05 August 2014 Business News Briefs – (UPDATED)


US-Ethiopian Summit concludes successful and US companies to invest billions in Ethiopia


Tigrai Onlne – August 04, 2014

A high level Ethiopian delegation have concluded a very successful ‪US – ‪Ethiopia Business and Investment Summit in the United States. The summit was held in the American cities of Houston in Texas and ‪‎Los Angeles the biggest city in the state of California.

US-Ethiopian Summit concludes successful and US companies to invest billions in Ethiopia
Above photo shows the Ethiopian Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom and Ethiopian President Dr. Mulatu Teshome at the US-Ethiopian Summit.

The Ethiopian delegation which was led by the Ethiopian President Dr. Mulatu Teshome and the Ethiopian Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom had extensive meetings with investors and business leaders in two of the biggest cities of the United States. The main aim of the summit was to show Ethiopia is ready for investing and invite big businesses and investors to come to Ethiopia to invest.

At the Summit Mr. Brien Morgan, managing partner of Detente Group announced a three billion US dollars investment on wind energy in Ethiopia. In addition, KKR Group announced to double its investment on flower investment in Ethiopia. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) an American private global investment firm is investing $200 million dollars in Afriflora in Ethiopia. Salim group submitted a proposal to establish a household appliances assembly plant in our country. Many others have shown strong interest to invest in Ethiopia. “The outcome of the summit exceeded our expectations and we are very happy” said the Ethiopian Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom after the summit.

Ethiopia is one of the fastest non-oil economies in the world. The Ethiopian economy is growing at a fast pace attracting many investors from around the world.

Chinese and Indians have dominated African investment in general and Ethiopia in particular. Investors from those countries have invested in construction, agriculture, horticulture, textile and other manufacturing sectors in Ethiopia.

Some companies from the United States have been involved in Ethiopia, but compared to the Chinese it is insignificant. America has realized now they are missing a golden opportunity in Africa and they are franticly trying to catch up with Easterners. Some say the Americans have lost already and what they are doing is too little, too late.

The investment of companies from the United States will create thousands of jobs and propel the Ethiopian economy to the next level. Despite the Eritrean regime’s unrelenting efforts to destabilize it, Ethiopia is the most stable country in the Horn of Africa.

The main reason for investors to pour in billions of dollars to Ethiopia is because they know the country is secure and they can trust the government and they have confidence in the Ethiopian system.



African leaders seek private investors for LAPSSET project


Tuesday, 05 August 2014

Leaders from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and South Sudan are seeking private investors from the US for the US$24.5bn Lamu Port-Sudan-Ethiopia Transport and Development Project (LAPSSET) that is currently underway



The LAPSSET project will connect Kenya’s Lamu Port, Isiolo Town and Turkana oilfields.

The heads of state from the four African countries will engage with private American investors during the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, scheduled to be held until 7 August 2014.

The leaders have also met with investors from the Middle East and the Indian Ocean Rim.

LAPSSET is a joint effort by Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan, which involves the development of an 800 km road system, a standard gauge railway, a 1,300 km oil pipeline, an oil refinery and an airport as well. The project will connect Kenya’s port of Lamu, Isiolo Town and Turkana oilfields.

Silvester Kasuku, chief executive of the Lapsset Corridor Development Authority, said, “Work on the US$3.1bn Lamu Port is progressing well along with the other LAPSSET projects.”

The project is also expected to aid the transport of oil from fields in southern Sudan and northern Uganda.

The four East African nations are emulating the African Development Bank’s Africa50 Infrastructure Model a special purpose vehicle expected to mobilise private sector resources for investment in major infrastructure projects.



Ethiopia Draws Asia Manufacturing Interest


The interior of George Shoe Factory, located in the industrial zone of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (VOA)

The interior of George Shoe Factory, located in the industrial zone of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


For a long time, economists have discussed East Africa’s chances to “get a foot in the door” of global manufacturing. China, as the world’s leading hub for mass production, has become expensive due to rising labor and energy costs. Meanwhile, East Africa offers a large young and cheap labor force. Until recently though, delays at ports, bad roads, power outages and political instability have prevented a shift from happening. But now, the Ethiopian government is building new industrial mega-zones that have successfully attracted some foreign investors who are moving manufacturing from China.

He Pingting, who goes by the American name Claire, gives a tour of the new factory building of George Shoe PLC. The Taiwanese shoe manufacturer started operating some months ago and recently exported its first container: 15,000 pairs of pink and light-blue women’s shoes made in Ethiopia.

Workers construct shoes at the George Shoe Factory, located in the industrial zone of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (VOA)

Workers construct shoes at the George Shoe Factory, located in the industrial zone of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

He Pingting says the main challenge is the language barrier.

“We have so many stitchers. So, there are so many skills they need to learn. But, you know, teach them is a little bit hard because the language. …but no matter, we have a translator here and they’re very collaborative,” she said.

The factory is filled with a scent of glue. Young men and women in blue overalls sit in front of sewing machines and along assembly lines. Seven hundred Ethiopians work under Chinese and Taiwanese supervision: eight hours a day, six days a week for 800 to 1,200 Birr a month, which is about $60 (US), a fraction of a laborer’s wage in China.

