A Week in the Horn 15.04.2022


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News in Brief



Ethiopia lauds initiatives of Israeli delegation of health professionals led by MPs





National Dialogue in Ethiopia: A Bird in the Hand





Ethiopian Embassy in India and Ethiopian Investment Commission organized Investment promotion forum





Ethiopian Embassy in Belgium hosts a roundtable on Pharmaceutical Investment Opportunities in Ethiopia





Africa and the African Union





African Union Commissioner for Political
Affairs Peace and Security, Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, and Deputy Prime
Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia, Demeke Mekonnen had a meeting
on Thursday (April 14) at the office of the latter. During their
discussion, they noted the constructive peace-building initiatives that
the Ethiopian government has been undertaking so far, mentioning, among
others, the recently declared indefinite humanitarian truce. The two
sides also underscored the need to support the peace initiative of
Olusegun Obasanjo in Ethiopia under the auspices of the AUC. Deputy
Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke also reaffirmed Ethiopia’s
commitment to resume the AU-led trilateral negotiation over the Grand
Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.





The Intergovernmental Authority on
Development (IGAD) said on Monday (April 11) that people are suffering
from severe drought in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia. According to a
report, the situation is critical as it has not reached this magnitude
in the last 40 years. IGAD, which has an eight-country trade bloc in
Africa, through its Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC)
said at a press briefing in the Kenyan capital Nairobi that as a whole,
the East Africa region this year has recorded higher temperatures and
less than normal rainfall.





Ethiopia





President Sahle-Work Zewede on Thursday
(April 14) called on Ethiopia and Israel to further cement their
longstanding relationship with expanded engagements in investment,
agriculture and health sectors. The President made the remarks while
receiving the medical professionals and members of the Israeli
parliament who have been visiting conflict-affected areas in Ethiopia to
provide support for the reconstruction efforts of damaged health
institutions. The delegation led by former Israeli Deputy Minister of
Security and current member of the Israeli parliament, Gadi Yevarken
along with other members of the Knesset Emilie Moati and Vladimir Beliak
also met Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen. (See article)





In
honor of Ethiopian returnees from Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Abiy
Ahmed on Wednesday (April 13) hosted around 250 returnees for an Iftar
dinner at the Office of the Prime Minister. It is to be recalled that
the Ethiopian Government has been returning thousands of Ethiopians over
several months and will continue doing so until its citizens return to
their homes.





Aside from addressing current and age-old challenges, conducting
inclusive National Dialogues is critical for bolstering a culture of
trust and collaboration among Ethiopians, while restoring social values
that have been significantly eroded over the years. The national
discussion provides Ethiopians with an opportunity to define a new
course toward peace, political tolerance, national unity, political and
economic equality, and a common Ethiopian destiny. Prime Minister Abiy
issued a statement last week calling on Ethiopians not to waste the
opportunity furnished under the National Dialogue. (See article)





Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Demeke Mekonnen received
at his office on Thursday (April 14) a delegation of medical
professionals led by Israeli Member of Parliament Gadi Yevarkan. The
delegation, which includes three members of Israel’s parliament and
medical professionals, has visited Gondar aiming to assist in the
reconstruction of damaged health facilities due to the conflict in the
northern part of the country.





The Embassy of Ethiopia in India in collaboration with the Ethiopian
Investment Commission (EIC) organized an investment promotion forum with
the support of the Foreign Cooperation Department, Government of
Haryana from April 6-8, 2022 in the two vibrant cities of Haryana,
Gurugram and Chandigarh. The forum was held with the purpose of
expounding Ethiopia’s investment opportunities to the business people of
Haryana state with a special focus on pharmaceuticals, textile and
garment and agro-processing sectors. (See article)





A round table dedicated to the pharmaceutical sector was hosted by
the Embassy of Ethiopia in Brussels on April 7, 2022. The event was
aimed at showing the pharmaceutical companies in the Benelux countries
about the investment and export opportunities in the sector in Ethiopia.
The roundtable was conducted in a hybrid format that included virtual
and physical attendance. (See article)





Ethiopians in Belgium on Wednesday (April 13) have rallied in front
of the U.S. Embassy in Brussels to protest HR6600 and S3199 resolutions.
The demonstrators denounced the resolutions as they are partial. They
further stated that the bills do not commensurate with the longstanding
relationship between Ethiopia and the United States.





