IGAD Congratulates Parties to Conflict on Signing of Cessation of Hostilities Agreement

The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Workneh Gebeyehu, congratulated the Government of Ethiopia and TPLF on the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement in Pretoria.

“By signing this agreement to silence the guns and end the armed conflict, the people of Ethiopia now have the opportunity to establish a long-lasting peace”, he stated.

Dr Workneh commended the leadership and commitment of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his Government to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

He also commended the important role of the African Union (AU), especially the role played by Moussa Faki and Olesugun Obasanjo, the former president of Nigeria, Uhuru Kenyatta, the former president of Kenya, and Phumzile Mambo-Ngcuks, former deputy president of South Africa in facilitating the talks and congratulated the team of negotiators from both sides for conducting the dialogue in a responsible manner.

Workneh further thanked the Government of the Republic of South Africa for graciously hosting the talks.

The Executive Secretary encouraged all parties to the agreement to live up to their commitments in implementing all its provisions.

IGAD has consistently called for a political solution to the conflict and played an active role in the mediation process and back-channel diplomacy through the IGAD Assembly of the Heads of State and Government.

 

Source: Ethiopia News Agency

Peace Agreement Consolidates Historic Victory Gained on the Ground: PM Abiy

The peace agreement signed between the Ethiopian Peace Talks Delegation and TPLF in South Africa solidifies the historic victory gained on the ground by gallant Ethiopians, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said.

The Ethiopian Peace Talks Delegation and the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) signed an agreement yesterday for lasting peace and permanent cessation of hostilities.

Speaking to the public gathered at Arba Minch Stadium, the prime minister revealed that  Ethiopia’s proposals were fully accepted at the peace talks in South Africa.

Elaborating on the peace agreement, Abiy said the two sides have fundamentally agreed that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ethiopia is non-negotiable.

The struggles of those heroes who sacrificed their lived and were wounded for the unity of Ethiopia deserve special thanks as their dreams have come true, the premier stressed.

Both sides have also agreed that the country only needs a national defense force and that is a big victory for Ethiopia.

He further explained that as legality is the basis for the existence of a country, the cancellation of the illegal election held in Tigray region and holding of another legal election has been accepted.

Agreement has also been reached by both sides that the claim of disputable areas be answered only through peace, dialogue and the law of the land.

The prime minister noted that bravery is not only about winning war, but also about kindness and forgiveness after victory.

The victory gained is a great opportunity, Abiy said, adding that Ethiopia’s enemies are ashamed.

Effort will be enhanced to let the people of Tigray develop together with fellow Ethiopian brothers and sisters, he pointed out.

The prime minister further said that Ethiopian heroism can be assured when we share and support our compatriots affected by the war in Tigray. “We need to uplift Ethiopianness by sharing what we have and offering love,” he underscored.

If we have sacrificed our lives, spilled our blood for the unity of the country, we should also sweat for development of the nation.

‘‘Together with you we must repeat the victory we won in war in the peace front. If the victory achieved in war is not repeated in peace, if the victory achieved in peace is not repeated in prosperity, the existence of Ethiopia is bound to be threatened in one way or another. Therefore, without any complacency in the victory that we won, we need to repeat the victory in the peace front. I urge you all to repeat the victory we won in the peace front and prosperity and create an  indomitable Ethiopia, comfortable to our children.”

 

Source: Ethiopia News Agency

COP27: Climate and hunger in a year of changing dangerously

As world leaders converge on Sharm el-Sheikh for UN climate conference COP27, we highlight some of the countries hit hardest by droughts, floods and storms

Storms, droughts and floods of immense magnitude are worsening an unprecedented global food crisis. Across the world, the devastating effects of climate change are already hitting some of the planet’s poorest people, who depend on the land and predictable weather for their future. At the same time, the World Food Programme (WFP) is empowering communities and governments to prepare, respond and recover.

It’s not too late to tackle the climate crisis and the hunger storm it is whipping up, but we need to act fast.

Floods

Record-breaking floods – affecting 33 million people – left a third of Pakistan under water in August and September, uprooting communities and smashing roads, bridges and livelihoods. Although it contributes less than 1 percent of global greenhouse emissions annually, the country is a hotspot for climate-related disasters.

WFP is supporting the Government in reaching 1.9 million people with food, nutrition and recovery. Looking ahead, WFP’s priority will be to return to supporting the people of Pakistan to build long-term resilience, engaging the UN Green Climate Fund to finance adaptation programmes to protect the country’s smallholder farmers and food systems.

