Ethiopia Keen To Host Second Russia – Africa Summit In Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa, April 23, 2021 (FBC) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen held discussions on Thursday with Oleg Ozerov, Ambassador-at-Large, and Head of the Secretariat of Russia-Africa Partnership Forum.
The two sides discussed preparations for the Second Russia-Africa Summit which will be held in 2022 in Africa.
The Secretariat gave briefings about the tasks and responsibilities of his office, the creation of Association of Economic Cooperation with the African States which will bring major Russian and African companies to work together.
As part of the preparation for the Summit, consultations will be held with AU and African countries this summer.
During the discussion, Demeke told the Secretariat Ethiopia’s commitment to strengthen the long-standing relations with Russia, appreciated the initiative of Russia to establishing the platform, and request to host the Second Russia-Africa Summit in Addis Ababa.
In addition, they exchanged ideas on cooperation in the areas of security, innovation/technology, agriculture, energy, nuclear medicine, geology exploration, etc.
The First Russia-Africa Summit was held in October 2019 in Sochi, Russia, in which Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took part.
Oleg Ozerov also presented the invitation of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Demeke Mekonnen to visit Moscow.
Ethiopia, World Bank Sign $907m Financing Agreement
Addis Ababa, April 23, 2021 (FBC) -Ethiopia and the World Bank Group have signed a total of $907 million financing agreement aimed at availing financing to SMEs, mitigating expansion of COVID-19, and increasing access to reliable electricity.
During the signing ceremony, Finance Minister Ahmed Shide said the World Bank Group remains a reliable partner of Ethiopia for several decades.
“Access to distributed electricity and lighting with $500 million loan financing aims to increase access to new and improved electricity services for households and small holder farmers etc. through on-grid, off-grid and mini-grid solutions by leveraging public and private delivery modalities,” he elaborated.
While the second project with $207 million is tailored to provide upfront financing for vaccine acquisition and deployment to enable affordable and equitable access and equitable deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, it was indicated.
Ahmed pointed out that the project will support the government’s efforts to deliver the vaccine besides strengthening the vaccination and regulatory system, according to ENA.
The Minister further stated that the third project with $200 million by providing credits to Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)s will expand access to financing and enable business continuity and jobs protection.
The World Bank remains indispensable partner in supporting Ethiopia’s development efforts, Ahmed said, and added “these projects we are signing are further testimonies of the bank’s commitment to continue supporting development endeavors in the country.”
World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, Ousmane Dione said on his part that the project represents the World Bank’s continued support to Ethiopia’s national electrification program and is aligned with our commitment to support Ethiopia’s resilient recovery from COVID-19.
He appreciated the exemplary commitment of Ethiopia to support SMEs and excellent implementation record and impressive results achieved so far, and added “this why we are adding additional $200 million to this project.”