A Week in the Horn (19/10/2018)

 

News in Brief

House approves Prime Minister Dr. Abiy’s New Cabinet…

…and the Prime Minister answers questions from Members of Parliament

Eritrean President Isaias makes an official visit to Ethiopia

The President of Slovenia on a three- day visit to Ethiopia

Somalia remembers the hundreds killed by Al-Shabaab on October 14, 2017

Chiefs of Defense Staff and Heads of Safety and Security meet in Addis Ababa

A UK-Ethiopia Investment Forum held in London

The 11th meeting of IGAD’s Regional Consultative Process on Migration

First African Forum on Cybercrime held in Addis Ababa 

Africa and the African Union

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, congratulated Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed for appointing a cabinet marked by gender parity, with 10 women and 10 men. In a statement he said the decision was “a major milestone in Africa’s efforts towards gender equality and women’s empowerment, in particular women’s access to high level political decision-making positions.” `The Chairperson also congratulated Ethiopia for having ratified the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women, the Maputo Protocol.

 

The African Union High Representative for Silencing the Guns in Africa, Ramtane Lamamra, said on Monday (October 15) that recent developments in the Horn of Africa proved that political will is the driving force for peace and stability in Africa. Specifically mentioning the rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea and the efforts to restore peace between Eritrea and Djibouti, he said a bright future lay ahead for the region due to the political commitment of its leaders, “What is happening now in the Horn of Africa”, he added, “can prove that the political will can make miracles”. In the past the region had suffered from problems such as hunger and conflict, but “now the situation is dramatically changed and hopefully the region will become a zone of prosperity”.

The First African Forum on Cybercrime was held at the African union in Addis Ababa this week (October 16-18). Organized by the African Union Commission and supported by the Council of Europe and other bodies including INTERPOL, it provided the opportunity for participants to exchange information on cybercrime, consider ways to strengthen criminal justice capacities and improve cooperation to deal with this growing area of criminal activity in the future. (See article)

 

The 14th Ordinary Meeting of African Chiefs of Defense Staff and Heads of Safety and Security, and the 11th Ordinary Meeting of the Specialized Technical Committee on Defense, Safety and Security took place in African Union Headquarters, in Addis Ababa, last week (October 8-12). The opening was introduced by a minute’s silence in honour of African peace-keepers who have fallen in the line of duty and of the victims of violence in Africa. (See article)

 

The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Regional Consultative Process held its 11th Meeting of the Regional Consultative Process (RCP) on Migration under the theme of “Enhancing Labour Migration governance in the IGAD Region” over the weekend in Djibouti. (See article)

 

Ethiopia

 

President Dr. Mulatu Teshome received the credentials of six newly appointed Ambassadors on Wednesday (October 17) at the National Palace. The Ambassador of the Republic of Sudan, Elsadig Bakheit Elfaki Abdalla; the Ambassador of the Republic of Ghana, Mrs, Amma Twum-Amoah; the Ambassador of the Royal Kingdom of Norway, Merete Lunde mo; the Ambassador of the Czech Republic, Dr. Pavel Mikes; the Ambassador of the Republic of Austria, Roland Hauster; and the Ambassador of the State of Kuwait, Shamlan Al-Roomi. Dr. Mulatu, noting the long-standing diplomatic relations Ethiopia is enjoying with these six countries expressed his high hopes that the ambassadors would further enhance ties and cooperation with Ethiopia. He highlighted the conducive investment opportunities Ethiopia has to offer and called on the newly appointed ambassadors to do their best to widen economic and development cooperation.

 

The 11th National Flag Day was celebrated on Monday (October 15) under the theme “Our flag for our democratic unity.” President Dr. Mulatu said the flag was “a symbol of freedom, sustainable peace, equality and democratic unity of nations and nationalities of Ethiopia.” Noting that the pride of the national flag would be boosted only if the ongoing reforms were achieved, President Mulatu called on all Ethiopians to stand united for the attainment of the reforms.

 

President Dr. Mulatu Teshome left for Copenhagen on Thursday (October 18) to attend the first green summit held under P4G, Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030. He will deliver a speech focusing on developing, diffusing, and financing public-private partnerships that can provide concrete solutions to food waste, plastic in the oceans, overuse of resources, water shortage, pollution and congestion in big cities. He will also meet with Danish Prime Minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, for discussions on bilateral issues.

 

President Isaias arrived in Ethiopia for a two-day official visit on Sunday (October 14). He was warmly welcomed on arrival at Bole International Airport, by Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed, former Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu and senior government officials. (See article)

 

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor arrived in Addis Ababa on Sunday (October 14) for a three-day official visit. It was the first visit to Ethiopia by a President of Slovenia which became an independent state in 1991. It was President Pahor’s first visit to sub-Saharan Africa. (See article)

 

The House of People’s Representatives unanimously approved the new cabinet nominated by Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed following the endorsement of a draft law restructuring some of the executive organs of government on Tuesday (October 16). The House, in its first session since the opening of the new parliamentary year, approved a cabinet with 10 female members out of 20. (See article)

 

Prime Minister Dr. Abiy answered a series of questions raised by members of the parliament this week on Thursday (October 18), when responding to the President’s speech at the opening session of Parliament last week. (See article)

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Workneh held discussions with the UN Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs, Ms. Rosemary DiCarlo on Tuesday (October 16). They exchanged views on recent developments in the Horn of Africa. Dr. Workneh commended the cooperation between the UN and Ethiopia across a wide range of issues. He briefed Ms. Rosemary about regional developments, including the rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea and noted they were now working on details of regulating bilateral issues. Ms. DiCarlo said the UN was very keen to work with Ethiopia and promised that UN would work closely with Ethiopia on the issue of lifting sanctions.

Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh received copies of the credentials of the newly appointed Japan Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ambassador Daisuke Matsunaga on Tuesday (October 16). They discussed and agreed on ways of strengthening bilateral, regional and international cooperation to advance mutual interest and benefits. Ambassador Matsunaga commended the cooperation between the two countries and promised to advance their cooperation and relationship to a high level during his tenure in Ethiopia.

