The calls this week by Amnesty International and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) came after Ethiopian authorities arrested at least seven journalists in their latest crackdown during the past two weeks following anti-government protests in the country’s Amhara region.
The two rights groups urged the Ethiopian authorities to immediately release the journalists and drop all charges pressed against them. Amnesty expressed its concern about reports of violations and violence in Amhara, where exchanges of gunfire have been reported in multiple locations.
Ethiopia has been undergoing crucial economic reforms in line with regional and international developments. The goal is to gradually yet effectively liberalize the economy, enhance competitiveness in production, and export of goods and services.
Trade in services plays a key role in the economic growth and development of a country. Services directly support production but also value chains and create jobs and other economic and non-economic opportunities.
For Ethiopia, there exist numerous strategic services, namely transport (air transport, where Ethiopia Airlines remains a leader when it comes to air connectivity), arts, sports, and recreational services. Others are financial, tourism, and energy-related services.
Chris Onyango, Director of Trade and Customs in COMESA, says it is in such a context that COMESA undertakes to provide technical assistance and capacity-building in services to Member States to facilitate the negotiations.
Addressing the Ethiopian services negotiators and stakeholders attending the COMESA Training Workshop on Trade in Services in Addis Ababa, he said this will facilitate speeding up the preparation of the country’s services offer. It will enable the country to participate fully, not just in the COMESA regional integration but also in the broad continental and multilateral contexts.