Number of foreign investors grows by threefold
The number of investors interested to start business and investment in Ethiopia has grown by threefold during the past two years, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Some 365 investors visited Ethiopia in 2005E.C., either to see the opportunities, conduct feasibility assessment or open their investment., this number has reached over 1,000 last year – up by almost threefold.
The investors came under business delegations mostly led by high-level officials of their respective countries, Kebede Abera, Business Diplomacy Director General at the Ministry told ENA.
The delegations were from China, Japan, Finland, Italy, Israel, Turkey and UAE, among others.
The director said the government of Ethiopia has undertaken valuable activities regarding economic diplomacy to attract more foreign direct investment.
He attributed the success to concerted efforts carried out to facilitate things to smoothen the activities of investors, including land grant and infrastructure development.
The government is working to increase foreign direct investment so as to ensure the development of the country, he said.
Ethiopia has become one of investment destinations for branded companies which, he said, is evident from the increasing number of investors from all over the world.
According to Ahmed Abtew, Minister of Industry, a number of activities carried out over the past years helped to increase the number of foreign investors in the country.
The Ministry is working with stakeholders to address challenges raised by investors, he said, adding, addressing the challenges will help raise the number of investors further.
Devex Partnerships, Career Forum kicks off in Addis
The Devex Partnership and Career Forum has kicked off today in Addis Ababa.
Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, has delivered a keynote speech at the opening of the forum.
He said “our partnership with development partners centering on our priorities was key to Ethiopia’s dramatic success.”
The forum has brought together major players in international development to discuss the future of partnerships in development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The day will feature speakers from donor agencies, international aid agencies and regional African development organizations as they explore best practices and latest trends in proposal partnerships.
The day will host various networking opportunities, panel discussions and workshops which will dive into the most relevant topics and questions around how to develop successful partnerships for sustainable development in the region.
Authority to upgrade 6 gravel roads to asphalt
Activities are underway to upgrade a total of 600-km gravel roads to asphalt at a cost of 9.5 billion birr, the Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) said.
Communications Directorate Team Leader at ERA, Dereje Hailu, told WIC that the six roads to be upgrade to asphalt level are located in SNNP and Oromia Regional States as well as Dire Dawa City Administration.
According to Dereje, the 220-km Dire Dawa-Dewele gravel road is one of the six road projects that would be improved to an asphalt level at a cost of over 3.98 billion birr secured from the government of Ethiopia and the Export-Import Bank of China on loan.
The contract was awarded to the Chinese construction giant CGC overseas, he said.
The other roads to be upgraded at a cost of over 2.2 billion birr are the 160.8-kms Morocho-Dimtu-Bitena and Adaba-Angetu 100–km roads in SNNP and Oromia Regional States respectively, he said.
The Konso-Yabelo 107 -km gravel road, which links the SNNP Regional State with Oromia Regional State, will be upgraded by the Chinese TIESIJU Civil Engineering Group Co. Ltd, at a cost of 1.19 billion birr, according to Dereje.
The new 48.3-km Bitena-Maiokote-Zalaeyesus-Sodo in SNNP Regional State and 63-km Ambo-Woliso asphalt roads in Oromia Regional State will also be built with 2.15 billion birr earmarked by the government, he said.
The road projects are expected to be completed within three years, according to Dereje.
Ethiopia to host international coffee symposium
Ethiopia is to prepare international coffee conference aiming at promoting its brands, said on Monday, the Ethiopian Coffee Exporters Association (ECEA).
Accordingly, the conference will take place from 6-7 November 2014 in Addis Ababa.
ECEA board chair Hussein Agiraw said that the conference helps the country find better international markets, especially in such countries as China, India, and South Africa with high coffee demand.
The coffee yield of Ethiopia, in this year, is expected to have the increase from 20-25 percents from the previous one, he added.
The conference is expected to entertain international experiences and papers in the area.
Two more dams for Ethiopian power generation
On Saturday it was announced that Ethiopia is set to introduce a further two hydro-electric dams to its renewable energy collection. Gilgel Gibe IV and V hydro-electric dams will be developed along the southern Omo River, which borders with Kenya.
These projects follow the 6 000MW Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Hydro-electric Project located on the Blue Nile (2011). Known as the Millennium Project of Ethiopia, it is the largest hydro-electric project in Africa.
According to sources, Bizuneh Tolcha, spokesperson for the Water Ministry, told Anadolu Agency: “Gilgel Gibe IV and V hydro-electric dams will be part of Ethiopia’s next big projects during the next five-year national plan”.