 

Ethiopia’s State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Hirut Zemene briefed partners on the implementation of South Sudan’s peace process on Tuesday (October 16). The State Minister noted that a road map has been designed to help implement the South Sudan’s peace process. She stressed the significance of the endorsement of the peace agreement by all the warring parties, and commended the partners for their constructive engagement to help achieve peace and stability in South Sudan. She noted that IGAD Member States had also demonstrated their full commitment to the peace process. The State Minister said the IGAD Chiefs of Staff would convene in Khartoum next Monday (October 22) to discuss the next stage. The IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan, Ambassador Ismail Wais said all IGAD member countries were on the same page with regard to South Sudan’s peace process, and this was evident in their commitment and support to the implementation of the peace agreement.

State Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. Afework Kassu held discussions with Japanese Parliamentary delegation headed by Hon. Teru Fukui, Member of the House of Representatives and Former Minister of state for Ocean Policy and Minister in charge of Territorial Issues later on Wednesday (October 17). Prof. Afework took note of the existing diplomatic relations between the two countries, which he said, dated back to 1920s. He also noted that Japan has been assisting Ethiopia’s development endeavors in the areas of agriculture, water, infrastructure and other through initiatives through cooperation frameworks, including JAICA and TICAD. Mentioning the huge investment opportunities in Ethiopia, the State Minister stressed that Ethiopia is keen to work more closely with Japan in a bid to enhance the bilateral business ties. He further called on the parliamentarians to encourage Japanese companies to invest in Ethiopia.

The new Ethiopia cabinet has been welcomed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The Secretary-General said: “I commend Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia for appointing a cabinet with full gender parity. Women’s leadership and gender equality in all areas are not only priorities for the UN and the African Union, but essential to a peaceful and prosperous world”. Ms María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) congratulated Ethiopia on achieving a record 50% of female Ministers in the new cabinet, and said: “Let’s work for gender equality and for more women in politics to make a difference”.

An UK-Ethiopia Investment Forum was held in London on Tuesday this week (October 16). .

The UK’s Africa Minister, Harriet Baldwin told the 250 participants that partnership with Ethiopia had much to offer. Dr. Arkebe Oqubay, Special Economic Advisor to Prime Minister Dr. Abiy, and , Ethiopia’s Ambassador to the UK, Ambassador Hailemichael Aberra made keynote speeches underlining  rapid economic development and its focus on sustainable manufacturing, agro-processing and infrastructure. (See article)

Ethiopian Airlines announced the resumption of its flight to Mogadishu, effective November 2. The Addis Ababa to Mogadishu route will be served by Bombardier Q400 aircraft.  Mr. Tewolde Gebremariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, said: “It gives us a great pleasure to resume flights to Mogadishu, after stopping the service over four decades ago. I wish to express my gratitude to the Governments of Ethiopia and Somalia for making the resumption of these flights possible.” He said the flights would play a significant role in strengthening the people-to-people and economic ties between the two neighbourly countries

 

Djibouti

 

The President of the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Djibouti, Youssef Moussa Daweleh held discussions with the Ethiopian Ambassador to Djibouti, Ambassador Shamebo Fitamo over the weekend. The Chamber invited Ethiopia to participate in the International Trade Fair being held in the first week of December in Djibouti. Mr. Daweleh said Ethiopia would have a dedicated day to parade its business, investment and cultural riches. Ambassador Shamebo said the trade fair would be a good venue for business meetings, Business-to-Business and Business-to-Government sessions. He expressed the Embassy’s readiness to work closely with the Chamber of Commerce.

 

Hassen Idris Sambrieh, Minister of Djibouti’s Labour Ministry Responsible for Civil Reform held talks with Ethiopian Ambassador Shamebo Fitamo on Sunday (October 14). They exchanged views on ways of ensuring payment of work and resident permits for Ethiopians in Djibouti. The two sides agreed to carry out a joint study and come up with viable solutions concerning work permit fees and related issues.

 

 

Kenya

 

President Kenyatta, speaking at the annual Kenya Defence Forces Day at the Kenyatta Barracks in Gilgil on October 14, said Kenya would not pull its soldiers out of Somalia until Somalia had achieved peace, stability and security. The President said the KDF would maintain its presence in Somalia under AMISOM until all terror networks operating there had been neutralized. He said: “We went to Somalia in 2011. We shall continue our presence in the country until the restoration of full security in Somalia. ” The President said Kenyans were proud and appreciative of the proactive role played by KDF in security operations and peace initiatives in the region especially in the fight against terrorism. KDF Day is marked to commemorate Kenya’s fallen heroes and heroines who died while defending and protecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity, peace and freedom of the country.

 

Somalia

 

Somalia remembered the anniversary of Al-Shabaab’s deadliest atrocity on Sunday (October 14). A bomb-laden truck exploded in the center of Mogadishu on October 14 a year ago, killing some 600 people. (See article)

On Wednesday this week (October 17), Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh of Ethiopia and Foreign Minister Mr. Osman Saleh Mohammed of Eritrea made a one-day visit to Mogadishu to strengthen the process of regional détente. They held talk with Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre and Foreign Minister Ahmed Isse Awad and other officials and discussed peace and security gains in the Horn of Africa and how to strengthen economic collaboration and integration. In a joint statement they hailed Somalia’s security and economic reforms and affirmed Ethiopia and Eritrea’s support for the Somali government, and respect for Somalia’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence. The two ministers also discussed preparations for a forthcoming summit of the leaders of Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia, to further strengthen relations across the Horn of Africa.

The EU and Somalia signed an agreement to provide €100 million to the Somali budget over the next two and a half years on Sunday (October 14). EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said: “Budget support shows the EU’s trust in Somali institutions. It gives the Government resources to implement reforms and build a stronger State able to deliver basic services to its people.” Up to €92 million will go to the federal government through budget support. The remaining €8 million will support capacity building for the federal and states’ governments and oversight institutions. The disbursement of funds will be sequenced and closely monitored through political dialogue, regular assessment of progress achieved against indicators and dedicated safeguard measures.

