Inhabitants of Addis Reaffirm Commitment to Support GERD Till Completion

Some inhabitants of Addis Ababa city told the Ethiopian News Agency that they will continue supporting the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) until its full completion. The construction of GERD has reached 95 percent, the Office of National Coordination for the Construction of the Dam disclosed on Wednesday. The dam whith its 13th year laying of the foundation to be commemorated at the end of this month, close to 19 billion Birr have been mobilized from public participation alone, it was indicated. The inhabitants of the capital believed that the Renaissance Dam is a key national hydropower project that would serve as a way out of poverty and common development. The residents also expressed joy over the construction of GERD that has reached 95 percent will create a great motivation to continue strengthening the support for the dam. One of the residents Megersa Yiyi told ENA that the current performance of the dam is a great encouragement to strengthen the support being carried out. 'We Ethiopians bo ught a billion Birr worth of bonds to the construction of the renaissance dam during the past consecutive years. Similarly, we have also bought bonds this year. Now we feel joy about the performance of the GERD, and we are motivated for the future support until its completion.' Another inhabitant Yasin Hussain said the Renaissance Dam is a symbol of Ethiopian unity and a project that gives Ethiopians hope for a brighter future. Yasin said the construction of the dam is now getting to an end without international support, adding that it is a lesson to Ethiopia can develop and execute other similar projects jointly. 'This dam is a symbol of our future hope that sheds light on our country. Not only this, but it is our project that has laid the foundation for national unity. All of us as a people have been involved in this dam. We are contributing everything we have to the dam,' he said. For Eleni Teshome, GERD is a critical national project and wealth to be bequeathed to the future generations, said. 'We ha ve contributed to the Renaissance Dam in our capacity. I myself participated in various fundraising campaigns for the dam and have bought bonds from my family. I have been also inspiring others to put their own fingerprint to finish this peoples' project. So we Ethiopian should realize that we do it for our children,' Eleni underscored. Moreover, the inhabitants stated that the dam is instrumental to save Ethiopia's water resources being wasted unfairly and bring about Ethiopians together in order to leave their legacy on this critical mega project. They are also convinced that the Grand Renaissance Dam will enable Ethiopians to hand over a prosperous country to the future generation. Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Reassessing Priorities to Expand Engagement in Ethiopia

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Senior Program Officer Tess Russo said the foundation is at an 'exciting moment where we're reassessing what the priorities for delivery of innovations within Ethiopia will be.' In an exclusive interview with ENA, the senior program officer said the foundation will this year re-establish what Ethiopia specific goals are for the entire team to work on. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been work closely with Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Transformation Agency and several other partners. According to Russo, the foundation will be making some decisions this year; and 'of course, those are coming from the priorities of the government.' It is not possible to know exactly what the budget is for any given year, the senior program officer said, adding that once the new priorities are set there will be a new budget along with that. 'In terms of priority for Ethiopia, we're actually at exciting moment where we're reassessing what the priorities for delivery of innov ations within Ethiopia will be; and the process for that will be engagement and stakeholder conversations with the Ethiopian government,' Russo elaborated. She further pointed out that the foundation's agriculture team has been working across a whole spectrum of activities from upstream research development for crops and livestock all the way down to reaching the farmers and pastoralists with digital services and advisory. The senior program officer added that there are some locations within Ethiopia in the highlands where climate change is actually going to decrease productivity because of the slight temperature increases, whereas in other parts of the country the increase in temperature is causing major challenges and problems. There may be opportunities where the foundation can help identify and where productivity will increase as climate changes for the next 10 or 15 years, Russo explained, adding that this is something that the foundation is working on in terms of climate management, looking at weathe r risks and opportunities Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Envoy Urges Pakistani Businesses to Seize Investment Opportunities in Ethiopia

Ethiopian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Pakistan called on Pakistani business community to invest in Ethiopia. In a press release sent to ENA, Ethiopia embassy in Islamabad, said Ambassador Jemal Beker briefed the business community on Friday about Ethiopia's untapped potentials would offer comparative advantages in terms of important geographical location, cheap and clean energy and skilled human resource. Addressing a Business Forum on Ethiopia-Pakistan Bilateral Trade at Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) in Lahore, the ambassador said his country was hosting the Invest Ethiopia Conference from April 28-30 in Addis Ababa to showcase extraordinary investment opportunities in Ethiopia. According to Ambassador Jemal, it was a high time for the business community of Pakistan to explore the lucrative market of Ethiopia which was a gateway to the African continent of more than 1.4 billion people. He said Ethiopia was a signatory to the African Continental Fre e Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) which means that whatever produced in Ethiopia could easily be traded to the entire Africa. Jemal highlighted the economic reforms carried out by the reformist Government of Ethiopia to build a home grown economy to achieve a robust and sustainable economic growth by creating an enabling environment for business community and foreign investors. He said under its economic reforms, Ethiopia had laid a major focus on its five economic sectors including agriculture and agro-processing, manufacturing, mining, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and tourism. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had charted the country on the path of progress and prosperity with his visionary reforms paving the way for Ethiopia to become a manufacturing hub of Africa, the ambassador elaborated. He added Ethiopia was producing cheap, clean and green energy close to 98 per cent from hydro and geothermal sources. 'We are exporting energy to Kenya, Djibouti, Sudan and other neighboring countries since our prime focus are to foster regional integration by sharing our resources.' As regards the efforts for boosting trade volume between Ethiopia and Pakistan, he said the Embassy of Ethiopia in Islamabad last year in March mobilized a 75-member trade delegation to Ethiopia that helped connect both countries business community. 'Now, we are planning Hijra Trip II to Ethiopia for the traders and investors of Pakistan this year in May,' the ambassador said, exhorting the participants to register themselves for the delegation before end of April. The Ambassador also briefed the Pakistani business community about export potential of different products to Ethiopia including rice, pharmaceutical products, medical equipment, sports items and construction material. Likewise, Pakistan could import agricultural products such as coffee, tea, pulses, oilseeds and vegetables from Ethiopia. Vice President of FPCCI and Regional Chairman Zaki Aijaz also informed the business community about Ethiopia's business, trade and investment potential while recalling his visit to Ethiopia as part of the 75-member business delegation went to Addis Ababa last year. He also lauded the role played by Ethiopian Ambassador to Pakistan, Jemal Beker for advancing bilateral relations including trade ties between the two countries. Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Ethiopia, Kenya Working to Improve Livelihood of Pastoralists

Ethiopia and Kenya are jointly working to address issues of climate change and improve the livelihood of pastoralist communities, Kenya State Department Head for Livestock Bernard Kimoro told ENA. In an exclusive interview with ENA, the head noted that issues around climate change have been affecting both Kenya and Ethiopia equally because they share the same kind of resources. 'We have our common pastoralists who stay both in Kenya and Ethiopia. So, they share the resources,' he added. According to him, one of the ways Kenya has been undertaking cross border interventions is through projects. Currently, the country has a project called De-risking Inclusion and Value Enhancement for Pastoralists. This is a Horn of Africa region project that covers four countries, the head said, adding that Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti are also carrying out the project which is supposed to help pastoralists address issues of loss of livestock by supporting them early enough to be able to purchase feeds. The othe r component, according to Kimoro, is helping pastoralists to get some loans and grants to support the production of forages, and also go into businesses so that they can make them more resilient to these climate variability. 'We (Ethiopia and Kenya) have long term cooperation. We had a project called Regional Pastoral Livelihood Resilience Project. The fact that we have joint markets where pastoralists can market their animals, for example, is a very important aspect because animals are always on the move. So, if there's market in Ethiopia, we can take animals to Ethiopia and sell them. Likewise, animals from Ethiopia can be sold in Kenya,' Kimoro said. The head believes that the countries can also do the same during droughts, whether in water or forage resources, in either part of the border. The Borana in Kenya and Ethiopia have, for instance, been coexisting on both sides of the border, sharing resources. 'I mean, these are same communities separated by an imaginary border and we keep sharing some of th ese resources,' he stressed. Commenting on Ethiopia's tree planting program, Kimoro said that there is currently a national policy to plant 15 billion trees in Kenya. 'Actually, the reason why we're doing this is because we have also seen the impacts of this from what has happened in Ethiopia.' Kimoro explained that planting trees has many benefits. One of them of course is that it improves the ecosystem. 'If you have higher temperature, animals will not produce enough. So, as you plant trees you plant also the feeds for the animals, which means you are able to support the animals even during times of drought, which is very critical.' Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Ethiopia’s Obtaining of Seaport Crucial to Boost Mutual Benefits in Entire Region: Jigjiga University President

Realizing Ethiopia's quest for seaport will enhance mutual benefits and trade ties in the entire region, President of Jigjiga University, Beshir Abdullahi Mohammoud said. Addressing a panel discussion jointly organized by Jigjiga University and Institute of Foreign Affairs today, Beshir said Ethiopia's quest to seapor is of paramoun imprtance to trade integration in the region. Stating that Ethiopia's obtaining of seaport is vital for countries in the region to work together for economic benefits, he further noted that seaport is important to reduce the high cost of export and import items and attract foreign investment. Getting seaport for Ethiopia is also crucial to enhance trade activities especially in the eastern part of the country and benefit the people, the president said. To this end, the university will carry out research and diplomatic activities for the realization of the country's effort for seaport, he affirmed. Presenting a paper at the panel discussion, Director General of Europe and Amer ica Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Researcher at the Institute, Dareskedar Taye said that securing seaport is an existential matter for Ethiopia. Stating that Ethiopia has plenty of reasons to get a seaport, he said, among others, geopolitical, natural, historical, economical, international laws and security issues. In addition, countries which are landlocked and have seaports do not have equal voice on international stage, the director general said, adding that scholars need to play their role in the country's effort for acquiring a seaport. Inclusive diplomacy, discussion on win-win approach, working with regional and continental organizations, integrating the region with hydro power, engaging scholars and the media have enormous contribution for acquiring Ethiopia's quest for seaport, he pointed out. Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Ethiopia, Czech Have Diverse Interests to Boost Their Cooperation: Ambassador Kosek

Ethiopia and Czech have growing interests to boost their cooperation on diverse areas, Czech's Ambassador to Ethiopia, Miroslav Kosek said. In an exclusive interview with ENA, Ambassador Kosek said Ethiopia and Czech have enjoyed longstanding diplomatic ties covering a range of areas, including, mining, hydrogeology and development cooperation. Recall Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed visited the Czech Republic and held discussion in November last year with his Czech counterpart Petr Fiala to further strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries. Earlier, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala had also paid a three-day working visit to Ethiopia. During their stay in Czech Republic, Prime Minister Abiy and his delegation visited sites with a view to expanding Ethio-Czech cooperation in agriculture, tourism and culture, among others. In this regard, the ambassador noted that the exchange of visits by high level government officials between the two countries are pivotal to strengthen the existing relations and f urther mutual cooperation. 'Our two prime ministers discussed on concrete fields of possible cooperation and they found a lot of fields where both are interested to cooperate,' he stated. There is cooperation in the areas, like mining, hydrogeology and development, he said, adding it is necessary to expand the cooperation into other spheres. Moreover, the ambassador elaborated the cultural exchange and sharing of experiences are important for a new chapter. 'Both countries are very rich in culture, and it can be interesting for them. I would like to mention that there is a very nice idea to enhance the cooperation between two national museums.' There are rich institutions and a lot of areas in both countries that we should identify and cooperate as there are growing interests on both sides, the ambassador added. The ambassador said that preparation is underway to hold political consultations in Prague next month. 'Together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, we are preparing political con sultation for late April in Prague. We will be more active and have a big interest from both sides for mutual cooperation as we can support Ethiopia in the same field.' Speaking of his country's commitment to Ethiopia's development endeavors, Kosek said that Ethiopia is the priority, number one country, for the Czech development cooperation. 'Our activities are going to protect the environment and support sustainable agriculture. We are trying to bring our knowhow and experiences because we have a bit different but from some point of view very similar experience with this topic,' he pointed out. Czech promotes comprehensive rural development, including agriculture, focusing on ensuring food security for the population, while protecting the landscape and managing land and forests sustainability. Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Prosperity Party Calls for Strengthening of Relations, Cooperation with Djibouti People’s Rally for Progress

