Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn discussed with his Somali counterpart Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre on ways of bolstering bilateral ties and discussed issues of drought and regional affairs.
The two leaders discussed Tuesday how the two countries could work closely for social, economic, political development in their respective countries.
On the occasion, Prime Minister Hailemariam stressed on strengthening the Ethio-Somali cooperation to chase out Al-Shabaab from the region thereby bringing sustainable peace and stability.
The Prime Minister also noted that the government of Somalia needs to exert effort to benefit Somali citizen from the ongoing social development in the country.
Hailemariam reaffirmed that Ethiopia is committed to provide sustained support to the country.
He emphasized that every stakeholder should cooperate to the realization of the London Somalia Conference agreement.
The premier noted that two countries should use their resource for their mutual benefit stressing the growth of Ethiopia would bring benefits to Somalia and vice versa.
“Utilizing resources like; electric power, road and railway infrastructures, air transportation as well as port services would be fundamental to maintain peace and prosperity of the two countries.”
Citing, Asian Tigers countries success with mutual development, the premier underlined the need to cooperate more to ensure East Africa’s countries mutual growth.
For his part, Premier Khayre said that his country would work closely in many areas for mutual development and benefits of the two peoples.
He expressed gratitude for Ethiopia’s support in tackling the drought impact in his country.
The two leaders have also discussed on ways creating sustainable means of defending drought impacts through increasing production and productivity, according to Ewinetu Bilata, Ethiopian Premier advisor who attended the discussion.
BY TEWODROS KASSA
According to researches, the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa is found at an elevation of 2,700 meters above sea level. Due to this fact, it is the second city in the world situated in high altitude. Many tourists who come from different parts of the world get amazed by the salubrious weather of the city and eye-catching man-made and natural sites. It boasts of stunning topography with incredible scenery of rivers, forests and mountains.
Mount Enteto is the highest peak overlooking the city of Addis Ababa. It affords a vantage point for astonishing views of the city. It is part of the Entoto Mountain chain. It has different species of birds, reptiles, plants and animals. More than anything, it entails fascinating history as Emperor Menelik and his wife Taitu Betul had used it as their headquarters and strategic fortress for many years. It was founded immediately after the emperor came from Ankober, his birthplace. Mount Entoto is also the location of a number of celebrated churches, including Saint Raguel and Saint Mary. The beautiful churches adorn the palace, which was built by Menelik and his wife at the closing chapters of 1880s.
According to the Addis Ababa Tourism Bureau, the tabot (ark) of Enteto Mariam Church with its stunning canvas painted by Alqa Zayohanes, was brought from Gojam by Menelik who at that time was king of Showa. The arc was housed in a small purpose-built thatched roof chapel in Enteto, where it remained for over 30 years. The new church was amazingly decorated both inside out, and was inaugurated in 1914. Alaqa Heruy Menbare was responsible for the original work of decoration then. The church has been maintained by a series of devoted Alaqas (administrators) who have preserved its original beauty. Empress Taitu was the first gabaz and she was later succeeded by Princess Yeshashwork Yelma, wife of notable in Addis of the time.
During the Italian aggression of Ethiopia, Enteto St. Mariam Church was not heavily looted, but the golden crown of Emperor Menelik II and a large cannon, which had been captured by Menelik’s army at the battle of Adwa in 1896, was taken by occupying Italians. In the church compound, one will visit the palace, built in traditional style for the emperor and the empress, perched on the hilltop, high above the city. Its location provides a good sight seeing of the city below. The palace contains an assembly room, banquet halls and a reserve room for amenities. Located beside the church and the palace compound is found the Menelik Museum, rich in imperial artefacts and ecclesiastic items that will give one a real sense of what was an important period of Ethiopia’s history.
Regarding biodiversity, Mount Entoto has various kinds of plants. Due to its densely planted eucalyptus tree, Entoto sometimes is referred to as the ‘‘lung of Addis Ababa’’. The tree was first imported from Australia during the reign of Menelik. The forest has been used as important source of firewood for the city dwellers and suburban areas. It was also a source of building materials in earlier times.