Bole Lemi industrial zone

The factory building lies on the outskirts of Addis Ababa in a new gigantic 156-hectare industrial zone, called Bole Lemi.  It is only one of a handful of new planned zones across the country. After the completion of the second phase – another 186 hectares – Bole Lemi may offer up to 100,000 jobs.

Ethiopia is feverishly working on becoming the world’s newest hub for manufacturing and has good chances.

“Pakistan, Indian, Taiwan, Korean, Chinese. All are there,” he said. “You see the under-construction area, sheds are already contracted out. All leased now, all are leased. For instance this one, about 11,000 square meters, the next one 5,500 square meters. And we focus on this area for garment, especially garment, for garment and shoe, glove,” said Shiferaw Solomon, the director-general of the Ethiopian government’s Investment and Industrial Zone Corporation.

Behind Shiferaw Solomon outside the factory building, construction workers are working on two dozen new sheds that are to be ready by the end of August, a bit behind schedule. According to the Ministry of Industry, 20 foreign companies have secured factories at the site.

Fast growing economy

Ethiopia currently has one of Africa’s fastest growing economies. Unlike others, it is not driven by natural resources, but large public investments with foreign money. Shiferaw is optimistic that the government’s new industrial mega-zones and expansion of the textile and leather industry will give the country another push.

“We have abundant lands, abundant labor forces, materials, raw materials. Now, we’re at a stage of opening up,” said Shiferaw Solomon.

Driving out of the industrial zone, he foresees the potential his country has for the entire region. Already a rising political power, with a massive peacekeeping force in Somalia and other parts of the region, Ethiopia – Africa’s second-most populous country with more than 90 million people – is now also heading towards a new economic age.

“I’d like and I hope to see in the future Ethiopia is one of the competing countries, interesting countries and it serves as a hub for African at large,” said Shiferaw Solomon.

But the development comes with a price. Shiferaw says Addis Ababa and the entire country will suffer from power shortages for one or two years when all companies are operating.



U.S. energy investment in Africa starts to make headway


   Author: E.G.Woldegebriel

The 7.3 MW Aluto-Langano geothermal power project in eastern Ethiopia.

ADDIS ABABA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – As Washington hosts the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit this week, an ambitious but low-profile energy programme announced by President Barack Obama in June 2013 is set to move back into the spotlight.

Power Africa is a U.S. government-led initiative around two-thirds funded by the private sector that aims to double the number of people with access to power in sub-Saharan Africa by 2018, connecting 20 million new customers.

When launched, the programme, focused initially on six countries – Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania – set a target of adding more than 10,000 megawatts (MW) of “clean, efficient” electricity generation capacity.

The U.S government has committed more than $7 billion in financial support and loan guarantees for the first five-year phase, while private-sector financial partners have promised to invest $14 billion, according to the scheme’s website.

Rajiv Shah, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), told Reuters ahead of the Aug. 4-6 summit new support for Power Africa would be announced worth “several billions of dollars”, and the programme’s aspirations would be more than doubled, as goals are already being met.

It is also likely to be expanded to other nations, Reuters reported.

So far, Ethiopia appears to be taking the lead in the Power Africa programme. The East African nation hopes to boost its capacity to 10,000 MW by the end of 2015, from the current level of 2,200 MW, in part with funding from Power Africa.

The government’s goal is to reach 37,000 MW by 2037 in order to meet demand from its population of more than 90 million – around half of whom lack access to electricity – and its expanding industries.


Under the Power Africa programme, the Ethiopian government signed an agreement last October with Reykjavik Geothermal, an Icelandic company, to build a 1,000 MW geothermal power plant in the Corbetti area of southern Ethiopia.

According to Amy Beeler, head of private-sector and energy-sector development at the Ethiopian office of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the project aims to generate 500 MW by 2018, with the remainder coming online by 2023. The total cost of $4 billion will be funded mostly by U.S. government agencies including USAID, with some finance from Reykjavik Geothermal. 

The programme has negotiated a power purchase agreement for at least 25 years with the state-owned utility, Beeler said. It is the first time in Ethiopia that an independent power producer will sell electricity to a state utility, and is the largest such scheme in Africa.

According to Beeler, Power Africa is not only about building power plants, but also includes training of engineers and government officials, as well as other infrastructure projects.

Gossaye Mengiste, an official at the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy, said Ethiopia generates just 7.3 MW of energy from its only geothermal plant, Aluto Langano, which dates back to the 1980s. By contrast, the country currently has 171 MW of installed capacity from wind and about 2,000 MW from hydro.

“Although geothermal energy potential is in abundance in Ethiopia, its initial cost is larger than hydro or wind energy, begging the question: is it cost-effective for a poor country like us?” Mengiste asked. That suggests outside help is necessary, he added, referring to the Power Africa scheme.


African nations are increasingly looking eastwards for development partners, and especially to China. Roads and buildings have been constructed with Chinese help, and Chinese-made cars and mobile phones are becoming a common sight.

