At the start of this New Year, IOM has helped open a new Border Control Post (BCP) between Ethiopia and Kenya. The post, at Neprumus in Ethiopia’s Dasenech district, straddles one of the 830-kilometer Ethiopia-Kenya frontier’s most frequented migratory routes, alongside a major route for Ethiopian migrants trying to reach South Africa.
Ethiopians normally pass-through Kenya into Tanzania, then travel further south.
In March 2020, at least 60 Ethiopian migrants in irregular situation were killed after being trapped in a lorry along this route. Hence, the urgent need for better and improved border control posts in the region.
“Supporting the establishment of modern and efficient BCPs will facilitate safe and orderly migration of citizens, enhance the relationship between bordering countries, provide protection, and increase the political and socio-economic stability between Ethiopia and Kenya,” explained Kederalah Idris, IOM’s Better Migration Management (BMM) Project Officer.
IOM is also supporting Ethiopia’s Immigration, Nationality, and Vital Events Agency (INVEA) with training to enhance the capacity of immigration officers, and at the same time supplying infrastructure and office equipment, computers, and generators to establish new border control posts.
S Jaishankar meets Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met with Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde on Wednesday and discussed bilateral cooperation in education, health, investment, and other areas.
EAM stated on Twitter that he and Ethiopia’s President discussed the regional and international circumstances.
“I am grateful to Ethiopian President @SahleWorkZewde for hosting me. A good conversation about our bilateral collaboration in education, health, investment, and development. We also discussed the regional and international circumstances,” EAM tweeted.
Following his meeting with Ethiopia’s President, Jaishankar spoke to the Indian community in Addis Ababa.
Jaishankar said on Twitter, “Addressed the Indian community in Addis Ababa this morning.” Their contribution to education and job creation has been excellent. Their impact on Ethiopian society is well acknowledged. Thank them for keeping India’s flag flying high.”
Earlier, in Addis Ababa, Jaishankar dedicated the new Indian Embassy Chancery building in the presence of Ethiopian Women and Social Affairs Minister, Ergogie Tesfaye.
Meanwhile, Jaishankar will attend the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali on June 22-25.
Ethiopia Youth Ministry seeks to ban sports betting
Ethiopia’s state broadcaster reported that Abebe Haymanot, a representative of the Ministry focused on ‘Youth Development’ had notified “that work is underway to get sports betting banned.”
Abebe claimed that the Ministry carried the support of “various movements and discussion platforms” that seek to stop the “degradation of sports.”
The Ministry outlined that it had conducted a series of surveys that highlighted the threat sports betting posed to Ethiopia’s youth, including “reducing productivity and causing psychological problems such as anxiety, depression and suicide”.
At the start of year, the Ministry had led calls for the government to impose a ban on sports betting. They were ultimately thwarted by local betting operators who argued that “betting is not gambling”.
Supporting an outright ban, the Ministry pointed to its investigation into betting shops that had flouted age restriction rules, citing that “students donning their school uniform have been spotted in betting dens”.
Despite enforcing new rules on licensing and tax in 2020, the Ministry claimed that gambling regulator, National Lottery Administration (NLA), did not have the resources to police Ethiopia’s betting shops.
Ethiopia growth forecast to slow to 3.8% in 2021-22, IMF Says
Ethiopia’s economic growth is forecast to weaken to 3.8 percent in the current financial year from June 2021 to July following a 6.3 percent expansion the prior year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday.
The slowdown can be attributed to the conflict in the northern parts of the country, lower agricultural output, a sharp fall in donor financing, intensifying foreign-exchange shortages, the drought, and spillovers from the war in Ukraine, said Sonali Jain-Chandra, deputy division chief in the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department, in a statement.
Inflation has been high and rising due to rapidly increasing food prices and supply-side constraints, she said.
