High Level Ethiopian Delegation Confers with Saudi Authorities

Addis Ababa: A high-level Ethiopia’s delegation held discussions with authorities of Saudi Arabia, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The delegation led by State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Birtukan Ayano met with its Saudi counterpart led by Deputy Foreign Minister, Ali Al-Yousef in Riyadh and exchanged views on ways to repatriate illegal Ethiopian migrants from Saudi Arabia and enhance the bilateral relations of the two countries.

In his media briefing last week, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Nebiyu Tedla said that Ethiopia would start repatriation of its 70,000 citizens from Saudi Arabia.

He also stressed the government’s commitment to assisting Ethiopians who are in difficult situations abroad.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Rwandan President Praises PM Abiy for Serving as Young Peacekeeper in Aftermath of Genocide

Addis Ababa: Rwandan President Paul Kagame has extended his appreciation to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for serving as a young peacekeeper in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide.

In 1995, Abiy served as a United Nations (UN) peacekeeper in Rwanda following the Rwandan genocide.

Speaking at the commemorations to mark 30 year anniversary of genocide, President Kagame has also recognized the leadership of different countries for supporting Rwanda’s rebuilding at the time.

‘I want to recognize a few while also asking for forgiveness not being able to mention or who deserves it.

For example, Uganda, which carried the burden of Rwanda……The leadership and people of Ethiopia and Eritrea helped us in starting to rebuild at that time,’ he said.

‘Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who is here (now for official visit,) even served as the young peacekeeper in the immediate aftermath of the genocide,’ the president said.

Rwanda paid tribute to genocide victims after 30 years today.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Ethiopia Gearing up for Fifth-round WTO Accession Meeting: Ministry

Addis Ababa: Ethiopia will hold a pivotal fifth-round World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting that would help the country in joining the organization, according to the Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration.

Minister of Trade and Regional Integration, Gebremeskel Chala confirmed to ENA that the meeting is anticipated to be held in the next month, May 2024.

Recalling Ethiopia first applied before 20 years ago, the minister stated that the negotiation endeavor was disrupted in recent years by the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges.

However, the minister revealed that Ethiopia has been intensifying its efforts and he mentioned a delegation visit to the WTO Director-General in Geneva, Switzerland back in July 2023.

According to him, this visit resulted in a three-year timeframe for Ethiopia to finalize negotiations and secure WTO membership.

Consequently, Ethiopia has received around 180 questions and 9 documents from member countries and potential negotiating partners, the minister pointed out.

Thes
e inquiries will be addressed on a dedicated platform that will be facilitated by the WTO itself.

Gebremeskel noted that Ethiopia’s negotiating team to the WTO is well-prepared to navigate these discussions in a manner that ensures the nation’s economic development and commercial competitiveness.

Ethiopia has held observer status at the WTO since 2003, similar to the European Union.

This role has allowed the country to gain valuable insight into the organization’s workings and prepare for full membership.

The ministry is currently finalizing crucial documents required for WTO accession, he stated.

These documents cover various aspects, including goods and services trade offers, import licensing procedures, information of public business enterprises, trade-related laws, and export subsidy and agricultural support details.

For Gebremeskel, Ethiopia’s determination to secure WTO membership demonstrates its commitment to deeper global trade integration.

By successfully navigating the upcoming negotiations,
the country can unlock new economic opportunities, enhance its commercial standing, and participate more actively in the international trade system, it was learned.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Addis Residents Renew Pledge to Sustain Support for GERD

Addis Ababa: Residents of Addis Ababa have affirmed their commitment to reinforce their support for the completion of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

GERD, the biggest under construction hydropower project in the Africa continent and its construction commenced in 2011, is now near completion.

The reservoir of the dam has also retained 42 billion cubic meters of water, with overall project completion standing at 95.8 percent, it was learned.

Acknowledging this dam’s progress as a vital endeavor to see a prosperous Ethiopia for the future, the inhabitants of the capital have been further motivated to bolster their support until the completion of the GERD.

One of the residents, Zerihun Fekadu, told ENA that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is a national asset that has reached a critical juncture and he is eagerly watching the completion.

Recall the Grand Renaissance Dam project is fully funded by the Ethiopian public without any foreign aid or loans.

Particularly, this mega project has been
financed by Ethiopians with crowdfunding through internal fund raising in the form of selling bonds and persuading employees to contribute a portion of their incomes.

For instance, Zerihun as a resident of Addis Ababa bought a 10,000 Birr worth of bond for the construction of the dam. And he pledged to intensify the support he has been providing for the renaissance dam.

Another resident Aregash Geda on her part stated that she bought 5,000 Birr worth of bonds and she reaffirmed her commitment to continue the support till the dam is completed.

She also called upon all Ethiopians to consolidate their unwavering support for the renaissance dam, describing the dam as the symbol of this present generation.

Ashenafi Hailemariam, another Addis Ababa city resident, underscored the construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam has involved Ethiopia from every corner of the country, pledging to continue his support.

Since the inception of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, some 19 billion Birr has been collected fro
m the public, and now further calls have been made to sustain and strengthen this financial mobilization.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Ethiopia to Complete Issuance of Digital ID for Refugees within Year

Addis Ababa: The Refugees and Returnees Service (RRS) has pledged to conclude issuance of digital identification to over 1.1 million refugees within a year.

Ethiopia hosted those refugees in 27 refugee camps, which makes the country continue to be one of the largest refugee-hosting nations in Africa, it was indicated.

This initiative launched by the Refugees and Returnees Service, National ID Program, and UNHCR a month ago aims to streamline government and private services for the over 1.1 million refugees in Ethiopia.

Refugees and Returnees Service, Deputy Director-General Biruhtesfa Mulugeta said the new refugee ID would allow refugees to access key services in Ethiopia.

The previous accessing services were obstructed by forged documents and a cumbersome paper-based system, it was indicated.

As a result, these digital IDs will create a secure and organized information system by eliminating these challenges, the deputy director-general explained.

Noting on the special feature of the digital ID which is
not a national ID, Biruhtesfa clarified that it has a unique identifier linked to our refugee management system, and will allow for efficient data sharing as well as improved service delivery.

The concerted endeavors to expedite the issuance of the digital ID is part of the country’s longstanding commitment to the well-being of refugees, ensuring their safety and access to essential services, he elaborated.

According to him, Digital IDs will empower refugees to participate more fully in Ethiopian society, fostering both social and economic benefits.

Ethiopia has a long history of reputation in hosting refugees, following international law for over 40 years, it was stated.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency