(Updated) 28 March 2014 News Round-Up

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Cairo Analyst Says Ethiopia Dam Won’t Hurt Egypt

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VENTURES AFRICA – A water expert from the AUC University in Cairo has confirmed that Ethiopia’s hydroelectric dam will not hurt Egypt’s share of the Nile waters. According to the Egypt-based water resource management specialist Richard Tutwiler, the Ethiopian dam will never stop the flow of water downstream to Egypt.

“It is unlikely that Ethiopia will severely choke or stop the flow of water. Ethiopia needs the electricity…and hydroelectric dams don’t work unless you let the water through” said Mr. Tutwiler.

The Sudanese government has also supported the Ethiopian dam because “the dam would have minimal impact on its (sudan’s) water allotment…and the mega-project’s other benefits became clear. ”

Water experts have confirmed that the dam is expected to improve flood control, expand downstream irrigation capacity and, crucially, allow Ethiopia to export surplus electricity to power-hungry Sudan via a cross-border link. Some studies indicate that properly managed hydroelectric dams in Ethiopia could mitigate damaging floods and increase Egypt’s overall water share. Storing water in the cooler climes of Ethiopia would ensure far less water is lost to evaporation than in the desert behind the Aswan High Dam in Egypt.

Despite these assurances from the international community and water experts, some Egyptian warmongers and politicians have unnecessarily threatened Ethiopia and other upstream African countries. Some Egyptian generals have been seen undercover in southern Somalia and the Ogaden, arming rebels and agitating more anti-Ethiopia sentiment among the public. Analysts say that Egyptian military leaders want to distract the pro-democracy movement in Egypt from domestic problems by diverting their attention to a nonexistent external threat.

Some Egyptian politicians also claimed that Egypt deserves to eternally keep over 90 percent of the Nile even though it contributes less than 1 percent to the Nile. They cite outdated colonial agreements from 1959 signed between Egypt and Britain, which excluded eight out of ten Nile African countries. The Mubarek Cairo regime also took advantage of the civil war in Ethiopia to sign vague agreements in 1993. However, for the first time in history, the majority of Nile basin African countries signed in 2010 the binding international treaty, the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA), for the fair and equitable utilization of the Nile River among all countries.

Egypt ignored the 11 years of negotiations that led toward the CFA treaty, which was adopted by all other Nile African countries. Despite threats from Egypt, Ethiopian government has continued the dam construction. Analysts say that Ethiopia’s growing population need to utilize the Nile river since it can not depend on erratic rains to produce energy or to feed its people who have already suffered numerous famines over the last few decades.

http://www.ventures-africa.com/2014/03/cairo-analyst-says-ethiopia-dam-wont-hurt-egypt/

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Ethiopian spice exporter discovers new markets in Africa

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BY

Senai Wolderufael is the 27 year-old Ethiopian entrepreneur behind Feed Green Ethiopia Exports. Prior to starting the company in 2012, Wolderufael was a customer service agent at Ethiopian Airlines where he noticed members of the Ethiopian diaspora carrying bags full of Ethiopian spice blends – such as Berbere and Shiro – when travelling back to the west.

Senai Wolderufael, founder of Feed Green Ethiopia Exports

Seeing the demand, Wolderufael had the idea to get his export business licence and produce Ethiopian spice blends to supply his countrymen living in the US and Europe.

Wolderufael and his business partner, Eyob Weldegabriel, started Feed Green Ethiopia Exports with less than US$2,000 startup capital. The company has since found new export markets for its spices and processed food products in Africa, and has also recently decided to start exporting Ethiopian coffee. How we made it in Africa speaks to Wolderufael about the potential he sees for the business in Africa, and what it is like to be a young entrepreneur in Ethiopia.

When you initially started your company, you were catering purely to the Ethiopian diaspora but have since started exporting your spices to other African countries. Tell us about this potential.

We were targeting Ethiopian restaurants all over the world, shipping them processed food products and spices. We then moved onto international clients who are not Ethiopians, shipping them internationally known spices like black cumin, caraway seeds, ginger and the like. We started to learn that some African countries actually import some of these spices from Asia, which we can easily supply at good quality and at a better price. We now know that even Africa is a huge market for our products. So this led us to [see] the huge potential market some African countries like Nigeria and Ghana possess, so we also started [focusing] on that too.

Where do you source your spices from?

We get our spices straight from farmers on their farms. We offer them good prices if they give us good quality. With this we developed a good business relationship with our suppliers; they understand us, as we understand them. We collect the spices and then process them further – we wash them, dry them, inspect them by hand, and then we pack them. For our dry food items, we have our own production in two of our production facilities in Addis Ababa. Production of our dry food items takes up to 20 days depending on the quantity.

What are some of the challenges you face as an entrepreneur in Ethiopia?

As a business in Ethiopia we faced many challenges. One of the main challenges we face every day would be a lack of information. Since Ethiopia is a developing country, rules and regulations change frequently, and we will learn of the changes when we face them, or when the rules apply to us, and that causes us to delay on delivery of shipments. We also face some challenges like price fluctuation, infrastructure and logistical problems which are understandable as we live in Ethiopia. But as an exporter we also get benefits from the government, as the government appreciates and helps exporters.

Do you think it is becoming easier or more difficult to be an entrepreneur in Ethiopia?

I believe it’s easier to be an entrepreneur in Ethiopia, as the country has a huge potential, and the country is developing very fast. This opens up many opportunities for young people like us to start something that can help themselves and their country.

What characteristics do you think make a good entrepreneur?

I believe an entrepreneur should be strong, hard working, patient, a risk taker, a person who can see things from a wide perspective, a person who can forecast the future and a person who is not afraid.

Where would you like to see you and your company in five to 10 years?

After 10 years, I see Feed Green Ethiopia Exports becoming one of the largest food companies on the continent. When we started in January 2013, we started with less than $2,000, but at the end of December 2013, we had a revenue of more than $100,000. This gave us a big morale [boost] to go further, and we are working hard to triple our revenue by the end of this year. And as of April 2014, we will enter into the huge coffee market. Ethiopian coffee is one of the best qualities in the world and the country is number one in Africa for exporting coffee… So currently, we have three projects at hand: international spices, Ethiopian processed food products and now coffee. I guess we will have to see what the next decade holds for Feed Green Ethiopia Exports.

http://www.howwemadeitinafrica.com/ethiopian-spice-exporter-discovers-new-markets-in-africa/37188/

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New sesame warehouses to benefit smallholder farmers

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sesame

The U.S. Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), inaugurated a new sesame warehouse in Dansha yesterday with the Ethiopian Federal Cooperative Agency._ This is one of four new warehouses constructed over the last 18 months in Tigray and Amhara states, Agency press release said.

USAID cooperated on the construction of two warehouses in Tigray with the Setit Humera and Dansha Aurora FCUs and two more warehouses in Amhara with the Metema and Selam Farmers’ Cooperative Unions (FCUs)._ The 20,000 metric tonnes storage capacity in the four warehouses will allow the FCUs to purchase more sesame from their combined 41,713 member farmers. USAID’s investment of 1.4 million USD and assistance in facilitating 611,605 USD in loans from the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia—a financing first for the bank and FCUs–was instrumental in the construction of the warehouses.

According to the release, USAID’s goal is to bring these four FCUs into the export market by delivering necessary support including providing technical assistance in good agricultural practices, post-harvest handling and quality inspection and grading._ Increased sesame production and better storage of the crop in a well-managed warehouse will improve quality so that these FCUs will meet the international market demand.

“Sesame farmers lose anywhere from 15 per cent to as much as 25 per cent of their product due to lack of proper and adequate storage,” the release quoted USAID/Ethiopia official Cullen Hughes as saying at the inauguration ceremony. “We are confident that the new warehouses will help reduce such post-harvest losses, increase exports, and contribute to the improved livelihoods of the farmers.”

“The sesame warehouses are an excellent example of the achievements possible with strong partnership and cooperation across important stakeholders,” said Usman Surur Siraj, Federal Cooperative Agency Director General._ “The warehouses will be vital to capitalize on an excellent export opportunity for the benefit of Ethiopia, the farmers’ cooperatives unions and the smallholder farmers.”

USAID will continue to invest in new technologies to benefit smallholder sesame farmers and expand agricultural export opportunities for Ethiopia including innovation grants to leading FCUs for sesame cleaning machines to enable entrance into U.S., EU and Japanese markets.

Developing the sesame value chain is an important part of USAID’s Agricultural Growth Programme-Agribusiness Market Development Project, known by its Amharic acronym AMDe, part of the U.S. Feed the Future initiative.

http://www.ethpress.gov.et/herald/index.php/herald/news/6467-new-sesame-warehouses-to-benefit-smallholder-farmers

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House passes bill ratifying 50 mln. USD loan

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The House of Peoples’ Representative at its 4th year and 20th regular session yesterday passed bill ratifying 50 million USD loan agreement between Ethiopia and Poland for the procurement of spare parts to assemble tractors.

