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Council Discusses on Current Security Issues, Set out Future Directions

The National Security Council discussed on the current peace and security issues of the country and set out future directions, according to Office of the Prime Minister.

The council in its meeting held on Thursday assessed the national security threats that were attempted, foiled and incurred damages on the country. 

The council has also discussed in detail on how to combat and prevent future security threats of the country.  Moreover, the council expressed its commitment to work hard to safeguard national sovereignty and wellbeing of citizens by respecting the rule of law.

To realize this, it assured that all security institutions including the Defense Forces will continue exerting their relentless efforts and sacrifices. (ENA)

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PM Abiy Appoints Opposition Leader as Policy Research Institute Deputy Director General

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Thursday appointed Professor Beyene Petros, a veteran opposition political party leader in Ethiopia, as Deputy Director General of Policy Research Institute, a government policy research think tank.

A professor of Biology at Addis Ababa University and former member of the Ethiopian House of People’s Representatives, Beyene has been in politics since 1991.

Currently, he is the Chairman of an opposition party Ethiopian Social Democratic Party.

The Policy Research Institute was established in November 2018 by the Ethiopian government with the mission to conduct research and policy analysis that provide knowledge-based inputs to policy making and implementations.

It also aims at disseminating research outputs and findings to the policy and research community, academia, the development community and other stakeholders. (ENA)

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National Bank Introduces Directives to Support Small Farmers

The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) announced on Thursday, the introduction of directives that enables small farmers to use movable properties as collateral and also benefit from micro-insurance.

Announcing the two directives, NBE Governor Yinager Dessie said using movable properties as collateral is critically important for the livelihood of farmers in general and the agriculture sector in particular.

The actual execution of the new directives will be a game changer to transform the agriculture sector which employs over 80 percent of the total population, he said.

“We have now prepared the Collateral Registry and the directives will be implemented this coming Ethiopian New Year,” Yinager stated.

Accordingly, banks will allocate 5 percent for small farmers using movable properties as collateral starting from September, 2020, it was learned.

Livestock, crops, landholding certificates, and forest,  among others, are among collateral properties to be taken as financial sources in terms of credit. (ENA)

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Bank Approves USD 27.33 Mln to Ramp-up African Union’s COVID-19 Response Initiative

The African Development Bank’s Board of Directors approved USD 27.33 million in grants to boost the African Union’s (AU) efforts to mobilize a continental response to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grant will support the implementation of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness and Response Plan through strengthening surveillance at various points of entry in the continent.

It also helps build sub-regional and national capacity for epidemiological surveillance and ensuring the availability of testing materials and personal protective equipment for frontline workers deployed in hot spots.

President of the African Development Bank (ADB), Akinwumi Adesina said “With this financing package, we are reaffirming our strong commitment to a coordinated African response in the face of COVID-19.”

According to ADB, at the beginning of February 2020, only two reference laboratories in Senegal and in South Africa could run tests for COVID-19 on the continent.

The Africa CDC, working with governments, the World Health Organization, and several development partners and public health institutes, have increased this capacity to 44 countries currently.

Despite this progress, Africa’s testing capacity remains low, with the 37 African Development Fund eligible countries accounting for only 40 percent of completed COVID-19 tests to date. (ENA)

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Australian Doctor For Africa Presents 80,000 PPE To Ethiopia

Australian Doctor for Africa, a volunteer humanitarian organization, has presented 80,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Ethiopia in support of the fight against COVID 19 in the country.

Australian Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union, Peter Doyle has handed over the PPE to representatives from the Ministry of Health and various public hospitals in Addis Ababa.

Australian Doctor for Africa is a volunteer medical humanitarian organization, providing medical training and services, hospital equipment and infrastructure development for vulnerable communities in East Africa.  (FBC)

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Horn in Brief

Eritrea, Sudan Agree to Bolster Bilateral Ties Including Regional Security

Eritrea and Sudan have agreed to intensify their ongoing joint efforts to bolster regional peace.

The Head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan has conducted a one–day working visit to Eritrea on Monday.

During his visit, Gen. al-Burhan met and discussed with President Isaias Afwerki on bilateral issues.

In their meeting, the two leaders agreed on concrete measures that will be taken to implement comprehensive bilateral agreements reached in the economic, trade, security and military sectors as well as mechanisms and timelines for their commencement.

Eritrean Minister of Foreign Affairs, Osman Saleh and Presidential Adviser, Yemane Gebreab were present in the meeting.

Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan and his delegation also visited agricultural development projects in the environs of Mislam and Logo dams; and then departed in the late afternoon on Wednesday. (ENA)

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Parts of East Africa including Ethiopia Expect Heavy Rain, Flooding 

Heavy rainfall is expected in Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan over the coming week, the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) warned.

According a statement issued on Monday by IGAD’s Climate Prediction and Applications Center, heavy rainfall above 200 mm is expected in parts of western Ethiopia, south-western Sudan and north-western South Sudan that might result in more flooding.

Moderate rainfall, between 50-200 mm is also expected in central Ethiopia as well as western Eritrea and southern Sudan, it added.

Hence, stakeholders are advised to take all appropriate measures to prevent risks due to the expected heavy rains that might result in floods.

More specifically the center added, flood prone areas in northern, southern and south-western Sudan; parts of north-western South Sudan; isolated regions of western, northern and eastern Ethiopia.

Currently, hundreds of thousands are being displaced due to floods in several parts of East African nations including Ethiopia and Sudan. (ENA)

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Egypt to increase water projects in South Sudan: Minister

In a meeting with his South Sudanese counterpart Manawa Peter on Wednesday, Egyptian Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Mohamed Abdel Atti voiced Egypt’s keenness to enhance the bilateral relations in the water field, according to a statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation.

Abdel Attai said that Egypt would increase the number of development projects for collecting and storing rainwater, with the aim of serving the South Sudanese people.

The projects include the establishment of a river transportation system and hydraulic modeling of river flow data collection, the statement added.

Abdel Atti accompanied by a delegation from the ministry headed Tuesday to South Sudan in order to discuss reinforcing bilateral cooperation in the water resources realm. The visit is held upon the invitation of the South Sudanese counterpart.

Abdel Atti told the press that the irrigation ministers of both countries began joint cooperation since 2006 when they signed a MoU on August 18 of the same year. A technical cooperation protocol was signed later on March 28, 2011. Another protocol on technical and developmental cooperation was signed in Cairo in November 2014 in the presence of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and South Sudan President Silva Kiir. (Egypt Today)

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Mass exam failure stirs up a storm in Somalia

Somalia’s education policymakers are under pressure to explain how secondary schools in the capital Mogadishu reported massive failures on the national examination, while those in regions bordering Kenya had high grades.

Results released on Sunday for Grade 12 exams for the 2019/2020 school calendar showed that 33,727 students sat for the national tests.

Of these, 25,177 students, representing about 75 percent, passed the exams and qualified to join tertiary institutions. But, of the 8,550 who failed, most are from Benadir, the metropolitan region that includes Mogadishu.

Jubbaland State, which borders Kenya, produced the best five students nationally and only 33 out of 987 candidates scored below average.

Schools from four federal states Hirshabelle, South West, Jubbaland, and Galmudug as well as Benadir – Somalia's administrative region – registered candidates for the national exam. 

Questioned over the mass failure in Mogadishu, Education Minister Goddah Barre blamed students and teachers, claiming the learners spent too much time smoking tobacco and recording Tiktok videos, while tutors were of poor quality. (The East African)

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