07 February 2014 Development News

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Eight companies get export boost

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The Public-Private Steering Committee (PPSC), the upper body of the Ethiopian Competitiveness Facility (ECF) has approved financial support for eight companies last week, Capital learned.
The (PPSC) works to help local companies export their products. Two additional coffee companies are expected to obtain approval from the PPSC, chaired by Tadesse Haile, State Minister of Industry. The meeting involving these companies was  postponed for another time because decision making officials from the Ministry of Industry (MoI) were absent. The companies that got approval on Wednesday January 31 are: Muya Ethiopia, Dire Tannery, Hay Garment, Ethiopia Tannery, Entoto Beth Artisans, Akaki Garment, Zede Engineering and Addis Ababa Tannery. Most of them are textile and garment manufacturers, excluding Zede.
Assegid Assefa, country director of ECF, said that since the second phase of ECF, launched last year, 27 companies, chambers of commerce and business associations have gotten support.
The amount  approved for the companies or associations depends on the project size that the companies or associations submitted. Assegid told Capital that the maximum amount the facility approved is USD 200,000.
The PPSC, which is made up of representatives from the financial sector, private sector, other public institutions and the ministry, will disclose the amount that it approved for the companies after they conclude some suggestions.
He said that almost half of the companies benefiting from the  ECF scheme are similar companies who got the option in the first phase.
The facility that aims to improve productivity and competitiveness in the global market has given support since 2006 when the project launched in Ethiopia with the support of the World Bank. Experts said that the scheme is a good opportunity for companies to tap big markets  in the international market because the program can help companies meet global standards. Very few companies making products for export  and the limitation of industrial companies are major factors that Ethiopian companies have been unable to get the support from the scheme.
ECF is a grant program of Ethiopia aimed at improving the competitiveness of the private sector particularly to develop the export or domestic sales capability of Ethiopian firms by increasing their competitiveness, strengthening market support institutions and market information systems.
The second phase of the ECF is a project operated by MoI and financed by the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Private Enterprise Program  Ethiopia (PEPE). 
According to the country director, each firm benefiting from this grant support is expected to contribute to green growth and to increase female employment and empowerment and export oriented businesses.
The ECF has four windows (schemes); export development window, institution development window, chambers of commerce and sectoral association window and the new window introduced to support firms currently not exporting or indirect exporters.
The objective of this first window is to offer grant finance to eligible privately-owned enterprises in order to accelerate the improvement of their competitiveness in international markets.
It is a firm-level support to priority sectors (leather and leather products, textiles and garments, and agro-processing) through a matching grant scheme.
Eligible private sector enterprises will receive reimbursements in the form of cash grants from the fund to cover a substantial proportion of the implementation cost of an integrated export development plan.
The institution development window aims to assist institutions that enhance the export development capacities of private firms that are exporting or preparing to export so as to better to enable them to expand their exports.  These providers could, for example, provide services to prepare firms for ISO 9,000 certification; provide ISO 9,000 audits; undertake market research; rent design equipment; conduct quality testing or  carry out web searches on behalf of exporters in advance of market investigation visits.
DFID has supported GBP four million for the second phase that will end in December 2015.
The first phase that commenced in 2006 and ended in December 2012 has been financed by the World Bank. USD 7.4 million has been dispersed in the first phase. According to the country director, the financiers undertake the monitoring and evaluation to not the effectiveness of the program. The World Bank evaluation for the first phase indicated that the scheme has attained 93 percent.

http://www.capitalethiopia.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4019:eight-companies-get-export-boost&catid=35:capital&Itemid=27

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Ethiopia, EU sign financing accord

Ethiopia and the European Union have signed a 26.9 million euro financing agreement for four projects.

The agreement was signed by Finance and Economic Development State Minister Ahmed Shide and EU Development Cooperation Director Francesca Mosca.

The assistance is provided by the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) which includes projects Trade Enhancement and Facilitation Programme, Civil Society Fund II, Women’s Breakthrough and Technical Cooperation facility.

The agreement is intended to finance projects aimed at supporting gender equality and women empowerment (6.4 million euro), trade enhancement and facilitation activities (10 million euro), civil society organizations (6 million euro) and availing technical support (4.5 million euro).

Mosca said on the occasion that the assistance will give a further boost to Ethiopia’s initiatives for economic growth and poverty reduction.

“EU-Ethiopia cooperation has yielded good results in the recent past and I look forward to achieving similar effects with these projects. I am particularly happy that the set of projects include due support for Civil Society Organization,as well as for facilitating women’s business start-ups and market linkages,” she added.

State Minister Ahmed on his part said: “The crucial support of the EU in the roads, food security, coffee improvement, water supply and governance sector augments Ethiopia’s effort of eradicating poverty and ensuring fast and sustainable development. The government of Ethiopia appreciates EU for its ever increasing support towards Ethiopia’s growth and transformation as expressed not only by the allocation of substantial development assistance but also by the day-to-day close cooperation to ensure its timely utilization.”

When fully operational, the projects are expected to support the integration of Ethiopia into the world economy in order to enhance the contribution of trade to the country’s growth and transformation.

http://www.waltainfo.com/index.php/explore/12221-ethiopia-eu-sign-financing-accord

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MB Private Limited Company, “Family Milk”

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In the increasingly competitive market of processed dairy products in Addis Ababa, MB PLC, popularly known under its brand “Family Milk,” has succeeded.   Both supply and demand for dairy products are highly variable in Ethiopia, due to seasonal variations, multiple holidays and, fasting seasons, which significantly decrease consumption.  However, Family Milk has learned to strategically project demand and minimize loss and excess production.  Mr. Mechale Aregaw, founder and General Manager and Mr. Hailu Eshetu, Deputy Manager, have attributed their success through company’s legacy as a family owned and controlled company. Over the past 10 years, the family’s initial equity commitment of 2.9 million ETB has multiplied more than four fold. 

Established in 2006, the company has a dairy processing plant in the capital city of Addis Ababa.  Family Milk has managed to successfully diversify its production base through collection of milk from multiple sources, including individual and commercial farmers, cooperatives and unions, located in and around Semen Shewa, Sebeta, Holleta and Nazret. Its customer base includes retailers, wholesalers, government/NGOs, hotels/restaurants, hospitals and supermarkets in Addis Ababa and surrounding areas. Over the years, the company has progressively extended its product line.  Initially the Family Milk brand included only pasteurized milk and cream.  Subsequently, it has expanded to include ‘ayib’ (traditional Ethiopian cottage cheese), yoghurt, butter and cheese (provolone, mozzarella, feta and ricotta). 

Family milk has become a leader within the dairy industry in its efforts to influence public policy.   It is a leading advocate for the government to play an increasing role in promoting dairy products, particularly for school programs and for maintenance of quality raw milk at collection sites and in the informal market. 

Today, the company employs 114 people and has a production capacity of 15,000 liters of milk per day and produces 5,400,000 liters annually.   Family Milk strives to continuously exceed the expectations of its customers by providing reliable and consistent delivery of high quality products through withstanding the market challenges and expanding rapidly as new opportunities emerge. 

USAID, through its project Livestock Market Development (LMD), currently provides technical assistance to Family Milk in the area of securing supply chain and training of the company’s out-growers.

http://www.ethiopiainvestor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4802:mb-private-limited-company-qfamily-milkq&catid=126:ask-questions-2

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Ethiopian Investors See Fish Farm Potential

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Overfishing, water pollution, and lack of awareness are challenges investors face if they hope to develop the nation’s first aquiculture business. They do see a huge potential of about 40,000 tons per year, however. 

A recent aquaculture trade and investment meeting with representatives from the Netherlands and Ethiopia, at Siyonat Hotel on January 28, lasted five days and was commissioned by Agri Business Support Facility (ABSF), a part of the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Associations with support from the Netherlands’ Embassy. 

