01 March 2014 Ethiopian Development News


Power  generation projects  being accelerated to realize GTP goal


Gibe III Hydro-power project is 82 per cent complete


The Ethiopian Electric Power said that the construction of Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam, Gibe III, Genale Dawa (GDIII) and other Wind Farm Power Generation projects is being accelerated to realize the Growth and Transformation Plan energy sector goals.

Briefing journalists on the progress of ongoing mega power generation projects yesterday, Ethiopian Electric Power External Public Relations Head Miskir Negash said extensive efforts are underway to realize the GTP in the power generation sector aspiring to increase national power supply.

According to Miskir, the construction of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Gibe III and GDIII has been accelerated with a view to increasing power supply and coverage of the country within the GTP period. Accordingly, the construction of GRD has reached 32 per cent. Currently, concrete filing works is underway predominantly. So far, the project has created 7,000 job opportunities and the number would increase as more works are commenced. Works are being undertaking day and night.

With regard to Gibe III project, Miskir indicated activities are underway to launch first phase power generation of the Project within a year. In so doing, two power units are equipped and would be made available with facilities to commence power generation in the early moths of 2007 E.C, he added.

He also noted that various construction phases of Gibe III, which is expected to increase the current energy capacity of power supply of the country by 94 per cent are nearing completion. Gibe III high kilo volt electric transmission line has already been completed while the power house concrete work is underway as well.

Concerning Genale Dawa (GDIII), Miskir also said that the project has reached 48.5 per cent. DGIII Hydroelectric, whose 60 and 40 per cent cost is covered loan from Chinese Bank and the Ethiopian government coffer respectively, will have an installed capacity of 254 MW when it goes fully operational.

He further indicated that the construction of Adama II wind farm project has also been accelerated with the capacity of generating 153 MW. The project is 40 per cent complete. The 230 KV electric transmission station and 33 KV tower works have already been finalized. The total cost of the project is 345 million USD provided by Axiom Bank of China and the Ethiopian government, he added.

Asked about the frequent power interruption in Addis and other areas, Miskir said that the problem is highly related with the low quality of transformers and other man-made causes like acts of vandalism on transmission lines.

Indicating that the Power is working with Metal Engineering Corporation (METEC) to make quality transformers available, he underlined that the problem would be overcome sooner and he called up on the public to prevent vandalism.



Tourism generates over 1.38 bln USD in six months

Over 1.38 billion US dollars revenue was obtained from tourism in the first half of this Ethiopian budget year, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Public and International Relations Directorate Director with the Ministry, Awoke Tenaw told WIC that the revenue was earned from 370,754 foreign tourists who visited the nation.

The number of tourists increased by 36 per cent compared to that of same period the previous year. The income has also increased significantly, he added.
The activities carried out to extend tourists’ period of stay, promote tourist sites and participation at international tourism trade fairs and exhibition contributed for the increase in revenue, he said.

According to Awoke, the average number of days tourists stay here has now increased to sixty days from six some six years ago.
The country had also participated in the trade fairs and exhibitions organized in Britain, France, Japan and Brazil, according to the director.



President calls on US companies to invest  in Ethiopia


President Dr. Mulatu Teshome said Ethiopia is desirous of engaging US companies in various investment sectors in the country.

During talks with Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) delegation Thursday, the President said that Ethiopia is interested in engaging US companies in the manufacturing, power generation and infrastructural development.

The President briefed the delegation on investment opportunities in the country.

CCA President Stephen Hayes on his part expressed US companies’ interest to invest in Ethiopia in the manufacturing, power generation, infrastructural development and information technology as well.

He said the prevalence of peace and stability, manpower and the country’s rapidly growing economy are factors that attract many companies.

Also yesterday, the delegation held discussion with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on best business and investment opportunities in the country.

As to Ministry Spokesperson Ambassador Dina Mufti, to empower Africa the Corporate Council make Ethiopia one of its targets and came to look business opportunities in the country.

Accordingly, the delegation had discussion with various business corporate and governmental bodies. The delegation was briefed on the investment opportunities by ministry officials.

Ambassador Dina also indicated that the two countries enjoy century-old bilateral relations. Predominantly in Ethiopia, US involves in the education and health sectors. However, in investment compared to China and Turkey the role of US is minimal. So, they have to work to fill this gap and they are acting to do so, he added.

The Council is committed to work in Ethiopia, Hayes said, adding East Africa has the highest priority.

The Corporate Council on Africa has 182 member companies. It predominantly works to interlink US and Africa in trade, business and economic aspects.



Herbicides factory  80 per cent complete


The Adamitulu Pesticides Share Company said that 80 per cent of a herbicides factory being constructed in Oromia State at a cost of over 40 million birr has been completed.

