Ministerial meeting on new partnerships opens in Benin

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Addis Ababa, 30 July 2014 (WIC) - The Ministerial Meeting on New Partnerships for Productive Capacity Building in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) opened on July 27 in Cotonou, Benin.

It is reviewing implementation of the Istanbul Program of Action, adopted unanimously three years ago in Istanbul. It is also identifying new and innovative partnerships to support efforts of LDCs to strengthening their productive capacities.

The meeting is expected to adopt a Cotonou Action Agenda. President Dr. Boni Yayi of Benin, and Chairman of the Group of LDCs and Global Coordinator for the Implementation of the IPoA, opened the meeting, noting that most  LDCs had made serious efforts to implement the program and several had made significant progress, but much still remained to done in face of the wide-ranging  challenges.

The Ethiopian delegation led by State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Yinager Dessie, made two presentations on Ethiopia’s actions, particularly in two priority areas of the program, energy and infrastructure.

He said the IPoA had been fully integrated into Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan and was yielding good results in these two critical sectors.

He also shared Ethiopia’s experiences in its policies, strategies and programs and how it was addressing the challenges on the basis of national ownership, strong commitment, leadership and global partnership principles.

Dr. Yinager highlighted Ethiopia’s energy focus on development of hydropower, wind, geothermal and solar, bio-mass and exploration of natural gas and other fuels.

The sector is playing a leading role in overall economic activities transforming the country’s economy. It allows efficiency and conservation, environmental sustainability, capacity building and transfer of technology.

Dr. Yinager also emphasized that reliable and affordable infrastructure services were critical for efficient operation of existing productive assets and enterprises, for attracting new investments, connecting producers to markets, assuring meaningful economic development and promoting regional integration.

He detailed Ethiopia’s various infrastructure projects including expansion of major road networks and the construction of the railways which served Ethiopia’s economic development as well as creating regional connectivity with states in the sub-region. (MoFA)