30 December 2013 Development News


First phase of Bole Lemi Industry zone completed

Ministry of Industry (MoI) said Bole Lemi Industry Zone development has reached first phase.

According to Melaku Taye, corporate communication director at the ministry, the first phase development include preparation of five factory buildings.

Three factory buildings covering an area of five thousand square meters each and two structures each with an area of ten thousand square meters have been completed at a cost of over 348.9 million Birr, Melaku told Walta Information Center.

“Lease agreements have been signed with investors and we expect these companies to start installation of machinery and recruitment of workers soon,” Melaku said.

The Taiwanese George Shoe Corporation is among the foreign companies expected to start operations in the industry zone. The company is currently installing machinery and hiring workers.

The Bole Lemi Industry Zone first phase development covers a total of 156 hectares.

The ministry plans to develop additional 186 hectares in to the industry zone in the second phase at a cost of 1.7 billion Birr.

Second phase development includes the erection of 15 factory buildings. The ministry has hired 15 local contractors to undertake the construction.



Some 85 per cent of vehicles in Ethiopia to get coverage against third-party risks

Insurance Fund Administration Agency (IFAA) said 85 per cent of the vehicles in Ethiopia will get coverage against third-party risks this fiscal year.
Agency Public Relations Coordinator Head, Zewdu Wondim, told WIC activities are underway to insure 404,000 vehicles out of the 500,000 vehicles in the country in the reported period.
According to Zewdu, up to 25 per cent of the vehicles in the country have already been insured.
In a related development, more than 491,000 birr was paid in compensation for victims of accidents on the road during the past one year, he said.
Based on the third-party risks proclamation, from 2,000 to 40,000 birr will be paid in compensation for bodily injury by cars that have not be covered under third-party risks, he said. From 5,000-40,000 birr will be paid for death.



Tendaho Irrigation Dam to develop 25,000 hectares of land

The Tendaho Irrigation Dam is expected to start developing sugarcane on 25,000 hectares of land at the end of this year,Water, Irrigation and Energy State Minister Engineer Wondimu Tekle said.
It was said will make some 10 thousand farmers and pastoralists in the area benefit from the modern irrigation development.
The state minister said 90% of the construction of the dam has been completed, while expected to develop 60,000 hectares when fully finalized.
The dam, built a cost of over 3. 5 billion Birr has been invested on, has the capacity to hold 1.86 billion m3 of water.
The construction of the dam is expected to be finalized next year.



Nyota Minerals Suspended After Shares Fly On KEFI Deal

LONDON (Alliance News) – Nyota Minerals has Monday been suspended from trading on the AIM index for failing to complete its audit and produce its annual report by the end of December 2013.

Shares in the gold exploration and development company were flying during early trading Monday, sitting as the biggest gainer on the index trading 17% higher mid-morning on the news that the firm had completed the sale of a 75% majority stake in its Ethiopia operations to KEFI Minerals PLC, its new partner in the subsidiary, before being suspended over it lack of audit reports.

Nyota Minerals sold a 75% stake in its wholly-owned Ethiopian operations, the Tulu Kapi Gold Project in Ethiopia and the proximal exploration licences.

KEFI Minerals is an AIM-quoted gold and copper exploration and development company with projects in Saudi Arabia.

Shortly after announcing the completion of the KEFI acquisition, which was a necessary step towards signing off the accounts, said the firm, Nyota was Monday suspended from trading as, “it has not been possible to complete all those [accounts] necessary to have the accounts signed-off prior to the calendar year end and they are unlikely to be ready for publication until mid-January 2014.”

Nyota shares will remain suspended until the company publishes its audited accounts, it said.

The firms’ shares were suspended on the Australian Stock Exchange in September for the same reason.

Nyota shares last traded at 0.4 pence per share.

By Alice Attwood; aliceattwood@alliancenews.com; @AliceAtAlliance



MAS Establishes Code-sharing With Ethiopian Airlines

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 (Bernama) — Malaysia  Airlines (MAS) and Ethiopian Airlines will be establishing a code-sharing pact that will take effect from Jan 1, 2014, which will provide access to the national carrier to Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia.

MAS said the new code-share is valid for booking from today.

The code-sharing arrangement will see the Ethiopian Airlines’ flying from Addis Ababa, the largest city in Ethiopia, to Kuala Lumpur and vice-versa, carrying the MAS flight code.

