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Opinion: The Ethiopian Financial Market is plummeting…

The Ethiopian People’s Republic Defense Force (EPRDF) Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn have ordered to fix economic problem the government has. EPRDF has been hailed for their financial growth, but with this sort of news. You know the growth and the reality is far from the truth. Ethiopia News Agency: “International Consultant of Trade, Investment and Economic Development, Dr. Taffere Tesfachew said on the occasion the fact that African countries are performing better than the global average is testimony to how far Africa is coming over the decade. He noted that the economic growth of countries like Ethiopia and Ivory Coast is highly impressive at this time when other African countries are struggling with one or two percent growth” (ENA, 2017).

So I have to question the economic growth, as the Forex Woes and the remittance from the diaspora are proving otherwise. Together with the need of more foreign aid to solve the famine of the drought. So the World Bank clearly knows the troubles of the Ethiopian government since they did this:

The World Bank today approved a $600 million International Development Association (IDA)* grant to support the Government of Ethiopia’s vision of building a national safety net system to provide effective support in chronically food insecure rural areas, including providing cover during droughts. The Rural Productive Safety Net Project (RPSNP) supports the evolution of the Government’s umbrella Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) that has been in operation for the last 12 years and is one of the world’s largest safety net programs in the world. Run by the Government, the PSNP pools money from 11 donors, including $600 million of World Bank Group IDA funds. The PSNP provides regular cash or food transfers to 8 million people; currently 4 million of them are in areas affected by the ongoing drought. Its food-for-work component supports public works programs related to landscape restoration, irrigation, and agro-forestry” (World Bank, 2017).

So, when the World Bank gives this as a support of the government. You should take it serious and know the problems of the state. The need of financial support and to make sure drought doesn’t affect the starving citizens. EPRDF are doing badly and now the Forex Companies has to pay of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) for the debt to Enterprise in Djibouti. Look!

Foreign Forex Woes:

The directive of foreign currency allocation entails all banks must sell foreign currency to a sector whose importance is very high. The banks are required to give priority to payments authorized by the central bank such as foreign loan, supplier’s credits, interest, profit, dividend and excess sales of foreign airlines. Hence, all banks are required to sell the currency collected from importers, although the current direction is high, according to a banker with almost two decades of experience. “Even though I agree with the fact that we shared the responsibilities with CBE,” said one of the vice president of a mid-sized bank. “But requesting such amount of Forex in a short time might lead to crisis.” Yohannes Ayalew (PhD), vice governor and chief economist of the central bank, disagrees. “It is a collective responsibility of all banks whether the call was quick or not,” said Yohannes. “There is no reason to ask CBE to cover all the payments.” The Forex shortage in the country has been haunting the country for years. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, in his press conference with local media nine months ago, admitted that the Forex crunch would last for the coming two decades” (Addis Fortune, 2017).

NBE Directive to pay of debt to Djibouti:

National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) gave order to private banks in Ethiopia to pay the 15 million USD bill the Ethiopian Shipping Logistics Services Enterprise (ESLSE) to Djibouti’s company. The banks are, according to Fortune, given 3 days to sell the foreign currency to the Enterprise. The order is said to have come when the entire country is in short of foreign exchange. The shortage came following the drop in the country’s export performance and remittance earnings. ESLSE owes the money to the port of Djibouti and the central bank gave the order for every bank including the government owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE)” (Addis Fortune, 2017).

Beset by the ever expanding informal channels of remittance, Ethiopia may continue to grapple with shortage of hard currency unless swift and collective measures are put in place, ‘Scaling up Formal Remittance to Ethiopia’ report discloses. A billion dollar transaction takes place via informal channels with 78 percent of the total remittance passing through informal networks in Ethiopia. Some experts believe that the transfer of money through unregulated channels will also likely result in illicit financial flow and dealings. The seizure of 541,659 USD around Harar is a recent indication of informal corridors of hard currency. Informal channels happen to be lophooles for global terrorism and corruption. It will open doors for illegal activities, people may use it to collect huge sums of money for their own dangerous causes, says Ethiopian Financial Security Director General Gemecu Weyema” (Gebrehiwot, 2017).

