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embassy news

Finish Ambassador commends Ethiopia for economic development

Finland Ambassador to Ethiopia Helena Airaksinen said that Ethiopia has made good progress in terms of economic development.”Finland is also keen on expanding economic cooperation with Ethiopia.”

In an exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald, Amb. Helena Airaksinen said Finland and Ethiopia have been working together in rural economic development particularly in Amhara state focusing on inland administration, agricultural value chain production improvement programs and the like.

According to her, the rural economic development programs are aimed at improving rural farmers’ productivity and income.

Remarking on various cooperative programs in Ethiopia including the education cooperation, Airaksinen said : “The clean water program benefits millions of people in the country as it has enabled them to access clean water easily and so we are glad for such success story.”

Moreover, she lauded the Ethiopian government and the local authorities for their commitment towards the cooperative programs.

Regarding the ongoing efforts to reduce poverty rate in Ethiopia, she said Finnish government is pleased to the so far remarkable achievements gained in this regard.

Source: The Ethiopian Herald

Dr. Workneh meets with his Belgian Counterpart

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu met his Belgian counterpart, Mr. Didier Reynders on Tuesday (February 21, 2017) in Brussels, and discussed the bilateral relations between the two countries and agreed to further strengthen their cooperation as seats of their respective regional organizations – the African Union and the European Union.

Ethiopia, Italy ink loan accord for health infrastructure development

Ethiopia and Italy struck a soft-loan agreement with the latter providing 5 million euro to the infrastructural development of Ethiopian health sector here yesterday.

The agreement was signed by Finance and Economic Cooperation State Minister Admasu Nebebe and Giuseppe Mistretta, Italian Ambassador to Ethiopia.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Admasu said Ethiopia and Italy enjoy a long standing ties and Italy’s tremendous financial contribution to the development endeavours in Ethiopia has been exemplary for many years.

The loan agreement is well aligned with Ethiopia’s priority and will help promote the health sector. The accord has an added value for addressing the challenges facing the health sector in terms of infrastructural facilities, said Admasu.

Italian Ambassador Giuseppe Mistretta for his part said that the loan would be used to promote the infrastructural facilities of the health sector.

Italy has planned to provide Ethiopia about 125 million euro as per its three year scheme that would be used to cater to the development of Ethiopian people, he added.

The two-year project will be implemented in Amhara and SNNP states as well as in Addis Ababa.


Finance and Economic Cooperation State Minister Admasu Nebebe and Italian Ambassador to Ethiopia Giuseppe Mistretta

Gibe III Hydropower Plant and Lake Turkana: the Untold Symbiosis

Human Rights Watch published an article this week, repeating its claims that the Gilgel Gibe III Dam and the ongoing plantations along the Omo River Valley were negatively affecting the water levels of Lake Turkana. HRW alleges that the Gilgel Gibe III hydropower dam has resulted in Lake Turkana’s water levels by approximately 1.5 m since January 2015. It goes on to speculate, without any evidence that further reductions are likely, and it then claims that the further drop in lake levels that it predicts will seriously affect food supplies in the area.

In order to support these allegations, it tried to cite but inaccurately a publicly available data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). According to the article, Lake Turkana’s water levels have dropped by approximately 1.5 meters since January 2015, and professed that further reduction is likely without urgent efforts to mitigate the impact of Ethiopia’s actions.

Using the same available data and additional facts this article argues that Gibe III hydropower plant has been positively contributing for the maintenance of the average water level at Lake Turkana even in the driest years of 2015 and 2016.

In the year 2015 the water level of Lake Turkana declined from +2.1m to +0.7m over long term average lake level. In the same period Gibe III impounded 7,850 million m3. In the year 2016, the water level of Lake Turkana declined further 0.2 m, from +0.7m to +0.5 m again over the long term average lake level. Such a reduction, though within the natural variability of the lake, happened during the dry years of 2015 and 2016. In spite of this fact, the wise management of Gibe III hydropower plant that made possible the artificial release through the Middle Level Outlets designed specifically for this purpose helped Lake Turkana level to remain about constant all round the year 2016 and, surprisingly with a slight increase, during October 2016.

Normally, Lake Turkana levels decrease from November onwards, towards a minimum in April. However, in 2017 the reduction is expected to be less than usual. This is because Gibe III’s turbines are operating, on the average, at twice the value of the incoming flow of the Omo River to the reservoir.

Therefore, the alleged causal links between developments in Ethiopia, especially the hydropower plant, and drop in water level of Lake Turkana is unsubstantiated, if not problematic. This confirms yet again how Ethiopia’s development, as it is clearly outlined in its Climate Resilient Growth Strategy, is in alignment with the protection and conservation of the environment!

Source: MFA Ethiopia

Dr. Workneh holds talks with EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Federica Mogherini

Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu held talks with High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice- President of the European Commission, Ms. Federica Mogherini on 18 February 2017 on the margins of the 53rd Munich security conference, now underway in Munich, Germany.

The two sides discussed on issues of regional peace and security and migration, as well as the positive steps the Government of Ethiopia has taken in the pursuit of addressing popular public demands.

Ms. Mogherini congratulated Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu for taking office as Foreign Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. She also said the EU is keen to continue its constructive engagement with Ethiopia. 

Dr. Workneh thanked the High Representative for her good wishes and briefed her on the situation in Ethiopia and region. On Somalia, the Minister emphasized the positive and encouraging trend of state building in Somalia as concluded by the election of the president. Ethiopia and IGAD countries view this development as a chance to further engage with Somalia in its effort to build peace and security and support the national institution building efforts. Ethiopia is confident of EU’s continued support in the region, he added.

