Key Note Address by President Isaias Afwerki
7th Congress of the National Confederation of Eritrean Workers (NCEW)
27 March 2017
Key Note Address by President Isaias Afwerki
7th Congress of the
National Confederation of Eritrean Workers (NCEW)
27 March 2017
Distinguished Participants of this Congress,
Honourable Invited Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me first to express, at this auspicious moment, my warmest congratulations to all members of the National Confederation of Eritrean Workers (NCEW).
This Congress is taking place, if only by happenstance, at a time when Eritrea has just celebrated the 25th anniversary of its (post-independence) nation building journey. As such, and even as we pay tribute to the long and proud history of struggle of Eritrean workers, it is imperative and timely to ask what the NCEW has achieved in this past quarter of a century. Where does the NCEW want to go and how will it proceed in the years ahead?
These questions are not pertinent to the National Confederation of Eritrean Workers only. They are equally relevant to various government bodies, social associations, corporations and different enterprises. And beyond national entities, the subject matter is also relevant to our close and distant external partners. In the event, these issues will require objective and profound assessment.
The vision and strategy of nation building that we have tenaciously pursued in the past quarter century include:
1. Ensuring sustainable improvements in the quality of life of our citizens, and, the maintenance and preservation of this task as a central goal or objective;
2. Increasing productivity and output for genuine economic growth and prosperity;
3. Building extensive infrastructure, with even and fair spatial distribution, in all sectors (roads, ports, airports, water systems, electricity, transport, health and education, manufacturing, services… etc.) so as to pave the ground and stimulate overall productivity and economic growth;
4. The creation of extensive employment opportunities in all sectors, industries and enterprises in accordance with their respective potential and comparative advantages;
5. To build efficient/effective and clean institutions in phases;
6. Above all, to cultivate, organize and enhance a professional, experienced and highly disciplined labour force in all sectors, industries and enterprises.
How many of the visions, strategies and plans spelled out above have we achieved in the past quarter century against the backdrop of a devastated, literally below zero, economic reality that we inherited and that was further compounded by limited, underdeveloped and unexploited domestic endowments, as well as the relentless national security and economic hostilities and subversions that were employed against us through different forms and facades. These intertwined phenomena will require sober and objective appraisal that is not tainted by emotional or presumptuous approaches.
Our domestic reality and its checkered trajectory cannot of course be seen in isolation. It is indeed influenced by global and regional realities and developments. Our approach has consequently remained comprehensive and holistic.
The spiraling turmoil, devastation, and economic suffering that is afflicting various parts of the world today, and especially our region, is too palpable to merit further elaboration. These crises are inextricably linked with acts of those who claim or believed that their camp “has triumphed” after the end of the Cold War and who thereby aspired to create a uni-polar world.
Indeed, periodic and appalling statistical explanations that accentuate prevailing acute economic polarizations in society: commonly described as the 1% against the 99% - (in reality, the ratio is 0.001% vs 99.999%); statistical data circulated by Oxfam recently that amplifies “the wealth of a handful billionaires amid the impoverishment of billions of people”; or, other anecdotal instances such as the fact that “the wealth of the four richest people in Indonesia is equivalent to the aggregate income of 100 million citizens in the country” all corroborate the imperative for profound and serious appraisal of global realities.
Demonization of all arguments and concepts that challenge the validity/ideology of the prevailing global order; weakening and vilification of workers’ movements and other forces that seek social justice; exaltation of speculative practices of international banks; shrinking of the middle class even in the industrialized nations (known as the 1st World); increased marginalization of countries (mostly found in Africa) that are in the early stages of economic development resulting in their confinement to the production of raw materials and their attendant deprivation from developing their infrastructure, industries and modern services; ensuring that these countries are governed by corrupt and pliable regimes that serve “external” agendas,… etc., are some of the tools routinely invoked to secure the pre-eminence of the uni-polar international system. Other more perplexing practices include inducement of debilitating brain drain and migration of the professional and educated segments in these countries, while manual labourers without the requisite expertise are not spared and exposed to “modern slavery”.
In a nutshell, the scheme involves the unfair exploitation of resources, the denial of jobs and job opportunities to augment the number of destitute populations who survive on charities. The climax of this “film” or “operation” is shedding crocodile tears of “benign concern”. These are some of the sad hallmarks of global realities in the past quarter century. These trends warrant a more profound and objective appraisal that is corroborated by quantitative data more and beyond the succinct and general description that I have tried to outline.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our ongoing endeavours to chart out our future developmental path – and the associated questions of: from where we have started? Where we are now? Where we want to be? And how we want to reach there? – are naturally predicated on detailed and comprehensive evaluation of the domestic and global realities and trends that I have described above.
