14 February 2014 Development News


Despite network ethio telecom continues to make big earnings


State utility ethio telecom (et), amassed 5.3 billion birr in gross profitsat the same time the number of landline users declined, during this fiscal year’s first half. Despite anecdotal evidence of worsening network problems the telecom monopoly continues to earn a lot of money. The enterprise disclosed their unaudited gross profits in the first six months were 111 percent of target goals.

The gross profit grew 10 percent compared with the second half performance of the past fiscal year (2012/13).

During that time ethio telecom hoped to collect 7 billion birr in total revenue and it has met 91 percent this target.

In terms of revenue the company’s performance grew 12.4 percent compared with a similar period of last fiscal year, according to Abdurahim Ahmed, public relation head of et.

Mobile phones earned the most money. The head of public relations said the enterprise has earned 67 percent of the total revenue from mobile business and international service. Data and Internet contributed 16 and 10 percent respectively.



Russian company keen to engage in railway development project


State Minister Dawano Kedir exchanging views with company executives


The state-owned Russian Railway Company is discussing with the government possible opportunities to engage in railway development project in the country.

Following discussion with Foreign Ministry State Minister Dawano Kedir yesterday, Russian Railway Company Vice President Alexandor V . Saltanov said: “We are in the process of contacts with Ethiopian partners and friends about the prospects of Russian-Ethiopia cooperation in the construction of the railway infrastructure in this country. We agreed to continue contacts and meetings and exchange of views and even jointly studying all the details of the implementation of such a great project.”

Ministry Spokesperson Ambassador Dina Mufti also said : “Ethiopia seeks the engagement of Russian business community in investment and different economic sectors.”

“It is very important to work with the Russian Railway Company because it is well experienced and facilitate knowledge and technology transfer,” he added.

The company Vice president also had talks with Prime Minister Haile-Mariam Dessalegn and Ethiopian Railway Corporation officials on ways of participation in railway development projects.



State Minister Dewano Kedir meets Russian business delegation


State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dewano Kedir has held a meeting with a Russian delegation headed by Alexander Saltanov, Vice-President of Russian Railways (RZD).

The State Minister noted Ethiopia and Russia had a long and close relationship which could encourage cooperation in economic development. He welcomed RZD’s interest in looking at future rail infrastructure projects in Ethiopia, pointing out that it was an appropriate time to invest in Ethiopia with its fast economic growth and priority on infrastructure development.

Mr. Saltanov briefed the State Minister on his meetings with Prime Minister Hailemariam and senior government officials, describing these as “productive and fruitful”. He underlined that railway transport was growing across the world and said that that Russian Railways were paying, close attention to the possibilities available in Africa and in particular to Ethiopia’s infrastructure development efforts.

He noted RZD was looking forward to working closely with the Ethiopian Railway Corporation. The State Minister expressed his commitment to follow future implementation of rail projects and give them support.. Russia’s RZD is a state-owned company which accounts for over 3.6% of Russia’s GDP and handles about 80% of all transportation in the country. With a network of 85,500 km of track across the Russian Federation, it is one of the biggest transport companies in the world.



Skyscrapers, a new look of Addis


Nowadays, several buildings of different heights have appeared and are appearing in the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. Surprisingly, most buildings get rented even before their completion. In fact, the buildings are meant from the onset for rent. In general, building high skyscrapers and harvesting income renting them for other businesspersons is today’s business area.

Owner of these buildings rent a floor at a minimum cost of 7 to 12 thousand birr per square meter. But this would not always be true, for some landlords go as far as pressing tenants to pay fees in US dollars. The price varies according to the place where the building is located. For instance, renting price of a flat in Bole area and other part of the city is completely different. Because, businessmen are interested in getting floors in a places where there is a potential for a high business transaction. Knowing this fact, owners of skyscrapers also raise or reduce the price depending on the place.

If you have a kind of opportunity to see these buildings, they have a different halls which are ready to serve different purposes such as meetings, conferences…. The price of these halls is also high. For example, a hall with different facility is rented between 80,000 to 150,000 birr per a day. Most of the time, such halls host wedding ceremonies.

Most, if not all, owners of skyscrapers finance the construction getting lone from banks. The luckiest person can quickly finish their edifice before the interest rate goes too high and ahead of the banks’ preparation to take measures.

These buildings are fixed assets to these investors. So, they can easily generate income. In addition, quite a number of citizens have also got job opportunities that range from professional to menial.

Relatively speaking, getting floors for office use or whatever one is looking for is so easy. In addition, most buildings have adequate parking lots and other important facilities. Due to that and of course other reasons, various national and international organizations are benefiting from these massive constructions.



What was possible for agriculture is not impossible for others


Prime Minister Haile-Mariam Desalegn told a press conference on Monday that performance assessments made so far indicated that a double digit growth would be achieved in the agriculture sector this budget year. No doubt that there is no better news than this for a country whose economy largely depends on agriculture. It is more so, when seen from the point of view of the leading position agriculture is given in spearheading the country’s journey toward an industrialized economy and hence economic transformation. What is more important though is that such good news came nearly one year after the ruling party, EPRDF had evaluated sectoral performances and concluded that the agriculture sector had shown relatively weaker performance. In fact that was obviously a little bit frustrating for the ruling party which is pursuing agriculture-led development industrialization as its development strategy. No doubt various measures aiming at reinvigorating agricultural productivity have been taken since then, and consequently those measures have brought the desired changes in the sector.

