PM Abiy Stresses Need for Proactively Planning, Developing Innovative African-Led Solutions

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October 15/2022/ENA / Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said that building a resilient Africa implies not only withstanding unexpected shocks but also proactively planning and developing innovative homegrown African-led solutions.

The prime minister presided over the opening ceremony of the 10th– Round  Tana  High Level Forum held in Bahir Dar which brought together diverse participants from different countries, it was indicated.

In his opening remarks, Prime Minister Abiy stressed the need for all to be on board to build a resilient Africa and discuss ways to manage issues threatening the continent’s security.

According to him “Building a resilient Africa implies not only withstanding unexpected shocks but also proactively planning and developing innovative homegrown African-led solutions.”

He noted that there are major security issues that require Africans attention including water, energy and among others.

The prime minister’s speech gave emphasis to climate change, in particular, as Africa is vulnerable to despite it contributes less to the problem.  

Most of the continent’s populations are residing in the rural areas and most survive on subsistence farming as well as relying  on rainfall fed agricultural activities.

Mentioning the activities being undertaken in Ethiopia to lead the country into its desired future—thereby addressing peace and security threats, Abiy said Ethiopia is hugely investing in the renewable energy sector including hydroelectric power plants, solar and wind farms.

He said the investment in this energy sector created resilience in the sector.

“The investment in the renewable energy sector is making us, our neighbours, energy resilient. This is in addition to our strong stand to not only relieve our acute electricity shortage but also export electricity by efficiently utilizing our resources.”

 Ethiopia’s rainfall agriculture yields 30 percent of our expected production, he indicated.

However, the premier said to increase crop production, Ethiopia has substantially expanded commercial irrigation and paved its way to wheat self-sufficiency by storing water and cultivating efficient wheat varieties  in the  arid and semi-arid agro-ecologies.  

Speaking on the Green Legacy initiative, the champion of which focused on both boosting forestation and Afforestation, Abiy indicated that Ethiopia has not only met its 20 billion trees target but surpassed them by  planting 25 billion trees with the survival rate of over 70 percent.

Furthermore, Ethiopia has also created over 125 nurseries across the country with the potential of producing 8 billion seedlings, he indicated. The initiative has also created close to one million jobs.

“Ethiopia will continue to forge a sustainable system of green living, green behavior and green economy,” the prime minister pledged.

 As communities grappled with climate change and its implications, governments are experiencing the impact of the energy crises, he added. For him, increases in the prices of oil and gas and disruptions in energy supply chains, requires urgent need of innovative solutions.

In this regard, the “Ethiopian government is making significant policy interventions along that line. Recently, we have adopted policy emission free transport system including supporting policy intervention in the adoption of electric vehicles,” the premier pointed out.

Abiy also highlighted the impacts of technology as the global phenomenon that affects security.

“New technologies shape international relations and may cause vulnerabilities in the areas of digital and technological sovereignty. While technologies, economic, social  and labour implications are apparent, we need to start producing strategies on the geopolitical dimension of technology.”

  He underlined that Africa needs to ensure influence its standards in a way that corresponds with   African values and enable the continent to participate in innovative emerging technologies.

Prime Minister Abiy further said: “Thus, a Pan-African data governance strategy must be considered to help the continent realize the African single market for data aligned with the African Union’s Agenda 2063.”

Finally, Abiy called on governments, development institutions and non-state actors to collaborate and strengthen our analytical capacities and adopt artificial intelligence and big data for a more competitive Pan-African  digital economy.

 “I especially want to applaud the youth who have shared their perspective on security through their essays and reiterate that African youth should be integrated into the decision making process to ensure and create  the resilient, diverse, equitable and inclusive Africa we want.”

The Tana High-Level Forum brings together African leaders and stakeholders to discuss continental security issues and devise long-term solutions.

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