25 June 2014 News Briefs (UPDATED)


Nigeria Signs Bi-Lateral Agreement With Ethiopia


Nigerian and Ethiopian authorities have agreed to deepen relationship in the area of trade and investment, tourism and agriculture.


jonathan-5-599x300Addressing a joint press conference on Wednesday at the forecourt of the President Villa in Abuja on Wednesday, President Goodluck Jonathan and Ethiopian President, Hailemariam Desalegn, also agreed to collaborate in the fight against terrorism.

The agreement was reached after a meeting the two leaders held following the two day working visit to Nigeria by the Ethiopian leader.

The two leaders commended the high level of visits among them and resolved to maintain this in order to promote and deepen mutual understanding and cooperation

The two leaders also talked about the insurgency and insecurity currently plaguing African countries and sought ways to resolve the problem and promote international peace and security.

The two African leaders condemned the lingering crisis in Somalia, South Sudan, Mali and the Central African Republic and resolved to remain committed to the efforts to find lasting solutions to them.

The Ethiopian leader has since left for his country.



GDP Exemplary to Other Countries: Nigerian Delegation



The contribution of the agriculture sector for the country’s overall economic growth is exemplary to others African countries, a Nigerian Parliamentary delegation announced.

The visiting members of the agriculture affairs committee of the Nigerian parliament yesterday shared experiences with the Ethiopian counterpart on best agricultural practices in Ethiopia.

The two sides discussed on ways of further deepening relation among the two committees and agricultural research institutes of both countries.

The Ethiopian parliamentary committee briefed its Nigerian counterpart about major contributing factors for the agricultural increase over the past decade.

The implementation of the agriculture led economy policy of the country is one of the contributors for the growth, according to the Ethiopian Committee Chairperson, Mohamed Abdosa.

For his part, the Nigerian Committee Chairperson, Muniry Danngunde said the contribution of the agriculture sector for the overall economic growth is exemplary to Nigeria and other African countries.

He said that the MPs have got many best practices from the Ethiopian agricultural research institution during their visit to the institution.’s-gdp-exemplary-to-other-countries-nigerian-delegation&Itemid=260


Ethiopia Undertaking Preparation for Regional Integration


Ethiopia Undertaking Preparation for Regional Integration


Ethiopia is undertaking preparation activities to facilitate the regional economic integration expected to be realized in East Africa, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, African Affairs Director- General with the Ministry, Amb. Solomon Abebe said Ethiopia is undertaking infrastructure development activities, including road, railway and power transmission structures, which enhances the integration.

He mentioned the roads that link the country with Djibouti, South Sudan and Kenya to display that the country is investing in areas that contribute to the integration.

Ethiopia is striving to facilitate things for the intended economic integration that IGAD is working at, the Director said.

The Heads of State and Government of IGAD during their recent meeting held in Addis Ababa has agreed for the strong economic integration among member states.

The Director said for the time being, the integration is limited to economic cooperation, he added, it doesn’t include using one currency.

The cooperation among the countries in various areas will eventually expect to lead to the creation of strong economic integration, he added.

The country is working to improve relation and cooperation with neighbouring countries, he added, the roads being constructed to link the country with Djibouti, South Sudan and Kenya demonstrated the country’s commitment for the realization of the integration.

It is also striving to interconnect the countries in the region with electricity, thereby increase the countries’ benefit and the people to people relations, Amb. Solomon said.

The country has started to export energy to Sudan, Djibouti and will start to supply electricity to Kenya.

Ethiopia is striving to create integration with Djibouti, he added, the two countries are preparing a strategic plan for the integration.

The two countries are striving to strengthen cooperation through expansion of various infrastructures.

The Ethio-Djibouti railway network, electricity supply and road developments being undertaken to interconnect the two countries manifest the strong relation.


Ethiopia becomes a growing hub for FDI in East Africa: UN Report


The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) World Investment Report 2014 said (June 24) Ethiopia had increasingly become a growing recipient of foreign capital flows and the most attractive destination of investors in the region in the 2013. Ethiopia received USD 953 million worth of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2013, the report indicated. According to the UNCTAD report subtitled ‘Investing in the Sustainable Development Goals’, Ethiopia’s notable progress in attracting FDI was a clear attestation of the Government’s right mix of industrial policies and strategies that created enabling factors for increasing capital flows into the country in the selected priority areas for investment. The report further indicated that the country’s industrial strategies played a crucial role in attracting foreign investors in manufacturing sector and bolstering the growth of FDI. Ethiopia used FDI to building Climate Resilient Green Economy, the report added, suggesting it should remain seized with the advancement of its investment landscape to catch up top FDI recipient countries. According to the report, both Ethiopia and Kenya had boosted the East African region’s FDI growth by 15 percent as a whole and generated USD 6.2billion.



Addis to get state-of-the-art-hospital


The Ethio-American Doctors Group (EADG), a consortium of over 200 physicians in the Diaspora, is to build a state-of-the-art-hospital in Addis Ababa at a cost of 100 million US dollars.
A ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the hospital, which will rest on 30,000 square meters of land at CMC area, will be held on Saturday, June 28, 2014.