“We aim to initiate model fish farms,” said Rachel Tocklu, managing director of Teampro, the consulting company that organized the mission.

“Ethiopians learn more by example than from experimentation. We want to show fish farmers there is a better way to conduct business with higher profits while still preserving the assets of the country,” she said. 

Aquaculture in Ethiopia is still in its initial stages. The current production of capture fisheries is estimated at 16,000 metric tons. The main fish species are Tilapia, Catfish and Perch.

The necessary players in the field; fish feed producers, fish farm equipment suppliers, processers and trainers have to be recruited from scratch, creating a large source of employment. 

After 2011, the Ministry of Agriculture established seed production centers which can supply potential fish companies. It also facilitated access to credit and provided basic marketing infrastructure such as roads and communication. 

The Ministry says that Ethiopia is ripe for the establishment of a fish industry because of the country’s agro-ecologies and climatic conditions. Commercially important fish like Carp are also widely available.  The increasing demand for fish and fish products both locally and abroad and the wide variety of species are other potential positives. 

“Orthodox Ethiopians fast more than 130 days a year and fish are an excellent source of protein,” Tocklu said. 

Ethiopia’s potential for fishery development is in its 20 freshwater lakes, 12 river basins and 15 reservoirs. According to Wagenigen University, a Dutch institute, 15,156 sqm of Ethiopia’s land is suitable for aquaculture. There are 180 different species of fish in Ethiopia and 30 of those are native to the country.

http://www.ethiopiainvestor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4795:ethiopian-investors-see-fish-farm-potential&catid=74:top-story

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Addis Ababa: City of Transformation

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Not only is Addis Ababa the diplomatic capital of Africa, it is also one of the fastest growing cities in the world. From market availability to a hip and thriving metropolitan, Addis Ababa has much to offer for any investor rather local or international. As this safe and vibrant city is in full speed transformation, Antoine Lindley takes an insightful look at doing business in Addis Ababa. 

Diriba Kuma, Mayor of Addis Ababa; Henok Assefa, Managing Partner of Precise Consult International; Kidanemariam Berhe, Addis Ababa City Investment Agency; Benyam Bisrat, President of Addis Ababa Hotel Association; Angelo Amara, General Manager of Universal plastic Factory and Chernet Assefa, Deputy General Manager, NA Metal Industry & Engineering give their testimonies on the emerging city of Africa.

Watch the video by clicking on the link below: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8NjfNFxXmg

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Irish Companies to bring Agri-Tech

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The technologies would be helpful to boost agricultural productivity and production 

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Two Irish Companies, MagGrow and Auranta, are expected to bring their respective agricultural technologies to Ethiopia and export to other African countries. The technologies would be helpful to boost agricultural productivity and production, Foreign Affairs State Minister Dawano Kedir said. 

After having discussion with the representatives of the companies at the Ministry, Dawano said the new agricultural technologies to be introduced by the companies would help smallholder farmers to increase their productivity by employing better chemical utilization. The technologies would add new options in the effort to increase agricultural productivity and attain the goal set for the sector in the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP), he added. 

MagGrow Operations Director David Moore on his part said using current spraying methods available in the market only 25-35 per cent of the chemical that is sprayed to grow crops is being absorbed by the plant, with 65-75 per cent going straight to ground becoming waste. The new technology, which is supported by magnetic inserts into the spraying apparatus that impart a magnetic charge into the chemical, and the magnetized chemical is directly drawn to the target plant and attaches to the entire plant, he noted. 

David said the Controlled Droplet Application technology would allow growers to apply small droplets of 40–80 micro meters without spray drift problem. “The technology enables the grower to reduce the chemical and water that they are applying by only spraying what is needed by the plant and, therefore, reduce waste by 70-80 per cent,” he added. The technology could reduce chemical and water requirements by 65-75 per cent, increases yield by 20-40 per cent and could be configured to increase drought resistance, David said. 