Company Deputy Manager Lema Bogale told ENA that installation of machinery and equipping the factory with essential materials are being carried out.

The factory will begin pilot production within two months thereby supplying products to farmers and investors engaged in the agriculture sector, he added.

Upon completion, the factory is expected to produce up to 6,000 liters of “2, 4-D” herbicide, which is effective in killing broad-leaved weeds, per day.

Widely used to control broad-leaved weeds, some grass and woody plants, ‘2, 4-D’ (2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) acts as a hormone plant growth regulator.



A glimpse into the progress of the GTP


Last week, the Council of Ministers of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, in its 63rd session, evaluated the past three years’ performance of the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) and passed various decisions. According to a press release issued by the Council, the evaluation of the Ministers basically focused on activities undertaken in the areas of economic and social development, infrastructure, democracy and good governance during the implementation period of the GTP over the past three years.

It was learnt from the Council of Ministers’ release that three years after its launching, the Plan has enabled the nation to undertake encouraging poverty alleviation activities that outpaced Sub-Saharan countries. The Council’s press release further indicates that the country’s gross domestic growth rate reached 9.7 per cent in the past fiscal year. The contribution of agriculture, industry and service are 7.1, 18.5 and 9.9 per cent respectively. Due to the efforts made to bring changes in the economic structure, the contribution of agriculture is reduced to 42.9 per cent in 2013 from 46.5 three years before. The industry and the service sectors are raised to 12.4 and 45.2 per cent respectively from 10.3 and 44.1 in 2010.

The Council also stated that the number of people living in poverty has been reduced to 26 per cent in 2013 from 29.5 per cent three years ago, moving in a right path to reduce the level of poverty to 22.2 per cent in 2015. National saving has also risen to 17.7 per cent in 2013 from 5.2 per cent three years before, showing a marvellous achievement beyond the 15 per cent plan to attain in the GTP period. Road infrastructure also rose to 58, 338 kilometres in 2013 from 48, 800 kilometres in 2010. In social services, the number of elementary schools (Grades 1-8) reached 34, 495 in 2013 from 26, 951 and the number of students reached 17.4 million from 15.8 million in 2010. The number of secondary schools also reached 1,912 from 1,335 in the same period. In addition, the number of health centres increased to 3, 100 from 2, 142 three years ago.

The Council of Ministers noted that the registered economic growth is by far better than the 5 per cent economic growth rate that Sub-Saharan Countries have registered. Ethiopia has managed to attain this encouraging economic growth amid global market challenges.

This indeed is good news for Ethiopians who have shown their commitment and readiness for the success of the GTP, which holds the hopes and aspirations of millions of citizens. One has to go back and recall for few minutes the flesh of the GTP in order to compare if we really are making a progress and moving forward in implementing the Plan according to the set schedule.

To start with, two scenarios have been considered during the implementation period of the five-year Growth and Transformation Plan. These are: the Base Case Scenario and the High Case Scenario. In the Base Case Scenario, it is planned to maintain the annual average economic growth of 11 per cent attained. In the High Case Scenario, it is envisaged to double the 2002 E.C agriculture production and general economy by 2007 EC. To this end, it is planned to attain an annual average economic growth of 14.9 per cent and complete the activities geared towards enabling the industry sector take the lead in the country’s economy.

To help the agriculture sector continue to be the source of the country’s economic growth, the Plan stresses the need to strengthen the efforts geared towards ensuring market-oriented trend and the provision of improved production to local and foreign markets. In addition, according to the Plan, it is important to encourage the participation of investors in the agricultural sector and provide incentives to estate farm developers; give due attention to areas with high development potentials and encourage farmers and investors to actively engage in the production of agricultural products that have high market demand.

In addition, with a view to making the industrial sector play a key role in the economy, the Plan stresses the need to ensure rapid development in the industrial sector; bring about sustainable technological growth in the medium and large industries; attach due emphasis on the growth of Micro and Small-Scale Enterprises (MSEs); make the industrial sector export-led; give due attention to industries that could substitute imported goods; and make institutions of higher learning as well as technical schools industrial development oriented.

In the infrastructure sector, it is planned to undertake the construction of new rural roads in all states connecting each rural Kebele with highways; carry out the construction of national railway; promote the use of renewable energy sources such as water and wind; and further strengthen the ongoing efforts to provide quality, modern and integrated telecommunication services to the general public at a reasonable price across the nation.

Concerning the promotion of social development activities, the Plan indicates that utmost efforts would be exerted to tackle constraints that limit school enrolment of children and women; gear the training programmes of higher education institutions towards programmes on science and engineering and make the quality of education comparable with that of similar foreign institutions of higher learning.

With regard to the expansion of health services, the GTP eyes at undertaking basic prevention and control health services involving the general public; promoting quality hospital services across the nation; ensuring that medical institutions are equipped with the necessary manpower and materials; improving the skills, composition and administration of the human power in the health sector and exerting efforts to address the brain drain of medical professionals.

The five-year GTP also touches upon other issues such as raising the capacity and benefits of women and the youth; social security, culture and tourism, as well as environment and climate change. It also attaches special emphasis on accelerating capacity building and good governance efforts. In this aspect, the GTP focuses on effectively implementing government policies and strategies by building the capacity of the civil service, supporting the judicial system to continue with the reform activities that it is undertaking; carrying out intensive good governance activities to ensure transparency and stamp out corruption; exerting unreserved efforts to ensure democratic culture in the country and carrying out integrated activities to raise the public awareness on the Constitution and legal system of the country.

In light of the above brief recollection of the GTP and the evaluation of the Council of Ministers made recently, one can say that the implementation of the GTP over the past three years is indeed successful as it witnessed the fulfilment of the set targets in the majority of the development sectors. When the government launched the GTP three years ago, some said that the GTP is ambitious. Other sceptics also doubted its attainability. But, the success registered over the past three years demonstrated that the Plan is achievable and within our reach.

Here, one important fact should be emphasized. The demonstrated and well-proven commitment of the government to successfully implement the Five Year Growth and Transformation Plan would not bring about the much desired result if not supported by the full participation of the public at large. The success of the Plan heavily depends on the active involvement of the entire public. The participation of the people from all walks of life is indispensable in the implementation of this Plan, which is believed by many to make the nation food self-sufficient and contribute a great deal in the efforts exerted to pull the country from the abyss of poverty.



A matter of survival for Ethiopia that has low water storage capacity


“The Nile River, its natural resources and environment are assets of immense value to all the riparian countries,” this excerpt is one among the statements that furnish with a preface or introduction in the modern Nile agreement— Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA)— which is made between the Nile Riparian countries.

In line with this, Ethiopia has commenced the construction of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the major tributary of Nile, Abay, in Benshangul-Gumuz State. As a signatory state of the CFA, Ethiopia has proved a great commitment for an equitable use of the waters and without harming the water flow to downstream nations. This has been evidenced as the nation invited downstream nations, Egypt and Sudan, to study the impact of the dam. Forming International Panel of Experts (IPoE), the three countries— Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia — have made rigorous studies examining the construction site first hand. After that, IpoE concludes as the dam poses no major threat to downstream nations.

Still, unlike other nations in the world that have built hydro power dams along cross-boundry water courses found in their territory without consulting the respective riparian countries, Ethiopia is persistently cooperating with countries that share waters of the Nile and has received encouraging response from the nations including from downstream Sudan. In addition, the international community has also understood the significance of the low cost energy source in opening more rooms for cooperation among the Nile riparian countries.

Yet, Egyptian scholars and politicians seem living in an isolated island. They are neither cooperating with the riparian countries nor respecting what the international community is advising them. Still, they are proponents of colonial “treaties”, which lost place when then Tanganyika got independence in 1961 which Uganda and Kenya followed suit. But, Egypt is daydreaming to retain a so called treaty that was made to share Nile waters unfairly between Sudan and Egypt. Some politicians and scholars are having busy days to revive these “treaties”, if at all they could be referred that way. The aimless campaigns, however, have not been welcomed by most. They are being told that cooperation is the only way out and there is enough space to do so. They have repeatedly heard that the dam benefits downstream countries.

In fact, it is foolish to perceive as these Egyptians have failed to understand the hard fact, they know the dam benefits them and brings no significant threat. So, why do they waste their time and why do they walk on a wrong path? The thing emanates from various sources but the major one seems from wicked desire to control all the waters and indirectly put influence on the upper riparian nations, which is so impossible. Such mindset never work for the upstream water sources, let alone for downstream Egypt.

Apart from that, they have also desperately engaged to making the dam an issue of survival.

The reality is, however, the dam could not and will not affect the flow and volume of the water. Rather, it will allow a regular flow and volume all year round. The reality is, however, generating clean energy is a matter of survival for Ethiopia since 97 per cent of its water resources are cross-boundry, meaning Ethiopia has not yet assured good water storage capacity. That is why, the dams which have been built over the past days and still under construction, including GERD, are too crucial to lift its millions of citizens from poverty increasing the national water storage capacity.

As FDRE Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy Alemayehu Tegenu in a recent radio panel clearly has put it, cooperation is the only means to use the waters. And people of Egypt need to understand this fact. The construction of GERD is well under way and over 30 per cent complete, as the Minister reiterated on the same occasion.

Provoking Nile riparian countries, Ethiopia in particular, with badly charged terms such as “all options are open” serves no purpose. In addition, these few Egyptian politicians and scholars could not buy public acceptance by purposely misdirecting the people of Egypt. It is time to tell the reality for their people—i.e., the fact that the dam brings benefits for Egypt and Egyptians in many ways. And the internal instability of Egypt could be settled not by amusing the public’s attention to wards GERD, but through finding genuine solution. There is enough space for cooperation and to engage in a win-win base.



Egypt has no alternative, but to  quickly start discussions: Ambassador Dina


Ethiopian will continue promoting the principle of the equitable and fair utilization of the Nile River, MoFA Spokesperson Ambassador Dina Mufti said.

While briefing journalists on current issues, Ambassador Dina stressed Ethiopia’s firm stand on the fair use of the river among the riparian countries. “The upper riparian states have the right to use the Nile for their development as far as it doesn’t cause any significant harm on the lower riparian countries and that is why Ethiopia is building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD),” he said.

Ethiopia will continue building the dam and Egypt’s request to pause the construction of the dam is unacceptable, he added.

The government of Egypt has no alternative but to move quickly and start discussions with all Nile countries about using the waters in the best interest of all, he said. Ambassador Dina added that Ethiopia would continue to play its role towards contributing to the peace and stability of the Horn of African region.

In addition to finding solution for the current crisis in South Sudan, Ethiopia is playing its part for the prevalence of durable peace and security in Somalia through deploying its troops, he said. According to Ambassador Dina, rival factions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) are here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for further peace talks.



An up-and-coming Ethiopia’s international relations


Over the last two decades, Ethiopia has been highly engaged in keeping the momentum of internal stability along with bolstering overall national development as a pathway to get rid of poverty. Besides, Ethiopia is enriching its international relations in general and has remained committed and more concerned about regional peace and security in particular.

Its pragmatic and scientific international policy has enabled the country to demonstrate its roles in many regional and continental development and security issues. To this effect, Ethiopia has become a very real force for peace initiatives in the East African region, indeed.

The premise on which Ethiopia’s policy is based mainly with neighbouring countries is focusing on developing the culture of dealing with contradictions through discussion and negotiation while reducing its vulnerability to danger and to address security threats appropriately.

In a recent past, Ethiopia’s dedication for the peaceful East Africa region is evidenced by what it is doing and has done in Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan. It does brokering effort to resolve the disputes between Sudan and South Sudan. It has sent troops to the joint UN-AU peacekeeping force in Darfur (UNAMID) to help maintain peace and stability in that troubled region. Ethiopia has also deployed 4,000 troops in Abyei for the UN interim security force for Abyei (UNIFSA). Again, it has cooperated with the Somali government to fight terrorism and extremism. It has been playing a vital role facilitating dialogue and providing support to enable the Jubaland administration and the Federal Government of Somalia to work jointly in building the Federal States of Somalia.

Ethiopia maintains diplomatic links with many Asian, European, American and Latin countries. The increasing continental and international meetings, conferences and forums also witness for the booming international relations of the country.

It should be understood that the success of Ethiopia’s development and democratization has positive contribution not only to Ethiopia but to all neighbours as well; and that a policy that is free of arrogance and greed would contribute to changing the entire region.

Ethiopia is always keen in playing its role to facilitating negotiations mostly with the regional organization, IGAD. Such chances of success in any peace process are much higher when regional organizations and neighbours are constructively engaged.

It is also Ethiopia’s firm conviction that no country in the region can prosper or live in peace while its neighbours are facing difficulties in security, that it is one of the basic reasons why Ethiopia continues to strengthen collective security architecture of the region and beyond.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not long confirmed that Ethiopia keeps on playing a glaring role in ensuring peace and security in neighbouring countries as it is highly concerned with internal stability and development.

Because of Ethiopia’s political and diplomatic efforts, neighbouring Somalia is today enjoying relative peace after 20 years of crisis.

In a move to restoring peace in South Sudan, diplomatic endeavour is under way in which Ethiopia plays a front-line role with IGAD and other countries of the region such as Kenya. It is to be recalled that Ethiopia contributed a lot for the independence of South Sudan few years back.

Moreover, it is serving as a hub for African Centre for Strategic Studies that aims at countering terrorism and extremism in the horn of Africa. This indicates that the country is highly solicitous with the peace of the Horn and eager to see unprecedented economic, social and political development among all nations of East Africa. This, in fact, enables the nations to create a trustworthy trade, investment linkages thereby improving the livelihood of their respective citizens.

In sum, diplomacy plays a significant role in spelling out the priorities of the government. It also defends the government policy choices as per the national interest mainly to bring well-defined progress in various aspects -be it economic or political. Bilateral and multilateral cooperation and agreements with other international organizations also remains amicable.



Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: