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  Council passes decision on various issues

     The Council of Ministers, in its 89th regular session held on Wednesday, has discussed on various issues and passed decisions. 

The council first discussed on a draft regulation for the establishment of the Ethio-Engineering Group.

The regulation aims at making the different industries that were operating under the Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC) profitable, by enhancing the efficient utilization of resources.

Hence, industries engaged in the production of steels, automotive, agricultural equipment’s, electrical and electronics, construction machineries and plants as well as polymer productions, will be organized under the newly established Ethio-Engineering Group.

After extensive deliberations on the draft, the council passed decision to publish the regulation that allows the establishment of the Group in Negarit Gazeta.

The Council has also discussed on a draft agreement reached between Ethiopia and the Russian Federation on the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

The two countries have agreed to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes based on the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) accord.  (ENA)

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Meskel Demera Festival will be observed in adherence to COVID 19 precautions: Deputy Mayor

Deputy Mayor of Addis Ababa, Adanech Abebe announced on Tuesday that Meskel Demera, UNESCO inscribed world intangible heritage, will be observed in the city at Meskel Square, in a way to protect the community from pandemic.

The Deputy Mayor along with the patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church, His holiness Abune Matias has visited the process of the reconstruction project of Meskel Square, the open space where public and religious festivals are celebrated in the capital.

Other religious leaders and high ranking officials attended the visit aimed to assess the course of the reconstruction.

On the occasion, the Deputy Mayor said, the Meskel Demera Religious festival will be observed with attendance of limited number of people in order to protect the community from coronavirus.

The reconstruction of the site has a paramount nationwide significance in fostering the tourism sector and building the image of the city, the Deputy Mayor said. (FBC)

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Health Ministry recommends holding elections observing precautionary measures

The Ministry of Health has suggested recommendations to the House of People’s Representative (HPR) that the country can hold the postponed national elections if necessary preconditions are completed ahead of the poll.

The HPR yesterday, held its 5th Year 3rd emergency session.

Minister of Health, Lia Tadesse (MD) has tabled recommendations to the House regarding the coronavirus responses and future scenarios, to curtain the pandemic.

The Health Minister said the nation has built preventive capacities in mitigating circumstances despite the continuation of the spread of the virus.

The nation’s testing capacity has increased, as the ministry managed to conduct over 1,165,647 laboratory tests, out of which 66,224 cases have been confirmed with 1,045 fatalities, the Minister reported.

According to the Minister, the Ministry can establish 10,500 emergency responses and surveillance teams across the nation. (FBC)

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Public raises over 272 mln birr in two months to support GERD

Ethiopians have contributed more than 272 million Birr over the past two months to support the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), the Office of the National Council for Coordination of Public Participation on the GERD, disclosed on Friday. 

Public Relations and Media Communication Director at the Office, Hailu Abraham told ENA that the support was obtained in the form of bond purchase, donation and through mobile short message fundraising campaign via the “8100A”.

“Out of the stated sum, 152.4 million birr was obtained in the month of August alone which is the largest amount collected in a single month, since the inception of the construction of the dam”, he pointed out.

According to him, the nation was also able to collect close to 120 million Birr in July.

The completion of the first filling of the dam has been encouraging the public to further continue its support to the construction of the dam, it was indicated. (ENA)

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Health infrastructure poses pitfalls in COVID-19 prevention efforts

Despite the government’s relentless effort to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s health infrastructure remains largely insufficient to treat the increasing number of COVID-19 cases.

Yacob Seman, Medical Services Director General at the Ministry of Health told The Ethiopian Herald on Thursday that though the death rate is still low, the coronavirus is spreading fast and the number of people that need to be admitted into intensive care unit is on the rise.

COVID-19 is not treatable; Yacob said adding adhering to preventive measures is the only way to control the spread of the virus.

Currently, following the lifting of the state of emergency, it allowed the resumption of the movement of people and socio-economic activities. Hence, people have to take maximum care in going about their daily businesses. “They have to be able to wear face masks, keep social distancing and their personal hygiene. More attention needs to be given to Addis as it is the center from which the virus is spreading to other areas.”  (The Ethiopian Herald)

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Premier Abiy warns harsh step against tax evaders

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) on Thursday said stiff measures will be taken against individuals who evade tax while pledging to continue recognizing people paying tax in a transparent conduct.

