Chris McCloskey Joins Duck Creek as Chief Operating Officer

Boston, May 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Duck Creek Technologies, the intelligent solutions provider defining the future of Property and Casualty (P&C) and general insurance, today announces the addition of Chris McCloskey to its leadership team as Chief Operating Officer. McCloskey will be instrumental in driving key strategy, operational and transformation initiatives across the entire business, particularly within our customer and professional services organizations.

McCloskey joins Duck Creek from Datto, where he was most recently Chief Customer Officer for the cybersecurity and business continuity company. At Datto, McCloskey was responsible for building a new customer success organization that significantly improved technical implementation, customer satisfaction and retention, and partner health. Before joining Datto, McCloskey grew through sales and customer-facing leadership roles to become COO, Americas at London-based Finastra, a multi-billion-dollar financial services software company.

“We are delighted to welcome Chris to Duck Creek’s leadership team; he will help us continue to better focus on increasing lifetime value and enable our customers to be more successful,” said Mike Jackowski, CEO of Duck Creek. “Chris is incredibly accomplished in growing and leading large teams through transformation, and having him as a strategic customer-facing leader is the perfect match to advance our vision.”

McCloskey Chris earned his MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University and his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Gettysburg College.

About Duck Creek Technologies

Duck Creek Technologies is the intelligent solutions provider defining the future of the property and casualty (P&C) and general insurance industry. We are the platform upon which modern insurance systems are built, enabling the industry to capitalize on the power of the cloud to run agile, intelligent, and evergreen operations. Authenticity, purpose, and transparency are core to Duck Creek, and we believe insurance should be there for individuals and businesses when, where, and how they need it most. Our market-leading solutions are available on a standalone basis or as a full suite, and all are available via Duck Creek OnDemand. Visit to learn more. Follow Duck Creek on our social channels for the latest information – LinkedIn and Twitter.

Carley Bunch
Duck Creek Technologies

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8847565

Hitachi Energy signs agreements with ENOWA and Saudi Electricity Company to design and develop the first phase of visionary NEOM region transmission system

Collaboration to accelerate the development of NEOM in Saudi Arabia with up to 9 gigawatts of power transmission capacity

Zurich, Switzerland, May 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Hitachi Energy, a global technology leader advancing a sustainable energy future for all, has signed agreements under the supervision and management of the Ministry of Energy with the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) and with ENOWA. The agreements include the supply of three high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission systems to end customer ENOWA, the utility company for NEOM in Northwest Saudi Arabia. Built with sustainability in mind, NEOM is among Saudi Arabia’s Giga-Projects1 reshaping the future of development. The three HVDC links will have a total power capacity of up to 9 gigawatts (GW).

The agreements include an order from ENOWA’s engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) partner, the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) awarded to Hitachi Energy and its consortium partner, Saudi Services for Electro Mechanical Works (SSEM), to provide one of the world’s first 3 GW, 525 kilovolt (kV) HVDC Light® transmission system connecting Oxagon, NEOM’s regional development, with the larger Yanbu area more than 650 kilometers away in Western Saudi Arabia.

Hitachi Energy’s scope of supply includes design, engineering, procurement of HVDC technology and commissioning of the HVDC Light converter stations. Whilst SSEM – a leading Saudi EPC specialized in power, water and industrial projects – will design and supply the AC equipment portion and perform the construction and the installation. The converter stations convert the power from AC to DC then back to AC for integration into the receiving grid. The converters will be sourced by and supplied to Saudi Electricity Company, who were contracted in 2022 by ENOWA to act as their EPCM to build this first HVDC system for NEOM.

Further to this, Hitachi Energy and ENOWA have signed an early works and capacity reservation agreement for two additional HVDC projects, each rated up to 3 GW. Under this agreement, both companies commit to having the resources and capacity necessary to implement these two HVDC systems. As part of a new scalable and modular regional network design that is targeted to seamlessly integrate future renewables and energy storage technologies in the NEOM Energy System, making it unique in terms of size and complexity. The co-operation will also explore opportunities to develop local competencies in the Kingdom, including ways to sustainably assemble the necessary HVDC Light components locally.

“We are delighted to strengthen our collaboration with ENOWA and Saudi Electricity Company in order to power one of the most visionary development projects of all time,” said Niklas Persson, Managing Director of Hitachi Energy’s Grid Integration business. “As the world progresses towards a more sustainable future, our expertise and HVDC technologies are true enablers of the electrification of the global energy system and the transition to renewables.”

“By securing the first capacities for such an important part of our future grid in only one year since the decision to use this technology, we show ENOWA’s commitment to supporting Saudi Vision 2030 in collaboration with Saudi Electricity Company and Hitachi Energy,” said Thorsten Schwarz, Executive Director of Grid Technology & Projects, Energy of ENOWA.

ENOWA, NEOM’s energy and water company, produces and delivers clean and sustainable energy for industrial and commercial applications. The company benefits from NEOM’s greenfield site and strategic location in the northwestern part of Saudi Arabia, with abundant solar and wind resources. ENOWA will act as a catalyst and incubator for developing new, sustainable energy and water businesses while creating a robust economic sector regionally.

ENOWA seeks by its commitment to renewable energy and efficient water management, to become a global reference for industry leaders and setting a benchmark for sustainable economic circular systems around the world. Formed in 2022, ENOWA is the principal shareholder in the world’s largest green hydrogen production plant set to be commissioned in 2026 and will enable NEOM to be a global green hydrogen hub.

NEOM will be powered by 100 percent clean energy, through renewable solar, wind and green hydrogen-based energy. The region is designed to be a blueprint for sustainable urban living with minimal impact on the environment and enhanced livability.

Note to editors:
Hitachi Energy’s HVDC solution combines world-leading expertise in HVDC converter valves; the MACH™ digital control platform2, converter power transformers and high-voltage switchgear; as well as system studies, design and engineering, supply, installation supervision and commissioning.

HVDC Light is a voltage source converter technology developed by Hitachi Energy, which was launched over 25 years ago. It is the preferred technology for many grid applications, including interconnecting countries, integrating renewables and “power-from-shore” connections to offshore production facilities. HVDC Light’s defining features include uniquely compact converter stations and exceptionally low electrical losses.

Hitachi Energy pioneered commercial HVDC technology almost 70 years ago and has delivered more than half of the world’s HVDC projects.

Hitachi Energy’s consulting services assist energy customers in pinpointing their challenges and suggesting customized solutions tailored to their unique requirements. Our consultants operate independently, with a product and system-agnostic approach, possessing in-depth knowledge of global technologies, standards, and local grid codes.

1 Saudi’s Giga-Projects
2 Modular Advanced Control for HVDC (MACH™)

See also:
Hitachi Energy to supply the first ever large-scale HVDC interconnection in the Middle East and North Africa (2022)
Hitachi Energy and Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority sign contract to upgrade high-voltage direct current transmission system (2023)

ENOWA website


About Hitachi Energy
Hitachi Energy is a global technology leader that is advancing a sustainable energy future for all. We serve customers in the utility, industry and infrastructure sectors with innovative solutions and services across the value chain. Together with customers and partners, we pioneer technologies and enable the digital transformation required to accelerate the energy transition towards a carbon-neutral future. We are advancing the world’s energy system to become more sustainable, flexible and secure whilst balancing social, environmental and economic value. Hitachi Energy has a proven track record and unparalleled installed base in more than 140 countries. Headquartered in Switzerland, we employ around 40,000 people in 90 countries and generate business volumes of over $10 billion USD.