This scenario has created negative impacts on deforestation and environmental degradation. However, the Addis Ababa City Administration, in collaboration with other stakeholders, has been undertaking various preservation works to keep Entoto and its resources safe from any degradation. The Ethiopian government, in collaboration with the Ethiopian Heritage Trust and other partners, has been working to make Entoto one of the top tourist destinations. All stakeholders are striving tirelessly to preserve the biodiversity of the mountain, natural parks, and historical heritages. Due to this, the tourist flow is increasing from time to time.
BY TSEGAY HAGOS
The climatic shocks have been posing severe impacts on the millions of mouths as well as the country. Due to that, the country has devised various mechanisms that ensure the sustainability of crop production. One important response in this regard is engaging in the horticultural sector under small-scale irrigation on peasant farms. By doing so, emerged educated youth can secure jobs; households increase their income while it helps to alleviate dependence on a single crop commodity— which all could be combined towards fostering the rural transformation aspiration.
The farmers in this scheme are provided with technical trainings and agricultural inputs which are crucial to modernize their practices.
As transforming the sector could not be achieved single-handedly, the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources has, thus, forged partnerships with various local and international stakeholders.
One such relation has already been maintained with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The JICA’s intervention has been contributing hugely in addressing farmers’ bottlenecks with regards to marketing their produces.
“Ethio-shape” is the name given to a joint project of the Ministry and JICA. It is to produce horticultural crops in small farming area in four zones and eight woredas of Amhara and Oromia states and would last four years beginning 2017.
Approached for comments, project consultant Famiako Saso said the project has enabled farmers to shift towards ‘production for sell’ from previous ‘produce and sell’. For him the project increases farmers’ income apart from on farm practices.
Amhara State Agricultural Office Vice Executive Aytenew Endeshaw for his part said the new cooperation programme has been building farmers’ capacity besides ensuring productivity. He indicated that farmers have now transformed their capacity to surplus production.
Ethio-Shape project has been equipping the farmers of the woredas with new experiences on marketable vegetable and fruit production aligning the task with the national agricultural extension programme.
Aytenew considers the project as an important intervention to strengthen the extension programme. Still, challenges emanating from various sources including unable to find market for produces, reduced public awareness and inadequacy of input are manifest.
With regards to addressing market problems, the regional agricultural bureau took the initiative by creating market links with universities and prison institutions, he said.
For his part, Oromia Irrigation Development Deputy Manager Samuel Husein seems to clearly locate where the market problem is originating. For him, farmers produce vegetables and or fruits with no prior assessment of demands at the market. “Most arbitrary produce vegetables and supply the market.”
The project has, therefore, helped in modifying this attitude. “Farmers have now started to carefully assess demands at the market and decide which crop to grow.”
Samuel further added that 52 per cent of farmers benefits from irrigation schemes in Oromia State. He said efforts are under way to benefit 100 per cent farmers from irrigation.
The state has a 15-year plan to expand horticultural development at every woreda with a view to transforming farmers’ lives. Cognizant of the state’s suitability to horticultural crop production, the government has attached due priority and applied mechanisms to familiarize farmers with the scheme.
Yigeze Birhanu, Small-scale Horticulture Department Director General with the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, made clear that the government has been implementing various programmes to tap opportunities from small-scale irrigation horticultural crop production.
In many countries, particularly developing ones, the horticulture sector plays an important role both for local consumption and export. It also ensures community health improvement by providing nutritious food. The sector also guarantees the inflow of foreign currency.
And the intervention of development partners have unrivalled importance in mobilizing the needed expertise, finance and technology, among other. The practical supports of JICA would hopefully keeps with an increased momentum. And the ministry has also a lot ahead of it in bringing more partners to the sector.
BY ABEBE WOLDEGIORGIS
Ever since the days of 'Zemene Mesafint' ('the Era of Princes'), which went on from 1769 to 1885, Ethiopia and its leaders were preoccupied with countering foreign aggression, and maintaining the territorial integrity of the country whilst attempting to establish diplomatic relations with European powers. Ethiopian leaders thought that European Christian countries would sympathize with Ethiopia that was encircled by non-Christian hostile countries.
