(UPDATED) 14 December 2013 News Wrap

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Taos, New Mexico, Solar Firm Wants To Donate Solar Panels To Ethiopia

By Elizabeth Cleary –  Published: December 15, 2013

A local solar energy company is soliciting donations to fund a project that would bring electricity to a small community in Ethiopia.

The Paradise Power Company (PPC) is a local solar installation company. PPC Solar’s director, Larissa Weinman, said the non-profit Imagine1Day approached PPC about installing solar in the Abada community in Ethiopia, which currently has no electricity. Imagine1Day aims to bring quality education to Ethiopia by building schools throughout the country.

According to its website, Imagine1Day’s goal is for Ethiopia to provide education to all of its young people free of foreign aid by 2030.

The lack of electricity in many of Ethiopia’s rural communities is a major roadblock for Imagine1Day, which installed a primary school in the Abada community a few years ago. But without electricity, it’s hard for students to study in the evenings and for adults to take night classes or conduct workforce training. Solar panels would be installed at the school, and they would generate electricity to power the entire community, which is home to about 2,000 people.

According to Imagine1Day’s website, electricity would power street lamps, making the community safer for women and children. It would allow for modern conveniences, such as food refrigeration and lamps for reading, and would allow people to charge electronics such as cell phones, which would help them stay connected.

PPC is using the crowd-funding platform SeeYourImpact.org to raise $5,000 needed to make solar energy a reality in the Abada community. So far, it has raised just $363, and its goal is raise the full $5,000 by Jan. 31.

Daniel Weinman, PPC Solar’s CEO, said that if PPC hasn’t raised the full amount by then, it will use its own money to fund the project.

“We’re committed to making this happen,” Daniel Weinman said.

He said this is PPC Solar’s first overseas project, and Daniel Weinman plans to travel to Ethiopia in February to oversee the solar installation.

To donate to this cause, visit SeeYourImpact.org/members/Danielwe.

http://www.taosnews.com/news/business/article_96a3b3f2-6386-11e3-9401-0019bb2963f4.html

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Black Rhino Nears Deal for $3 Billion South Sudan Refinery

Ethiopia & South Sudan anticipate future power for petrol swaps

Black Rhino Group, a New York-based infrastructure-development company, may build a $3 billion refinery in South Sudan as Africa’s newest nation seeks to become self-sufficient in oil products.

Black Rhino signed a “framework agreement” in August with South Sudan’s government for the proposed 50,000 barrel-a-day facility, company President Dan O’Shea said. The refinery in the country’s northern Upper Nile state would take about three years to build and cost $2 billion to $3 billion, he said.

The planned refinery “is intended to fill the gap to supply the local market in full,” O’Shea said in a Dec. 9 phone interview from New York. A “significant amount of refined products” could be shipped to Ethiopia, in exchange for electricity that would power the facility. A final accord will probably be signed in the second quarter of 2014, he said.

South Sudan, which exports about 220,000 barrels a day from its oilfields via pipelines across Sudan, is building refineries as it seeks to save foreign exchange it now uses to buy diesel from neighboring countries.

The country imports as much as 40 million liters (10.6 million gallons) of fuel a month from Kenya, Paul Adong Deng, managing director of state-owned Nile Petroleum Corp., said in an Oct. 29 interview in the capital, Juba. About 80 percent of imports are diesel and 20 percent gasoline.

Refineries are already planned in the oil-producing states of Unity and Upper Nile. The first, a 5,000 barrel a day facility in Bentiu, is a joint venture between Nile Petroleum and Russia’s Safinat. Construction will begin by the end of 2013, Russian Ambassador Sergei Shishkin said Nov. 27.

South Sudan has sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest oil reserves after Nigeria and Angola, according to BP Plc data. Its low-sulfur crude, prized by Japanese buyers as a cleaner-burning fuel for power generation, is pumped mainly by China National Petroleum Corp., Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd. and India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corp.

South Sudan seceded from neighboring Sudan in July 2011 and took three-quarters of the formerly united country’s oil output. A dispute between the two nations over export revenue halted South Sudanese production last year, cutting the country’s economy by half to $9.34 billion, according to World Bank data.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mading Ngor in Juba at  mngor@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at  asguazzin@bloomberg.net

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-11/black-rhino-nears-deal-to-build-3-billion-south-sudan-refinery.html

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Sowing in row becoming customary among farmers

“We were not aware of the benefits of sowing seed in row method earlier. But now we have witnessed that commendable results are being registered through the method,” said a farmer in Albko Woreda of South Wollo Zone, Mohammed Se’id.
Mohammed recalled that farmers in the area were not willing to practice the method suggested by development agents earlier. There was no belief on the part of the farmers to be successful in applying the method in particular for crops such as teff.
However, the amount of output secured from a quarter of one hectare land increased to 25 quintals from the previous nine quintals following the introduction of the practice.
Mohammed said that he is applying the method for teff, wheat and maize at present as he has become aware of the benefits and the method helped him to increase productivity in particular to double the amount of wheat harvested earlier.
According to Mohammed, applying the method and making use of technologies and agricultural inputs helped him to improve his livelihood.
Another farmer in the area, Abate Teferi, on his part said that he has applied the method to cover his farmland with teff seeds. Most of the farmers in the area have begun applying the method.
Similarly, a farmer in Wurba locality of Shoa Robit Woreda of North Shoa Zone, Hussein Harebu, also said that 40 quintals output was obtained from one hectare of land earlier. Currently, the amount has increased to 80 quintals from the same area of land through making use of the method.
Shoa Robit Town Administrator Habtewold Tege on his part said that 30 per cent of the total area of farmland available in six rural localities of the woreda is already covered with seeds through sowing in row.
Some 1,045 of the over 3,000 farmers in the woreda are applying the method and efforts will further be exerted to further expand the method among farmers.
Head of the Government Communication Affairs Office of the Woreda, Alebachew Abate, also said farmers in the woreda have been practising the method to cover their plots with maize seeds since the last two years.
The Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research is conducting research on environmental condition to find solution to problems related to teff growing, Alebachew said, adding, farmers managed to harvest 26 quintals per hectare through utilizing different agricultural inputs and applying the method.
Teff is a predominant staple food in Ethiopia.

http://www.waltainfo.com/index.php/explore/11635-sowing-in-row-becoming-customary-among-farmers

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Over 150 Chinese firms to attend expo in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA,  (Xinhua) — More than 150 Chinese enterprises will be participating in the first commodity expo to be opened here Thursday to showcase their products, technology and services.

The 2013 (Africa) China Commodities, Technology & Service Expo will be held till Sunday at Millennium Hall in the Ethiopian capital, where the Chinese enterprises are expected to put on display their products in the areas of agriculture, electricity, automobile, hardware,                 building materials, electrical appliances.

At a press conference on the premises of the Ethiopian Ministry of Industry on Wednesday, Han Shengjian, Deputy Director of Chinese Trade Development Bureau, said the Expo in Africa’s political capital serves as a platform for China-Africa cooperation.

It further deepens China’s comprehensive partnership and cooperation with Ethiopia and Africa in general, the official said.

In his congratulatory message in connection with the Expo, Gao Hucheng, Chinese Minister of Commerce, noted that China is keen to work with African counterparts to consolidate the progress achieved through the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

Gao said the Expo, held within the framework of FOCAC, provides a platform to display the Chinese products, technology and services, playing a crucial role in upgrading the Sino-African new strategic partnership.

China is now willing to work with African counterparts to consolidate the progress made through the Forum, seize new opportunities, identify starting points for mutual benefits and common success, promote a comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable growth of bilateral business cooperation, carry out substantial activities to enrich this new strategic partnership, and make active, continued contribution to the economic development for both sides and the world economic recovery,” said the minister.

