethiopia has significantly shifted its stance on regional integration by actively leading both the negotiations and the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. “Ethiopia is actively pushing for regional integration not only in terms of trade but also several areas in terms of infrastructure, energy trading and others. I think right now, Ethiopia can be described as an active participant and even a leader of African integration journey” Participation and implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) offer immense benefits to Ethiopia, he noted. The AfCFTA aims to create a favorable business environment for Ethiopian businesses within the country and to unlock market opportunities across the entire continent, which comprises 1.4 billion people with a collective spending capacity exceeding 3 trillion US dollars. Accordingly, companies deciding to invest in Ethiopia and establish a production plant can benefit significantly. They are not limited to the capacity of the Ethiopian market alone, the coordinator said, adding that through the AfCFTA, they can produce goods for a vast market across Africa without facing restrictions, duties, tariffs, or other barriers such as quantitative restrictions or quotas. For his part, Transport and Infrastructure Economist at ECA, Yonas Bekele, emphasized that infrastructure integration in Africa is now more crucial than ever.   It serves to recalibrate Africa's growth strategy by boosting intra-regional trade, especially amid global isolation, protectionism, and supply chain disruptions, he said, adding that this is particularly evident from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing geopolitical conflicts in regions like Ukraine and Palestine. “We know that infrastructure development and integration can act as a catalyst for trade innovation, income improvement in the continent. But the importance of infrastructure development for intra-regional or integration in the continent has been duly recognized by our member states, including Ethiopia.” The government did a lot of encouraging initiatives for an effective and accessible infrastructure, which basically is an essential achievement for regional integration for the sustainable economic development of the country, he elaborated. “Ethiopian infrastructure success includes, developing Ethiopian airlines, upgrading network of trunk roads, rapidly expanding access to water and sanitation, including the ongoing corridor development that elevates the city's reputation serve as a cornerstone for construction of modern urban center,” according to Yonas. He further appreciated Ethiopia's efforts in exporting electricity to neighboring countries and its work to expand crucial road infrastructure, which enhance regional integration.    
Ethiopia Fulfilling Role in East Africa's Integration for Development, Peace
Jul 13, 2024 426
Addis Ababa July 13/2024 (ENA) Ethiopia has been fulfilling its role in connecting the East African region with mutual development benefits and ensuring peace, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs. African Affairs Director-General, Fisseha Shawel told ENA that Ethiopia's foreign policy places a high priority on fostering positive and cooperative relationships with neighboring countries. This strategic approach prioritizes enhancing bilateral and regional cooperation in various domains, including political diplomacy, economic partnerships, security collaboration, cultural exchanges, and environmental sustainability. By prioritizing its neighbors, the director general aims to promote regional stability, mutual prosperity, and sustainable development initiatives that benefit all parties involved. This proactive stance underscores Ethiopia's commitment to addressing shared challenges, promoting peace, and harnessing collective strengths to achieve common goals within the Horn of Africa and beyond. According to Fisseha, Ethiopia is eager to pursue development in close cooperation with its neighbors and to contribute to East Africa's integration, aiming for positive development outcomes and enduring peace. The country's relations with its neighbors in the political, economic, and social spheres are extensive and robust, and these efforts are growing stronger over time, he added. The director-general stated that the countries are obtaining various infrastructures such as power supply, railway lines, telecommunications, and water pipelines from Ethiopia. Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya and Djibouti are, for example, receiving energy directly from Ethiopia. The director general emphasized that Ethiopia plays a pivotal role in the region, highlighting ongoing efforts to strengthen its influence and impact. Ethiopia is thus fulfilling its role in integrating the region with mutual benefit of development and sustainable peace. Fisseha emphasized that all Ethiopian national projects take neighboring countries into consideration, and upon completion of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, these neighboring countries will benefit significantly from increased energy resources. Therefore Ethiopia will continue to strengthen its role for sustainable peace by ensuring development through cooperation among the countries of the region.
