18 Nov. 2014 Economic News (UPDATED)

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Africa Economy to Grow 50% by 2019 on Demand Jump, Deloitte Says

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By Amogelang Mbatha Nov 18, 2014

Africa’s gross domestic product may expand by 50 percent to $3.7 trillion by 2019, boosted by an emerging middle class and increased household demand, according to Deloitte.

“Rising consumer demand, aligned with annual growth of around 8 percent is likely to add around $1.1 trillion to African GDP by 2019, with Ethiopia, Uganda and Mozambique among the fastest expanding markets,” the auditing company said in an e-mailed report today.

Sub-Saharan Africa is forecast to grow 5 percent this year, driven by infrastructure investment, a buoyant services sector and strong agriculture production, the International Monetary Fund said last month. Middle-class households in 11 leading economies in the region are set expand to about 40 million by 2030, with the biggest growth seen in Nigeria, the continent’s largest economy, according to a report by Standard Bank Group Ltd.

While growth in demand for consumer products, including luxury items and smartphones offered opportunities, different regulations in individual markets were hurdles to set up businesses and companies need long-term strategies for investment in Africa, Deloitte said.

“Where there are challenges, there are also opportunities to innovate,” it said. “Given the potential for growth the continent offers, the business opportunities in Africa could outweigh the risks.”

Mobile-phone penetration is set to rise to 97 percent by 2017 from 72 percent, with about 334 million smartphone subscribers, the company said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-18/africa-economy-to-grow-50-by-2019-on-demand-jump-deloitte-says.html

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Ethiopia and Somaliland Sign Trade and Infrastructure Agreement

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Ethiopian and Somaliland governments have signed trade and infrastructure agreement after a high level Ministerial delegation from Ethiopia led by the Minister for Finance arrived in the country on Thursday.

The ministerial delegation accompanied by a number of Somaliland ministers including; Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Finance, Presidency, Trade and International Investment have jointly paid visit to areas including; the Port, Oil Storage Tanks and the Airport of Berbera city and the road between Wajaale and Jigjiga.

Minister for Finance of Ethiopia Sufyan Ahmed who signed this agreement stated that this bilateral agreement will enhance the economy of the 2 countries Somaliland and Ethiopia and that the appointed technical committee will make sure the accomplishment and the realization of the provisions of the signed agreement.

The leader of the Ethiopian delegation has also told that the Somaliland and Ethiopia have long and historical relation.

Somaliland Foreign Minister and International Cooperation Mr. Mohamed Younis Bihi who signed this bilateral agreement for Somaliland explaining the aim of this bilateral agreement between Somaliland and Ethiopia to the media has noted, “We have agreed to cooperate together and in the issues pertaining the construction project of the Berbera Corridor –the road between Berbera and the border town Tog-wajaale. We have also discussed how Ethiopia will implement electricity project aiming at expanding its hydro-electricity to Somaliland regions.”

“We have also discussed on how Ethiopia will partake in using and developing Berbera Port and use its business and trade activities through Berbera Port. We both discussed on issues related to the security, trade and investment.”

He added that the parties have nominated a joint technical committee which will commence their operation on 8th December, as FBC reported.

http://www.waltainfo.com/index.php/editors-pick/16110-ethiopia-and-somaliland-sign-trade-and-infrastructure-agreement

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Road Links Gojjam to Wollo for the First Time

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Two phase project is completed unveiling new 319Km road despite delays due to weather fluctuations

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A new 319Km road, connecting Gojjam and Wollo for the first time was inaugurated yesterday, November 15, 2014. The road shortens the former road distance to the Port of Djibouti through Mille, with nearly half the area crossed getting its first road access.

The project was beset by characteristic problems. A recent report claimed Ethiopian government projects, including water, road and building projects were affecting it.

The report by the Construction Sector Transparency Institutive (CoST), of which Ethiopia and several other countries are members, was presented at the Elilly Hotel a few weeks ago. It indicated that the redesigning of projects after they had already been started was one of the main reasons accounting for Ethiopia spending more and taking longer to finish projects than other countries. The report raised concerns about “the feasibility and design stage, as well as the tender evaluation process and contract implementation” aspects of various projects examined in Ethiopia.

The Gojjam-Wello road project started as a gravel road to be completed in four years. However, the traffic flow in the area led to a redesigning into asphalt concrete, extending the project period to seven years, according to Dereje Hailu, Communication officer at the Authority. Other reasons for the delay of the project included weather fluctuations, claims Samson Wondemu, communications head of the Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA).

The Komobolcha – Mekaneselam – Gindewoyne project was undertaken by the Chinese contractor, CGC Overseas Construction Group (CGCOC), with a joint consultancy by Li International Limited, a local firm, and Indian firm LEA Associates South Asia.

As Fortune went to print, the road was expected to be inaugurated by Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen, in the presence of Workneh Gebeyehu, Minister of Transport, as well as parliament members and representatives from the city administrations. The total cost of the road project was 1.9 billion Br, paid for by the government.

The construction took place in two phases. The first phase saw the completion of 189Km of road extended from Kombolcha to Mekaneselam. The second phase comprised 139Km connecting Mekaneselam to Gidewoyne. It included a 260 metre high bridge, located 270Km from Komolcha town, which is expected to serve for the coming 60 years. The road also includes drainage pipes, bridges, and other structural works.

“The main advantage of the road is linking Gojjam, known for its crop production, and Wollo, a place designated for the industrial zone,” said Samson.

The road will link the road that currently extends from Addis Abeba to Mekelle, through Dessie, with the road from Addis Abeba to Bahir Dar, through Dejen and Mota. It will also cut the road distance by half from Dessie to Gojjam, avoiding the detour through Addis Abeba or Woldiya.

CGC Overseas has been operating in Ethiopia since 2003. It has completed five projects and is working on nine others, including a 220Km asphalt road from Dire Dawa to Dewalle. The Dire Dawa to Dewalle project will cost 3.99 billion Br in financing from the EX-IM bank of China.

The CGC Overseas 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.

http://addisfortune.net/articles/road-links-gojjam-to-wollo-for-the-first-time/

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COMESA Experts Discuss Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources

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Technical experts on agriculture, environment and natural resources from COMESA Member States began meeting today in Kinshasa, D R Congo.

The three days meeting will discuss among others, the Food Security Situation in the COMESA Region including the regional food balance sheet.

A report on Implementation of the COMESA Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) will be presented. So far 14 COMESA countries have signed CAADP Compacts and eight have finalized their National Agriculture Investment Plans.

Others programme reports to be discussed includes, the Implementation of Livestock and Fisheries, the Cassava Custer, Sanitary and Phytosanitary issues, Gender Mainstreaming in Agriculture, Natural Resources, Climate Change and Environmental Programmes and the Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa.

A report on Fertilizer in the COMESA Region will be presented and a ceremony to launch the Joint Fertilizer Harmonization Programme conducted. Heads of Delegation from Member states will present reports on the status of implementation of the Agricultural development programmes at country level.

The key cooperating partners with COMESA on agriculture and environmental programmes will also present their reports as well. The consolidated report of the technical committee will be presented to the Ministers responsible for agriculture; environment and natural resources meeting that will take place on 14 and 15 November 2014.

The meeting of technical officers was opened by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in D R Congo Mr Ali Hubert Ramazani on behalf of the Minister H.E. Jean Chrisostome Mukesyayira. COMESA Director of Investment Promotion and Private Sector Development Mr Thierry Kalonji addressed the delegates on behalf of the Assistant Secretary General Amb. Kipyego Cheluget.

http://www.comesa.int/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1372:comesa-experts-discuss-agriculture-environment-and-natural-resources&catid=5:latest-news&Itemid=41

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MetEC to Deliver Five Spare Part Factories to Southern Regional Government for 235m Br

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Factories to form part of 42 similar workshops for four regions and Dire Dawa

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The MetEC which was established 20 years currently has 15 semi independent and integrated manufacturing companies operating in more than nine sectors including vehicle assembly and plastic and machinery manufacturing.

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The Metal & Engineering Corporation (MetEC) is preparing to hand over five spare part manufacturing workshops to the Southern Regional State. The factories cost the regional government 235 million Br.

The Corporation made a deal last year with five regional governments to convert them into factories producing spare-parts for flour mills and vehicles. The five regional governments include; Oromia, Harari, Ahmara, the South, and Dire Dawa City Administration, according to Michael Desta, head of public and foreign relations at MetEC.

The Southern regional government will transfer the workshops, each of which will employ 100 workers, to the Small & Micro Enterprises (SME).

“We will fully transfer the workshops to the region in the coming two months,” said Michael.

MetEC is currently installing machinery at these workshops, located at Dilla, Hawassa, Hosaena and Arbaminch.

As part of the deal with the five administrations, MetEC will deliver a total of 42 workshops, at a total cost of close to two billion Birr. To date it has transferred 20 workshops to the Amhara, Tigray, and Oromia regional states.

“We are currently only receiving the commitment to pay the money from the regional states in order to hand over the workshops,” said Desta. “The regions will pay the total money for the MetEC in five years.”

The MetEC provides mechanical and technical training to employees at the workshops, says Michael. The machines are manufactured by Hibret Manufacturing & Machine Building Industry (HMMBI), one of the MetEC companies engaged with manufacturing industrial machinery and spare parts.

The remaining workshops currently under construction will be delivered to the regions before the end of the current fiscal year, says Desta.