The two dams have a combined generation capacity of 2 050MW and the cost will be addressed once the assessment has drawn to a close.
Tolcha: “Some 1450 megawatts of the total electric power will be produced by Gilgel Gibe IV while Gilgel Gibe V will generate the remaining”.
On Friday, local media said that these plants will be funded by the bond project where sales will be managed by BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan.
Kenyan communities feel indifferent about the development of the Gilgel Gibe dams believing that they will negatively impact the wellbeing of the communities located along Lake Turkana. Such emotions have been addressed by the Ethiopian government who have disagreed with such claims.
Tolcha said, “There are other hydro-electric projects being considered”. Ethiopia has enormous potential to exploit hydro-power with an estimated 45 000MW of power which can be generated.
Western Ethiopia welcomed The Geba Dam which began construction in September of this year, costing a total of $583 million.
Further much needed hydro-power projects have been discussed for Ethiopia’s future, including developing along the Nile River which in turn has caused upset with Egypt.
Egypt is nervous that this project will interfere with its main source of water and should be assured that all measures will be taken to avoid such calamities.
Addis Ababa stated that both Egypt and Sudan will have the benefit to purchase power generated by the hydro-electric project.
Moon, Kim to Visit Ethiopia
Two most notable international personalities are due to visit Ethiopia next week, sources disclosed to Fortune.
Ban Ki Moon, secretary general of the United Nations, and Jim Yong Kim (PhD), president of the World Bank, are scheduled to arrive here in Addis Abeba on October 27, 2014, to visit projects financed by the two organizations.
This will not be Moon’s first visit to Ethiopia, although it will be for Kim, the duo will stay here for two days, these sources disclosed.
Egypt to boost cooperation with Ethiopia in education and science
– Partnership to see continued exchange of professors, scholarships to Ethiopian students and agreements between universities
Egypt will widen its cooperation agreements with Ethiopian universities, as part of efforts to narrow the gap between both countries, Al-Ahram’s Arabic news website reported.
Speaking with Ethiopia’s ambassador to Egypt, Mahmoud Dardeer, Egypt’s Higher Education Minister El-Sayed Abdel-Khalek said that his country is ready to support educational institutions in Ethiopia.
The two officials met on Monday to discuss educational and scientific cooperation.
The discussion comes after a tripartite meeting in Sudan’s capital with Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia over the latter’s Grand Renaissance Dam, set to be Africa’s largest hydroelectric dam upon completion. The project has worried officials in Cairo over its impact on Egypt’s access to the Nile’s water.
As per Monday’s education meeting, Egypt will continue offering academic scholarships to Ethiopian students who want to study at Egyptian universities, especially major governmental universities. Egypt will also continue sending its professors to teach at Ethiopian universities in fields that the country needs, like medicine, science and technical education.
Egypt’s minister added that both countries must focus on cooperation in areas of mutual scientific research like water resources, energy, nutrition and regional diseases.
Egypt has offered 15 scholarships to Ethiopian students to study at Egyptian universities, 10 for undergraduates and five for graduate students.
A cooperation agreement was signed between Ethiopia’s Bahr Dar University and Egypt’s Mansoura University, with 70 scholarships for Ethiopian students, as well as an agreement with Alexandria University and a number of private Egyptian universities.
Greece, Ethiopia aim to revive their trade ties
The Greece trade delegation which comprises of four companies involved in information technology, construction, real-estate development, and agricultural machineries and equipment producer held discussion with Ethiopian business people who are interested in working with them.
The two nations trade between 2009 and 2013 was USD 83.2 million which slightly favor Ethiopia.
Nicolas Protontarios, Greece Ambassador to Ethiopia said during the business to business discussion held, at Sheraton Addis Hotel, on October 14, “Both nations have huge potential to get huge money if they exchange their different products properly.’’ ‘’Now Ethiopia is developing and the current economy demand attract Greece investors to work in partnership with the Ethiopian business people’’ he said.
Yayehyirad Abate, Deputy Secretary General of Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectorial Associations said “during the Dergue regime many foreigners companies were nationalized by the government and that discouraged Greece business people but now the current government has created favorable conditions that attracts foreign investors,” he said.
Ethiopia export to Greece include sesame seed, coffee, natural gums, dried kidney bean and roses and importe base metal, iron and steel, washing machine, aluminum, and petroleum products. Currently 20 Greece companies operate in Ethiopia.
