Category: News

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Announcement: New visa procedures starting from July 2

Dear clients of the Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in Brussels,

We hereby inform you that applications for all types of visa should follow our new visa procedures.

Starting from 02/07/2018, all visa applicants should apply on this address: the www.evisa.gov.et 

The new visa procedure is open to applicants of all nationalities.

No visa will be delivered at the Embassy.

Thank you for your understanding.

Ethiopia to begin extracting crude oil and natural gas

Ethiopia will begin extracting crude oil on a test basis from reserves in the country’s southeast today.

Fitsum Arega, chief of staff in Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office, said on Twitter that Abiy had met with officials from Poly-GCL Petroleum Investment Limited to “officially kick-start crude oil production test in Ogaden Region”.

“The company has discovered that there is a prospect of commercial quantities of crude oil in the region,” Fitsum wrote.

The firm is a joint venture of state-owned China POLY Group Corporation and Hong Kong-based Golden Concord Group.

450 barrels will be produced on Thursday 28 June on a trial basis.

The prime minister added that full-scale production of crude oil in the future would help the state alleviate unemployment and the prevailing foreign currency shortage.

Ethiopia also projects to earn up to 8 billion US dollars annually once it begins exporting natural gas at its full capacity.

A pipeline to export gas to Djibouti will be launched in September and will take two years to complete.

Ethiopian Airline will Resume Eritrea Flights by September

Ethiopian Airlines Enterprise will reintroduce flights to Eritrea by mid-September, two decades after a conflict upended relations between the neighbours.

“Ethiopian Airlines get ready because soon you’ll start going to Eritrea and coming back,” Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said at a state dinner for a visiting Eritrean delegation in the capital, Addis Ababa. “Let us not transfer to our children hatred and the holding of grudges.”

Ethiopian Airlines’ Chief Executive Officer Tewolde Gebre Mariam said flights would resume “as soon as formalities are completed.”

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki sent a delegation including Foreign Minister Osman Saleh for talks in Ethiopia after Abiy said he was keen on normalising relations.

On June 5, Ethiopia reiterated it would fully implement the so-called Algiers Agreement signed in 2000 to formally end a two-year war between the neighbours that killed about 100,000 people.

“Instead of thinking about killing people, instead of being sleepless, let us think of how to develop our countries together, how to be borderless and protect our region,” PM Abiy said.

The ruling party recently announced plans to open up state monopolies in Africa’s fastest-growing economy, including Ethiopian Airlines, to foreign investors and in June lifted a state of emergency imposed after the snap resignation of Abiy’s predecessor, Hailemariam Desalegn.

Eritrean officials visit Ethiopia for first time in 20 years

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (L) walks with Eritrea's Foreign minister Osman Saleh Mohammed (R) as Eritrea's delegation arrives for peace talks with Ethiopia at the international airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on June 26, 2018.

The first high-level Eritrean delegation to visit Ethiopia in decades has arrived for a meeting which could ease military tension. Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed has received the Eritrean delegation that includes Foreign Minister Osman Saleh and Presidential Adviser Yemane Ghebreab, who arrived in Addis Ababa on Tuesday 26 June.

Diplomatic ties have been cut between the two countries for almost 20 years.

A red carpet was rolled out, and the visitors were offered garlands of flowers. Olympic athletes, Ethiopian elders, religious figures, actors, singers and traditional dancers were all part of the welcoming committee. In the streets of the capital, a poster showing both flags together with a message of welcome hung from buildings.

Writing on Twitter, PM Abiy’s chief of staff said the prime minister “hopes the visit will lay the foundation for a much brighter future for Ethiopia [and] Eritrea”.

In a highly symbolic move, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said Ethiopian Airlines would restart flights to Eritrea for the first time since 1998 when conflict erupted between the two nations.

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Parliament speaker Muferihat Kamil is elected chairperson of the SEPDM

 

The speaker of Ethiopia’s parliament, Muferihat Kamil has been elected as chairperson of the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM), one of the constituent bodies of the ruling Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).

Muferihat replaces Shiferaw Shigute, who resigned as chairman of SEPDM. The Central Committee of the party announced the acceptance of his resignation on Monday. Shigute will remain a member of the party’s central committee and retain his position as agriculture and livestock minister.

SEPDM explained that Shigute’s resignation was part of the party’s reforms. Muferihat was elected on Monday at the emergency meeting of the Central Committee of SEPDM.

In April this year, Muferihat was elected speaker of parliament, replacing Abadula Gemeda who had been in the role since 2010.

In 2008, Muferihat was appointed Minister of Women’s Affairs at the age of 32, at the time, the youngest appointee of the late Meles Zenawi.

She was born in Jimma, the largest city in south-western Ethiopia. She Graduated from Haramaya University with BSc. Degree in Agriculture in 2000.

She held different women affairs roles and from 2002 till her appointment as Public Relations Advisor to the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) President in 2007.

She worked at the EPRDF office in Addis Ababa in April 2008, then as a junior public relations officer till her appointment as Minister of Women’s Affairs.

Eritrean delegation to arrive Addis Ababa this week

A high-level Eritrean government’s delegation will arrive in Addis Ababa this week, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia (MoFA).

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki last week announced plans to send a delegation to Addis Ababa for peace talks with Ethiopia.

The announcement was made at the annual martyr’s day celebration in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea.

The war fought between the two countries caused massive damage, pulled back the economy of both nations, and resulted in the displacement of people, the President said.

He highlighted the importance of restoring the people-to-people ties between the two countries.

Following the announcement by Asmara, Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed thanked President Isaias for the positive response to Ethiopia’s peace and reconciliation overture.

He also expressed his readiness to welcome warmly and with considerable goodwill the Eritrean delegation.