The bill has been endorsed as Government of the Republic of Poland Credit Agreement for the Financing Modernization of Agriculture Ratification Proclamation No 831. The House thoroughly discussed a motion presented by the Finance and Procurement Affairs Standing Committee and approved it unanimously.

Presenting the report, Government Deputy Whip with the rank of State Minister Muferiya Kamil said that the agreement would enable farmers to increase productivity and create massive job opportunities. The money would be used to assemble 1,496 tractors and supply to the market. In addition, it would facilitate technology transfer and build the capacity of local agricultural mechanization enterprises, she added.

According to Muferiya, the expansion and application of modern agricultural technology is vital to promote productivity and sustain sector growth. Among other, tractor is the major agricultural implement to assist production. Accordingly, Metal and Engineering Cooperation as well as Nazareth Tractor Factory have been producing tractors and supplying to farmers. However, the supply does not meet the demand.

She, therefore, underlined that the loan would be contributing a lot to assemble and produce more tractors and meet the demand. In this regard, the Nazareth Tractor Factory would be financed to import more spare-parts used for assembling and providing tractors to beneficiaries.

The House has also unanimously approved African Statics Charter Draft Proclamation presented by Budgetary and Financial Affairs Standing Committee Deputy Chairperson Genet Tadesse.

Asked about the significance of the Charter, she said it is aimed at scaling up the role of statistic thereby assisting in the socioeconomic development of the country. She also noted that the Charter would be an important tool to coordinate an integrated statistical works at national and continental level.

http://www.ethpress.gov.et/herald/index.php/herald/national-news/6469-house-passes-bill-ratifying-50-mln-usd-loan

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Enterprise set to establish permanent post offices in all woredas across nation

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The Ethiopian Postal Service Enterprise is set to establish permanent post offices in all woredas across the country at the end of the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) period.
Enterprise Process Chief Officer, Ziyen Gedlu, told WIC today that the opening of the office would help farmers and pastoralists to get postal service within their reach.
Efforts are underway to open offices in 150 woredas this Ethiopian budget year, he said.
Currently, the enterprise is offering service through its 638 permanent post offices and 165,000 boxes across the country, the officer pointed out.
The enterprise has set a plan to collected over 300 million birr this Ethiopian budget year. During the first half of the budget year, it has collected over 131.3 million birr, it was learnt.

http://www.waltainfo.com/index.php/explore/12797-enterprise-set-to-establish-permanent-post-offices-in-all-woredas-across-nation

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New Climate Innovation Center Launched to Jumpstart Clean-Tech

and Climate-Smart Agriculture Ventures in Ethiopia

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A new World Bank-supported business hub, the Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center (ECIC), was launched today in Addis Ababa to support pioneering clean technology enterprises that address climate change while creating jobs and improving livelihoods. First of its kind in the country, the center will help over 3.1 million Ethiopians increase resilience to climate change and is expected to create more than 12,000 jobs in the next ten years.

Ethiopia’s agriculture, which is highly sensitive to fluctuations in rainfall, represents the basis of the national economy. It accounts for approximately 46% of the GDP and 80% of the jobs of the working population. According to the World Bank report ‘Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change,’ without a proper green growth strategy, the total climate adaptation costs for Ethiopia could range from US$1.22 billion to $5.84 billion per year.

To reduce climate adaptation costs and create opportunities of growth, the Ethiopia CIC will provide financing, mentorship, and advisory services to the growing number of local clean-tech entrepreneurs working in agribusiness, energy efficiency, renewable energy and biofuels.

“This initiative supports key components of the Government of Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) and the Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy,” said Guang Zhe Chen, World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia. “The CIC is a unique initiative which will help to unleash the growth potential of local entrepreneurs, while at the same time enabling them to come up with innovative business solutions to challenges related to climate change. By employing emerging clean technologies – such as off-grid solar energy, green building design and agricultural waste to energy plants — these entrepreneurs will continue helping Ethiopia adapt to climate change while creating jobs and improving the livelihoods of local citizens.”

By supporting local entrepreneurs and ensuring the transfer of modern technologies, the ECIC is expected to improve access to energy for 265,000 Ethiopians and increase agricultural efficiency for 120,000 farmers. Furthermore, the center will promote Ethiopia’s climate resilience by mitigating almost one million tons of CO2 and avoiding the loss of 31,000 acres of forest.

