The Brief – 25

14 Jul 2023

H.E. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s Address to Parliament

On the 28th regular meeting of the House of People’s Representatives of Ethiopia, H.E. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed presented the Government’s performance report for the 2022/2023 fiscal year. The report mainly focused on the economic sector, peace and security issues and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Some of the major data in the economic report include Ethiopia’s 14% export growth, increase of FDI flow by 10.5% and the significant debt decrease by 59%.  Despite the current global challenges, the boost in the economic sector was achieved due to the implementation of the first phase of the home-grown economic transformation plan. Building on the momentum of the economic boost, the premier announced that Ethiopia is expected to register 7.5% annual economic growth. Furthermore, the Parliament approved the budget for the 2023/24 fiscal year with priority areas of poverty reduction, sustainable development, debt service, and reconstruction of war-ravaged areas. Besides, the second phase of the home-grown economic transformation plan will be implemented on the coming fiscal year, with the aim of addressing inflation and budget deficit. The Prime Minister also announced the Government’s commitment to reduce the national debt.

Similarly, the peace and security report showed that following the Pretoria Peace Agreement, the government has brought significant progress in restoring vital social services such as telecommunications, electricity, banking, healthcare, and education institutions in the Tigray region. In addition, over 3.5 million internally displaced people have been reinstated to their homes. Improved access to humanitarian aid was also guaranteed to people in need in Afar, Amhara and Tigray regions. Moreover, the utmost need to expand job opportunities for disarmed combatants to sustain peace based on the disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration (DDR) program was highlighted. Hence, the need for support from the international community in rehabilitation of war-torn areas and in providing humanitarian aid is clearly observed.

Finally, the Prime Minister’s report touched up on the GERD. He stated that Ethiopia has always been keen on not causing any significant harm to downstream countries and called for practical cooperation on GERD. The premier also stated that Ethiopia considers the concerns of the lower Riparian countries of the Nile in filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. His Statement reiterated Ethiopia’s commitment and openness to negotiate and reach a win-win solution under auspices of the AU.

In such score, on 13th of July 2023, H.E. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed met and discussed with the President of Egypt, H.E. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, on how to overcome the current stalemate on negotiations of GERD. Accordingly, the two leaders agreed to expedite the negotiations and finalise the agreement between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt on the filling and operations of the Dam. In addition, Ethiopia has also reiterated its commitment not to cause significant harm to downstream countries during the filling of the GERD within the hydrological year of 2023-2024.

The First IGAD Quartet Meeting on the situation in Sudan

The inter-communal fighting in the Republic of Sudan has continued and is spreading to Darfur despite numerous calls for a ceasefire. It is to be remembered that IGAD established a “Roadmap for resolving the conflict in the Republic of Sudan” with the emphasis on the importance of consultation and cooperation with all parties concerned. In accordance with the quartet’s plan to set up a face-to-face meeting between the two combatant generals, H.E. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia hosted the first quartet meeting on July 10, 2023, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which was Chaired by H.E. William Samuel Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya. Countries like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and other stakeholders like the African Union, UN-OCHA, and the European Union also participated in the regional group meeting through their representatives.

Subsequently, a 17-point communiqué was released following the quartet’s meeting. The communiqué commended the initiative and acknowledged various stakeholders for their efforts to stop the violence in the Republic of Sudan through coordinated and collaborative diplomatic frameworks. It also commits to take all necessary precautions to safeguard the Republic of Sudan’s sovereignty. Hence the IGAD peace efforts shall be undertaken within the broader framework of the AU Roadmap on Sudan as to tackle proliferations of initiatives and expedite the peace talk through collaborative means. The communiqué also condemned the repeated violations of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

Ethiopian Airlines Celebrates 50 Years of Flying to the UK

Ethiopian Airlines Celebrated the 50th year anniversary of its first flight to London. To commemorate the occasion a high-level delegation led by the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Mr. Mesfin Tasew arrived in London on July 5th, 2023. The delegation of Executives met with different high level UK Government officials as well as members of the aerospace business community. UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Angola, Zambia and Ethiopia, Hon. Laurence Robertson, hosted the delegation at the UK Parliament in which the delegation was able to visit both Houses. Simultaneously, the delegation briefly met with UK foreign secretary, James Cleverly, Minister of State for Africa and Development the Rt. Hon Andrew Mitchel and Secretary of State for Transport the Rt Hon Mark Harper. On the occasion, the Airline was praised for providing top notch service, for growing over time as well as on ways to move forward and expanding its flight destinations to other UK cities.

Similarly, Mr. Mesfin met Secretary of State for Wales, Hon. David Davies and with UK Export finance and discussed on issues like the near future plan of the Airline to build a bigger Airport; the start of Cargo flights to the UK and increasing the destination cities in the UK to more than just London and Manchester. The First day of the delegation was wrapped by a celebratory dinner in which the Airlines’ growth amid global challenges like that of the COVID-19 was recognised and applauded. The Delegation then toured the A-350 wing production at Airbus Broughton Factory. Subsequently the Executives visited Rolls-Royce’s Civil Aerospace build line and signed ‘Total Care service agreement for Rolls-Royce engines that will power Ethiopian new A350-1000 aircraft.’

The Visit was successful in celebrating the magnificent success of the Airline and its hard-working employees in addition to, being a steppingstone in further enhancing its relationship with Airbus and other companies in the aviation sector based in the UK. On the occasion, Ambassador Teferi Melesse underlined that as a pioneer African flag carrier, Ethiopian Airlines has been instrumental in facilitating trade, business, promoting tourism and strengthening socio-economic and diplomatic ties between Africa and the United Kingdom.

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