Perhaps we cannot expect the current Congress of the NCEW to examine all these issues exhaustively to come up with comprehensive answers. Nonetheless, I hope and trust that the Congress will map out a road map for enhancing its role in future programmes geared towards the achievement of our domestic priorities; especially in regard to the augmentation of job opportunities, work ethic and labour productivity in all sectors, industries and enterprises as well as in the cultivation and consolidation of external ties and solidarity for sharing experiences. Let me conclude by wishing you success in all your proceedings.
Victory to the Masses!
27 March 2017
Mr. Fsehatsion Petros, Eritrea's Ambassador to Italy has on 21st March presented work credential to the Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic as Eritrea's nonresident Ambassador to the republic.
Asmara, 27 March 2017- Mr. Fsehatsion Petros, Eritrea's Ambassador to Italy has on 21st March presented work credential to the Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic as Eritrea's nonresident Ambassador to the republic.
In the event, Ambassador Fsehatsion conveyed President Isaias' message of good wish to the Serbian President and affirmed Eritrea's readiness to establish a strong bilateral relation and cooperation between the two countries.
Ambassador Fsehatsion further explained strong conviction that he would work towards advancing the bilateral ties to a high level with the support of all concerned Serbian authorities.
Explaining that the recent working visit of a senior Eritrean delegation was of a paramount importance in understanding Eritrea's stance, President Tomislav affirmed his country's readiness to establish a robust and all-rounded mutual cooperation between the two countries.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Fsehatsion held discussions with various Serbian officials as regards enhancing partnership of mutual cooperation between the two countries.
The 40th anniversary of the liberation of Nakfa was commemorated on 25th March.
Asmara, 27 March 2017- The 40th anniversary of the liberation of Nakfa was commemorated on 25th March.
Various programs that reflect the culture and livelihood of the Eritrean people, carnival shows of various institutions, cultural and sports activities, planting of tree seedlings in the patriots' cemetery among other added color to the event.
Pointing out that the liberation of Nakfa holds a special place in the history of the struggle for independence, Mr. Idris Ali Sheker, administrator of Nakfa sub-zone, said that once liberated Nakfa had never been retaken by the enemy and thus it became an icon of resilience and determination of the Eritrean people and that of the freedom fighters.
Mr. Idris further noted that once the war ravaged Nakfa has now become a perfect example of the achievements registered in the nation building process in the post independence period.
At the event , an association of x-freedom fighters known as Gemahir, staged a colorful exhibition that reflect the livelihood of the residents of the area, people's role during the struggle for independence and various social services that were rendered in the liberated areas.
Various programs that depict the relics of the struggle for independence, briefings and pictorial exhibition reflecting the activities of EPLF's armed units of the then Nakfa front were also showcased in the event.
Asmara Art Deco Exhibition was recently staged in the city of Cape Town, South Africa. Mr. Saleh Omar, the Eritrean Ambassador to South Africa and the Southern African region opened the exhibition featuring photo and video images.
Asmara, 25 March 2017 - Asmara Art Deco Exhibition was recently staged in the city of Cape Town, South Africa. Mr. Saleh Omar, the Eritrean Ambassador to South Africa and the Southern African region opened the exhibition featuring photo and video images.
The Eritrean Embassy in South Africa indicated that the exhibition is being staged under the theme “Asmara: City of Dreams”. It is part of the campaign underway in 16 cities of 9 countries with a view to placing Asmara in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Ambassador Saleh gave briefing on Eritrean history during which he pointed out that Eritrea is endowed with yet untapped historical, cultural and natural heritages. He reiterated that Eritrean societal values based on living in harmony and respect to one other is a unique asset.
Diplomats, foreign friends of Eritrea and Eritrean nationals residing in Cape Town attended the opening ceremony during which they put their signatures in the Asmara World Heritage Appeal document.
The demise of the Nadew Command and the 29th anniversary of the liberation of Afabet was marked on 19 March with different programs.
Asmara, 25 March 2017 - The demise of the Nadew Command and the 29th anniversary of the liberation of Afabet was marked on 19 March with different programs.
Speaking on the occasion in Afabet town, the managing director of the sub-zone, Mr. Dese Zeramicael, explained that the demise of the Nadew Command marks a historical event in the history of the Eritrean armed struggle for independence. He further stated that the annual marking of the historic event is an auspicious occasion for bequeathing the heroic feat of the freedom fighters to the young generation. Military and Police Force parades as well as artistic performances featured on the occasion.
Eritrea’s high-level delegation concluded a four-day working visit to Egypt yesterday with a wrap up session between the two sides.
Asmara, 24 March 2017 – Eritrea’s high-level delegation concluded a four-day working visit to Egypt yesterday with a wrap up session between the two sides.
During the visit, the Eritrean delegation held talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister, Mr. Sameh Shoukry and with several business people. The delegation also visited the large scale national project for fisheries and aquaculture, the Cairo International Fair for Egyptian Products and a number of other enterprises.
The bilateral talks centered on strengthening existing economic and trade relations between the two countries with special focus on the sectors of marine resources, agriculture, renewable energy, health, as well as banking and financial services.
In this respect, the two sides agreed to initiate at this stage concrete cooperation progammes in the sectors of marine resources and agriculture through the establishment of a fishing project as well as a joint model farm in Eastern Eritrea. They also agreed to boost bilateral trade, particularly in terms of increased Eritrean imports and mutual investment, starting with Egyptian investment in Eritrea in identified priority sectors.
Furthermore, the two sides agreed to enhance their continual political consultations and joint efforts aimed at greater coordination in regional and international forums. The agreement encompasses cooperation and joint work to combat terrorism, piracy and human trafficking.
In his concluding remark at the wrap us session, Eritrea’s Foreign Minister, Mr. Osman Saleh, expressed his appreciation for the warm hospitality accorded to his delegation by the Egyptian Government and officials of all the Egyptian institutions. Mr. Osman further underlined that the Egyptian high level and multi-institutional delegation’s visit to Eritrea in the past month and the Eritrean delegation’s current visit to Egypt “underscore the determination of the two countries to develop their bilateral fraternal ties into a solid, multi-faceted, partnership that is mutually beneficial”.
The Egyptian Foreign Minister, Mr. Sameh Shoukry for his part asserted “Egypt’s willingness to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries in all fields, for which there is great potential”.
The 4th congress of youth workers in Keren sub-zone was conducted from 16 to 18 March.
Keren, 22 March 2017- The 4th congress of youth workers in Keren sub-zone was conducted from 16 to 18 March.
More than 200 youth from various line ministries and national associations took part in the congress.
Ms. Amete Nuguse, Head of the PFDJ office in the Anseba region, called on the youth to uphold the noble Eritrean values and to stay committed for a better and secured future.
Present in the occasion, Mr. Saleh Ahmedin, Chairperson of the NUEYS, called on the youth to make proper use of the opportunities provided to them and become committed and competent in all their endeavors. He also said that the union will organize different skill upgrading training programs in a bid to assist the youth improve their livelihoods and become productive members of the society.
The congress also elected new executive committee members.
Bee farmers cooperative has been established in Mai-Ayni sub-zone.
Mendefera, 23 March 2017- Bee farmers cooperative has been established in Mai-Ayni sub-zone.
Mr. Tadious Michael, head of Agriculture Ministry's office in the sub-zone, called on the bee farmers to carry out their activities following the technical guidance they receive from agriculture experts for better out come.
The bee farmers on their part called for organizing sustainable training programs that could help them develop their knowledge. They also elected executive committee members.
Meanwhile, the Agriculture Ministry's office in Areza sub-zone in collaboration with partners, has vaccinated 74 livestock from 22 administrative areas against various diseases.
The residents of the sub-zones of Hamelmalo, Filfle and Habero, are renovating through popular campaign 8 km long road linking Hamelmalo and Habero sub-zones that was damaged due to flooding.
Asmara, 23 March 2017- The residents of the sub-zones of Hamelmalo, Filfle and Habero, are renovating through popular campaign 8 km long road linking Hamelmalo and Habero sub-zones that was damaged due to flooding.
Every day 800 residents from the sub-zone of Hamelmalo and Filfle are participating in the popular campaign.
Mr. Teklay Habtemichael, head of transportation service in the Anseba region, expressed that the renovation of the road is expected to ease the transportation problem of the inhabitants and already two buses have been allocated and other two more buses will follow in the near future.
The renovated road will enable the residents of Hamelmalo, Berekentia, Zro, Qof-Alebu, Serwa, Shebekaiet, Garsakarn and Weqaz become beneficiaries of viable transportation service.
Similarly, the road linking Hamelmalo-Halhal-Asmat that is being renovated in cooperation with the residents and Segan Construction Company has so far covered 52 km to reach Algaeta administrative area and that already two buses are providing transportation service.
The Eritrean Medical Association held the 22nd conference recently at Asmara Palace Hotel. Heads of the Ministries of Health and Education as well as invited guests participated in the conference.
Asmara, 22 March 2017 - The Eritrean Medical Association held the 22nd conference recently at Asmara Palace Hotel. Heads of the Ministries of Health and Education as well as invited guests participated in the conference.
The President of the Association, Dr. Goitom Hagos, said that the Association expects the contribution of the graduates in strengthening it. He explained that the establishment of the Association was aimed at promoting the rights of members in addition to upgrading their professional skill.
In the course of the conference, research papers and reports were presented by experts regarding the effect and preventive measures towards controlling communicable and non-communicable diseases.
The participants elected Executive Committee members for a two-year term.
The Kermed health station, Hagaz sub-zone, is reported is rendering commendable service especially in community sensitization and control of communicable diseases.
Keren, 22 March 2017- The Kermed health station, Hagaz sub-zone, is reported is rendering commendable service especially in community sensitization and control of communicable diseases.
The head of the health station, Nurse Gebrehiwet Tsegai indicated that community awareness as regards health issues is on the rise and as a result significant decline has been registered in mother and child mortality in connection with delivery.
The area administrators pointed out that the decline of diseases is the result of the efforts of the medical personnel and increased awareness of the public and said that they will work for the expansion of the station.
Kermed health station is located 36 km south east of Hagaz and provides service to residents of the Adi-Omar, Shebeq, Ad-Arei, Tsehafa and Gula administrative areas.
The Chairman of the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students (NUEYS), Mr. Saleh Ahmedin conducted a seminar to 250 students of Hagaz Technical and Agricultural School focusing on strengthening the capacity of the students.
Keren, 22 March 2017- The Chairman of the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students (NUEYS), Mr. Saleh Ahmedin conducted a seminar to 250 students of Hagaz Technical and Agricultural School focusing on strengthening the capacity of the students.
Indicating that development is based on strong organization and awareness, Mr. Saleh called on the students to enhance the positive sides of their achievements and make proper use of the opportunities ahead of them. He also called on them to strengthen organizational capacity and develop their professional and sports capacity parallel with their academic education.
The participants expressed that they will live up to expectations and called for the sustainability of such seminars.
A senior Eritrean delegation comprising Foreign Minister Osman Saleh and Presidential Advisor Mr. Yemane Gebreab is on a four day official working visit to Egypt.
Asmara, 20 March 2017- A senior Eritrean delegation comprising Foreign Minister Osman Saleh and Presidential Advisor Mr. Yemane Gebreab is on a four day official working visit to Egypt.
The Eritrean delegation met the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Mr. Sameh Shukri and discussed on strengthening the existing bilateral ties and particularly in economic, social as well as cultural spheres.
The two parties also reached an agreement to work in collaboration in preventing piracy.
It is to be recalled that senior Egyptian delegation has, last week, conducted a working visit to Eritrea.
The residents of Metkel-Abiet administrative area, Ghinda'e sub-zone, are carrying out agricultural and environmental sanitation activities through popular campaign.
Massawa, 20 march 2017- The residents of Metkel-Abiet administrative area, Ghinda'e sub-zone, are carrying out agricultural and environmental sanitation activities through popular campaign.
The residents of the area explained that they have been conducting environmental hygiene activities so as to prevent malaria and other communicable diseases.
Mr. Osman Mohammed-Ali, administrator of Metkel-Abiet administrative area, said that efforts have been exerted to develop agricultural activities particularly during the rainy season.
As a result of wider access to education students school enrollment has increased in Hagaz sub-one.
Keren, 20 March 2017- As a result of wider access to education students school enrollment has increased in Hagaz sub-one.
In an assessment meeting held on the progress of education in the sub-zone, it was reported that enrollment of female students has witnessed remarkable progress while that of adult education needs to be improved.
Ms. Amna Osman, administrator of the sub-zone called on the teachers in collaboration with the area administrators to nurture competent and creative youth. She also said that effort is being exerted to alleviate the shortcomings being observed in some areas.
Documents of Education Ministry's branch in the sub-zone indicate that there are 37 schools ranging from kindergarten to high school level offering commendable service.
Over 400 students and civil servants in Massawa and Ghinda have voluntarily donated blood to the blood transfusion center in the region.
Massawa, 20 March 2017- Over 400 students and civil servants in Massawa and Ghinda have voluntarily donated blood to the blood transfusion center in the region.
According to reports from the Voluntary Blood Donors Association of the Northern Red Sea region, encouraging results have been registered in the campaigns carried out to increase the number of blood donors in the region. The association has also called on the society to understand the paramount importance of blood donation in saving lives and strengthen participation.
The association further indicated that preparation is underway to establish blood donors association in Afabet and Nakfa subzones in the near future.
The Voluntary Blood Donors Association of the Northern Red Sea region was founded in 2015.
Inter schools sports and cultural week has been conducted in Senafe subzone under the theme “Schools: Foundation for All-Round Development”.
Senafe, 20 March 2017- Inter schools sports and cultural week has been conducted in Senafe subzone under the theme “Schools: Foundation for All-Round Development”.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Beyene Tesfai, branch head of the Ministry of Education in the subzone, pointed out that students’ week has significant contribution in nurturing competitive, creative and responsible youth.
Noting that the students’ week is aimed at nurturing physically and mentally fit youth, Mr. Musie Ghirmatsion, head of sports, culture and health in the sub-zone, called on the society and government institutions to play due role in promoting the set goals.
In the same vein, the Keren sports, culture and art committee has conducted a 4-year assessment meeting on March 15.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Feshaye Tewolde, chairman of the committee, called for reinforcing effort in mobilizing the public to increase participation in developing sports and art activities in the sub-zone.
Mr. Zerzghi Dawit, administrator of Keren town, underlined that the shining results the Eritrean athletes are registering in the international sports competitions are vivid example for the persistent efforts being made to promote sports activities in the country.
The participants of the meeting adopted a number of resolutions and recommendations.
Eritrea is participating at the 61st Session of the Commission of the Status of Women which is being held from 13 to 24 March in New York City.
Asmara, 16 March 2017- Eritrea is participating at the 61st Session of the Commission of the Status of Women which is being held from 13 to 24 March in New York City.
Eritrea's delegation headed by Ms. Tekea Tesfamichael, President of the National Union of Eritrean Women (NUEW) is participating in the session in which representatives from over 130 countries are taking part.
On the sideline of the annual session, Ms. Tekea is also conducting discussions with representatives of various countries on reinforcing bilateral ties and cooperation.
It is to be recalled that Eritrea participated in the regular session of the commission which was held in 1995 in Beijing, China, and signed an agreement that deals on the promotion of women's health and education, socio-economic development and eradication of harmful practices. Since then, Eritrea has been presenting annual reports to the Commission.
Reports of the National Union of Eritrean Women (NUEW) indicate that as a result of wider access to education thorough out the nation, the participation of women in higher education has witnessed remarkable progress.
Asmara, 16 March 2017- Reports of the National Union of Eritrean Women (NUEW) indicate that as a result of wider access to education thorough out the nation, the participation of women in higher education has witnessed remarkable progress.
Documents of the union further highlight that women's participation in secondary schools has increased by 43.3% while that of tertiary education by 37.1%. The document indicates that despite the increased number of women’s enrolment in schools, harmful practices are still the main hindering factors for higher number of women’s participation in education.
Moreover, in line with the expansion of wider training opportunities, women's participation in all work areas has witnessed commendable progress.
A meeting between the Eritrea’s General Audit and the African Organization for Supreme Audit Institutions English speaking countries aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation was held here in Asmara.
Asmara, 15 March 2017- A meeting between the Eritrea’s General Audit and the African Organization for Supreme Audit Institutions English speaking countries aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation was held here in Asmara.
At the meeting held on 14 March, the head of the Eritrea’s General Audit, Mr. Gerezgiher Gebremedhin gave briefing on the general activity and the progress made by the office of the General Audit.
The General Manager of the African Organization for Supreme Audit Institutions English Speaking Countries, Mr. Wessel M. Proterius pointing out that the Eritrea’s General Audit is highly regarded for its work efficiency, expressed readiness of his organization to cooperate with Eritrea in human resources development and sharing experience.
It is to be recalled that Eritrea received “Quality Assurance” award from the organization for work excellence.
Mr. Vassel further said that the objective of the meeting is to observe the activities of the Eritrea’s General Audit in person and identify areas of cooperation.