Indeed, history tell that Ethiopia had to fight back major international wars, like the Battle of Meqdela ( 1867-1868 ), the battles of Gundet and Gura,( 1875-1876), the Battle of Dogali ( 1887), the battles with Mahadists between 1885 and 1889, and of course the Battle of Adwa. Ethiopia was forced to fight two wars with Somalia in 1964 and 1977.
The first modern diplomatic efforts of the country was launched way back in 1923, when Ethiopia became a member of the League on Nations and later the UN. Pursuant to its international obligations in collective security, Ethiopia deployed its peacekeeping forces in the Korean War in 1952 and in the Congo Crisis in 1960 under the auspices of the UN. Ethiopia was also a member of the nonaligned movement in principle.
Between 1974 and 1991, the country was also engaged in internal wars between the Derg regime and various liberation movements that were conducted to attain self-determination and the establishment of a democratic order in the country. The disruption of the global bi-polarity and crisis in the internal administration of the country affected Ethiopia that was claiming to be a socialist country with no socialist economic basis.
Ethiopia’s diplomatic effort in maintaining the security and territorial integrity crosscuts the entire foreign policy and diplomacy of the country. Despite the fact that all previous regimes stressed on the principle of peaceful coexistence between the neighboring countries, the nation had remained at loggerheads with its neighbors. Ethiopia has gone to war with Somalia twice and had maintained lukewarm relations with Egypt and Sudan and sometimes harbored a diplomatic rancor that was full of rhetoric in the vein of gunboat diplomacy.
Apart from some level of foreign aid, Ethiopia hardly benefited from its diplomatic activities as the country lacked any meaningful strategy that could have bolstered its diplomatic activities.
With the introduction of a policy on foreign relation and national security in 2013, Ethiopia made fundamental changes on its diplomacy priority areas. The major determinants of Ethiopia’s diplomatic activities included among other things, the institutionalization of diplomacy and foreign policy as opposed to charismatic and personal diplomacy of the late emperor.
Also, using career and professional diplomats trained in the field to conduct diplomatic activities, implementing diplomacy by blending the political and economic interest of the nation, instituting economic diplomacy that combined the development and economic needs of the country and its global and regional obligations are some of the changes.
The diplomatic strategies and activities that are being conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) have already established the necessary link between supporting the economic development base of the country and promoting the developmental, democratic foreign policy.
The positive trends in luring FDI into Ethiopia came due to the diplomatic activities of MoFA and the direct participation of the country's leaders in promoting economic diplomacy. On the other hand, Ethiopia’s efforts in networking East Africa with infrastructures and electric power gird is a product of Ethiopia’s shift in diplomatic strategy from hate rhetoric and bias to cooperation, tolerance and maintenance of peace and regional security.
For instance, the results of the tripartite negotiations between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt on GERD indicate that Ethiopia’s strategy on political, economic and social issues are based on mutual benefit, trust and sharing of resources.
Ethiopia’s economic diplomacy is not limited to economic gains. The country has employed a hitherto unknown strategy of using economic diplomacy to promote peace and people-to-people relation through a public diplomacy strategy.
Among other things, the economic diplomacy has helped in rooting and positioning the country in Africa as a bastion of peace, development, and a trusted partner in the global battle against terrorism. Thanks to the diplomatic efforts of the country, Ethiopia is representing Africa in the UNSC, COP 2 and other international forums like G7 and G20.
Ethiopia’s economic diplomacy is also allowing African countries to voice their concerns and interests on major global economic and diplomatic issues. As Chair of IGAD, Ethiopia spearheaded in conducting unilateral and combined efforts to help stop the crisis in South Sudan that has brought the death and displacement of millions of South Sudanese.
For instance, Ethiopia’s position on the recent political crisis in the Persian Gulf indicate that the country is committed to constructive dialogue to take place between Qatar and all concerned countries.
Ethiopia’s diplomatic strategies on foreign relations does not emanate from the dictates of other nations or any level of pressure from any country. It is based on a concrete analysis of a concrete situation in global diplomatic relations. Besides, the country’s diplomatic priorities are always in tune with the local development strategies that are being pursued.
Image building is another component of Ethiopia’s priorities in the diplomatic initiatives. Enormous diplomatic activities have so far been conducted in branding Ethiopia’s tourism resources. Besides, the fact that Ethiopia has been able to secure the position of the secretary general of WHO is a product of diplomatic lobbying and promotion the country has conducted at regional and global levels.
Despite the current twists and turns in global diplomatic relations, Ethiopia has continued to attract countries that previously had no interest in doing so. Ethiopia’s diplomatic stance on issues like terrorism and advocating for Africa’s development has won the country a global position as a country with viable foreign policy & diplomacy, a fast growing economy and a promoter of global peace.
The leadership's commitment to the implementation of the major policies and strategies of the country is also carefully blended with skilled diplomatic maneuvers the country is undertaking, despite the propaganda ploy that continued to target the country.
The in-depth reforms the country is currently conducting is here for all to see. Major reforms being employed in further improving and developing the diplomatic strategies of the country still indicates that Ethiopia is the owner of its own systems of self-improvement and self-rectification. When the global diplomatic arena is being conducted in a diplomatic and political whirlpool, Ethiopia enjoys full global diplomatic recognition as a country of peace, development and a country whose citizens live in a stable harmony.
By Solomon Dibaba
Every year, on June 14, all of walks of people around the globe mark World Blood Donor Day. According to WHO , This year 's slogan for the day is: Do not wait until disaster strikes. What can you do? Give blood. Give now. Give often.
Due to various natural and man made disasters, all year round, millions of people are in desperate need of blood worldwide. By the same token, many thousands of Ethiopian receive blood in an emergency situation every year.
Hence, encouraging the general public to donate blood in an organized and timely manner is crucial for maintaining adequate blood supply and achieving a national self-sufficiency in blood.
Obviously, over the last seven decades, the Ethiopian Red Cross Society has been sensitizing its members and fellow citizens to all-year -round blood donation.
Indeed, the society's successive awareness creation campaigns towards blood donation has resulted in owning a large number of blood donors across the country.
However, a lot is expected from the society in terms of maintaining adequate blood supply and achieving a national self-sufficient blood.
Yes, for want of blood donors , a significant number of people so often suffer a lot. This is because a person has to bring three or more people to get blood transfusion service from a given hospital, clinics and health centers.
Unfortunately, every day , someone get exposed to life- threatening incidents and needs blood to safe his /her life .If there is no enough safe and quality blood in a given blood bank , it will be so difficult to treat a patient with active bleeding at any place in the country.
In fact, blood is life. A large number of people believe that donating blood will have a negative impact on their health. But, this is totally wrong, more often physicians advice a healthy person to donate blood once or twice and more. They also say that it makes someone stronger mentally and physically.
There is nothing that gives great mental satisfaction than saving one's life via donating blood. This noble act needs to be encouraged through recognizing and appreciating role models of blood donors in the country.
Every state and private institution needs to form blood clubs. Using these clubs, the awareness deepening activities on blood donation will be fruitful and ever lasting.
Of course,the blood donation rate is low in most of developing countries. The same is true to Ethiopia.
The low blood donation rate vividly indicates that a lot of jobs are expected from the government and people to ensure safe and sufficient blood across the country.
Apparently, blood transfusion saves lives and improves health, but many patients requiring transfusion do not have timely access to safe blood. The need for blood transfusion may arise at any time in both urban and rural areas. The unavailability of blood has led to deaths and many patients suffering from ill-health. An adequate and reliable supply of safe blood can be assured by a stable base of regular, voluntary, unpaid blood donor
According to the recent documents released from WHO ,112.5 million blood donations are collected globally every year , half of these are in high-income countries. Blood donation by 1 percent of the population can meet a nation’s most basic requirements for blood . So far 57 countries have managed to collect 100 percent of their blood supply from voluntary, unpaid blood donors.