Auranta Chief Executive John Cullen also said his company is the manufacturer and developer of non-toxic and organic crop strengthener which enables to prevent crop diseases and makes them grow better. “We are launching these products in North America, South East Asia, Europe and we want to launch it in Africa as well. Our research has shown us that Ethiopia is one of the best countries in Africa to start business,” he said. The technology has shown an increase in the level of yield and quality by 30 up to 40 per cent in European extensive farms, he noted.

Both technologies can be used by small-scale and extensive farmers. The technologies are expected to be officially launched till July after trials and testings are undertaken in collaboration with the agricultural research institutes on smallholder farms.

http://www.ethiopiainvestor.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4803&Itemid=88

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Committees assess sectors performance reports

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The Ethiopian Financial Intelligence Centre says it has almost fulfilled the requirements of the 8th action plans in a bid to stand on its feet dismembering itself from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) public statement in the near future.

Responding to questions raised by members of Finance and Budget Affairs Standing Committee with regards to the six-month performance report of the centre, Financial Intelligence Centre Director General Gemechu Weyma said yesterday that the centre has exerted much efforts in combating money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism in cooperation with the Federal Police and its partners.

Moreover, the centre has become a member of Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) and other international organizations to further intensify the fight against illegal money transactions across the globe, he added.

With regard to familiarizing the youth with anti-money laundering proclamation, he noted that the centre has provided extensive awareness creation campaigns across the nation and succeeded in bringing attitudinal changes as well.

As to empowering women, he said that the centre has established special force that looks after and protects the rights of women. A number of women have also been promoted and hired over the last six months.

In a similar move, Science, Communication and Technology Affairs Standing Committee with the House of Peoples’ Representatives criticized the six-month budget utilization of the Ministry and stressed the need for carrying out compensation tasks in the remaining months of the budget year.

After it listened to the six-month performance report of the Ministry, Committee Chairman Getachew Melese urged the Ministry officials that though 93 per cent of physical performance of the Ministry is so successful, there is a serious problem of budget utilization. Of the total budget, the Ministry has utilized only 53 per cent of budget allocated for the reported period.

Concerning telecom services the public raise varies inquiries in relation to accessibility and quality of the service. The Ministry should take temporary measures until long term solution are implemented. But the problem is remaining to various towns. One the other hand, e-government infrastructural development, citizens charter preparation, comprehensive billing service, community radio service provision, standardization and regulatory of ICT, computer refreshing tasks, high manpower turnover, auditing, IT park, rural telephone expansion, planning tasks in coordination with other stakeholders are among other shortcomings, the standing committee urges the ministry to give serious attention.

State Minister of Information Communication Technology Getachew Negash on his part said that his Ministry is relentlessly working to effectively use the budget in the remaining budget year grappling with various complicated challenges of procurement.

On the other hand, the Ministry is working seriously providing radio, frequencies and other facilitate that curb communication barriers in areas where mega projects are carrying out. Besides, increasing telecom service to rural Ethiopia, the Ministry is signing various agreements with Huawei to improve quality of the service. In addition, it is working closely with the Addis Ababa City Administration to receive land for the construction of 500 telecom sites. It is also undertaking network expansion activities to tackle the problem in a couple of months.

State Minister Peter Gatcot also said the Ministry is making utmost effort to identify reasons behind employee turnover. Most of its workers are leaving as a result of seeking better salary. But, it has been pointed out also that there exists problem of personnel administration, he said.

In a related development, the Public Financial Enterprises Agency said the Commercial, Development, Construction and Business banks of Ethiopia and Ethiopian Insurance Corporation have registered 5.62 billion birr profit. Planned to earn 5.71 billion birr, they could secure over 98 per cent profitability during the last six months (July 1, 2005- December 30, 2006 E.C). Compared to last year’s similar period, the profit has increased by over 29 per cent.

Presenting Agency’s six months performance report to Budget and Finance Affairs Standing Committee with the House of Peoples’ Representatives yesterday, Director General Dr. Sintayehu Wolde-Michael said that the four enterprises total asset has reached 255.62 billion birr. Planned to perform 256.54 billion birr, over 99 per cent of the plan is accomplished. Compared to last year’s similar period, it has shown over 25 per cent increment.

Dr. Sintayeu further said that the four enterprises total liability has reached 239.53 billion birr. It has succeeded over 99 per cent of the plan. It has also shown over 25 per cent increment. Their capital including the reserve has reached over 16 billion birr. Compared to last year’s same period, it has increased by over 20 per cent.

He also said that the Agency has been working hard in the institutions focusing on capacity building, settling good governance in the four financial enterprises and public awareness creation activities.

The four financial enterprises have made profit in the last six months meeting over 98 per cent of the targeted plan.

Budget and Finance Affairs Standing Committee Deputy Chairperson Genet Tadesse on her part said that the agency has done commendable duties in connection with the capacity building, public relation, awareness creation duties and profit making activities and among others.

However, the Ethiopian Insurance Corporation and Construction and Business Bank have registered low performance. The agency has to give due attention to these financial enterprises so as to clear out its budget utilization vibrantly and submit its budget performance report to the House.

http://www.waltainfo.com/index.php/explore/12222-committees-assess-sectors-performance-reports

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EIAR introduces new agricultural technologies among over 19,000 farmers

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The Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) said it has introduced new agricultural technologies among 19,280 farmers in the first half of this budget year.

Institute Public Relations Director, Derese Teshome told WIC that newly introduced technologies would help beneficiaries (farmers) improve productivity.

He said training was given to the farmers ahead of the distribution of new technologies so that they can adapt the technologies easily.

Some 5,463 model farmers and semi-pastoralists have received the training in the reported period, he said.

As part of the efforts to transfer knowledge and technologies, the institute has been undertaking adaptation works of 11 new technologies drawn from abroad at research centers in various parts of the country, he said.

During the past six months, the institute has also disbursed 17, 130 quintals of select seed for centers engaged in the multiplication of seed, Derese pointed out.

The institute is endeavoring to boost agricultural productivity by conducting researches in 17 centers located across the country, it was learnt.
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Zone undertaking natural resource conservation activities

Natural resource conservation activities are underway in 37 woredas of North Shoa zone, Amhara Regional State, according to zonal administrator.

The administrator, Eshete Assfaw, told WIC that more than 600,000 farmers are taking part at the 60-day conservation activities.

The farmers participating at the conservation activities being held for the fourth consecutive years are expected to contribute labor worth one million birr, he said.

According to Eshete, similar natural conservation activities carried out in the zone during the past years enabled farmers to harvest three times per year.

The ongoing natural conservation works will also improve productivity of farmers as it directly linked with their irrigation development activities, he noted.

Some 62,000 hectares of land was developed through irrigation last budget year and the development of 72,500 hectares of land is also underway this budget year, he said.

http://www.waltainfo.com/index.php/explore/12228-eiar-introduces-new-agricultural-technologies-among-over-19000-farmers

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Ministry signs Postal Service Agreement with Ethiopian Postal Service Enterprise

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The State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Yinager Dessie and the General Manager of the Ethiopian Postal Service Enterprise (EPSE), Mr. Gideyi Gebre-Yohannis, signed on Thursday (February,6,2013) a postal service agreement covering both the domestic and international postal services.

The service agreement is mainly for couriers and money transfer services. Dr. Yinager expressed Ministry’s commitment to partner with the EPSE to establish and expand effective communication services. He further indicated that EPSE would enable the Ministry of Foreign Affairs access efficient, secure and effective communication services.

Hailing its improved and outstanding service delivery, Dr.Yinager added that the Ministry attached greater importance to its partnership with EPSE in order have swift communications with international organizations, countries, embassies, Ethiopian Diaspora and other stakeholders. The EPSE would contribute a lot to the Ministry in fulfilling its defined mission, he highlighted.

Mr.Gidey on his part remarked that EPSE would continue to strengthen its cooperation with the Ministry to provide improved service delivery. He underlined that EPSE was expanding its engagement with other ministries to play its role in accelerating the political, economic and social development of the country.

http://www.mfa.gov.et/news/more.php?newsid=2998

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World Bank eyes $1 bln African resource mapping fund

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World Bank eyes $1 bln African resource mapping fund

The World Bank will launch $1 bln fund to map Africa’s natural resources.

World Bulletin / News Desk

The World Bank wants to launch a $1 billion fund in July to map the mineral resources of Africa, using satellites and airborne surveys to fill geological gaps across the continent where a lack of adequate data hampers mining investments.

The World Bank has committed $200 million to the five-year fund, and was meeting with mining companies and governments from sub-Saharan Africa who have expressed interest, a senior bank official told Reuters on Wednesday.

“Times are tough, so the mining companies are counting their pennies, but there is a lot of interest because it is exactly when commodity prices are low and the companies are reducing their investment budgets that having the information to guide their priorities is valuable,” said Paulo de Sa, senior manager at the World Bank’s mining unit.

De Sa met with 10 mining companies on the sidelines of an African mining conference, including Rio Tinto and Ivanhoe Mines, who were interested in the fund.

Initially targeting southern and eastern Africa, De Sa said the fund would aim to collate existing data onto a single, digital platform that would be accessible to the public.

Besides helping to guide exploration investment, African governments could benefit by being able to negotiate better deals when handing concessions to mining companies, he said.

“If they know what they have in their territory, they are in a better position to fine-tune and calibrate the fiscal regime and mining laws,” De Sa said.

When Mozambique, for example, privatised its giant Moatize coal mine, it did not know the true potential of the coal basin until Brazilian miner Vale started exploration work.

De Sa said the bank, which has received expressions of interest from Malawi and Mozambique to assist with geological mapping, hoped to identify copper prospectivity in Zambia, Africa’s top producer of the metal.

“There is a lot more copper in Zambia than what is known, so we hope to identify the areas with more prospectivity and then the government will be able to attract more investment to areas because they know there will be a lot more certainty, a lot less risk,” he said.

The data could also be used by governments when planning infrastructure development or water resource allocations.

De Sa said the mapping fund hoped to unearth up to $1 trillion worth of new mineral resources on the continent.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/economy/128289/israeli-siege-fuel-scarcity-leaves-gaza-fishermen-in-lurch

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Egypt has no plans to take Ethiopia dam file to AU

Egypt has no plans to take Ethiopia dam file to AU

The project has raised fears in Cairo that the project could affect Egypt’s historical share of Nile water, which represents the country’s primary water source.

World Bulletin / News Desk

Egyptian ambassador to Ethiopia Mohamed Idris has denied reports of Egyptian plans to lodge a formal complaint with the African Union (AU) over Ethiopia’s massive hydroelectric dam project on the Nile River.

“No official decision has been taken in this regard,” Idris told a Wednesday press conference in Addis Ababa.

Within the last year, relations between Egypt and Ethiopia have become strained over the latter’s construction of a multibillion-dollar hydroelectric dam on the Nile’s upper reaches.

The project has raised fears in Cairo that the project could affect Egypt’s historical share of Nile water, which represents the country’s primary water source.

Speaking in the Ethiopian capital, Idris called for stepped-up cooperation between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan on the dam.

“We’ve already agreed on some aspects, while we’re yet to agree on others,” he said.

On Monday, a 45-strong Egyptian diplomatic delegation arrived in Addis Ababa for a five-day visit to Ethiopia.

The following day, delegation members met with AU Peace and Security Commissioner Smail Chergui and AU Infrastructure and Energy Commissioner Elham Ibrahim.

The delegation is scheduled to visit Ethiopia’s northwestern city of Bahir Dar– home of Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile– on Thursday.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/news/128326/egypt-has-no-plans-to-take-ethiopia-dam-file-to-au

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