“Injera cooking accounts for about 90% of all household energy consumption. I decided to develop an efficient biogas stove that drastically reduces fuel wood consumption,” said Getu Alemayehu, one of the innovative entrepreneurs supported by the center. “The ECIC is like a wake-up call for all small initiatives in Ethiopia: it stimulates us to keep on developing ourselves, to further improve our technologies, to establish a company; it calls us to be entrepreneurs.”

The Ethiopia CIC is part of infoDev’s Climate Technology Program (CTP), which is currently implementing a global network of innovation centers across seven other countries. The Ethiopia CIC is supported by the government of Norway, UKAid and the World Bank. It is managed by a consortium led by the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Center (HoAREC) – a regional institution hosted by Addis Ababa University (AAU) and other public and private sector partners.

http://www.ethiopiainvestor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4922:new-climate-innovation-center-launched-to-jumpstart-clean-tech-and-climate-smart-agriculture-ventures-in-ethiopia&catid=74:top-story

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Forum deliberates on public private partnership in health sector

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The Ministry of Health (MoH) has stressed the need to strengthen cooperation between stakeholders working in the health sector to improve health service in the country.

The remark came here yesterday at the opening of a two-day forum, which brought together public and private entities working in the health sector in the country.

The forum, aimed at creating awareness on the contribution and value of the private health sector, was held under the theme, “Optimize, regulate, and cement partnership with the private sector for sustainable universal access.”

“The cooperation between stakeholders active in the health sector has to be strengthened and intensified by exploring and developing new forms of partnership arrangements in order to improve the availability and quality of health services in the country,” Dr Keseteberhan Admasu, through his representative told participants of the forum.

The government of Ethiopia is committed to support the private sector in order to increase access and quality of health services to the public by creating enabling environment, he said.

The ministry of health has developed a strategic framework for the public private partnership in the health sector, he said, adding a policy guide line for the Public Private Partnership (PPP) to enhance the implementation of PPP is underdevelopment and will be realize it soon.

According to him, the forum will help draw attention on how to best harness the full potential of the private health sector by optimizing its effectiveness, rationally regulating it for equitable, high quality and affordable universal access to health care through sustainable public-private partnership.

Private Health Sector Program Chief of Party, Dr Tesfaye Gebrekidan, on his part said the private health sector has supported the private health facilities in 5 regions and 2 city administrations.

The forum would help to enhance partnerships between the government and the private health sector, rational regulation and health financing to assure equitable universal health coverage, he said.

http://www.waltainfo.com/index.php/explore/12805-forum-deliberates-on-public-private-partnership-in-health-sector-

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Foreign Minister, Dr Tedros Adhanom holds talks with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Vice President

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Foreign Minister Dr Tedros met and held discussions with the Vice President and the Director of the East African Region of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Dr Allan Pamba on Friday (March 28).

Dr Allan reiterated GSK’s commitment to invest in Ethiopia, noting that a feasibility study had already been completed. He said GSK planned to have a strong presence in Ethiopia by the end of the year. Dr Allan said that Ethiopia would be the lead market in the region to show GSK’s vision in Africa.

He added that GSK is already providing basic services to communities in education and had trained 3000 health extension workers so far. He added: “the company does not want to grow alone but with the society”. Foreign Minister, Dr Tedros, expressed his appreciation of the commitment shown by GSK and the concrete steps taken by the company in Ethiopia. He commended the community-based activities undertaken by GSK and reiterated the Ethiopian government’s support to GSK.

GlaxoSmithKline plc is a British multinational, pharmaceutical, biologics, vaccines and consumer healthcare company. It is the world’s fourth-largest pharmaceutical company and has a portfolio of products covering major diseases including asthma, cancer, virus control, mental health, diabetes and digestive conditions.

http://www.mfa.gov.et/news/more.php?newsid=3171

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Reflections on the Past and Future of ECX

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History is a curious thing.  You don’t quite know when something will stand the test of time and become truly the stuff of history, unlike the humdrum comings and goings, the projects, initiatives, and businesses, that are here one day and gone and forgotten the next.  It is not often, and a rather magical thing when it does, that an idea takes root, becomes reality, and then evolves into a dynamic, living, entity that is somehow placed firmly in the ethos of a society, becoming in effect a part of its history.  I often wonder, did the founders of Apple know they were creating a company that would forever be listed in the annals of the history of personal computing?  Did the creators of Kleenex feel their product would literally shape the vocabulary of millions?  Or, closer to home, did Tomoca Café know it would stand out from the crowd of cafes around our city to become the iconic brand it is today?

When we set out to create the first ever commodity exchange in Ethiopia, and indeed the first of its kind in Africa, we had no idea where it would go or what it would become.  Those were heady days back in 2006 and 2007, filled with fever pitch excitement, sleepless nights, hours of meetings and endless cups of coffee around meeting tables as step by step, plan by plan, we went from a simple, perhaps naïve, idea that something had to be done to make our agricultural marketing system more efficient, more transparent, less costly, and less risky.  For this country we felt so strongly about, we applied our best thinking, we sought lessons far and wide, we fought against skeptics, we argued against ourselves, we crafted, fine-tuned, negotiated, tested, re-worked, refined, in an endless cycle of learning and re-learning.   And when the Opening Bell rang for the first time on April 24, 2008, it rang in the aspirations of a nation, bearing our passion, our dreams, and all the love in our hearts.

Six years ago, it was an implausible idea that a country best known for famine, war, and a crippling bureaucracy, would dare to dream of creating a world-class commodity exchange in which products are stored and traded according to standards, market prices are transmitted in seconds, and payments are settled in hours between tens of thousands of clients and in tens of millions of dollars.  And the world stood by to watch just what we would do.

And not by the brilliance of our ideas, but rather by the sheer determination of our spirits, every day, day after day, year after year, we built a market that is today a symbol of what our beloved country can achieve with will, intelligence, and heart.  Today, ECX is recognized across the country by millions of Ethiopians, farmers, traders, processors, and exporters, as an institution that touches their lives everyday.

As importantly, beyond our borders, to far-flung corners of the world, ECX is hailed globally as an African icon, representing the new Ethiopia we all dreamed of shaping.   Today, ECX crops up in speeches by governors of Central Banks in countries like Nigeria and Kenya, it emerges in coverage by CNN of innovations in Africa, it is mentioned in analyses of the African investment opportunity in corporate boardrooms in Wall Street, Tokyo, and London.

As I have pursued my own dream of creating a new company to implement commodity exchanges across Africa and other emerging economies, I am humbled by the recognition that ECX has gained literally the world over and the respect and admiration for Ethiopia that ECX inspires. Put simply, ECX is no longer just an idea, nor an initiative for a few, nor can it be explained by what it does or what it is.  Rather, ECX has become a symbol of something greater, part of the historical forces shaping not just our nation, but also our continent, as it emerges to take its place in the global arena.

The answers to the above questions are that you can never know when you start something whether it will become history.  Nor can you plan for that to happen.  What you can do is simply to give your best, your heart, and keep on giving it over and over, in the honest hope that what you have to offer means something to someone else and makes this world a better place.

Like all living institutions, ECX today is in transition, facing its second change of leadership, as its chief executive has been forced to resign out of health considerations.   Just as during its first change of leadership, there is no doubt that, at this important junction, its resilience will be put to the test, as it once again goes to the drawing board to re-invent itself anew, as it has always done.  And there is no doubt in my mind that it will emerge stronger, better, responsive to the people and market it serves, and worthy of the hopes, dreams, and love of the Ethiopian people.

Eleni Zaude Gabre-Madhin CEO of eleni LLC and founder and former CEO of the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange [For Capital]

http://www.ethiopiainvestor.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4923&Itemid=88

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US-Based Investor Acquires 25% Stake In Ethiopia’s Telemed

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VENTURES AFRICA – The Africa Group (TAG), a US-based boutique advisor and venture capital investor, has acquired a 25 percent stake in Telemed Medical Services (Telemed), an Ethiopian engineering services that designs health systems in Ethiopia.

With this investment, TAG will gain exposure to the continent’s fourth largest consumer market, with focus on a rapidly-expanding mobile sector.

Since its introduction in 2012, Telemed has launched innovative healthcare services including, Hello Doctor, which is in partnership with BelCash Technology Solutions PLC, Ethiopia’s leading technology provider. The facility allows patients call a short code number to access professional health services such as phone consultations, ambulance dispatch and homecare service.

Telemed’s work is geared towards optimizing and reinforcing health resources in Ethiopia, a country where the doctor-to-patient ratio is 1:30,000 and 80 percent of the population lives over 5 kilometres from the nearest health centre.

The Company follows a similar model to various developed-market ventures, including Doctor on Demand, a leading California-based telemedicine company launched around the same time.