All of these articles proves the problems of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) and their lacking foreign exchange. This has become a problem as the remittance hasn’t come through the formal channels, as the informal economy are big in Ethiopia. Together with drop of foreign exports that has also hurt the amount of exchange.

Clearly, the government of Ethiopia has a bigger problem that they want to reveal, as the NBE and the Foreign Exchange is plummeting. Therefore, the need at the same time for World Banks loans. Shows the dire situation of the economy. It is not like the Ethiopian News Agency would speak ill of own government and their policies. Since, the propaganda of own growth are more important, than actually telling about the weakness of the economy. This is a reality since the financial policy of Forex Exchange is in favor of the NBE.

This can also make it more profitable to for an informal market, instead of in the open market. The Ethiopian government really needs foreign exchange to pay of debt and use all their means. Instead, they are trying to cover-up their troubles, as they have debt to Enterprise in Djibouti and have troubles with the famine caused by drought. Peace.

Reference:

Addis Fortune – ‘Ethiopian Government Orders Private Banks to Cover ESLSE Forex Needs’ (12.09.2017) link: https://www.ezega.com/News/NewsDetails/4679/Ethiopian-Government-Orders-Private-Banks-to-Cover-ESLSE-Forex-Needs

Addis Fortune – ‘Ethiopia: NBE Ordered Banks to Cover ESLSE’s 15 Million USD Bill’ (13.09.2017) link: http://www.2merkato.com/news/alerts/5220-ethiopia-nbe-ordered-banks-to-cover-eslses-15-million-usd-bill

Ethiopia News Agency – ‘Gov’ts Need to Act Together to Achieve Economic Success: UNCTAD 2017 Report’ (14.09.2017) link: http://www.ena.gov.et/en/index.php/economy/item/3705-gov-ts-need-to-act-together-to-achieve-economic-success-unctad-2017-report

Gebrehiwot, Desta – ‘Ethiopia: Informal Channels Raise Red Flag On Forex Earning’ (14.09.2017) link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201709140729.html

World Bank – ‘World Bank to Help Ethiopia Build a National Safety Net System as a More Effective Response to Droughts’ (14.09.2017) link: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2017/09/14/world-bank-to-help-ethiopia-build-a-national-safety-net-system-as-a-more-effective-response-to-droughts

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ONLF Press Release: Disinformation about Abdikarin’s refoulement to TPLF-led Ethiopian regime by the Somali regime of Farmajo (02.09.2017)

Opinion: Ambassador Mahboub Maalim in an interview states the IGAD failure in South Sudan and why!

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have been in-charge and had a pivotal role in the peacemaking in South Sudan. Not that it has stopped the civil-war that has escalated since June 2016. The Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement/Army In-Opposition (SPLM/A-IO), also between more rebel fractions inside the Republic, as the Ugandans are trying to enforce unite inside the SPLM. This as there are different states that the rebels and opposition have been strong, while the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has not had the leadership to secure the Protection of Civilians sites in the Republic. Therefore, the interview of Mahboub Maalim of IGAD in New Vision was exposing something dire. Take a look!

Ambassador Mahboub Maalim on IGAD:

First of all, I am an employee of President Kiir, among other presidents. So, to ask me what I can tell him, is like asking your house helper to tell you to change something in your house. But this is on a light note. President Kiir has been told a lot by his compatriots, heads of state from the region and African Union (AU), and those in the international community circles. People know that the South Sudanese do not have to continue dying after having achieved what they fought for. The situation in South Sudan is very unfortunate, and like you have said, IGAD has done a lot to try to stay on top of it. Recently, the heads of state of IGAD appointed a special IGAD envoy for South Sudan. Hopefully, we will see a lot of changes in the run-up to the operationalisation of the peace agreement in South Sudan” (…) “If the people in South Sudan are saying that we have failed them, I would not get surprised. If I was in their shoes, I would say the same. If I was like them, sitting in a sewage-logged UN camp in my own country, I would feel the same. But just to encourage them, IGAD has tried very much to ameliorate the problems in South Sudan since the problems started in 2013. In 2014, IGAD heads of state had a special meeting to just discuss South Sudan. It has never happened in our history that over 14 heads of state convene to discuss one subject. South Sudan is at the heart of everybody. Of course, whether this will be solved today or tomorrow depends on the goodwill of the South Sudanese themselves” (Lumu, 2017).

