FM Taye Confers with Deputy PM and Foreign Minister of New Zealand

Addis Ababa: Ethiopia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Taye Atske-Selassie held telephone conversation with the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of New Zealand, Winston Peter today. The discussion focused on political, economic partnership as well as humanitarian agendas. The two sides have also exchanged view on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interests, according to Foreign Affairs Ministry. Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Ethiopia Set to Resolve Age-old Problems Through NDC, Be Exemplary for Africa, Says Chief Commissioner

Addis Ababa: Ethiopia is set to provide an example for the rest of Africa by demonstrating its commitment to resolve the age-old contradictions through participatory, inclusive and open-minded dialogue, Chief Commissioner of the Ethiopian National Dialogue (ENDC) Professor Mesfin Arya said.C has officially launched the critical phase of the dialogue processes-i.e. agenda gathering program in Addis Ababa today. During the opening session of the Addis Ababa city chapter of the national dialogue, Mesfin stated that Ethiopia is set to address its age-old contradictions through participatory, inclusive and open minded dialogue and be exemplary in this regard for the rest of Africa. He stressed that any disagreement could be settled through amicable and constructive dialogue instead of trying to impose one's ideas through force. The dialogue process has been a highly anticipated national initiative to address historical and contemporary contradictions inherited from the past to reach national consensus among pol itical elites and the entire population. For the first time in the long history of the country, representatives of Ethiopians of all walks of life are now engaged in the historic national dialogue with the objective of promoting durable peace and national development. Ethiopians are actively engaged on discussing outstanding issues of national significance in an inclusive, democratic and transparent manner to rectify age old grievances and challenges through peaceful dialogue and pass on prosperous Ethiopia to posterity. The chief commissioner explained the ongoing nationwide consultation is a historic platform where the people can participate equally with other stakeholders and leave their legacy through meaningful participation Today's chapter of the national dialogue process that has been launched in the capital is deliberating on the most important agenda items to be selected for discussion and it is expected to elect persons that would represent the residents of the city at the national level. Repre sentatives of government institutions, political parties, CSOs, trade union representatives, teachers associations, women and persons with disabilities, youth groups and other representatives have converged under one roof to discuss the most salient issues, contributing their share as part of determining the fate of the country. Established in 2021 by a proclamation, the Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission has carried out immense activities to discharge its responsibilities bestowed upon it by law. To date, the Commission has successfully completed identification of candidates for the upcoming national dialogue in 11 regional states and 2 city administrations. Addis Ababa is the third most diplomatic center of the world, the seat of the AU, a diplomatic center hosting numerous embassies and missions of international organizations and UN systems. It therefore stands to reason that these international organizations are keen to follow up on the deliberations of city level dialogue. On the other hand, Add is Ababa is a mosaic of ethnic groups from across the country and the discussions here have far greater implications for dialogues to be conducted in the regions and city administrations. The Addis Ababa dialogue sessions, which will deliberate for upcoming six days, 29 May to June 4, 2024, will be rolled out in different parts of the country. The first session which kicked off today started with benedictions, blessings and good wishes of religious fathers and elders. Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Reaching Consensus Only Solution to Ethiopia, Underscores Chief Commissioner