Int’l Community Urged to Provide Necessary Support to Refugees Sheltered in Ethiopia 
Jul 10, 2024 1014
Addis Ababa, July 10/2024 (ENA) Ethiopia is currently hosting more than 1.1 million refugees providing them with all their needs but the international community is not providing adequate support to the nation’s efforts, Refugees and Returnees Service reported. A report from National Migration Council indicates that Ethiopia is the origin, transition and destination of refugees of various countries. It is repeatedly disclosed that Ethiopian citizens illegally migrate to various destinations at overseas being subjected to untold agonies and mistreatment. As a result, the government is attempting to reduce the number of irregular migrants and is engaged in repatriating those who are languishing in foreign lands. The Director General of Returnees and Refugee Service, Taiba Hassan stated that irregular migrants have continued to put more pressure on the country. Taiba noted that although Ethiopia is fully engaged in providing services to refugees being hosted in the country, her own citizens however are suffering as refugees overseas. The government is currently engaged in repatriating these citizens who are under very difficult conditions by engaging in diplomatic discussions with the officials of host countries, she added. In this regard, Taiba cited the efforts being made by the government to repatriate its citizens who were living in very difficult conditions in Saudi Arabia. Many Ethiopians have been repatriated from Saudi Arabia and are being integrated into the communities as employment opportunities are being provided for them. Ethiopia is currently hosting over 1.1 million refugees from 26 countries and is providing them with protection in line with the provisions of international agreements, the Director General revealed. Despite Ethiopia’s efforts to provide basic services to refugees, due to the increase in the number of refugees across the world, the funds essential to provide them with care and protection is dwindling over time, Taiba added. Conflicts in several parts of the world, poverty and destitution, unemployment have further exacerbated the plight of refugees and increase in their number across the world. The number of refugee and asylum seekers in Ethiopia is also on the rise, the Director General revealed. Although providing international support for refugees have now become ever critical, the fund and support needed for providing services to refugees is gradually decreasing, Taiba said stressing the need for international cooperation to address the challenge. The Director General said that Ethiopia is exerting every possible effort at her disposal to address the needs of refugees and the international community is expected to raise enough fund to support refugees. Ethiopia has made policy reforms on hosting refugees in her capacity by engaging in community based and developmental approach to host and nurture refugees under her protection, Taiba concluded.  
PM Abiy Holds Fruitful Discussion with General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan
Jul 9, 2024 1191
Addis Ababa, July 9/ 2024 (ENA) Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed held a fruitful discussion with the Chairman of Sudan's Transitional Sovereign Council General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan today, Government Communication Affairs Service Minister Legesse Tulu revealed. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed today conducted an official visit to Sudan. Government Communication Affairs Service Minister Legesse Tulu said in a statement that the objective of the visit is to discuss ways to end the conflict in Sudan in a peaceful mechanism. In this regard, the two leaders have held a fruitful discussion about the current situation in Sudan, the minister stated. Indicating that Ethiopia and Sudan share 744 kilometers of common border, Legesse highlighted the long standing relations of the two nations in terms of people to people, cultural and economic ties. He further underlined the need for the two nations to work together more closely as problems in one nation also impact the other. The Minister also highlighted the various efforts being carried out by Ethiopia to encourage the Sudanese forces to resolve their differences peacefully and work in collaboration to bring peace to their country. He expressed Ethiopia’s continued commitment to bring peace in Sudan. During his discussion with General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, Prime Minister Abiy expressed Ethiopia’s readiness to provide the necessary support to peacefully resolve the problem in Sudan. The Chairman of Sudan's Transitional Sovereign Council General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan for his part said the Premier’s visit demonstrates his regard for the people of Sudan. He also extended gratitude to Prime Minister Abiy for his efforts to ensuring sustainable peace and stability in Sudan.