All in all, the day reminds all fellow citizens to actively engage in voluntary blood donation and to take foot steps of role model blood donors. There must be a series of blood donation programs all over the country. Moreover, every body has to bear in mind that blood donation is a humanitarian act Besides we don't have to forget it is our catch phrase “No mother must die while giving birth!”
The Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) said that farmers embraced in various agricultural commercialization clusters are benefiting from market oriented agricultural practice in 239 woredas across the country.
ATA Agribusiness Market Linkage Manager Zegeye Tekilu told The Ethiopian Herald that: “We have 25 clusters in Amhara, Tigray, SNNP and Oromia states to implement crop commodities, livestock and horticulture development.
Accordingly, farmers are producing maize on average 66-70 quintals per hectare in Amhara and Oromia states with exceptions of about 100 quintals per hectare in some places, he added.
ATA has registered commendable achievements in maize, wheat, teff, sesame, and haricot beans and livestock production. The clusters enabled the farmers to access all inputs in time, create market linkages among others, he said .
He said the agency is aggressively working to halt importation of wheat and malt barley.
According to him, in order to increase production and productivity farmers need to get access to agricultural inputs, technologies and market for their values added products thereby increasing their income and improving lifestyles.
He further said for years Ethiopian agriculture has been contributing a lot to the economic development of the country though remain traditional.
Considering the various agro- ecologies for farming, the country should centre on integrating human power and land resources with modern farming technologies and research outlets applications, he said.
“ If we achieve world average yield production status, the country can achieve its middle income status plan by 2025.” Lack of implementing capacity, access to agricultural finance, market linkage, value addition among others are main challenges the sector faced, he said.
Speaking at the recently Workshop held on Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Industry State Minister Dr. Mebratu Meles stressed the need for collaboration among key ministries including Livestock and Fisheries, Agriculture and Natural Resources and Industry to transform the agriculture sector.
“We have not only create platform at regional and national level, but also we have developed a joint plan between the three ministries to address the agricultural sector in the four corridors.” There are directions which have been given priorities like mechanization of the agriculture, infrastructural development, capacity building of all the actors and market linkage aspect among others, he said.
BY ALAZAR SHIFERAW
KIA Motors and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA ) Green Light Auto Mechanic Training Centre inaugurated Wednesday here at Ledeta Sub-City.
Speaking at the inauguration, Member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, Byounggug Choung said as Ethiopia and Korea has a strong ties in all spheres, the centre would enhance the ongoing technology transform efforts between the two countries. “ Korean trainers will offer training to Ethiopian brothers and sisters using latest technology at the centre.”
Taking Korean government as a model, Ethiopian government has been expanding TVETs so as to support industrialization and bring sustainable economic development, he said.
On the occasion, Addis Ababa TVET Agency Head Zeru Sumur said as Ethiopian youth constitutes over half the total population, economic empowerment of youth has a significant role in transforming their families, society and the nation in general. “ The expansion of TVETs has an overall economic advantage to the country.”
He said the newly inaugurated centre is different from others for it has brought Korean Technology with its experts. “The Centre is not only established to train youth, it has also a vision to encourage them to build their own company.”
The head said such centre will fit right into the ongoing national effort of creating jobs and market opportunities for the youth.
As Technical and Vocation Training Centres need high investment, active participation of private investors and stakeholders is vital in this end, he said.
The centre is expected to facilitate technology transfer through training supported by World Vision, KIA Motors and KOICA. The centre has a five year budget of 57.8 million Birr.
BY LEULSEGED WORKU
● Bole Lemi II Special Zone dev’t, management MoU signed
President Dr. Mulatu Teshome told a visiting Japanese business delegation Wednesday that investing in Ethiopia provides high economic returns to investors owing to its huge market opportunities, feasible investment policies and wide investment inputs availability.
President Dr. Mulatu also called on the delegation to seize the existing lucrative investment opportunities to cement the exemplary bilateral relations between the two countries.
For his part, the Japan External Trade Organization Vice President Dr. Katsumi Hirano said that Japan is committed to widen its investment in Ethiopia in different areas. “The business delegation is delighted to do business here in Addis,”
The visit to the industrial parks in the country is a means to collect business information and it will be a great step to forward Japanese companies’ business presence in Ethiopia, he noted.
According to him, the companies have keen interests in High-tech, textile, electrical industries and agri-business.
“Japan is determined to strengthen business relations with Ethiopia and now the companies need information about the investment conditions and the good news will be ahead to come, ” the vice-president said.
Meanwhile, the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) and Tomonius Co., Ltd. a Japanese investment company yesterday signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop and manage a Japanese Special Zone within the Bole Lemi II Industrial Park(IP).
The signing ceremony was attended by EIC Commissioner Fitsum Arega and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Vice-President Dr. Katsumi as well as a delegation of 20 Japanese companies interested in investing in Ethiopia.
The factory to be built in Bole Lemi II is the first such venture for the Japanese in Ethiopia; Tomonius Co., Ltd is working towards helping Japanese firms to maximize their global export potential and to enter Ethiopia.
The Japanese delegation has also plan to visit Bole Lemi I and II, and Hawassa Industrial Parks and the air cargo facilities in Addis Ababa.
Ethiopia and Japan have over 85 years of diplomatic relations as they signed a Treaty of Friendship and Commerce in 1930.
BY TEWODROS KASSA
Administration for Refugees and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) said Ethiopia has been implementing various projects to mitigate secondary refugee movements in collaboration with donors and development partners.
Administration Communication and Public Relations Team Leader Suleyman Ali told The Ethiopian Herald that the recent discussion with EU on a wide ranging migration issues would help galvanizing the ongoing government's efforts in mitigating secondary refugee movements.
The team leader stressed that ARRA and its partners have been tirelessly working towards improving refugee camp services and increasing resources to new initiatives that would greatly make a difference in the refugees' lives.
‘‘Various empowering programmes like livelihoods diversification, job creation and skills training have been provided to the refugees over the past few years. The Ethiopian government has put in place out-of-camp policy which offers ample job and higher education opportunities to many refugees,’’ he noted.
Besides economic benefits, the policy has created conducive environment to refugees with serious protection concerns and also those who need special medical attention, according to him.
Suleyman underlined that the situation in Somalia is hugely improving due to the AMISOM efforts to ensure peace in the country while the Eritreans and South Sudanese situation is deteriorating from time to time.
"Though the terrorist group Al-shabab still poses serious threat, Somalia is regaining its peace and stability. Because of this, the Somali refugee influx to Ethiopia has decreased over the last few years. However, due to civil war broke out between government and rebels in South Sudan and the gross human right abuse, compulsory military conscription and dictatorship in Eritrea, hundreds of refugees are crossing the Ethiopian borders every day,’’ he noted.
United Nations Higher Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Spokesperson, Kisut Gebregzabher for his part said apart from coordinating international action for the protection and assistance of refugees and asylum seekers, UNHCR has been working with the Ethiopian government and other partners to provide lasting solution to the problems of refugees.
He added that UNHCR has been providing basic assistance and services to refugees and asylum seekers, including registration, documentation, shelter, food, water, sanitation and health, education, training, as well as livelihood support in partnership with the Ethiopian Government and others.
Kisut stressed that Ethiopia’s refugee handling would strengthen the people to people relations among neighbouring countries and magnify the country’s open door policy towards refugees.
‘‘Ethiopia is the largest refugee-hosting countries in Africa. South Sudanese, Somalis, Eritreans and Sudanese are four of the largest refugee groups in the country. UNHCR and its partners are providing every necessary supply to the refugees’’
The spokesperson highlighted that though Ethiopia has resource constraints, it has received and hosted more than 800,000 refugees, establishing 25 refugee camps in various states of the country and called for the international community to step up its support to address the country’s burden.
Recently, the United Kingdom has pledged to create 100,000 jobs in Ethiopia, as part of a wider campaign to tackle secondary migration crisis, it was learnt.
BY TSEGAY HAGOS