Han also revealed that Justin Yifu Lin, former chief economist and Senior Vice President of World Bank, Councilor of the State Council of China and Vice President of All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, has also written a congratulatory letter in connection with the Expo. Justin Yifu Lin expressed hope that African countries draw upon the developing mode of China to identify and promote industries with latent comparative advantages based on their endowment structure, focus on their limited resources and efforts.

Justin also expressed hope that the Expo could establish a platform for the Chinese manufacturing sectors to combine their strength with                 corresponding sectors in Ethiopia and other African countries,                 supporting the growth of industries with comparative advantages                 in Africa, and achieving a win-win result for both Africa and                 China.

Ethiopia and China are long-time reliable cooperative partners, “ said Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopian Prime Minister, in his message                 for the Expo. “The bilateral relation is faced with huge                 opportunities.”

The Prime Minister hopes that the Expo could become an important platform for China and Ethiopia to carry out economic and trade cooperation, and further promote the exchanges and cooperation between the countries industry and commerce circles thus achieving win-win cooperation.

Also in her message, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, said the Expo becomes a platform to promote the exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and African countries.

It also serve as a platform to attract more Chinese enterprises, technology and services into Africa thus achieving common development by complementing the other with its respective advantages, said the chairperson.                

Speaking during the press conference today, Sisay Gemechu, Ethiopian State Minister of Industry, noted that the Expo is an important occasion for the Chinese enterprises and also to the Ethiopian side.

The deputy director of the Chinese Trade Development Bureau noted that in collaboration with the Ethiopian side such Expo would be held on an annual basis here in Ethiopia.

He said Ethiopia has been the venue for the Expo because the country is the seat for the AU Headquarters and that of the UN Economic Commission for Africa.        

http://www.coastweek.com/3650-focus-03.htm

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MeTEC to join forces with Kazakh companies

The Metals and Engineering Corporation (MeTEC)…

and the National Welfare Fund Samruk-Kazayna of Kazakhstan are taking steps to establish a joint working group for studying investment opportunities and projects, The Reporter has learnt.
Samruk-Kazyna is a sovereign wealth fund and joint stock company in Kazakhstan which either owns or part-owns many significant companies in the country, including the national rail and postal service, the state oil and gas company KazMunayGas, the state uranium company Kazatomprom, Air Astana, and numerous financial groups. The state is the sole shareholder of the fund, which was created in October 2008 after the merger of two funds, “Samruk” and “Kazyna”. Currently, Samruk-Kazyna controls USD 78 billion in assets, or nearly 56 percent of Kazakhstan’s GDP.
The agreements were made when a delegation, led by the director general of MeTEC Brigadier General Kinfe Dagnew, traveled to Astana, Kazakhstan recently. Apart from Samruk-Kazyna, MeTEC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation with two Kazakh companies, KazEngineering and Rompetrol Group, for the exchange of information and search for mutually beneficial areas of cooperation, such as the ore mining sector, agriculture, repair and modernization of armed equipment. Kazakhstan Engineering National Company OJSC (KazEngineering) manufactures and exports products of special purpose for the law enforcement agencies of Kazakhstan. It also produces oil and gas equipment, and equipment for the rail industry. In addition, the company provides agricultural engineering and radio electronics. It serves customers representing oil and gas, rail, agriculture, and heat power complexes, as well as the manufacture and repair of military equipment. Kazakhstan Engineering National Company OJSC was founded in 2003 and is based in Astana, Kazakhstan. As of January 24, 2007, Kazakhstan Engineering National Company OJSC operates as a subsidiary of Samruk Holdings JSC.
The other company, Rompetrol Group, which is under KazMunayGas, is a Romanian oil company that operates in many countries throughout Europe. The group is active primarily in refining, marketing and trading, with additional operations in exploration and production, and other oil industry services such as drilling and transportation. In 2007 Kazakhstan’s state-controlled oil and gas company KazMunayGas bought a 75 percent equity stake in oil firm Rompetrol Group N.V. in an acquisition estimated to be worth USD 2.7 billion.

http://www.thereporterethiopia.com/index.php/news-headlines/item/1374-metec-to-join-forces-with-kazakh-companies

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Expanding roads stirring  quality concerns

Newly constructed asphalt roads like this stay short without sliding

The achievement made in interconnecting various parts of Ethiopia through building thousands of kilometers of road networks is one of the commendable outcomes of the infrastructural development programme of the government over the last couple of decades. Moreover, various road construction projects, which are labor intensive, have been creating employment opportunities to thousands of citizens. The Ethiopian Roads Authority have been able to add thousands more kilometers of new roads that newly interconnected mainly various rural parts of the country with the nearby urban centres. Its performance in the last six months surpassed its plan. More than nine thousand kilometers of road was constructed with more than eight billion birr budget. The plan was to construct about 8, 875 kilometers. The Authority has allocated more than 18 billion birr to undertake various road construction projects in different parts of the country this fiscal year.

Above all, the engagement of more new construction firms in different road construction projects in the last six months could hopefully enable to perform more with domestic capacity. The Authority needs to strengthen and support these newly mushrooming road construction firms as they could help to fill the capacity gap that is for future development ventures in the sector. In addition, the newly built roads create better alternatives to connect the rural community with the urban and the agricultural produces to the market easily and adequately. These new roads could also enable the rural population to easily access various better social services, which they were devoid of for many years due to geographical barriers,from nearby rural areas.

In accordance with the country’s growth and transformation plan (GTP), the national road length which was 49, 000 kilometers in 2010 is expected to reach more than 136,000 by the end of the plan period (2014/15).The Authority hopes to meet but only through enhancing its current performance capacity in the years ahead.

For this to happen, it needs to overcome the various routine challenges that have been witnessed in the sector. Both local and international contractors have repeatedly failed to finish their projects as to the scheduled period. This situation should be improved if the Authority has to meet the GTP on or before the schedule. Side by side with expanding its achievements in building various kinds and levels of roads it should also closely monitor the qualitative performance of the construction firms. The road that connects the town of Jimma to Agaro and other neighboring areas, though it was completed not more than five years ago, it is sliding and has become very difficult for heavy freight vehicles to drive on. It needs to be re-constructed before causing damages on vehicles and people. Similar incidents are observed to occur in some of the newly built asphalt roads.

Roads are assumed to play a critical role in the making health and education services accessible in the rural localities of the nation where service provision is often hampered by lack of road connectivity, and in realizing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

It has now been one year since the enhanced Universal Rural Road Access Programme (URRAP) came to the scene. The programme has introduced a new implementation approach whereby enterprises formed by university graduates in the construction fields are implementing partners. These enterprises are provided with hands-on support in working capital, guaranteed contracts and machineries.

Through the programme, the government seems intent to hit two birds at once. On the one hand, it has envisioned to enhance road connectivity of the rural areas to open them up for more market integration and service provision. On the other hand, it wants to create jobs for graduates of the ever-expanding public universities. On its inaugural year, the programme was allocated 5.5 billion birr, 37 per cent of which is under the MDGs budget line.

If the whole analysis is to be made on the basis of numbers, the URRAP has failed to achieve its plan of enhancing the accessibility of rural areas of the nation. The total length of rural road planned to be constructed through the programme was 40,044km in 2012/13 and 55,790km in 2013/14. The ambitious plan now looks to push that number on to 71,522km, in 2014/15.

However the achievement made in so far is far less than what was set in the plan. In the first two years of the flagship GTP, only 10,219km of rural roads have been constructed. This is only 14.3 per cent of the target. It is not only the quantitative aspect of the programme that is falling short of the plan, however. Some people are of the view that the quality of roads is also far short of the desired standard. Roads constructed by enterprises in Oromia and Amhara regions are found to suffer from wretched surveying; poor cutting and filling; poor drainage systems; and careless slopping among others.