At the heart of all the successes brought in the agricultural productivity is the achievements brought in mobilizing the farmers to unleash their maximum efforts to turn available opportunity into some sort of leverage to crop yield. In this respect efforts made in familiarizing farmers with irrigation development is worth mentioning. Evidently there has been more focus in recent days than any time in the past on irrigation of all scales. Farmers have realized that the time has passed in which they relied solely on rain-fed agriculture. As a result rivers and streams that had been flowing for years without giving any substantial benefit to the farmer have now been utilized as vital resources with which the farmers have managed to boost their annual crop yield. It is not uncommon to hear farmers speaking about doubling and tripling annual crop yield as a result of irrigation. Obviously, irrigation was just one crucial factor but not the only one that spurred success in agriculture.

The growing level of farmers’ awareness about the crucial contribution of various agricultural inputs to improve productivity has been another worth mentioning factor the led to the double digit growth of the agriculture sector. The use of select seeds, fertilizers, improved agricultural implements has among others been growing speedily. Of course, environmental management activities that are being carried out by the farmers have continued to be of critical support to efforts made in improving agricultural productivity.

What has been achieved in terms of replacing the age old practice of broadcasting by line sowing has already been proven to be making substantial differences in crop yield. In all aspects the efforts made to increase crop yield have more or less been successful.

Even what is more important than what has been achieved in boosting crop yield was the fact that the interventions made at all levels were well thought and well-tailored that they brought the intended results in the sector.

No doubt the swift measures made in bringing the agriculture sector back to its leading position over the past one year has been impressive and worth emulating. Yet, the country’s agriculture has immense potential to go further; and what has been achieved is just a fraction of what the sector can offer.

Now the question remains whether other sectors that are not faring very well can be revamped in the same fashion?

Despite the government’s overarching efforts to bring multi-sectoral development some sectors still remain way below the intended targets. Particularly the public utility sectors such as transportation, telecommunication and electricity have been struggling to cope up with the ever exploding interest of consumers.

The results obtained in the agriculture sector surely were obtained as a result of the coordinated efforts of the different stakeholders. Despite the peculiar nature of the various sectors, the level of concentration and maximization of efforts given to the agriculture sector can well be emulated by other sectors.



Ethio-Telecom set to tackle network problem soon: CEO


The Ethio Telecom announced that it has been striving to tackle the network problem in Addis Ababa.
Acting Chief Executive Officer Andualem Admassie told The Ethiopian Herald that his office is making utmost efforts to address the problem in a sustainable manner by identifying technical problems and designing new expansion projects.
The network expansion work is taking place in the city classifying tasks in three categories: Nokia, ZTE and New Network Development. Andualem further indicated that in areas where Nokia network is installed – Jomo, Lebu and Mebrat-Hail the company is working to accomplish network expansion task in less than six months. The new network expansion works in green areas would be completed within six months time.
Ethio telecom has concluded agreements with various companies giving due attention to expansion project contract and deadline, task details, project design, and execution of the task.
Presently, Ethio telecom is importing equipment for network expansion from China, Andualem said. “We are discussing with Addis Ababa City Administration and other stakeholders to get sites for the placement of 300 new network facilities.”
According to Andualem, along with undertaking the new network expansion projects in Addis, the company is making utmost effort to increase network availability and quality in areas where mega projects are being carried out.



Zones prepares  compost


More than one million cubic meters compost was prepared in West Shoa Zone, Oromia State during the first seven months of this budget year, the Zonal Agriculture Department said.

Planning, design and supervision expert with the department, Serbesa Urgesa told ENA Tuesday that the stated amount of compost will develop close to 67,170 hectares land.

More than 78,000 farmers participated in the process.

Serbesa said each of the farmers prepared 17 cubic meter compost thereby reduce their fertilizer expenditure.

Similarly, over 120,000 tons compost is being prepared in Horro Gudru Wollega Zone of Oromia State during the first half of the fiscal year, the Zonal Agriculture Development Department said.

The department told ENA that more than 26,000 farmers are taking part in the preparation.

The stated amount of compost being prepared in the zone would surpass the previous year by 10,000 tonnes.



ICL to partner with Allana in Ethiopian potash mine


Addis Ababa, 13 February 2014 (WIC) – Israel Chemicals (ICL) said on Thursday it would partner with Canada’s Allana Potash to develop a potash mine in Ethiopia in a deal which includes ICL taking a stake in Allana.
The feasibility study for the Danakhil project in the Dallol region of northeast Ethiopia indicates it will produce about one million tonnes of potash annually within five years.
The alliance comprises an investment by ICL of $23 million in units of Allana shares and warrants at 43 cents per unit.
Following its initial investment, ICL will hold 16 percent of Allana’s regular shares and it may increase its holding in Allana to 37 percent upon its exercise of warrants that are part of the units.
Proceeds of the investment will be used by Allana to develop the Danakhil mine project.
The alliance also includes an agreement in which ICL, the world’s sixth-largest potash producer, will purchase and market the output of the mine. It will provide technical assistance to Allana as well.
The partnership is in line with ICL’s strategy to broaden its sources of raw materials while reducing its production costs and focusing on growth-generating emerging markets which it believes will drive significant growth over the next decade.
ICL, which has potash mines in Israel, Spain and Britain, sold over 5 million tonnes of potash in 2013.
“The Danakhil mine will provide potash for Ethiopia and Africa, and, combined with ICL’s agronomics fertilisation know-how, will enable local farmers to increase agricultural output and food for the region,” ICL Chief Executive Stefan Borgas said.
“The location of the Danakhil mine will provide us with fast and easy access to the Indian Ocean, which will enable us to even better serve our customers in India and South East Asia.”
ICL, which is controlled by Israel Corp, said developing sources of raw materials worldwide was an important objective, especially in light of its need to ensure additional alternatives when the time comes to extend its franchise to produce potash from the Dead Sea, which expires in 2030.
It also noted “the uncertainty regarding the business and regulatory environment in Israel”.



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