13 December 2013 News Round Up


Delegates highlight rural poor financial inclusion service access

Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands and UN agenciesWFP, FAO and IFAD – senior officials paid a two-day visit in Ethiopia aimed at supporting efforts to make financial services more accessible, help improve the lives of the rural poor, among others.
In a press briefing held at Sheraton Addis Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA) Queen Máxima said: “Greater access to affordable, timely and reliable financial services such as savings, payments, credit and insurance can help low income households enhance their food security and resilience, as well as benefitting small business owners, smallholder farmers and other groups in terms of overall economic and rural economic development.”
She indicated that as Ethiopia has great potential, 80 – 85 per cent of the population live in rural areas, realizing financial inclusion service is extremely important for rural, agricultural development and transition.
“We had very good conversations with the Prime Minister including other senior government officials, donors, partners and cooperatives about how we can improve financial inclusion issue further,” Queen Maxima said.
WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin also said that they visited jointly implemented projects run by UN agencies to improve food security and income generation activities of smallholder farmers in Hawassa.
“Over the years, WFP has moved from food aid to food assistance. It has been working hard to ensure and provide the tools that would allow people to feed themselves. In Ethiopia, we have a number of programs working with IFAD and FAO to implement targeted projects.”
Designated in 2009 by the UNSGSA, Queen Máxima is an active global voice on the importance of inclusive finance for achieving development and economic goals.



ECX to launch online trade operations

The Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) is making preparations to introduce online trading that enables market players to participate directly in trade wherever they are.
According to a statement ECX sent to WIC today, the online trading is envisaged to increase access to ECX and its services; build capacity of various stakeholder groups; and increase efficiency.
The government of Ethiopia is implementing the online trade project in collaboration with Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF) in order to enhance the activities of ECX by creating a modern commodity trading platform which will introduce online trading, and establishing Remote Trading Centers in key locations across Ethiopia.
ICF is providing $2.2m of the $3.8m total project cost and the government of Ethiopia through the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange is matching the remaining balance.
ICF Board of Trustee visited ECX trade floor yesterday and got a chance to see how the trading is done and to speak to some of the farmers that have been benefiting from the facility. They also visited the laboratory that grades and certifies the commodities sold at ECX, a crucial factor in ensuring a good quality of commodities.
ECX Chief Executive Officer Anteneh Assefa told the visiting ICF Board of Trustees, “ECX is providing market actors with a trading marketplace, quality and certification, warehousing and electronic warehouse, receipting, trading, market data dissemination, and clearing and settlement, which ensure rust and transparency. With the implementation of the Online Trading System supported by ICF, ECX will become more accessible to its stakeholders, especially the million of small holder farmers.”

The ICF Board of Trustee Co-Chair, Neville Isdell, said “We are happy to be involved in this project. It is symbolic of what is happening all over Africa, in terms of opening u the true market to those concerned –the millions of farmers. We are thrilled to be here at the ECX to see, taste the goods, and get a feel of what the project is doing.”
The introduction of an online trading platform as well as Remote Trading Centers is expected to increase liquidity by facilitating access to ECX as well as build the capacity of various stakeholders to use the ECX effectively.
ECX information technology team is currently working on software design, development and other related functionalities to run a testing online trade platform. Locations have been identified for the establishment of the remote trading centers and the procurement of necessary hardware is well underway.
Buyers and sellers can use the Remote Trading Centers facilities consisting of IT hardware, software, skilled workforce, and infrastructure, to facilitate trading activities.
Capacity building needs of all stakeholders, including members, floor reps, clients, national exchange actors association, ECX Authority, ECX and banks were analyzed and the requisite training was given.
Floor representatives and members will be certified to trade 0nline upon successful completion of a certification exam and passing some preliminary screening.