The World Bank on Wednesday (April 13) approved a 300 million USD
grant for the Response-Recovery-Resilience for Conflict-Affected
Communities in Ethiopia Project. In its press release, the Bank said the
International Development Association (IDA) grant has a national
geographic scope that initially prioritizes support to the Afar, Amhara,
Benishangul-Gumuz, Oromia, and Tigray regions that have been highly
impacted by the recent conflict and host large numbers of internally
displaced peoples (IDPs).





The National committee established to oversee and facilitate the
Eid-to-Eid call had a virtual meeting on Thursday (April 14) with
Ethiopian mission leaders regarding ongoing preparations to facilitate
the homecoming process. The leaders of Ethiopian missions in neighboring
countries, Europe, and North America have participated in the meeting.





WFP and UN led-humanitarian convoy headed to Mekelle on Thursday
(April 14), with 47 trucks loading food, nutrition & other
life-saving supplies and 3 fuel tankers. The move shows Ethiopia’s
commitment to the recently announced humanitarian truce.





More than a million cattle have died due to the ongoing severe
drought in Ethiopia’s Somali region. The drought, which is said to be
the worst drought to hit Ethiopia’s southeastern Somali region in 40
years, has severely affected the region’s pastoral farming community,
Somali region president Mustafa Muhammed said. Noting that the drought
has affected nine zonal administrations across the region, Muhammed
warned that the already dire situation would further exacerbate if the
drought persists. He called for swift and concerted efforts to prevent
the drought-induced humanitarian catastrophe in the region.





Ethiopian Embassy in South Africa took part in World Travel Market
Africa and the side events of the African Tourism Investment Summit held
from April 11 to 13, 2022 at Cape Town International Convention Center.
In the three-day event, Ethiopian tourist destinations and tourist site
projects that are open to foreign investors were promoted.





Eritrea





A senior Eritrean delegation composed of Mr. Osman Saleh, Minister of
Foreign Affairs, and Presidential Adviser Mr. Yemane Gebreab visited
the Republic of Sudan on Tuesday (April 12). The Eritrean delegation
delivered a message of President Isaias Afwerki to General Abdel Fattah
Al Burhan, President of the Republic of Sudan. In his message President
Isaias underscored Eritrea’s hope that Sudan, with President Al Burhan’s
leadership, will overcome the serious political, economic, and security
challenges it has been facing. President Al Burhan, on his part,
thanked President Isaias for his support and stated that despite
domestic and external difficulties, the situation was moving on a
positive trajectory. The Eritrean delegation also met and held extensive
discussions in Khartoum with Gen. Mohammad Hamdan Daglo, Vice President
of Sudan, and Dr. Jibril Ibrahim, Minister of Finance, focusing on the
enhancement of bilateral relations of partnership and cooperation as
well as regional developments.





Kenya





The former Prime Minister of Kenya and The African Union High
Reprehensive for Infrastructure Development, Raila Odinga received Meles
Alem, Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary of the Federal
Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the Republic of Kenya on Wednesday
(April 13). Raila, who noted that Ethiopia and Kenya are strategic
partners, called for a concerted effort to exploit the huge potential
the countries are endowed with. The High Representative underlined that
the Lamu, South Sudan and Ethiopia infrastructure is a game-changer mega
project that brings closer the three countries.





Kenya is keen to work with Ethiopia to sustainably utilize the
potential of the blue economy to expedite the national development of
the two countries, the Kenyan Blue Economy Sector coordinator Dr.
Francis O. Owino said on Sunday (April 10). The blue economy is the
sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved
livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of the ocean
ecosystem.





Somalia





More than 80% of Somalia’s new parliament members were sworn in
Thursday (April 14). The chairperson of the Somali Federal Election
Committee, Muse Guelleh Yusuf, hailed the event, held at the Mogadishu
airport compound, as “a major breakthrough in the Somali electoral
process.” “It was a historic breakthrough ending a long and exhausting
electoral process that lasted nearly two years. Some 290 lawmakers have
been sworn in today and the rest are expected to be sworn in in the
coming days,” Yusuf said. But, he added, “we are missing some 25 seats
which remain unfilled in the Hirshabelle and Jubaland states.”





The United Nations has issued an inter-agency appeal for immediate
funding to enable a scale up of life-saving assistance in Somalia amid a
biting drought that threatens the lives of almost 40 percent of the
country’s population. In a joint press release on Tuesday (April 12),
the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the UN Children’s Fund
(UNICEF), and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said the new Integrated
Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report that found six million
Somalis are facing extreme levels of food insecurity reflects a rapid
deterioration of the humanitarian situation.





Somalia’s first women-run radio and television outlet, Bilan media,
opened in the capital, Mogadishu. United Nations-supported Bilan Media
will produce content aimed at addressing issues affecting women and
championing women’s rights in the country. The launch of Bilan Media in
Mogadishu marks another leap in the effort by women to secure their
place in Somalia’s patriarchal public arena. Bilan Media is scheduled to
go on the air on April 25th.





South Sudan





Finance Minister of Ethiopia, Ahmed Shide said Ethiopia will continue
to strengthen its economic ties with South Sudan. The minister received
a South Sudanese delegation led by Minister of Finance and Planning
Agak Achuil Lual on Saturday (April 09). Following the meeting, an
agreement was reached to set up a joint ministerial committee between
the two countries.





The UNITAMS, African Union and IGAD mechanism announced on Tuesday
(April 12) that the Sudanese people would hear good news in the coming
days. Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan head of the Sovereign Council and
UNITAMS Head, Volker Perthes, AU Envoy Mohamed Hacen ould Lebatt and
IGAD Envoy Ismail Wais discussed their efforts to hold a Sudanese-led
dialogue to restore the civilian-led transitional government and end the
current political crisis. In a statement issued after the meeting, AU
representative to Sudan Mohamed Belaiche said that the tripartite
delegation stressed the need for a suitable atmosphere before the
process through the lift of the state of emergency, the release of
political detainees and end of violence against protesters.





Sudan





Vice-President of the Transitional Sovereignty Council, Gen. Mohamed
Hamdan Daglo, on Thursday (April 14) welcomed the announcement of the
leadership of the Republic of South Sudan, forming unified command of
the regular forces, in the implementation of the restructuring agreement
signed on the third of current April. Daglo said in a statement over
his Facebook Account, that it is an important step toward implementing
security arrangements and completing the requirements of the peace and
stability process in the country.





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Ethiopia lauds initiatives of Israeli delegation of health professionals led by MPs





An Israeli delegation of health professionals led by former Israeli
Deputy Minister of Security and current member of the Israeli
parliament, Gadi Yevarken along with other members of the Knesset Emilie
Moati and Vladimir Beliak has visited Ethiopia over the week. The visit
was aimed to assist in the reconstruction of damaged health facilities
due to the conflict in the northern part of the country.





The visit was said to have been made under the auspices of the
Society for International Development Israel (SID Israel)- an umbrella
organization that brings together over 170 Israeli private companies,
government agencies, civil society organizations, academic programs, and
institutions. During its two-day stay in Ethiopia, the group met with
President Sahle-Work Zewde, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister
Demeke Mekonnen, the Amhara Regional State officials, and the President
of the University of Gondar. The medical professionals treated patients
and conduct urgent operations in Gondar.





In meeting the Israeli delegation on Thursday (April 14), Deputy
Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen expressed his
appreciation to the Israeli delegation for taking such a constructive
initiative at this critical time. He said this timely initiative
demonstrated the friendly relations between Ethiopia and Israel and
would help cement the longstanding ties between the two countries. The
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and Members of the delegation
stressed that the initiative should transcend the short-term objectives
of reconstructing damaged health institutions. As part of the long-term
objective, the Israeli delegation expressed a keen interest to work
closely with the Black Lion Hospital and other health institutions in
Ethiopia.





Before its departure from Ethiopia, the Israeli delegation had also a
meeting with President Sahle-Work Zewde. During their discussion,
President Sahle-Work Zewede appreciated the initiative of the Israeli
delegation and called on Ethiopia and Israel to further cement their
longstanding relationship with expanded engagements in investment,
agriculture and health sectors.





It is to be recalled that the TPLF, disregarding the Ethiopian
government’s declaration of a unilateral humanitarian ceasefire on June
28, 2020, had invaded the Amhara and Afar regional states and committed
unimaginable atrocities on civilians and public services, including
schools and health facilities.  The Amhara Health Office report,
following the expulsion of the TPLF from the region, indicated that the
TPLF destroyed 82 government health offices, 40 hospitals, 453 health
stations, 1,850 health posts, four blood banks, and an oxygen plant. The
Afar Regional State Health Bureau also reported that the TPLF made a
hospital, 17 health centers, and 42 health posts out of operation during
its invasion of the region.





*******************





National Dialogue in Ethiopia: A Bird in the Hand





Ethiopia has begun an optimistic but difficult transition to
multi-party democracy in a response to the more than three years of huge
anti-government protests that propelled Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to
office in early 2018. Momentous pledges were made and kept. Political
prisoners were released, the media was resurrected, and exiled
opposition members returned to the country in the first year of the
reforms introduced by the new administration. A new ruling party was
founded, which has fostered more inclusive politics by drawing
marginalized regional political parties to the center.





However, as political space opens up and media outlets gain more
independence, petty or substantial disagreements along ethnic,
religious, and political lines have become chronic, culminating in
conflict and displacement in many parts of the country. As a result,
resolving differences and conflicts through broad-based and inclusive
public debate that fosters national consensus became indispensable.





Aside from addressing current and age-old challenges, conducting
inclusive National Dialogues is critical for bolstering a culture of
trust and collaboration among Ethiopians, while restoring social values
that have been significantly eroded over the years. Taking all the
advantages into account, the federal parliament adopted a proclamation
on December 29th to establish a commission that will officially
establish a structure to facilitate the National Dialogue process.





The proclamation states that the National Dialogue Commission will be
directly elected by the public. Ethiopians who had been waiting for
this opportunity used all of their resources to submit the names of at
least 632 candidates following a submission procedure that lasted until
January 21, 2022. The House of People’s Representatives short-listed 42
candidates. Out of these, the parliament chose 11 commissioners to lead
the National Dialogue Commission.





The commission’s main goal is to encourage consultation between
different segments of society by identifying the core causes of
disagreements on important national issues and determining the themes
for debate. Meanwhile, the commission must ensure that National
Dialogues are inclusive, directed by a competent and impartial
authority, with a clear focus on the source of conflicts, guided by a
transparent mechanism, and have a strategy to put the conclusions of the
consultations into action.





Besides building trust among Ethiopians, the commission is expected
to set the social and political foundations on which the current
challenges can be dealt with in a sustainable manner, ensuring long-term
peace and laying the groundwork for a strong national consensus and the
establishment of a legitimate state.





While most of the national and international actors applaud the move
as a step in the right direction, few hardliners, commentators, and
foreign media outlets opted for a last-ditch attempt to discourage
Ethiopians from giving their fullest support to the commission. They
accuse the commission of lacking neutrality, transparency and
inclusiveness, further claiming the electoral process of the
commissioners is marred by backroom dealings.





Chairperson of the Ethiopian Political Parties Joint Council (EPPJC),
Rahel Bafe (Ph.D.), called on Ethiopians to play an active role in the
upcoming national dialogue. The Joint Council, a coalition of more than
53 legally registered political parties in Ethiopia including the ruling
Prosperity Party, has been playing its part in enhancing the
participation of parties in the political process. Rahel Bafe
underscored that political parties in Ethiopia should bear
responsibility for peace, political stability and sustainable
development of the country.





Professor Mesfin Araya, the Commission’s Chairperson, emphasized that
national dialogue is the best option for putting Ethiopia on a strong
footing. However, he cautioned to be wary of claims that the dialogue
alone will automatically fix all of Ethiopia’s problems. “The Agenda
will be chosen from the public. Our role is to provide impartial
facilitators who are fair to all participants in the deliberation.
Anyone concerned about Ethiopia’s future should take part in the
discussion. Everyone is welcome. The youth must participate in
large-scale. The media must become more accessible to the general public
and fight for peace. The commission has organized multiple tours to
lower level governances such as zones and woredas to ensure
inclusivity,” he underscored.





Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (Ph.D.), on his part, urged everyone from
all walks of life to put up their best efforts to make the next National
Dialogue a success. Abiy mentioned in a recent Tweet that the National
Dialogue must be properly utilized and that all Ethiopians must
sincerely assist the process with a strong sense of belonging.





He went on to say that if Ethiopians take advantage of the
opportunity and nurture it like a gem, the National Dialogue will be a
catalyst for change and a feasible means of laying a firm foundation for
the country. “Right now, we should labor from dawn to dark to fully
grasp the precious opportunity that has fallen into our hands: the
inclusive National Dialogue, which is capable of unraveling the
long-piled political issues that have been rolling for years and have
now reached this point.” We shall lose this priceless opportunity if we
dismiss it as a minor occurrence, and Ethiopia’s and residents’ fates
would be strewn in vain.” In his statement, he urged contesting parties
to fully participate in the National Dialogue, noting that they are the
primary owners of the process and must contribute to its success and
speed.





Overall, the national discussion provides Ethiopians with an
opportunity to define a new course toward peace, political tolerance,
national unity, political and economic equality, and a common Ethiopian
destiny. So much has been lost and destroyed as a result of the
conflict, but despite the suffering, Ethiopians remain hopeful that
their collective will to overcome differences will bring them the peace
they so desperately needed. Many people believe that the planned
national dialogue will bring peace if everyone honors and fulfills the
required commitment to make it happen.