Going gets tough for cement companies
|Zhong Shun Cement Manufacturing’s plant in Ethiopia’s Eastern Industry Zone cost $10 million to build.|
Chinese cement producers in Ethiopia say they are experiencing toughening market conditions as demand falls and competition in the market grows.
The slump has left an oversupply at many factories, putting pressure on some companies to look at surrounding markets to meet their targets. It has also meant a marked drop in local cement prices.
One of the country’s largest Chinese cement companies, Zhong Shun Cement Manufacturing, says that when it first started production in July 2010, its cement was mainly being used for the construction of the huge Eastern Industry Zone, the country’s first dedicated industrial park, located 40 kilometers from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
Its cement plant there was the first to set up in the zone, with funding of Jiangsu Yongyuan Investment Co Ltd from Zhangjiagang in East China’s Jiangsu province.
Wei Zhijin, Zhong Shun’s deputy general manager in Ethiopia, says that at the time the country was suffering from a shortage of domestically produced cement, as the second most populous country in Africa continued to enjoy rapid economic growth.
Numerous infrastructure and housing projects helped fuel a boom in demand for locally produced cement.
Zhong Shun’s plant cost $10 million to build and was designed with an annual production capacity of 250,000 tons of cement. It had to import its clinker, the raw material for cement, from outside Ethiopia to cope with orders.
But now, Wei says, within what is a relatively short period, that has all changed.
“The Ethiopian market no longer suffers from a shortage of supply of domestically produced cement.
“In fact there are too many new cement projects, and this has had a serious impact on the market, which we expect to last for years to come.
“Cement has a shelf life, so we now produce according to orders we receive.”
Despite the fall in demand, Ethiopia still stands third after Nigeria and South Africa as sub-Saharan Africa’s leading cement producer. But according to the latest figures from Ecobank in Nigeria, Ethiopia’s cement output has reached just 12.6 million tons this year, well short of original government targets.
The country’s five-year plan (2010-14), known as the Growth and Transformation Plan, had predicted demand would reach 27 million tons by next year, but Wei says that prediction looks grossly exaggerated, and demand has failed to keep up with what has been fast-growing supply.
Belarus business delegation makes first visit to Ethiopia
The Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectorial Associations (ECCSA) held a Business to Business session with a high level delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Rybakov Valentin of the Republic of Belarus on Tuesday October 14th 2014.
“The economic and trade relations between Ethiopia and Belarus is yet to reach the expected heights. For example, the total trade relation between the two countries was only USD 4.4 million in 2013, increasing from a mere USD 493,000 in 2004,” said Gashaw Debebe, Secretary General of ECCSA.
He further stated that Ethiopia’s export to Belarus is almost non-existent with the highest export recorded in 2012 amounting to just USD 184,000. It was further said that Ethiopia’s import from Belarus has been fluctuating with the highest being USD 8 million in 2007.
“All this indicates that, although the relation between the two countries has shown progress over the last two years, it has not reached its potential. The business environment in Ethiopia, I believe, will be to the interest and benefit of the two countries,” Gashaw said.
According to the Deputy Foreign Minister of Belarus, it should be noted that the visit was the first high level visit to Ethiopia and it also took place in the year where the 20th anniversary of establishing a diplomatic relationship between the two countries was celebrated.
“We are absolutely confident of the out come of the visit. It will contribute to the expansion of our economic and trade relations,” stated Valentin.
He further said that the delegation has held a successful consultative meeting with the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs where the discussion focused on a number of ways to expand cooperation in various areas such as political, economical, investment, cultural, education, tourism and humanitarian, among others.
“I can assure you that Belarus is ready to expand the relationship with Ethiopia in different areas and we know that Ethiopia one day will become a strategic partner for the Republic of Belarus,” Valentin stated.
Belarus opened its embassy in Ethiopia just last year making it the fourth embassy in Africa next to Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa.
“We are definitely hopeful that this will make us even closer and will provide the necessary forum for the expanding of our relationship. The structure of the Belarusian economy is export oriented; we have to sell around 60 percent of whatever we produce,” the deputy foreign minister added.
It was stated that the major export products from Belarus are fertilizers, oil and oil products, steel, trucks, tractors as well as agricultural products, among others.
Belarus produces 30 percent of all heavy duty dump trucks and 6 percent of tractors in the world. The country is also one of the major exporters of agricultural products.
The Deputy Foreign Minister Valentin also held talks with Ambassador Berhane Gebre-Christos, State Minister for Foreign Affairs.
During the meeting it was stated that the engagement of investors and business people from Belarus would advance the growth of Ethio-Belarus ties to harness opportunities. State Minister Berhane said Ethiopia always valued its relations with Belarus and stood committed to expand and strengthen ties.
Bangladesh company to build textile factory in Ethiopia
BDL Group, a Bangladesh-based company, is going to build a textile and garment factory in Mekele town of Ethiopia with over 765 million Birr.
The Group has signed agreement with the town administration and received 68 hectares of land for the construction of the factory.
Company Chairperson, Abdul Wahed, during the occasion said that the Group has decided to invest in Ethiopia because of the business and investment opportunities in the country.
According to him, construction of the factory will be launched within two months and production will be commenced after nine months.
Up on completion, the factory will create jobs for nearly 3,000 people, he added.
According to Waheb, the company has set plan to undertake additional investments within the coming two years.
The textiles and garment factory would contribute for the country’s efforts to improve companies engaged in the manufacturing sector, said the Mayor of Mekele, Tewelde-Birhan Tesfalem.
It would also benefit farmers who can supply raw material for the industry, he added.
Started business in 1991, BDL Group currently has facilities for spinning, fabric knitting, dyeing and finishing, garments, washing, packaging and printing.
DBL Group is a diversified and integrated knit garments manufacturing and composite.
DBL Group is 100 percent export oriented composite knit garments and textiles manufacturing industry in Bangladesh.
The Group currently employs about 15,700 people.
Almeda textile set to expand five-fold
Boris Abadjieff, head of exhibitions and marketing at the Textile Machinery Association of Germany with the delegation from Germany
– German machinery giants to supply local markets
A group of seventeen high-level machinery manufacturers spent four days in town looking for local agents and customers.
During the turnout of the week, a delegation of manufacturers paid a visit to big textile factories and went further to the north to meet up with textile and garment manufacturers in Mekelle town of the Tigray Regional State.
According to Boris Abadjieff, head of exhibitions and marketing at the Textile Machinery Association of Germany, the visit was organized to assess the market potential and find the right agents for the German side. Asked why the manufactures are coming this time, Abadjieff said that it is because either the companies had neglected the potential marketability of the Ethiopian textile industry or it might be that they could not find agents here.
However, companies like Fong’s Europe GMBH had a surviving partnership with Almeda Textile Plc. Tesfay G. Egziabher, marketing and sales manager at Almeda textile, told The Reporter that the factory has planned to expand five times bigger than what it currently is. Tesfay said that the textile factory is processing 20 tons of garment a day at the moment. After five years it will reach the level where it would process 100 tons per day.
The 15-year-old Almeda Textile is situated in the Tigray Regional State some 1000km north of the capital. The overall expected investment, according to Tesfay, is estimated to be between six and eight billion birr, depending on the market fluctuations. By then the total number of employees will reach 40,000, Tesfay said.
In addition to the five-year expansion plan, Almeda has been in contact with some of the visiting manufacturers to purchase some spare-parts for the dyeing, finishing and spinning machineries. For that reason, Almeda is set to invest some 80 million birr for the spinning parts, Tesfaye said. Twenty million birr more is expected to be spent on finishing machineries spares. Currently, Almeda manufactures trousers, polo shirts, military uniforms, T-shirts and bed sheet alongside other line of products. The export business, however, is declining. Tesfay said that some 13 influential customers in the international market turned away due to maladministration the textile factory sustained for years. He hopes the current generation of management is striding to change the reputations of the company. Tesfay noted that Almeda is working to absorb the East African markets soon.
Stephan Kehry, director of sales and marketing at Fong’s Europe GMBH company, told The Reporter that Almeda and other Turkish-owned textile companies are making progresses for future business deals. He admitted that the German sides are less dynamic to articulate themselves the way the business around the textile market is changing.
According to the delegates, the Ethiopian textile sector has the potential to become one of the best performing sectors in the economy. However, Abadjieff said that the sector needs to be looked at from the point view of logistics, delivery and infrastructure. For such and other reasons, it might take years to reach the point where it can play a major role.
Currently, the textile and garment sector grosses USD 120 million annually. However, the target was to earn half a billion dollars this year and top USD billion by the end of 2015.
Ministry of Mines to approve Tullow’s license extension
Tullow Oil, a London based oil company, announced that it is engaged in a discussion with the Ministry of Mines for its license extension.
The company that drilled four exploration wells in the past two years in the South Omo basin, which is part of the Great Rift Valley and ended its drilling with unsuccessful results, explained that it has a plan to extend its license for its exploration. Tullow drilled Sabisa-1, Tultule-1, Shimela-1 and Gardim-1 exploration wells around the Kenya border.
In the statement the company sent to Capital, Tullow is engaged in license extension discussions with the Ministry of Mines. “We are currently examining the substantial volume of drilling and seismic data collected to decide our future exploration plans for the Southern Ethiopian acreage,” the statement reads.
Tullow further stated that the hydrocarbon data collected from the South Omo basin wells are indicative of a working petroleum system and the acreage in Southern Ethiopia remains to have prospects.
The company has also mentioned that it will reduce the number of crew because it will not have latest drilling plan. “With a break in drilling activity in the interim there will be a corresponding reduction in operational personnel in Ethiopia,” it reads.
Tolossa Shagi, Minister of Mines, told Capital that the company has already delivered its interest to continue its work in Ethiopia. “They have interest to stay in Ethiopia to engage in their exploration work,” he said.
“We will approve their license extension request in the coming week,” he added.
Tullow has 50 percent stake in the concession at the exploration in the Southern Omo basin with 30 and 20 percent share going to Africa Oil and Marathon Oil respectively.Tullow has secured impressive result in similar geographical areas in Kenya and Uganda.
Currently, several oil companies are engaged in exploration process in different part of the country. The Chinese oil company China Poly Group Corp is now working to develop gas production at Calub and Hilala natural gas fields.
The company has already agreed with Djibouti’s government for the construction of refinery at the port area and construction of pipeline.
Several oil companies have been engaged in oil and gas exploration during the past half century and some of the explorations indicated that the country has a potential resource, while the country is not yet developing the energy.
ERA Awards Spanish, Chinese Companies Billion Birr Road Projects
The 1.2 billion Br road project is the first for the Spanish company, which is a joint venture
The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) awarded the projects, totalling 111kms, to China Hunan Hunda Road & Bridge Construction and UTE Elsamex – ECO Asphalt Ethiopia 35 – a Spanish joint venture – on Tuesday, October 14, 2014.
UTE Elsamex will upgrade 63.3km of gravel road, extending from Ambo to Wolisso, into asphalt concrete. This road will start 105kms away from Addis Abeba in Ambo town and will have a 14m wide carriageway in zonal towns, 12m in woreda towns and seven metres in rural towns. The total cost of the road will be covered by a loan obtained from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank (WB).
The project will include three bridges, which will be 10m to 30m in length; 35 drainage systems and other structural works. It will link the Addis Abeba-Nekemet road with the Addis Abeba-Jimma road; it will also connect Ambo, which is well known for agricultural products, with Wolisso, as well as linking Lake Wonchi, a place known for eco tourism, with the main road, according to a statement from the ERA.
The road will be consulted on by Pan Arab Consulting, a Kuwaiti firm, and an Ethiopian firm, Omega Consulting Engineers. The project is expected to be completed in three years time.
The second road project, with a total length of 48.3km, will connect the Bitena-Sodo road and Mayo Kote junction to the Alaba-Sodo road in the Southern Regional State. The project has been awarded to Hunan Hunda and is an extension of the 995 million Br project that was awarded to Sunshine Construction two weeks ago for the 60.8km Morocho-Dimtu-Bitena road.
Hunan Hunda finalised road projects, including the Harar–Jijiga road, for 435.5 million Br in 2006; the Adigoshu–Lugdi project, for 849.4 million Br in 2007 and the road extending from Adiremet to Dejena-Dansha for 962.3 million Br in 2009. Their fifth project will be consulted on by Net Consults Consulting Engineers & Architects – a local firm, which is also consulting on Macro General Contractor Trading Plc’s 100km Adaba–Angetu road project in Oromia.
The road, which is located 348kms away from Addis Abeba will have bridges, drainage systems, different protection walls, traffic lights and other structural works, and will extend to Sodo town as part of the Addis Abeba to Nairobi road corridor.
This road will have a 14m carriageway in the town sections and 12m in rural areas. It is expected to be finalised in two years and five months. The main length of the road is 43.6km, but there is a 4.7km road connecting this road to Delbo town.
Zaid Woldegabriel, the ERA’s general director, signed the two agreements with Zeng Xiaohong, general manger of Hunan Huanda in Ethiopia, and Emanueal Interlando, representative of Elsamex, at the Authority’s headquarters near Mexico Square on Ras Abebe Aregay Street, in the presence of Miguel Fernandez, the Spanish Ambassador to Ethiopia.
Both projects are part of the Fourth Road Sector Development Program (RSDP IV), for which implementation costs are estimated to reach 125.3 billion Br. The ERA has rehabilitated, upgraded, constructed and maintained 61,114kms of roads as of June 2014, at a cost of 113 billion Br. The ERA has a 30 billion Br budget for this fiscal year – 20 billion allocated to it from the federal government and the remaining 10 billion Br to be availed from the road fund and loans. It is allocating 950 million Br for the latest contract from the 20 billion Br budget.
The ERA expects the total road network in the country to reach 136,044kms by the 2014/15 fiscal year, from the 48,793km coverage it had in 2010. The total road length reached 100,000kms as of July 2014. The RSDP IV, part of the Growth & Transformation Plan (GTP) aims to construct 66,722kms of road; the Authority has managed to construct 39,094kms – 59pc of the plan – as of the end of June 2014. The toal road coverage has reached to 68pc.
Livestock Production: Empowering Women in Ethiopia
For some, Ethiopia conjures images of famine and extreme poverty. I see a completely different picture.
Ethiopia is a country rich in opportunity and resources, composed of hardworking men and women with innovative ideas and entrepreneurial spirits. However, agricultural technology and best business practices are not widely available or utilized. Women are also not fully empowered to make financial decisions for their families and struggle to own land or access credit. Ethiopia’s dairy sector is dominated by smallholder farmers caring for dairy cows. Processing milk is traditionally viewed as women’s work.
Recently, Ethiopian women have turned this traditional role into an economic opportunity based on the training and financial assistance provided by USAID. Livestock fattening and dairy production are areas that employ women. However, in most parts of Ethiopia, a lack of training and knowledge has prevented women from taking on leadership roles.
As part of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative, the USAID Agricultural Growth Program-Livestock Market Development project seeks to improve nutrition and boost incomes, through training and investments in commodities like dairy, meat, and live animals. The project targets both men and women, with specific interventions to integrate women entrepreneurs into the broader livestock value chain. For example, the project developed a specific female entrepreneur training package designed to enhance the business capacity of women. Moreover, to better facilitate the participation of women in the offered technical trainings, the project provides innovative daycare services for the children of women participants.
One of the project’s key objectives is to strengthen local Ethiopian organizations and help them build effective, long-term partnerships. In June 2013, USAID signed an agreement with Project Mercy; a local, faith-based not-for-profit relief and development agency established by Marta Gabre-Tsadick, the first woman senator of Ethiopia. Through the agreement, USAID is assisting with an innovative cattle cross-breeding program. The local cattle – when crossed with Jersey breed bulls, create offspring that are up to ten times more productive. The project specifically assisted input suppliers’ import of Jersey Cattle inputs to Ethiopia.
A year and a half into its five-year time frame, this project is achieving significant results To empower women, the projecthas launched various training and technical assistance programs, including a leadership program and grants for female entrepreneurs. More than 100 rural women were trained in entrepreneurship and leadership during one 2013 session. These women now serve as business role models in livestock market development in their communities.
Hirut Yohannes embodies the entrepreneurial spirit I see in so many Ethiopian women. In 2008, she launched Rut and Hirut Dairy, a milk processing company located in Cha Cha, Amhara, just outside Addis Ababa. After some initial successes, she wanted to expand her company’s operations but needed guidance. Hirut approached USAID for support and was trained in production and marketing of quality products. She learned to make higher quality gouda and mozzarella cheese, flavored yogurt, cream cheese, and several other types of cheese. USAID also assisted Hirut to introduce packaging for fluid milk products.
Following support from the project, Rut and Hirut Dairy saw an almost immediate 50 percent increase in sales, which enabled Hirut to increase the volume of milk she purchases from farmers and to increase its sale price by 12 percent per liter. Hirut now provides market access for more farmers in her area and has plans to establish new milk collection centers to further expand her business. With higher quality products, she has increased her income and profitability and is now able to service the bank loan that she had accessed to originally establish her milk processing facility.
Extreme poverty is still a serious problem in many parts of Ethiopia. Projects like this, however, are providing sustainable solutions to some of the most intractable issues that Ethiopians face. Successful women entrepreneurs serve as role models for other women who see little opportunity to improve their family’s income. While the role models are the ones that inspire other women to initiate and expand their livestock businesses, USAID provides essential training and support to help their endeavors succeed.