Addis Ababa: The national dialogue process will help improve relations between different segments of Ethiopian society and nurture a political culture to solve long-standing internal problems, Chief Commissioner of the National Dialogue Commission (ENDC), Professor Mesfin Araya remarked. The National Dialogue Commission of Ethiopia has officially launched the consultation phase of its national dialogue process in Addis Ababa today. The session brought together representatives from across all segments of society, including a diverse group from the 119 districts of the Addis Ababa city administration. This consultation phase is crucial as participants are expected to discuss and jointly select agenda items. It is also a platform in which representatives from respective localities will be elected to join other participants from regions and other stakeholders for a dialogue to be conducted at national level. In his opening remarks, the Chief Commissioner, Professor Mesfin Araya highlighted the commission's ex tensive preparatory work, having surveyed 11 regions and 2 city governments, and included organized religious, civil society, and political institutions at every level. The commissioner emphasized that the participants in this consultation phase represent a wide cross-section of the Addis Ababa population, including community leaders, women, youth, teachers, the business community, and those displaced from their homes or facing limited participation for various reasons. Professor Mesfin noted that the goal of the commission is to identify the key national issues that cause differences of opinion, so that consensus can be reached through calm, stable, and respectful national consultations. 'Reaching consensus is the only lasting national solution,' the chief commissioner underscored. The commissioner also hoped that this dialogue process will help improve relations between different segments of Ethiopian society and the government, develop a political culture to solve long-standing internal problems, and e stablish a durable peace and an acceptable state structure. "As we have learned from the countries that have reached the top of the development path, the only national solution that has no alternative is to reach a consensus in a calm, stable and respectful environment," Professor Mesfin remarked. Professor Mesfin stressed the need to take a new path to achieve new results, noting that the Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission has created a historic platform where people can participate equally with other stakeholders in the process and make their mark through meaningful participation. "This is a historic platform where the people can participate equally with other stakeholders and leave their legacy through meaningful participation," he stated. The consultation phase is set to continue over the coming weeks, with the commission aiming to gather input from a diverse range of Ethiopians. The commission, operational since February 2022, has three years to achieve this ambitious goal. This week marks a cru cial turning point. The national dialogue sessions in Addis Ababa run from 29 May to June 4, 2024. Their task is to collaboratively determine the agenda for a broader national dialogue. This is a critical first step, ensuring a range of voices are heard and the most pressing issues are addressed. Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Ethiopia Begins Its First-ever National Dialogue

Addis Ababa: Addis Ababa is going to officially begin the chapter of dialogue today, as part of Ethiopia's first-ever national dialogue and a highly anticipated nationwide consultation project in response to historical and contemporary contradictions. The eleven-member Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission is entrusted with promoting an all-inclusive consultations and reconciliation process that will mend rifts, foster agreement on important national matters, and assist the nation in resolving its intricate difficulties. Since its establishment, the Commission has been conducting various activities including identification of participants. The national dialogue has now reached the final chapter, with an agenda gathering event, set to start in Addis Ababa this morning. The national dialogue sessions in Addis Ababa run from 29 May to June 4, 2024, bringing representatives drawn from various segments of the society. This is a stage in which the participants will jointly select agenda items pertinent for di scussion. This session of the dialogue is also a stage in which representatives from respective localities will be elected to join other participants from regions and other stakeholders for a dialogue to be conducted at national level. Source: Ethiopian News Agency

House Urges Media to Play Active Role for Successful Conduct of Nat’l Dialogue

Addis Ababa: Ethiopian media should consolidate their efforts for the successful conduct of the dialogue processes by allocating sufficient time and providing extensive coverage, House of Peoples' Representatives (HPR) Democracy Affair Standing Committee Chairperson Ewnetu Alene underscored. The Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission organized today a discussion forum with media representatives on further strengthening their work on the dialogue processes. During the discussion, Ewnetu emphasized the responsibility and crucial role they play by the public and private media in achieving the national dialogue process during the coming months. All the public and private media houses in Ethiopia need to allocate sufficient time as well as resources and provide extensive coverage to the dialogue process, he stressed, adding "Considering the critical significance of the national dialogue, the media should even work more." The national dialogue is an opportunity for the country to solve its challenges, he added. The National Dialogue Commissioner, Ambassador Mahmoud Diriron his part underscored that the media has critical role in facilitating public participation and consensus building throughout the dialogue process. He noted that Ethiopia has embarked on national dialogue processes to address the major challenges facing the country and reach consensus through discussions. The Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission is one of the essential institutions created to find a lasting solution to the existing political polarization and other pressing issues of the country, it was learned. In this regard, the media has essential functions, the commissioner said, adding that it plays significant role in achieving set objectives by the commission. 'The media sector is our major stakeholder to make this national dialogue process successful. And its role is immense in achieving the objectives of the consultation,' he stated. The media outlets have also been urged to provide accurate and balanced information that would foster a spirit of national unity and create space for constructive dialogue, it was indicated. The commissioner also recalled the successful completion of participants and coordinators identification in ten regions and the two city administrations. Training program for coordinators of the national dialogue in the Amhara region were conducted, he said, adding that similar activities are set to commence in the Tigray region. Established in 2022, the National Dialogue Commission aims to address key national issues to achieve lasting peace and reconciliation, bringing together diverse range of stakeholders to engage in constructive dialogue. Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Government, Competing Political Parties Hold Consultation Forum to Identify Strategic Agendas

Addis Ababa: Ethiopia's government and the competing political parties have embarked on a consultation forum to identify strategic issues and decide on it to be dealt with in the national consultation. A half-day forum that brought together participants from the ruling Prosperity Party (PP) and representatives of various competing political parties of the country was held. Recall Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed directed the need for closer collaboration between the government and the political parties in Ethiopia during his discussion with leaders of political parties early last month. During that meeting, the prime minister stressed the need for setting agendas, identifying necessary corrections and adjustments for policy input, and determining the type of cooperation needed moving forward as it would have paramount importance for continuous discussions. Accordingly, Head of the Democracy Building Coordination Center with the rank of Deputy Prime Minister, Adem Farah discussed with political party leaders toda y intended to identify strategic agendas for sustainable consultation. It was revealed that today's discussion was critical for the betterment of Ethiopia's politics. Adem on the occasion stated that the initiative is aimed at strengthening the culture of cooperation between the government and the political parties as well as instill healthy political competition. He added that it will create a favorable environment for competing political parties to support the government's efforts in ensuring lasting peace, rule of law, and pursuing a civilized political approach. Moreover, in this forum as the first-round consultation to identify agendas, the government and competing political parties have identified important issues that would promote a healthy competition and cooperation in the Ethiopian body politic. As a result, in order to have a healthy political competition, the building of a democratic system, the support that parties need from the government, the factors affecting the political landscape, the use of media and the issue of elections have been identified in this round. The agreement has also been reached to discuss other pressing issues in the second-round of the forum such as the peace and security, justice and human rights, macroeconomics, diplomacy, government service delivery and good governance, inclusive national dialogue and consultation to be carried out in a manner that promotes identity and national unity. Source: Ethiopian News Agency

FOCAC Becoming Robust Platform in China-Africa Cooperation

Addis Ababa: The Forum on Africa-China Cooperation (FOCAC) is serving as best platform for fostering cooperation between Africa and China through various engagements, said Ethiopia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A high level conference on revisiting Ethiopia's role in the FOCAC and the way forward was held in Addis Ababa. In his opening remarks, Head of the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Eshete Tilahun said FOCAC has proven to be an effective and strong platform for promoting Africa-China cooperation by supporting critical infrastructural projects. The FOCAC is a platform established by China and friendly African countries for collective consultation and dialogue as a cooperation mechanism among developing countries, it was learned. The characteristics of the forum are twofold including strengthening consultation and expanding cooperation within a pragmatic framework, as well as promoting political dialogue and economic cooperation with a view to seeking mutual reinforcement and coo peration. In the past two decades, FOCAC is instrumental in promoting Africa-China cooperation by supporting critical infrastructure development to engender greater connectivity, boosting trade activities, attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and unleashing entrepreneurships, Ambassador Eshete said. Since its inception in 2000, the forum has contributed conducting open dialogue and insightful discussion to ensure mutual trust. On his part, Director General of Asia and Pacific Affairs at Institute of Foreign Affairs (IFA) Anteneh Getachew said the forum has emerged as a key player in promoting trade, investment and people to people relations with China. Ethiopia's collaboration with FOCAC is crucial, he said, adding that the conference organized to chart out future area of cooperation and strengthen Ethiopia's leadership in the Forum on Africa-China Cooperation. Minister Counselor of Commerce at Chinese Embassy, Yang Yihang said Ethiopia is playing important role in FOCAC and numerous Chinese compan ies have invested in various sector in Ethiopia. It was indicated at the occasion that the successful completion of the Ethio- Djibouti railway project and its ongoing operation is one of the forum's early achievements in creating continental integration in Africa. The high level conference was organized by Institute of Foreign Affairs (IFA) in collaboration with the Embassy of China in Addis Ababa. Source: Ethiopian News Agency