The hospital will be built in two phases, with 300 beds planned in the first phase, said Prof. Girma Tefera, Board Chairman of EADG at a press conference held today at the Hilton Hotel.
The core objective of the hospital is to provide high quality medical care for the people of Ethiopia, he said.

The new hospital will assist government’s effort to provided quality health services to its citizens as well as it reduces the number of Ethiopians seeking medical facilities abroad, he added.
President of EADG, Dr Tesfaye Demisie, on his part said the project will involve the establishment of a Medical City Center that will include the hospital and other health related facilities, including hotel and meeting center, pharmacy, health gym and physical therapy, among others.

The hospital will provide advanced diagnostic and imaging center, specialized surgery (orthopedic, neurological, cardio /vascular) cancer treatment, and emergency services, he said.
According to Dr Tesfaye, the cancer treatment center will be established in partnership with the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) so as to benefit member states of the bloc.

The center will enable cancer patients from IGAD member states to get treatment within their reach instead of travelling to Europe and other countries at a high cost, he said.
The construction of the hospital will be finalized within 3 years, Dr Tesfaye indicated.
Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Tedros Adhanom and other high-level government officials will attend the ground breaking ceremony, it was learnt.



Arjo-Dedessa Sugar Factory nearly to complete


The contribution of the agriculture sector for the country’s overall economic growth is exemplary to others African countries, a Nigerian Parliamentary delegation announced.

The visiting members of the agriculture affairs committee of the Nigerian parliament yesterday shared experiences with the Ethiopian counterpart on best agricultural practices in Ethiopia.

The two sides discussed on ways of further deepening relation among the two committees and agricultural research institutes of both countries.

The Ethiopian parliamentary committee briefed its Nigerian counterpart about major contributing factors for the agricultural increase over the past decade.

The implementation of the agriculture led economy policy of the country is one of the contributors for the growth, according to the Ethiopian Committee Chairperson, Mohamed Abdosa.

For his part, the Nigerian Committee Chairperson, Muniry Danngunde said the contribution of the agriculture sector for the overall economic growth is exemplary to Nigeria and other African countries.

He said that the MPs have got many best practices from the Ethiopian agricultural research institution during their visit to the institution.’s-gdp-exemplary-to-other-countries-nigerian-delegation&Itemid=260


US Consultancy Earmarks Functionality Gaps at the Modjo Dry Port



The report is one of four, which will ultimately seek to assist in the development of a National Logistics Strategy



India, US, Ethiopia Join Hands to Tackle Maternal Deaths


An international meeting in Washington, co-hosted by India, US and Ethiopia in collaboration with UNICEF and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, entitled the ‘Acting on the Call: Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths’ will be held on June 26, and is expected to unveil new efforts to save an unprecedented number of women and children by 2020 in 24 priority countries. The three countries have joined hands to address the global challenge of child and maternal deaths in particular in the third world countries. According to a press release from USAID, Union Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan, World Bank President, Dr. Jim Young Kim and USAID Administrator Raj Shah will be among the global leaders to attend the meeting, adding that it is expected that bold reforms will be adopted to improve effectiveness and efficiency at the Agency. Furthermore, it disclosed that this forum will gather global health leaders from governments, faith-based organizations, civil societies and the private sector to review recent and significant accomplishments aimed at significantly reducing child and maternal deaths, and to plot a new course that will ensure progress continues. Moreover, USAID will award major public and private sector partnerships and announce a new USD 500 million award focused on child survival and maternal health, the media release said.



Good governance, efficiency golden threads to speed up societal transformation


Prime Minister Hailemariam noted that the promotion of good governance and efficiency were golden threads that would speed up the move towards the transformation of the society, lift over millions out of poverty and expedite national renewal and sustainable development.

Reiterating the significant contribution of civil servants as a staunch force in the advancement of development and transformation goals of the nation, he emphasized, the Government was wiling and committed to support Civil Servants so as to tackle their housing and transportation problems.

Speaking at the 8th annual Civil Service day on the 23 of June 2024, he announced that there would be salary increment for civil servants with the view to lessen their challenges.

in Addis Ababa in the presence of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, , high-level government officials from Federal and Regional governments as well as other officials from various government agencies.

The day was celebrated with the theme “We ensure rapid and sustainable development and good governance with an organized army of transforming civil servants.”During the celebration,

Coordinator of Good Governance Cluster with the Rank of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Civil Service, Aster Mamo, on her part said that the developmental activities of the country had shown notable progress in all fronts.

Coordinator of the Finance and Economic Cluster with a Rank of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Dr. Debretsion Gebre-Michael also noted that democracy, development and good governance were inextricable so that the major threat to the democratic developmental state was rent-seeking.

He underlined that the Government had been taking various measures and extending efforts to consolidate developmental politics as well as dislodge rent-seeking and its adverse consequences to the nation’s march towards a climate resilient green economy.

According to MoFA, in-depth discussions and deliberations had been made on the principles of good governance and developmental politics.