Different countries and international organisations also expressed their support for the recent move by both leaders to normalise relation between the two countries.

The United Nation (UN), the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU), and the United States welcomed the progress the two countries have made toward resolving their differences.

They also expressed their readiness to provide all support that may contribute to advancing and consolidating the process of engagement between the two nations.

Deadly grenade attack at unity rally for PM Abiy Ahmed won’t hamper ongoing reforms

A thwarted attempt to hurl a grenade at PM Abiy Ahmed led to a deadly explosion Saturday at a massive rally in support of sweeping changes in Ethiopia.

Witnesses said a man tried to throw the grenade at the stage as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed waved to the cheering crowd of tens of thousands shortly after he made a strong appeal for unity following months of anti-government protests.

Addressing the nation minutes after he was rushed to safety, Abiy called the blast a “well-orchestrated attack,” but one that failed. He did not lay blame and said police were investigating. At least one person was killed, and 155 people were hurt, nine critically, Health Minister Amir Aman said.

According to a rally organiser, Seyoum Teshome, “An individual tried to hurl the grenade toward a stage where the prime minister was sitting but was held back by the crowd.” Police officers nearby quickly restrained him, he said. “Then, we heard the explosion.”

Police later said six people had been arrested and were under investigation.

The attack was “cheap and unacceptable,” the prime minister said and added: “Love always wins. Killing others is a defeat. To those who tried to divide us, I want to tell you that you have not succeeded.”

The ruling party in a statement blamed “desperate anti-peace elements” and vowed to continue with the country’s reforms.

PM Abiy Ahmed has expressed his sincere condolences to all the victims of Saturday’s blast and has visited them at the hospital.

 

French development agency provides a 18 million euros grant for urban and geothermal development in Ethiopia

A signing ceremony of two grants Agreements took place at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MoFEC) between Admasu Nebebe, Ethiopian State Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation, Frederic Bontems, Ambassador of France to Ethiopia and Mr Ignace Monkam-Daverat, the French Agency for Development (AFD) Regional Manager in Addis Abeba, for a total of 18 million euros.

The first agreement, a 10 million euros grant will be provided by the AFD in contribution to Urban Development will be part of a program co-financed by the World Bank and the government of Ethiopia. The aim is to strengthen the capacity and performance of local urban governments. It will contribute to expanding sustainable urban infrastructure and services, as well as to promote local economic development in cities across Ethiopia.

With the second agreement, 8 million euros grant will be provided in contribution to the Tendaho Geothermal Development Project. It is funded by the European Union, through the European Union Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund (EU-AITF). This investment grant constitutes an additional funding to this project, which already benefited from a 9 million euros concessional loan from AFD and a total of 7,5 million euros from previous EU-AITF grants. The financing will enable to complete the drilling activities planned as part of the geothermal exploration and development effort in the Afar region.

The first program is implemented by the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing (MoUDH). It will build upon the previous Urban Local Government Development Program (ULGDP) by scaling up the support to 73 new Ethiopian cities, for a total of 117. Cities are expected to generate increasing levels of own-revenues in the long term to finance infrastructures and services. The aims of the UIIDP (Urban Institutional and Infrastructure Development Program) is also to assist the creation of well-functioning and productive urban centres and is aligned with the government’s Growth and Transformation Plan II and Ethiopian Cities Sustainable Prosperity Goals.

The second project is implemented by Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), in coordination with Geological Survey of Ethiopia (GSE). It aims to support Ethiopian economic growth by developing geothermal energy, a source that is reliable and low carbon, and thereby to improve its capacity for climate change adaptation. The activities will focus on developing a shallow reservoir in Tendaho in order to allow a sustainable exploitation with a capacity of an estimated 10MW, and on exploiting a deep reservoir by drilling wells at great depth.          

Those two projects fit in with the priorities of AFD in Ethiopia, which are urban development, energy and support to the private sector.

The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) is the French bilateral development bank, which has been working for more than 70 years implementing French development-aid policy. In 2017, AFD committed for 10.4 billion euros financing worldwide.

Source: Addis Standard

Ginbot 7 seeks to return and pursue a peaceful struggle in Ethiopia

Patriotic Ginbot 7 (PG7), an Eritrean based rebel group, has declared that it wants to return to Ethiopia to pursue a peaceful struggle.

In a statement confirmed by PG7 leader, Dr Bernahu Nega, the party said they have been encouraged by reforms undertaken by the new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed.

Berhanu Nega was recently pardoned by Ethiopia’s attorney general. He had been accused of leading the 2015 anti-government protests, charged under the country’s anti-terrorism laws.

The government recently started talks with 13 political parties to amend sections of the anti-terrorism law. PM Abiy has also continued to implement reforms including asking exiled opposition groups to return home.

He also played a role in the pardon of Andargachew Tsige who was sentenced to death in absentia in 2009 over his role in the opposition group PG7.  The PG7 statement added that they are interested in civilised politics and are keenly following the ongoing reforms, as they seek ways to contribute practical steps.

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Eritrea to send a delegation to Ethiopia for talks

 

Eritrean president announced that Eritrea shall dispatch a delegation to Addis Abeba to a constructive engagement with Ethiopia. President Isaias Afewerki made the remarks during the Martyrs Day celebrations today.

“We will send a delegation to Addis Abeba to gauge current developments directly and in depth and to chart out a plan for continuous future action,” President Isaias said, adding, “The events and developments that have unfolded in our region in general and in Ethiopia in particular in the recent period warrant appropriate attention.”

It was the first response from Eritrea to Ethiopia’s renewed engagement this month to honour all the terms of a peace deal that ended a 1998-2000 war between the Horn of Africa neighbours.