Chinese involvement in Ethiopia’s energy sector ranges from the controversial 1,800 MW Gibe III hydropower project to a $1 billion credit for a power transmission line for a 6,000 MW hydro dam being built on the Blue Nile.

This has led some to question whether the Power Africa scheme is an attempt by the United States to catch up with China.

Besides Ethiopia, the continent’s most populous country, Nigeria, has also recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. government under the initiative. But the other four countries in the programme have yet to progress that far.

Michael C. Battle, a former U.S. envoy to the African Union, rejected suggestions his country is in a competition with the world’s second-largest economy to invest in Africa. Battle said Barack Obama’s interest in the continent predated his becoming U.S. president.

“It’s absolutely true that China is doing a phenomenal amount of work on the African continent, building infrastructure projects that are tremendous,” Battle said. In contrast, the main focuses of the U.S. aid approach to Africa have been eradicating disease, increasing educational opportunities, reducing poverty and creating a context for good governance, he added.

The Power Africa scheme is mainly a way for the U.S. government to back private firms that want to invest in the power sector in Africa, according to Battle.


While the U.S. and other nations may have devised strategies to help Africa meet its infrastructure requirements, some development partners say that, in the long term, countries must meet their own needs.

Manabu Momita, a project manager at the Japan International Cooperation Agency, is working on the expansion of the Aluto Langano geothermal project, which is also being funded by the Ethiopian government and the World Bank. The goal is to increase the country’s geothermal capacity by 70 MW.

Momita emphasised that Japan’s assistance should be the beginning of a process that will lead Ethiopia towards self-reliance.

“We’re just starting geothermal development in Ethiopia, but (Ethiopia should not) try to rely on foreign governments’ assistance,” Momita said. Rather it should give “strong support” to its own development, he added.

E.G. Woldegebriel is a journalist based in Addis Ababa with an interest in environmental issues.



Japan considering introduction of advanced Kaizen in Ethiopia


Japan considering introduction of advanced kaizen in Ethiopia

Evaluation confirms successful implementations so far

The philosophy for continuous improvements of quality and productivity, kaizen, made Ethiopia the third generation implementer, after Japan and Singapore, and it is getting new heights as Japan, the sponsoring nation, might consider Ethiopia to advance in kaizen for the next, more complex phase. 

Kaizen was introduced in Ethiopia in 2009 following the enquires of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, which has been in practice from 2012 onwards, is planned to continue for some five years beginning early 2015, according to Tanaka Akihisa, director of he private sector division at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). He told The Reporter that the next phase of kaizen will see more advanced techniques that will assist the improvements of the manufacturing subsector. “Ethiopians have absorbed kaizen very fast. So we have successful results and for the next phase we will introduce the next advanced kaizen in Ethiopia,” he said.

Ethiopia, since 2012, has made improvements in terms of cost reducing production systems and avoiding rejects, according to Akihisa. The improvements and the enthusiasm from the Ethiopian side in practicing kaizen prompted Japan to boost its management philosophy. The recently aired advertisement via CNN is one that can be mentioned. CNN aired how kaizen is making changes in Ethiopia’s manufacturing sector.

Getahun Tadesse, director general of Ethiopian Kaizen Institute (EKI) told reporters on Friday at his office that the second phase of kaizen implementation would give priorities to the manufacturing, logistics and construction sectors. The export and import substituting commodities will have the upper hand of the Japanese kaizen in the production and quality spectrums. Akihisa cornered that following the evaluation results of kaizen implementation, his government is looking at Ethiopia to obtain the advanced stage, which giant companies like Toyota and the likes have implemented.

Both Akihisa and Getahun signed a terminal evaluation document on Friday agreeing on recent developments. According JICA reports, 250 companies have been trained for kaizen and some 30 companies according to EKI have attained some 37 percent improvements in the production activities.  So far, some 33 thousand management staff and workers are reported attending kaizen trainings and capacity building programs.

Gethaun said that the 33 universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVETs) institutions are among the targeted ones in the second phase implementation of kaizen. Monetary terms remain undisclosed but as part of official development assistance to Ethiopia, the government of Japan is looking at Ethiopia to champion over some African counties way longer associated with kaizen than Ethiopia in the past. Currently, in addition to establishing a kaizen institute, Mekelle University has initiated a curriculum and master’s level training and in the future the long serving Addis Ababa University (AAU) will include doctoral degree programs specializing in kaizen.



Ethiopia’s 2013-14 Exports Increase 6% on Jump in Oilseed Sales


By William Davison August 05, 2014

Ethiopian exports rose 5.8 percent to $3.3 billion in the year through July 7 partly due to an increase in oilseed revenue, the country’s second-largest source of export earnings.

The Horn of African nation earned $642.7 million from mainly sesame and niger seeds during Ethiopia’s fiscal year, rising 46 percent from 2012-2013, according to an e-mailed statement from the Trade Ministry, citing data from the Revenues and Customs Authority. Africa’s biggest coffee producer received $718.8 million from sales of the beans, down 3.7 percent from a year earlier, as volumes dropped 4.1 percent.