Evidently, a large proportion of the problem arises from the inexperience of the enterprises. Moreover, the graduates organised under the enterprises have little practical experience in managing projects. Besides, the recruitment process is gross and involuntary, with shareholders of the enterprises focus on short-term gains, rather than long-term success. Resource abuse and total shutdowns are also common.

In addition, the monitoring system of the regional authorities is also very poor. It is all conducted in a very traditional way. In addition, most of the responsible regional agencies lack the necessary human resource and vehicles to undertake timely monitoring.

Contributing to the whole problem matrix is the sluggish budget approval system by the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development (MoFED), which serves as a custodian to the MDG’s budget. With the MoFED taking a long time to make disbursements to regional agencies, the lead time of projects increases. This often leads to damage to the already made constructions.

Combined, these factors continue to decline in the quality of roads being constructed under the URRAP. Various stakeholders, including members of parliament (MPs), are raising their eyebrows over the effectiveness of the programme.

If the whole programme is to be evaluated in view of the productivity dividend it brings to the economy, no doubt that the quality problem of the roads will be reduced. No infrastructure programme could be economically viable without having a reasonable productivity dividend.

http://www.ethpress.gov.et/herald/index.php/herald/development/5190-expanding-roads-stirring-quality-concerns

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Single Window System to ease customs service

Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) Director General Beker Shale said that the Ethiopian Single Window System for International trade is designed with the objective of facilitating trade and easing the burdensome, hectic, costly and time consuming procedures at different regulatory bodies that traders faced in doing international trade.

Beker was signing a single window agreement with Investment Climate Facility for Africa ( ICF) at Sheraton Addis here yesterday.

The two parties signed an agreement worth 7.3 million USD to establish an electronic Single Window (eSW) system for international trade. The main objective of the project is to set up a Single Window System that will facilitate international trade by reducing export, import and transit procedures and reducing the time and costs of clearance documents preparation.

Beker expressed belief that the project will definitely have a prominent impact on the overall trading activity of the country. The impact of the project will be substantial and far reaching along several aspects and measures, he added.

ICF Chairman former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa said: “ The project aims to improve the investment climate in Ethiopia by simplifying the process for importing and exporting goods.”

According him, the Single Window will reduce the time and costs for importing and exporting goods, enabling traders to clear their goods quickly and cheaply. This means goods will become more affordable to consumers and Ethiopian businesses will become more competitive.”

Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations President Mulu Solomon also said: “ Whether we have good quality product, if our custom process is low, taking time, taking money and too much bureaucracy, we are not going to be competitive.” Having one stop shopping means less money, less time, less cost and increased efficiency,she added.

“This programme plays a good role in making the import and export of goods. It will also help goods coming less expensive and go out at a better price,” said David Bridgman, Director Africa IFC.

He said the project makes life easier to trade with the world. He further indicated that the fact that the programme is being introduced this time will help ERCA learn from previous similar experiences.

Out of the estimated 7.3 million USD project cost, the government, ICF provide 2.4 million USD, 4.3 million USD respectively while the International Finance Corporation (IFC) – a member of the World Bank – 8 per cent of the total cost.

http://www.ethpress.gov.et/herald/index.php/herald/national-news/5195-single-window-system-to-ease-customs-service

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Ethiopia facilitates conditions  to send  health professionals to work abroad

Namibian Health Extension Workers

In addition of using a trained medical professionals for local purpose, Ministry of Health is facilitating conditions for the recruitment of professionals in foreign countries.

Briefing journalists about the readiness of the ministry to send health professionals to Namibia, Minister Special Office Head and Director General, Dr. Addis Tamre, said that as per the mutual agreement made between Namibia and Ethiopia to train and recruit health professionals, Ethiopia is now ready to send 20 pharmacist to Namibia. He further said that the ministry has a plan to send nurses and laboratory technicians the same nation.

He further said that recently two ethiopian professionals are returned to home after offering a training for over 40 health extension workers to pilot health extension programme in the Kunene region of Namibia. Ethiopia is committed to further provide scholarship to a specified number of Namibian health professionals including doctors,nurses health technicians, pharmacists, paramedics and others, he added.

He underscored that because Ethiopia is not in a position to send medical doctors and Anastasia professionals, the nation needs to strengthening south south cooperation through providing professionals in areas where there is no health professional scarcity.

According to Dr. Addis, Ministry of Health is working hard to open health extension model institute that share best practices of Ethiopia to African countries with regard to health extension programme.

During the signing ceremony, Namibian Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Richard Kamwi said that Namibia faces a critical shortage of health professionals and stressed the fact that the ministry finds it difficult to attract and retain health professionals in the rural areas. Other challenges facing Namibia include a burden of communicable diseases of lifestyle such as cancer, both prostate, breast and cervical, maternal mortality and malnutrition.

In a nutshell, the Authority has succeeded to connect various parts of the country that remained for many years separated and aspires to connect more .While strengthening and capitalizing on its achievements so far, it also needs to overcome the above stated and other loopholes in the sector .

http://www.ethpress.gov.et/herald/index.php/herald/national-news/5194-ethiopia-facilitates-conditions-to-send-health-professionals-to-work-abroad

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Association set to address publishers, printers challenges

Ethiopian Publishers and Printers Association organized a workshop here yesterday aiming at devising a strategy to resolve the multifaceted challenges of the sector. This will be crucial to make the sector significant contributor to the national economy.

Association President, Teka Abadi on the occasion said that this workshop is intended to identify the many problems of printers and publishers to ensure sustainable progress of the sector thereby help printing quality labeled outlets and educational text books. The association has long been trying to convey the penitential of local printers to minimize the hard currency expense which the ministry of education has incurred to publish a very huge volume of text books, he added.

He said: “Since the establishment of the association, we are trying to lobby the government to give due emphasis on problems that are hampering the sector’s progress. We are also identified the core problems of the sector and convey to pertinent bodies whom we believe responsible to resolve them. It is with this initiation that we are employing the researchers to show us the cutting age practice of printing in the world.”

Though the association has endeavoured to make improvement in publishing, printing and packaging, he said, a lot of works is still remaining in alleviating the bottlenecks in the sector.

According to him, the association has envisioned to perform various agendas among others, are establishing training institute to recruit capable labor force, issuing printers’ standard, producing printing inputs at home, lobbing the custom to exempt the tax burden and facilitating incentive mechanisms.

Industry State Minister Dr. Mebrhatu Meles on his part said that the development of publishing and printing industry was inhibited for many reasons in the past and still very weak to be competent through applying latest technologies.

Noting the very relevance of the sector to the national economy, he said, the government has given emphasis to work closely with the association in regular basis. He said that the Ministry has engaged in following up the the sector to facilitate market access and resolve problems pertaining to raw material limitations.

He further indicated that using updated printing technologies and assessing best international practices is hopefully capacitate the local printers to be competent in the global market.

http://www.ethpress.gov.et/herald/index.php/herald/national-news/5184-association-set-to-address-publishers-printers-challenges

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Dr. Mulatu holds talks with ICRC President

ICRC President Peter Maurer

President Dr. Mulatu Teshome Thursday held talks with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President Peter Maurer.

The President told Maurer that the Ethiopian government has given priority to ensure democratic and human rights.

He said Ethiopia is working in close collaboration with the ICRC to ensure these rights and will continue to do so.

The ICRC President on his part said the Committee has been working in close collaboration with the Ethiopian Red Cross Society(ERCS).

Maurer said ICRC plans to open office in the Somali State.

Meanwhile, ICRC said it has built a reception centre for Saudi returnees at Bole International Airport in collaboration with ERCS.

Briefing journalists on the current ICRC activities yesterday, Maurer said that ICRC has been exerting utmost efforts to reunite Saudi returnees with their respective families providing free telephone service and logistical support across the nation.