Mr. Karel Claes: “Ethiopia is by far the best investment destination  in Africa”

During an interview on the 14th of February 2017, Mr. Karel Claes explained why Ethiopia is currently the best destination for investments in Africa.

Reasons of this attractiveness include fast growth of the economy, development of the infrastructure, stability of the government and quality of the country’s rules and regulations.

According to him, business and investments from European investors should be intensified in several sectors of the Ethiopian economy.

Moreover, Mr. Claes said Ethiopia’s tourism potential is still underestimated in Europe.

Mr. Karel Claes is a Belgian entrepreneur, former General Manager of Médecins Sans Frontières, co-author of the book Bestemming Ethiopia (Destination Ethiopia) and active in the network Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs (Ondernemers voor Ondernemers)

IOM to Build Transitional Shelters for South Sudanese Refugees in Gambella, Ethiopia

The International Organization for Migration has announced it is building nearly 900 transitional shelters in the new Nguenyyiel camp for South Sudanese refugees in the Gambella Regional State.

Nguenyyiel camp was opened in September 2016 to accommodate roughly 4,400 people; it currently hosts 27,620 refugees who have fled from South Sudan. Transitional shelters are a considerable improvement on the basic emergency shelters currently being used by refugees in the camp. They will be built using local techniques and materials, with the refugees themselves playing a large part in the building process.

The livelihoods of the refugees and the communities hosting them will be supported through the construction phase.

The Head of IOM Ethiopia’s Sub-Office in Gambella said the new shelters would be vital in the ongoing efforts to manage the continuing flow refugees into Gambella and in responding to their needs.

Last year, IOM provided pre-departure medical screening and evacuations to 53,240 refugees in Gambella.

IOM’s shelter and relocation efforts are carried out with the invaluable support of the Government of Ethiopia’s Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) and the Gambella Regional Disaster Prevention and Food Security Agency (DPFSA). The construction of the shelters is being supported by the UK’s Department for International Development which also allows for IOM to relocate refugees from the border after they have been screened.

Dr. Workineh arrives in Munich-Germany to attend the 53rd Munich Security Conference

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Dr.Workneh Gebeyehu, arrived in Munich – Germany to attend the 53rd Munich Security Conference (MSC), which is scheduled for February 17 to 19, 2017.

Just ahead of the 53rd edition of the Munich Security Conference which opens on Thursday, the Munich Security Conference Foundation released the third edition of its annual report on key issues in international security.

“The international security order today is probably more volatile than at any other point after the end of World War II.” With these words, Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, chairman of the Munich Security Conference, welcomed the about 300 guests of the traditional MSC Kick-off event at the Bavarian Representation in Berlin on February 13, 2017.

Ischinger gave a first overview of the topics of the upcoming Munich Security Conference and presented the new Munich Security Report. Entitled “Post-Truth, Post-West, Post-Order?”, the report compiles a variety of analyses, data, statistics, infographics, and maps on major developments and challenges in international security. Ischinger’s summary: “The West is shaken to its very foundations.”

Among the key topics of this year’s MSC 2017 are Cyber, Health, Energy and Climate Security issues, Terrorism and Extremism, the war in Syria and the future of the European Security Order.

European and Global Cooperation as well as Global Order are also among issues on the agenda.

A selection of Official partner events will take place on the sideline of the Conference on which issues of fighting the root causes of Migration and Economic Cooperation as a new Deal for Africa will be addressed on a panel discussion by German-Africa Business Association

There will also be Discussion on ‘Building Security in Post-Conflict Country: Beyond ‘Guys and Guns ‘in Somalia hosted by the United Nations.

MSC is an independent forum dedicated to promoting peaceful conflict resolution and international cooperation and dialogue in dealing with today’s and future security challenges. Over the past five decades, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) has become the major global forum for the discussion of security policy. Each February, it brings together more than 450 senior decision-makers from around the world, including heads-of-state, ministers, leading personalities of international and non-governmental organizations, as well as high ranking representatives of industry, media, academia, and civil society, to engage in an intensive debate on current and future security challenges. In addition to its annual flagship conference, the MSC regularly convenes high-profile events on particular topics and regions and publishes the Munich Security Report.



15th African Fine Coffee Conference & Exhibition opens in Addis Ababa

The 15th African Fine Coffee Conference and Exhibition kicked off at the Millennium Hall, Addis Ababa on Wednesday (February 15, 2017). The conference was organized by African Fine Coffee Association under the theme: ‘Reshaping the African Coffee Industry for Productivity & Investment’.

Opening the Conference, President Dr. Mulatu Teshome noted that the 15th African Fine Coffee Conference and Exhibition will create a good opportunity to promote Ethiopia’s coffee as it comes at a time when Ethiopian coffee growers are harvesting coffee beans.

Speaking about benefits of the conference, President Mulatu stated that such a platform has significant contribution towards generating the revenues which Ethiopia has targeted from coffee. Coffee accounts 26 percent of Ethiopia’s total export earnings. The country envisaged earning over 2 billion US dollars from the export of 302, 560 tons in the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP-II).

The Conference brings over more than 2000 regional and international coffee roasters, traders, producers, professionals and connoisseurs from countries including Malawi, Kenya South Africa Tanzania, Congo, Zimbabwe, and Burundi and visitors all over the world.

The three days African Fine Coffee Conference & Exhibition is the continent’s largest coffee trade platform that included panel discussions, exhibitions about specialty coffees, and various deliberations that will enhance the sector in Africa and its competitiveness in the global market.

The Organizer Association (AFCA) is a regional non profit, non political, member-driven association representing coffee sectors in 11 member countries namely Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the global market next to Oil.