About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi drives Social Innovation Business, creating a sustainable society through the use of data and technology. We solve customers’ and society’s challenges with Lumada solutions leveraging IT, OT (Operational Technology) and products. Hitachi operates under the business structure of “Digital Systems & Services” – supporting our customers’ digital transformation; “Green Energy & Mobility” – contributing to a decarbonized society through energy and railway systems, and “Connective Industries” – connecting products through digital technology to provide solutions in various industries. Driven by Digital, Green, and Innovation, we aim for growth through co-creation with our customers. The company’s consolidated revenues for fiscal year 2022 (ended March 31, 2023) totaled 10,881.1 billion yen, with 696 consolidated subsidiaries and approximately 320,000 employees worldwide. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s website at


Jocelyn Chang
Hitachi Energy

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8848737

16 dead, 40 others injured in Gomoa Okyereko accident

Gomoa Okyereko (C/R), The dead toll of the Tuesday morning Gomoa Okyereko motor accident on the Accra-Takoradi highway had risen to 16.

The 16th person, died soon on arrival at the hospital.

Forty others sustained various degrees of injures are receiving treatment at Effutu Municipal Hospital and the Trauma and Specialist Hospital both in Winneba where they were rushed to.

DO III Mr. Kwesi Hughes of the Effutu Municipal Directorate of the Ghana National Fire Service told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at the scene that they received a distress call at 05:14 hours about the accident at Gomoa Okyereko, near Winneba junction.

He said on their arrival at the scene the Service detected that the accident involved a Yutong Bus with registration Number CR-5866-L from Cape Coast direction with passengers from Liberia heading towards Liberia Camp and a petrol tanker with registration Number WR-2063-10 with three people on board towards Cape Coast direction.

According to DO III Hughes, information gathered indicated that the driver of the bus, on reaching a section of the road at Okyereko veered off his lane and crashed head-on with the tanker which was coming from the opposite direction.

He said it took three hours to rescue both the living and the dead who were trapped in both vehicles.

Some of the victims had their bodies dismembered.

Bodies of the dead have been deposited at the Trauma Hospital for preservation and identification.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Sierra Leone prepares for June 24 elections

Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt), The Government of Sierra Leone says it is ready to hold peaceful, free and fair elections come June 24 as official campaign begins.

Mr Bockarie Albert Kalokoh, a Deputy Minister of Finance of the country, said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at the just ended annual meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

‘We’re well prepared to hold peaceful elections, and the Government is alert. We are committed to ensure that the police and the election body deliver on their mandate,’ Mr Kalokoh said.

Sierra Leone’s 2023 presidential election will be contested by 13 candidates, including incumbent president, Julius Maada Bio of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and Samura Karama of the All People’s Congress (APC), who was the runner-up in the 2018 polls.

Speaking about the prevailing economic hardship in the country, including high inflation, he said the Government had taken cognisance of the challenges and was working ‘relentlessly to ensure that our people are better’.

He said Sierra Leone was opened to the support of development partners, including AfDB, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, while the Government worked on internal mechanisms to address the economic challenges.

Mr Kalokoh noted for example that talks had been advanced for AfDB’s support in development projects in Sierra Leone, including the Lungi Bridge – 7km long bridge to link the Lungi area to Freetown, passing over the estuary of the Sierra Leone River.

‘We’ve been able to develop innovative financing arrangement so that we can tap more into domestic funds, and we’ve also looked into our tax laws to enhance domestic revenue mobilisation and mitigating against cost containment of whatever we’re doing,’ he added.

Commenting on an $8m Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Sierra Leone and four other countries to increase domestic revenue, the Deputy Finance was hopeful that

it would also increase the Bank’s support to the country as they contributed to the replenishment the African Development Fund (ADF).

Ghana, The Gambia, Liberia, and Sudan are the four countries that signed the MoU, which is to augment financing from development partners to expand domestic private sector-led economic growth and development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

‘We’ve affirmed our commitment as a Constituency to improve our contribution towards the replenishment of the Fund and this is to ensure that once we improve our contribution to the Fund, we’ll have more in terms of monetary support from ADF’,’ the Deputy Finance Minister said.

Voters in Sierra Leone will on June 24 elect a President and Members of Parliament, Mayors and local councillors.

A report by the Institute of Governance Reform (IGR) has indicated a high level of preparedness for the 2023 general election by the country’s Election Management Bodies (EMBs), including the security sector.

‘Overall Sierra Leone is 67 per cent ready to go ahead with the 2023 elections. Expert assessment was a little lower (61 per cent) than inter-institutional scores (73 per cent) and self-assessment (70 per cent),’ IGR’s report observed.

About three days ago, the presidential candidates, especially those belonging to the major political parties, signed a peace pledge ahead of the country’s highly anticipated 2023 general election, with a commitment to ensure a successful poll.

A survey by Afrobarometer and IGR, which was conducted to understand the attitudes of Sierra Leoneans as the 2023 elections approached, raised warnings about leaders’ commitment in the ‘fragile post-war state’.

It was observed that the proportion of citizens who prioritised Sierra Leonean identity over their ethnic identity had dropped by 20 percentage points over the past decade.

It was recommended that going into the 2023 elections, leaders demonstrated and acted in a way that would make the people rally behind peace, while authorities worked to ensure peaceful and successful poll.

Source: Ghana News Agency

KAIPTC holds tree planting exercise for former African heads of state

Accra, The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) has held a tree planting exercise for five former African heads of state at the Centre in Accra.

The delegation, which was led by former President Dr Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of Tanzania had Dr Moncef Marzouki of Tunisia, Thomas Yayi Boni of Benin, Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, all former Presidents, and HaileMariam Dessalegn, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia

Their visit forms part of efforts to deepen ties and explore possible areas of collaboration with the Centre.

The five former heads of state who were received by Maj. Gen. Richard Addo Gyane, Commandant of the KAIPTC, were in Accra for the just ended African Leadership Forum.

In his welcome address, Maj Gen Gyane said the symbolic exercise was considered as an a effort to support the nurturing and blossoming of peace on the continent towards continuing the vision and legacy of Mr Kofi Annan to build peace in Africa.

Maj. Gen. Gyane noted that climate change posed a myriad of insecurities in the West African Sub Region and called for a collaborated effort to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Leader of the delegation, former President Dr Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of Tanzania in his remarks, paid glowing tributes to the memory of Mr Kofi Annan and expressed the delegation’s appreciation to the Commandant and his team for hosting them.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana to host UN Peacekeeping Ministerial summit in December

Accra, Ghana will host the United Nations Peacekeeping Ministerial summit from December 5 to 6, Mr Thomas Mbomba, a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, has disclosed.

The UN Peacekeeping Ministerial is an important opportunity for Member States to come together in a collective effort to strengthen the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations and their impact on the communities they serve.

Mr Mbomba made the disclosure in Accra during a flag raising and wreath laying ceremony in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers on the theme ‘Peace Begins with Me: 75 Years of UN Peacekeeping.’

This year’s theme recognizes the service and sacrifice of peacekeepers, past and present, including more than 4200 who have given their lives under the UN flag.

Mr Mbomba said it was a momentous time for Ghana, to be entrusted with the privilege of hosting the upcoming Peacekeeping Ministerial Conference.

He said this significant event would bring together leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders from around the world to deliberate on the challenges and opportunities facing UN peacekeeping operations.

He noted that the event would provide a platform to share experiences, exchange best practices, and strengthen partnerships in their collective pursuit of sustainable peace.

‘During the conference, we will focus on critical issues such as the protection of civilians, improving the safety and security of peacekeepers, advancing the women, Peace, and Security agenda, and strengthening the performance and accountability of peacekeeping operations,’ Mr Mbomba said.

‘We aim to harness the collective wisdom and experiences of the international community to identify innovative solutions and strategies that will shape the future of UN peacekeeping.’

