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  • Ethiopia Water and Energy Week Opened by President

    President Sahle-Work Zewde opened the first ever Water and Energy Week in Ethiopia this morning.  In her opening remark, the President emphasized the need to have Cultural

    Revolution to deter problems related to hygiene and sanitation both in rural and urban areas. 
    To this effect, the president underlined the government’s efforts to increase the access to water and energy to foster the socio-economic development of the country.

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  • Foreign Minister Gedu Discusses with Egyptian Ambassador

    Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gedu Andargachew held discussions with Egyptian Ambassador to Ethiopia, H.E. Ambassador Osama Abdel Khalek, on June 5.
    Foreign Minister Gedu noted the historical relations between #Ethiopia and Egypt.

    The Minister emphasized the need to strengthen the longstanding relationship in areas of trade, investment and tourism.
    He also called on Egyptian companies to seize the lucrative investment opportunities in Ethiopia.
    Egyptian Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ambassador Osama Abdel Khalek, on his part, said he would work to encourage Egyptian companies to invest in Ethiopia. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

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  • Ethiopia: The Country With 100% Renewables That Needs Even More

    (Forbes) — Iceland and Ethiopia have a lot in common. Volcanism, mountains and some of the highest ratios of renewable power in their generation mix.

    Despite being among a handful of countries worldwide that already derive the most of their electricity from renewable resources, Ethiopia’s power sector is vulnerable. It relies very heavily on hydropower but allowing that status quo to persist is risky. Between the political threats, Egypt is very unhappy about further damming of the Nile, and the climate change threat, something needs to change.

    The World Bank agrees it would seem and last week it took action with a $200 million package designed to encourage the development of 1GW of wind and solar projects in the country.

    With 45GW of installed hydropower capacity, a slightly misleading figure as these are of course not 100% efficient nor are they ever all running at the same time. According to 2012 data from the UN, peak demand in the country was less than 1.3GW.

    But that figure is climbing rapidly. Electricity consumption per head of population trebled between 2000 and 2014. As of 2012, only 23% of the country was actually connected to the grid so as that figure rises, demand will be supercharged.

    Expected increased variability in rainfall and greater demand on freshwater resources puts extra strain on reservoirs.

    The World Bank’s Renewable Energy Guarantees Program (REGREP) will help the authorities in Addis Ababa to reform their regulatory framework and gear it up for private investment and ownership. It is hoped the package could draw in $1.5 billion of funds from Independent Power Producers (IPP) who would look to build and potentially operate the new generators.

    “REGREP comes at this critical juncture and signals the Government’s commitment to comprehensive power sector reforms and a private sector-led renewable energy development program that has the potential to be one of the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Rahul Kitchlu, senior energy specialist at the World Bank.

    The private sector is being increasingly welcomed to the power sector in Africa. This week Botswana canceled plans for 100MW solar tender that it hoped to run as a joint venture with a partner. It will now be re-written launched again next month with no government ownership at all.

    “With the support of the World Bank Group, this program will create a platform for much-needed private sector participation in the crucial energy sector by lowering the risks of investing in Ethiopia,” said Carolyn Turk, World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan.

    In addition to policy support and regulatory adjustments, the Bank will also use its resources to identify the best possible sites for wind power giving the country a head start in development and planning.

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  • Ethiopia apologises for map that erases Somalia

    (BBC) — “We sincerely regret any confusion and misunderstanding this incident might have caused,” the statement said.

    Somalia had been completely erased from the map, but the self-declared territory of Somaliland – which is not internationally recognised – was shown.

    The neighbours have long been rivals, fighting borders wars in the past.

    But relations between the two countries have improved since Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power last year as he has sought to defuse tensions in the region.

    The map has caused an uproar on social media, with Somalis saying it reveals a wider plan by Ethiopia to annex their country.

    Others hit back, with their own version of a map of Africa, incorporating Ethiopia into Somalia.

    Some have noticed other problems with the map published on the Ethiopian website, for example, it showed that the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo had become one country and it did not show South Sudan, which split from Sudan in 2011.

    There has been no official comment from the Somali government. Former Foreign Minister Yusuf Garaad welcomed the removal of the map, but queried how and why it was drawn in the first place.

    The Ethiopian foreign ministry’s statement said it was unsure how the “unacceptable” map had “crept in on the website”, which is currently offline, but said its technical team was working to ensure its security.

     

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  • Ex-boss of Ethiopia’s notorious Jail Ogaden arrested

    (BBC) — Hassan Ismail Ibrahim, also known as Hassan Dhere, was arrested in neighbouring Somalia in a town where he had been hiding, following a tip-off.

    Campaigners say inmates were routinely tortured at “Jail Ogaden”, which he ran in Ethiopia’s Somali region.

    Many prisoners were accused of being linked to the separatist group the Ogaden National Liberation Front.

    But that group signed a peace deal with the government in October, following the appointment of Abiy Ahmed as prime minister.

    Former prisoners interviewed by Human Rights Watch said they saw people dying in their cells after being tortured.

    The authorities closed the prison last year and announced plans to make it into a museum.

    The new president of Ethiopia’s Somali region, Mustafa Omer, told Al Jazeera news in April that he was chasing the people who allowed the torture.

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