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Ethiopian Embassy in India and Ethiopian Investment Commission organized Investment promotion forum





The Embassy of Ethiopia in India in collaboration with the Ethiopian
Investment Commission (EIC) organized an investment promotion forum with
the support of the Foreign Cooperation Department, Government of
Haryana from April 6-8, 2022 in the two vibrant cities of Haryana,
Gurugram and Chandigarh. The forum was held with the purpose of
expounding Ethiopia’s investment opportunities to the business people of
Haryana state with a special focus on pharmaceuticals, textile and
garment and agro-processing sectors.





Ambassador Tizita Mulugeta, Ambassador of Ethiopia to India, Daniel
Teressa, Deputy Commissioner of Ethiopian Investment Commission, D.S
Dhesi, Chief Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Government of
Haryana, Yogender Chaudhary, Principal Secretary of Foreign Cooperation
Department, Government of Haryana, distinguished officials and
industrialists in the pharmaceuticals, textile & garment and
agro-processing sectors were present in the forum.





Recalling the two countries’ age-old relations, Ambassador Tizita
appreciated the Foreign Cooperation Department of the Government of
Haryana for organizing two successive events in this year with the aim
of strengthening the multifaceted relations between Ethiopia and India.
Ambassador Tizita requested Indian investors who took part in the forum
to explore the untapped investment potentials of Ethiopia and underlined
the readiness of the government and the Embassy in supporting their
economic engagement in Ethiopia.





Daniel Teressa, Deputy Commissioner of Ethiopian Investment
Commission appreciates the huge role Indian investors are playing in the
economic development of Ethiopia. He briefed the participants about
Ethiopian home-grown economic reform agenda, the on-going economic
liberalization and various incentives and support mechanisms provided by
the government to foreign investors with the objective of realizing the
country’s goal of becoming the leading manufacturing hub of Africa.





D.S Dhesi, Chief Principal Secretary to Honourable Chief Minister,
Government of Haryana acknowledged Ethiopia’s dynamic and robust
economic growth trajectory in the last two decades and highlighted the
various potential areas of cooperation between the two countries for
mutual benefit.





A detailed power point presentation on the sectors of pharmaceutical,
textile & garment and agro-processing was presented by the
Ethiopian Investment Commission team followed by one-to-one and B2G
meetings. The Ethiopian delegation also undertook a visit to the
research and development center of Mankind Pharma, one of the leading
Indian pharmaceutical companies.





Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) and Foreign Cooperation
Department, Government of Haryana signed a framework of collaboration to
work closely in the areas of investment, trade and technology transfer.





*******************





Ethiopian Embassy in Belgium hosts a roundtable on Pharmaceutical Investment Opportunities in Ethiopia





A round table dedicated to the pharmaceutical sector was hosted by
the Embassy of Ethiopia in Brussels on April 7, 2022. The event was
aimed at showing the pharmaceutical companies in the Benelux countries
about the investment and export opportunities in the sector in Ethiopia.
The roundtable was conducted in a hybrid format that included virtual
and physical attendance.





Among the panelists were Lelise Neme, Commissioner of Ethiopian
Investment Commission (EIC), Sandokan Debebe, CEO of Industrial Park
Development Corporation (IDPC), Fasika Mekete, advisor to the Minister
of Health, and a representative from the Ethiopian Food & Drug
Authority. As the roundtable was a specific and focused event, some
anchor Belgian pharmaceutical companies, including, Johnsson &
Johnsson, Univercells/UNIZIMA, among others, were in attendance.
Furthermore, representatives of regional Business offices of Belgium
(AWEX & FIT), TRAIDE foundation (Dutch), Ethio-Belgian Association,
and others attended the event.





A set of presentations were made on the need for the pharmaceutical
sector development and policy directions, Ethiopian investment climate,
access to and services in industrial parks, as well as certification and
public procurement of pharmaceutical products.





Lelise Neme, in addition to Explaining the favorable investment
climate in the country, invited anchor companies for a business visit to
Ethiopia so that they can assess the situation and seize the
opportunity to witness the enabling environment. Sandokan Debebe, on his
part, explained the provision of access to the industrial parks, and
more specifically he discussed the Kilinto industrial park, an industry
zone dedicated to the pharmaceutical sector.





Ambassador Hirut Zemene moderated the roundtable, which was a
fruitful interactive event. The participants drawn from the Benelux area
for their focus on the pharmaceutical sector had a chance to exchange
views with the Ethiopian officials, which is expected to encourage them
to do business in Ethiopia.




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