He said the changing nature and specifics of modern conflicts, complicated by terrorist threats, and dire humanitarian and socio-economic situations, pose a challenge to the international community.

He reiterated that it was regrettable that despite the noble mission that the Blue Helmets carry out every day in extremely difficult and dangerous conditions, they continue to witness an upsurge in conflicts and war situations in many parts of the world.

He said this underscores the need for continued support from Member States and communities to enable UN Peacekeepers to carry out their mandate effectively.

He said the deliberate targeting of peacekeepers was a cause of deep concern to the Government of Ghana.

‘We mourn the loss of those personnel who have paid the ultimate price with their lives in the line of duty,’ he said.

‘We commend the selfless contribution of all peacekeepers of the UN, the African Union, and regional organizations who are carrying out their duties honourably.’

He also expressed his condolences to the Member States and families of those killed in action.

Mr Mbomba said in line with Ghana’s commitment to international peace, the nation supports the view that international peacekeeping must evolve to better respond to the dramatic changes in the nature and scale of armed conflict.

Mr Charles Abani, the UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana, said Ghana had played a catalytic role in peacekeeping operations, setting an inspiring example for nations around the world.

He noted that ‘out of the 122 contributing countries, Ghana ranks number seven with 2,756 peacekeepers as of February 2023.’

He reaffirmed that the UN would continue being a reliable partner in the agenda for peacekeeping and further commended the role of Ghanaian peacekeepers.

Mr Dominic Nitiwul, the Defence Minister, in a speech read on his behalf urged member nations of the UN to recommit themselves to the noble ideals of the UN and forge a future where generations to come could live in a world of lasting peace.

Source: Ghana News Agency

TUC advocates AfCFTA labour provisions to protect workers

Accra, Members of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) of Ghana have called on African State Parties to ensure that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) has labour provisions to prevent the exploitation of workers in member countries.

They are of the view that standardising labour requirements for countries under the agreement would create level playing field for competition and promote decent work agenda that provides opportunities for better job creation, social protection, respecting rights of workers and freedom of expression.

The members made the call at a Social Partners Consultative Dialogue on AfCFTA, which was organised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Accra

Speaking in an interview, Dr Kwabena Nyarko Otoo, Director for Labour Research and Policy Institute of the TUC, said as trade was known to affect employment, it was a necessity that unions were involved in the process leading to the establishment of the AfCFTA and its provision.

‘It is about sharing our perspectives and ensuring that the process is fair and inclusive and would eventually benefit the country.

‘We are extremely disappointed that such a mammoth, very monumental initiative could go on across the continent without the involvement of unions.’

He said implementing free trade with about 55 countries with different labour regulations and practices demanded state parties to ensure decent wages and standard labour rights were met.

Mr Peter Joy Sewornoo, Senior Advisor to Secretary-General of AfCFTA, said in the absence of provisions on labour, current provisions demanded that protocols were implemented in accordance with national legislations.

‘Even though at the continental level it may not mention explicitly the labour provision, once it provides for it being done in accordance with national legislations, then there is another way labour laws can be enforced,’ he said.

He called for stronger collaborations and collective advocacy of labour unions on the continent to make recommendations that would push state parties to make such provisions.

Madam Inviolata Chinyangarara, Senior Technical Specialist, ILO Country Office, Abuja, said it was not late for trade unions to make input into the drafting of sub protocols of agreements such as youth and women in AfCFTA , being drafted.

She called on labour unions to engage the AfCFTA secretariat on labour clauses for trade agreements, adding that, ‘trade is about goods, it is about services, but it is also about human beings’.

Source: Ghana News Agency

European Union Encourages Ethiopia to Exploit Everything But Arms Market Scheme

The European Union Delegation Head in Ethiopia, Ambassador Kobia, has urged Ethiopians to exploit Everything But Arms (EBA) market scheme, a highly preferential system for the country.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Ambassador Roland Kobia revealed that there are 7,200 export products on the EBA list that Ethiopia can exploit.

The European Union is the second largest trading partner and export destination to Ethiopia. The country exports 20 percent of its goods with the total worth of 130 billion Birr, he added.

In order to enhance the trade linkage between the two sides, the EU is looking for ways to further create a favorable market environment for Ethiopia, the head pointed out.

According to him, one of the EU trade preferential systems to Ethiopian export goods is Everything But Arm, a tariff reduced trade regime like the American African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

“I am always surprised about how much Ethiopians know about AGOA, but how little they know about the European system, Everything But Arms (EBA),” Ambassador Kobia wondered.

He further explained that Ethiopia has basically all the products, and these can be exported to the European Union market without any customs duties and zero percent taxes as well as without any quantitative restrictions.

Ambassador Kobia urged the country to exploit this market opportunity to a maximum, even if it is one of the top five countries that benefit from the EBA system.

“We are offering to let you know that the EU has 450 million inhabitants and it is one of the richest markets in the world. So we are offering the possibility to ensure export to one of the richest as well as the biggest markets in the world in a highly preferential way.”

The head added that the EU is looking forward to an increased partnership and engagement with Ethiopia in many spheres.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Ethiopia Perfect Partner for Development, Investment in Africa: American Analyst

With its enormous comparative advantages, Ethiopia is a perfect partner for development and investment in Africa, the American political-economic analyst Lawrence Freeman said.

Freeman, who is known for closely following Ethiopian affairs, told ENA that the two-year long war in the northern part of Ethiopia has come to an end and swept the way for development and investment to the east African nation.

More importantly, the relative peace that Ethiopia has been enjoying after the Pretoria accord has created a conducive environment to reinforce efforts on reconstruction, recovery and investment activities, the analyst noted.

Everybody is happy that the war is over, Freeman said, adding that there is now going to be a process of reconstruction that could be used as a means to expand the entire Ethiopian economy.

The European Union (EU) as well as its member countries and the United States have now been normalizing their bilateral ties with Ethiopia, a country considered a longstanding diplomatic partner of the West.

The American analyst further pointed out the need to enhance financial support and maximize investment beyond a geopolitical interest in Ethiopia.

The country has untapped potential for luring massive global investment in the areas of agriculture, manufacturing, and energy, among many other areas.

Mentioning the agricultural potential of Ethiopia as an example, he noted that most of the arable land is not cultivated.

“Most of the land in Ethiopia, what we call arable land that could be cultivated, is not being used. Only a tiny fraction of Ethiopia’s arable land is actually under cultivation. There are certain crops that are being grown. That has to expand and that itself can help relieve some of the poverty and hunger questions.”

According to him, the country could attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from around the world since its agricultural potential is tremendously undeveloped.

He appreciated the recent success story of Ethiopia on wheat production and its export that started this year.

In this regard, Freeman believes that Ethiopia can play a crucial role for agricultural investment alone in Africa where the continent spends 45 billion USD for food import annually.

This analyst further noted that the country can also attract giant global energy companies and make contribution to the Horn of Africa and beyond.

Freeman also noted that Ethiopian Airline, the most advanced airline industry in the African continent, can serve as a manufacturing capability to build and repair engines by attracting investment

“We can begin to use some of that capability. We are talking about 10,000 of square feet of space you used in Ethiopian Airlines to maintain those planes. We can begin to use some of that capability and transform it into manufacturing capability of finished products and goods that Ethiopian would consume and would not have to buy from abroad.”

Finally, he stated that Ethiopia has built industrial parks that could be considered as comparative advantage to bring more investors.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Researcher Stresses Need for Strengthening Manufacturing, Input Suppliers Linkage

The linkage between manufacturing and input suppliers should be strengthened in order to achieve sustainable economic growth in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa University Post-Graduate Coordinator and Researcher Mariamawit said.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Mariamawit Fikresellasie said efforts to link industries that use agricultural products, employ large number of people, and produce export products must be strengthened.

She stated that local investors should give priority to agri-business manufacturing and pay attention to engagement in comprehensive market linkages.

Industrial parks should be developed and private investors supported to enter the sector. In order to achieve this quickly, there is a need to create a linkage between industrial development and agriculture and service development sectors based on a positive and proportionate level of development.

If we start with light manufacturing, then there is medium and high level, Mariamawit noted, adding that we can start with agribusiness as our economy focuses on agriculture.

According to the researcher, the nation can start with agro-processing and agri-business industry and move on to light manufacturing and then to medium and large processing. But these need linkage.

Each sector must be linked not only in the manufacturing sector, but manufacturing should also be linked to agriculture, manufacturing and then the service sector. We have to create what we call backward forward linkages, she stated.

Mariamawit explained that it is a viable practice for industries worldwide to produce finished and semi-finished raw materials that add value to each other and create multi-faceted connections to become competitive in the international market.

In order to alleviate the shortage of foreign currency needed for industrial development, any developing country should expand its comparative advantage products and services to the international market, according to the researcher.

In particular, Mariamawit pointed out that it is necessary to link agriculture-related industries to the mining and tourism sectors.

Educational institutions also need to produce manpower required by the industries.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

High-level Conference on Biodiversity Kicks Off at AU HQ

A four-day high-level conference on biodiversity kicked off at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa today.

Speaking on the occasion, Sustainable Environment and Blue Economy (SEBE) Director Harsen Nyambe said biodiversity is critical to many sectors and livelihoods of local societies in Africa.

However, local communities are not benefiting from biodiversity and there are also challenges of climate change trends and unsustainable use of biodiversity which need to be addressed, he added.

“As a continent, we need to domesticate the outcome of the Montreal CBD COP15. But at the same time, we would want to make sure that we reconcile that with the outcome of the CITES COP 19.”

CITES is one of the conventions that divided the continent despite the resolutions of the Head of States that call for unity and one voice.

“We are therefore hopeful, during these four days, that we will be able to come up with some wisdom on how we can be able to chart a way forward and make sure that we are able to have a united voice of Africa when it comes to matters of CITES,” the director said.

The CITES CoP is where governments (CITES parties) around the world convene every two to three years to review and make decisions on the regulation of trade in endangered species.

A number of frameworks have been put in place for nature based solutions, sustainable forest management and to combat illegal trade of wild fauna and flora.

“We are hoping that all of these frameworks will be able to make a contribution to the strategy as well as the action plan that we are actually going to develop during the coming days.”

During the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP15) held in December 2022 in Montreal, Canada, governments from around the world came together to agree on a new set of goals to guide global action through 2030 to halt and reverse nature loss.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Australia Announces 29 Million USD In Humanitarian Aid For Africa, Middle East

The Australian Government announced it will provide an additional 29 million USD to humanitarian partners to respond to the growing food security crisis and to assist vulnerable people in the Middle East and Africa.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of people at risk of acute food insecurity, increasing to 350 million people globally.

Australia is deeply concerned for those impacted by conflict, those experiencing extreme hunger and the consequences of crises on global stability and security.

According to Australia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Humanitarian Emergency includes 15 million US dollar to address increased humanitarian, displacement and protection needs of people in drought-affected areas in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

Four million US dollar will be provided in food and nutrition support to the most vulnerable in Yemen and 10 million US dollar for food and monetary assistance to refugees and vulnerable populations in Lebanon and Jordan, it was indicated.

This package builds on humanitarian support already delivered, including 25 million US dollar in emergency assistance announced in February to respond to growing global food insecurity and humanitarian crises affecting Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan, the ministry added.

Australia’s ongoing response is part of broader efforts to address the underlying causes of crises and food insecurity globally, which includes long-term financial and technical support to build resilient communities and food systems.

Australia has also committed 6 million US dollar to support those affected by the conflict in Sudan.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency