Monday, March 4, 2024

France Embassy launches JuDGE Program

The Embassy of France to Ethiopia announced the launch of the Justice, Dialogue and Gender Equality (JuDGE) program. The EUR 928,000 program is developed in collaboration with four NGOs.

France, along with its partners, has reaffirmed its commitment to promoting the rights of women and children. The program seeks to strengthen protocols for providing care to survivors in collaboration with civil society organizations, as well as national and regional authorities in Ethiopia.

By enhancing the capacity of national authorities and partners, the country’s response to gender-based violence will be improved.

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Ethiopia is currently involved in a new National Dialogue initiative that places emphasis on recognizing the role of women in peace and national dialogue efforts. France aims to further enhance its efforts in promoting gender equity and women’s participation at all levels of economic, social, and political life in all of its interventions.

Ethiopia repatriates Ugandan cult members

Eighty members of a Ugandan religious cult who were convinced to travel to Ethiopia and starve themselves have been repatriated, authorities in Uganda say.

Their pastor allegedly told them that they would “meet Jesus Christ” after fasting for 40 days.

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A joint police operation is now leading the search for the cult leader Simon Opolot.

The 80 members of the Christ Disciples Church reportedly got rid of their belongings earlier this year and then traveled from a rural area in eastern Uganda to southern Ethiopia, a distance of around 500 km (320 miles).

“The returnees said Opolot convinced them to fast for 40 days so that they could meet Jesus on the 41st day,” Simon Mundeyi, the spokesperson for Uganda’s internal affairs ministry, is quoted by the Daily Monitor newspaper as saying.

“The condition was that to meet Jesus, they needed to be in Ethiopia, and according to him, the world would immediately end.”

But once the Ethiopian authorities learned of their arrival in March, they were picked up and looked after until repatriation was arranged, AFP news agency reports.

(AFP)

Ethiopia trains 100 rapid responders to handle public health emergencies

The World Health Organization, in partnership with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), and Africa CDC, has successfully trained. 100 rapid responders to handle public health emergencies in Ethiopia and beyond.

The month-long training included four modules which aimed to ensure that every African country is prepared to respond to health emergencies and humanitarian crises within 24 to 48 hours from the time of the incident.

“Ethiopia is prone to health emergencies, and requires robust coordination and proper training to prepare, prevent, and respond promptly in the event of an outbreak,” Dereje Duguma, state minister at the Ministry of Health, said.

The country is responding to public health emergencies, including COVID-19, measles, and cholera, as well as humanitarian crises such as conflict, drought, and floods, he stated.

“With more trained rapid responders, Ethiopia is better prepared to tackle and contain any outbreak or public health emergency efficiently”, said Nesibu Yasin, deputy commissioner of the Ethiopian Disaster Risk Management Commission.

(Africa Newsroom)

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Ethiopian Airlines’ A350s to be equipped with GX Aviation broadband

Ethiopian Airlines plans to provide inflight broadband to passengers on its upcoming A350-1000 aircraft.

Using the Airbus Airspace Link HBCplus program, GX Aviation from Inmarsat will supply the chosen equipment.

As a launch airline for inflight connectivity through Airbus’ HBCplus program, Ethiopian Airlines will benefit from a more streamlined, efficient order process.

The first of the airline’s new Airbus A350 is set to be delivered in the third quarter (Q3) of 2024, with passengers able to benefit from GX Aviation’s world-class connectivity technology.

This supports the airline’s Vision 2035 Strategy, which focuses on expanding its fleet, enhancing its passenger experience, and maintaining its leading position in the airline industry.

“Connectivity is a crucial part of our services and products, and bringing Inmarsat’s best-in-class GX Aviation service as part of the program is a major step forward. We aim to give our passengers the possibility to stream, surf, and chat from thousands of feet in the air, no matter where their route or destination is,” Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mesfin Tasew said.

(Aviation Business News)

Saudi companies buy 2.2 mln tons of carbon credits in Kenya auction

Companies from Saudi Arabia bought more than 2.2 million tons of carbon credits on Wednesday as the Kenyan capital hosted what organizers have claimed to be the world’s largest sale of its kind.

Demand for carbon offsets, generated through projects such as tree planting or using cleaner cooking fuel, will grow as companies seek to use the credits to help meet net-zero emissions goals.

Some 16 Saudi firms, including Aramco and Saudi Electricity Company, paid 23.50 Saudi riyals (USD 6.27) per metric ton of carbon credits, auction organizer Regional Voluntary Carbon Market Company (RVCMC) said.

The Saudi Public Investment Fund and the Saudi Tawadul Group founded the business, which will open a full-time exchange in Riyadh in the first six months of next year.

The credits auctioned were certified and come from projects that avoid emissions by using sustainable technologies or removing carbon from the atmosphere, RVCMC said.

RVCMC, which held its first auction of 1.4 million tons of carbon credits in Riyadh last October, said it chose Kenya to highlight the need for investments in climate projects.

(CGTN)

Eritrea rejoins East African bloc after 16-year hiatus

Eritrea has rejoined a regional bloc it left 16 years ago, its information minister said late on Monday, in the country’s latest move to rebuild ties with its neighbors.

Asmara withdrew from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development in Eastern Africa (IGAD) in 2007 to protest against the deployment of Ethiopian troops to Somalia to force out al-Shabab fighters, who controlled most of southern Somalia at the time.

“Eritrea resumed its activity in IGAD and took its seat at the 14th Ordinary Summit in Djibouti,” Information Minister Yemane Meskel wrote on Twitter after the summit. He did not specify what had prompted the decision but said Eritrea wanted to help advance peace and stability in the region.

Since gaining independence from Ethiopia in 1993, Eritrea has been ruled by Isaias Afwerki. It fought a border war with Ethiopia from 1998 to 2000 and has repeatedly fallen out with its neighbors.

It is also under sanctions from the United States and the European Union for alleged human rights abuses.

(Aljazeera)

Museveni banks on oil, exports in a bullish economic growth forecast

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has given his most optimistic view of the economy yet, projecting it to grow at an average of 6.5 percent to seven percent a year for the next five years.

The President is banking on manufacturing, increased oil and gas activities, and export growth — all pegged to recovering regional and international markets, low inflation, and support for small-scale enterprises.

This will push the country’s GDP to USD 55.2 billion by the end of the 2023–24 financial year, up from the current USD 49.4 billion. This translates into USD 156.76 billion in purchasing power parity terms, and take the country’s GDP per capita to USD 1,186 from USD 1,096 in the current financial year.

The World Bank stated in December last year that Uganda is returning to its pre-pandemic path of growth despite the slow recovery of some important sectors, such as tourism, from the COVID-19 effect.

President Museveni remains optimistic that Uganda’s economy will expand tenfold, from USD 55 billion to USD 550 billion in the short term.

(The East African)

Six arrested for embezzling over USh11 billion in fresh OPM scandal

Six staff members from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) have been remanded to prison for allegedly embezzling USh11 billion under Karamoja’s Peace Initiative.

Detectives from the Inspector General of Government (IGG) office arrested the group on Wednesday morning. They appeared before the acting senior principal grade one magistrate, Abert Asiimwe, and were charged with 12 counts of causing financial loss, abuse of office, and embezzlement.

They were charged alongside Geoffrey Sseremba, the undersecretary and accounting officer, who was not in court. It is alleged that between February and June 2022, Sseremba and Masigazi approved a total cash payment of USh 4.4 billion to various members of staff without a proper work plan for a genuine activity to be carried out.

(The Observer)

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