Political parties have indispensable role to sustain ongoing development, democracy: NEBE

Political parties have a key role for the sustainability of the ongoing development and democratization process in the country, the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) said.
The National Electoral Bard of Ethiopia held here yesterday a consultative forum with senior leaders of national political parties.
NEBE Chairperson Professor Merga Bekana on the occasion said that political parties have indispensable role to expedite development and build democracy by designing policies that lead to peace and prosperity.
He further said political parties have significant contribution in filling gaps that encounter during the implementation of policies and strategies.
Some 41 senior leaders drawn from 21 political parties attended the forum held at the NEBE’s training center located at Nifas Silk area.
A total of 75 political parties (24 national and 51 regional) are currently operating in the country.



Reforms in public sector help Ethiopia to register encouraging results

Reforms implemented in the public service over the past decade helped the country to register encouraging results and make sure that the sector is on the right truck to support the development, the Ministry of Civil Service said.
The Minister Muktar Kedir made the remark while opening a three-day capacity building workshop on “Innovation and Performance Management Evaluation in Africa’s Public Service: the Role of Human Resource Managers”.
The Minister said the civil service program is an important component of the reform agenda. The program consists of five sub programs related to top management system, human resource and public expenditure management, public service delivery and ethics and anti-corruption.
He said an important part of this transformation movement has been the introduction of business process re-engineering and various performance measurement tools. The civil servants are familiarizing themselves with these tools, the Minister said.
Political Affairs Commissioner with the African Union Commission, Dr Aisha L. Abdoullahi said AUC believes that Public Service and Administration has a strong potential to strengthen the legitimacy of any government and to prevent destructive conflicts in Africa.
This alone makes public service and administration an important driver of development, peace, stability and human security in a country.



Turkey Joins African Development Bank Group    


The Republic of Turkey participated in the African Development Bank Group’s Board Meetings for the first time last week in Tunis following the country’s admission as the 26th State Participant in the African Development Fund and the 78th Member State of the African Development Bank.

“Our Constituency is delighted to welcome Turkey as an official member of AfDB and to our Constituency,” said Executive Director Hau Sing Tse, who represents Canada, China, Korea, Kuwait and Turkey.

“Our Chair represented Turkey for the first time at the Board today [December 3, 2013]. I shared with the Board our excitement about Turkey’s membership at this juncture of Turkey’s engagement with Africa through its ‘Opening to Africa’ policy.

“It is especially timely for Turkey to join AfDB as Turkey enters into a new phase of deepening its engagement with Africa. Turkey values AfDB’s unique and pivotal role in helping to shape Africa’s transformation, and, as a new member, looks forward to making a useful contribution to support AfDB in this regard,” Tse added.

A Declaration issued by the Bank Group’s President, Donald Kaberuka, on October 29, 2013 formalized Turkey’s membership in the Bank Group.

Turkey’s admission to the Bank Group followed the completion of the membership process after the approval of its membership application by the Bank Group’s Board of Governors on May 14, 2008.

Membership of the Bank Group is subject to the completion of the membership process including signing of the Agreements establishing the Fund and Bank, deposit of the instruments of acceptance/approval of the Fund and the Bank agreements, and the payment of the initial subscriptions to the Fund and capital stock of the Bank.

The agreement establishing the AfDB was signed by 23 newly independent African countries on August 4, 1963 in Khartoum, Sudan. It became effective on September 10, 1964, when 20 member countries subscribed to 65 per cent of the Bank’s capital stock which then stood at US $250 million. The inaugural meeting of the Board of Governors (mostly Finance Ministers) was held from November 4-7, 1964 in Lagos, Nigeria. The Bank Group’s key mandate is to contribute to the sustainable economic development and social progress of its regional members, individually and jointly.

The African Development Fund (ADF), the concessionary window of the Bank Group was established on November 29, 1972, by the African Development Bank and 13 non-regional countries (State Participants). At the end of December 2012, cumulative ADF resources amounted to UA 22.3 billion (US $34.2 billion)

The AfDB Group’s authorized capital stood at UA 66.98 billion (US $103 billion) at the end of 2012. The capital subscription by the regional and non-regional countries is based on a 60/40 per cent ratio.

The Bank’s has approved 3,769 operations (loans and grants) totaling US $96 billion (UA 63.66 billion) from 1967 when it began operations to year-end 2012.