HPR Speaker Insists On Decisions to Prioritize People's Needs, Strengthen Unity
Jul 8, 2024 1083
Addis Ababa, July 8/2024(ENA)-The House of People’s Representatives (HPR) Speaker Tagesse Chafo insisted on public need-based decisions to bolster national unity. The House of People's Representatives held the fourth Parliamentary Conference in Addis Ababa today.   The annual conference attended by HPR Speaker, Tagesse Chafo, Deputy Speaker Lomi Bedo, Standing Committee Chairs and members of the parliament, ministers, federal and regional government officials and representatives, and other invited guests focuses on research-based decision-making to ensure rule of law and public interest. The conference with hundreds of participants featured the presentation of 10 in-depth research projects related to the mandates and functions of the parliament. These presentations delved into critical aspects of parliamentary work. Opening the conference, Speaker Tagesse Chafo emphasized the role of parliament as a cornerstone of Ethiopian democracy and a vital political institution for the public good. He noted the inherent characteristics of parliament in representing public sovereignty and ensuring citizens' voices are heard. The speaker stressed the importance of basing decisions on the needs and interests of the people to strengthen national unity. He encouraged for utilizing research to ensure well-informed decision-making for a positive impact. In light of the need for research-backed decisions, the speaker recalled HPR’s reform to enhance parliamentary system. Pointing out work undertaken to strengthen the mandates of the Standing Committees within HPR through research support, the speaker reiterated commitment expand and strengthen these research-backed decisions and operational systems within the house. Minister of Innovation and Technology addressed the conference highlighting the unprecedented opportunities and challenges presented by the digital era on a global scale. The minister outlined Ethiopia's efforts to harness the potential of digital technologies while mitigating the associated challenges such as cyber-attack and safeguarding data privacy and national security.   Belete emphasized the HPR's crucial and irreplaceable role in leveraging technology for the nation's development. He called on the parliament to focus on capacity building for citizens to be familiar with this evolving digital era and to benefit from an inclusive participation in the ongoing digitalized economic development. He emphasized the parliament's vital role in safeguarding and clarifying national interests in this digital era. The minister confirmed that the parliament has been effective in its legislative and oversight functions regarding the laws about innovation and technology. To strengthen data-driven decision-making, the house utilized dozens of research projects in the past three years.
Pres. Sahle-Work Stresses Need to Bolster Women's Participation in Diplomacy, Peace Building Endeavors
Jul 8, 2024 755
Addis Ababa, July 8/2024(ENA)-President Sahle-Work Zewde emphasized the need to enhance women's participation in diplomacy, conflict resolution and peace building efforts. The president made the remark in her address she delivered at the International Day of Women in Diplomacy observed in Addis Ababa today at the headquarters of UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). The event, organized by the Women in Diplomacy in Ethiopia Network (WIDEN), marks the international day of women in diplomacy 2024, ahead of the 25th anniversary of the adoption of UN security council resolution 1325. On the occasion, President Sahlework highlighted the critical need for women’s full representation in all aspects of diplomacy and decision-making, with their unique perspectives and approaches. She shared her experiences to the audience about her engagements in resolving conflicts in various peace building processes in various parts of Africa and the UN. The president noted that resolution 1325 of UN Security Council heralds better future for women. The resolution urges all actors to increase the participation of women and incorporate gender perspectives in all United Nations peace and security efforts. Women need to join hands to amplify their voices to be heard at global arena, she underscore, emphasizing the need to end women’s trauma in conflict affected areas. In his remark at the occasion, the Executive Secretary of UNECA Claver Gatete said addressing today's global challenges requires equal representation of women in all areas. Women bring immense benefits to diplomacy, explaining their role in peace keeping mission in Africa, he stated. The executive secretary said advocating for increased representation of women in key decision-making positions will greatly shape and implement multilateral agendas. He mentioned about the importance of systematic mainstreaming of gender perspective in the implementation of agenda 2030. Minister of Women and Social Affairs, Ergoge Tesfaye said the Ethiopian government has created conducive environment to enhance women participation in conflict resolution and peace building efforts. Ethiopia is also working to strengthen legal framework for survivors of gender based violence especially in conflict affected areas, the minister added. Ambassadors and diplomats of various countries, representative of international organizations and other invited guests attended the event organized to celebrate the 2024 International Day of Women in Diplomacy in Addis Ababa. The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 June of each year the International Day of Women in Diplomacy, reaffirming that the participation of women, on equal terms with men, at all levels of decision-making is essential to the achievement of sustainable development, peace and democracy. The event serves as an important reminder of the improvements that have been made so far and the work that remains to guarantee that women have equal opportunities to lead and contribute to the field of diplomacy.    
Africa Empowering Its Role in Global Conversation: Indonesian House of Representatives
Jul 8, 2024 664
Addis Ababa, July 8/2024(ENA) Africa in the recent decades, has been increasingly empowering its role in global conversation, said the Committee Chairperson for Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation of Indonesia’s House Preventatives. A seminar entitled: “African in Today’s World, Where Indonesia?” organized today by the committee for Inter-parliamentary cooperation House Representatives of Indonesia and embassy of Indonesia in Addis Ababa. In his webinar keynote address to the seminar, Chairperson of the Committee for Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation House Representatives of Indonesia, Fadli Zon said in recent decades, Africa has increased its prominent role in global conversation.   According to him, the African has an abundance of resources in all spheres with a youngest population in the world would give a comparative advantage to the continent’s growth and future economic development. This will also give leverage to the African countries in the geopolitical arena, he elaborated. Zon further added that the African region is still among the most promising non-traditional market destinations, including Indonesia. And he added his country has currently a unique political capital compared to other nations. In addition to having rich natural resources, Africa's economic growth is predicted to gain positive momentum in the upcoming years, the chairperson said. As African countries have recently begun to enjoy their political and economic independence, Zon hoped that this will be imperative to consolidate the continent’s critical role in the global stage. Elaborating Indonesia’s diplomatic relations with African countries, he indicated that Indonesian companies were hesitant to extend their businesses into African markets. Therefore, the chairman stressed the need for addressing these challenges and he pledged to identify Indonesia’s unique position in the context of African cooperation. He confirmed that the House of Representatives of Indonesia will host the Indonesia-Africa Parliamentary forum 2024 with aims of forging Indonesia-Africa parliamentary partnership for development. Indonesian Ambassador to Ethiopia, Al Busyra Basnur, said on his part in recent years, Africa has seen significant economic growth, with many countries developing rapidly and becoming more integrated into the global economy.   Ambassador added Africa is making great strides in governance and economic development and regional cooperation. “As one of Indonesia's representatives on the continent, our embassy is dedicated to fostering diplomatic relations, promoting trade and investment and enhancing cultural exchange between Indonesia and African nations,” he said. The ambassador added that we also actively engaged with the African Union's working together on various initiatives since Africa is a very important partner to Indonesia. He further stated that the continent is a key partner in south-south cooperation and a strategic ally in a global forums. Ambassador Basnur further stated that Africa's growing economies, rich natural resources and young population offer many opportunities for working together with Indonesia.   Executive Director of the Coalition on Media and Education for Development Africa Forum (CAFOR), Dr. Lawalley Cole said Africa needs to work with its partners on education, science and technology to transform its economy. The African Union should work to ensure peace and stability on the continent and realize agenda 2063, he stressed.        
Peace Minister Urges Citizens to Contribute Fair Share for Durable Peace in Ethiopia
Jul 7, 2024 940
Addis Ababa ,July 7/2024(ENA)- The issue of lasting peace could not be left as a back burner for Ethiopians as it has remained imperative for the betterment of the society across the country, Minister of Peace Binalf Andualem. Millions of Ethiopians run for peace today organized by the Ministry of Peace and other pertinent stakeholders under the slogan “All for Peace, Peace for All.”   The nationwide road race aimed at creating awareness among Ethiopians on the importance of peace and encouraging them to play their part in the efforts being underway by the government to realize sustainable peace in the country. In his remarks, at the event held in the capital this morning, Peace Minister Binalf said that above all, Ethiopians’ choice and desire is peace. The minister also reiterated the unwavering determination of the nation for lasting peace to demonstrate the world. Binalf stressed the need for ensuring durable peace that would be paramount to reinforce the ongoing reforms and development endeavors for the betterment of the citizens at the national level. According to him, Ethiopia is currently undergoing major reforms and the East African nation is registering impressive results in various development sectors. In this way, citizens have become more beneficiaries from the development activities than ever before, he added. At this moment in time, peace and tranquility is needed more than ever to sustain the all-round benefit of the citizens, the minister elaborated. Noting that peace is essential to achieve any development ambition, Binalf revealed that the main purpose of today's road running race is to show our desire for peace. He added that this peace run is to create awareness about peace and to remind citizens that they should fulfill their responsibility for sustainable peace. Thus, the minister urged the public to work hard and together for lasting peace.   On her part, Mayor of Addis Ababa Administration Adanech Abiebie noted that the city administration has achieved peace by involving the residents in the capital. The mayor also called on all the communities of the capital city to consolidate their contribution in maintaining peace and security. Prominent Ethiopian athletes, diplomats of various countries based in Addis Ababa and high level government officials have participated at the event held in the capital on Sunday. Similar events have also been held in several major towns across the country.  
1st Ethiopia-South Sudan Joint Border Administrators Meeting Pivotal to Strengthen Ties of Two Countries 
Jul 5, 2024 1024
Addis Ababa, July 5/2024 (ENA) Foreign Affairs State Minister Ambassador Mesganu Arga highlighted the importance of the first joint border administrators meeting of Ethiopia and South Sudan to strengthen the relations of the two countries in several aspects. Ethiopia and South Sudan have successfully concluded their first joint border administrators meeting held for the last two days in Addis Ababa. Officials from Foreign Affairs Ministries of the two countries said in a press conference that they have agreed to continue efforts to further strengthen their people to people and trade ties.   They will also jointly intensify efforts to ensure peace and security and enhance transboundary development. Foreign Affairs State Minister of Ethiopia, Ambassador Misganu Arga described the meeting as an important platform to enhance the bilateral relations of the two countries in multiple areas. “The Meeting plays pivotal role to strengthen trans-border development, trade and investment between the two countries. It is also important to intensify infrastructure connection and jointly ensure security for mutual benefits.” South Sudanese Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Ambassador Monday Semaya Kumba for his part commended the understanding reached between the two countries in the meeting as it is a great opportunity for mutual benefit.   He said the efforts that South Sudan is carrying out to enhance its bilateral relationship with Ethiopia will enter a new historical chapter. The Deputy Minister expressed the commitment of his government to implement all the matters agreed upon in the meeting. “It is a historical milestone in our bilateral engagement with Ethiopia. We are also very much pleased with the outcomes of the meeting.” High level government officials from both sides attended the two day meeting that focused on exchanging views on issues of development cooperation, joint infrastructure development and advancing people-to-people relations among others.    
PM Says Ethiopia's Policy Towards Neighboring Countries Anchored on Collaboration, Mutual Dev't
Jul 4, 2024 2210
Addis Ababa, July 4/2024(ENA)Ethiopia's diplomatic policy towards neighboring countries is based on collaboration and mutual development, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed reiterated. Highlighting Ethiopia's diplomatic priorities to the 36th regular session of the House of People's Representatives today, he noted the government's determination to resolve disputes with Sudan and bring internal peace to Sudan through negotiations. The Sudanese people are peace-loving and they have strong social bonds with the Ethiopians, the premier said. He also cited the strong relations with Ethiopia's neighbors, mentioning their shared history, cultural ties and longstanding diplomatic relations. According to him, the Ethiopian people and government are non-partisan to the parties involved in the ongoing conflict in Sudan. "We are desirous that the conflict be resolved peacefully," the PM said. Also, Ethiopia could have reclaimed the Al-Fashqa area during this time of conflict in Sudan, but we are waiting patiently until the rivals in Sudan resolve their differences and the country becomes peaceful, he elaborated. In addition, Ethiopia has continued to export electricity to Sudan throughout the conflict without making a request for immediate payment, Abiy added.   With respect to relations with Somalia, he recalled the brotherly relations and cooperation with Somalia. Ethiopia has paid dearly to peace and development of the neighboring state Somalia. The PM recalled the sacrifices paid by Ethiopian soldiers in Somalia to ensure the peace and stability of the country. Ethiopia not only respects Somalia's sovereignty and territorial integrity but also strongly desires its peace, Abiy reiterated. With regarding to the MoU signed with Somaliland, he underscored that the deal has been part of Ethiopia's effort to get access to sea and should not be considered as violation of territorial integrity. The premier stressed that Ethiopia's quest for access to sea is legitimate and in line with its national interest. Given its big economy, the country should not be deprived of access to the sea, the PM underlined. Furthermore, Ethiopia is ready to deal with Somalia on pertinent issues based on win-win approach and through negotiation. The premier summed up that Ethiopia's interest is to work together with neighboring countries Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Sudan, Somalia for regional cooperation, peace and mutual development.   .  
Ethiopian News Agency