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Meeting of Eritrean Cabinet of Ministers underway

A meeting of the Eritrean Cabinet of Ministers opened today at the Denden Hall here in the capital.

Asmara, 14 September 2011 – A meeting of the Eritrean Cabinet of Ministers opened today at the Denden Hall here in the capital.

The main agenda of the Ministerial Cabinet session focuses on the 2012-2014 National Development Plan, and that the meeting is holding detailed discussion on the action program drawn up in all sectors for implementation within the set time- table.

In opening remarks, President Isaias explained that development opportunities at the national level as of the year 2012 are bound to assume promising prospects. The meeting would hold discussion concerning review and streamlining of policies, programs of reinforcing human and material resources, strengthening food security and reserve tasks, putting in place the requisite infrastructure, developing energy, land and sea water resources, the relative advantages  and competitiveness of commercial and industrial activities, the mining sector, transport and communications, tourism, judicial administration institutions, ensuring and developing social services and human security, national information and diplomacy programs, and the role as well as all-round participation of nationals inside the country and abroad, among others. Moreover, the Ministerial Cabinet meeting is holding in-depth discussion on the action program of all sectors from the aforementioned standpoint.

The first agenda item of the deliberations dealt with the progress registered in the program of ensuring food security and reserve. Following close review of the projects drawn up relating infrastructure facilities, land-leveling schemes vis-a-vis introducing modern farming and technological devices, and the studies undertaken to raise farm output, the meeting approved a three-year work plan on substantially  raising agricultural output, developing animal resources, expanding agro-industrial plants and developing human resource capacity.

The Ministerial Cabinet meeting subsequently discussed the activities undertaken and achievements registered regarding the land, water and environment sector. Noting the significant progress made in environmental protection on the basis of internal resources within the context of regional and global experience, it called for still greater effort to this end, along with developing animal resources, in addition to efficient land and water management. The meeting reached consensus on matters relating to future work programs concerning the aforementioned sector.

In connection with marine resources, the Ministerial Cabinet meeting reviewed the outcome of work programs dealing with the judicious utilization of marine resources vis-à-vis endeavors to ensure food security and economic growth in general. It also conducted extensive discussion on the action programs that need to be implemented and the work methodology that should be applied, as well as the necessary policy measures thereof so as to promote modern industrial fishery activities. Furthermore, it stressed the need to exert maximum efforts to train and deploy the required human resource capacity, besides approving the action program charted in the domain of fishery resources.

The sector that the Ministerial Cabinet meeting reviewed next was the future work plan of the Ministry of Public Works. Following the presentation by the Ministry, the Ministerial Cabinet strongly recommended that refraining from repeating the experience observed in some countries as regards the expansion of slums and highly concentrated dwellings and learning from the positive experience of other countries and thus implement housing projects in which essential infrastructures and services are in place. And noting that such projects call partnership with other countries, the Ministerial Cabinet designed detailed work plan.  Reminding that priority should be given to the constructing and renovation of infrastructures, service-providing institutions, trade and industrial complexes, roads, dams and others; the Ministerial Cabinet discussed at length the issue of housing and forwarded important recommendations.

As regards deliberations Energy and Mining sector, the meeting reviewed the ongoing activities and developments in the provision of Electricity to different towns and villages from the Hirgigo Power Plant and other sources. The Ministerial Cabinet also thoroughly discussed the details of plans to distribute electricity for about 50 villages, the required budget and other resources needed. Regarding the Mining sector, the Ministerial Cabinet, after evaluating the status of the sector from issuing licenses for exploration to the practical, investment so far made, approved the future plan in the sector.

In its deliberation regarding the transport and communications sector, the meeting conducted discussion on the structural adjustment and objectives of the sector in terms of its feasibility vis-à-vis future plan. Citing that the Government is exerting a huge investment to secure as many buses as possible and in a way that will allow people get easy availability of transportation, the Ministerial Cabinet recommended continued subsidy for the sector. It further conducted discussion on the program of the construction and renovation of ports, airports and terminals, land transportation and its facilities, as well as inspection of efficiency of vehicles and strengthening research and information centers.

In its deliberations regarding the trade and Industrial sector, the Ministerial Cabinet thoroughly discussed the future plan to strengthen institutional capacity, review regulations and manuals for developing directives for issuing trade and investment licenses aimed at developing internal and international trading activities. It also discussed the plan designed to raise productivity and innovation of small scale institutions in the industrial sector.
Regarding the tourism sector, taking into consideration that Eritrea’s strategic geographical locationf being a resounding advantage vis-a-vis development of tourism, the Ministerial Cabinet meeting approved long, intermediate and short-term plans aimed at enabling the sector  become hard currency generating entity, providing employment opportunity, enriching the government’s financial resource and familiarizing Eritrea and its people with the outside world. It further discussed the paramount importance of indentifying the potential tourism destinations and conducting rigorous advertisements, as well as putting in place up to standard service-providing facilities.

The meeting of the Ministerial Cabinet will continue tomorrow.

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