A tranche of growth equity provided by TAG and a grant from a USAID and DFID-backed development fund will be used to increase service capacity across Ethiopia, build a remote patient monitoring system, and facilitate a major marketing campaign. In addition, TAG will provide technical assistance to buttress key areas including governance and compliance.

Founder of Telemed, Dr. Yohans Wodaje, explained that investment such as that of TAG’s, was crucial to an organisation that provides a critical service to the Ethiopian public.

“Venture capital is a crucial source of financing for start-up business like ours, having the potential of catapulting them to reach greater markets,” Dr. Woodaje said.

Elias Schulze, Managing Partner of The Africa Group, who serves as Africa CEO for Kaymu, an internet retail firm, hopes the deal marks the beginning of a healthy relationship with Telemed.

“The team, led by Special Operations Associate, Tim Burkly, worked tirelessly with Dr. Yohans’ team to complete this unique transaction and we are positioned well to scale together,” he said.

Asides Telemed, TAG is exploring the possibilities of further investments across the continent. Though Elias noted it was in no rush to complete any transactions, he made mention of opportunities currently being explored.

According to him, there is “One in Senegal (trading and advisory) and have just commissioned a study into a media and entertainment opportunity in East Africa.”

http://www.ventures-africa.com/2014/03/us-based-investor-acquires-25-stake-in-ethiopias-telemed/

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Sugar corp, Amibara sign out-grower deal

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The Ethiopian Sugar Corporation (ESC) signed a first ever out-grower agreement with a private company – Amibara Agricultural Development plc – for the latter to supply sugarcanes for Kessem Sugar Development Project.
Factory erection of the Kessem project, currently underway in Afar region, is entering its final phase. However, lags in sugarcane plantation, caused by low level of water flow to the irrigation dam, prompted ESC to look for other alternatives, according to project manager Kaba Merga.
The three year deal will see Amibara, whose farm is located in close proximity to the sugar project, develop 6,000 hectares of land with sugarcane plantations.
“The company is selected due to its close proximity, adequate infrastructure and capacity to undertake the task and as well as its keen interest to participate in the project,” Damene Darota, ESC deputy director general, said during the signing ceremony held today at the corporation’s headquarters in Addis Ababa.
“We want to avoid a gap in sugarcane supply when the factory begins operation. The deal will help us in smoothly carry out our operation,” Kaba said during the ceremony.
According to the project manager, the Kessem project assisted the private company by providing short trainings to experts and agricultural equipments and inputs. Since last month, 600 hectares of land has been covered with sugarcane plantation and the performance is evaluated every month.
Amibara had prior working relations with the corporation. The company had rented out a small portion of its plot in Woito area for cane plantation in connection with Omo Sugar Development Project.
Sheik Omer Yusuf Mohammed, owner and CEO of Amibara, expressed his delight to be working with ESC and appreciated the support from the corporation. He remained optimist the cooperation would continue.
“There could be a possibility of extending the deal. In any case, we may erect our own crushing factory in the future,” said Sheik Omer Yusuf Mohammed, who abandoned his cotton plantation in favor of sugarcane. His company estimates to fetch some five million birr from first cutting.
Although this is the first time for a private company to enter an out-grower deal with the corporation, the state owned sugar factories enter similar agreements with farmers. Last month, Wonji-Shewa Sugar Factory struck the ninth out-grower deal with farmers’ cooperatives agreeing to purchase a quintal of sugarcane for 50 birr.
“We are keen to participate the public and private companies in our sugar projects,” Shiferaw Jarso, ESC director general with the rank of minister, said. “This deal serves the interest of both the corporation and the company.”
Kessem Sugar Development Project plans to develop 20,000 hectares of land for sugarcane plantations in Kessem and Bolhamon areas. When completed, the factory is expected to produce 153,000 tons of sugar and 12,500 metric cube of ethanol annually at initial capacity.
Kessem is part of the government’s drive to increase the country’s sugar production capacity to 2.25 million tons during the GTP period. Current annual production capacity of the country stands at about 300,000 tons. Annual ethanol production is projected to reach 181.8 million liters, a massive leap from the current eight liters.
The output is not only expected to satisfy domestic demands but also elevate the country to a net sugar exporter. In a bid to achieve the ambitions target, the government is undertaking the construction of ten new sugar development projects and expansion works in the existing sugar factories.

http://www.waltainfo.com/index.php/editors-pick/12804-sugar-corp-amibara-sign-out-grower-deal-

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