Ethiopia’s government is trying to attract investment into processing agricultural products and diversifying the economy, with a goal to earn $6.6 billion from farming exports and $1 billion from textile and garment sales by mid-2015. The World Bank in May gave the country $250 million to help develop export-led manufacturing zones and boost the business climate.

Textile and clothing sales climbed 13 percent to $111 million in a nation where retailers such as Tesco Plc (TSCO) and Hennes& Mauritz AB (HMB) have begun sourcing the materials, the ministry said. Earnings from shoe sales jumped 57 percent to $28.8 million, according to the data. China’s Huajian Group is among companies investing in shoe manufacturing in Ethiopia.

The value of gold exports declined 21 percent to $456.2 million in 2013-14, while the sale of the leafy narcotic khat rose 9.5 percent to $297.4 million and shipments of flowers jumped 7 percent to $199.7 million, the Trade Ministry said.

Sesame Sales

The country is the world’s fourth-biggest grower of sesame. Foreign currency earned from sales of the seeds to China has to be deposited at the state-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia to secure loans from the Export-Import Bank of China.

Ethiopia’s trade deficit may widen to $8.9 billion in 2013-14 from $8.5 billion a year earlier due partly to the rising cost of imports for a government infrastructure program, the International Monetary Fund said in October.

The government should consider reducing the value of the currency by 10 percent in real terms, which may lead to a 5 percent increase in export earnings, the World Bank said last month. The government could also embark on policy changes to help boost the competitiveness of exporters, including easing “high” start up capital requirements, boosting electricity supplies and freeing up credit and foreign exchange, the Washington-based lender said.

To contact the reporter on this story: William Davison in Addis Ababa at wdavison3@bloomberg.net



Ethiopia Earns 245 Million USD from Horticultural Products


The Ethiopia Horticulture Development Agency said 245 million USD was earned from export of flowers, vegetables and fruits during the just-ended Ethiopia fiscal year.

Agency Director-General Alem Woldegerima told Ethiopian News Agency that of the total revenue earned 199.74 million USD was secured from flowers, 40 million USD from vegetables and 6 million from fruits.

The Director-General, who recalled that the revenue from horticulture during the previous fiscal year was 230.5 million USD, said the performance of the just-ended year has exceeded the previous year by 6.4 percent.

Ethiopian flowers are mainly exported to Europe, according to Alem. He said the major consumer countries are the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and Norway.

Saudi Arabia, Japan, and the United States also import flowers. Fruits and vegetable are exported to Somalia and Djibouti, he added.

Currently, vast land is covered by horticulture, the Director-General stated.

Foreign investors are entering the country to invest in the horticultural sector, Alem revealed, adding that Israeli, Indian, Belgian and Kuwaiti investors are the majority of those. Dutch,Ecuadorian and Saudi are also following, it was indicated.

During the past Ethiopian fiscal year, a total of 1,119 hectares of land was given to foreign investors for the development of flowers, vegetables and fruits. Similarly, 100 hectares of land was given to local investors.

Sher Ethiopia from the Netherlands, Black Tulip and Fontana from Kenya and Esmeralda from Ecuador are reportedly either cultivating the land they secured or acquiring land.

According to ENA, more than 80 companies, most of them foreign-owned, are engaged in floriculture in Ethiopia, it was learned.



Berwaqo to Export Camel Milk



Berwaqo Milk Processing Plc, a one month old company, is preparing to export camel milk and its byproducts to other East African nations.

Currently the company processes 700 liters of milk every day. Yet it intends to eventually increase this number to 10,000 liters per day.

According to the General Manager and Owner of the company, Amir Muktar, Berwaqo is planning to export 40 percent of its total products to Djibouti, Hargessa and Somaliland. As to the rest of the product, it intends to sell it at Dire Dawa, Harar, Somali and Addis Ababa, Amir

He added the company has secured a quality certificate from the Somali State Food, Medicine and Health Care Bureau and is hoping to acquire the same certificate from the Federal office.

Commenting on this he said, “The officials will come here and visit or factory. Hopefully, we will receive the certificate within the coming three days”.

USAID has decided to support the company in creating market for dairy producers and collectors as part of its Pastoral Resiliency Improvement and Market Expansion Project.

According to Capital, after it has been checked for qualifying in environmental compliance requirements, the company will secure a U.S $ 354,000 grant.

Amir commented, “We are pretty sure about the huge demand, camels’ milk is consumed daily to a large extent”. “Fortunately, the milk we collect from farmers is organic. This will help us to compete with other companies in the region.”

In addition to milk and byproducts, Berwaqo is planning to produce cosmetics from camels’ milk, Amir noted. He furthered, “Hopefully, we will start making cosmetics within the next three monts”.

According to Capital, a liter of camel milk is sold for 12 Birr in the local market.



Unlocking the multi-billion dollar leather potential in Africa



Africa contributes 21% of the total livestock production in the world yet it earns only 2.67% of the total global earnings from the multi-billion dollars industry.

COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya attributes the poor earnings to low level of adoption and use of science, technology and innovation.

“The continent earns approximately US$4 billion from leather and leather products while globally the industry is greater than the sales of cotton, sugar, tea and meat combined earning over US$150 billion,” Ngwenya said. “This is despite being a bi-product of meat processing.”

In his statement delivered during the 4th Fourth Biennial Conference of stakeholders in agriculture and Network of Universities – called RUFORUM in Maputo, Mozambique Friday, 25 July 2014 Mr. Ngwenya said Africa’s supply of raw materials and semi-processed leather products was a low yield earner with minimum profits.

In order to advance Africa’s potential to become competitive in the leather and leather products sector, the Secretary General advocated for involvement of the local universities in enhancing research and technology to add value to the region’s agro-based commodities.

“Improvements in the leather tanning processes and designing of leather products will require research”, he said. “Development of Small and medium Enterprises tools will require research. Reverse engineering will require research. This is in addition to the development of technology to fabricate machinery for the leather industry.”

Ngwenya observed that even though COMESA has, over the last decade, recorded an annual real GDP growth of approximately 6.5 percent this growth has not led to the economic transformation. Low value adding economic activities and trade in raw materials is still prominent in our member states, he said.

In order to address this issue COMESA is developing an industrial policy that seeks to encourage countries to enhance their manufacturing sector and to add value to their primary produce. This is intended to improve the competitiveness of the industrial sector, thereby enhancing the expansion of intra-regional trade in manufactured goods and achieve structural transformation of the economies of its 19 Member States.

“This is easily attainable through the specialized institutions that already have the mandates to spear head these initiatives by working closely with the Universities both in the region and at global level”, he said.

COMESA Leather and Leather Products Institute (LLPI) based in Ethiopia has already developed strong linkages with Universities, Government and the Private sector under the Triple Helix approach which links the three institutions in the advancement of science, technology and innovation for industrial development.

“The development and implementation of the industrial policy will boost employment creation, particularly among our youth and ensure sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction in the region” Ngwenya said. It is estimated that the COMESA region alone has a demand of 365 million pairs of footwear and one billion square feet of leather.

Similarly, COMESA has developed the Seed Harmonization Implementation Plan (COMSHIP) under the Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA) with a view to developing the seed sector. This is aimed at advancing agricultural development along the value chain.

In order to deal with issues of biotechnology, COMESA is implementing a biotechnology programme alongside other initiatives that all require inputs from regional and international researchers, academics and professionals.



IBM and Dow Collaboration Delivers Sustainable Solutions in Ethiopia While Building Employee Leadership Skills


–  Company Employees Partner with International Medical Corps to Address Sanitation Issues in Ethiopia


MIDLAND, Mich., Aug 04, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Dow’s Leadership in Action (LIA) program and IBM’s Corporate Service Corps have come together with the assistance of nonprofit, PYXERA Global , to deliver sustainable solutions in Ethiopia while providing unique leadership development opportunities for participating employees.

Five employees from Dow and three from IBM will participate in a joint global pro bono project with International Medical Corps (IMC) that will promote and support a campaign to improve sanitation and hygiene behavior in the community of Wolayita. IMC delivers health care services to those impacted by war, natural disaster and disease with programs that focus on training and helping devastated populations return to self-reliance. Through this effort, Dow’s team will create a social marketing program to drive behavioral changes required to create sustained resilience – the ability of citizens and government to survive, thrive, or even avoid natural or man-made crises, such as illness, fuel and food shortages, storms or drought. IBM will assess, recommend, and design methodologies that can measure how resilient a community is, particularly in the realm of public health.

PYXERA Global facilitates these types of programs to aid companies entering new geographies. The nonprofit, which identifies high-impact organizations in emerging and frontier economies such as IMC, accelerates understanding of existing needs in these markets.

“Collaboration is instrumental in a project of this scope because no one company holds all the solutions to the world’s problems,” said Michelle Langley, Program Leader for Dow Sustainability Corps, Global Disaster Relief and STEM. “More than 35 percent of the world’s population lacks access to improved sanitation. By aligning strategies and leveraging each other’s employee talent, Dow and IBM can leave a lasting impact on the region.”

“By bringing together the top talent and emerging leaders at IBM and Dow, we are able to strengthen the impact we make on the community as well as deepen the experience for the employees, ultimately building lifelong relationships and sustainable solutions,” said Gina Tesla, Director, IBM Corporate Citizenship.

This project is just one example of how both companies offer unique leadership development opportunities to employees. In addition to the five Dow employees working with IBM, an additional 36 employees are working on projects that address health, education and commerce.

“International Medical Corps will be able to reach Wolayita community far more effectively as a result of this joint effort,” said Deirdre White, CEO of PYXERA Global. “Companies like Dow and IBM are playing a pivotal role in strengthening the ability of organizations throughout Africa to better serve communities. We’re seeing this across a host of issues areas from clean water and sanitation to infrastructure education, healthcare, and technology.”

Employees participating in LIA have worked virtually for several months in preparation for their trip to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in August to meet with their NGO partners. Dow and IBM employees have been collaborating during this time, together with PYXERA Global, in preparation for their sanitation awareness project. Both companies are building stronger community ties in the region and instilling long lasting skills for employees.