New mining rules will enforce transparency



The Ministry of Mines will create a new law to force mining companies to become more transparent

The ministry recently became a candidate for Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global coalition of governments, companies and civil society organizations working together to improve openness and accountable management of revenues from natural resources. Its goal is to mandatorily boost the transparency initiative for the companies.
Tolosa Shagi, Minister of Mines, said that the ministry is now working to table the new law for the parliament to ratification. For mining companies to join the sector they will have to abide by the new law.
“We have a plan to amend the mining proclamation as soon as possible, if a company does not wish to follow the  transparency initiative it means they have different values than us and we don’t want to deal with a company like that,” the minister said.
“Definitely the law will be ratified in the coming year,” he said.
He said that his ministry is also implementing the transparency initiative scheme on mining companies. “Currently, 35 international and local companies are included in this scheme,” he explained.
“We are now working to be a full member on the initiative that includes 44 countries. The inclusion under the initiative will benefit the country and the sector development, we are working hard to minimize the time before we become a full member at EITI and we hope to finish the process within a year,” he said.
Reputable companies that are free from corruption and illegal activities will be interested in investing in  the mining sector and the scheme will create trust between the developers, the public and as well the government. He said that the initiative will facilitate finance to enhance transparence, sustainable development and good governance in the sector.
Countries that joined the initiative have registered good change since they became a member of the EITI. According to the minister, at the current level Ethiopia has not suffered from the mining sector. “There are not that many companies involved in mining and most are in the exploration process but we have to prepare during the early stages to prevent illegal activity because the sector is now growing significantly,” Tolosa said.
EITI is an international organisation that has developed a standard assessing the levels of transparency around countries’ oil, gas and mineral resources. This standard is developed and overseen by a multi-stakeholder board, consisting of representatives from governments, extractive companies, civil society organisations, institutional investors and international organisations. The EITI Standard is implemented in 44 countries. It consists of a set of requirements that governments and companies have to adhere to in order to become recognized as ‘EITI Compliant’
EITI also assists in strengthening accountability and good governance, as well as promoting greater economic and political stability. This, in turn, can contribute to the prevention of conflict based around the oil, mining and gas sectors.
Experts said that Ethiopia’s membership in the EITI would help the country ensure transparency in the extractive industry.



Ethiopia among fastest growing countries, says World Bank report


Ethiopia is projected to be among the fastest growing countries, underpinned by strong public investment in agriculture and infrastructure, says the 2014 Global Economic Prospect (GEP) report by the World Bank. Ethiopia’s GDP growth is forecasted  at 7.0 and 6.6 percent in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

According to the report, Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP grew 4.7 percent in 2013, led by robust domestic demand, and is set to continue to rise. Despite emerging challenges, the medium-term outlook remains positive.
Supported by investment in the resource sector, public infrastructure, and agriculture, GDP growth is projected to remain stable at 4.7 percent in 2014 and to rise to 5.1 percent in 2015 and 2016. The outlook is sensitive to downside risks from lower commodity prices, tightening global financial conditions, and political instability.
Recent developments in the region include the widening of fiscal and current account deficits, the report says.
“Ambitious public investment programs, large increases in public wages, and rising transfers and subsidies, coupled with weak revenues, as a result of weak commodity prices, have contributed to the deterioration of fiscal balances in many countries,” it reads.
Despite the challenges that are emerging, the report suggests that the strengthening recovery in high-income countries promises well for export demand and investment flows, although weaker commodity prices and slower growth in emerging markets will moderate growth of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows to the region to USD 32.5 billion in 2014, from USD 31.9 billion in 2013. “Nevertheless, this would support growth in many countries.”
It also states that at the sub-regional level, growth is expected to be strong in East Africa, increasingly supported by (FDI) flows into offshore natural gas resources in Tanzania, the onset of oil production in Uganda and Kenya, and agriculture in Ethiopia.
On the other hand, the report also points out some risks. The list includes; increased capital market volatility accompanying the tightening of global monetary conditions; and domestic risks from political tensions in the run-up to elections in Nigeria, security problems linked to conflicts in South Sudan and the Central African Republic, and higher inflation from extreme currency weaknesses and rising food prices.



Ethiopia attracts FDI amounting to 953 million USD in 2013


Ethiopia has attracted an unprecedented sum of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) amounting to 953 million USD in 2013, a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) World Investment Report 2014 indicated.

According to the report launched globally today under the title ‘Investing in the Sustainable Development Goals’, Ethiopia’s industrial strategy is attracting Asian capital to develop its manufacturing base.

In 2013, the Chinese Huajian Group opened its first factory for shoe production and announced plans to establish a two billion USD hub for light manufacturing.

Earlier the year, a joint venture between UAE’s Julphar and a local company, Medtech, inaugurated its first pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Africa in Addis Ababa.

The report indicated that Julphar’s investment in the construction of the plant is estimated at around 8.5 million USD.

It also cited the 4 billion USD geothermal project signed between Ethiopia and Reykjavik Geothermal, an Icelandic company in late 2013.

The deal contributed to a 10-year high record of announced green-field FDI from developed countries in 2013.

Continental outlook

FDI flow to Africa continued rising to reach 57 billion USD in 2013 registering a 4% growth compared to the previous year driven by international and regional market-seeking and infrastructure investment, the report said.
Ethiopia’s strong performance aided the Eastern Africa region to record a 15% increase in FDI flow amounting to 6.2 billion USD.
However, the trends in FDI flows vary by sub-regions with flows to North, West and Central Africa showing a decline of 15.5%, 14% and 18% respectively. FDI flow to Southern Africa almost doubled in 2013 jumping to 13.2 billion USD from 6.7 billion USD in 2012, according to the report.

The report also identified that developing economies are becoming less dependent on natural resources with a drop in the share of extractive industries. Consumer-oriented sectors such as services and infrastructure developments are beginning to drive FDI growth in Africa, the report noted.



Ethiopia, Kenya Top in East Africa in FDI – UN


Ethiopia and Kenya have become top in the East Africa Region in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2013, said the United Nations World Investment Report 2014.

FDI growth in these two nations has helped the region’s FDI growth by 15 percent as a whole and generated 6.2billion USD, indicated in the report.

It is stated that the industrial strategy in Ethiopia, which especially creating enabling condition for Asian investors, has contributed for the FDI growth in the country.

Ethiopia, Myanmar, Mozambique, and Cambodia are mentioned in the report that they used FDI for building Climate Resilient Green Economy.

Compared to South Africa and Nigeria, top in the continent in attracting FDI,Ethiopia and Kenya need to work more on the sector.

FDI in developing nations has grown by 57 percents; and 778 billion USD invested here.



Ethiopia’s economic ties with other countries deepening: MoFA


Ethiopia’s economic ties with other countries is deepening, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
Spokesperson of MoFA, Ambassador Dina Mufti, cited the recent visit by Israeli business delegation led by Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Avigdor Liberman, as a case in point.
He also mentioned the fourth Ethiopia-Canada bilateral consultations and the Ethio-Djibouti ministerial meeting held in Addis Ababa last week as an example for the strong ties Ethiopia has created with different countries.
An Israeli business delegation, representing over 40 business firms have explored the investment potentials in Ethiopia, which according to him would play a key role in boosting the two countries’ economic relations.

The fourth Ethiopia-Canada bilateral consultations also identified new areas of cooperation for the coming year, he said.

The Ethio-Djibouti ministerial meeting held last week would also play its part to further consolidate the age long relations between both countries, Ambassador Dina said.

Regarding the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA), the Spokesperson said that the Cabinet of Tanzania has referred the treaty to the parliament for approval.

Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Kenya signed the (CFA), he said. South Sudan is also expected to ink the deal soon.
Parliaments of Ethiopia and Rwanda have already approved the deal.



Ethiopia Eyes Stakes in EAC Integration Projects




Ethiopia will attend the upcoming Heads of State summit on Northern Corridor Integration Projects where the leaders will assess the implementation of fast-tracking the process.

According to Monique Mukaruliza, the national coordinator of the Northern Corridor Projects, Ethiopia will attend the Kigali meet as an observer.

“They will attend as observers and assess which projects they want to join in the implementation process,” Mukaruliza said yesterday.

The summit will also be attended by Jin-Yong Cai, the chief executive of International Finance Corporation, an institution that offers investment, advisory and asset management services to encourage private sector development in developing countries.

Jin-Yong is expected to make some commitments on the financing of the regional oil pipeline as well as the Mombasa-Kigali standard gauge railway line that is estimated to cost about $13.5 billion.

Mukaruliza said Rwanda had previously signed a power purchase deal with Ethiopia, adding that if the Addis Ababa government picks interest in the projects, it would be advantageous to the region’s economies.

Integration ventures:

During the EAC infrastructure summit in Uganda in February, leaders of Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda agreed on projects to be fast-tracked, including a standard gauge railway between Kigali and Mombasa, a single customs territory, single tourist visa and use of national identity cards as travel documents.

Others are the establishment of an oil pipeline as well as electricity generation.

Later, South Sudan and Burundi joined the move aimed at boosting the regional economic growth.

Derrick Kayombya, the managing director of Petrocom, a company that deals in transportation of petroleum products, said Ethiopia had a potential market for both the local and regional business community.

“Ethiopia has a big population where we can sell our products and this would benefit the business community in the region,” he said.

According to 2014 United Nations statistics, Ethiopia has a population of more than 97 million with an annual growth rate of 3.02 per cent and is envisaged to increase to over 118 million by 2020 with a GDP of $51.87 billion.

Trade with Ethiopia:

Hannington Namara, the chief executive of Private Sector Federation, said Ethiopia has an advanced tanning industry where Rwandans export hides and skin, adding that if it becomes a member of the Northern Corridor Projects, it would help to broaden the market.

“They have cheaper energy and there is a lot we can export to their market. Their coming on board is good news,” Namara said.

He said the region will also benefit from sharing knowledge services and labour.

Experts believe that if Addis Ababa becomes a member, it would create competiveness among the member states.

“The Heads of State should bring Ethiopia on board. When you look at Ethiopian commodity exchange, you notice that it has grown over time and there is a lot to learn,” John Bosco Kalisa, the country programmes manager of Trademark East Africa, said.

Kalisa said Ethiopia’s enormous energy resources would help boost regional energy production.

Under the Eastern Electricity Highway Project, several regional countries are set to benefit from Ethiopia’s electricity power surplus of 2000MW.

In December 2012, the World Bank and the Ethiopian government signed a $243 million loan agreement for the financing of a section of Eastern Electricity High Way Project connecting Ethiopia’s electrical grid with Kenya.

Rwanda would be able to import its share through Lessos in Kenya connecting to Tororo-Bujagari-Kawanda-Masaka-Mbarara Mirama up to Kigali.



Ethiopia, Djibouti Preparing Strategic Plan for Economic Integration


Ethiopia and Djibouti are preparing a mutual strategic plan in a bid to build economic integration, Ethiopian Ambassador to Djibouti, Suleiman Dedefo said.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, the Ambassador said the strong trade relation and trust built between the countries is leading to economic integration.

Experts’ committee will be formed soon to monitor implementation of the strategic plan, he said.

Ambassador Suleiman further stated that the trade relation between the two countries is beyond competition; it is rather a complementary one that intends to ensure the mutual benefit of the peoples of the two nation.

The Ambassador noted that Djibouti has provided over one million USD to support construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, a multibillion hydropower project being built to generate over 6,000mw power.

For his part, Djiboutian Ambassador to Ethiopia Mohammed Idriss Farah said Ethiopia is one of the strategic partners of Djibouti.

Because of the strengthened and growing people to people and economic ties, the two countries have reached the stage to enter into economic integration, he stated.

The Ethio-Djibouti railway network, electricity supply, road and other infrastructure developments to interconnect the two countries manifest the strong relation, he added.

He indicated that the two countries are closely working in fighting terrorism, contraband trade and other cross border crimes.

According to reports, Djibouti is one of the major destinations for Ethiopia’s export items. It has imported items valued at over 138 million USD from Ethiopia during the first half of the current budget year.

Cement, food items, agricultural and industrial products, vegetables and fruits, chat, livestock, bottled water and beverages are the major items which Djibouti primarily imports from Ethiopia.

Some 90 percent of Ethiopia’s export trade activities of are being carried out via the port of Djibouti.



New single window system to streamline international trade


Plans are in the works to establish a new government office for controlling international trade using a single electronic window.
Federal offices who have a stake in international trade are drafting the new law that will establish a new office under the federal government to accelerate international trade by streamlining it and eliminating the current system of forcing investors to deal with several bureaucratic processes.
Late last year Beker Shale, Director General of the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) and William Asiko, CEO of the International Climate Facility for Africa (ICF) inked a USD 7.3 million deal to establish an electronic Single Window (eSW) system for international trade.
Even though ERCA will spearhead the project, it will also include several ministries and federal offices that play a role in international trade such as the National Bank of Ethiopia.
Setting up the Single Window System will make international trade more efficient by reducing export, import and transit procedures and the time and costs of clearance document preparation. The system will help to make the country’s businesses more competitive, attractive to investment opportunities and stimulate economic development.
The new endeavor is receiving some financial support from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.
The first draft has already been completed and now all the stakeholdersare meeting to revise the law establishing the new federal office.
The affiliated government offices for international trade (import/export) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enable the eSW until the legal framework is endorsed to govern the system by a single entity.
Melsew Hailemariam, communication expert of the Ethiopian electronic single window service international trade project, told Capital that government offices including National Bank of Ethiopia, ERCA, Ministry of trade, Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Agriculture, Investment Agency and Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations are involved in the process.
According to Melsew, the MoU will support the implementation of the electronic single window service until the legal framework establishing the independent entity is endorsed by the parliament.
The MoU is part of process facilitating the implementation of the eSW project that is currently in the final stages. The communication expert stated that the project will be fully applied by the coming fiscal year. The MoU will be replaced after the formation of the new entity, which is also expected in the coming fiscal year.
A consultancy firm assigned by IFC is currently undertaking a study to identify the best way to form the entity and who will be responsible for running it.  For instance Kenya has recently formed a similar international trade controlling body called Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) that is directly responsible to the President. KenTrade is mandated to facilitate cross border trade and establish, manage and implement the National Electronic Single Window System.
eSW which will provide a single electronic point of access for traders to lodge all trade related information and discharge all regulatory obligations for import, export and transit clearance. Hopes are that the  eSW will lead to appreciable gains in productivity and competitiveness for the Ethiopian business community and the capacity of international economic integration of Ethiopia.
It is also expected that the eSW, by providing customs and all other government agencies involved in the clearance of goods with access to a shared data repository and modern information systems facilities, will increase the efficiency of their operations, especially in areas such as risk management, allowing them to focus on generating additional revenue and improved controls, through better targeting of risks leading to greater compliance and facilitation of trade.
The eSW is the second cooperation project between the two parties. Back in 2012, the ERCA and ICF implemented another project to modernize tax administration by creating an online filing system for large tax payers and establishing a call center at ERCA.
The Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF) is a donor funded, private sector focused development institution whose purpose is to enhance the economic prospects of African society by working with businesses and governments to improve the investment climate in respective African countries. ICF works with African governments to create a conducive legal, regulatory and administrative environment for businesses, both big and small, to invest, grow and create jobs.



Work on Addis Ababa Airport Expansion Project Commences


Consultancy bid results to be announced next week The Chinese construction firm, China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), last week commenced work on the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport expansion project.

A senior official of the Ethiopian Airports Enterprise told The Reporter that CCCC started fencing the construction site and has embarked on earth-breaking work.