The Norwegian Government announced a commitment of $54.3 million to support the reconstruction, reform and development process in Somalia. The World Bank said the contribution would be channelled through the World Bank’s Multi Partner Fund (MPF) which includes institution-building, economic growth and urban development activities and provide resources through the Government’s systems to address the country’s most critical challenges on its path towards stability. At the end of last week, Norway’s Minister of International Development said this signalled its recognition of the considerable progress the Somali authorities have made in bringing the country together. The reform momentum was bringing tangible dividends and “this was the time to advance on the back of the gains we have collectively achieved and to sustain progress towards peace and stability”

 

Finance Minister Dr Abdirahman Duale Beyle met UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and other UK officials to discuss development of the financial system in Somalia in London on Thursday (October 18). He also met members of the Somali community in the UK and discussed their role in the development of Somalia.

 

Officers from AMISOM and the Somali National Security Forces have attended a four-day workshop on relations between humanitarian actors and security forces in conflict areas. The workshop also covers the Somalia Country Specific Humanitarian Civil-Military Guidelines which details ways to ensure assistance is delivered to the people in conflict areas. AMISOM’s Military Chief of Staff emphasized the importance of civil-military cooperation (CIMIC) as an emerging strategy to build consensus with stakeholders and act as a bridge between the military and the general population.

 

South Sudan

 

The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) issued its first monthly report on the implementation of the peace pact on Friday (October 12) in Juba. It noted IGAD had dispatched a technical team to Juba to provide support and assistance in the implementation process and oversee the activities of the different committees recently established in line with the arrangements of the pre-transitional period. It said “firm dates have been set for the inaugural meetings of the National Pre Transitional Committee (NPTC), and the National Constitution Amendment Committee (NCAC), on 21-22 October in Khartoum”. A meeting in Khartoum on October 22 would involve the South Sudanese parties and the IGAD mediation body and discuss the implementation matrix and outstanding or missed tasks. The JMEC said, “There is a need for the government to continue taking additional confidence-building measures and the regional guarantors to ensure the prevalence of a conducive political and security environment in Juba for the return of the opposition parties.”

Parliament endorsed the full text of the revitalized agreement on Monday (October 15). Once tabled for parliamentary approval by the Minister of Justice, the agreement was unanimously adopted by the Members of Parliament. It is expected that the release of political detainees and prisoners of war take now place soon.

South African Deputy President David Mabuza, after a meeting with President Salva Kiir in Juba on Monday (October 15), urged the signatories of the IGAD-brokered peace agreement to be committed in their efforts of implementing the peace agreement.  He assured President Kiir and the people of South Sudan, of “South Africa’s continued and unwavering support”. In Juba Mr. Mabuza also met with representatives of the Former Detainees, SSOAs, the National Dialogue chairmen and members of the Diplomatic Corps in Juba.

President Salva Kiir directed the governors and paramount chiefs of areas bordering the Safe Demilitarized Buffer Zone on Tuesday (October 16) to work collectively with the national government to implement the security agreement reached between Sudan and South Sudan. He asked for answers on the status of the operationalization of the security arrangements agreed with the Republic of Sudan on the safe demilitarization of the buffer zone. The agreement signed in 2012 aimed to stop the flow of guns and supplies to rebel groups across the border and provided for establishment of a centreline and a buffer zone, to run 10 km along either side.

Sudan

President Omer al-Bashir met South Africa’s Deputy-President Mabuza on Tuesday (October 16) to discuss the implementation of the revitalized IGAD peace agreement for South Sudan. Mr. Mabuza emphasized the significant progress being made and underlined South Africa’s support for the efforts to achieve peace.  Mr. Mabuza also met with SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar and other stakeholders. After Khartoum, Mr. Mabuza travelled to Kampala for a meeting with President Museveni on South Sudanese peace implementation.

 

  1. S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs, Alan Patterson met with Army’s Chief of General Staff Kamal Abdel-Marouf in Washington on Friday last week (October 12). They discussed the regional situation and ongoing arrangements to launch the second phase of dialogue between the two countries. Mr. Patterson said the US would like to forge strategic ties with Sudan and praised its efforts to achieve security, peace and stability in the region and combat cross-border crime, human trafficking and illegal migration. The US and Sudan are engaged in a five-track process towards full normalization of relations, including the fight against terrorism, Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), Sudan’s role in the peace process in South Sudan, Sudan’s peace and the humanitarian situation in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. During his visit to Washington, Abdel-Marouf also met the Director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, Lieutenant General Robert Ashley.

*******************

House approves Prime Minister Dr. Abiy’s New Cabinet…

 

The House of People’s Representatives unanimously approved the new cabinet nominated by Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed following the endorsement of a draft law restructuring some of the executive organs of government on Tuesday (October 16). The House, in its first session since the opening of the new parliamentary year, approved a cabinet with 10 female members out of 20, a record for Ethiopia and placing the country in one of the highest places in gender parity in the world.

 

The House started its session by considering in detail the draft proclamation, tabled by the Prime Minister, determining the powers and duties of executive organs and hearing his proposal to reorganize various ministries and other bodies. According to the new proclamation, Ethiopia now has a Ministry of Peace for the first time in its history. This ministry will be mandated with coordinating and overseeing activities on nurturing the national consensus. It will be responsible overseeing the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS); Information Network Security Agency (INSA); Federal Police Commission; the Finance Security and Information Center; National Disaster Risk Management Commission; the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs; the Ethiopian Foreign Relations Strategic Studies Institute; and the Main Department for Immigration & Nationality Affairs. The Ministry of Peace will also assume the roles and responsibilities of former Federal and Pastoralist Development Affairs.

 

Certain ministries have been merged. These include the Ministry of Trade with Industry; the Ministry of Science and Technology with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology; and the Ministry of Urban Development with Construction. A Ministry of Higher Education and Science to oversee all public universities has been established. Others ministries have been restructured as commissions. A Ministry of Revenues has been set up to manage and modernize sources of public finance. Several agencies have been put under the auspices of the House of People’s Representatives: the Ethiopian News Agency (ENA); Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority (EBA); Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA); Federal Anti-corruption Commission; and Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation. The former Government Communications Agency Office has been placed under the Prime Minister’s Office.