“When you lead a team there are no manuals or ‘how to’ documents. You have to use your experiences and make the best decisions at the time,” said John Kolmer, Dow Human Resources manager, Global Leadership Development. “This program gives people that real life experience by pushing them out of their comfort zone, and encouraging them to interact with people from different cultures and areas of expertise.”

Dow’s LIA is a collaboration between Dow Sustainability Corps (DSC) and Human Resources. DSC is part of Dow’s approach to meet the world’s most basic needs by matching interested and capable employees with NGOs, social entrepreneurs and local government agencies that need support for sustainable development projects, especially in emerging geographies and areas of growth for Dow. LIA leverages the strengths of DSC and the company’s Human Resources function to generate exceptional leadership development opportunities for participating employees and the NGO partners.

Follow Dow’s Leadership in Action program and project partnership with IBM’s Corporate Service Corps on Twitter by searching #DowLeads and #IBMCSC.

About Dow

Dow /quotes/zigman/224698/delayed/quotes/nls/dow DOW +1.39% combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company is driving innovations that extract value from the intersection of chemical, physical and biological sciences to help address many of the world’s most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, clean energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow’s integrated, market-driven, industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 180 countries and in high growth sectors such as packaging, electronics, water, coatings and agriculture. In 2013, Dow had annual sales of more than $57 billion and employed approximately 53,000 people worldwide. The Company’s more than 6,000 products are manufactured at 201 sites in 36 countries across the globe. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com .

About IBM’s Corporate Service Corps

IBM’s Corporate Service Corps team members comprise some of IBM’s most talented employees, and provide skills to developing countries in disciplines that include information technology, research, marketing, finance, consulting, human resources and law. By the end of 2014, IBM Corporate Service Corps will have deployed 800 IBM employees for projects in South Africa, Ethiopia, Angola, Senegal, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco and Egypt. Since 2008, IBM Corporate Service Corps has dispatched approximately 2,500 IBM employees originating from 56 countries on engagements to 37 countries — making this pro bono problem solving program one of the world’s largest.

Follow IBM’s Corporate Service Corps on the CitizenIBM blog at www.citizenIBM.com and on Twitter, at @citizenIBM.

This Press Release contains information that may be or is privileged, confidential, proprietary or subject to copyright belonging to Dow or its affiliates. This information is intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and any other use is unauthorized. If you are not the intended recipient of this information, this is notice that any retention, disclosure, distribution, copying or other use of this information is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. Thank you.

SOURCE: The Dow Chemical Company

Jennifer Kitt , +1-989-636-9230
Media Relations



Al Ghandi Auto Opens Representative Office in Ethiopia


al ghandi autoThe United Arab Emirates (UAE) based automotive company, Al Ghandin Auto Group, opened a representative office in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, for the purpose of serving the East African market. The company intends to go fully operational by the coming October.

CEO of the Group, Graham Turner, commented, “We are one of the world’s biggest General Motors dealers but now, currently the company deals with vehicles, motors, machines and construction equipment. We set up this office to understand what our customers want, explore the market and build our relationships”.

It was five years ago Al Ghandin started working with distributors. Nonetheless, it now sees the need to open an office in order to serve its customers in a better manner. In addition to this, the company is also interested in exploring other investment opportunities in Ethiopia.

Managing Director of Al Ghandi Investment Company, Buti Saeed Al Ghandi, noted the other reason for establishing the representative office is to forward in terms of investment and see opportunities the nation has to offer for the company.

Saeed noted he has met with different Federal Government officials from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Ministry of Trade and the Privatization and Public Enterprises Supervising Authority (PPESA).

Al Ghandi’s representative stated his company wishes to move to the industrial sector in the long run and is planning to acquire an investment license.

Saeed explained, “A lot of the products we are selling, if they tend to get very popular here, we might think of convincing the original manufacturers to come here and do assembly here. That is long term strategy that is how we become part of your economy. We opened the office because we are looking at a very long term objective”.

Al Ghandin Auto Group has give divisions which offer automotive, industrial machines and equipment, car rental and leasing services, and vehicle testing facilities.



Ethiopia to finalize Sustainable Tourism Master Plan


The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is in the process of formulating its Sustainable Tourism Master Plan (STMP). The STMP is an initiative currently being developed through the technical support provided by the Sub-Regional Office for Eastern Africa (SRO-EA) and the Division for Regional Integration and Trade (RITD), in partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The process of formulating the STMP has entailed extensive field missions across the country, in-depth interviews with key stakeholders drawn from various sectors including public, private, professional organizations, civil society, regional government officials and academia. In addition, two regional consultative meetings have been already been held in Mekele and Dire Dawa and one more is scheduled to take place in Addis Abeba between 30th and 31st of July 2014. It is expected that following the field missions, interviews with stakeholders and the consultative meetings, a zero draft STMP will be prepared within one month which will then be subjected to national validation meeting to pave way for the preparation of the final draft of STMP.The STMP is part on-going process of the implementation of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) STMP. The IGAD STMP was informed by a regional tourism study commissioned by UNECA SRO-EA in 2010 and the green light for its formulation approved at the 15th meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (ICE) of SRO-EA that took place in Djibouti, between 21st to 24th February 2011, whose main focus was on tourism under the theme Towards a Sustainable Tourism Industry in Eastern Africa. The IGAD STMP has since been completed and was officially launched the IGAD Tourism Inter-Ministerial forum held in Nairobi, Kenya by His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta in December last year. In his opening remarks the President observed that ‘it is sad to note that our continent’s share of the global tourism industry stands at 52.4 million or 5.1% of international arrivals, which translates to 33.6 billion US dollars or 3.1% of international  tourism receipts.’ The IGAD STMP, among others, strongly recommends that member states align their respective tourism development instruments to the regional framework.The formulation of the STMP for the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is indeed timely given the current prioritization of the industry in the country’s development agenda following the establishment of National Tourism Transformation Council, chaired by His Excellency the Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, and the Ethiopian Tourism Organization which is to spearhead tourism product development and marketing. The industry is, further, identified as a key sector in both the 1st and 2nd Growth and Transformation Plans. The identification of the sector as such is due its strong potential to bring about meaningful socio-economic development owing to the fact that such potential remains largely untapped. For instance, in terms of the prevailing cultural and  heritage resources, the country is ranked at position 33 globally, above Egypt which is ranked 39th, and is regarded as one of the safest countries in the world. Yet, despite its current challenges, Egypt continues to draw over 9 million international tourist arrivals annually compared to the country’s 550 000 as of last year. Nonetheless, the industry still contributes 12.3% of the GDP, is a leading foreign exchange earner and a key sector for both domestic and foreign investment valued at ETB 16.38 billion in 2013. The industry is also a one of the leading employers generating over 2.4 million jobs both directly and indirectly. By embracing the IGAD STMP, which among others, advocates for both inter and intra-regional tourism, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is, therefore, undertaking bold steps in the right direction of regional integration through the promotion of trade in services and subsequently towards Continental Free Trade Area.



Sheraton Addis lays off over 60 employees


Sheraton Addis lays off over 60 employees

The Sheraton Addis, the Luxury Collection hotel located off Taitu Street, has laid off over 60 of its employees who have been working there for up to 16 years, The Reporter learnt.

Some workers approached by The Reporter said they had been told to leave the hotel’s premises before dawn as their contracts had been terminated. Most of the employees were working night shifts before they were given their marching orders. They also indicated that they were forcefully escorted out by hotel security in the wee morning hours of July 28.

They also told The Reporter that they had been summoned to the Human Resources Department and given the contract termination papers before they were fully removed from the compound.

They also lamented that they found the hotel’s decision “shocking and overwhelming” as they claimed they “were thrown away from their duty, they have been working for over ten years with all due discipline and commitment.”

The Reporter’s repeated attempts to solicit comments from officials of the hotel were unable to bear fruit. However, it was understood from the letters of termination issued to workers that the hotel’s management decided to lay off these workers in order to keep the company’s image intact, which is frequently tarnished by unhealthy relationships among the management and the workers. The letter of termination, jointly signed by Director of Human Resource Department, Edna Tamondong and by the General Manager of the Hotel, Jean-Pierre Manigoff, also noted that the management’s harsh decision was “intended to safeguard the general safety of the industry.”



ZTE in row with ERCA over taxes worth 920 million birr


ZTE company logos are seen at an international software and information services exhibition in Nanjing

The Chinese telecom company undertaking multi-million dollar telecom projects in Ethiopia, ZTE (H.K) Limited Ethiopian Branch, has filed formal complaint to the office of the Prime Minister as well as the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) regarding 900 million birr tax claim that the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) made against the company and the tax authority’s move to stop payments being made to ZTE by its contractor Ethio telecom.

ERCA claims that ZTE owed 900 million birr in unpaid taxes, penalties and interest out of the total sum of 920 million after the company settled the 20 million birr. Following that, the tax authority proceeded to writing a letter to the finance department of the contractor Ethio telecom to freeze payments that is made to the company.

Earlier this week, Ethio telecom’s corporate communication directorate head, Abdurahim Ahmed, confirmed that his company had received the letter from ERCA. According to Ethiopian Tax Law, ERCA reserves the right to order companies to stop payments or take other necessary measures to ensure tax compliance.

The company on its part did not deny that it was asked to pay only 920 million birr by ERCA, but said that the amount that was originally claimed went through a series of revisions following its appeal to the tax appeal committee. “The tax authority had made an audit on our company and had claimed around 920 million birr on April 21, 2014,” ZTE’s statement said.  But, the total amount of the claim also included penalties and interest payments apart from unpaid back taxes.

In its statement, the company also indicated that it had used its legal right of appeal and tried to prove to the authority’s tax appeal committee that the claims are not correct and that it had been paying its taxes properly and according to the law. According to the statement, the company had the committee acceptance for its part of the argument and the latter had ordered the rechecking of the claims.

“Based on this, we had managed to get a reduction of around 398 million birr and currently the claim had been reduced to around 522 million birr,” the statement explained further. ZTE also argues that, when all the penalties and interest are excluded, the total tax claim would be 157 million birr.

