PM Abiy Welcomes US Secretary of State, Anthony J. Blinken

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has welcomed, US Secretary of State, Anthony J. Blinken, who is in Ethiopia for a working visit, at his office earlier today.

According to office of the Prime Minister, their discussions focused on various domestic, regional and bilateral issues of mutual concern, with a commitment for enhancing the partnership between Ethiopia and the US.

Ethiopia’s evident progress on the peace agreement was also acknowledged.

The economy, development endeavours, particularly agriculture, and regional stability were also addressed, the office said.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

State Secretary Blinken Announces 331 Million USD Humanitarian Assistance for Ethiopia

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is on a working visit in Ethiopia, has announced 331-million USD in new humanitarian assistance for Ethiopia in FY 2023, according to the US Department of State.

In a press statement the department issued today said that this funding will provide life-saving support to those displaced and affected by conflict, drought, and food insecurity in Ethiopia.

“This assistance includes 12 million USD through the State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and more than 319 million through the U.S. Agency for International Development.”

The assistance brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance for the response to the region to more than 780 million USD in FY 2023, it was learned.

According to the secretary of state, the announcement will help deepen the partnership between the United States and Africa.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Ethiopian Commences Weekly Freighter Service From Copenhagen to Addis Ababa

Ethiopian Airlines has commenced a weekly freighter service from Copenhagen to Addis Ababa effective 12th March 2023 with its B767-300F aircraft which has a capacity of 45 tonnes of cargo per flight.

The new route will play an important role in boosting trade between Europe and the rest of the world, according to Ethiopian.

Ethiopian also plans to launch five-weekly passenger service to Copenhagen starting from May 2023, which will boost its cargo capacity using the belly hold of its passenger aircraft.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Blinken Says Cessation of Hostilities Agreement Most Powerful Testament to Importance of African Leadership

The cessation of hostilities agreement on the conflict in northern Ethiopia is one of the most powerful testaments to the importance of African leadership, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said today.

Following the conclusion of his official visit to Ethiopia this evening, he said that an African led solution is recently bearing fruit.

“African led solutions are increasingly making the difference on the challenges of the 21st century. One of the most powerful testament to the importance of African leadership has been the November 2nd 2022 cessation of hostilities agreement and the conflict in the northern part of Ethiopia.”

Blinken noted that the peace agreement is vital to save lives and promote peace in Ethiopia.

According to him, the cessation of hostilities agreement is a major achievement and step forward in saving and changing lives. The guns are silent as the fighting stopped., humanitarian assistance flowed and reached all communities in need. Services are restored in the Tigray region.

The state secretary also appreciated the dedicated diplomacy of the mediators from the African Union, Kenya and South Africa.

The African Union’s moderating mechanism is a successful implementation, he added.

“Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian federal government, Tigray regional leaders should be commended for reaching this agreement on the significant progress and delivering on their commitments.This has created the foundation to rebuild the communities that have been suffering in Tigray, Amhara, and the Afar regions. They need help and support.”

During his one day visit to Ethiopia, the state secretary met with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and discussed domestic, regional and bilateral issues of mutual concern, with a commitment for enhancing the partnership between Ethiopia and the US.

Blinken has also announced 331-million USD in new humanitarian assistance for Ethiopia in FY 2023, according to the US Department of State.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Expediting implementation of AfCTA Powerful Lever for Poverty Reduction Crucial: ECA Acting Executive Secretary

It is time to expedite the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) as a powerful lever for poverty reduction, Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Acting Executive Secretary, Antonio Pedro, said.

Speaking at the 55th session of the Economic Commission for Africa Committee of Experts today, he said the confluence of shocks – the cascading impact of COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and severe natural disasters – have eroded Africa’s development gains, resulting in a staggering 149 million previously non-poor Africans now facing the risk of falling into poverty.

Africa currently accounts for the largest share of the world’s poor as the growing number of new poor and vulnerable people is making it harder to close the gap between the rich and the poor.

This inevitably has a far-reaching impact on achieving the sustainable development goals and the vision of the Africa we want, the acting executive secretary added.

First, there is need for real action on reducing the high cost of trade, Pedro stated, adding that this can ease the burden on access to affordable goods for poor, hard-hit households that are losing out on health, education, and meaningful opportunities.

“It is also time to expedite the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) as a powerful lever for poverty reduction. The AfCFTA’s promise cuts across all economic sectors, presenting a new pathway for broad-based growth.”

Second, the ongoing climate crisis must be main-streamed in policy development and implementation, he noted.

According to him, we are living through the devastating impact of climate events that have led to the migration and displacement of some 85 million people in the continent.

Above all, moving Africa out of these crises will require resolving the fundamental flaws underpinning the international financial architecture and acting on lasting reforms, Pedro stressed.

Planning and Development State Minister, Nemera Gebeyehu, on his part said 2022 was a particularly difficult year, mostly due to multiple and overlapping shocks.

As a result, an array of development challenges – household poverty, food insecurity, energy insecurity, and social instability, among others, have arisen.

With 2030 less than eight years away, the majority of African nations struggle to reach the Sustainable Development Goals targets, the state minister noted.

Advocating for the reform of the global debt architecture and the re-channeling of IMF Special Drawing Rights are crucial in this regard.

The ECA has led the advocacy in the arena of the reform of the Global Financial Architecture, and thus has to continue its work and amplify this endeavor.

Also of importance is the need to mobilize domestic and external resources immediately to finance investments in quality education, universal health care, pandemic preparedness, decent work, and social protection, the state minister said.

“Failing to address these issues would likely hamper poverty reduction, recovery from recent shocks and building resilience to future shocks, for sustainable development.”

Leveraging climate finance for decent job creation, for example, can help tackle poverty and inequality, according to Nemera.

He underline that this year must serve as a turning point for Africa. In the absence of this, Africa may be left behind and take years, even decades, to get back on track to meet the SDGs.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

55th Session of ECA Committee of Experts Kicks off in Addis Ababa

The 55th session of the Economic Commission for Africa Committee of Experts kicks off in Addis Ababa today with both online and in-person participation.

The meeting included professionals from around the Continent with diverse levels of experience.

Addressing the meeting, State Minister for Planning and Development Dr. Nemera Gebeyehu Mamo stressed that a big number of non-poor Africans are on the edge of becoming poor as a result of a combination of compounding shocks, including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

He stated that it is critical to mobilize both domestic and global resources promptly in order to support investments in basic infrastructure and services, job creation, and social protection.

In order to finance investments in basic infrastructure and services, job creation, and social protection, he said it is crucial to immediately mobilize domestic and external resources.

Acting Executive Secretary of ECA, Antonio Pedro also made an opening statement about the significance of the meeting.

Senegal handed over the next chairmanship to Uganda.

The meeting of experts will continue for two days before the ministerial session kicks off.

The week-long ministerial session will be held under the theme “Fostering recovery and transformation in Africa to reduce inequalities and vulnerabilities”.

The Session will review the state of economic and social development in Africa as well as progress on regional integration.

African ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, representatives of member States, entities of the United Nations system, pan-African financial institutions, African academic and research institutions, development partners and intergovernmental organizations are expected to attend the meeting.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Nigerian Army donates 60-bed ward to Oyo hospital

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, on Tuesday, inaugurated an ultra modern 60-bed ward at the General Hospital, Kishi in Oyo State.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement on Tuesday, said the project was part of army’s civil-military cooperation projects.

Nwachukwu said the health facility which was constructed and fully equipped by the army, contains female, male and children wards, labour room, consulting rooms, nurses station as well as a reception.

Speaking at the inauguration, the COAS described the project as one of his special Intervention Civil-Military Cooperation projects aimed at winning the hearts and minds of Nigerians by complementing existing infrastructure.

Yahaya said the Nigerian army owned it a duty to partner Nigerians at ensuring that the nation was safe and secure, adding that the army belongs to Nigerians.

He thanked President Mohammadu Buhari for his unflinching support for the armed forces and reaffirmed the loyalty of the officers and soldiers to the constitution.

Gov. Sheyi Makinde of Oyo State, who was represented by Mr Lateef Adediran, extolled the Nigerian army for being instrumental to national unity and global peace through its internal security operations and contributions of troops to Peace Support missions.

Makinde expressed appreciation to the Nigerian army on behalf of the state government and people of the state for choosing Kishi for the execution of the laudable project.

The facilitator of the project, Maj.-Gen. Kunle Adesope, Chief of Defence Accounts and Budgets and an indigene of Kishi, said the choice of the project was premised on needs assessment and consultation with community leaders.

Adesope thanked the COAS for approving and sponsoring the project, adding that it will positively impact on the health of the people.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria