All Africa: Eritrea: Desert Locust Threat Under Control – 15 March

  • All Africa publishes a press release from the Eritrean Ministry of Information reporting that Eritrea has brought the threat of the desert locust under control.
  • Mamoon Al-Alawi, Executive Secretary of the FAO Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Central Region, visited Eritrea to assess the efforts of the country to control the spread of the desert locust across more than 32,000 hectares.
  • The Commission comprises 16 countries, including Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Djibouti, which are affected directly or indirectly by the desert locust. 
  • Al-Alawi expressed his appreciation for Eritrea’s contribution to controlling of the spread of the desert locust, and called for integrated efforts to combat the cross border threat.

Eritrea Hub: Eritrea women: celebrate International Women’s Day and call for justice – 17 March

  • Eritrea Hub reports that a seminar to mark International Women’s Day (IWD) was held in Frankfurt on 8 March, at the initiative of Eritrean Mothers in Europe.
  • The event was “open to all political organizations, activists and individuals who were representing 10 European countries”. Eritrean friends and non-Eritrean organisations also participated.
  • The event marked IWD with slogans and information from Eritrean Mothers in Europe, Kvinner For Rettferdighet (Women For Justice), Change Now, and a representative for Eritrean refugees in Libya. A special focus was dedicated to Eritrean women in discussions around women’s history and their role in society, and the seminar drew attention to the imprisonment of four female political ex-fighters and freedom activists.
  • Key areas of concerns in Eritrea were addressed, including “teenage military services and slavery experienced by women who do not have the self-efficacy to use the complaints process” and the “increasing casualization of women” in refugee camps in the Horn of Africa and Libya.
  • Conclusions from the seminar included that “the financial support from the EU seems wasted”, and that “sanctions should be introduced to put pressure on the dictatorship” at this critical juncture, “as Eritrea is more or less emptied for people in working age, leaving the society literally on the brink of total collapse”.

Horn Diplomat: Eritrean delegation arrives in Somaliland for high level talks – 18 March

  • Horn Diplomat reports that Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh and Presidential Adviser Yemane Ghebreab have arrived in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, for an official three-day state visit.
  • The trip marks the first Eritrean diplomatic visit to Somaliland. According to Eritrean Information Minister Yemane Meskel, the objective of the visit is to start engagement with Somaliland and support the promotion of regional peace in the Horn of Africa.
  • Muse Bihi Abdi, President of Somaliland, received the Eritrean delegation in his office for an initial meeting.
  • The Eritrean Foreign Minister and his Somaliland counterpart Yasin Hagi Mohamoud Hiir, known as Faratoon, held a joint press briefing after the meeting.

The New Times: Moise Mugisha strikes gold at African Championships – 18 March

  • Eritrean cyclists won two silver medals in the Individual Time Trial (ITT) events at the 14th African Continental Road Championships in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, on Sunday 17 March.
  • Sirak Tesfom came second in the men’s elite and Under-23 event, while his compatriot Kidane Tekeste Desiet also finished second in the women’s ITT Under-23 category, behind Ethiopian Selam Amaha Gerefiel.

BBC: The city where innovation is driven by necessity – 18 March

  • The BBC’s Bright Sparks series, focusing on young people changing the world with technology, publishes a feature by Thomas Lewton on young tech workers in who want to “transform Ethiopia by finding unique solutions to local problems”.
  • Lewton speaks to Selam Wondim, a 29-year old tech entrepreneur invited to talk at side event of the 32nd African Union Summit, to persuade governments to support technology ecosystems. He writes: “Here in Ethiopia, she has a receptive audience. Last year Abiy Ahmed, 42, was elected prime minster and quickly made his mark with a series of sweeping reforms, including the release of thousands of political prisoners and the restoration of diplomatic relations with Eritrea.”
  • Lewton writes that the rapid liberalisation of Ethiopia’s economy “carries with it the risk of neo-colonialism. Getnet Assefa, the co-founder of iCog Labs and an ardent support of many of Abiy’s reforms notes that most of the technology companies in Kenya and Nigeria are foreign-owned. “Yes, they have a lot of investment,” he says. “But if you look at it in terms of homegrown tech, Ethiopia is doing reasonably well.”

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