16 Sept Business News


Ethio-Canada business summit opens in Toronto


Ethio-Canada business summit opens in Toronto

Alongside the first Canada-Africa 2014 Business Summit, the Ethio-Canada Business and Investment Summit also opened on Monday in Toronto.

This four-day meeting is co-organized by Wafa Marketing and Promotion PLC, the Ethiopian Embassy in Canada and Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations in collaboration with the Canadian Embassy in Ethiopia, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Mines, TFO Canada, and CCAfrica.

It is specifically showcasing the value of doing business in Ethiopia.

It also aims at bringing together the two business communities to build more comprehensive and closer bilateral ties based on mutual benefit and common prosperity, deepen business-to-business ties through success stories from business persons and industry experts.

The summit in addition briefs Canadian investors on Ethiopia’s current and future economic trajectory, investment landscape and opportunities.

Ambassador Taye Atske-Selassie, Director-General of American Affairs in Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry, opening the meeting, called for the continued growth of the bilateral ties of the two nations.

Ambassador Birtukan Ayano welcomed the role of Ethiopia as a Country of Focus within the auspices of the Canada-Africa Business Summit.

She said: “Ethiopia is poised to become a new frontier for FDI in Africa,” adding that this Summit would encourage and help Canadian investors to participate in Ethiopia’s rapid and sustainable economic growth and tap into the tremendous investment potential of the nation.

She stressed Ethiopia has a lot to offer Canadian development partners including a vibrant and trainable labor force, easily accessible and cheap utility services and a decade of double digit economic growth.

Permanent Representative to the AU, Ambassador David Usher said that this Summit could be seen as a reflection of the need for a growing cooperative economic partnership.

He also noted Ethiopia’s fast growing economy underlined the need to renew the strategic partnership of the two countries.

The current economic growth in Ethiopia, he said, was already generating an increasing business interest from Canadian companies.

Zemedneh Nigatu, Managing Partner of Ernst and Young, presented reasons of investing and doing business in Ethiopia with the theme “Investing in Emerging Ethiopia.”

He detailed ten reasons including Ethiopia’s growing economy and macro-economic stability, demographic advantages, rapid urbanization, its role as a manufacturing hub of Africa, massive infrastructure development, and energy infrastructure development, untapped agricultural resources, tourism, and favorable operating business environment.

The Ethio-Canada Business and Investment Summit is also showcasing panel discussions, question and answer sessions, and deliberations on Ethiopia as a Country of Focus within the Canada-Africa Business Summit.



Eleven Companies in Tight Run to Win 900,000tn Fertiliser Tender


The government will shortly announce the companies it has selected for the supply of nearly 900,000tns of fertiliser.

A total of 11 companies have responded to the August 2014 tender by the Agricultural Input Supply Enterprise (AISE), only one of them making an offer for each of the two kinds of fertiliser the Enterprise wants, Urea and NPS. This is the second year in a row that the enterprise is buying NPS, a replacement for DAP, which it dropped two years ago.

The Enterprise seeks to procure 521,000tn of NPS and 373,000tn of Urea. NPS has become favoured over DAP, because it has everything DAP has and Sulphur, according to Amarech Bekelle, communications directorate at the Enterprise.

The financial opening, on September 10, 2014, showed that the lowest offer for Urea was 381.5 dollars a tonne – nearly 90 dollars cheaper than the 470 dollars the previous year. NPS was also slightly cheaper, going down from 435 dollars to 416 dollars a tonne. The highest offers now for Urea and NPS were 458 dollars and 632 dollars.

The least offer for Urea, 381.5 dollars, came from Yara Switzerland Ltd – a Swiss based international grain and fertiliser trader with a history of financial awards to Ethiopian officials through yara International, of which it is a subsidiary. Its first awardee was the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who received 300,000 dollars. Then followed another prize of 30,000 dollars to Eleni Gebremedhin(PhD), former CEO of Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX). Its latest award of 60,000 dollars, about 1.2 million Br, went to Tekalign Mamo (prof.), state minister for Agriculture and advisor to the Minister, early this month. Yara has been a regular in Ethiopia’s fertiliser market for many years.

The lowest bid for NPS, 412 dollars, was made by NAMPGC Holding Corporation – a Chinese international grain and fertiliser trader.

From the total 11 lots, Yara offered the lowest price for eight of both Urea and NPS, NAMPGC Holding Corporation for two lots and CHS Europe SA, a Swiss based company, for the remaining one lot. The tender was floated in five lots for NPS and six for Urea.

The price of a tonne of Urea stood at 321.88 dollars in the international market on August 31, 2014, according to YCharts – a provider of financial information based in Chicago and New York (US). This is an 18 dollar increase from a month ago, July 31, but a decrease of 53 dollars from the same time a year ago.

The auction was divided into 11 different lots to avoid overlaps in the delivery to the Enterprises and at the Djibouti port, said Amarech.

The Agricultural Inputs Supply Enterprise (AISE) is a public enterprise established in 1985 and accountable to the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA). The Enterprise has 31 million Br in assets, including 22 warehouses, seven distribution and sales outlets and 36 vehicles. It managed to achieve a net profit of 35.4 million Br during the 2011/12 fiscal year and 35.6 million Br during the following year.

The AISE buys and distributes agricultural inputs, including fertilisers, farming chemicals, different kinds of seeds, plant and animal medicines and vaccines, and laboratory equipment.

The Enterprise imported 552,000tn in 2010/11 and 560,000tn the following year. Its import s in 2012/13 was down to 477,000tns.

The government is constructing four fertiliser factories in the Tigray, Amhara, Oromia and Southern regional states, with annual capacities of 25,000tns each.

The fertiliser steering committee will select the companies that will make the supplies in a short period of time, after analysing the financial offers and the companies that produce the fertilisers, said Getenesh Ashenafi, director general of the Enterprise. The committee is composed of representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) and the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development (MoFED).



Tecno Group favours Ethiopia ahead Nigeria for third assembly plant



China-based handset manufacturer, Tecno Group has concluded plans to build a factory in Ethiopia to enhance its presence in African market, investigations have revealed.

BusinessDay learnt that Tecno, which already runs two factories in the Ethiopian capital, chose Ethiopia for the ‘third phase’ mobile phone assembly and production plant ahead of Nigeria because of what industry sources linked to security challenges facing Nigeria.

It is not clear whether the Tecno Group would still consider Nigeria for assembly plant in the future.

According to AllAfrica, an online news report, the “Ethiopian government has already dedicated an investment area for the establishment of an ICT park to support the development of ICT. The foundation stone preparatory to the plant was laid for Tecno Group in the park which is under construction.”

Although the group vice president of the mobile phone brand, Arif Chowdhury, had last year assured that the company would build its African plant in Nigeria, it is not clear whether the company would live up to this promise or it has made a u-turn.

On the planned plant in Nigeria, Chowdhury says in a report that “Nigeria is Tecno’s biggest market in terms of volume, and Lagos will be the location of the plant because Lagos is not just the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria but also the economic capital of Africa.”

The company is still waiting for the right policies of government on duty structure for mobile phone imports to finalise their plans in building the plant, he says.

But reports indicate that the Tecno Group has made significant progress in its factory construction in Ethiopia where it started operations in 2009, and has employed about 400 workers.

Nigeria, the largest market in Africa with largest population, must have over time influenced Tecno’s business growth, a situation analysts believe would have influenced the company’s choice of where to set up its third African assembly plant.



Lavrov to talk oil, Ukraine next week


A delegation of eight giant companies headed by the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, will visit Ethiopia on Wednesday, September 17. Sources told Capital that Lavrov will come to Addis Ababa for a one-day official visit. The purpose is to strengthen economic and political ties between Ethiopia and Russia.

According to the information obtained by Capital, Lavrov will meet with Prime Minister Hailemaraim Desalegn, Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom (PhD) and other senior government officials and discuss bilateral issues. He is also expected to hold talks with Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission. He first came to Addis Ababa in 2006.
The visit of Lavrov, apart from the business talks, will focus on the embattled region of Ukraine.

According to sources, Russian energy and oil and gas company executives will be part of the business delegation that include officials from Gazprom.

In July this year, officials of GPB Global Resources, a unit of Russia’s state-owned Gazprombank Group, said that the company may invest about USD 60 million searching for petroleum in northeastern Ethiopia. The company announced it won approval from the Ethiopian government for a production-sharing agreement that covers seven years for exploration and 25 years for production. Investment for exploration will focus on conducting surveys and drilling test wells in a 42,000 square kilometer (16,200 square mile) area in the Afar region that forms part of East Africa’s Rift Valley.

Russians are not new to the Ethiopian oil exploration sector. During the socialist era, Soviet Petroleum Exploration Expedition (SPEE) was prospecting for oil and gas in the Ogaden Basin in the 1980s. Russians were involved in the mining sector too. It was Russian Geological Survey that discovered the Kenticha tantalum deposit in Borena Zone, Oromia Regional State. They also discovered the Legedembi primary gold reserve, which MIDROC Gold is currently mining. Russian companies also want to develop hydropower projects in Ethiopia. Sources said the Russian delegation will meet the minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Alemayehu Tegenu, to discuss the investment opportunities in the energy sector.

There are currently more than 30 Russian companies investing  in Ethiopia. Russian companies are also interested in the Ethiopian national railway network development. Russia is a major arms supplier to the Ethiopian army. The Ethiopian Air Force and ground forces are equipped with Russian military artillery.

Ethiopia exports agricultural products to Russia. So far Russians buy Ethiopian flowers from the Netherlands. Ethiopian Airlines is in the process of starting passenger and cargo flights to Moscow.

According to the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia and Russia have longstanding historical relations going back to the period of the Russian Czar Machilovich, the father of Peter the Great, in the 17th century. Historical records indicate that Alexander Pushkin, a renowned Russian writer, was a grandson of Abraham Hannibal, an Ethiopian who was presented to Peter the Great by Suleiman the Magnificent. He was baptized in Vilnius, Lithuania, by Peter the Great on his return from defeating the Swedes.


Other early contacts between Russia and Ethiopia include the visit of an Ethiopian delegation sent by the Emperor Menelik II to Russia, and visits of several Russians to Ethiopia during Menelik’s reign, at least one of whom was given the title of Dejazmatch for his travels on behalf of the Emperor along Ethiopia’s southern boundaries. These contacts laid the foundation for close relations of the two countries, based on mutual respect and friendship between the two peoples. And it is notable that regardless of the differing political systems that existed at various times, relations between them have continued to be close and friendly.

One demonstration of that friendship has been that Russia has always, and without fail, stood with Ethiopia whenever the sovereignty of Ethiopia was threatened. Russian solidarity with Ethiopia was first illustrated when the Russian Red Cross Society came to Ethiopia in 1896, at the time of the Battle of Adwa when Italy attempted to attack the country. It made an outstanding contribution in the provision of medical supplies at Menelik Hospital and care to the Ethiopian patriots on the battlefield and subsequently. Again, during the fascist invasion of Ethiopia in 1936, Russia was one of those countries which stood in solidarity with Ethiopia. It has done so on every occasion throughout the 20th century whenever Ethiopia faced challenges to its sovereignty and its core national security interests. In short, the bonds that exist between Ethiopia and Russia have stood the test of time and have proven their strength time and again.

In recent years, there have been increased visits of high level officials between the two countries. Major visits have included former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s trip to Moscow in December 2001 and the then Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin in November 2007. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn (the then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs) and Alemayehu Tegenu, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, visited Russia in August and October 2011 respectively.

From the Russian side former Russian Prime Minister, Mikhail Kasyanov, came to Ethiopia in September 2002; and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov came here in September 2006.



Aluto-Langano Geothermal Plant to go operational in April


The Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy said the Aluto-Langano Geothermal Power Plant with installed capacity of 70MW would go operational this fiscal year.

Energy Study and Development Follow-up Director Gosaye Mengistie told ENA over 78 per cent of construction of the geothermal plant has so far finalized. It is expected that the plant will commence operation in April.

Launched in 2013, the expansion of the Aluto-Langano Geothermal Power Plant will increase the country’s generation capacity from geothermal to 70MW power from the current 7MW.

The expansion project is financed by 12 million USD grant from the government of Japan, 13 million USD loan from the World Bank and 10 million USD from the government of Ethiopia, the Director added.

Located in the Rift Valley Lakes Region, the Aluto-Langano Geothermal Power Plant is the first geothermal power plant in Ethiopia. The plant was established in 1998 as a pilot project to test the geothermal resources in the area, according to Gosaye.

The nation has set target to generate 1,000MW from two geothermal plants, Tendaho and Corbeti geothermal plants, in the coming few years, he added.

The Tendaho power plant due to be undertaken in Afar state, north eastern part of the country, will have a capacity to generate 100MW.

The nation has also signed agreement with a US- Icelandic private developer Reykjavik Geothermal (RG) to construct Africa’s largest geothermal plant. The Corbeti geothermal project the country due to built with 4 billion USD will be

Africa’s largest geothermal plant, with 1,000MW installed power.

Construction of this plant, which will be undertaken in two phases, each with 500MW installed capacity with an eight to 10 year period.

These projects are part of the government’s plan to raise power generation capacity to 10,000MW by 2015, in order to meet the growing demand.

It is estimated that Ethiopia has a potential to generate up to 5,000MW from only geothermal.

“Although the nation has huge potential for geothermal energy, it doesn’t so far benefit from it. We set target to undertake various activities and change this situation,” he said.

Twenty two power generator sites, with huge geothermal potential have identified so far in the rift valley system, he added. Activities are being undertaken to develop this potential.

“First we have been conducting survey on about 18 places with huge geothermal potential. But now the number of places identified as having with huge potential has reached 22.”

