The Eritrean Cabinet of Ministers conducted a two-day meeting at State House here in the capital, Asmara, on the 19th and 20th of November this week. The meeting assessed the grain harvest situation in 2015 and the report presented by the Ministry of Local Government regarding development programs of the 6 Administrative regions for 2016.
The meeting noted that in view of the inadequacy of rains this year, the harvest output would be lower than that of 2014. It reached understanding on the measures that need to be taken regarding grain supply and basic consumer items, as well as animal feed thereof.
The Ministerial Cabinet conducted deliberations on ensuring food security, construction of agricultural infrastructure, enrichment of water resources, soil and water conservation, promoting forestry and related resources, effective land administration on the part of the Administrative regions.
In connection with the redemption of the Nakfa currency notes in circulation, the Ministerial Cabinet pointed out that the step was taken with a view to strengthening the national currency, and thereby the national economy.
Moreover, the meeting discussed the action plan of the ministries and different public agencies for 2016. This involves the strengthening of activities to ensure food security, promote animal husbandry and harness fishery resources.
In the domain of infrastructure development, it held deliberation on the construction of new roads and renovation of the existing ones, development of ports, expanding water reservoirs and irrigational capacity, housing projects and service-rendering facilities, among others.
As regards the energy and mining sectors, the Cabinet of Ministers reviewed action plans pertaining to the expansion of national electrification program, enhancing the capacity of energy generating plants, in addition to investment plans relating to the development of mining capacity, coupled with developing technological capability in mining processing, along with expanding alternative energy sources such as solar and wind resources.
The Ministerial Cabinet went on to discuss the policies and work guidelines in connection with the effective administration of land, water and environmental resources.
Concerning the tourism sector, it underlined the need to enhance the capacity of the workforce through organizing training programs with a view to adequately harness the nation’s rich tourism potentials.
Concerning the transport and communication sector, the meeting reviewed programs drawn up vis-à-vis the reinforcement of land transport facilities, renovation of sea ports and air ports, including terminals and related facilities.
Furthermore, the Cabinet of Ministers conducted discussion on activities relating to trade and industry. It reviewed activities dealing with domestic and foreign trade, import and export ventures. It also assessed the progress registered in the manufacturing sector.
In the concluding phase of its meeting today, the Ministerial Cabinet adopted a number of directives.
The meeting discussed the need of assessing the development projects funded by partners and their impact on the strategic national development programs aimed at improving the livelihood of the population.
With regard to the health sector, the Cabinet of Ministers discussed the progress registered in the training and recruiting process to upgrade the professional capacity of the health workers, activities that have been made to deliver the basic medicines and equipment, the investment made to build small and big health facilities, the efforts made to control diseases as well as the action plan for the year 2016.
As regards the education sector, the Ministerial Cabinet reviewed the expansion of education services, improvement of education capacity as well as popular participation and the progress registered thereof, in addition to availability of educational materials. It also discussed the institutional capacity, information management system, vocational training, follow-up in students’ health, educational services for the disabled, development of education in the mother tongue, illiteracy eradication, as well as establishment of printing press, supervision activities and other education-related issues.
Moreover, the Ministerial Cabinet discussed the action plan of the Ministry of Labor and Human Welfare as regards activities undertaken to ensure social wellbeing and nurturing the spirit of self-reliance. It also discussed the action plan for the year 2016 that includes social support programs and the establishment of information system.
In the domain of justice, it conducted discussion on the activities being conducted to deliver effective and timely justice, the agitation programs to acquaint the society with the new national laws, action plan for the year 2015 including institutional capacity and the provision of services, professional ethics of courts, establishment of an inspection unit and training center, as well as human resources development.
Concerning the media activities, the Ministerial Cabinet discussed the procedures being undertaken to improve the work of the media revising the organizational structure of the Ministry of Information, and the technology development, training programs and research activities.
In the concluding phase of its meeting, the Ministerial Cabinet heard briefings by President Isaias Afwerki with regard to the priority budget allocation for the year 2016. The President said that in 2016 priority budgetary allocation will be given to human resources disbursement.
In accordance with the ongoing research being conducted the new salary system will also be put into practice. In connection with that, the President called for the speedy completion of study being conducted to identify the professional and physical capacity within the country and put in place the structuring and restructuring programs.
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