 

Prime Minister Dr. Abiy told the House that on account of the reforms started few months earlier, the demands of the public showed that it was imperative to create governmental structure that enabled the executive organs of government to discharge their missions in a way that would bring sustainable peace, ensure fast and fair economic development, realize equitability among citizens and build public institutions with the spirit that rendered services keenly and free from fraudulent activity. To meet these demands, he said, he proposed to reorganize the current governmental structure and establish public institutions that would discharge their responsibilities cost effectively and with the priority to properly utilize the human resources that could affect the generation of wealth.

 

Indicating that detailed assessments had been made to support the new proclamation, Dr. Abiy said institutions owned a responsibility that varied according to conditions. He said: “To make these institutions capable to respond properly to the current situation in the country, the number of cabinet ministries is slimmed down from 28 to 20”, adding that those public organizations with related tasks would come together and be linked to each other. The Prime Minister stressed that the reason behind these institutional reforms was to mitigate the predicament the country was facing structurally. He said the initiative was to address the challenges through improving the system, the structure and the strategies. He added: “Through public participation, the justice system, the structure of courts and democratic institutions including the Ombudsman, the Electoral Board, the Human Rights Commission and others bodies will be reformed as well.”

 

The House of Representatives also approved the new members of the cabinet nominated by the Prime Minister. The new cabinet with its gender parity is a breakthrough for the role of women in all sorts of developmental endeavors and underlining the commitment of the government to make sure that gender equality in public posts is a governing principle. Dr. Abiy emphasized that the appointments of women ministers would “disprove the adage that women can’t lead.”

The decision has received warm praise from local and international observers including the African Union Commission. AU Commission Chair, Moussa Faki Mahamat, congratulated the Prime Minister and said he looked forward to “other similar bold initiatives on the continent, as part of Agenda 2063.” He said the decision by the Prime Minister “sets a major milestone in Africa’s efforts towards gender equality and women’s empowerment, in particular women’s access to high level political decision-making positions.”

 

Among the ministerial posts assigned to women are Ethiopia’s first ever female Minister of Defense, (Engineer Ayisha Mohammed) and the new and major Ministry of Peace (Muferiat Kamil, former speaker of the House of People’s Representatives). Other ministries going to women are the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (Dr. Hirut Woldemariam); Ministry of Trade and Industry (Fetlework Gebregziabher); Ministry of Revenue (Adanech Abebe); Ministry of Transport (Dagmawit Moges); Minister of Children, Women and Youth Affairs (Yalemtsehay Asfaw); Minister of Labor and Social Affairs (Dr. Ergoge Tesfaye);Minister of Culture and Tourism (Dr. Hirut Kassaw); and Planning and Development whose Commissioner is Dr. Fitsum Asefa.

 

Restructured ministries include the Ministry of Finance (Ahmed Shide); the Ministry of Agriculture (Umar Hussein); the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (Dr. Getahun Mekuria); the Ministry of Urban Development and Construction (Jantrar Abay), and the Ministry of Education (Dr. Tilaye Gete.   The Ministries which have remained unchanged and kept the same ministers are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu); the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity (Dr. Seleshi Bekele); the Ministry of Health (Dr. Amir Aman); and Attorney-General with the rank of minister, Berhanu Tsegaye. The new Minister of Mines and Petroleum is Dr. Samuel Hirko.

 

*******************

…and the Prime Minister answers questions from Members of Parliament

 

The Prime Minister answered a series of questions raised by members of the parliament this week on Thursday (October 18), when responding to the President’s speech at the opening session of Parliament last week.

 

On questions related to the rule of law, conflicts, and displacement of people, the Prime Minister said that problems were being orchestrated for political gains, so “the government is working towards addressing them with the necessary precautions.” He said those responsible for illegal activities would be charged according to the evidence, and noted that numerous suspects had been brought to justice in Addis Ababa and Burayu as well as in Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ and Benishangul Gumuz regional states following incidents. He called on the public to do all it can to stop forces bent on trying to derail the ongoing reforms in the country or disrupting the current winds of change. Referring to the members of the Defense Force who marched to the palace on October 10, he said their approach was unconstitutional and illegal as well as dangerous but the government had taken a cautious and sensible approach and avoided a dangerous situation.

 

The Prime Minister said there were media concerns in both government-owned and private media outlets, and on social media. Equally, there were individual journalists who were showing a proper sense of responsibility. The problem was largely due to the use and dissemination of fake news, hate speech, and the use of fake accounts. He said close to hundred individuals were currently operating with dozens of fake accounts, and their sole aim was to create confusion among the public and derail the current reforms. The way to deal with this, he said, was to deliver fast and accurate information to the public so that false news and groundless conspiracies will not take hold, to build up the capacity of the media, and to formulate relevant laws and regulatory frameworks to make sure that those responsible for fake news and hate speech were brought to justice. He called on the public not to be misled by conspiracies of anti-reform forces.

 

On the economy, the Prime Minister said the government had prioritized the need to complete the various unfinished national projects during the current fiscal year. He said 38.5 billion Birr had been allocated for road construction works and a total of 130 billion Birr earmarked for power generation works and related services. The country’s foreign exchange reserves had significantly risen in recent months, while the rate of inflation was down from 15 to 12 percent rcently. A huge opportunity was being offered to the private sector to engage in various power generation schemes, and this was a major economic transformation. The government was. now working in concert with different financial institutions to help finance these projects. He underlined the importance of continuing to work to attract Foreign Direct Investment.

 

The Prime Minister underlined the importance of empowerment of women, pointing out that they constituted 50% of the new cabinet and this had welcomed by the international community as an important moved towards gender parity. He emphasized that these new women ministers were fully capable, competent, and able to lead the reform process.

 

On internal border issues, the Prime Minister said these could and should be dealt with through inclusive consultations. He noted that what is lacking is not sufficient land but attitudinal one, pointing out that there was much unused land in the country and youth should be allowed to move and work in every part of the country. With regard to the border-related issues between Ethiopia and Sudan, the Prime Minister said Ethiopia and Sudan had enjoyed longstanding relations and had excellent bilateral cooperation. He also noted that on all occasions that he encountered with President Al-Bashir, he expressed the need to solve the problem in a peaceful and reasonable manner. In fact, the two friendly countries had agreed not to displace the farmers from their current tenure; not to deploy soldiers in the area, and to address any outstanding issues through constant dialogue and negotiations.

 

*****************

 

Eritrean President Isaias makes an official visit to Ethiopia

 

President Isaias arrived in Ethiopia for a two-day official visit on Sunday (October 14). He was warmly welcomed on arrival at Bole International Airport, by Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed along with former Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu and senior government officials.

 

President Isaias also held discussions with Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed on bilateral and regional issues to advance the process of peace and economic cooperation and integration that has already started between the two countries. They also deliberated on ways to implement the comprehensive cooperation agreement which the two countries signed on July 9. That declaration included the five pillars – the end of the war between the two countries; the resumption of political, economic, social, cultural and security cooperation; the resumption of trade, economic and diplomatic relations; the implementation of the Algiers border agreement; and a mutual commitment to work for regional peace

 

During his visit, President Isaias joined Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed in opening the Omo Kuraz III Sugar Factory located on the Omo River in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Regional State. This is one of four sugar projects being built with 8 billion birr loan from China Development Bank. It is expected to produce 8,000 to 10,000 quintals of sugar a day and provide jobs for 12,000 people. to produce. President Isaias also visited the town of Arbaminch on Lake Abaya.

 

The visit was the second state visit made by President Isaias since relations were restored in July. During his first visit in mid-July, thousands of Ethiopians from all walks of life, young and old, lined the streets of Addis Ababa, all the way from the Airport to the Jubilee Palace, singing, cheering and offering an ecstatic welcome. During that visit, President Isaias visited the Hawassa Industrial Park, attended a musical concert at the Millennium Hall dedicated to the historic breakthrough in achieving peace and harmony after two decades of conflict, and with Dr. Abiy attended the re-opening of the Eritrean Embassy, closed in 1998. The two leaders jointly raised the Eritrean flag inside the embassy as a military band played Eritrea’s national anthem before touring the building.

 

Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed made his first official visit to Asmara marking the end of war and animosity, when telecommunications links between Addis Ababa and Asmara were restored, and Ethiopian Airlines resumed daily flights to Asmara. He also visited Assab and Massawa in September.  Various agreements have been reached over economic, political and regional security cooperation as demonstrated by the signing of Jeddah agreement on September 16 to strengthen collaboration and integration between the two countries. This underlined that a new era of peace, friendship and comprehensive cooperation has started and agreed that they would promote comprehensive cooperation in the political, security, defense, economic, trade, investment, cultural and social fields on the basis of complementarity and synergy. They also agreed to develop Joint Investment Projects, including the establishment of Joint Special Economic Zones, implement the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission decision, promote regional and global peace, security and cooperation, combat terrorism as well as trafficking in people, arms and drugs in accordance with international covenants and conventions, and establish a High-Level Joint Committee, as well as Sub-committees as required, to guide and oversee the implementation of this Agreement.

****************** 

The President of Slovenia on a three- day visit to Ethiopia

 

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor arrived in Addis Ababa on Sunday (October 14) for a three-day official visit. It was the first visit by a President of Slovenia to Ethiopia – Slovenia, formerly part of Yugoslavia, became an independent state in 1991 – and President Pahor’s first visit to sub-Saharan Africa.

 

The President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Dr. Mulatu Teshome held a meeting with the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor at the National Palace. Their talks covered a range of issues to strengthen the bilateral and multilateral relationship between the two countries. President Dr.  Mulatu briefed President Pahor on the current political, economic and social reforms being undertaken in and beyond Ethiopia to strengthen peace and economic cooperation in the Horn of Africa. The two Presidents agreed on ways to advance investment, trade, higher education, experience sharing and technological transfer between their two countries. They agreed to cooperate on peace and security, immigration, climate change at regional and multilateral forum to advance common concern and interest.

 

President Pahor expressed his appreciation of the peace, friendship and cooperation agreement reached between Ethiopia and Eritrea. He said his government would support any effort to advance these initiatives to a higher level. He underlined his country’s aims to strengthen links with Ethiopia and other countries in Africa and advance their common interest. He said Slovenia would support Ethiopia’s research institutions with knowledge and skill to increase agricultural productivity and to provide training in beekeeping.

 

During his visit, President Pahor also met the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat to discuss ways to strengthen relations between the African Union and Slovenia and addressed the Permanent Representatives Committee of the African Union. He visited the House of People’s Representatives to meet Deputy Speaker Shitaye Minale who briefed the President about the internal issues and the regional situation. They discussed economic cooperation and agreed on the opportunities for upgrading economic cooperation, trade and investment as well as cooperation at parliamentary level and the possibility of establishing friendship groups. President Pahor also addressed the Head of the European Union Delegations to Ethiopia and the African Union. They agreed Ethiopia was a key strategic partner of the European Union in the region, and that presence of the European Union was extremely important. On the margins of official meetings, President Pahor met with representatives of the Slovenian Economic delegation.

 

President Pahor extended an official invitation for President Dr. Mulatu Teshome to visit Slovenia at his earliest convenience.

 

*******************

Somalia remembers the hundreds killed by Al-Shabaab on October 14, 2017

 

Somalia remembered the anniversary of Al-Shabaab’s deadliest atrocity on Sunday (October 14). A bomb-laden truck exploded in the center of Mogadishu on October 14 a year ago. The blast took place next to a fuel truck, creating a storm of flame that incinerated many of the victims. Some 600 died and hundreds more were injured.

 

The 500kg truck bomb detonated near Mogadishu’s Km 5, known as Zoope Junction at 3.30 in the afternoon. It was the site of hotel, a mosque, numerous shops and the headquarters of the Somali Red Crescent and at that time it was exceptionally busy, with schools ending, workers leaving offices and the call tom prayer just issued.  As the truck bomb blew up, a fuel tanker was passing as well as a minibus full of school children; the blast caused buildings to collapse and the tanker to blow up. People died in the blast, in collapsing buildings or in the fireball generated by the detonation of the fuel tanker. The blast was so great that the scene “resembled a canyon [and] for days, it was a crater of horror and tragedy.”

 

On Sunday, the anniversary of the atrocity, hundreds of residents wearing white and red headbands gathered at the site of the blast to commemorate the first anniversary of the attack and honor the dead. The headbands have become a symbol of public fury over the attacks and anger at Al-Shabaab. Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre who unveiled a memorial to mark the attack at the site where bombed out buildings have since been rebuilt, told the crowd the attackers failed to destroy the spirit of the Somali people. The Somali government has officially renamed the junction as “October 14 Junction” in respect of the victims of the attack. Mogadishu Mayor Abdirahman Omar Osman “Yarisow” said the gathering on Sunday showed how Somali people have rejected terrorism. “Fourteen October 2017, even though it was a black day for Somalia, nevertheless united Somali people in defiance against terrorists,” he said. One of those found guilty by a military court of participating in the attack was executed on Sunday.

 

A support and rescue committee appointed by the government found that the explosion had left 1,547 orphans under the age of 15. The committee collected more than $4.4 million donated by Somalis in the Diaspora and the governments of Somalia and Djibouti but pledges by charities to sponsor the education of many of the children have not been followed up. On Sunday, Prime Minister Khayre reiterated government pledges to offer free education to the orphans.

 

The numbers of civilians killed, including a hundred or more children, and the disgust and abhorrence that the atrocity generated, meant Al-Shabaab has never dared to `admit responsibility. It normally claims its attacks are aimed solely at government officials, members of the security forces or those who work for them, and who it calls “legitimate” targets. In this case, the overwhelming number of innocent civilians, including a busload of children, and the site of the explosion, made it impossible for Al-Shabaab to offer any such claim. It has, therefore, refused to admit responsibility although this is quite clear.

 

The AU Special Representative for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Caetano Madeira, in a statement said October 14 was a special day of remembrance and prayer for the more than 587 fallen and the 316 who sustained injuries. He asked Allah “to rest the souls of our departed brothers and sisters in peace, and continue to comfort our injured ones.” He said:

“As we commemorate 12 months since the people of Somalia fell victim to the most senseless mass murder perpetrated by Al-Shabaab against innocent Somali men, women and children, I wish, on behalf of the African Union Commission, the entire AMISOM family and on my own behalf, to reiterate our rejection and strong condemnation of this heinous crime. We pay tribute to the resilient people of Somalia, who endured the pain but did not succumb to the whims of a blood-thirsty group, which rejects peace and continues to maim and destroy lives.” His statement also paid tribute to the Somali National Security Forces “who were not deterred by this barbaric act”, and he reiterated the continued commitment and engagement of the AU and AMISOM with the people and the government of Somalia, “in our joint endeavor to restore peace and stability in the country.”

 

As Somalia prepared to commemorate October 14, Al-Shabab exploded two bombs in Baidoa the day before, killing at least 16 people and injuring more than 50 others. UN Secretary-General Guterres expressed his deep condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to those injured. A statement said the Secretary-General was “convinced that indiscriminate violence and attacks will not deter the Somali people in their pursuit of peace and stability.”

 

******************

 

Chiefs of Defense Staff and Heads of Safety and Security meet in Addis Ababa

 

The 14th Ordinary Meeting of African Chiefs of Defense Staff and Heads of Safety and Security, and the 11th Ordinary Meeting of the Specialized Technical Committee on Defense, Safety and Security took place in African Union Headquarters, in Addis Ababa, last week (October 8-12)

The opening of both Sessions was introduced by a minute’s silence in honor of African peace-keepers who have fallen in the line of duty and of the victims of violence in Africa.

 

During the Sessions, officials of the AU Commission and representatives of Member States underlined the importance of efforts to sustain and enhance the African Standby Force (ASF) and the implementation of the AU Master Roadmap on Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa, in line with the Solemn Declaration on the 50th Anniversary of the OAU/AU adopted on 25 May 2013, and broadly with the AU Agenda 2063.

 

Relating to a number of agenda items at the meetings, the report of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission acknowledged and commended the participation of experts from various Member States and Regional Economic Communities (RECs)/Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention Management and Resolution (RMs). The report further emphasized the importance of such meetings as a platform to build synergies and cooperation among Member States.

 

In this respect, the items considered included updates on the Maputo Five Year Work Plan on the Enhancement of the ASF (2016-2020); the development process of the draft AU Policy for the Management of Recovered Weapons in AU Peace Support Operations (PSOs); African Amnesty Month; the implementation of the AU Security Sector Reform (SSR) Policy Framework and preparations for the 2nd Africa Forum on Security Sector Reform. Other items considered were the Declaration of the African Union Border Program and Measures for Consolidation; the Memorandum of Understanding between the Regional Economic Communities, Regional Mechanisms and the African Union on the Deployment and Employment of the African Standby Force.

 

Opening the meeting of the Specialized Technical Committee on Defense, Safety and Security, Ambassador Smaïl Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security briefly highlighted key milestones achieved since the last meeting in January. He noted the progress made in stockpiling the first batch of strategic stocks to facilitate rapid deployment and said theprocess to preposition the second batch of equipment in the five Regional Logistics Depots of our RECs/RMs was underway. Consultations with the RECs/RMs over development of the AU’s Peace Support Operation Doctrine were underway and expected to conclude this week. After that drafting and validation process would commence. The Commissioner said the revision of the African Standby Force concept will also be facilitated in alignment with the strategic vision and objectives of the PSO Doctrine. He also stressed that the Commission looked forward to facilitating the process for the endorsement of the draft Policy on Conduct and Discipline; and the draft Policy on Prevention and Response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.

 

The Commissioner also noted that the AU Border Governance Strategy had been elaborated and would be brought to the next meeting for consideration, after consultations with Member states are concluded. He underlined that the importance of the strategy which aimed to respond practically to a range of developmental and security issues, and which, he said, would truly transform borders from barriers to bridges.

 

In terms ofimplementing the AU framework that informed and motivated the adoption of the AU Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa, the Commissioner underlined the collective responsibility of Member States to give meaning and credibility to frameworks. He said it was necessary to bring the same level of enthusiasm and commitment shown in development of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) to translate APSA into action on the ground. He said the Commission remained fully ready to support Member States in their implementation efforts, but this needed their leadership and support, and provision of the required human and financial resources. He appealed to Member States to renew their efforts and commitment to the APSA and take full ownership of the AU frameworks and tools.

 

****************

 

A UK-Ethiopia Investment Forum held in London

 

The UK-Ethiopia Investment Forum, jointly organised by the Ethiopian Embassy in London, Developing Markets Associates and WAFA, was held on Tuesday this week (October 16) with over 250 delegates discovering how the new Ethiopian government is opening doors to attract more investors and explore trading opportunities.

 

The UK Africa Minister, Harriet Baldwin welcomed delegates and said the partnership with Ethiopia had much to offer. As a former investor, she appreciated that ‘first movers’ make the greatest returns, taking advantage of opportunities and capitalizing on them’. Total trade in goods and services between the UK and Ethiopia last year, she said, grew by 80%, a visible example of the success of the Ethiopian economy. She noted that Ethiopian Airlines would begin flights to Manchester on December 11, and said this would help open up the North of England to the rest of the world. She said the UK would strengthen relations after Brexit, creating more Ethiopian jobs and providing more quality goods for UK consumers. A leading business and investment platform, Invest Africa, would be set up in Addis Ababa next January to smooth out obstacles to foreign investment.

 

In his keynote address, Ethiopia’s Ambassador to the UK, Ambassador Hailemichael Aberra spoke of Ethiopia’s rapid economic development and how Ethiopia hoped to eradicate poverty by 2030. Ethiopia was focused on sustainable manufacturing, agro-processing and infrastructure, he said, and was pursuing structural transformation through improving productivity and competitiveness of small-holder agriculture, and promoting industrialisation, value addition and export development. Achievements were also being made in health, education and investment. Promotion. Economic transformation, he stressed, depended on working with traditional partners such as the UK.

 

Dr. Arkebe Oqubay, Special Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister, highlighted the recent and continuing reforms which would boost investment and the business climate. He said, “Now is an exceptionally opportune moment to invest in Ethiopia for various reasons. Six months ago, a peaceful transfer of power took place in Ethiopia. It has heralded a new chapter in our country’s political history, offering genuine and realistic prospects for change that will meet the hopes and expectations of our youthful population. Changes that have been welcomed and embraced by Ethiopians across the length and breadth of the country”. The Government is working resolutely to widen and deepen the reforms necessary to promote democratization, the rule of law, and good governance. “We are also working on a series of measures aimed at reforming the economy and improving the financial management so as to promote transparency and accountability across the entire administration,” he added.

 

Dr. Arkebe spoke of the accelerated economic growth of the last three decades and said 2019-20 would see a continuing rate of sustainable growth.  Since 2012, FDI had been growing by more than $1bn a year and currently stood at $4.2bn. He highlighted investment in energy and transportation which attracts 50% of the budget. He said that there were 100,000 new graduates, mostly in science and technology, every year, and Ethiopia needed generate more FDI to create more jobs. He noted that a 10-year plan would see Ethiopia become the leading manufacturing hub in Africa by 2025 through its industrial parks which were unique model centers of excellence.

 

Peace with Eritrea had brought joint economic programs and the sharing of ports, and geopolitical peace would cut the cost of business and make the region attractive to investors. The logistic sector needed reform, which was why Ethiopia was now offering joint ventures for foreign investment with local partners. He mentioned the recent joint venture between Ethiopian Airlines and DHL logistics (51%/49%). Sugar companies would be fully privatized, he said, and telecoms and other state-owned enterprises partly opened for foreign companies. Access to markets is wide and the domestic market was vast. Ethiopia had a trainable workforce, with universities and technical schools with 1 million trainees qualifying every year. Energy was the cheapest globally at 3 cents/kwh and land was free in industrial parks. Dr. Arkebe concluded by encouraging equity firms to supply funding.

 

Other speakers included the UK Trade Envoy to Ethiopia, Jeremy Lefroy MP who noted UK companies were already involved in the energy sector, especially geothermal, Cluff, Corbetti and Tulu Moye, in road construction, in mining and in manufacturing. At the Hawassa industrial park, the Aim-listed Hela garment factory supplied H & M. Saad Aouad, CIO & Founder of 54 Capital, said it had invested $120 million over the past four years and is looking to invest more. It had invested in Tena edible oil and Aqua Safe water from Debre Berhan, as well as in extracting oil from seeds for manufacturing. Reg Hankey, CEO of Pittards, the largest tannery in Ethiopia, with £500m of assets and 1,600 employees, producing world-class gloves, said it has four factories in Addis. It moved into shoe manufacturing last year in partnership with Clarks. The Managing Director of Kefi Minerals, which has $60 million invested in its flagship Tulu Kapi gold mine, said the opportunity for gold mining in Ethiopia is huge and described the senior government leadership as a breath of fresh air, with its integrity and its “can do attitude”.

 

In a session on ICT and Health Financing, Alysia Silver of Street Global Venture Capital, said the next generation of ‘Unicorn’ businesses, worth over $1 billion, would come from Africa. She suggested a partnership of Silicon Valley innovators and Ethiopian companies. Ethiopia has 13 new medical schools and 800 hospitals, and the panel debated the role of the government and the private sector in health. The private sector can invest in the health sector, in pharmaceuticals, hospital building and other areas.

 

In his closing remarks, Dr. Arkebe said government reforms were making investment in these sectors smoother and easier. He said the government recognised that it needed to advance further and there would soon be a specialised unit at EIC in the investment sector. Sectors that were closed to foreign investment would soon be opened. He noted that a new cabinet and new ministers had been appointed that day. Government institutions, he said, would become more constructive. The appointment of female ministers, he added, showed the government was looking at improving performance. Ethiopia was ready and open for business.

 

******************

 

The 11th meeting of IGAD’s Regional Consultative Process on Migration

 

The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) held the 11th Meeting of its Regional Consultative Process (RCP) on Migration under the theme of “Enhancing Labor Migration governance in the IGAD Region” over the weekend in Djibouti. The RCP celebrated its 10th year anniversary last week (October 10-11), and during the occasion, it evaluated and followed-up implementation of the recommendations passed at the 2015 RCP meeting on labor migration.

 

Opening remarks and keynote speeches were made by Djibouti’s Minister of Labor, Hassan Idriss Samrieh; Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Djibouti and the Chairperson of the IGAD Committee of Ambassadors, Ambassador Shamebo Fitamo; the acting-Executive Secretary of IGAD,  Mohamed Moussa; the Deputy-Head of the Global Program Migration and Development at the Swiss Agency for the Development and Cooperation, Ms. Odile Robert; the Chief Technical Advisor at the International Labour Office (ILO), Richard Lavallée; and IOM’s Chief of Mission in Djibouti, Mrs Lalini. Other participants at the meeting included representatives of IGAD Member States’ Heads of Immigration, Refugee Affairs, National Coordination Mechanism (NCM), of ministries and departments dealing with Climate Change, Commissioners of Higher Education, Civil Society, as well as relevant UN agencies and development partners. From Ethiopia, representatives from the Ministries of Labor, Education, Foreign Affairs and the Attorney-General’s Office and the Embassy in Djibouti were present. The event was organized by IGAD in collaboration with International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Swiss Agency for the Development and Cooperation (SDC).

 

In his opening remarks Ambassador Shamebo praised the commitment of the organizers of the meeting and underlined the significance of the meeting as migration had become a pressing global issue. He noted the “push and pull” factors of migration in the region, including conflicts, demographic imbalance, natural disasters and economic problems. Stressing the intra-regional element of migration with people crossing borders illegally, the Ambassador described the monstrous activity of human traffickers and the complex links involved in moving large numbers of women and children across land and sea to Europe and the Middle East for economic benefit.

 

Noting that Ethiopia hosted nearly a million migrants and refugees Ambassador Shamebo said the Government would continue to commit itself towards ensuring job opportunities in various sectors. This included assigning a dedicated Industrial Park. He emphasized the need for IGAD member states to cooperate closely and work seriously on the free movement of people in the region. Underlining the importance to provide work for youth and lessen migration, Ambassador Shamebo stressed that the Government of Ethiopia strongly adhered to its “inclusive policy” as a basis for sustainable economic development. He recommended the need to adopt the UN Global Compact on Migration in member states’ legislation. He also reiterated Ethiopia’s unwavering commitment to address the issue of migration and human trafficking in the region.

 

In the sessions over the two days, speakers presented an overview of labor migration governance in the IGAD region, and offered studies on the relationship between migration, climate change and employment, as well as recognition for regulated labor migration in the region and the labor market integration of asylum seekers and refugees. The discussions covered these issues and shared member states’ experiences of different National Coordination Mechanisms. The Ethiopian delegation explained the various activities, to tackle illegal migration and human trafficking, organized and carried out by Ethiopia’s National Committee, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister. Among these are the commitment of the Government to create job opportunities for migrants, and refugees, issue residence permits to allow them to move from place to place and ensure beneficiary participation in socio-economic activities. A common understanding was reached on the dynamic nature of labor migration and the need for labor governance in the IGAD region; and recommendations made in the basis of the inputs provided by the IGAD member states

 

During the Regional Consultative Process meeting, a Swiss IGAD-Strategic Migration Partnership was officially launched by Ambassador Daniel Hunn, Ambassador of Switzerland to Ethiopia and the Chair of the IGAD Ambassadors’ Committee, Ambassador Shamebo. Ambassador Shamebo welcomed the Swiss government’s commitment to extend its funding on migration for the next three years.

 

***************** 

First African Forum on Cybercrime held in Addis Ababa

The African Forum on Cybercrime, held Tuesday to Thursday this week (October 16-18) in Addis Ababa, was organized by the African Union Commission and supported by the Council of Europe; the European Union; INTERPOL;The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); and US and the UK government organizations. A number of regional organizations also participated including Regional Economic Communities, NEPAD, the African Union Mechanism for Police Cooperation (AFRIPOL) and the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT). Those participating also included government representatives from criminal justice authorities, law enforcement, prosecution services, judiciaries, relevant ministries, legislators, and relevant policy makers.

 

The Forum allowed participants and representatives of participating countries to share best practices with regional and international organizations, creating a network of professionals able to improve their effectiveness through the exchange of information regarding problems. It also allowed for the strengthening of capacity to face new challenges in criminal law investigations with a cybercrime component and improve evaluation of electronic evidence. It provided for the promotion and improvement of regional cooperation protocols between internet service providers and criminal investigators and the prospect of expanding regional mechanisms on criminal justice matters. Overall it allowed for participants to see ways to benefit from the support available from different international organizations, to allow for strengthening of criminal justice capacities. It also offered international organizations ways to improve cooperation for future support to countries.

 

The Forum included three workshops covering Policies and Legislation; International Cooperation and Capacity Building. These focused respectively on the three major thematic streams: Cybercrime policies and national legislations, with respect to regional and international standards and relevant implementation practices; International cooperation to fight against cybercrime and proper handling cross-border of electronic evidence; and Strengthening criminal justice authorities through adequate plans of capacity building and synergies with related programs implemented in Africa.

 

According to recent statistics, Africa shows one of the fastest growth rates in Internet penetration worldwide, with digital connectivity that has almost tripled in the last five years. Both governments and private sector organizations have been experiencing an equally increasing trend of cyber-attacks during the same period. The large-scale theft of personal data, computer intrusions, bullying, harassment and other forms of cyber violence, or sexual violence against children online, are attacks against human rights. Hate speech, xenophobia and racism contribute to radicalization leading to violent extremism. Attacks against computers and disinformation used in elections and election campaigns are attacks against political stability. Daily attacks against critical information infrastructure affect national security and economic and national interests as well as international peace and stability.

 

Evidence in relation to fraud, corruption, murder, rape, terrorism, and other crimes can take the form of electronic evidence, which requires effective, legal and robust procedures for the identification, collection and preservation of such evidence are therefore essential. The wide-ranging impact and the cross-border nature of cyber threats makes it a high-level priority for States to focus on how to develop policies and legislation allowing for efficient and effective international cooperation, to prevent and fight against criminal acts committed through the Internet.

 

It is also important to strike a balance between the fundamental right of the individuals and the principles of necessity and proportionality governing criminal justice procedures. Authorities need to be equipped with relevant skills and knowledge. Given the scale of the challenge and the scarcity of resources, international organizations need to join forces and develop synergies to provide support to countries in a consistent and effective manner.

 

Advertisements

Leave Your Comments Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s