Nepal has similarly been hit by heavy rains, deadly flash floods and landslides in recent weeks. “With reliable forecasts, it is increasingly possible to anticipate extreme weather events and take necessary action in advance,” says Robert Kasca, WFP Representative and Country Director in Nepal.  “WFP supported Nepalese authorities by dispatching cash assistance and early warning messages to at-risk communities.”

Meanwhile, deadly floods have swept across West and Central Africa, affecting 5 million people in 19 countries and deepening an already alarming food crisis. WFP is helping to build regional capacity to respond to climate extremes, supporting governments and communities to avert or mitigate their impacts – for example through early warning messages, or farming techniques such as water-harnessing ‘half-moons’ dug into the soil to help restore degraded land.

In the West African countries of MauritaniaMali and Burkina Faso, WFP also distributed US$9.4 million of African Union climate insurance payouts, to help communities recover from a crippling 2021 drought.

“Last year, my crop failed due to drought,” says Karim Sore, a farmer in Burkina Faso’s Centre-Nord Region. “But thanks to the [WFP] climate insurance payout, I was able to pay school fees for my children and meet other basic needs for my family.”

Torrential rains and widespread flooding hit conflict-torn Yemen this year, damaging infrastructure and homes, and leaving 73,0000 people in need of food and other urgent assistance.

Climate shocks are deepening the country’s already dire hunger conditions, with more than 20 million Yemenis needing humanitarian assistance. But water scarcity could be Yemen’s bigger long-term problem. Some experts predict the country could run out of water within the next few decades – and that climate change along with extensive environmental destruction threatens to exacerbate existing tensions in the country

Along with lifesaving food assistance, WFP is working with local communities to build their resilience to ravages of extreme weather – like a flood protection wall in the eastern village of Al-Ghorafi. “We used to spend nights awake in fear of flooding,” says Saeed, a father of 10 who participated in the project. “The wall will protect the village and the monuments in it.”

Droughts

One of the world’s most climate-vulnerable countries, Somalia has seen a threefold increase in extreme weather events over the last 30 years, experts say. Now, the longest drought in four decades, combined with the backlash from the global food crisis, leaves some 6.7 million people facing severe hunger – and more than 300,000 facing catastrophic levels of hunger, unless humanitarian aid is significantly ramped up.

Despite funding and security challenges, WFP has sharply scaled up its operations in Somalia, reaching record numbers of people with food and nutritional support – including roughly 4.6 million people in September alone. Beyond immediate relief, WFP is investing in building the capacity of government institutions and giving Somalis the tools to become more resilient against shocks and less dependent on humanitarian aid.

“In Somalia, we triggered what we call ‘anticipatory action’ over the short term, in areas hardest hit by drought,” says Gernot Laganda, who heads WFP’s climate and disaster risk reduction programmes. “It means we don’t just wait until there is a failed season. We work with forecasts – and if they cross a certain threshold, we provide aid before the damage has happened.”

In the southern Somali town of Dolow near the Ethiopian border, Muhuba Hassan Warsame, 35, has benefitted from a WFP resilience programme that gave her a plot of land and resources to plant a vegetable garden. “I have gained skills through this project on how to cultivate the farm, and how to plant and store crops,” says Muhuba. “I am better off since my life has changed.”

Part of the Central America’s Dry Corridor, Guatemala is another global climate hotspot, intersecting with other crises. A recent joint study by WFP and research group CGIAR finds climate swings – from long dry spells to untimely heavy rains – are deepening hunger, poverty and inequality in the region, exacerbating conflict. Indeed since 2009. Guatemala has seen a stunning 44 per-cent decrease in rainfall.

WFP supports hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people in Dry Corridor countries to adapt to climate change, through projects that create assets, build livelihoods and rehabilitate and reforest degraded and marginal lands.

“We sow cilantro, onion, chipilines, nightshade, chayotes, squash, cassava, and other little things,” says 32-year-old Damaris Reyes, leader of a women’s farming group in the eastern Guatemalan department of Chiquimula which is growing drought-resistant crops and making organic pesticides with WFP support. “With these vegetables in our plots, we are saving about 700 quetzales (or US$88) per week, because the cost of vegetables right now is quite high.”

Storms

The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 storms and typhoons each year. Climate change is expected to make these extreme events more destructive and unpredictable. Last December, the country saw the third-strongest typhoon ever to make landfall in the northern hemisphere. Typhoon Rai affected more than 12 million people, killing hundreds and leaving thousands homeless overnight. Working with authorities and partners, WFP reached vulnerable communities with food assistance, and helped them to rebuild and recover sustainably.

Over this past year, for instance, some 80,000 people benefitted from WFP Rai recovery projects – from cleaning debris-littered coastal areas, to repairing damaged roads, restoring mangroves (key storm barriers and climate-mitigators) and organizing community gardens.  “The communities have become so clean and green and, most importantly, people receiving WFP assistance are keen on sustaining these improvements and initiating regular community-led cleanups,” says WFP’s Alice Follosco, who helped support our typhoon response.

A raft of factors – from poverty and deforestation to exposure to earthquakes and extreme weather events – makes Haiti among most the climate-vulnerable countries in Latin America and Caribbean. The fallout of these multiple hazards feeds into a toxic mix of crime, poverty and high prices that have brewed a hunger disaster.

Despite extremely difficult operating conditions, WFP works with Haitian authorities and communities to fight climate change through projects like watershed management, infrastructure rehabilitation and emergency preparedness. In the northern commune of Limbe, for example, 60-year-old mother-of-six Dozimène earned US$70 monthly for participating in a WFP programme rehabilitating flood-hit irrigation canals and roads.

“These works really changed my and my children’s lives,” says Dozimène,, who used the money for food and transport and funneled the rest into a small business selling detergents at the market.

 

Source: World Food Programme

The 3rd UK-Ethiopia Trade & Investment Forum Kicks Off in London

Co-organized by the Ethiopian Embassy in London, WAFA Marketing and promotion and Digital Marketing Association (DMA), the third UK-Ethiopia Trade and Investment Forum Kicked off in London this morning (Nov 3, 2022).

The forum which was graced by H.E. Gebremeskel Challa, Minister of Trade and regional integration, aims to promote the lucrative investment opportunities in #Ethiopia and serve as a venue for UK investors to take business decisions.

The event has brought together more than one hundred investors. The Forum also served as an important platform for Business-to-business (B2B) and Government-to-Business (G2B) sessions.

The Minister of Trade and regional integration, in his keynote speech, recalled that the UK was among the first countries to open an embassy in Addis Ababa, while Ethiopia is the first African country to open an embassy in London.

While noting that yesterday’s peace accord signed in South Africa will open a new down for Ethiopians and lay a foundation for trade and investment, the Minister said, “Now is the right time to invest in Ethiopia.”

With the Home-grown economic reforms in Ethiopia, the Minister said the country is opening up huge space for the private sector.

The Minister further emphasized the fact that increasing the export volume and ensuring the diversity of products remains a priority.

In his welcoming remarks, Ambassador Teferi Melesse on his part underlined that Ethiopia, as the second most populous country in Africa with more than 115 million people, has the most promising commercial opportunities in agriculture and Agro-processing, infrastructure, energy, aviation, health care, and Tourism sectors.

The Ambassador said apart from privatizing the Telecom sector, #Ethiopia is opening up its financial sector to foreign investors.

In such score, he encouraged the #UK investors to seize the lucrative investment opportunities in Ethiopia.

The 3rd UK-Ethiopia Trade and Investment Forum included a handful of key presentations, including Investing in Renewable Energy & Mining, Growth-Sectors-ICT, Pharmaceuticals & Medical Supplies & Spotlight on Trade and Infrastructure.

 

Source: Ethiopian Embassy UK

Expression of Gratitude on the Conclusion of the Peace Talks

The agreement signed today in South Africa is monumental in moving Ethiopia forward on the path of the reforms we embarked upon four and half years ago. Our commitment to peace remains steadfast. And our commitment to collaborating for the implementation of the agreement is equally strong.

On behalf of the people and Government of Ethiopia, I would like to express my gratitude to the African Union Commission and the AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa His Excellency former President Olusegun Obasanjo, together with esteemed members of the high representative’s team; His Excellency former President Uhuru Kenyatta and Her Excellency Dr. Phumuzile Mlalmbo, former Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa. I would also like to thank His Excellency Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission for spearheading the AU’s principled position of ‘African Solutions to African Problems’.

To my dear brother His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, Ethiopia is grateful to you and the sisterly nation of South Africa for hosting these talks to their successful conclusion.

I would like to express appreciation to friends of Ethiopia that have taken an active role in supporting the conclusion of this agreement. We count on your continued support in reconstructing conflict affected areas in the Northern part of the country and an enhanced partnership with Ethiopia in our countrywide development endeavors.

Last but not least, to the brave members of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and the courageous people of this nation that stood a testing period, I humbly share deepest gratitude.

 

 

Source: Embassy of Ethiopia in Brussels

IGAD-GIZ Digital Health Team Benchmarks with the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia on Digital Health Investment

November 2, 2022 (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia): The IGAD-Health Digitalization team in collaboration with GIZ/BMZ on October 31, 2022 embarked on a benchmarking mission to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to learn the extent to which the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health has invested in the area of digital health.
The experience learning visit on November 2 and 3, 2022 to the Ministry of Health was for Ethiopia to showcase how they are championing digital health through the Health Care Blueprint as well as other existing frameworks and health architecture on how their health data is shared, has been improved overtime and how the data used for planning, timely interventions and decision making.
Through Member State experience sharing, IGAD is to start the process on implementation of the IGAD Data Sharing Policy and Protection Framework as was endorsed by the IGAD Health Ministerial Council in March 2022.

The team will also come up with recommendations for the scaling up of the Data Sharing Policy being adopted and domesticated in the IGAD Member States through data sharing standard operating procedures, data protection and data sharing protocols that will be provided by an efficient regional digital infrastructure for data management and control measures to verify disease cases hence better disease surveillance and monitoring in the region.

The team is addition is tracking progress, deliberating and recommending the next steps and key activities that will accelerate the implementation of the IGAD Digital Health Work Plan April 2022 to September 2023 in order to complement and strengthen the national digital health response in every IGAD Member State.
The team will also visit the Digital Health Training Center and the Ethiopian Science Museum in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of the Federal Government of Ethiopia.

 

 

Source: Intergovernmental Authority on Development

IGAD Concludes its Regional Dialogue on the Third CAADP Biennial Review Meeting

November 2, 2022 (ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), with the support of AUC/AUDA-NPAD and Alliance for Food a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), organised a two-day Regional Dialogue event during 1st to 2nd November 2022, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The main objective of the Meeting was to disseminate the 3rd CAADP Biennial Report (BR report) among its Member States and to discuss and operationalise the recommendations contained in the report as well as explore gaps in preparation for the next BR report.

The Meeting was officially opened by Mr. Zena Habtewold, Director of the Resource Mobilisation Division and CAADP Focal Person at the Ministry of Agriculture of Ethiopia. Mr. Zena welcomed and requested participants for an open and candid discussion on the reasons for the slow progress towards achieving the benchmark scores of the BR and also requested countries to learn from each other on how to improve progress at the national level.

Representatives of IGAD, AUC, and Chair-country of IGAD (Sudan) also gave opening remarks.

“As the dialogue over the current BR report continues, the process of developing the 4th BR should start”, Mr. Daher Elmi, Director of Agriculture and Food Security at IGAD, indicated at the Meeting.

The AUC representative outlined the progress and challenges of the CAADP BR processes so far and the lessons learned for future processes.

Dr. Murtada Khalid, on behalf of the IGAD Chair, emphasized the need for more and active participation of the private sector at all stages of the BR process.

The progress, challenges, and recommendations of the 3rd BR at the regional and national levels were presented and thoroughly discussed. Most countries are below the average scores for most commitments, commonly identified weaknesses in the BR reports, including limited cooperation among different national institutions, insufficient data collection, and analysis resources, and the absence of a database system.

The Meeting, therefore, stressed the need for AU and RECs regional experts to support member states in going deep into the data collection and analysis process. The participants recommended that some countries just starting the CAADP BR process, such as South Sudan and Somalia, may require more support and attention. The Meeting also recommended establishing/strengthening CAADP clusters for each of the seven Malabo commitments.

For post 3rd BR report and in preparation for the 4th one, it was agreed that IGAD Secretariat coordinates its support to member states in capacity building, resource mobilisation, inclusive national dialogue, and coordination mechanism for quality data collection.

Participants also noted that livestock and fisheries are important resources for IGAD Member States and should be given increased attention.

The Meeting brought together participants from IGAD member states and other CAADP-related organisations such as the AUC, AGRA, FAO, EAC, and COMESA. IGAD is a Regional Economic Community, and the Member States are Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.

 

Source: Intergovernmental Authority on Development