The enterprise plans to expand the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport passenger terminal at a cost of 250 million dollars. The loan was secured from the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of China. The project is aimed at transforming the passenger terminal into a state-of-the-art terminal and boosting its capacity. CCCC, which has built a number of highways in Ethiopia, is the contractor. The design of the new passenger terminal was drafted by a Singapore company called CPG Airports.

To hire a consulting firm that would supervise the construction work, the Ethiopian Airports Enterprise has put up a tender. Thirty-eight companies bought the bid document. Only five of them submitted bid proposals and the enterprise bid committee has been evaluating the technical proposals presented by the five international consulting firms. Reliable sources in the enterprise told The Reporter that a French company has won the technical evaluation.

Another French firm ranked second and an Italian company was ranked third. Sources, who declined to disclose the names of the companies, said that the financial bid would be opened next week and automatically the winner will be revealed. The incumbent will also undertake a study on the new mega airport planned to be built out of Addis Ababa.

The Addis Ababa Bole International Airport passenger terminal expansion project includes the construction of a new passenger terminal as an extension of the existing Terminal 1 (domestic and regional terminal) and Terminal 2 (international terminal) with all related equipment and the construction of a new VIP passengers’ terminal.

The new terminal will house boarding areas, lounges, recreation centers, shopping malls, offices and other facilities. New boarding gates, boarding bridges, and new parking areas are parts of the expansion project. The new parking area will serve passengers and staff members. A major component of the expansion project is the VIP terminal.

The first of its type in Ethiopia, the VIP terminal will be dedicated to leaders, senior government officials, diplomats and other dignitaries. The VIP terminal will have various saloons, lounges, conference rooms, recreation centers, duty free shops, an IT center and an exclusive parking lot. At present the two terminals accommodate 6.5 million passengers every year. When the new terminal is completed it will accommodate 25 million passengers per annum.

The Ethiopian Airports Enterprise owns and operates 18 airports, 15 of which are asphalted. To cope with the fast growth of Ethiopian Airlines, the Ethiopian Airports Enterprise is building new airports in different parts of the country. The enterprise will soon inaugurate the Jimma and Assosa airports it has recently built. It will also soon embark on the construction of a new airport in Hawassa town. The enterprise is also contemplating to build a giant international airport (mega hub project) in a lowland area outside Addis Ababa.



Turkey buys Ethiopian products from third parties



Turkey is hoping that better relationships between Ethiopian and Turkish banks will increase the amount of products they import from Ethiopia, Capital learnt.

Even though business has increased between the two countries over the past decade, Ethiopia still does not export many of its products to Turkey.  There has not been a very strong relationship between Ethiopian and Turkish banks and there has not been a trusted market link between the business communities in both nations. Improvements in these two areas could improve exports. Because there is not a strong relationship between Ethiopian exporters and buyers in Turkey, the business community there has to obtain Ethiopian agricultural products from third countries.
“Turkey imports sesame and other agricultural items from Ethiopia, however they have to buy them from places like Dubai and this means they are paying a higher amount than the original price,” Anteneh Tarkiu, commercial counselor for the Ethiopian Embassy in Turkey, said.
By importing the products directly from Ethiopia it would make the price much more affordable. This can be accomplished by changing the way the two nations’ banks relate to each other.
The National Bank of Ethiopia, the Central Bank, and Guarantee Bank are in negotiations to do just that.
“I have information that the two banks are negotiating to commence relations between their banks,” the commercial counselor told Capital.
Turkish businesses have become wary because some Ethiopian exporters have canceled contracts or have not followed through with promises and as a result they have opted to buy Ethiopian products from other countries at higher prices.
“When we spoke with potential importers in Turkey about buying Ethiopian products directly from the main sources, they claimed that they did not trust Ethiopian exporters because of their previous reputation,” he said.
He added that the situation could be further improved by protecting Turkish investors from default.
Currently, Turkey has become one of the major sources for Ethiopian traders. In the past decade the imports from Turkey have significantly increased. In 2013 Ethiopia  imported over USD 380 million worth of products from Turkey, a huge increase from USD 20 million in the year 2000.
The amount that Ethiopia exported to the Turkish market in 2013 was about USD 57 million.



Ethiopia eyes over $47mln from meat exports during Ramadan


Ethiopia eyes to earn $47.48 million from meat and animal exports to the Middle East countries, which will observe the start of the holy fasting month of Ramadan next week.

“The rising demand for meat during the month of Ramadan has been a business opportunity for us for a long time,” Kelifa Hussein, deputy head of the Ethiopian Trade Ministry’s Live Animals, Hides and Skins Department, told Anadolu Agency.

“We export both animals and meat to Somalia, Egypt, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and export meat to Turkey and Hong Kong,” he said.

According to Hussein, the Ethiopian revenues will exceed the planned $21 million, Anadolu News Agency Reported.

“Ethiopia earned $176 million from export of live animals during the last eleven months,” he said.

Secretary-General of Ethiopian Association for Meat Producers and Exporters Abebaw Mekonnen said Ethiopia anticipates earning $26.48 million from export of 5405 tons of meat to different countries during Ramadan.

