07 Nov. 2014 Development News


Kenya – Ethiopia highway to be ready next year



Road construction in progress. A 505-kilometre highway linking Kenya and Ethiopia is expected to be ready next year.


The tarmacking of the main road linking Kenya with Ethiopia is expected to be completed by end of next year, official said.

Marsabit Governor Ukur Yattani said the 505-kilometre Isiolo-Marsabit-Moyale road was 60 per cent complete and that work was continuing well.

“Construction is ongoing. By the end of next year, we will have connected Addis Ababa to Nairobi on tarmac road, a thing that will change the economy of this place,” Mr Yattani, whose county is the largest and occupies 15 per cent of Kenya’s landmass, said.

The road is expected to cost $517 million (Sh46 billion) and is funded by the African Development Bank, the European Union and the Kenya Government.

The Governor said the road would ease travel to Nairobi, which used to take four days but has since been reduced to one.

Create jobs

“Petrol stations will come up. We also have lodges, cottages, banks and other institutions. The road will be a game changer,” Mr Yattani told journalists at his office.

Mr Yattani said: “Our worry now would be how to control the influx of people.”

“We will open ourselves to competition. We encourage it. People should come and create jobs to our people,” Mr Yattani said.

Separately, Laisamis MP Joseph Lekuton told the Press he was happy with the road construction progress.

“The contractor has done a great part. We are hopeful it will be completed on time. We need it like yesterday,” Mr Lekuton said by phone.



Ethiopia targets $1bn coffee yield


By Tinishu Solomon



Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome says the country’s coffee industry has to increase exports to reach a $1 billion annual revenue target.


Despite a steady increase in coffee production in recent years, Ethiopia’s supply to the global market has not exceeded a target of 200,000 metric tonnes.

Speaking at the 3rd International Ethiopian Coffee Conference, Teshome said in 2013/2014 exports were lower than in 2010/11 where coffee exports reached 196,118 metric tonnes and the country earned close to $842 million.

Official statistics show that the amount of coffee exported in the 2013/14 Ethiopian fiscal year was 190,837 metric tonnes.

“We must now break this one time export income record by supplying more quality to the global market surpassing the near 200,000 metric tonnes registered so far and generating export income reaching $1 billion,” he said.

The annual conference is focusing on how to promote and increase the quality of Ethiopian coffee.

Research shows that about 10 percent of Ethiopia’s coffee production comes from the age old practice of gathering wild coffee beans in forests, while 35 percent comes from partially tended wild bushes, and 50 percent is produced in small plots as a secondary crop.

While the growth of Ethiopia’s coffee industry in the past few years has largely been attributed to its modernisation, only five percent of the East African country’s coffee is produced on plantations dedicated to coffee production.

Officials of United States say they are keen to support the cofee sector in Ethiopia.

“The U.S. is working to help identify new markets and private sector partners and investors, including from the U.S.,” US deputy chief of mission, Peter Vrooman, said.

“Our dual purpose is to not only ensure the expansion of the coffee industry in Ethiopia but also the greatly improved livelihoods of a legion of small coffee growers whose entire families will benefit.

Ethiopia exports 24 Arabica coffee varieties to a limited number of foreign destinations. Seven countries, including Japan, Georgia, Germany, Saudi Arabia, USA, Belgium and France, alone buy over 70 percent of Ethiopia’s coffee.



Chinese Company Interested in Building Huge Factory in Ethiopia


Chinese Company Interested in Building Huge Factory in Ethiopia

The Chinese company, Media Group, which is engaged in producing electronics and household goods disclosed that it wants to invest in Ethiopia.


Representatives of the company are on a two-day visit here in Ethiopia to identify sectors in which they could engage and carry out feasibility study.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn held discussions with the leader of the delegation and former World Bank Chief Economist, Professor Justin Lin.

During the discussion, the PM said his government will provide all the necessary support for the company, including establishing industrial parks, if it starts work in the country.

The company will be profitable if it invests in Ethiopia since the country has abundant labor force and market opportunity in addition to the prevalent peace and security, the premier noted.
The manufacturing sector should be the motor of the economy in enabling the nation to become a middle-income country, he further indicated.

Professor Lin on his part said Media Group is one of the leading Chinese electronic and household goods manufacturers and has the desire to invest in Ethiopia.

The company has plans to build a huge factory in Ethiopia and to export its products to African and other countries, the professor added.

Upon going operational, the company will contribute to the transformation of the manufacturing sector in Ethiopia, according to Professor Lin.

Media Group is the second huge private company in China with sales exceeding 25 billion USD in a year.


Ethiopia, South Africa sign cooperation agreement in science, technology



Ethiopia and South Africa signed here today a cooperation agreement in science and technology.

During the signing ceremony, Science and Technology Minister, Dammitu Hambessa, said the collaboration of the two countries would enable them to boost their capacity in science and technology and enhance their growth.

The agreement will also contribute to the success of the agricultural led industrial policy of Ethiopia, according to her.

Ethiopia and South Africa will cooperate in poverty reduction, agriculture, animal and plant research, health research and training, it was indicated.

According to Dammitu, such agreements will have huge contribution to the enhancement of the slow science and technology growth in Africa, besides the benefits the countries draw from them.

South Africa’s Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, said on her part the countries will work to fill the gaps in human resource and technology by exchanging students and researchers.

The collaboration will have its own contribution to the building of the capacity of Ethiopian researchers and the technology as South Africa has organized science agencies, many researchers and research works, the minister pointed out.



 Kigali, Addis Build Cooperation Framework




By Collins Mwai

The management of the cities of Kigali and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, are in the process of signing a framework of cooperation between the two cities.

The Ambassador of Ethiopia to Rwanda, Gegefe Bula Wakjira, told The New Times that discussions on the agreement are at an advanced stage.

He said the agreement intends to strengthen the working relations and mutual ties of the two countries at City administration level as well as benchmarking opportunities and interests.

Amb. Wakjira said he had held discussions with the City mayor Fidel Ndayisaba on progress on the issue.

“We want Addis Ababa to learn from Kigali and they (Kigali) could learn from us too,” the envoy said.

The agreement comes at a time when the country is building its profile to become a reputable host for international meetings, conferences and exhibitions through a marketing strategy has been designed to market the country at an international level, highlighting the availability of the infrastructure and services such as exhibition spaces and hotels.

The initiative, dubbed “Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions,” is in line with diversifying the current tourism product offering while complementing existing gorilla tourism, eco-tourism, cultural and community-based tourism products that are the mainstays of Rwanda’s economy.

Hosting global events:

A Convention Bureau has since been created to the effect to get in touch with international conference organisers and centres to see how to Rwanda can host events.

The Ethiopian capital is a major host of numerous international organisations, and is United Nations third largest duty station after New York and Geneva, as well as the African Union host city.

“Almost every day, there is a conference hosted there which has caused a boom in the hospitality sector, Kigali can draw lessons and best practices in this area to add to the ongoing efforts,” Amb. Wakjira said.

He added that the city was on the right track to achieve these goals going by the rapid development in recent years.

Ndayisaba referred to the agreement that is being drafted as a formalisation of cooperation mutual ties as the two countries have had a close relationship over the years.

“Though the agreement is still being drafted, in principle, we have agreed. It will provide a formal platform to share our best practices with the Ethiopian capital in different areas,” Ndayisaba said.

The development trajectory of the two cities have similarities and challenges, hence the importance of the close cooperation, he added.


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