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WEF Calls for Strengthening SMEs and Startups in Africa

H.E. Mr. Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia participated in a round table discussion organized by the African Growth Platform at the ongoing World Economic Forum.

The Platform was launched last September in Cape Town with the objective of bringing all stakeholders together to address the Continent’s timely challenges, particularly youth unemployment through the development of 100 million SMEs (Small and medium scale enterprises) and startups by 2025.

At the meeting it was reported that Africa has the largest youth population in the world with SMEs contributing only 33 percent to the Continent’s GDP.

Participants underlined the need to change the narrative through the development of the SMEs and startups to generate the necessary capital and further propel Africa’s economy.

The Africa Growth Platform therefore is an important initiative in which governments and business communities work together tapping available opportunities, particularly digital economy in nurturing SMEs and startups to create jobs for the growing youth population and contribute to the growth and development of the Continent said participants.

Participants also stressed the need to develop the private sector and tap the resources of African Diaspora through creating an enabling environment to promote investment in the Continent.

It was also mentioned that Africa which is the least beneficiary of the 4th Industrial Revolution must enhance its efforts to leapfrog in developing modern economy and compete effectively in international markets.

Mr. Demeke highlighted the emphasis given to the home-grown economic reform and strategic efforts to tackle the challenges of youth unemployment in Ethiopia.

At the round table Mr. Demeke had also a discussion with the Presidents of Ghana and Senegal and they agreed to work closely and exchange best practices on improving quality of works, entrepreneurship and skill development.

Heads of Government, ministers, businesses and civil society representatives attended the round table discussion.

Deputy PM Demeke Arrives in Davos, Switzerland for World Economic Forum

Deputy Prime Minister, Demeke Mekonnen, arrived in Davos, Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum, after concluding his attendance in the UK-Africa Investment Summit held in London.

During his stay in London, the Deputy Prime Minister held bilateral talks with British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson and Prince Williams on the sideline of the summit.

The two sides have exchanged views on ways of cementing the multilateral relationship between Ethiopia and the United Kingdom in multifaceted spheres.

Moreover, Demeke conferred with UK’s International Development Secretary, Alok Sharma, and Diageo Management Group.

The 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting is being underway from 21-24 January 2020, in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.

The annual meetings aim to engage world leaders in collaborative activities to shape the global, regional and industry agendas at the beginning of each year.

The development of the meetings’ program is driven by WEF’s mission- improving the state of the world.

Four global issues including climate and environmental challenges, transforming industries, driving the fourth industrial revolution as well as adapting to the demographic, social, and technological trends and reshaping education are clearly stand out as urgent and important on the agenda at the annual meeting in Davos.

AU’s 39th Ordinary Session of the PRC Meeting Kicks Off

The 39th Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) meeting kicks off today in Addis Ababa under the theme “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development”.

The PRC will discuss draft reports and prepare the agenda of the 36th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council scheduled to take place on February 6th and 7th, 2020.

The PRC meeting will bring together the Ambassadors of the African Union Member States, as well as AU officials.

The 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) will take place from 9 to 10 February 2020.

During the summit, Egypt who served as the AUC Chair will handover to South Africa.

Deputy Premier Meets With UK PM

Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen held a discussion yesterday (January 20th)  with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London.

During the talks held on the sidelines of the UK-Africa Investment Summit, the two agreed to elevate the Ethio-UK ties to a higher level.

The Deputy Prime Minister also met and held a discussion with Prince William during a reception last night at Buckingham Palace for the summit attendees.

During the talks, Prince William expressed interest to visit Ethiopia, according to the office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

At the end of the talks, the Deputy Prime Minister invited Prince William to visit Ethiopia.

Demeke also met yesterday with UK’s International Development Secretary, Alok Sharma, and Diego Management Group.

The Deputy Prime Minister will travel to Davos, Switzerland today for the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 50th annual meeting.

The Forum will be held from 21-24 January and brings together the world’s top leaders from politics, business, civil society, academia, media, and the arts.

The 2020 event will convene nearly 3,000 participants from 117 countries, including 53 heads of state.

Promoting Ethiopian Tourism at VAKANZ 2020 Luxembourg


VAKANZ 2020 Luxembourg, an annual tourism fair, kicks-off today. Taking part in the fair, being held from 17 – 19 January 2020 in Luxembourg, the Embassy of Ethiopia in Brussels is vigorously promoting Ethiopian tourist destinations. Attended by 200 exhibitors (including Ethiopia) and attracting more than 30k visitors during the three days, the expo unlocked a great opportunity to promote tourist destinations of the Land of Origins, Ethiopia.
Co-organized by the Embassy of Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Airlines, Ethiopia’s booth colourfully presented tourist destinations in Ethiopia through video, printed, and oral explanations. The booth was arranged to exhibit Ethiopia’s historical, cultural, and natural tourist attractions and provide information and explanations for the visitors.
Furthermore, counting the unique Ethiopian cultural coffee ceremony in the show, attracted attention of many visitors, smoothed them additional opportunity to enjoy freshly-brewed coffee from its origin and to know more about Ethiopia and its tourist destinations.

The Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia Mr. Nebiat Getachew today (January 17) gave a briefing to the media

Mr. Nebiat covered a wide range of issues that pointed out the diplomatic activities of the Ethiopian Government.

He said the recent visit of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to Guinea, Equatorial Guinea and South Africa was successful in strengthening bilateral relations, in initiating new deals and passing decisions for the implementation of existing agreements and in striking favorable arrangements to safeguard the economic and human rights of Ethiopian Diaspora residing in these countries.

Regarding the upcoming 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) and the 36th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council, the Spokesperson said a committee with various sublevels has been formed to make sure that the sessions would end successfully as usual.

According to the spokesperson, the 26th Ethio-Djibouti Border Administrators joint meeting in its biannual conference held in Jigjiga, Somali Regional State on 14-17 January has successfully addressed ways to tackle human trafficking, strengthen security and improve transportation facilities between the two countries.

Commending the ever growing relationship between China and Ethiopia that scaled up to the level of strategic partnership in 2017, the spokesperson announced that preparations are underway to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Mr. Nebiat also briefed the media about the recently concluded discussion in Washington, D.C. on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. He said the Ethiopian Government is committed to finalize a mutually beneficial agreement on the filling and operation of the dam in the upcoming meeting on 28-29 January in Washington with representatives of Sudan and Egypt.

The spokesperson concluded his briefings announcing that in line with the Government’s citizen-centered diplomacy, 238 Ethiopian citizens are scheduled to be repatriated in 6 consecutive days as of Wednesday (January 15).

Ethiopia Ready to Host 33rd AU Summit

Ethiopia has finalized preparations and is ready to host the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) which will be held from January 21 to February 10, 2020.

Briefing journalists today, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Nebiat Getachew said national committees were established with sub-committees from pertinent stakeholders in carrying out the preparation.

The 33rd AU Summit will be convened at the Headquarters in Addis Ababa under the theme “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development”.

Ethiopia had extended its support to Africans during the fight against colonialism, Nebiat said, adding that “it remains committed in fostering the continental integration based on mutual benefit.”

According to the Spokesperson, issuance of visa on arrival, its commitment in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), bilateral and multilateral cooperation are testimonies of its strong African spirit.

Thus, the 39th Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC) will be held from January 21 to 22, 2020, while 36th the Ordinary Session of the Executive Council (Ministerial) and Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government will be held from February 6 to 7 and 9 to 10 respectively.

Joint Statement Of Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan, The United States, And The World Bank

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Water Resources of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan and their delegations met with the Secretary of the Treasury and the President of the World Bank, participating as observers, in Washington, D.C. on January 13-15, 2020.  The Ministers noted the progress achieved in the four technical meetings among the Ministers of Water Resources and their two prior meetings in Washington D.C. and the outcomes of those meetings and their joint commitment to reach a comprehensive, cooperative, adaptive, sustainable, and mutually beneficial agreement on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

Toward that end, the Ministers noted the following points, recognizing that all points are subject to final agreement:

  1. The filling of the GERD will be executed in stages and will be undertaken in an adaptive and cooperative manner that takes into consideration the hydrological conditions of the Blue Nile and the potential impact of the filling on downstream reservoirs.
  2. Filling will take place during the wet season, generally from July to August, and will continue in September subject to certain conditions.
  3. The initial filling stage of the GERD will provide for the rapid achievement of a level of 595 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l.) and the early generation of electricity, while providing appropriate mitigation measures for Egypt and Sudan in case of severe droughts during this stage.
  4. The subsequent stages of filling will be done according to a mechanism to be agreed that determines release based upon the hydrological conditions of the Blue Nile and the level of the GERD that addresses the filling goals of Ethiopia and provides electricity generation and appropriate mitigation measures for Egypt and Sudan during prolonged periods of dry years, drought and prolonged drought.
  5. During long term operation, the GERD will operate according to a mechanism that determines release based upon the hydrological conditions of the Blue Nile and the level of the GERD that provides electricity generation and appropriate mitigation measures for Egypt and Sudan during prolonged periods of dry years, drought and prolonged drought.
  6. An effective coordination mechanism and provisions for the settlement of disputes will be established.

The Ministers agree that there is a shared responsibility of the three countries in managing drought and prolonged drought.

The Ministers agreed to meet again in Washington, D.C. on January 28-29 to finalize a comprehensive agreement on the filling and operation of the GERD, and that there will be technical and legal discussions in the interim period.

The Ministers recognize the significant regional benefits that can result from concluding an agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam with respect to transboundary cooperation, regional development and economic integration that can result from the operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.  The Ministers of Foreign Affairs reaffirmed the importance of transboundary cooperation in the development of the Blue Nile to improve the lives of the people of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan, and their shared commitment to concluding an agreement.

NEBE Announces Election Schedule

The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) will announce schedule for Ethiopia’s forthcoming general elections today (January 15th).

The electoral board is currently deliberating on the draft timetable with stakeholders at Jupiter hotel.

According to the draft schedule tabled by NEBE, registration of voters will take place from April 7 – May 7, 2020.

The Board suggested  August 16, 2020 as a tentative date for the voting process.

It was noted that the draft electoral schedule was prepared based on the Constitution