Chinese FM Meets with U.S Secretary of State

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Beijing on Sunday.

As agreed between China and the United States, Secretary Blinken is visiting China from 18 to 19 June, 2023, according to CGTN.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Addis Ababa City Mayor Launches 5th Round Green Legacy Plantation Program

Addis Ababa City Mayor Adanech Abiebie has launched today the fifth-round tree plantation program where 17 million seedlings will be planted as part of the Green Legacy.

Addis Ababa City Mayor Adanech Abiebie on the occasion said the intensive plantation will continue and 17 million saplings will be planted in this round.

The mayor recalled that in the first phase of the Green Legacy Initiative, 41 million saplings were planted in the city administration and 25 billion nationwide over the past four consecutive years.

Besides increasing Ethiopia’s forest cover, the mayor noted that multipurpose seedlings have been planted for the beauty of the city and ensure food security.

According to her, tree plantation will be indispensable to respond to sever drought and flooding consequences arising from the impacts of climate change and affect the country and the world.

Therefore, the mayor called on every citizen to actively participate in the second phase of the green legacy intiative as usual.

Agriculture Minister, Girma Amente noted that Ethiopia’s Green Legacy Initiative has taken the economic viability, social responsibility and environmental friedliness into consideration.

Noting that the country’s forest coverage dwindled from 40 to 3 percent at some period in the past, he said that everyone has to give attention to tree plantation and participate in it to further increase the forest cover.

Some 6.5 billion tree seedlings are expected to be planted nationwide in the second phase of the Green Legacy initiative.

It is to be remembered that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched the second phase of the Green Legacy plantation program in the Afar region on June 8, 2023.

Similar to the first phase of green legacy initiative, additional 25 billion saplings are expected to be planted nationwide in the second phase of the initiative.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Parliament holds public forum in Tamale

The Parliament of Ghana has held a public forum in Tamale as part of activities to mark the 30th Anniversary of the Fourth Republican Parliament.

The forum was to engage citizens to share information on the experiences and essence of Parliament as well as what to expect from Parliament.

The event was graced by the Speaker of Parliament, some Members of Parliament (MPs) and was chaired by Professor Seidu Al-hassan, Vice Chancellor of the University for Development Studies.

It was also attended by traditional and religious leaders, students, representatives of civil society organisations (CSOs) and stakeholders across the northern zone of the country.

The year-long celebration is on the theme: ‘Thirty Years of Parliamentary Democracy Under the Fourth Republic: The Journey Thus Far.’

The forum featured an interactive session where participants shared their views, comments and asked questions relevant to Parliamentary procedures and democracy.

Some concerns raised by citizens included the subject of women representation in Parliament, salaries for assembly members, taxes as well as the actions of MPs on the floor of Parliament, which the Speaker and MPs responded to accordingly.

Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, in a keynote address at the event, said celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Parliamentary democracy was significant in consolidating and entrenching the culture of multi-party democracy as well as ensuring that the citizenry appreciated the current political dispensation, workings of Parliament and the crucial role of Parliament in sustaining democracy.

Speaker Bagbin said the forum was held in fulfilment of the goal three of the Corporate Strategic Plan of Ghana’s Parliament, which aimed at strengthening the representational role and public involvement in the work of Parliament.

He indicated Parliament’s intentions to set up a Citizens Bureau to institutionalise Parliament-Citizen engagement through CSOs and the media in a bid to widen citizens’ participation in Parliament’s work.

He said ‘The 30th Anniversary celebration should be a call to political leaders to be the leaders they claim to be. This is a call for credible, honest and patriotic leaders not only in politics but also in all facets of our lives.’

Mr Cyril Nsiah, Clerk to Parliament, Mr Andrew Asiamah, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Haruna Iddrisu, MP for Tamale South, all speaking at the event, took turns to appreciate the challenges and successes of the country’s fourth Parliament and pledged Parliament’s unflinching dedication towards enhanced democratic governance.

Sagnar-Naa Yakubu Abdulai, Paramount Chief of Sagnarigu Traditional Area, who spoke on behalf of all traditional leaders, expressed gratitude to Parliament for the gesture to begin its celebration in the northern belt.

He called on the citizenry to desist from lawlessness and abuse of democracy, adding that even the greatest Constitution could not stand the test of time if citizens were not disciplined.

