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Gov’t launches farm clustering scheme

The Government of Ethiopia in partnership with the EU, Denmark and Netherlands, has launched agricultural commercialization cluster (ACC) program.

The program to be implemented with close to EUR 100 million funding from the European Union, Denmark and Netherlands, will benefit five million Ethiopian smallholder farmers.

President Sahle-Work Zewde, Ambassador of the EU Johan Borgstam, Ambassador of Denmark Karin Poulsen and CEO of the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) Khalid Bomba attended the launch of the program.

President Sahle-Work highlighted the importance of the agriculture sector for the development of the country and called for more works to improve the sector. The ATA has spent the last two years testing and ramping up the clustering approach on farmland throughout the country. There are now 1.3 million farmers organized in 30,000 clusters across Ethiopia.

“Each cluster is planting improved seeds at the same time using the same agro-ecologically specific fertilizers, benefiting from the same technical support and harvesting their crops with the same machinery,” Khalid Bomba said. (FBC)

Ethiopia desirous of German technical support

Ethiopia wants short-term technical training from the German State of Baden-Wurttemberg in order to promote technology and innovation, Science and Innovation Minister Getahun Mekuria said.

Opening the Ethiopia-Baden-Wurttemberg Economic Forum in Addis Ababa this week, the minister said increasing production and productivity with the support of technology is important to ensure economic growth.

“We need to increase the revenue obtained from agriculture, service, and manufacturing sectors through technology,” he added.

According to him, there are 29 million students at various levels in Ethiopia and 69 percent of the population is under the age of 30.

Unemployment is therefore growing at alarming scale, Getahun noted, emphasizing the need to collaborate with Baden-Wurttemberg’s large and small-scale enterprises.

Baden Wurttemberg State Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing Minister, Nicole Hoffmeister said on her part Africa is a continent of opportunities and increasing strategic importance for the state.

The continent offers enormous investment potential which is still not being seized enough by Baden-Wurttemberg companies, she pointed out. (ENA)

Ethiopian public diplomacy team explores cooperation with Uganda

Ethiopian Public Diplomacy Team on Wednesday explored Ethiopia’s cooperation with Uganda during a meeting with Energy and Mineral Development Minister, Irene Nafuna Muloni in Kampala. 

Speaker of the House of Peoples’ Representatives, Tagesse Chafo, who is also head of the Public Diplomacy, held talks with Ugandan Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Irene Nafuna Muloni on strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.

The Speaker highlighted the opportunities for Ethiopia and Uganda to cooperate in energy sector in the move to address power supply shortage.    

Talking on the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Tagesse said after completion the dam will have a significant contribution in rewarding on the ever-growing demand of electricity in Ethiopia.

The Speaker also extended his gratitude to the Government of Uganda for ratifying the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA).

Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Irene Nafuna Muloni, on his part said Uganda and Ethiopia should work together to deepen cooperation in energy and mining sectors. (ENA)

UN Special Rapporteur to visit Ethiopia

The UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, will undertake an official visit to Ethiopia from December 2-9, 2019, according to United Nations Human Rights Special Procedures.

Kaye said the new Ethiopian administration undertook major political reforms that have been praised by many.

On the other hand, some have voiced concerns that more needs to be done to fulfill human rights law and standards related to freedom of opinion and expression, he added.

His visit mainly focuses on the measures taken by the government to fulfill its human rights obligations relating to freedom of expression, including the protection of journalists with a view to formulating recommendations, he stated.

Since the House of Peoples’ Representatives is discussing a law to combat hate speech, his visit is timely and look forward to fruitful discussions on the draft bill with representatives from all branches of the State, he pointed out.

He planned to meet officials, representatives from the judiciary, journalists and representatives from civil society. (ENA)