According to Maurer, there is good cooperation between ICRC and ERCS towards responding to emergency humanitarian crises.

The ICRC delegation visited federal and states prisons during its two-day visit to Ethiopia.

http://www.ethpress.gov.et/herald/index.php/herald/national-news/5196-dr-mulatu-holds-talks-with-icrc-president

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DBE Signs U.S.$33 Million Loan Agreement With Habesha Cement

The Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) has signed a loan agreement with Habesha Cement for US$33m to build a 1.4Mt/yr cement plant at Holeta in Oromia State.

Additional loan agreements were also signed in late November 2013 between Habesha, the DBE and the Preferential Trade Area (PTA) Bank, the financial arm of the Common Market for Eastern & Southern Africa (COMESA).

The PTA Bank is co-financing the Habesha project by lending US$50m. According to Addis Fortune, Habesha is now seeking a letter of credit to allow equipment for the cement plant to be imported.

Chinese engineering firm Northern Heavy Machinery Industries have been hired to import and erect machinery for US$80m. Previously the DBE approved a loan for US$83m to cover 70% of the project costs but it withdrew the offer in early 2013.

The current DBE loan only covers 30% of the project costs. Other investors, including PPC and South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (SAIDC) paid US$21m for nearly half of Habesha Cement in 2012. The plant was originally scheduled to start production by 2012.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201312121107.html

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U.S. Investors Invest in a Specialty Coffee Company in Ethiopia

Members of the East Coast Impact Angel Network (EIAN) agreed to invest into METAD, an Ethiopian specialty coffee company in October 2013. METAD will use the investment to establish a coffee processing facility on its coffee farm located near Yirgacheffe in the district of Hambela in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) facilitated the investment through its Agricultural Growth Program – Agribusiness and Market Development project, which is the flagship of the Feed the Future initiative in Ethiopia. The project’s private equity team conducted initial due diligence on the deal and presented METAD to investment advisory firm RENEW’s global network of impact investors. The project team leveraged financing to maximize impact to the local smallholder farmers and position METAD for commercial production.

The new coffee processing facility will employ 30 new full-time employees and more than 160 part-time employees, 70 percent of whom will be women, and support more than 400 local farmers. With a vision for crop-to-cup coffee, METAD aims to not only strengthen Ethiopia’s coffee reputation in the international market but also help local farmers improve the quality and value of their harvested crop. “We are grateful for the support from USAID and the EIAN, and we are eager to use this investment to continue building Ethiopia’s reputation in the specialty coffee market,” said METAD CEO Aman Adinew.

In June 2013, after traveling to the mountainous area of Hambela, deep in the heart of one of Ethiopia’s most famous coffee regions, to evaluate the coffee washing and drying capacity in the area, the angel investors began discussions with METAD. Dr. Andrew Umhau, one of the EIAN members who visited the Yiracheffe region on the trip, commented, “We all experience coffee from the consumer end, so this investment in Ethiopian specialty coffee has natural appeal to me. I had the opportunity to experience the entire coffee supply chain first hand in Ethiopia-from coffee bush to macchiato. The METAD management team understands coffee in Ethiopia, so we have great confidence in this venture.”

EIAN members returned to Ethiopia in November to celebrate the investment at METAD’s coffee laboratory, the first privately owned laboratory in Africa to be certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America.

The Agriculture Growth Program (AGP) is a collaborative initiative of the Ethiopian government, the World Bank and multiple international donors, including USAID. AGP promotes economic growth in four high-rainfall regions of Ethiopia with strong agricultural potential. USAID’s Agribusiness and Market Development project aims to sustainably reduce poverty and hunger by improving the productivity and competitiveness of value chains that offer job and income opportunities for rural households.

http://www.ethiopiainvestor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4628:us-investors-invest-in-a-specialty-coffee-company-in-ethiopia&catid=99:special-report-2

Related Articles:

13 December 2013 News Round Up

11 December 2013 Development News Briefs 

09 December 2013 Developmental News Round Up  

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