“Saudi Arabia and UAE are target markets for 90 percent of our products. We export the remaining 10 percent to Kuwait, Oman and Egypt,” Abebaw told.

“The country earned $66.8 million from meat exports during the last 11 months. The revenue is estimated to increase to $70 million during the month of Ramadan,” he said.

Previously, the Ethiopian Airlines used to transport only 24 tons of meat per flight.

Now, Abebaw said, there is a plan to increase the amount to 60 tons per flight.

Ethiopia has the largest livestock population in Africa with 53.8 million heads of cattle, 25.51 million sheep, 22.79 million goats, 2.17 million camels and 49.3 million poultry, according to the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia.



Omo Kuraz -I to begin sugar production after two months


Omo Kuraz -I sugar factory will begin sugar production after two months, according to coordinator of project.
Omo Kuraz -I is among the five sugar factories to be built under the Kuraz sugar development project.

The factor is being constructed in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People (SNNP) Regional State by the Metals and Engineering Corporation (MetEC).
“Civil construction works of Omo Kuraz -I sugar factory is now 98 per cent complete,” project’s coordinator at MetEC, Major Molla Tamiru, told WIC recently.
Installation and erection of the factory have also reached at 68 per cent, he added.

According to the coordinator, concerted efforts are underway to finalize the construction of the factor and enable it begin trial production after two months.
The construction of the factory has so far created jobs for 2,000 in habitants of the area, including people from Bodi, Bacha and Mursi tribes, he pointed out.



Premier Announces Pay Raise for Civil Servants


Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has announced that Ethiopian civil servants will soon get a salary increase in addition to preferential access to 20pc of the condominium houses under construction by the government.

“If members of the public service wish to organize themselves in associations for the construction of houses, the government will provide them with land,” Hailemariam proclaimed.

He announced this at the opening ceremony of the World Civil Service Day, held at the African Union meeting hall on Monday.

The premier also proclaimed that only members of the public service would participate in the draw for 20pc of the condominium houses under construction by the government. This is to avert the housing problems facing government employees, he said.

Intended to improve the working as well as the living condition of civil servants, the salary increment will be effective from July 2014 – the first month of the next fiscal year.

The increase will be made with consideration to the government’s financial capacity, in a way that avoids awakening inflation or disturbing the stability of the economy, Hailemariam added.



Two More Cement Factories for Ethiopia by October


Chemicals and Construction Materials Development Institute announced two more cement factories will commence production in four months time. The factories are Ethio Cement and Dangote.

Samuel Halala, the Institute’s Director General, said 90 percent of Ethio Cement’s construction is completed while 75 percent of Dangote is finalized.

The Director General added upon commencing production the two factories are expected to push the nation’s capacity to 15.7 Million Metric Tons which currently stands at 12.2 Million Metric Tons.

Following the cement shortage in the country, some two and three years ago, many investors managed to engage in cement production, Samuel added. He furthered some 18 of the 24 projects licensed for cement production have already commenced production.

Private investment’s increment in the area is enhancing the nation’s aim of meeting local demand and also exporting cement to neighboring countries.

Ethiopia has collected a total of U.S $ 7 Million from exporting cement in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year.

Ethiopia plans to earn U.S $ 20 Million from exporting cement in the coming budget year.



Five new parks underway



Even though there have been many roads and buildings constructed in the last ten years, there have not been many parks.

As part of the Growth and Transformation Plan, the Addis Ababa Beautification Park and Cemetery Development Agency (BPCDA) planned to construct five new parks. These included: Ledeta, Basha Wolde, Nation and Nationality Square, and the parks beside Economic Commission for Africa and the Holland Embassy.
So far only the 12,000sqm Ledeta Park has been completed, at a cost of 26 million birr.
The other four parks are below forty percent complete. There has recently been the beginning of reconstruction of two parks Ethio-Cuba and Akaki Kaliti.
Including the two parks that are being refurbished Addis Ababa has allocated 300 million birr.
Akaki is 62,518sq.m and is being built at a cost of 59 million birr. The 27,226s.qm Ethio-Cuba is the cheapest at 9 million birr.
BPCDA Deputy Manger Dereje Ejeta told Capital,  “We didn’t have any problems with planning, the difficulty we faced was that there were few people with experience in building parks here, we wasted almost two years posting tenders repeatedly trying to find the right contractor, now the issue has been resolved and all of the parks are under construction.”
Most of the parks will cost two birr to enter. Some criticize this because they say there really are not a lot of amenities there to justify the fee.
Over the last nine months BPCDA has brought in a profit of 2.5 million birr from entrance fees, weddings, food service, and photos. Last year it earned around the same amount. The eleven old BPCDA administered parks have received 371,359 visitors.
Some of the new parks will feature shops, swimming pools, tennis courts, cafeterias and fountains. The agency is waiting for a response from a government construction agency to tender out the    redesigns of    Afincho Ber, Hamlae 19, and Behare Tsegae  parks.
Among Addis parks Behare Tsegae is the biggest at 60 hectar. It was established forty nine years ago and it provides an area for weddings, park photos and a restaurant.



