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  • Ethiopia secures about 40,000 exit visas for its undocumented citizens living in Saudi Arabia

    The Ethiopian government has secured exit visas for about 40,000 undocumented citizens living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has subsequently dispatched a team to Saudi to help in the safe return of the nationals who are taking advantage of an Amnesty program between the two governments.

    Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister, Workneh Gebeyehu who visited Saudi also held talks with the national airline, Ethiopian Airlines, on how best to bring back the nationals.

    Barely a week ago, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn expressed worry over the refusal of nationals illegally resident in Saudi to return despite the amnesty program.

    Desalegn said he feared that the Saudi government will resort to forcibly deport Ethiopians who have refused to voluntarily return home.

    The Premier was quoted by the Ethiopia News Agency as saying, “the situation that made the Saudi Government forcibly deport our citizens is being created. Therefore, it is better if our citizens come back home before various problems arise seizing the opportunity they are given even in the remaining short period”.

    The 90 day amnesty at the end of June and authorities said the numbers of people they expected to return under the program was all but underwhelming.

    The period for illegal foreigners to leave the oil-producing giant started on March 29, 2017. Those who fail to leave will be subjected to fines or face legal measures, which include forced deportation.

    Most rich Middle East countries hire thousands of domestic helpers from Africa and Asia. Most of these helpers often complain of abuse from their employers.

    Source: africanews.com

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  • Dr Tedros to be WHO's next Director-General

    23 May 2017 | Geneva - Dr Tedros of Ethiopia will be the next Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).

    Dr Tedros will be the first African Director-General to lead the World Health Organization (WHO).

    Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was nominated by the Government of Ethiopia, and will begin his five-year term on 1 July 2017.

    Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will succeed Dr Margaret Chan, who has been WHO’s Director-General since 1 January 2007.

    Read more at AAO

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  • Eritrea Denies Targeting Ethiopia Dam as Egyptian Ties Deepen

    Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki denied his country’s deepening relations with Egypt signify plans to disrupt neighboring Ethiopia’s construction of Africa’s biggest hydropower dam.

    “The claim by the Ethiopian regime that the relation between Eritrea and Egypt is targeting the millennium dam is unfounded,” siad the Eritrean president during a May 21 interview with EriTV in the capital, Asmara.

    "We are working with Egypt to bring peace and stability to our region" said the president. The president also called the Ethiopian renaissance dam a white elephant.

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  • Ethiopia court found former Blue party official guilty of terrorism charges

    A court in Ethiopia has found a former opposition spokesman guilty of "encouraging terrorism" with a series of anti-government Facebook posts. 

    Yonatan Tesfaye of the Blue Party was arrested in December 2015 after writing on the social media platform that the government had used "force against the people instead of using peaceful discussion", AFP news agency reports.

    Mr Yonatan maintained his innocence throughout his trial, but Judge Belayhun Awol ruled that his comments "exceeded freedom of expression" and amounted to encouraging terrorism, it adds.   

    "I think the government's intent and what it seeks is this: to restrict others from speaking freely," Mr Yonatan's lawyer Shebru Belete Birru told AFP after the verdict.  

    He now faces a possible sentence of between 10 and 20 years under Ethiopia's  anti-terrorism laws. 

    More than 650 people, including 63 policemen, have died in a wave of anti-government protests that began in Ethiopia in November 2015, accordin to official figures. 

    Source: AFP

     

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  • Ethiopia aims at transforming speciality coffee market

    Ethiopia, the world’s fifth largest coffee producer and home of arabica, has overhauled the way it markets the commodity in a bid to increase export earnings and clamp down on a thriving domestic black market.

    Experts say the reforms, which centre on improving traceability of beans and stimulating higher quality production, could transform the global speciality coffee market because of the expected increased supply from one of the world’s premier producers.


    A worker picks coffee in Yergachefe, Ethiopia © Bloomberg

    Arkebe Oqubay, the government minister overseeing the reform, said he hopes the changes, which are modelled on Colombia’s experience, will see Ethiopia’s annual coffee exports soar from their current $1bn.

    “We could easily earn five times what we’re earning if we do it in the right way,” he told the Financial Times. “Our aim is to improve traceability and encourage farmers to increase productivity and expand coffee farms.”

    Under the old arrangements, which were introduced in 2008, the vast majority of coffee was transported to the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange, mixed and then auctioned. This resulted in it losing much of its value because its origin was untraceable, a key requirement in the speciality industry.

    Read more at FT

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