The service will include a transit in Bangkok, MAS said in a statement.

MAS is very pleased to offer our customers an extended reach to the African continent and to the customers of Ethiopian Airlines access to Kuala Lumpur.

“This is also our initiative towards enhancing air connectivity with key priority markets overseas for increased tourist arrivals into Malaysia in conjunction with the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 campaign,” said MAS‘ Group Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.

Through this partnership, MAS can expand its reach in Africa without operating its own flights, Ahmad Jauhari said.

“As one of the most affordable tourist destinations in the Asia-Pacific region, we are confident that more tourists from the African region will use this code-share and visit Malaysia,” he added.

MAS flight MH9489 will depart Kuala Lumpur at 11.25 pm every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and arrive at Addis Ababa at 6.45 am the following day.

Meanwhile, MH9488 will depart Addis Ababa at 12.40 am every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and arrive at Kuala Lumpur at 6 pm on the ame day.

The Ethiopian Airlines code for this service is ET619 and ET618, respectively.

To promote this code-share, MAS is now offering attractive all inclusive return fares to Addis Ababa starting from RM3,885 for economy class travel and RM13,170 for Business class travel.

Travellers can book their tickets to Addis Ababa on MAS 24-hour toll-free number 1-300-88-3000, MAS‘ ticket offices and appointed agents throughout Malaysia.



CBE Bags U.S. $1.1 Billion From Export

The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) secured USD 1.1 billion from export trade in the 2012-2013 budget year, The Reporter learnt. Ephrem Mekuria, communication manager with CBE, told The Reporter that the bank earned a total of USD 5.8 billion from international banking department (IBD) in the budget year.

Ephrem said exporters brought USD 1.1 billion from the export and the remaining was earned from remittance and other transactions. The bank made a gross profit of 8.4 billion birr. Similarly, the bank’s deposit increased by 32.3 billion birr to 156.6 billion birr. The bank’s total asset reached 202 billion birr. The bank recognized the exporters’ performance at a gala dinner held at the Sheraton Addis on Thursday.

CBE awarded different prizes for its 152 customers who earned more than USD one million under six categories. Certificates, silver plates, and trophies were handed over to the exporters and money transfer companies. Ninety three of the exporters earned more than USD one million while the rest made between USD 5 million to more than USD 100 million.

Bronze, silver, gold and platinium winners received their prizes from senior government officials. Coffee, leather, oil seed and gold exporters were among the top performers. Four companies -Belayneh Kinde Import and Export, Adem Kedir Hora Trading, Warka Plc and Ethiopian Grain Trade Enterprise- who earned more than 35 million dollars were the platinium winners. MIDROC Gold which exported more than 100 million dollars worth of gold is the special prize winner.

Western Union which transferred more than USD 300 million was also announced as the special prize winner. Express, Bole Atlantic, MoneyGram, Dhabshil, Blue Nile and Golden money transfer companies won different prizes. Express channeled more than 100 million dollars. Mulege, Bagaresh, Alfoz, Mojdo Tannery, Hugian Shoe Factory, and China Overseas were among the long list of exporters who won prizes. Bekalu Zeleke, president of CBE, and Bereket Simon, board chairman, congratulated the exporters. Bekalu said the exporters demonstrated a remarkable performance at a time when there was a stiff global competition.



Tobacco Control Convention Tabled Before Parliament

An MP calls for “closure” of tobacco factories

After several years of advocacy by various groups, who were pushing and lobbying the government for the formulation of a legislation to regulate and control tobacco products in Ethiopia, the House of Peoples’ Representatives (HPR) has begun reviewing a newly-proposed draft bill to govern tobacco.

The draft bill, which was presented to the House on Tuesday, was said to be formulated based on the international convention, the WHO Frame work Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) that has been so far signed by 172 countries including Ethiopia.

The convention, first adopted in May 2003 in Geneva, has been welcomed by Members of Parliament (MPs). At the regular session of the House it was noted that if Ethiopia is to ratify the bill, there are several favorable conditions in the country that enable the implementation of the legislation.

Apart from the enabling legal framework to protect citizens from the health hazard and pollution from tobacco, the ratifying convention by itself has important benefits for Ethiopia like securing high financial, material and technical support from the UN through the WHO.