“Exports and foreign direct investment have held up well despite the difficult economic environment. However, rising global commodity prices for fuel, food and fertilizer, driven in part by the war in Ukraine, will increase imports and widen the current-account deficit in 2021-22,” Jain-Chandra said.
The budget deficit is projected to widen following approval of a supplementary budget, which included increased military and humanitarian spending, and with sharply lower tax revenues amid the conflict, she said.
HORN in BRIEF
First China led peace conference concludes
The First China-Horn of Africa Peace, Good Governance and Development Conference concluded on Tuesday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with a joint call for the realization of shared regional aspirations.
The high-level regional peace and development conference brought together ministers and senior government officials of Horn of Africa (HOA) countries, who were joined by Xue Bing, Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Affairs of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Participants attending the two-day conference concluded their engagement, issuing a twelve-point joint statement. Participants conducted in-depth discussions on regional peace, development and governance in an atmosphere of unity, candor, pragmatism, and mutual respect.
They underscored that the Horn is the common home for people in the region and realizing regional peace, stability, development and prosperity serves the fundamental interests of all countries and meets the shared aspirations of all peoples in the region.
Meanwhile, the parties called on the international community to work together towards the peaceful resolution of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
(People’s daily online)
Egypt looks to Somalia for more influence in Red Sea, Nile dam dispute
Egyptian Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbouly attended an inauguration ceremony of Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in the capital Mogadishu, in a rare visit by an Egyptian official of this caliber for several years.
Madbouly attended on behalf of Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, along with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh and Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed.
In his inauguration speech, Mohamud asserted he will focus to achieve popular reconciliation and political stability during his four-year term. Somalia is plagued by civil war, rebellion and conflict between armed clans amid the absence of a strong central government since the overthrow of Mohamed Siad Barre’s autocratic rule in 1991.
Mohamud vowed to adopt a neutral foreign policy, not to engage in international conflicts and improve relations with neighboring countries. He also affirmed his quest for security cooperation with the international community, especially the countries of the Horn of Africa, to counter terrorism.
Mohammed Ezzedine, head of the Nile Foundation of African and Strategic Studies, told Al-Monitor that Somalia is of geopolitical importance to Egypt and its national security.
Uganda contributes nearly USD 10 mln on FAO, China project
Uganda is contributing nearly USD 10 million to the latest phase of a South-South Cooperation project focused on crop and animal production with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Chinese government, after the first two phases yielded dramatic results, including a quadrupling of rice production per hectare.
In one of the most significant contributions of its kind from a beneficiary country under the initiative, the Ugandan government is putting in USD 9,623,703 through a Unilateral Trust Fund (UTF). This comes in addition to the USD 2,389,138 contributed by China to Phase III of the projects through the FAO-China South-South Cooperation (SSC) Program Trust Fund.
Under an agreement signed in Kampala by FAO Representative, Antonio Querido and Uganda’s Finance Minister, Matia Kasaijia, the Uganda UTF will be used to support overall implementation of Phase III of the project.
It will focus on four areas, namely: establishment of an integrated technology transfer base, development of high yielding schemes for rice and foxtail millet, support for livestock improvement programs; and development of the aquaculture value chain.
Kenya tax staff to wear cameras in war on bribes
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) says its workers will start to wear body cameras in its latest bid to curb tax cheating and bribery.
The Business Daily reported that the body cams would be used by staffs who work in the domestic tax department and customs and border control.
Some KRA staff has been accused of helping to fraudulently clear cargo and alter tax returns to help people dodge duty payments. This has seen the workers amass multimillion shilling assets including real estate and posh cars that are not consistent with their pay.
“Very soon, we will also be ensuring our enforcement officers have body-worn cameras, like the ones you see in the US, so that any action they take is recorded and we can see it. When you put it off, we will also have to understand why you do it,” KRA Commissioner General, Githii Mburu told Business Daily.
The use of cameras will start in high-value locations like the border points, Mombasa port, the Inland Container Depot and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
(The East African)