Source: Ghana News Agency

IGAD Summit Fruitful, Says Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The 14th Ordinary Summit of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has concluded with impactful outcomes, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

During a biweekly press briefing today, Ministry Spokesperson Meles Alem told journalists that the summit was concluded with impactful outcomes at Djibouti, the seat of the regional organization.

Heads of State and Government, including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, attended the summit which adopted IGAD Treaty and issued a timely joint communique on regional matters that seek cooperation and due attention. he said.

According to the spokesperson, the election of Workneh Gebeyehu for a second term in light of his contributions to transforming IGAD and championing regional peace and stability is an outcome with far reaching impact.

Moreover, the return of Eritrea to the regional body after such a long time also signifies the transformational potential of member states to bring about change that could significantly benefit the people, he added.

The spokesman further elaborated on the concerted regional efforts, including those of Ethiopia, to bring about peace in the Sudan by bringing the conflicting parties closer to find amicable solutions.

At the presser, Meles also reaffirmed the continued commitment of Ethiopia, together with other member states, to expedite regional integration, share economic development as well as durable peace and stability, on top of combating transnational crimes, including terrorism.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Canadian Ambassador Vows to Elevate Relations with Ethiopia

Canadian Ambassador Stéphane Jobin vowed to elevate the relations and commended the peace consolidation efforts of the Government of Ethiopia in light of the full implementation of the Pretoria peace agreement.

Ambassador Mesganu Arga, State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia today hosted at his office Ambassador Jobin and conferred on bilateral and multilateral issues of mutual interest, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia.

Ambassador Mesganu stated on his part that Ethiopia and Canada enjoy strong bilateral relations and reassured the Canadian envoy of Ethiopian Government’s continued commitment to further bolster the ties, especially in the areas of trade, investment and political consultations between Ethiopia and Canada.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Military operation on Galamsey very ineffective – CSIR

Dr. Albert Kobbina Mensah, Soil Research Officer at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has stated that the military’s approach to dealing with the galamsey menace has been ineffective since the 1980s when their operations were first introduced.

Dr. Mensah added that their activities had evolved over the years and had come with different names, some of which include Operation Fight Galamsey in 2006, Operation Flash Out Artisanal Small Mining (ASM) in 2013, Operation Vanguard in 2017, and Operation Halt in 2021.

All these were aimed at cracking down on the cartels involved in illegal mining at the various Galamsey sites but have not yielded the needed results.

Dr. Mensah stated this at a virtual policy dialogue organised by the YAFO Institute, an independent public policy research organisation, based in Accra.

The YAFO Institute virtual policy was organized on the theme ‘Tackling the Galamsey Challenge in Ghana’ with the aim of ensuring sustainable mining within the proposed mining communities.

The CSIR Soil Research Officer described as ineffective the activities of military personnel deployed to man the artisanal small mining (ASM) sites in the country.

He said the military approach was just a command-and-control measure targeted at the local indigenes with no checks and balances on officers who violated the laws, adding that the government must recognize the significance of mining for the livelihood of the people.

Meanwhile, in an interview with the Tema Ghana News Agency, Mr. Nathaniel Dwamena, founder of the YAFO Institute, said the challenges with illegal mining could not be solved if stakeholders and policymakers could not move away from politicizing the menace.

Mr. Dwamena recommended a more scientific approach to dealing with the challenges than leaving it in the hands of politicians, adding that successive governments must ensure they promulgate well-structured rules and guidelines to ensure sustainable mining to reclaim the already destroyed natural resources in the country.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Parliament to celebrate 30 years uninterrupted parliamentary democracy this year

Ghana’s Parliament will this year, 2023, mark thirty years of uninterrupted parliamentary democracy.

To commemorate the milestone, series of activities have been earmarked throughout the year under the auspices of the Speaker of the Eighth Parliament, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin.

This is contained in a press release issued by Mr Mr Ebenezer Ahumah, Director, Coordinator,Anniversary Celebrations Committee and copied the Ghana News Agency.

‘These activities will be celebrated in four regional zones, beginning with the Northern Zone namely Wa,Tamale and Bolgatanga, and will include Mock Parliament, Public Forum and Peace Walk,’ it said.

The activities, it said would foster civic engagement and enhance public awareness of parliamentary democracy.

The commemoration, themed: ‘Thirty years of parliamentary democracy under the Fourth Republic: The Journey thus far’, will provide an opportunity for Parliament and Ghanaians to reflect on Parliament’s achievements, acknowledge challenges and recommit to the principles of democracy, justice and equality that have guided the nation over the years.

It said to kick start the celebrations, three key programmes would be held in the Northern Zone; a Mock Parliament in Wa in the Upper West Region on Thursday, June 15, 2023 at the Regional Library Complex.

The Mock Parliament, it said, would bring together five selected tertiary education institutions in the northern zone.

A public forum would also be held at Tamale in the Northern Region at the University of Development Studies (UDS) campus on Friday June 16, 2023.

That, it said would be followed by a peace walk and sporting activities would also take place at Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region the next day to climax the activities.

The converging point for the event would be the Regional Coordinating Council in Bolgatanga, it added.

Ghana’s 30th anniversary of parliamentary democracy is a significant milestone for the country and testament to its commitment to democratic governance.

It also serves as a reminder of the progress made in the past three decades and the need to continue to strengthen democratic institutions and processes.

A television broadcast will showcase the parliamentary journey thus far, with particular emphasis on the pivotal role and significant contributions of women in the history of Parliament.

‘Parliament encourages all Ghanaians to actively participate in the 30th anniversary as we reflect on the past and forge ahead, let us strengthen our resolve to preserve and enhance Ghana’s parliamentary democracy, safeguarding it for generations to come,’ the release said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ethiopia, Kazakhstan Agree to Continue Cooperation on Bilateral issues, Multilateral Agenda

Ethiopia and Kazakhstan agreed to continue cooperation on all issues of the bilateral and multilateral agenda, according to Kazakhstan Embassy in Ethiopia.

The prospects of Kazakh-Ethiopian relations discussed on Friday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Director of the Middle East and Africa Department at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Askar Shokybayev and Deputy Head of Mission of Ethiopia to Kazakhstan, with permanent residence in Ankara, Türkiye, Ambassador Mulie Tareken held a meeting.

During the meeting, held in the format of a courtesy call visit, the parties discussed topical issues of the bilateral agenda of cooperation between Kazakhstan and Ethiopia, the Embassy said.

In particular, the parties highly appreciated political cooperation and discussed plans to hold a second round of political consultations in 2023.

In order to increase mutual trade and investment, the parties considered the possibility of creating a bilateral working group, and also agreed to expand the legal framework.

The successful practices of cooperation between the two countries in the international arena was noted.

In general, the parties agreed to continue cooperation on all issues of the bilateral and multilateral agenda.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

President Paul Biya receives another set of Ambassador designates to Cameroon

The President of the Republic Paul Biya, has again received letters of credence from an additional 4 Ambassadors and 2 high commissioners credited to the country.

Received in this regard, was Her Excellency Corinna Fricke, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Cameroon. She was closely followed by the High Commissioner of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, His Excellency Christian Dennys-Mcclure.

Then His Excellency Martin Strub, the Ambassador of Switzerland; His Excellency Filipo Scammacca Del Murgo, the Ambassador of Italy; His Excellency Nozomu Takaoka, the Ambassador of Japan; and His Excellency Anindya Banerjee, the High Commissioner of India to Cameroon.

The Six Diplomats then took turns to present their letters of credence to the President of the Republic, in a solemn diplomatic ritual that sealed their appointment as representatives of their countries to Cameroon.

This gesture poses an official seal to their diplomatic tour of duty in Cameroon.

In only two ceremonies, the number of the addition to Cameroon’s diplomatic family rises to 11 and counting.

The Head of State was assisted by the Minister of State, Secretary General at The Presidency of The Republic, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, the Minister of External Relations Lejeune Mbella Mbella, the Minister, Director of the Civil Cabinet of the Presidency of the Republic, Samuel Mvondo Ayolo and the Commander of the presidential guard Beko’o Abondo Charles.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Assembly Members of Ho lock up finance office, strips MFO of privileges

Members of the Ho Municipal Assembly on Wednesday rose against the Municipal Finance Officer, Mr McGeorge Afertorgbor, and locked him out of his office for lack of cooperation. The Assembly Members, clad in red and chanting war songs, also locked up the wheels of the official pickup truck of the Finance Officer, who was absent at the time. The Assembly Members demanded that the Finance Officer be replaced within three days. Mr Mawunyo Agbe, Presiding Member (PM) of the Assembly, told the media that the MFO had not provided the needed cooperation for the effective running of the Assembly, and that, they, the Assembly Members ‘cannot sit aloof.’ He said the MFO’s resolve to not support the development agenda of the Assembly hindered its progress and affected the mandate of individual Assembly Members in the growth of the various communities. The PM said several appeals to stakeholders, including the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department and the Regional Minister’s Office, proved futile and that the Assembly Members hoped that their action would ‘send a signal to his employees that we mean business.’ He said it was the responsibility of the Assembly to ensure checks and balances within the local governance structure, and that the Assembly should be ready to bear the pain in ensuring things were placed right. ‘There is no gain without pain. We know that for today and for tomorrow we may suffer, but we have suffered for far too long and we are okay with a three challenge to fix this problem,’ Mr. Agbe stated, adding that the finance committee and other bodies should be able to ensure the smooth operation of the Assembly until a new officer was posted. Assembly Members pointed out how they were being attacked in their respective communities for lack of development and said the MFO’s repeated response of ‘no funds’ contradicted the outlook of the growing Municipality. The Assembly Members said the MFO should be replaced for his ‘gross insubordination’ which did not aid the promotion of community development, and said he was fond of passing ‘silly comments’ while also alleging that he was abusing the powers of his office. ‘We want somebody who would respect us Assembly Members and we would also respect him for his vision,’ Sefadzi Agama, a Member of the Assembly said. Mr Divine Bosson, Ho Municipal Chief Executive, who had joined the meeting after the mob action, called for calm and professional discourse over the matter as the MFO was not a staff directly under the Assembly. He said the Assembly had been enjoying exceptional progress based on unity among key stakeholders, and which should not be thrown off track. Mr. Bosson said Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, the Volta Regional Minister had given the assurance that the issue would be solved, adding, ‘so, please lets cool tempers and let’s continue to be working together to solve the problem.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Automotive Assemblers Association of Ghana host maiden Ghana Automotive Summit

Automobile Assemblers Association of Ghana (AAAG) will host the maiden edition of the Ghana Automotive Summit on June 27, 2023, at the Accra International Conference Centre Grand Arena.

The Summit is on the theme: ‘Creating A New Economic Backbone for Ghana and The Sub-Region,’ and will present the opportunity for leading experts and industry professionals in the sector to discuss the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities in the automobile industry.

A statement issued in Accra said the summit would concurrently run along an exhibition of over 20 vehicle models locally assembled in Ghana by the members of the AAAG.

It said the event would attract representatives from across the breadth of the industry, including vehicle manufacturers, component manufacturers, engineers, government, the financial sector, insurance, global organisations.

The panel discussions will address the key areas of focus for the automotive industry including sustainability, competitiveness, standards, the creation of a locally used car market, component manufacturing, retail, auto financing, and insurance, amongst others.

Speakers will include Senior Executives from vehicle manufacturers, policymakers, and a host of content experts from automotive and aligned industries.

This summit will be supported by AfCFTA Secretariat, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, and the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

‘We are delighted to host this maiden summit, which will explore the future of the automobile industry and the technologies and innovations that will shape it,’ Mr Jeffery Oppong Peprah, AAAG President said.

He said that would provide them the opportunity as a country to discuss the issues and opportunities impacting businesses and the automobile industry.

The AAAG membership include Volkswagen Ghana, Japan Motors, Rana Motors, Kantanka Automobile, Silverstar Ghana, and Stallion Group Toyota-Tsusho Company. Associate members are Toyota Ghana and CFAO Motors Ghana.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ethiopia, Brazil Vow to Elevate Bilateral & Multilateral Diplomatic Ties

Ethiopia and Brazil have reaffirmed the respective commitments of their governments to further enhance the longstanding diplomatic relations, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen, earlier today received Brazilian Foreign Minister, Ambassador Mauro Vieira at his office.

During the occasion, Demeke stressed that it is high time to elevate Ethio-Brazilian relations as the opening of Ethiopian Embassy in Brasilia is aimed at bolstering relations between the two countries.

The deputy prime minister and foreign minister also thanked the Government of Brazil for supporting sustainable forest management, cotton productivity, and soil protection projects in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia and Brazil could further cooperate in the areas of investment, aviation, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, environmental protection, mining and renewable energy, Demeke noted.

Brazilian Foreign Minister, Ambassador Mauro Vieira for his part expressed his government’s readiness to support sports and other sectors parallel to advanced mutual interests in bilateral and multilateral venues.

Accordingly, the dignitaries have also agreed to conduct political consultations subsequently.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency