“The primary doctrine of our foreign policy is to create an enabling environment characterized by stability, cooperation, mutual respect and partnership in our region at large”
-With regard to regional issues, there have been popular protests that broke out in Ethiopia in 2016. The Ethiopian government has declared a state of emergence to undo or control such protests and command posts have been established for this purpose. How effective are these measures when judged in terms of their effect to restore stability in the country? Where is the situation in general heading to? Further, whenever there is such a crisis in Ethiopia, it has been a norm to blame and defame Eritrea and use such an excuse to demonize Eritrea. How do you assess these issues?
If law is going to have a real power to govern, it should never be static. It has to be updated in a timely fashion, commensurate with the developmental stages of society. Until recently, Eritrea has been using the Ethiopian codes that were codified in the 1960s, which collectively comprised the “transitional code”. But today’s Eritrea is not the same as the 1960s’ Eritrea.
“We will always remain vigilant to protect our national security and interest against any actsof provocation”
-Mr. President, let’s talk about political issues. One of the biggest plans for 2017 has been strengthening the PFDJ. What about plans to strengthen the capacity of the youth? Last year you stated that the constitution was under revision. So which ones are set for short term action?
“2017 will be a year when we test our capacity” President Isaias Afwerki
-Mr. President how do you assess the productivity and work discipline in Eritrea?
Sometimes when you observe a culture there is tendency to exaggerate actual performance or achievements. As knowledge and skills are promoted once they are applied, one has to assess whether he or she is able to apply the knowledge and skills he or she has acquired. There must also be a system for achieving this goal and for enhancing the work culture. These are the sorts of factors that determine the level of productivity.
“A consumption-only society that does not save and invest earnings in production cannot promote economic growth and development”
-2016 began with the changing of the Nakfa currency to maintain macro-economic stability. How do you analyze the implementation of these policies and how is our status in the economically decisive sectors?
Various details including fiscal constancy and budget issues could be raised in addition to the three basic economic steps we consider in directing our strategies and drafting our programs. Production is the first factor that defines the economy. The status of production and output in various domains is the collective indicator for economic growth. This could comprise mining, agriculture, industrial manufacturing and tourism, among others. The first indicator to evaluate our economic growth or downturn is what we are producing.
-The four-hour long interviews were broadcast live by Eri- Tv/Radio last week. Profile will serialize a condensed version of these Interviews starting from this issue.
-Mr. President, best wishes to you and to our readers on the occasion of the New Year. What are the key GOE development plans for this year?
First and foremost I would like to convey my best wishes, even if somewhat belated, for the New Year to the Eritrean people at home and abroad.
Energy has for long remained a priority development program for the government. Indeed, electricity supply constituted the biggest challenge facing the nation’s development plans from the outset. The Hirgigo power plant was thus constructed almost immediately after independence early in the 1990s to catalyze sectoral developmental plans. For a variety of reasons, including timely maintenance failures, the status of the energy sector and electricity supply in the past few years have been dismal.
In 1946, the right to health was first articulated in the World Health Organization (WHO) Constitution, stating that, “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being.” Shortly thereafter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted by UN General Assembly Resolution 217A (III) of 10th December 1948, outlined that everyone has the right to health, including health care.