Monday, February 26, 2024

Ethiopia, China launch renewable energy research center

Ethiopia and China have launched a joint renewable energy research and extension center supported by the UN Development Program (UNDP).

The center is part of the “Biogas, Biomass and Solar Trilateral Cooperation Project” implemented by China Agricultural University to support scaling renewables for Ethiopia’s green growth.

During the launch, the Ethiopia Ministry of Water and Energ, China Agricultural University and Ethiopia’s Wolaita Sodo University signed a MoU to establish the joint center.

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Cleophas Torori, UNDP Ethiopia’s deputy representative, extolled UNDP’s longstanding partnerships with China and Ethiopia. He said UNDP supports Ethiopia’s renewable energy South-South cooperation initiative to bridge energy access gaps and meet climate targets.

“We remain committed to helping Ethiopia transition to a green economy through renewables, tapping China’s collaboration,” Torori said.

(People Daily Online)

PAP redoubles efforts to foster peace in Africa

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The Pan African Parliament (PAP) continues its push to raise visibility across the African continent, holding an annual consultative meeting with the African Union’s Peace and Security Council (PSC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia today. The legislative body aims to assess Africa’s security and peace situation.

PAP President Fortune Charumbira leads the delegation at the high-level meeting, which follows deteriorating peace and security across Africa. The ongoing conflict in Sudan has displaced hundreds, as civil war rages on.

The meeting comes as PAP has vigorously called for an end to violence across the continent to address Africa’s pressing issues around food insecurity and disease — challenges hindering progress toward the Agenda 2063 goals.

“The high-level consultative meeting will take place on the margins of the 1160th PSC meeting, sharing experiences, lessons and best practices,” said Charumbira. (The Herald)

Ethiopian Airlines retains leading carrier award for Africa

Ethiopian Airlines Group has again been named ‘Best Airline in Africa’ at the SKYTRAX 2023 World Airline Awards.

The airline received the award at the Paris Air Show in France in June. This was the sixth consecutive year Ethiopian Airlines has been recognized as Africa’s best airline at the SKYTRAX World Airline Awards.

In a congratulatory message, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mesfin Tasew expressed delight at winning the award again. He said the award reflects the airline’s consistency and commitment to delivering high-quality service on all routes.

“We are very proud of the strong vote of confidence from our valued customers, and I would like to thank them and reaffirm our commitment to exceeding their expectations,” Tasew said. “I would also like to sincerely appreciate Ethiopian Airlines’ employees who work hard round the clock to power our success.” (Independent)

IrisGuard Biometrics to drive financial inclusion in Ethiopia

Iris biometrics company IrisGuard is extending its EyePay Network platform to Ethiopia to enable millions of people easier access to government-to-citizen (G2C) payments. This aims to facilitate digital financial transactions and advance financial inclusion.

IrisGuard says it is working with Ethiopian fintech startup ArifPay to deploy its payment architecture using iris biometrics as the sole authentication method for payments. This ensures only intended beneficiaries are served.

“We are proud to be part of such a remarkable milestone. Ethiopia’s innovative landscape is the perfect stage for our EyePay Network services and the kind of transparency and accountability levels it brings in the international humanitarian assistance arena,” Imad Malhas, founder and managing director of IrisGuard, said.

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The deal will support Ethiopia’s push for financial inclusion as only about 25% of its over 100 million people have bank accounts

ArifPay CEO Bernard Laurendeau said the solution will enable the company to serve millions of unbanked Ethiopians. “We are excited to work with IrisGuard. This solution will enable us to serve millions without compromising accountability and transparency.”

(Biometric Update.com)

Uganda to sell power to South Sudan despite blackouts

Uganda will start selling power to neighboring South Sudan, despite experiencing frequent blackouts at home.

While Uganda residents complain about frequent power outages, especially in the West Nile region, the country has entered a deal to sell power to South Sudan. It is unclear how much power Uganda plans to sell.

Under the Power Sales Agreement, Uganda will provide power to Nimule, Kata, Oraba and Elegu in South Sudan. This will involve constructing a 308km transmission line from Olwiyo to Juba, of which 138km is in Uganda. The Olwiyo and Bibia substations near Elegu, plus the Juba substation, will also be expanded.

Uganda’s Energy and Mineral Development Minister Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu led the Ugandan delegation to Juba for the agreement signing, while South Sudan’s Energy Minister Peter Marcello Jelenge represented his government. (All Africa)

FDC presses gov’t to build regional cancer institutes

The opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party has asked the government to establish cancer treatment institutes in each region to prevent suffering and overcrowding of patients in Kampala.

FDC President Patrick Oboi Amuriat said centralizing treatment at the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) in Mulago has forced poor patients, often referred for return radiotherapy or chemotherapy weeks apart, to mass outside the facility because they lack money for accommodation and transportation fees.

“Our healthcare is a death sentence, and it doesn’t matter what color you wear,” he said, referring to the ruling National Resistance Movement’s (NRM) yellow colors.

Amuriat, who lost the 2021 election to incumbent Yoweri Museveni, made the remarks while eulogizing Alice Nabugembe Oguttu, wife of Phillip Wafula Oguttu, at St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Ntinda, a Kampala suburb.

The FDC leader said widespread inequality means government officials fly abroad for treatment, leaving ordinary Ugandans to die in under-resourced and under-equipped facilities. He called for establishing regional cancer institutes to reduce inequities in health care access. (Daily Monitor)

Kenya Airways, Uganda Airlines open talks to ease access

Kenya Airways (KQ) has begun discussions with Uganda Airlines for interline and codeshare agreements as it seeks to access more destinations and transfer passengers between their networks.

KQ CEO Allan Kilavuka disclosed the talks are at an advanced stage. “The discussions are ongoing but the timelines depend on how quickly we can agree and implement. These deals align with our partnership and pan-African strategies,” he said.

An interline deal allows passengers to check in once for connecting flights, receive all boarding passes and transfer luggage without rechecking bags.

“Conversations are ongoing with Kenya Airways for both interline and codeshare agreements. We hope to have an agreement by the end of the year,” said Peggy Macharia, Uganda Airlines’ country manager in Kenya. (The East African)

Kenya, Zambia commit to remove bottlenecks in tourism

The tourism ministers of Kenya and Zambia committed to removing obstacles hindering growth in the tourism industry.

Kenya Tourism Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza and her Zambian counterpart Rodney Sikumba agreed to strengthen cooperation.

Malonza said cooperation between the two countries will be strengthened through their relevant tourism institutions responsible for implementing a memorandum of understanding signed by the countries.

“Aware of the role tourism plays in our economies, we undertake to collaborate in tourism subsectors to achieve socio-economic growth,” Malonza said.

She said the partnership will bring numerous benefits to both countries. Kenya seeks to collaborate with regional partners for shared prosperity in tourism, wildlife and culture, the CS added.

Malonza spoke in Nairobi on Thursday during an extraordinary meeting of the 13th Governing Council of Parties to the Lusaka Agreement on Cooperative Enforcement Operations Directed at Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora. (The Star)

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