That the Ambassador said one vital thing, that he could not push the member states around. Since he could not tell what was wrong in someones else house, like to President Salva Kiir Mayardiit and his South Sudan. The Ambassador also wasn’t shocked if the they felt the IGAD had failed. They have really failed since ARCISS (Agreement for a Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, 2015). Doesn’t seem to be revived or anywhere near being fulfilled.

President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar of SPLM/A-IO are really battling for supremacy. Together with all the deflectors and deserters from both major armies that are making the situation more problematic. Since the IGAD has not made the peace-agreement work, nor had the capacity to make a successful negotiations between all parties. The South Sudanese should feel betrayed, when the Ambassador Mahboub Maalim are saying: “I am an employee of President Kiir, among other presidents. So, to ask me what I can tell him, is like asking your house helper to tell you to change something in your house”.

So it is not like the IGAD wants to rock the boat, as it is an entity respecting its member states and their direct leadership. Peace.

Reference:

Lumu, David – ‘IGAD boss applauds Uganda on South Sudan’ (23.08.2017) – New Vision Article

IGAD Revitalizing South Sudan Peace Process (18.08.2017)

Drought-stricken herders in Ethiopia need urgent support (11.08.2017)

Pastoralist communities are facing huge losses of livestock.

ROME, Italy, August 11, 2017 – Supporting herders to get back on their feet and preventing further livestock losses and suffering are crucial in drought-hit Ethiopia where hunger has been on the rise this year, warned today the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Drought has devastated herders’ livelihoods as it exhausted pastures and water sources, leading to a significant number of animals dying or falling ill, particularly in the southern and southeastern regions of the country as other areas recover from previous seasons’ El Niño-induced drought.

Drought-hit pastoralists face reduced milk production, rising malnutrition, and have limited income-earning capacity and severely constrained access to food.

Some 8.5 million people – one in 12 people – are now suffering from hunger; of these, 3.3 million people live in Somali Region.

The current food and nutrition crisis is significantly aggravated by the severe blow to pastoral livelihoods. For livestock-dependent families, the animals can literally mean the difference between life and death, especially for children, pregnant and nursing women for whom milk is a crucial source of nutrition.

With up to 2 million animals lost so far, FAO is focusing on providing emergency livestock support to the most vulnerable pastoralist communities through animal vaccination and treatment, supplementary feed and water, rehabilitating water points, and supporting fodder and feed production.

“It is crucial to provide this support between now and October – when rains are due – to begin the recovery process and prevent further losses of animals. If we don’t act now, hunger and malnutrition will only get worse among pastoral communities,” said Abdoul Karim Bah, FAO Deputy Representative in Ethiopia.

By providing supplementary feed and water for livestock, while at the  same time supporting fodder production, FAO seeks to protect core breeding animals and enable drought-hit families to rebuild their livelihoods. Animal health campaigns will be reinforced to protect animals, particularly before the rains set in, when they are at their weakest and more susceptible to parasites or infectious diseases. FAO-supported destocking and cash-for-work programmes will also provide a crucial source of cash for families.

Funding appeal

FAO urgently requires US$ 20 million between August and December to come to the aid of Ethiopia’s farmers and herders.

FAO has already assisted almost 500,000 drought-hit people in 2017 through a mix of livestock feed provision, destocking and animal health interventions, thanks to the support of the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden through FAO’s Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund, as well as FAO’s own Early Warning Early Action fund and Technical Cooperation Programme.

UN Peacekeeping Mission Head insists on “zero tolerance approach” to militarization of South Sudan’s displaced people camps (10.08.2017)

UNMISS currently protects some 218,000 people in seven POC sites across the country where people have fled due to the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.

JUBA, South Sudan, August 10, 2017 – The Head of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has insisted that the mission maintains a “zero tolerance approach” to the militarization of camps for people displaced by conflict and that the camps remain civilian in nature.

David Shearer, who is also the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, was speaking in Bentiu in the north of the country, where some 115,000 people are currently living in the Mission’s largest Protection of Civilians site or POC.

Last month, 22 armed men in civilian clothes were taken into custody by Mongolian peacekeepers, after they tried to break into the camp to seek shelter from fighting.