Places like Dalol, Tendaho, Abi, Tiye, Meleka, Dafan, Fentale, Gedemesa, Tulu, Moye, Aluto Langano, Corbeti, and Abaya are among the places identified with huge geothermal potential.

Development of renewable energy will have economic and environmental benefits, said the Director. These projects will help the nation realize the vision to build green economy by 2025.

Utilizing the country’s potential for geothermal energy would help address the increasing demand for electricity, he added. It is estimated that the country’s demand for electricity increases by 25 to 30 percent annually.



Ethiopia Establishes National Kaizen Council


Ethiopia Establishes National Kaizen Council

Addis Ababa September 16/2014 – A National Kaizen Council that aims at disseminating the Kaizen philosophy throughout Ethiopia was established here on Wednesday, September 16, 2014.

Speaking during the establishment of the council, Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, who is also chairperson of the council, said Ethiopia has the capacity to implement Kaizen philosophy assisted by its numerous educational institutions.

The premier stressed that the council should be a champion of change in disseminating Kaizen philosophy and creating nationwide mobilization.

Regional Kaizen councils need to take a lead in disseminating Kaizen philosophy in their respective areas, he added.

The Prime Minister also underscored the need to mobilize the required human resources by designing curricula that incorporate Kaizen philosophy at different levels of education.

According to Hailemariam, the council should give priority to creating awareness among the general public and making the public clearly understand the essence of Kaizen. The mass media need to play big role in instilling Kaizen philosophy among the public.

The Prime Minister finally declared Meskerm, this first month of the Ethiopian year, ”Kaizen month”.

Industry Minister Ahmed Abitew on his part said the establishment of an Ethiopian Kaizen Council, in addition to the formation of Kaizen Institute earlier, shows the country’s commitment to the realization of Kaizen philosophy.

Ahmed added that the Ethiopian Kaizen Institute has played substantial role in transferring, implementing, sustaining and owning the Kaizen philosophy, despite its only two years existence.

According to him, the steady assistance of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Ethiopian government are the reasons for this success.

The minister said 79 industries have implemented the Kaizen philosophy and  20,467 management and frontline workers trained and organized under 3,590 Kaizen Promotion Teams (KPTs) during the past two years.

He further cited JICA’s evaluation report as saying that Ethiopia’s Kaizen project is one of the best in Africa and the achievements can be bases for JICA’s human resource development project in Ethiopia.

Director-General of the Ethiopian Kaizen Institute (EKI), Getahun Tadesse, told ENA that the institute has undertaken significant change in work place relations and modernized work practices that ultimately improve product and productivity.

The philosophy also brings success in increasing productivity, decreasing wastages, improving work place safety and quality of production, he added.

Sugar Corporation and the privately-owned Peacock Shoe and Awash Leather companies have made significant change by implementing Kaizen, according to the director-general.

The Ethiopian Kaizen Council, chaired by Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, consists of ministers, university presidents, Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association, Media CEOs and professional associations.


First Ethiopian science museum opens in Addis

First Ethiopian science museum opens in Addis

The first Science Museum of Ethiopia, which is said to help promoting science and research in the country, has been opened Monday at the Addis Ababa Science and Technology University.

The University has established the museum and Engineering and Mathematics Center, in cooperation with Israeli aid agencies based in the US.

Minister of Education Shiferaw Shigutie said on the opening ceremony that the museum levels up students understanding for science, and as a result contributes for the industry led economic policy of the nation to be followed in the near future.

The Addis Ababa Science and Technology University president Dr. Tarekegn Tadesse said for his part that students at all levels can make use of the museum with the center, for upgrading their knowhow in science.

The center built with 16 million Birr displays different research results and indicates the level of science at present, he added.

Students and educators can visit the museum and the center to help advance their knowledge and expertise in science, it was indicated.



ERA Awards Two Chinese Companies 5b Br Road Projects


–  The two projects are part of the ERA’s Fourth Road Sector Development Program (RSDP IV)


The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) has awarded two contracts worth five billion Br to two Chinese companies for the construction of two roads in eastern and southern Ethiopia.

CGC Overseas Construction Group will contruct a 220Km asphalt road from Dire Dawa to Dewalle for 3.99 billion Br, while China Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group Co Ltd will be paid 1.1 billion Br for a 107Km asphalt road from Konso to Yabelo.

The CGC’s road will have a 10m carriageway in urban areas and 15m elsewhere. It is expected to finish the road within three years from September 2014, with the consultancy of Shandong XinQiDian Overseas Consulting Ltd Co.

Fifteen percent of the project’s finance will be covered by the Government of Ethiopia and the remaining by the Export Import (EX-IM) Bank of China. The 3.73 billion Br loan was approved by the House of Peoples Representatives (HPR), on June 26, 2014.  The loan, which has a two percent interest and a seven year grace period, is payable in 20 years.

CGC Overseas has been operating in Ethiopia since 2003. It has so far completed five projects and is currently working on eight others. The completed projects include a 22Km asphalt road from Chole to Magna, the Dodola Junction to Goba road and the Dera to Gololcha Mechara road, all in the Oromia region, as well as a road project from Kombolcha to Mekaneselam.

The China Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group Co Ltd will make an asphalt concrete road from Konso to Yabelo, a 107Km distance it is expected to complete in three years and five months.

The road has a 10m carriageway in rural areas and 19m in urban areas. It includes 340 drainage pipes and five bridges, along with other structural works. It will be consulted on by the joint venture of Omega Consulting Engineers Plc, a local firm, and a Ugandan firm, Prome Consultants Limited.

China Tiesiju has already constructed an asphalt road from Yabelo to Mega for 770 billion Br. The Yabelo-Mega 100Km long road is part of the 1,000Km Mombasa-Nairobi-Addis Abeba Road Corridor.

The first contract was signed between Zaid Woldegabriel, the ERA’s general director, and Qin Lijing, deputy general manager of CGC Overseas Ethiopia, at the ERA’s headquarters on Ras Abebe Aregay Street, near Mexico Square. But the second project signing ceremony was put back until the coming week because of the absence of the representatives of the contractor who were at project sites.

Qin Lijing, deputy general manager of CGC Overseas Ethiopia (left) promising to Zaid Woldegabriel, the ERA’s general director, to deliver the road on time.

The Dire Dawa-Dewalle road will improve the road link with Djibouti and help to transport raw materials and finished products to and from the industrial zone soon to be constructed at Dire Dawa, as well as simplifying the traffic flow of the route, according to Ziad.

The above two projects are part of the Fourth Road Sector Development Program (RSDP IV) of the ERA, for which implementation costs are estimated to reach 125.3 billion Br. Out of this, 84.5 billion Br is allocated for federal projects, 14.4 billion Br for regional ones and 26.4 billion Br for weredas.

The RSDP was formed as part of the government’s Growth & Transformation Plan (GTP), and is in charge of the rehabilitation of 728Km of trunk roads, the upgrading of 5,023Km of trunk and link roads, the construction of 4,331Km of new link roads, the heavy maintenance of 4,700Km of paved and gravel roads and routine maintenance of 85,649Km of road network. The ERA has rehabilitated, upgraded, constructed and maintained 41,664Km of roads as of June 2013, at a cost of 81.8 billion Br, of which 60.6 billion Br was on federal roads.

The ERA expects the total road network in the country to reach 136,044Km by the 2014/15 fiscal year, from the 48,793Km coverage it had in 2010. Ethiopia’s road density has increased from 24Km in 1997 to 78Km in 2013, with total roads growing from 26,550Km in 2009/10 to 100,000Km in July 2014.



Roads Authority Plans 600km of New Roads at Cost of 6.6b Br


–  The authority has a long-term plan to increase the road coverage in the city to 25pc by 2020


The city currently has 4671km of road, which it wants to increase to 5275km – a coverage increase from 17.5 to 19.8pc, with a long term plan of 25pc coverage by 2020, according to Fekade Haile (Eng), head of the Authority, who spoke during a press conference at his office on Tuesday, September 09, 2014.

The authority has secured 6.12 billion Br from the Addis Abeba City Administration (AACA), 43 million Br from the Road Fund and a loan of 204.2 million and 178.2 million Br, respectively, from the Government of China and in aid from France.

The Authority will, however, require an additional 3.8 billion Br to complete its projects for the year, according to Fekade.

Fekade Haile (Eng) AACRA

“We are planning to ask the city administration to transfer unused budgets from other sectors to us at end of the fiscal year,” said Fekade.

The City Administration has allocated a 27.5 billion Br budget for the 2014/15 fiscal year for 10 sector offices. The Addis Abeba Water & Sewerage Authority (AAWSA) received 4.3 billion Br followed by the Housing Development Project Office, with 1.6 billion Br. The Education and Health bureaus got 1.4 billion Br and 1.1 billion Br, respectively.

The Authority’s expected 50 million Br from the Road Fund, which is only used for the maintenance and rehabilitation of existing roads, but got only 43 million Br, with Fekade blaming the shortfall to an outdated formula that the city started applying in 2006.

The AACRA will undertake its projects for the year using its own resources and by hiring contractors. Its projects include 49.66kms of new asphalt roads, all of which will be given to contractors, 35.75kms in the expansion of existing roads by itself and 26.64kms of asphalt roads at condominium sites.

It will also undertake the expansion of the Kaliti Akaki–Tulu Dimtu road project and the reconstruction of the Akaki Bridge. Additionally, it will undertake various projects around the light rail transit. It will also make 450kms of cobblestone roads, as well as increasing the number of people working at the cobblestone quarries to 50,000. The Authority says that it will complete the construction of 21 main bridges during the current fiscal year.

The Authority is still facing challenges to resolve right of way issues, including relocation of residents from project areas and the payment of compensation, which are delaying some of its projects. A taskforce will be established with the support of the city administration to solve the problem, Fekade said.

When the AACRA, which today employs 1,980 people, was established in 1999, Addis Abeba had 2,777km of road, with 11.8pc coverage.



Mexico working to deepen economic ties with Ethiopia


Mexico working to deepen economic ties with Ethiopia

The government of Mexico will work to expand the existing diplomatic relation with Ethiopia into economic cooperation, Mexican Ambassador to Ethiopia Alfredo Miranda said.

Speaking in a meeting organized to celebrate the 204th anniversary of Mexican Independence, the Ambassador said in spite of strong diplomatic ties, the economic cooperation between the countries doesn’t reach the desired level.

The two countries in the future should focus on implementing previous bilateral agreements to boost economic ties, he said.

Foreign Affairs State Minister, Ambassador Birhane GebreChiristos noted that Ethiopia is the first African country to start diplomatic relation with Mexico.

Mexico is among the few countries in the world that opposed the Italian invasion of Ethiopia.
He urged Mexican investors to come to Ethiopia and utilize the favorable investment atmosphere, business and investment opportunities and untapped resources.

Ethiopia and Mexico has enjoyed diplomatic ties for the past 65 years.


Tigray undertakes watershed development on 1,300 hectares


Watershed development was carried out on 1,300 hectares of land in Tigray regional state last Ethiopian budget year.

The development activities were carried out in all 186 kebeles (district) of the Regional State, Michael Miruts, public relations coordinator at the regional state agriculture and rural development bureau told WIC.

According to the coordinator, more than 22.7 million people organized in more than 90,000 teams took in the ecosystem-based approach for development.

In addition to fencing the over 267.9 hectares of land available in the regional state, some 174 million tree seedlings were planted in the reported period, he indicated.

He said the bureau is taking care of the 25 million seedlings planted in 670 Meles parks established in the regional state in 2005 E.C.



Industrial minerals ‘widely’ used for manufacturing


Industrial minerals ‘widely’ used for manufacturing

Industries are ‘widely’ using industrial minerals as inputs for the manufacturing of various products so as to lead the way for the nation’s vision to develop industry-led economy, the Ministry of Mines (MoM) said.

Potash, limestone, granite, marble, coal and minerals used to produce cement are the main industrial minerals being widely used in the country, according to Bacha Fuji, PR and Communications Director with MoM.

These minerals are being used by industries for the production of cement, marble, ceramic, paper and glass as well as fodder for cattle and poultry.

The country has huge potential for potash with 1.3 billion tons reserve. It is currently being used in industries engaged in chemicals, textiles, paints, detergent, glass and ceramic production.

In addition to being used as input for industrial products, these minerals are helping the country earn foreign currency. Last year alone the nation earned 541 million USD from export of these minerals, according to the Director.

Industrial mineral deposits in Ethiopia occur in various geological formations and are being used in a wide set of industries prominent among those being glass, ceramic and cement industries.

The main minerals available in large quantities include soda ash, potash, diatomite, bentonite, clay, common salt, gypsum, anhydrite, feldspars, talc, kyanite, magnetite, dolomite, graphite, quartz, mica, apatite, pumice, silica sand, kaolin, phosphate and silica.

The Ethiopian Geological Survey (EGS) has been generating, collecting and managing geo-information of the country for the last four decades.

It is working to identify major mineral reserves of the country and prepare a map which includes areas of mineral reserves and best locations for development, according to Tamru Mersha, PR and Communications Director with EGS.

According to him, the government has prioritized to develop industrial minerals that can be developed using small capital.

Development of minerals which improve soil fertility, such as phosphate, potash and limestone is also a task to which the government has given due attention, Tamru said.



COMESA – Australia Begin to Implement Mining Agreement



COMESA and the Government of the State of Western Australia have begun to implement a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) they signed in January this year on cooperation in various fields of development.

The MoU signed by Premier Colin Barnett of the State of Western Australia (WA) and COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya in Lusaka, Zambia proposed to establish a framework for cooperation covering mineral and petroleum resources, agriculture, vocational training and capacity building.

The two principals and their technical officers met Thursday 4 September 2014 in Perth Australia and developed a draft work programme to implement the key pillars of the agreement. The meeting was held in the side-lines of the “African Down-Under (mining) conference” that took place from 3 to 5 September 2014. In the agreement, six focus areas are identified in the minerals sector; they include fiscal frameworks and mineral policy, strengthening human and institutional capacities, collection and management of Geo-scientific information, research and development, environmental and social issues; and linkages, diversification and cluster development.

A Joint Working Group (JWG) of experts drawn from COMESA and WA presented the draft work program for operationalizing the MOU which is expected to be finalized by the end of this month and implementation to begin in October.

The key priority areas identified include strengthening the legal and institutional framework of COMESA Member States, capacity building, and taxation and fiscal frameworks.

“We need to strengthen the legal and institutional frameworks of our member states to create the enabling environment to unlock the full value of our minerals and other natural assets and their full integration into local economies,” Mr Ngwenya said. “This was a crucial prerequisite for unlocking the value of minerals in the value chain thus contributing to regional economic transformation.”

He disclosed that COMESA has already started mobilizing resources to implement the articles of the agreement and that the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) had promised to support the initiative. He further said that request for additional funding has been made to the African Development Bank and the Africa Legal Resources Centre and favourable responses were expected.

He appealed to the Government of Western Australia and the Federal Government to also provide funding for the program to ensure its objectives are realized.

Premier Barnett said WA will work with COMESA States to ensure the host countries get a fair return on their natural resources and putting in place legal framework to secure the tenure of mining enterprises and environmental conservation. This include safety in the mines.

“We want to share our mining experience of 120 years with African States so that they do not make the mistakes that we did,” the Premier said.

The agreement with WA was borne of the fact that despite the often spectacular performance of mining in many African economies, the region continues to be the least developed in the world and its people remain the poorest. Further resource rich countries experience high levels of conflict and strife a situation that is described as the “Resource Curse”.

“It is a proven fact that successful resource driven economies have to employ six core elements to benefit from minerals resources,” Mr Ngwenya said.

These are; building the institutions and governance of the resources sector, developing infrastructure, ensuring robust fiscal policy and competitiveness, supporting local content, deciding how to spend a resources windfall wisely and transforming resource wealth into broader economic development.

The agreement with WA acknowledges that institutions that support mineral development in Africa are generally weak due to human skills deficiency and financial constraints and therefore inappropriate to effectively facilitate the role of minerals in development.

Further, the fiscal frameworks have largely been blamed for the failure of Governments in Africa to benefit from the boom in mineral prices during the last decade. In addition, mining expect a fair return based on risks taken while Governments wish to maximize the value of mining investment to fund social and economic infrastructure, as well as other national development priorities.

However, the capacity to negotiate mineral development agreements, and to monitor and regulate the exploitation of mineral resources is highly challenged. This has led to weak policy formulation and implementation, poorly managed regulation of company mining operations and mineral development contracts that do not deliver the full development benefits from mineral resources.

There is also need for research and development capacity in the COMESA region to support beneficiation and value addition to mineral products and the development of linkages and clusters in the sector. This is a key per-requisite for industrialization and the evolution of new products from mineral commodities.



30m Br Ethio-Swiss JV Set to Pilot Plastic Flakes for Export


–  Production foreseen to create jobs through 604 SMEs to be involved in collection of waste


The company was established in 2012, with a capital of 104 million Br, by Swiss and Ethiopian owners to recycle plastic products. Over the past two years, it has been producing plastic bottle preforms and closures using Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) – waste plastic bottles – which it recycled at its own plant. The new plant rests on a 5000sqm plot in Kality, Addis Abeba, whereas the existing factory is located in the Hana Mariam area.

Coba has been using up to 1,600kgs of waste plastics a month – supplied in jumbo bags holding 40kgs to 45kgs – for its operations so far. The commencement of the plastic flakes production could push its demand up to 15,000kgs a month, says Gabriel Amara, the Company’s general manager. The new plant has a production capacity of 700kgs of flakes an hour.

The Company has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Addis Abeba City Administration Cleansing Management Agency (AACA CMA) and the East African Bottling Company (EABC) – the maker of Coca Cola – to organise 604 small and micro enterprises (SMEs) to collect and supply waste plastic materials, including bottles.

The agreement made between the parties is a PET recycling project for which the EABC will spend 700,000 Br for the provision of safety materials, such as gloves, mouth masks, push carts and aprons, for the SMEs that will collect the waste plastics materials, said Anteneh Tegegn, the director of EABC’s Human Resources, public relations and legal department.

The EABC proposed combining this project with their Women Empowering Project, said Coba’s recycle head, leading to their involvement within three districts of Addis Abeba.

Coba will provide green bags for organic waste and blue bags for plastic waste. It will buy the plastic waste for three Birr a kilo, increasing the price to 3.60Br when the SMEs start issuing receipts.

The two companies together with the Cleansing Management Agency gave a one day training on solid waste collection to representatives from 604 SMEs on August 20, 2014, at the Hager Feker Theatre. The training addressed effective time usage, discipline, quality materials provision and business development.

The money from the EABC is now being used in the Arada, Lideta and Yeka districts, says Anteneh.

“The program will be continued in other districts and regional towns, such as Hawassa, Bahir Dar, Mekele and Dire Dawa,” Anteneh added.

The challenge to the plastic bottle collection, according to Nigussie Estifanos, collecton department head at Coba, is that bottles come with water, milk and even rocks in them, which exaggerates the weight of the bottles. Coba will resolve this issue through training, he said.



World Bank Extends 4.1b Br Water, Sanitation Loan


–  The loan will help Ethiopia to achieve the GTP target of 100pc access to safe water


The Ethiopian One National WASH Program under the WASH Implementation Framework (WIF) has received a 4.1 billion Br loan from the World Bank (WB) to improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

The program was launched in September 2013 to modernise water and sanitation services, improve health, decrease school drop-out rate and make financing for WASH more effective, according to Abiy Girma, the One WASH Coordinator at the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy (MoWIE).

The World Bank’s money will be used for the construction of water and sanitation facilities in Ethiopia, excluding Addis Abeba.

“We will construct toilets for health centres, public schools and upgrade our water supply by constructing new water wells,” said Abiy.

The WB already provided five million dollars to the project in January 2014 because of a government push; the five million dollar loan is part of the approved 4.1 billion Br effective from July 2014, according to a source who requested anonymity.

The four line ministries – Ministry of Health (MoH), Ministry of Finance & Economic Development (MoFED), Ministry of Education (MoE) and Ministry of Water, Irrigation & Energy (MoWIE) – are the core actors who signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the integrated implementation of a water supply, sanitation and hygiene program in Ethiopia and WASH Implementation Framework in 2013.

“The policy and strategy of the project was designed in 2005 and it passed through many ups and downs because of a lack of commitment from the government’s side,” said the source.

The core policy document of the Ethiopian WASH program, the Universal Access Plan (UAP), aims to achieve 98.5pc and 100pc access to safe water and sanitation, respectively, by 2015.

To implement the project, a taskforce was organised with members from the four ministries, Civil Society Organisations and the DAG Water Technical Working Group,  chaired by Yohannes Gebremedhen, the director of the Water Supply & Sanitation Directorate at the MoWIE.

“The government has gaps in implementing this project. No meeting has been held by the steering committee since the launch of the project and planned regional offices are not yet open,” said the source.

The loan from the World Bank will be provided in four phases for four years, says Abiy.

“We are moving towards implementation after we have secured the money,” he said.

The project was designed for the coordination and implementations of the multi-donor consolidated WASH account, approval of harmonised and integrated annual WASH plans and budgets, coordination of operational WASH structures, preparing harmonised guidelines and core materials for capacity building and facilitating tools and procedures necessary for integrated planning, reporting and monitoring, said Abiy.

This national strategy was launched with the intention to harmonise, align, integrate and accelerate the WASH implementation, in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) targets.



Alecto update on Ethiopia JV




Alecto Minerals says it has been formally notified by its joint venture partner Centamin that, following the completion of the recent exploration programme, it will continue to satisfy the initial expenditure commitment at the company’s 945 sq. km. Wayu Boda gold project in Ethiopia.

Under the agreement, Centamin is required to fund exploration costs of US$1.8m over a two year period in order to maintain an initial 51% interest in the project.

The JV agreement also extends to the company’s 1,954 sq. km. Aysid Metekel gold project which is located in the Aysid-Metekel region of north-west Ethiopia. Centamin has already indicated that it will satisfy its initial expenditure commitment for the Aysid-Metekel project of US$1.2m over two years to maintain its initial 51% interest in the Aysid-Metekel project.

Centamin has an option to fund up to a further US$5m of work at the Aysid-Metekel project and US$6m of work at the Wayu Boda project to increase its interest in each of the projects up to 70%.

Alecto chief executive Mark Jones said: “The fact that Centamin would like to continue fulfilling the initial expenditure commitment for the Wayu Boda project of US$1.8m is excellent news and, considering that the results and analysis from their recent exploration programme are yet to be received and assessed in full, we are encouraged by their decision.

“Our positive experience with Centamin, with them already having committed to the initial expenditure commitment for the Aysid-Metekel Project, endorses our company-wide joint venture strategy and provides us with exposure to exploration upside without capital expenditure, and we look forward to providing updates regarding both projects at the appropriate time for both ourselves and Centamin.”



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