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Ethiopia, Sudan Agree to Enhance Cooperation on Bilateral, Regional Issues of Mutual Interest

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Addis Ababa (ENA) December 1/2022 Ethiopia and Sudan have agreed to enhance cooperation more than ever before on bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen, held a productive discussion with the President of the Transitional Sovereign Council of Sudan, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan today in Khartoum, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

During the occasion, President Al Burhan expressed his satisfaction over the signing of a peace agreement between the Ethiopian Government and the TPLF and affirmed Sudan’s unwavering supports to its full implementation. 

The President has also underscored that Sudan will not tolerate and harbour any elements that attempt to derail the implementation of the accord or attack Ethiopia from the Sudanese territory. 

The two nations have agreed to settle border-related issues bilaterally through agreements signed before and existing mechanisms as resorting to force will not result in a durable solution. 

Regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the two sides stated their conviction that the goodwill and cooperation between Sudan and Ethiopia will contribute to the attempt to address the differences in a trilateral manner. 

The Sudan’s President Al-Burhan and the Deputy Prime Minister Demeke have agreed to jointly prevent illegal human, arms and drug trafficking in the border area. 

They have also agreed to enhance cooperation more than ever before on bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest.

 

Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke also held talks with Sudan’s Vice President-Mohamed Hamdan Deglo and Acting Foreign Minister Ali Al-Sadiq. 

During the discussions, Demeke emphasized that cooperation’s should be given to strengthening people-to-people ties between the two countries.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sudan, Ali Al-Sadiq, on his part, expressed that Sudan is happy with the signing of a peace agreement between the Ethiopian government and TPLF. 

He also announced that his country will support its implementation and play a positive role.  

The Minister also mentioned that the peace of one country is a peace for the other.  

He further thanked Ethiopia for its contribution and partnership in making the IGAD foreign ministers’ meeting held in Khartoum a success. 

A delegation led by Demeke Mekonnen has been attending the 48 IGAD meeting of Ministers in Khartoum, Sudan.

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News: Ministry says HIV spread reduced nationally as MDs in Tigray report high prevalence

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“Treatment for HIV and access to comprehensive reproductive health services should be a right for everyone, including the forcibly displaced.” UNHCR

By Mihret G/kristos @MercyG_kirstos

Addis Abeba: – Lia Tadesse (PhD), Minister of Health, said the spread of HIV in Ethiopia has seen reduction over the past years with a prevalence rate standing at 0.93% for 2021.

The minister said currently 617,921 people are estimated to live with HIV in Ethiopia, 62% of whom are women. At least 35,000 new cases have been recorded in 2021 in the country, she added.

In her press briefing on Wednesday 30 November in connection to 34th nationwide commemoration of World HIV AIDS day, the minister said that even though the prevalence of HIV shows some reduction, there is still a lack of proper attention at all levels.

Commitments to control and prevent HIV has been decreasing due to misinformation, she said, adding that the government is now working to create awareness on its prevalence so that public participation on controlling the virus will be properly resumed.

Medical Doctors in the war-torn Tigray regional state, however, expressed their fears over the HIV high prevalence rate in the region due to little preservation, drug supply interruption, medications and treatment cessation since the outbreak of the war in Tigray.

Speaking to Addis Standard, a medical expert at Ayder referral hospital, in Mekelle, expressed his concerns that the interruption of antiretroviral drugs and HIV prophylaxis drugs for patients might have resulted in mounting the prevalence in the region.

The rise of commercial sex workers due to economic crisis, the unavailability of HIV preventive tools like condoms, and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) coupled with the absence of test kits escalated the risks for its prevalence the expert added.

“The risk factors for the virus have widened rapidly. Access to preventive tools would have saved many lives during this critical time” he said.