Though Ethiopia had signed the convention back in February 2004, it was, however, pointed that the country remains among the last 12 nations in the world that have not ratified it yet. The Framework Convention consists of various strategies believed to help reducing the demand of tobacco and controlling its supply.

Among the strategies listed are price and tax measures and non-price measures as “an effective and important means” of reducing tobacco consumption in various segments of the population, particularly the young generation.

Implementing tax policies and price policies on tobacco products is also identified as appropriate measures of reducing consumption. Similarly, prohibiting sales of imported tobacco by international travelers of tax-and-duty-free is also pointed in the article.

The legislation proposes the need to adopt and implement legislative, executive, and administrative measures to promote and strengthen public awareness of tobacco control issues by using all available communication tools.

Furthermore, it also grants countries the right to determine and establish taxation policies, and take account of their national health objectives concerning tobacco control and adopt appropriate measures.

According to the proposed draft bill, the Ethiopian Food, Medicine and Health Care Administration and Control Authority is empowered to undertake “all acts necessary” for the implementation of the convention.

During a discussion session in the House, most of the MPs said that the country should have ratified it earlier.

MPs also forwarded suggestion for the respective standing committee to study why the country took longer period of time to ratify the convention.

Commending the move to regulate tobacco, the lone independent MP in the 547-seat assembly of lawmakers, Dr Ashebir Woldegiorgis, requested the standing committee to review which would be the responsible organ to be held accountable for leaving the nation to wait too long to adopt the agreement, which he said, resulted in losing the possible benefit the country could have gained from the UN in merely ratifying it alone.

Amid the discussion, another surprising comment that left parliamentarians smiling, is from an MP who proposed the closure of tobacco factories.

“Presenting this convention here is very commendable to our country. But from the very beginning, what is the importance of having a tobacco factory? In my view, no tobacco factory should be allowed to operate. Still, all the existing factories should be shut down if we are really concerned about shaping the minds of our children. ”

He further explained what is going on in various “illegal film houses”. “That’s where teenagers consume cigarettes and any form of tobacco,” he said. “These days, children assume that smoking cigarette is a modern trend, and they are becoming fast addicted at a very fast pace,” the MP added.

Interestingly, his comment immediately turned the House with sudden burst of amusement as he kept on challenging the MPs by questioning, “Let alone the children, if we honestly talk about tobacco, how many of us even in this House consume tobacco?”.

In a reaction to the comment made by the individual MP, Speaker of the House, Abadula Gemeda, said, “It’s important to consider the convention and the comment forwarded. This convention is not the issue of Ethiopia alone. It’s a common pact that has been commonly signed by many nations across the world. If you believe you want your idea to be considered as an agenda, you can still initiate it some other time for this House.”

Finally, the House unanimously voted “aye”, referring it to the Social Affairs Standing Committee for further revision.



Bank of Abyssinia Signs Contract for New Electronic Banking Systems

Many other banks have chosen to set up the systems in cooperation, such is the high cost

Addisu Haba (left), presedent of BoA, Abdellah Deguig (middle) Vice President of S2M and Kamal Kimakhe (right) sales manager of S2M.

The Bank of Abyssinia (BoA) signed a contract with S2M – a Moroccan company – to install 200 Point of Sale(PoS) machines and Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) switch machines on Saturday, December 28, 2013, in the premises of the Bank’s headquarters on Ras Desta Damtew Street, next to the Ethiopian Red Cross Society.

S2M, a pioneer of the first credit application inNorth Africa, was established in 1983. It set foot inEthiopiain 2012. Among the services it offers are smart card applications, e-commerce solutions and payment system solutions.

The PoS is the point at which a customer makes a payment to the merchant in exchange for goods or services. The EFT, on the other hand, is the electronic exchange, which enables the transfer of money from one account to another – either within a single financial institution or across multiple institutions – through computer-based systems.

The installation will come after a period of preparation, lasting between 30 and 45 days, according to an agreement signed by Addisu Haba, president of the BoA, and Abdallah Deguig, vice president of S2M.

“It will be ready for use after seven months,” Abiselom Tefaye, a local partner of S2M, told Fortune.

Usually, since getting a switch system is costly, banks partner with each other to use one jointly. The most notable are the United, Awash and Nib banks, which together formed a company called Premiere Switch Solutions (PSS) to provide the service. Through PSS, they purchased a switch system at an estimated cost of 190 million Br from S2M – the same company that is now supplyingAbyssinia. The BoA, which has increased its paid-up capital by 20.5pc to 577 million Br, in 2012/13, has, however, decided to take the responsibility on its own. Abay Bank, a new entrant intoEthiopia’s bourgeoning banking industry, is also operating the PoS independently.

“We prefer S2M under three circumstances,” Aklilu Wubet, vice president for corporate services at the BoA, said. “They are cost and technically effectiveness, and have flexibility.”

ButAbyssiniahas declined to disclose the amount of money it is investing into the PoS system, citing confidentiality agreements. The local Partner of S2M, who attended the signing ceremony, also refused to disclose the cost of the PoS, stating that it is currently bidding to supply other Ethiopian banks and the information may adversely affect its negotiating powers.

Eight companies showed interest for the supply of the EFT, while the tender for PoS attracted seven companies. The brand of the PoS, called Ingenico – a French product – won and was selected by competing with the same machine with the brand name verifico.

Among the eight were M2M, another Moroccan company, and BPS, which was the previous supplier of Dashen Bank.

“We are honoured to have a relationship with S2M,” Addisu, the BoA president, said. “We will add more products developed by the Company.”

When established back in February 1996,Abyssiniahad a subscribed capital of 25 million Br and an authorised capital of 50 million Br, with 131 shareholders.Abyssinia’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of 19.7pc is now more than twice the legal requirement of eight percent.



Fifty Million Dollar National Urban Project to Support Women Entrepreneurs

The project aims to support the ‘missing middle’ – businesses too small for commercial bank borrowing, but too big for MFIs

Women entrepreneurs running small businesses began registering, two weeks ago, at the micro finance one stop shops set up in each district of Addis Abeba. This registration is to access loans from a 50 million dollar fund approved by the International Development Association (IDA) – the World Bank’s credit wing – nearly two years ago, but only recently released. 

Women entrepreneurs running small businesses began registering, two weeks ago, at the micro finance one stop shops set up in each district of Addis Abeba. This registration is to access loans from a 50 million dollar fund approved by the International Development Association (IDA) – the World Bank’s credit wing – nearly two years ago, but only recently released.

This project is to be implemented through the Women Entrepreneurs Development Project (WEDP). This project was set up by the IDA to be implemented through the Ministry of Finance & Economic development (MoFED), the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) and Micro Finance Institutions (MFI) to support women-led small enterprises that are considered too small to borrow from commercial banks and too big to borrow from MFIs. The project coordinator, Yohannes Solomon, calls it the ‘missing middle’.

Out of the total grant, which was approved in May 2012, 42.4 million dollars will go to the DBE through the MoFED for credit facility.

The IDA is a segment of the World Bank set up to help the world’s poorest by providing credit.

This national urban project involves beneficiaries within 50kms of Bahir Dar, Adama, Hawassa, Mekelle, Addis Abeba and Dire Dewa, a WEDP coordinator, Yohannes Solomon, told Fortune.

The overall aim of the project is to increase the earning and employment capacity of Small & Micro Enterprises (SMEs) owned by female entrepreneurs. The World Bank, which expects 20,000 beneficiaries, believes that this will reduce gender inequalities in the education and labour market.

Some women entrepreneurs in Addis Abeba have, since last week, been signing up and receiving their ID for selection. This is a requirement before the selection process begins, says Yohannes.

The DBE gets the money from the MoFED and lends it to the MFI, with an 8.5 to nine percent interest, payable in three to five years.

The DBE is to assume full risk of the MFIs. The Federal Micro & Small Enterprise Development Agency (FMSEDA) will be the responsible body for the overall implementation of the WEDP and coordination of participating agencies at all levels. Eight MFIs have been selected to administer the credit granting process. The MFIs will set up One Stop Shops (OSSs) to serve as entry points for the MSEs into the WEDP.

The credit may be granted on either an individual or a collective basis. The first criterion requires being an owner of a licensed business, which is either wholly or partially owned by a female. The MSE must also be growth oriented.

“There is no specification on the type of business,” says Yohannes. “However, it would be a plus to own a business which is export-oriented or which has the potential of creating employment opportunities for others.”

The other requirement is the businesses requiring the loan must have been in business for at least six months and they need to have at least five percent of the capital they need to implement their business plans. Those deemed to have better credit worthiness could receive more loans, depending on their financial needs.



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