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    Nation to launch COVID-19 tracking survey

    A national COVID-19 Tracking Survey will be conducted in a bid to enhance response mechanisms that effectively prevent the spread of the pandemic in the country, the Ministry of Health (MoH) announced on Tuesday.

    The month-long survey is expected to help understand the existing prevalence rate of the virus, active and recovered cases, as well as fatalities and most affected age groups and gender.

    Despite continuous efforts to contain the spread of the pandemic, COVID-19 infections, severe cases and death have been drastically increasing in Ethiopia mainly due to public negligence, it was learnt.

    Mini-researches carried out have helped assess the situation to a limited extent and adopt guidelines of prevention, which has also prompted this national tracking survey.

    Launching a two-day training for experts drawn to conduct the survey, Ethiopian Public Health Institute Senior Researcher, Saro Abdela, said the national research will help to track the current situation of COVID-19 in the country and implement appropriate responses to the pandemic. (ENA) 

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    Government charts out roadmap to resettle IDPs before upcoming rains: MoFA

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Thursday disclosed that the government has charted out a new roadmap aimed at resettling internally displaced people before the upcoming rainy season.

    While delivering the Ministry’s weekly press briefing to the media, Spokesperson of MoFA, Dina Mufti, said the government has focused on rehabilitation and humanitarian support activities, alleged atrocities on rights violations in Tigray, political diplomacy, GERD negotiations and the Ethiopia-Sudan border dispute, among others.

    To resettle internally displaced persons (IDPs) before the upcoming rainy season the government has charted a roadmap, he said on the occasion.

    Humanitarian activities are underway in areas affected by manmade and natural disasters he said. Furthermore, the government along with international stakeholders is addressing the need in Tigray region.

    Regarding the Ethiopia-Sudan situation, Dina quoted Deputy Prime Minister saying that, it is regrettable that the international community did not openly criticize Sudan for occupying Ethiopia’s territories through the use of force. (FBC)

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    Commission, Huawei ink MoU to ICT talent ecosystem

    The Jobs Creation Commission (JCC) and Huawei, a leading global provider of telecom infrastructure, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cultivate ICT talent ecosystem in Ethiopia.

    The ecosystem will help students and professionals get internationally recognized certification and develop better carrier path in telecom and IT sectors.

    During the occasion, Jobs Creation Commissioner, Nigussu Tilahun, said that the commission has acknowledged the relevance of such private sector actors in building the capacity of the youth and create job opportunities, especially in the IT and Technology sectors. The sectors will contribute greatly to the Digital Transformation plans of Ethiopia in the coming years.

    Huawei Technologies Ethiopia CEO, Chen Mingliang, on his part stated that the company’s partnership with the commission will take its efforts to the next level. Over the next three years, Huawei plans to deliver courses on communications technologies, cutting-edge techs like cloud computing, and enterprise network building for graduates, entrepreneurs and professionals looking for opportunities abroad. (The Ethiopian Herald)

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    160 Ethiopian migrants stranded in Yemen repatriated

    160 Ethiopian migrants stranded in dire conditions in Yemen for months were flown home on Tuesday, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

    The migrants were returned home one day after at least 42 people died when a boat operated by smugglers capsized in the Gulf of Aden on its way to Djibouti. The boat was reportedly transporting some 60 migrants, including more than a dozen children, who were escaping conflict in Yemen. 

    The IOM says tens of thousands of impoverished migrants from countries like Somalia and Ethiopia make the perilous journey to Yemen every year in search of work in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. 

    IOM spokeswoman Angela Wells says many never make it across the border and find themselves stranded in Yemen. She said more than 32,000 migrants, most from Ethiopia, are currently trapped in the country. 

    Since October, the IOM has registered more than 6,000 migrants in Yemen who need help getting home. (VoA)

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    First drilling for Tulu Moye geothermal project completed

    Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) on Wednesday announced it has completed drilling of the first well for the Tulu Moye Geothermal project in Oromia Region.

    According to Rufat Maina, the project site manager, drilling for the second well is ongoing and more than 1,000 meters of the planned 2,500 meters have been drilled and excavated.

    The project plans to drill up to 10 wells for the initially planned two phases of development under a USD 52 Million contract which also includes the provision of geo-scientific surveys at the project site.

    Chief technical officer of Moye Geothermal Singurgeir Geirsson believes that the fact that the facility is located in the Rift Valley of East Africa has great potential to generate geothermal energy even beyond the initially planned 150MW.

    TMGO plans to commission the first phase of the project, which will generate approximately 50 MW of electricity in 2023 followed, by the second phase which will increase the capacity to 150 MW two years later, in 2025 to be precise. (FBC)

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    ENDF eliminates TPLF remnants in eight fronts: Lt. Gen. Bacha Debele

    The Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) announced on Wednesday that it has completely eliminated remnants of the TPLF that used to operate in eight areas in Tigray region.

    In a press conference he gave in connection with last week’s operations in Tigray, Lt. Gen. Bacha Debele said that the ENDF launched successful attacks and control small military training centers.

    Noting that the TPLF leaders would no longer be protected by troops, Bacha stated that modern military technologies have been employed to destroy TPLF remnants.

    “Tough the faction has no capacity to defend itself; we use the modern technologies to avert human loss.”

    According to him, the TPLF leftovers operated in the area with a view to creating a blockade to the roads that take to Mekelle aimed at affecting the food supply to the people of Tigray.

    He further noted that the ENDF have made enough preparation to block the attempt in any direction. (The Ethiopian Herald)

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    President Guelleh wins election with 97 percent of votes

    Djibouti veteran ruler Ismail Guelleh has been confirmed President for another term, with final results showing he won over 97 percent of the votes, according to final figures.

    It is his highest score since entering politics in 1999 when he took over from the country’s first president. However, only 215,000 Djiboutians registered to vote in Friday’s election out of a total population of 990,000 people.

    Guelleh faced off with only one rival after opponents boycotted the election. His challenger was little-known businessman Zakaria Ismaïl Farah, who won just 2 percent of the vote.

    Djibouti has remained stable in a volatile area, neighboring Somalia and opposite Yemen. The country has taken advantage of its geographical position and has invested heavily in ports and logistics infrastructure.

    “We are all so happy, we vote 100 percent Ismael Omar Guelleh, and we support the president. We went early morning to the polling stations and we all agree,” said retailer Halima Bourhan Ali. (Africa news)

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    Somalia’s Farmajo signs controversial measure extending mandate by 2 years

    Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has signed a controversial measure extending his term in Office by two years. Opposition lawmakers have spoken out against the action, along with donors and the international community. The extension comes two months after the president’s four-year term expired with no agreement on how to replace him, while elections set for February were delayed.

    Mohamed, known by his nickname Farmajo, signed the legislation late Tuesday. One day earlier, the Parliament’s Lower House voted to extend his mandate, saying it had no other choice. Opposition lawmakers, including those in the Upper House, have denounced the extension. 

    Ilyas Ali Hassan, a member of the upper house, urged the president to avoid decisions that threaten the country’s stability. He also urged Farmajo to return to talks on establishing an electoral system.   

    More recent talks to resolve the electoral impasse officially failed last week after the government placed blame on the leaders of Puntland and Jubaland. (VoA)

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    24 Sudan parties reject Israel normalization deal

    More than 24 Sudanese political parties on Tuesday announced their rejection of normalizing relations with the occupation and the abolition of Israel boycott law.

    This came after the Sudanese cabinet approved a bill to cancel the 1958 Israel boycott law, which was approved by Arab countries at the time, in an expected step after the rapprochement between Khartoum and Tel Aviv in recent months.

    The Israel boycott law of 1958 prohibits Sudan from entering into agreements with persons holding Israeli citizenship or companies owned by Israeli nationals, in addition to banning trade and the import of goods partially or entirely manufactured in Israel, while punishing violators with ten years in prison and a fine.

    Last year, Sudan signed the Abraham Accords to build ties with Israel under US auspices. Khartoum followed in the steps of the UAE and Bahrain.

    The move came months after Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, chairman of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan, met with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Uganda’s capital, Kampala. (Middle East Monitor)

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    South Sudan’s President Kiir ‘disappointed’ by country’s governors

    President Salva Kiir on Thursday expressed disappointment in some governors and their deputies over the manner in which they are managing State Affairs.

    In a letter delivered to governors of the country’s ten states, President Kiir said he felt top leadership at state levels are not working in a good manner.

    He cited poor cooperation and a high trust deficit between governors and their deputies, and some senior officials of the same government. Kiir says he learned that in some states, governors and their deputies often disagreed over issues of appointments, and government functions.

    Such incidents have occurred in Western Equatoria State and Western Bahr el Ghazal State where the governor and the deputy mostly disagree over positions and resources.

    Observers say there is a brewing conflict over the designation of roles and responsibilities within the executive branch.

    He described this as unfortunate and unacceptable behavior, and directed them to respect each other, comply with the required protocols and uphold standard governance procedures. (CGTN)

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    Djibouti says Ethiopia conflict hinders economic rebound

    The speed of Djibouti’s economic recovery from a contraction last year hinges on how soon the conflict ends in neighboring Ethiopia, Finance Minister Ilyas Dawaleh said on Monday.

    “The recent and escalating conflict in Ethiopia is worsening prospects for regional peace, trade and undermines regional cooperation,” Dawaleh said in an emailed response to questions on April 10. “As a result of these external and internal factors, Djibouti’s economic recovery is likely to be a prolonged affair.”

    Situated at the entrance to the Suez Canal, Djibouti is a major trade conduit for Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous country. Fighting in Ethiopia’s Tigray region that erupted in November has exacerbated the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and raised economic uncertainty in that country.

    Djibouti’s economy shrank by 1 percent last year, and is forecast to expand by 5 percent this year and 5.5 percent in 2022, according to the IMF. The country is targeting growth of 7 percent to 9 percent in the coming years, driven by port upgrades, investments in green energy and technology, Dawaleh said. (Bloomberg)

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