Ethiopia's ruling Prosperity Party (PP) has called for the strengthening of relations and cooperation with its Djibouti counterpart, the People's Rally for Progress (RPP), so that the activities carried out to boost the good neighborliness, brotherhood, cooperation and mutual benefit of the people of the two countries could become successful. Delegation head and PP Vice President Adem Frah made the remark at the 45th founding anniversary of the People's Rally for Progress of Djibouti. On the occasion, Adem stated that the Prosperity Party is the biggest party in Ethiopia with more than 14 million members. In its program, the party has openly declared its commitment to development, peace, unity, solidarity and cooperation with neighboring countries and the international community, the vice president noted. According to him, the People's Rally for Progress has also demonstrated its determination to live with neighboring and the international community in peace and unity of peoples during the past 45 years o f its existence. The party has paid tremendous sacrifice under the leadership of People's Rally for Progress, he stressed. In this regard, Adem acknowledged the tireless efforts of the RPP led by President Ismail Omar Guelleh under whom Djibouti is showing tangible results. 'We are witnessing that the country's leadership under President Ismail has made Djibouti an important business center, an example of stability and a path of development. We also appreciate Djibouti's cooperation with neighboring countries in projects that are important for the integration and mutual benefits of the Horn of Africa.' Adem mentioned examples of infrastructures such as ports, railways and highways connecting Djibouti and Ethiopia. 'The Prosperity Party believes that the interests of the Horn of Africa are interrelated and inseparable; and cooperation on that matter is blessed. The Prosperity Party also believes that what is important for Djibouti is important for Ethiopia, what is important for Somalia is important for E thiopia or Kenya. And what is important for neighboring countries is important for Ethiopia. Thus, Ethiopia's interests are important to all neighboring countries.' In particular, Adem underlined that the Prosperity Party acknowledges Djibouti's support and efficient service to Ethiopia. PP believes that the economic, security, social and cultural relations between Ethiopia and Djibouti are exemplary and have never been affected by changes in governments and leaders of the two countries. The vice president pointed out that PP is determined to promote relations and cooperation between the two countries. 'We therfore call for the strengthening of relations and cooperation between PP and RPP. This will bolster the activities being carried out and successfully enhance the good neighborliness, brotherhood, cooperation and mutual benefits of the people of Ethiopia and Djibouti,' he underlined. Mentioning the results of joint achievements attained by countries over the past years, the vice president stressed th e need for working together to overcome the challenges in the sisterly countries and the world. In order to address these challenges, it requires perseverance and the principles and values that unite us such as freedom, justice, equality, support for the common good, fraternal cooperation, fostering innovation and sharing our resources, Adem underscored. The vice president finally pledged that Prosperity Party will always stand by RPP and the people of Djibouti for common goals as well as visions. Source: Ethiopian News Agency

UK Keen to Lift Bilateral Ties with Ethiopia to New Heights, Says Ambassador

United Kingdom (UK) is keen to enhance its relationships with Ethiopia that are instrumental in taking the bilateral ties to a higher level of cooperation, said Ambassador Darren Welch. In an exclusive interview with ENA, British Ambassador to Ethiopia Welch said the two countries have really enjoyed a strong bilateral relationship. Mentioning a longstanding relationship between Ethiopia and UK, we have been good friend countries through the good times and the times that have been more difficult, Ambassador Welch revealed. As the two countries have always a relationship of mutual respect and understanding, the ambassador underscored there have still been tremendous opportunities that would elevate the relationship stronger as we go forwards. According to him, his country is seeking ways to engage in broad development cooperation with Ethiopia. 'Next year, Ethiopia will be the UK's biggest partner for development cooperation. We are looking to support a very strong sector business environment reforms, bri nging more investment, more predictability and security for investors to the mutual interests of the two countries. We're also going to be investing in Ethiopia's broader development,' he said. The ambassador also pledged that his country is going to support Ethiopia and the government's plans to strengthen education. Welch added UK will strengthen support in the health sector as well humanitarian assistance. Commenting about the anticipated Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission, he said UK is strong supporters of the national dialogue. 'We think it's really important that this great country in all of its diversity, finds a way to have a discussion about the future that it wants. And that is able to come to peace in all parts of the country,' he noted. Acknowledging Ethiopia as a strong country, the Ambassador stated that the diversity should be a source of greatest strength. 'I really believe that when Ethiopia is entirely in peace, there will be nothing that could stop this wonderful country' Welch un derlined. Historically, Ethiopia and the United Kingdom have enjoyed rich diplomatic relations covering a range of areas, including, but not limited to, trade, culture, education and development cooperation. The two countries collaborate on a number of issues of common concern, forming a sound basis for their relations at the bilateral, regional and global levels, it was learned. Source: Ethiopian News Agency