AfDB Group maintains AAA ratings from the main international rating agencies demonstrating its strong financial position.



World Bank support natural resource management in Ethiopia

Ethiopia and World Bank signed a US$50 million IDA credit, a US$40 million grant from Norway government and a US$13 million from the Global Environment Facility to support Ethiopia’s efforts to reduce land degradation.

The financing also aims to improve land productivity in selected watersheds in six regions through Phase II of the Sustainable Land Management Project (SLMP-2).

SLMP-2 will build on the success of the first project and support implementation of the broader SLM Program of the Government including replication of the successful technologies in 90 additional watersheds, promotion of climate smart agriculture, and supporting income generating and value addition activities in 135 watersheds.



UK continue to extend support to Ethiopia: DFID  

                                                        Addis Ababa December 13/2013 Department for International Development (DFID) Permanent Secretary Mark Lowcock said UK will continue to extend its support to Ethiopia in a bid help the country realize development. After conferring with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on Friday, the Secretary told journalists that UK will extend its support to Ethiopia with a view to enhance development of the country. UK will continue to extend its support for poverty reduction and human resource development projects. He said UK will also extend technical support for projects in industrial development, capacity building and natural resource utilization, among others.  The Premier during the occasion said the two countries have been jointly undertaking a number of development projects. He expressed hope that the cooperation between the two countries will strengthened further, according to a high level official who attend the meeting. http://www.ena.gov.et/story.aspx?ID=14460


President Mulatu hold talks with Indian business delegation

December 13/2013 President Mulatu Teshome on Thursday held talks with Indian Business Forum delegation led by the Chairperson Mayur Kothar. During the occasion the President called on Indian business persons to invest in Ethiopia and utilize the favorable investment atmosphere in the country. The President affirmed that the government of Ethiopia will provide the necessary support for companies wish to invest in the country, according to a high level official who attend the meeting. The Chairperson Mayur Kothar said Indian companies are undertaking huge investments in Ethiopia in leather and leather products, textiles as well as food processing. Indian companies need support from the Ethiopian government to expand their investments, the Chairperson said. The Forum is exerting maximum effort to attract Indian investors to Ethiopia, the Chairperson said.

Africa’s Equity Market Performance Outpaces Emerging Markets  – Analysts

VENTURES AFRICA – The performance of Africa’s equity market has been solid during 2013; equalling or outperforming emerging markets as robust economic reforms continues to foster the growth of local companies, which eventually become buyers and sellers of equity.

David Lashbrook, Head of Africa Investment Strategies at Momentum Global Investment Management who made his analysis of the continent’s fledging stock market, predicted a more promising 2014, with significant build on this year’s progress expected to drive growth figures.

When quizzed on how well the continent’s equity market performance, he said: “Unlike emerging equity markets, African equity markets have performed strongly in 2013, matching or even outperforming developed equity markets.

Factors that encouraged this strong performance include insurance and pension reforms which is driving the creation of local business institutions poised to become major players in the stock market.

Also significant growth in sector-specific industries including cement, telecom and retail, buoyed by an exploding consumer base, has offered premium value for investment, pulling additional interest from an increased pool of local and international investors.

The rising interest in African equity was evident at the Closed Africa-focused Private Equity (PE) Fundraisers that has attracted over $2 billion investments this year from top international fund managers including Ethos and market debutants Vital Capital and Phatisa.

Further evidence indicating a shift in investment trend is backed by the 2013 market index. A CNBC report revealed that while the MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell 1.44 percent this year, MSCI Emerging Frontier Markets Africa ex-South Africa Index surged 10.28 percent.

According to article on the growth of continent’s stock market growth by The African Business Review, “Africa, particularly, Sub-Saharan Africa, has seen rapid growth in its number of stock exchanges, and has experienced a stock market capitalization boom in recent years.”



Related Articles:

11 December 2013 Development News Briefs

09 December 2013 Developmental News Round Up

05 December 2013 News Round Up

03 December 2013 News Briefs (Updated)

01 December 2013 Development News Round Up

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