“The only way to keep women and children safe in this camp and others is to make sure they do not become militarized,” Mr Shearer said.

UNMISS currently protects some 218,000 people in seven POC sites across the country where people have fled due to the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.

“Undoubtedly, UNMISS has saved tens of thousands of lives by providing these sanctuaries from violence, but ultimately,” Mr Shearer added “we need to find a longer-term solution so that these people can return home and live productive lives.”

“Only those people in imminent danger and whose lives are at risk should be sheltering in these sites,” the UNMISS Head said.

UN Police Officers are working with community groups in the POC sites to ensure that military groups are unable to find refuge there.

“UNMISS is stepping up peacekeeping patrols outside many of its POC sites to build confidence for local people to return home,” said David Shearer. “That needs to go hand in hand with the efforts of humanitarian agencies to provide targeted assistance to surrounding communities to support that return.”

Southern Sudan Associated Advocates letter to the Kenyan Embassy: “Re: Targeting of South Sudanese in Kenya” (04.08.2017)

In South Sudan, UN peacekeeping chief pledges support to displaced civilians in Malakal (04.08.2017)

Continued civil conflict has plagued South Sudan, since December 2013.

WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, August 4, 2017 – Having witnessed first-hand various security challenges and humanitarian efforts in South Sudan, the United Nations peacekeeping chief has wrapped up his three-day mission to the country, which included a visit to the UN Protection of Civilians site in Malakal, where he expressed the Organization’s resolve to support the return to stability.

“We are determined to continue doing our best to help the population,” said Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for UN Peacekeeping Operations said after visiting Malakal.

Continued civil conflict has plagued South Sudan, since December 2013. A brokered peace deal signed in August 2015 has not completely taken hold, causing hundreds of thousands to flee amidst burgeoning humanitarian challenges.

Mr. Lacroix visited the UN Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Malakal, where 30,000 people struggle to survive. Since its formation, the internally displaced persons (IDPs) site has offered refuge to countless South Sudanese escaping conflict around their homes.

Troops on the ground briefed him on various security concerns, obstacles and humanitarian efforts underway to assist the local population.

“My visit to Malakal was quite informative on the efforts that are being made to support the population there – the IDPs – but also the population as a whole, irrespective of their affiliation,” he maintained.

Through a translator, one IDP living there since December 2013 said, “in this camp we are secure,” adding “but still we need more security and peace in this country.”

Accompanied by Special Representative of the Secretary-General David Shearer, Head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the UN peacekeeping chief spoke with local authorities, as well as the UNMISS team and representatives of UN agencies, both on the humanitarian and development sides.

“We had a good meeting with local authorities in Malakal and we agreed that we should continue to work together and increase our cooperation in order to help the return of stability and also generate better opportunities for the population there,” elaborated Mr. Lacroix.

During the meeting, Peter Col Wal, speaker of the Upper Nile state assembly, urged UNMISS to support peace activities in his state.

Today in the capital, Juba, after wrapping up his three-day visit to the country, Mr. Lacroix reiterated, at his final press conference, the importance of the initiative led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) aimed to revitalize the peace agreement.

“Clearly it is a very important and positive thing that the countries in the region are being more engaged in helping South Sudan return to peace,” he said. “The UN has welcomed and supported this new engagement by the IGAD and looks forward to that process moving forward.”

He noted that the UN would continue to closely follow the national dialogue process to ensure that it is conducted in an inclusive and transparent manner, saying that it “can be a helpful instrument in bringing together stakeholders and helping them resolve their differences especially at the local level.”

The peacekeeping chief also called on all parties to stop fighting and to make all efforts towards a cessation of hostilities.

Finally, Mr. Lacroix expressed concern about the dire humanitarian situation and reiterated that the UN is working impartially to help everyone in South Sudan, irrespective of ethnic and religious affiliation.

“The UN is acting impartially in helping everyone in South Sudan, irrespective of their ethnic or religious or any other affiliations. I really appreciate that this impartiality was recognized by the leadership during my meetings with them. So we are determined to continue doing our best to help the population,” he said.

 

South Sudan: SPLM-FPD statement on Martyrs Day 2017 (31.07.2017)

South Sudan: Lt. Gen. John Kenyi Loburon letter of Resignation from SPLM-IO to Join NAS (28.07.2017)

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