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Ethiopia, Germany ink EUR 74.5 mln grant agreement

Ethiopia and Germany have signed a financial and technical agreements amounting to EUR 74.5 million on Thursday.

The technical agreement aims to support three projects with a total of EUR 28 million to be implemented through GIZ, while the EUR 46.5 million will finance two other projects.

The agreements were signed by State Minister of Finance, Admasu Nebebe and Ambassador of Germany to Ethiopia, Brita Wagener.

After the signing ceremony, Admasu said that the grant agreement will help create skilled manpower in the efforts to integrate agriculture into the industry.

Moreover, he stated that, the grant agreement will foster jobs creation for the youth, refugees and returnees as well as rehabilitating those affected by conflict.

“Germany is increasing its support level to Ethiopia,” he said adding that recently the government of Germany pledged to fund EUR 100 million to support the ongoing reforms in the country.

Germany Ambassador to Ethiopia, Brita Wagener said in his part that his country is committed to support Ethiopia’s economic reforms. (ENA)


EOTC calls for calm in Oromia

The Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church on Thursday has called for calm following the unrest in some areas of the Oromia regional state.

In a press conference, the Holy Synod urged those groups who have different ideas to resolve their differences through dialogues and civilized ways.

It has also urged the youth, the public, leaders of political parties, government officials, scholars, activists, and other stakeholders to do their part, in order to ensure peace and stability in the country.

Conflicts in various parts of the country have resulted in the loss of lives as well as damages to properties and mass displacements, the Holy Synod indicated.

The Holy Synod called on the youth and the people as well as public, private, and the social media to discharge their responsibilities and build a peaceful, united and prosperous Ethiopia. (FBC)


Second generation health extension program to be implemented in 4,500 clinics

The second generation health extension program will be implemented across the nation at 4,500 identified health clinics, this Ethiopian fiscal year, according to the Ministry of Health.

Health Minister, Amir Aman (MD) told ENA on Wednesday that the second generation health extension program that started with 1,600 health clinics last Ethiopian fiscal year will be widely implemented this year.

According to him, it is not possible to achieve the global sustainable development goal in 2030 by focusing only on communicable diseases.

The second generation health extension program will therefore focus on tackling non-communicable diseases that are becoming serious problems in the country, Dr. Amir stated.

The ministry is also working to expand and improve access to health services, which is important to improve the health sector in terms of changing disease patterns and population growth in the country, it was pointed out. 

According to him, the existing 16 packages of the program, has increased to 18 so as to improve quality and access to health services. (ENA)


AU Awards First Continental Teacher Prize

The African Union has awarded its first AU Continental Teacher Prize 2019 for three teachers from Ghana, Uganda, and Kenya.

Ghanian Augusta Lartey-Young, Kenyan Erick Ademba, and Ugandan Sister Gladys Kachope won the 2019 AU Continental Teacher Prize for their commitments to quality teaching that resulted in high standards of student achievements.

The award winning teachers received a certificate of recognition and USD 10,000 each.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, AUC Rural Economy and Agriculture Commissioner Representative, Beatrice Njenga said: “The teacher prize is an important and valuable instrument that contributes to the success of Agenda 2063.”

“The Union has embarked on developing strategic instruments to raise the status of teachers in the continent and to also ensure quality and transformative human resources for Africa,” she added.

According to Njenga, “realizing Africa’s potential and aspirations depends on the investments that are made today towards the development of teachers in Africa as it is clear that the teacher is core for creating the Africa we want.” (ENA)



Eritrea summons German ambassador over DW coverage

The Eritrean foreign ministry has summoned Germany's ambassador to its Offices earlier this week over DW's reporting on the country.

Eritrean Information Minister, Yemane Meskel on Monday claimed that DW — Germany's state-owned broadcaster — was engaged in an "unbridled smear campaign" against Eritrea.

In its response, the German Foreign Ministry described the broadcaster as "an independent media outlet that works to high journalistic standards."

"Press freedom is a valuable asset and prerequisite for a functioning democracy," the ministry, which gave no further details about the ambassador’s meeting, said in a statement on Wednesday.