The Chinese telecom giant did not, however, deny that some of its arguments made to the appeal committee, which it claimed to be according to the law, had not been accepted. Nevertheless, it vowed to keep pushing the legal battle against ERCA until its arguments are either accepted or rejected according to the country’s taxation system. Since the formal legal procedure is still going on, ZTE refuses to believe that it is late on its tax obligations.

“We are intending to climb the appropriate legal ladder. Until all these processes are completed, it is our understanding that we cannot be said to be late in our payment,” the statement said.

According to sources, the company is still in negotiation with the tax authority, seeking further reduction of the claims, while, at the same time, awaiting arbitration from both PM’s office and MoFED if there is one.

Though ERCA is granted with the power of regulating and considering tax related appeals from individuals or organization of any tax payers, MoFED and the PM’s office also have an advisory role on such matters of tax dispute and complaints, especially with foreign companies, considering the peculiar types of business they are in, like foreign direct investment.



Israeli construction suspected of tax evasion


– Travel ban imposed on owner

Tidhar Excavation and Earth moving Ltd., an Israeli company taking part in the 2.6 billion birr road project that is expected to supplement the ongoing Light Railway Transit (LRT) project, is suspected of illegal tax evasion activities worth some 52 million birr, The Reporter learnt.

Investigators of the Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (FEACC) told the Federal High Court Second Criminal Bench on Wednesday that three employees of the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) Large Taxpayers Office suspected in the alleged tax evasion charges were arrested the same day while the owner and general manager of Tidhar, Menashe Levy, who is also suspected of the same charges, was banned from leaving the country but not arrested.

The investigators explained that the alleged tax evasion happened when Tesfa Hadush, leader of the tax audit team, and a two-member team, Muhammad Agmass and Anteneh Gezehagn, were assigned to do Tidhar’s tax audit for the business operation between the periods of 2008 to 2012. The audit, conducted in December of 2013 for one month, ended with auditors finding out that the company owed some 52 million birr in back taxes and notified it of its obligations.

According to the FEACC investigators, the story does not end there. The three soon approached Levy with another proposal, to reduce the 52 million to 6.1 million for a price of 3 million. After negotiations, the Menashe allegedly reached an agreement with the three to pay 1.8 million, 600,000 each, and have the taxes reduced to the proposed amount. Hence the four personalities were said to have evaded some 46 million birr in taxes and damaged the country.

Investigators asked for some 14 additional days to complete their investigation, during which time the suspects were ordered to remain in custody. In addition to that, they asked the court to issue a travel ban on the general manager until such time that he is placed under arrest. After hearing the justification, the court rejected the suspects’ right to make bail and granted the investigators 10 days to complete their investigation and institute charges.



Beverage producers ordered to cut price


Beverage producers ordered to cut price

The Ministry of Trade last week ordered beverage producers to cut the recently surged market prices on their respective products.

In a meeting MoT called last week with beverage producers of soft drinks, beer and bottled water, the manufacturers were told to make sale adjustments to its sales prices before June. They were also told that the price adjustments that saw the surging of sale prices in the past couples of months are “irrelevant.”

The meeting, chaired by Trade Competition and Customers Protection Authority Director General, Merkebu Zenebe said “some producers have made irrelevant and inappropriate price increments. Before we go to legal action, we urge them to take correction mechanisms. Otherwise we are forced to pursue legal action.”

During the meeting at the MoT conference hall, soft drinks, beer and water products’ prices are said to have surged in connection to the government’s announcement of salary increments for civil servants listed out in detail.

Both officials of MoT and the authority explained that they gathered evidence from retailers that they were indeed forced to increase sale prices following their buying prices.  They blamed producers and suppliers for increasing the sales prices of each product.

A senior advisor at MoT, Nuredine Mahamed told the meeting that “the current price adjustment has been made with no economic reason.” He added that the price of beer since last month has shown over an eight percent increase and the increment has been witnessed boldly since June.



 Ethiopia: Low Income Farmers Benefit From Irrigation



Over 30,000 farmers have benefited from irrigation development in Oromia, Amhara, Tigray and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples states of Ethiopia, said the Participatory Small-scale Irrigation Development National Program Coordinator.

The International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) supports the participatory small-scale irrigation development national program that was started six years ago in the four states. The program aims to support farmers with less than USD 30 cents daily income and poor household farmers in the states. A four-day workshop and field visit was recently conducted in Tigray State to evaluate the implementation of the program and exchange experiences. National Program Coordinator, Jemal Ali, said 114 irrigation schemes are being carried out with 535 million birr in all the states. He added that fruitful works were carried out in the just-ended Ethiopian fiscal year, though there were implementation gaps in the past years. In the past year, 64 irrigation schemes that can cultivate over 8,800 hectares of land have gone operational. Over 1.5 quintals of crops which benefited over 30,000 farmers were cultivated with those, and the beneficiaries have become food self-sufficient, according to the coordinator.

The remaining irrigation schemes will be completed by March, 2015.

According to the coordinator, they will have a capacity to develop over 12,000 hectares of land.



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: