Left to right: Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie, Director for UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA) and Albert Muchanga AU Commissioner


UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA) Director Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to join African Heads of State and leaders of other global and regional organizations at the 2020 African Union Summit organized under the theme “Silencing the Guns”. The theme tackled the aspiration of Africa’s leaders back in 2013 to end conflicts in the continent by 2020. 

The Summit was also attended by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres. While in Addis, the Regional Director met with Ethiopian authorities, held side meeting with a host of leaders from the private sector, CSOs and the youth. She also got the opportunity to interact with UNDP staff as well as members of the UNCT.

 “I believe nothing silences the guns more than credible elections that build confidence and lay the basis for constructive and peaceful politics,” UNDP Africa Director observed  while signing a partnership agreement with Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs to support Ethiopia’s upcoming elections.


Meeting the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) Chair Ms Birtukan Mideksa and board members, UNDP’s RBA Director re-affirmed UNDP’s and the wider UN sustained support to Ethiopia throughout the election period and beyond consistent with UNDP election cycle approach.

UNDP is managing a USD 40 million multi-partner election support project. The project provides capacity building support for the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) from 2019-2022 and focuses on the following areas:

  • Provide operational support to NEBE to enhance the conduct of transparent, efficient and inclusive elections.
  • Support NEBE to develop capacities to conduct public outreach and external communication activities.
  • Support NEBE and other key stakeholders to identify, manage and respond to electoral violence

In her meeting with the Minister of Peace Muferiat Kemal and Supreme Court President Meaza Ashenafi, the Regional Director underlined the significance of consolidating the peace in order to deepen the on-going reforms in Ethiopia  UNDP is supporting both the Ministry of Peace and the Judiciary as part of an effort to  help the country build strong, capable and accountable institutions. 

Left to Right: Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie, UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA) Director and H.E Muferiat Kemal, Minister of Peace


Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie also had the chance to interact with social entrepreneurs who are turning challenges into bankable businesses and influencing positive change in their communities  including such areas as  children’s education, graphic design, fashion, and urban agriculture. Promoting entrepreneurship is a key point for UNDP’s support across its portfolio to support inclusive growth and help Ethiopia tackle unemployment. In 2013, UNDP partnered with the government to set up the Entrepreneurship Development Centre, which has so far trained over 80,000 entrepreneurs across Ethiopia and supported micro and small enterprises (SMEs) to nurture and grow their business.

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