His remark came as the second round Federal Taxpayers’ Recognition Ceremony was held yesterday at Unity Park.

The program recognized 200 registered businesses that have maintained transparent conduct and paid their taxes in a timely manner.

Honest tax payers are a role model to an entire community who deserve not only the award but respect and good treatment, Abiy said.

“Corrupt individuals are still rampant both in the part of government and businessmen. Prosperity and development cannot be achieved without curtailing such acts,” he said. He also noted that those who pay timely and abide by law should have the privilege to get telecom, airlines, policing services in addition to revenue and custom ones. Good people should not be treated equally with those engaged in contraband and other wrongdoings.

He also urged businessmen to condemn those who evade tax besides paying tax. (The Ethiopian Herald)

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Horn-in-Brief

South Sudan President dismisses finance minister

South Sudan President Salva Kiir on Thursday fired Finance Minister Salvatore Garang Mabiordit Wol in an executive order read on national television Wednesday.

Mabiordit is the eighth finance minister dismissed by Kiir since 2011. The country’s new finance minister is Athian Diing Athian.

Kiir also fired Erjok Bullen, acting commissioner of the National Revenue Authority, and Chol Deng Thon Abel, head of the Nile Petroleum Corporation, or Nilepet, the country’s institution overseeing oil production.

According to Jok Madut Jok, co-founder and former director of the Juba-based Sudd Institute, changing ministers will not solve the country’s economic crisis.

“But it is not just about changing faces,” he said. “It is particularly about building institutions of the nation. If it were a nation where institutions count, there is no way we can be convinced if so-and-so steals money. And yet at the end of the day, they walk away with their misdeeds and mistakes.”  (CGTN)

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Somalia names new prime minister, unveils plan for elections

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has appointed political newcomer Mohamed Hussein Roble as the country's Prime Minister, hours after brokering an agreement with regional leaders for elections to be held next year that abandons a promised one-person, one-vote model.

In a statement late on Thursday, the president's office wished Roble "to take duties and tasks ahead with diligence."

Mohamed, who is usually referred to by his nickname "Farmaajo", is likely to run for a second term as president when polls are held, competing against at least two other former presidents. Roble studied civil engineering and had previously worked for the International Labour Organization, a United Nations agency.

He will replace former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, who was voted out of Office by parliament in July for failing to pave the way for fully democratic elections due before February 2021.

The foreign-backed government in Mogadishu has been in a drawn-out negotiation with Somalia's federal states over how to proceed with parliamentary and presidential elections. (Al Jazeera)

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Sudan seizes explosives 'large enough' to blow up Khartoum

Sudan has arrested 41 people and seized a large amount of explosives big enough to blow up the capital Khartoum, authorities said on Wednesday.

The materials include ammonium nitrate, the same chemical that caused the deadly explosion in Lebanon on August 4.

"Forty-one people were arrested in possession of explosives, enough to destroy (the capital) Khartoum," said public prosecutor Tagelsir al-Hebr in a press conference, adding that his office had opened an investigation.

Intelligence gathered since August on "the movements of terrorist groups" led to the arrests, according to Jamal Jumaa, spokesman for the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

"We fear now that some Sudanese people will resort to carrying out sabotage and bombings," he said.

Sudan is led by a transitional government, which took power months after the April 2019 protests and ousted president Omar al-Bashir.

The country has continued to suffer economically, which has been battered by decades of US sanctions and internal conflict under Bashir's rule. (africanews.com)

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Djibouti launches Sovereign Fund

The Republic of Djibouti has launched the Djibouti Sovereign Fund (Fonds Souverain de Djibouti - FSD) aimed at turbocharging the country's development.

The Sovereign Fund will strive to modernize the country's economy, to boost the growth of a competitive private sector and to enhance the development of the public productive sector, one of the essential instruments of this transformation.

The creation of the FSD is a flagship measure of the "Vision 2035", a long-term development strategy of the Republic of Djibouti, which aims to position the country as a leading commercial, logistics, port and digital hub.

Established in the form of a private limited company whose sole shareholder is and will remain the State of Djibouti; the Fund aims to "collect" national wealth to leverage Djibouti's ability to invest quickly.

The FSD will allow better control of projects while focusing on the national and strategic interests of the country.

The FSD will play the role of a strong and committed partner sought by external and domestic investors. (Africa Global Funds)

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