In an article published in March this year, Dr Hailay Abrha Gesesew and Dr Fisaha Tesfay, wrote: “before the war, Tigray had 147 health facilities providing HIV care services, where 13 health facilities provided an oral HIV self-testing services. Each health facility had one to five peer educators to promote ART adherence. There were more than 43,000 HIV patients and 2,363 pregnant mothers taking ART prophylaxis, with 867 HIV exposed infants in Tigray before the start of the war. These patients are at risk of AIDS related deaths because of the frequent interruption, and later, stoppage of antiretroviral therapy for more than ten months. This was due to the complete collapse of the HIV care system.”

As the World marks the 35th World HIV day, António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nation, tweeted that the world is “off track” the promise to end AIDS by 2030. He said 1.5 million people have acquired HIV last year alone. AS




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UN Will Fully Support Ethiopia’s Humanitarian, Development Activities: Secretary-General Guterres

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Addis Ababa(ENA) December 1/2022 Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the United Nations will fully support Ethiopia’s humanitarian and development activities by mobilizing the capacity of UN agencies and appealing to the international community.

Guterres made the remark at the joint press conference he held with African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat at the end of the 6th AU-UN annual conference in Addis Ababa today.

Responding to questions posed by journalists, the Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the UN will support the AU-led peace agreement implementation, the rebuilding effort, and humanitarian aid and development of the country.

“We have dramatic humanitarian needs in the areas impacted by the conflict. (So) we are upscaling the capacity of all the UN agencies and our partners in order to be able to take advantage of the opening of roads that already exist, the access by air, and all the other aspects in order to be able to as quickly as possible provide the maximum possible support to all the populations in need.”  

According to him, the UN is ready to fully support the AU and the parties in implementing the peace agreement.

“Now we are in the phase of implementation and we are ready to fully support both the AU and the parties in whatever way it is necessary to make sure that the implementation is successful.”

But the UN believes in African leadership to solve African problems, he underscored.

“We are very happy to be able to support the African Union in this process.”

Furthermore, the secretary-general stated that the United Nations will continue to appeal to the international community to support Ethiopia’s development.

“We appeal to the international community to support Ethiopia in its development,” Guterres stressed, adding that “there is no better way to consolidate peace than developing the country by creating the conditions for the people to see the peace dividends, people to see how peace contributes to improvement of the living conditions of the citizens in the country.”

He underscored that the UN will be in the first line of advocating for international support for the development of Ethiopia in this crucial moment of the country.

Above all, the secretary-general pointed out the need to create favorable conditions for the people to see the peace dividend as implementing the agreement will improve the livelihood of the citizens.

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Ethiopia, Sudan Agree to Solve Differences Peacefully –

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Addis Ababa, December 1, 2022 (Walta) – Ethiopia and Sudan have agreed to solve the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and borders issues peacefully through agreements signed before and existing mechanisms.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Demeke Mekonnen, held a productive discussion with the President of the Transitional Sovereign Council of Sudan, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, today in Khartoum.

President Al Burhan expressed his satisfaction over the signing of a peace agreement between the Ethiopian Government and the TPLF and affirmed Sudan’s unwavering supports to its full implementation.

President Burhan underscored that Sudan will not tolerate and harbour any elements that attempt to derail the implementation of the accord  or attack Ethiopia from the Sudanese territory.

The two nations have agreed to settle border-related issues bilaterally through agreements signed before and existing mechanisms as resorting to force will not result in a durable solution.

Regarding the Grand Ethiopian Rennessance Dam the two sides stated their conviction that the goodwill and cooperation between Sudan and Ethiopia will contribute to the attempt to address the differences in a trilateral manner.

The Sudan’s President Al-Burhan and the Deputy Prime Minister Demeke have agreed to jointly prevent illegal human, arms and drug trafficking in the border area.

They have also agreed to enhance cooperations more than ever before on bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest.

Earlier,Deputy  Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke also held talks with Sudan’s Vice President-Mohamed Hamdan Deglo and Acting Foreign Minister Ali Al-Sadiq.