China Praises Ethiopia’s Involvement in FOCAC as Important Participant

Addis Ababa: China has praised Ethiopia for its central role within the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and effective contribution in consolidating the partnerships between the two sides. A high-level conference on revisiting Ethiopia's role in the FOCAC and the way forward was hosted today by Institute of Foreign Affairs (IFA) in collaboration with the Embassy of China in Addis Ababa. Speaking on the occasion, Minister Counselor of Commerce at the Chinese Embassy, Yang Yihang said since its inception in 2000, Ethiopia has been an important participant in FOCAC. Noting that the FOCAC cooperation framework has achieved remarkable success across socio-economic domains, Yihang indicated that several significant China-Africa cooperation projects have been initiated in Ethiopia such as the Ethio- Djibouti railway. Considering Ethiopia is the major destination of Chinese investment, the minister counselor pledged to further encourage more enterprises to seize investment opportunities in Ethiopia. Und er the guidance of FOCAC, the economic and trade relations between Ethiopia and China have also made huge breakthroughs, he said, adding that China has been the largest partner and the source of investment for Ethiopia for many years. For instance, in terms of trade, in 2023 China and Ethiopia trade value exceeded three billion USD, he pointed out. On the investment sphere, more Chinese enterprises have invested in Ethiopia in recent years. Last year alone, Chinese enterprises established 223 new projects in Ethiopia and created 65 thousand local jobs. By the end of 2023, more than 500 Chinese enterprises have invested over 2000 projects in Ethiopia with a total capital of about 5 billion US dollars and creating 580 thousand local jobs. 'China is willing to further encourage Chinese enterprises to seize investment opportunities in Ethiopia and actively explore investment cooperation in infrastructure, digital economy, renewable energy, agriculture and other sectors,' he said. Director General of Asia and Pacific Affairs at Institute of Foreign Affairs (IFA), Anteneh Getachew on his part said the FOCAC has played a crucial role in shaping the economic, social, and political landscape of both Ethiopia and the African continent as a whole. Today's gathering seeks to foster collaboration and dialogue among stakeholders to identify opportunities for further development and strengthen the Ethiopia-China-Africa partnership, he added. 'Ethiopia's involvement in the FOCAC serves as a testament to its commitment towards fostering mutually beneficial relationships with its international partners. Over the years, Ethiopia has emerged as a key player in the forum, actively engaging in constructive dialogue, promoting trade and investment, and advocating for sustainable development across Africa.' The director general further explained that the FOCAC has provided a platform for Ethiopia to strengthen its ties with China and other African nations, facilitating cooperation in various sectors such as infrastructure develop ment, agriculture, healthcare, education, and technology transfer. Ethiopia stands at a critical juncture, poised to leverage its strengths and opportunities in order to maximize the benefits derived from the FOCAC partnership, he pledged. Head of the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Eshete Tilahun said 'Ethiopia's role within the FOCAC provides an avenue to forge stronger bonds to enhance cooperation and collectively find sustainable solutions to challenges we are faced with.' As Ethiopia's role in the FOCAC has been revisited, the head stated that the world has been undergoing transformative challenges. He added the global system and communities are faced with complex challenges including geopolitical tension, conflict, pandemic, climate change and other socioeconomic factors and disparities. It is therefore Eshete urged to foster inclusive and collaborative approaches to address these pressing issues. Source: Ethiopian News Agency