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    Authority generates USD 313 mln from export of coffee, tea and spices

    Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority said on Thursday that it earned USD 313 million revenue from coffee, tea and spices export during the past six months.

    Of the total, coffee generated USD304.5 million, it was learned.

    In his performance report to the Agricultural, Pastoralist and Environmental Protection Affairs Standing Committee of the House of People’s Representatives, Coffee and Tea Authority Director-General, Adugna Debela stated that the export fell short of its target to export 150,690.9 tons and earn USD 538.9 million during the review period.

    He attributed the decline to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The director-general said the authority has embarked on a rigorous reform to increase both revenue and production of coffee, tea and spices as the country has favorable ecology.

    In this regard, some 28 districts have been selected in Oromia, Amhara and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ regional states for coffee production, he added.

    Agricultural, Pastoralist and Environmental Protection Affairs Standing Committee Representative, Negalign Yosef, commended the authority’s plan to develop new coffee plantations and additional income generating crops. (ENA)

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    USD 21 mln school feeding project launched

    A school feeding project that benefits 499 schools in five regional states was launched On Thursday.

    The USD 21.4 million project funded by Global Partnership for Education will be implemented in Oromia, Amhara, Sidama, Somali, and Afar regions.

    The project is expected to benefit 163,021 pre-primary and primary school children, it was learned.

    State Minister of Education, Million Mathewos, said that the project supports the government’s plan to feed students at schools and improve the learning process.

    According to him, the government has allocated 1.9 billion Birr in five regions to feed 1.4 million students.

    Global Partnership for Education Representative and USAID Education Development Specialist, Sonjai Cooper, said the global fund, which is committed for quality education, has been Ethiopia’s partner since 2004.

    She pointed out that Global Partnership for Education is encouraged by Ethiopia’s success, determination and progress for quality education.

    The representative called on all partners to collaborate and support the country in its efforts to raise access to quality education. (ENA)

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    Current locust infestation not critical: FAO

    United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) announced that the locust infestation in Ethiopia could not be critical as the country has developed better capacity compared to the previous campaigns.

    In an exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald, FAO Country Rep­resentative to Ethiopia, Fatouma Seid said on Wednesday that the current locust infestation can be controlled as the country has better capacity to fight the swarm.

    She said that the locust has dominantly invaded seven parts of the country; thus FAO is following the situation in cooperation with local governments.

    “The locust is moving on seven parts of the country. We have done many suc­cessful operations in fighting the locust swarm. And FAO is keeping its contri­bution,” she said.

    She added swarm fighting trainings and build­ing the country’s operational capacity were carried out during the previous operations. “And currently we are working in co­operation with local governments in detecting and identifying the places that are occupied by the swarm.” (The Ethiopian Herald)

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    EACC urges U.S. to consider Ethiopia’s current status

    Ethiopian American Civic Council (EACC) urged the Joe Biden Administration of the United States of America to consider the significance of Ethiopia and take Ethiopia’s ongoing national reform into account.

    In his phone interview with local media, Chairperson of EACC, Deacon Yosef Teferi stated on Tuesday that U.S. foreign policy towards Ethiopia should consider the current situation of Ethiopia. He said, “Working with the current government of Ethiopia is very important for the U.S.”

    He noted that the U.S. has to refrain from using the fictitious propaganda by the TPLF, circulating around the world by its supporters, in pursuing foreign relations with Ethiopia. He also called on the Ethiopian government to play its role in revealing the truth.

    Ethiopians living abroad also need to work hard to make the international community well aware of the current situation in Ethiopia, he said. (The Ethiopian Herald)

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    Kenya urges South Sudan leaders to hasten peace process

    Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday urged South Sudan leaders to expedite the implementation of the remaining aspects of the peace pact signed in Khartoum, Sudan in 2018.

    Kenyatta singled out the establishment of the legislative assembly and reforms in the security sector as some of the pending areas that require attention as the country returns to stability after years of conflict.

    He said the country will leverage on its UN Security Council membership to assist her young neighbor and the region to achieve stability.

    Key signatories to the 2018 peace agreement were expected to complete key tasks such as the establishment of local governments, unification of forces and reconstitution of public institutions before the formation of a coalition government in February 2020.

    But the process has been hampered by disagreement between the former foes and lack of resources to fund the training and graduation of the joint unified force of 83,000 personnel. (Xinhua)

     

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    Israel, Sudan to sign deal in Washington within months

    Israel and Sudan will finalize a diplomatic deal to normalize relations at a signing ceremony in Washington in the next three months, Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen said on Wednesday.

    There was no immediate comment from Sudanese officials or from the US Embassy in Israel.

    Sudan’s civilian government has said the deal to normalize relations with Israel can only take effect once approved by a transitional legislative council that is yet to be formed.

    Sudan joined the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco last year in agreeing to move toward normal relations with Israel in US-brokered deals. The new US administration of President Joe Biden has said it wants to build on those deals.

    “The peace agreement’s draft is progressing and a signing ceremony for Israel and Sudan is expected in Washington in the next three months,” Cohen told Israel’s Ynet TV.

    Cohen headed a delegation to Sudan on Monday to discuss advancing the normalization deal. He told Ynet TV that officials discussed three economic plans as well as border security. (The Arab Weekly)

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    Puntland government to counter Somaliland bid to register voters

    The Puntland Government relieved the Badhan district police of their duties for failing to counter voter registration plans of the Somaliland administration.

    The Puntland Government has now deployed troops in Badhan, and ordered them to remove any symbols of the Somaliland administration.

    A delegation led by the Puntland Parliamentary Speaker, Abdirashid Yusuf Jibril, visited the contested district last week to fend off accusations that Puntland was unable to block voter registration plans ahead of Somaliland’s parliamentary elections.

     “(The) Puntland and Somaliland administrations have influence in Badhan. Badhan politicians based in Hargeisa are committed to boosting their representation in Hargeisa, and enjoy the support of senior traditional leaders of Badhan constituency,” says Ali Farah, an activist from Badhan.

    In 2017 elections, an opposition party, Waddani won the highest number of seats in the Sanaag region.

    Badhan reportedly fielded candidates for both the Kulmiye and Waddani parties.

    Badhan is one of the most-populated districts of Sanaag but the Puntland Transitional Electoral Commission excluded Badhan from districts designated as venues for the 2021 pilot local elections in Puntland. (Puntland Post) 

    Turkey extends deployment of forces in Gulf of Aden, Somalia, Arabian Sea

    A motion for the extension of the deployment of Turkish forces in the Gulf of Aden, Somalia, and the Arabian Sea was published in the country’s official gazette on Thursday.

    The motion, which was approved by the Turkish parliament on Tuesday, extends the deployment for one more year as of Feb. 10, 2021. Turkey decided to send Turkish forces to the region in 2008 and extended the deployment 13 times.

    “By deploying the naval elements of the Turkish armed forces, effective protection of Turkish flagged vessels and commercial vessels linked to Turkey sailing in the region and active participation in joint struggle operations against piracy, armed robbery acts, and terrorism at sea was ensured,” the motion said.

    The deployment ensures support for the national policy of the continuation of cooperation with the relevant countries in this field and the reinforcing of the role and visibility that the Turkish armed forces play in the system of the UN on a regional and global scale, it added. (Xinhua)

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