During the discussions, Demeke emphasized that cooperations should be given to strengthening people-to-people ties between the two countries.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sudan, Ali Al-Sadiq, on his part, expressed that Sudan is happy with the signing of a peace agreement between the Ethiopian government and TPLF announced that his country will support its implementation and play a positive role.

He also mentioned that the peace of one country is a peace for the other, according to MoFA.

He further thanked Ethiopia for its contribution and partnership in making the IGAD foreign ministers’ meeting held in Khartoum a success.

 

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News: Federal, Tigray military leaders joint committee held first meeting in Shire

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Federal and Tigray military leaders meeting was concluded on the weekend of 12 November. Pictured: Field Marshal Berhanu Jula, Chief of the Ethiopian Defense Forces (right), and Lt. General Tadesse Worede, chief of Tigrayan forces (left), accompanied by Getachew Reda and Lt. Gen. Tsadikan G/Tinsae. Photo: ©Elias Meseret

Addis Abeba – The Joint Committee consisting of military leaders from the federal government and Tigray armed combatants has convened in Shire two, in northwestern zone of the Tigray regional state, the federal government said in a statement. The Joint Committee, which is “expected to outline the detailed plan for the disarmament of Tigray combatants,” has assumed its functions on Wednesday, 30 November, the statement said.

It is to be recalled that the weekend of 12 November, the top military leadership of the federal army and Tigrayan forces led by Field Marshal Berhanu Jula, Chief of the Ethiopian Defense Forces, and Lt. General Tadesse Worede, chief of Tigrayan forces, concluded a five day meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, and have agreed to form a joint committee to “elaborate on the modalities for the implementation of comprehensive disarmament, demobilization and reintegration program.”

Accordingly, under “Disarmament of Tigray armed combatants,” of the Nairobi Executive Declaration, the two parties agreed that “disarmament of heavy weapons will be done concurrently with the withdrawal of foreign and non-ENDF forces from the region.”

Furthermore the Nairobi meeting meeting between the top military leaders from the two sides discussed on working out “detailed modalities” on the implementation of the Permanent Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed in Pretoria, South Africa, on 02 November, “including, disarmament issues, taking into account the security situation on the ground,” as well as “provide a roadmap for immediate humanitarian access and restoration of services in the Tigray region.”

On Wednesday, the federal government said that since the last four days, in coordination with international development partners, it was transporting humanitarian supplies to the Tigray region in three corridors, through Gonder and Kombolcha corridors in Amhara regional state, and the Semera corridor in Afar regional state.

The statement from today said that the committee “is expected to finalize its duties in the coming few days, and its “detailed plan is envisaged to address the issues of disarmament and other related matters,” according to the statement.

According to the Nairobi Executive Declaration, the joint committee will consist of two representatives from the parties and one representative from the African Union Monitoring and Verification Team. “A joint Committee shall be established on the date of signing of this declaration by the two commanders to work out detailed implementation plan for the disarmament of light weapons and report within a period of fourteen (14 days) with a clear plan for the process and timeline for the disarmament of light weapons. The Committee shall comprise two (2) representatives from the parties and one (1) representative from the AU Monitoring and Verification Team.”

While acknowledging “the planning has been delayed due to technical factors,” today’s statement from the federal government didn’t mention if a member of AU’s Monitoring and Verification team is part of the meeting in Shire.

The joint meeting comes amidst increasing concerns about the continued atrocities being committed by Eritrean forces in the areas they continued occupying in the Tigray region.

Citing a report by “the Tigray government’s Emergency Coordination Center and seen by its staff, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday 30 November that “Eritrean forces killed 111 people…between Nov. 17 and Nov. 23. The regional authority also reported that 103 people had been severely injured in areas still controlled by Eritrea, while 241 houses were destroyed. More than 100 camps for people displaced by the ongoing fighting were operating in the vicinity of the city of Adigrat alone, it said.” AS




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Commission Calls Diplomats to Promote Ethiopia’s Investment –

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                                                            Ethiopian Investment Commission Commissioner, Lelise Neme

Addis Ababa, December 1, 2022 (Walta) – Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) has called on foreign diplomates based in Addis Ababa to promote investment opportunities in Ethiopia in their respective countries.

The Ethiopian Investment Commission organized a discussion forum with a view to promoting Ethiopia’s investment opportunities to foreign investors.

Ambassadors and economic and commercial attache’s of embassies of various countries based in Addis Ababa have participated in the forum.

During the occasion, Ethiopian Investment Commission Commissioner, Lelise Neme said Ethiopia is the most favored investment destination in East Africa.

She further briefed the diplomats about the reforms being carried out to attract foreign direct investment, including the measures taken to improve the investment law and business climate aimed at opening up the various investment sectors and economic activities to foreign investors.

According to her, relaxing the investment regimes to facilitate a friendly business environment, removing regulatory obstacles that hamper business and privatizing the largest public enterprises were aimed at attracting more FDI.

The logistic sector is partially liberalized with the view to attracting FDI with knowledge, experience and technology as well as management vital to the development of the nation, she said.

The removal of barriers to foreign investment will improve the efficiency of the logistic service and enhance the competitiveness of Ethiopia’s export, she added.

Noting the opening up of the telecom sector to foreign companies and the ongoing privatization processes of public enterprises including sugar factories, she said the government is committed to encouraging the engagement of foreign investors  in Ethiopia.

“We invite investors from your countries to come to Ethiopia and explore the diverse investment opportunities,” she said.

Lelise further stated that since the peace agreement was signed, we are aiming for more investors from your country, as reported by ENA.

                                                       Advisor at the Investment Commission Habtamu Simachew

Senior Legal Advisor at the Ethiopian Investment Commission, Habtamu Simachew on his part, said Ethiopia has a huge comparative advantage among African countries in terms of FDI.

It is a market of 120 million which significant portion of the population is young, he said, adding the country itself is huge in terms of land mass, conducive climatic conditions with a huge potential to attract agricultural investment.

Economic sectors such as mining, services and ICT could also be mentioned as potential strong holds to attract foreign direct investment to Ethiopia, he added.

Today’s discussion is organized to communicate investment related updates, to plan future collaboration strategies, set up a workable communication platform for stronger partnerships with various embassies based here in Addis,  Habtamu said.

The ambassadors and economic and trade attachés of various countries who attended the briefing said that the peace agreement reached is important for Ethiopia’s future investment climate.

                                                                       Finland Embassy in Ethiopia, Jouko Eskelinen

Head of Economic and Trade Affairs at Finland Embassy in Ethiopia, Jouko Eskelinen said  with the peace agreement, Ethiopia is increasingly becoming an attractive investment destination along with other things.

 

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Joint Committee for Disarmament of Tigray Combatants Convened in Shire Town: Gov’t Communication Service

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The Technical Planning Joint Committee which is expected to outline the detailed plan for the disarmament of Tigray combatants has convened in Shire town, according to Government Communication Service.

As per the Pretoria Peace Agreement, the Joint Committee mandated to outline the disarmament details of Tigray armed combatants has assumed its functions yesterday, November 30, 2022.

The Committee consisting of members from the Federal Government and Tigray Armed Combatants is expected to finalize its duties in the coming few days.

The committee’s detailed plan is envisaged to address the issues of disarmament and other related matters.

It is to be recalled that the planning has been delayed due to technical factors, Government Communication Service said.

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News: African Development Fund approves $13.95 m grant for Borana resilient water development for improved livelihoods program

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Residents fetching water from a dirty pond in Gooroo Doolaa Worda in Guji zone. Picture: Gooroo Doolaa Communication Bureau

Addis Abeba – The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund has approved a $13.95 million grant to the Government of Ethiopia to implement the first phase of a livelihood improvement project for pastoralist communities in Ethiopia’s drylands.

The Borana Resilient Water Development for Improved Livelihoods Program will enhance access to climate-resilient, gender-sensitive integrated and sustainable water and sanitation services. Phase one of the program will focus on developing well-field infrastructure and a transmission pipeline to a storage tank.

The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) will contribute €300,000 to the program to strengthen adaptation and resilience, under the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program, a partnership with the African Development Bank.

GCA will provide technical assistance for the development of an in-depth understanding of climate related risks to improve the climate resilience of the catchments. It will also design a strategy and approach to involve local communities, and carry out a gender climate vulnerability and resilience assessment as an integral part of climate adaptation.

The scheme will bolster access to water supplies in Elweya, Dubluk, and Yabelo districts, covering 62 rural villages and 12 towns with an estimated population of 308,576 people—half of them women – and 975,750 livestock.  

Osward Chanda, Director of Water Development and Sanitation at the African Development Bank, said: “The Bank’s support is a coordinated response with the Government of Ethiopia to mitigate water, sanitation and climate challenges, develop sustainable water structures, and improve socioeconomic outcomes in Borana.”

Phase one of the program will be implemented over four years. The Borana Resilient Water Development for Improved Livelihoods Program will lead to improved health outcomes, nutrition and food security.

In the last 15 years, Ethiopia has suffered eight major droughts with adverse consequences for its economy and the livelihoods of its people, resulting in forced migration and displacement of humans and livestock. Droughts in the Borana area have been linked to increased violent conflict and boundary disputes, and unsafe drinking water, and inadequate sanitation, which remain critical health concerns in the Ethiopian lowlands.

The Borana program aligns with the Bank’s Strategy for Addressing Fragility and Building Resilience in Africa as well as its Gender Strategy, Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy, Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Action Plan, and the Bank’s Climate Change Policy which seeks to invest in programs which boost climate resilience and adaptation.




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Investment Commission Calls Diplomats of Foreign Countries to Promote Ethiopia’s Investment

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Addis Ababa (ENA) December 1/2022 Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) has called on foreign diplomates based in Addis Ababa to promote investment opportunities in Ethiopia in their respective countries.

The Ethiopian Investment Commission organized a discussion forum with a view to promoting Ethiopia’s investment opportunities to foreign investors.

Ambassadors and economic and commercial attache’s of embassies of various countries based in Addis Ababa have participated at the forum.

During the occasion, Ethiopian Investment Commission Commissioner, Lelise Neme said Ethiopia is the most favored investment destination in East Africa.

She further briefed the diplomats about the reform being held to attract foreign investment including the measures taken to improve the investment law and business climate aimed at opening up the various investment sectors and economic activities to foreign investors.

According to her, relaxing the investment regimes to facilitate friendly business environment removing regulatory obstacles that hamper business and privatize the largest enterprises was aimed at attracting more FDI.

The logistic sector is partially liberalized with the view to attracting FDI with knowledge, experience and technology as well as management, she said.

The removal of barriers to foreign investment will improve the efficiency of the logistic service and enhance the competitiveness of Ethiopia’s export, she added.

The telecom sector is also licensed to foreign companies, she said adding the opening up shows the government of Ethiopia’s commitment.

“We invite investors of your countries to come to Ethiopia and explore the diverse investment opportunities” she said.

State owned enterprises including the sugar factories are on the bid for privatization, the Commissioner said. As Ethiopia is a country of big population we have a big market, she said.

She further said that since the peace agreement was signed, we are aiming for more investors from your country.

Before the outbreak of COVID-19 the government of Ethiopia has initiated a wide range of reforms that aimed at empowering the private sectors, liberalizing the country’s investment policy regime, improving the overall macro economy and business environment and attracting foreign investment.

These reforms are motivated by the need to enhance the role of private sector and the economy and create business friendly environment through streamlining the country’s investment low regulation and connection the macroeconomic imbalance.

Lelise Neme said Ethiopia plans to attract over six billion USD foreign direct investment (FDI) during the year 2023.

Despite COVID-19 and security problems last year, Ethiopia has managed to attract over 4.1 billion USD in FDI. Lelise said.

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