Working for Change in Northern Ethiopia


Agro-pastoralists in Ethiopia’s northern Afar region once used to migrate in search of water and pasture for their herds. But today, they are staying put, thanks to a range of government environmental and public works projects, supported by WFP.

MEGLELA, Ethiopia – For years, farmers and herders in this drought-prone pocket of northern Ethiopia would migrate regularly in search of water and pasture for their herds of goats, sheep and cows.   But today, agro-pastoralists like Duba Oundunumo are staying where they are and reaping the benefits of environmental and development activities that have greened the landscape and put food on their plates.

“We are working for change,” says 58-year-old Duba, who is the village chief of Meglela, a community of 8,000 located roughly 190 kilometres from Semera, the capital of Ethiopia’s northern Afar region. “And for the work we do, we get food in return, thanks to WFP.”

The change came four years ago, as the Ethiopian government rolled out a series of public works projects around Meglela, ranging from building ponds and roads, to terracing degraded mountain ridges and reforesting bare swathes of land under its Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP). In 2014, WFP aims to provide food assistance to roughly 1.2 million Ethiopians engaged in PSNP activities across the country – including those in Meglela.

“Along with infrastructure construction, communities here are also engaged in small-scale irrigation, planting trees, clearing weeds and river diversion for irrigation purposes,” says WFP’s Assistant Field Monitor Teklemuz Gebregziabher, who monitors the public works projects. “The programme is intended to protect household assets.”

Restoring lands and livelihoods

Sebana-Damale is another village in Afar where the PSNP project has brought a tangible change to one of Ethiopia’s most punishing regions. The village is located in Berhale district, home to the lowest and hottest region on earth, the Denakil Depression. Getting here is a scorching trip down a rough road that cuts through rocky mountains and crosses river beds that often run dry.

But today, the PSNP programme is restoring lands and livelihoods, and bringing hope to a community where many members can now afford to send their children to school.

“We are destined to be cattle herders,” village chief Duba says, “but we don’t believe our children should follow our paths.”

Amina Aliyou (left), a farmer and mother of five, is also participating in the programme, working five hours a day in a community project to divert the local Mille River for irrigation. In return, she receives 15 kg of maize and wheat from WFP.

“Living here can be challenging – especially when it comes to managing flooding of the river that crosses our land,” says Amina, 40. “I am contributing my time and energy to change the environment.”

Participants in the community projects receive six-month rations of WFP food in return for their work – which ensures they don’t sell off their precious assets when times get tough.

For villagers like 38-year-old Osman Ahmed, a father of 10, there are other paybacks to community public works projects. Under PSNP, Ahmed has been involved in road building and flood control efforts.

“We see the value of working together,” Ahmed says. “It benefits all of us a lot.”



Sheba buys majority share of National Tobacco


Sheba Investment PLC will pay 1.25 billion birr to own a 60 percent stake in the nation’s only tobacco company.

The company has come to terms with the Privatization and Public Enterprises Supervising Agency (PPESA), which is the public enterprises regulatory body, to own the dominant share of the National Tobacco Enterprise (NTB), the state monopoly for producing and distributing tobacco and related products.
In 1999 Sheba, a Yemen based company, purchased 22 percent of the tobacco manufacturer. Based on the current deal, the company will have an additional 38 percent of the company which has a factory and tobacco farms throughout Ethiopia.
Wendafrash Assefa, public relations head of PPESA, told Capital that the company has agreed to pay 1.25 billion birr to acquire a dominant share of the factory.
“They asked us to increase the share to 70 percent but 40 percent is what we felt comfortable with,” he added.
NTB has four tobacco farms, 20 hectares in Robe, 1,200 hectares in Blate, 25 hectares in Hwassa and 1.5 hectares in Wolyata. The factory is using three types of tobacco plants for its production; Virginia, Oriental and Berlet. Aside from its own plantation, the enterprise also collects products from other growers. For instance 65 percent of Virginia and 100 percent of Oriental type tobaccos are collected from other growers. It produces Nyala, Delight, Gisilla and Elleni cigarettes. It also imports two globally known tobacco types, Rothmans and Marlboro.
Nyala dominates the market, with sales of 258,220 cartons (of 50 sticks or 10,000 pieces) per year, followed by NTE’s Gisilla at 29,804, BAT’s Rothmans at 29,804, PMI’s Marlboro at 1,221, NTE’s Delight at 480, and Elleni at 115 cartons per year. But, while Rothmans account for 4.8pc of the total quantity of cigarettes sold, in terms of value, it accounts for 9.69 percent of the market due to the brand’s higher price. Nyala has the lion’s share in both quantity (at 50.4pc) and value (at 50.15pc), while Gissila shares 5.8pc of the quantity and 1.2pc of the value. The enterprise earned more than 127 million Birr net profit last fiscal year.
In a related development, PPESA is expected, place seven enterprises up for bid at the beginning of the fiscal year, which begins July 22, 2014.
The public relations head stated that the agency will float the Mineral Development Share Company, Bahir Dar Textile, Kombolcha Textile, Agricultural Mechanization Service Enterprise, Ethiopia Fiber Product, Bilito Sirao Farm and the Transport Construction Design Share Company.
Currently the government holds 29 enterprises and 13 of them will be transfered to the private sector next year, according to PPESA Schedules.










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