DW has not issued a formal response on the matter.

Meskel had criticized the way the country's peace process with neighboring Ethiopia was portrayed. He also criticized the reporting of the country's system of national service, which conscripts most citizens into the military and workforce indefinitely.

Meskel said that the German ambassador had been summoned to seek clarification.

The small country in the Horn of Africa has been ruled by President Isaias Afwerki since 1993. (DW)


Djibouti supports Egyptian int’l stands, foreign policies

Djibouti's Speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Ali Hamad has affirmed his country’s support to Egypt’s stands and foreign policies as he met with Egyptian ambassador to Djibouti, Mostafa Mohamed Urfi to discuss mutual relations and cooperation on a number of matters.

Hamad further expressed Djibouti’s appreciation to Egypt’s strenuous efforts in supporting the preparation of Djiboutian cadres.

He also welcomed Egyptian investors in Djibouti, inviting them to exploit his country’s promising capabilities in the field of tourism.

In his part, ambassador Mohamed stressed the strong relations between the two countries and their cooperation, in a number of international and regional cases.

The Egyptian ambassador also explained Egypt’s stand on the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam dispute, while Hama expressed an understanding to the Egyptian position in this matter.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri had held talks on February with Djibouti Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf on establishing an Egyptian logistic free zone in the African country.

The project is aimed at reviving economies of the countries of the Horn of Africa. (Egypt Today)


Sudan upbeat on prospects of removal from U.S. terrorism list

Sudan’s top financial officials believe that it is “just a question of time” before his country is removed from the U.S. state-sponsored terrorism list.

Finance Minister Ibrahim Elbadawi on Tuesday told an event hosted by the Atlantic Council think tank that the listing posed a “crippling impediment” to the transitional government’s ability to access funds from the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank.

But he said that the government was working to address security concerns, while taking steps to boost internal revenues by closing tax loopholes and unwinding a big shadow economy.

Elbadawi told Reuters after the event that he was “absolutely” encouraged by his discussions with U.S. officials and lawmakers, about getting Sudan removed from the terrorism list.

“I could feel that things are moving,” he said. “I cannot give a specific date, but I’m quite confident that it’s just a question of time.”

Donald Booth, U.S. envoy to Sudan, gave no timetable, adding: “We want to make sure that what we see as a problem isn’t continuing, and it depends on how long it takes for them to do that.” (Reuters)


S. Sudan opposition movements retain international law firm services

Members of the South Sudan Opposition Movements (SSOM) alliance on Wednesday retained the services of Amsterdam and Partners LLP, an international law firm led by Robert Amsterdam.

As the legal entity representing the Real Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (R-SPLM), the National Salvation Front (NAS) and the South Sudan United Front (SSUF), Amsterdam & Partners LLP will reportedly be tasked with exploring international legal options to defend the rights of these parties and as well as their members.

The international law firm will also highlight the ongoing corruption and human rights abuses allegedly taking place under the present government in order to bring accountability to those responsible.

"The people of South Sudan have been subjected to a series of systemic human rights violations by the current administration and its security services for years; something which the new nation may not recover from for a whole generation or more," Robert Amsterdam, founding partner of Amsterdam & Partners LLP said in a statement. (ST)


DP World chairman says Djibouti dispute hurts company's ability to borrow

Global ports operator, DP World (DPW.DI) is struggling to borrow from banks to finance new investments, since a port it partially owns in Djibouti, was seized by the government there in 2018, its chairman said on Monday.

“We are investing but it is costing us more. That’s the damage,” DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem told Reuters in Rwanda’s capital Kigali, where the company opened a $35 million logistics platform on Monday.

“Fewer banks will lend us money today,” he said, without giving further details. “Every bank that will lend you money will say, ‘What if the country you invest in will do what Djibouti did?’ So, Djibouti has put a bad precedent.”

The government of Djibouti seized the Doraleh Container Terminal from Dubai government-controlled DP World in February 2018, over a dispute dating back to at least 2012.

DP World called the seizure illegal, and the London Court of International Arbitration ruled in August 2018 that the company’s contract in Djibouti was valid and binding. (Reuters)