He went on to explain that the MetEc has three aims in the construction of the workshops: increasing the country’s manufacturing industry, creating job opportunities and to manufacture spare parts locally.

Established 20 years ago, MetEC currently comprises 15 semi-independent and integrated manufacturing companies. These companies operate in more than nine sectors, including the assembly of vehicles, plastic and machinery manufacturing.

“Phase two of the construction of additional work shops will be begun as soon as the current phase has been completed,” Michael told Fortune.

http://addisfortune.net/articles/metec-to-deliver-five-spare-part-factories-to-southern-regional-government-for-235m-br/

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PM appoints new Minister of State for Ministry of Mines

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Alemu Sime

Alemu Sime

– Asfaw Dingamo to lead Ethiopian Petroleum Development Enterprise  

Prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn recently appointed a second minister of state for the Ministry of Mines, Alemu Sime.

Alemu was appointed to lead the petroleum and solid minerals operations in the Ministry of Mines as of September 11, 2014. Alemu will be responsible for the licensing of petroleum companies in Ethiopia. He is also responsible for the supervision of petroleum exploration activities in the country.  He will be assisted by Ketsela Tadesse (PhD), petroleum licensing and administration director at the ministry.

Previously, Alemu was Oromia Regional State Investment Commissioner. Later, he traveled to China to study Business Management for three years. He got his PhD from Chongqing University and returned home in January, 2014. “Together with my colleagues we will work hard and I am sure we will succeed,” Alemu told The Reporter.

Last year, Prime Minister Hailemariam appointed the first Minister of State for the Ministry of Mines, Tewodros Gebreigzabher. Tewodors is tasked with developing and supervising the artisanal mining sector. He focuses on the promotion and development of artisanal gold mining.

Currently, there are seven international and local petroleum companies engaged in oil and gas exploration projects under 13 licenses. So far Ethiopia is a non oil producing country. But now a Chinese company is under preparation to extract gas reserves found in the Ogaden basin. The Ministry of Mines and the Ethiopian Petroleum Development Enterprise will supervise the gas development project. The Ethiopian Petroleum Enterprise is a new governmental organ tasked to develop the hydrocarbon potential of the country. Prime Minister Hailemariam recently appointed Asfaw Dengamo to lead the enterprise.

Asfaw Dengamo was the Minister of Water Resources between 2005-2010. Later, he was transferred to the Ethiopian Sugar Corporation where he was adviser to Abay Tsehaye, former director general of the corporation.

Asfaw is now organizing the new enterprise with the close support of professionals who served the Ministry Mines for many years.

http://www.thereporterethiopia.com/index.php/news-headlines/item/2779-pm-appoints-new-minister-of-state-for-ministry-of-mines

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Nation Working to Realize Digital TV Transformation

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Preparations are well underway in connection with the one billion Birr project to institute digital TV in Ethiopia.

Speaking at a consultative meeting between broadcasters and other stakeholders on a draft action plan for transition into digital TV, Zeray Asgedom, Director of the Ethiopian Broadcast Authority said the meeting is crucial in facilitating the transition and exchanging information.

According to FBC, he added the government is supporting the installation of technological inputs to enhance the transition and is working in collaboration with the private sector in this regard.

http://www.waltainfo.com/index.php/explore/16115-nation-working-to-realize-digital-tv-transformation-

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Chinese consortium to operate LRT

Photo By: Reporter/ Nahom Tesfaye 
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A consortium of China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC), a Chinese contractor currently building the Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit (LRT) system, and Shenzen Metro Group, operators of the railway system of the Chinese city Shenzen, has been selected by the Ethiopian Railways Corporation.

(ERC) to handle the operation and maintenance of the LRT for the next five years.

Head of public relations at ERC, Dereje Tefera, told The Reporter that the new consortium has won the limited international bid that the corporation floated to hire an experienced rail operator for the flagship LRT project which is currently under construction in Addis Ababa. In return, ERC will pay the consortium USD 116 million for these services over the next five years, according to Dereje. The deal also covers the regular maintenance of the LRT system apart from its day-to-day operations.

“The formal contract signing ceremony is expected to be held soon,” Dereje said. Initially, the consortium is expected to bring 290 Chinese professionals to Ethiopia to work with 396 Ethiopians on operation and maintenance. However, this number is agreed to slowly decline over five years where, in the second year of the project, the 48/52 ratio of Chinese professionals to Ethiopians is expected to go down to 24/76. Further down the road, in the third year of the project, for instance, the ratio is expected to slide to 13/87 marking a gradual take over by Ethiopian professionals by the  end of the fourth year. Dereje also said that by the fourth year the role of the Chinese should be minimized to an advisory level making way for Ethiopians to handle operation of the rail system completely.

According to the terms of the contract, Shenzen Metro is expected to implement all the technology that it is currently employing to operate the rail system of the city of Shenzen. On the other hand, the USD 475 million LRT project, which according to the contract terms is expected to be completed after two months, looks to be on its way to outlive its project time. Had it been for the contract, the project should be completed in January and currently the project should have been on its last stages. However, since the project has not yet used all its alloted time, officials of the corporation still assure that the project would be completed on schedule and that there will be no delays. And, it is also noted that ERC reserves the contractual right to ask for compensation if indeed the project was not completed in the scheduled time frame.

http://www.thereporterethiopia.com/index.php/news-headlines/item/2786-chinese-consortium-to-operate-lrt

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Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia agree on mega projects on River Dawa

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Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia have agreed to construct a multipurpose dam and a hydro power station on River Dawa in Mandera County, which is aimed at harnessing and promoting sustainable use of the resource.

The three countries also proposed construction of a bridge to link Kenya and Ethiopia on the river, which will promote cross-border movement across the seasonal river.

The countries representatives who met at Sarova Panafric hotel in Nairobi during a three day meeting organized by IGAD also called for cooperation in the management and sustainable use of River Dawa.

Kenya was represented in the forum by Mandera County Governor Ali Roba, who said the projects will help utilise the river to the benefit of citizens. “Harnessing the water from the river can solve the persistent drought that the region has been experiencing. We are optimistic that the process will be successful since each of the States is very positive about the proposal,” Roba said.

The meeting was called to discuss the cooperation in the management and sustainable use of River Dawa.

During the meeting, which ended on Thursday, the three countries formed a technical team which will conduct a feasibility study of the proposed projects and share its finding. The process will be steered by IGAD.

River Dawa is a seasonal river which flows cumulatively for nine months, and traverses through the three countries.

 http://www.waltainfo.com/index.php/explore/16078-ethiopia-kenya-and-somalia-agree-on-mega-projects-on-river-dawa-

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Sesame exporters warned of price speculations

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The price of sesame dropped to USD 500 from 1,200 per ton in one month. Following the turn of events, exporters have been hesitant to supply, preferring to wait for the price to improve.

However, for industry players like Philippos Philippas, president of the UK-based Huyton Inc. Group, exporters are trending unhealthy. If they persist to do so, he told The Reporter that they will face loss in waiting and speculating for the price to rise up. 

Philippas, who attended the 4th international conference organized by the Ethiopian Pulses, Oilseeds and Spices Producers and Exporters Association (EPOSPEA), said that Ethiopian exporters should be cautious not to replicate the same mistakes of the Sudanese – the third largest producers in the world. It is to be recalled that last year the Sudanese ended up exporting about 285,000 tons of sesame, which was way lower than what they originally planned.

“The global consumption is about 1.4 million metric tons and the availability is going to be about 1.7 million tons. Hence, there will be a surplus and that surplus will pressure the prices. The point I want to emphasize is that last year the sellers pushed the prices up. As a result, consumption was reduced worldwide. I don’t want the buyers to do the same now”, Philippas warned.

Following the delayed rain and drought in China, which stands the 40 percent buying nation of Ethiopia’s sesame, some exporters are not worried by the current low market price. In September, sesame was sold at USD 2,200 per ton. However, in October the price went down to USD 1,700. Philippas estimated that the latter price will remain to be the market price of Ethiopia for the year. However, Haile Berhe, president of EPOSPEA, differs in opinion. The prices are known to be fluctuating for years and exporters will behave accordingly, he argues.

The orchestra of the sesame market seems to get louder when China said that it will ship close to 850,000 tons for the year. That again annoys Philippas who strongly criticized the Chinese side for not providing the realistic volumes they will buy. For Philippas, the best China will buy is set at a maximum of 650,000 tons. The Sudanese production for this year also was questioned. It intends to bring some 600,000 tons of sesame this year. Yet, half of the total produce is destined for local consumption in Sudan.

Ethiopia this year expects to harvest 350,000 tons of sesame. Previously, the government was bullish to produce and export 500,000 tons. Realizing the unrealistic plan, the target was reset to 350,000 or less. The concluded budget year production stood at 270,000 tons. According to Assefa Mulugeta, director general of the export promotion directorate general, this year harvest will be challenged due to the heavy rainfall and windy weather condition witnessed affecting the major producing regions in northern Ethiopia.

Huyton Inc. Group was associated in supplying coal to the Ethiopian Petroleum Enterprise (EPE) since 2011. The contract was terminated after the government had bought 800,000 tons of coal form Huyton in three years. However, the group sticks on supplying in wheat and barley for the beer industry. Huyton mostly is known for being one of the major buyers of sesame, shipping out some 40,000 tons a year.

http://www.thereporterethiopia.com/index.php/news-headlines/item/2776-sesame-exporters-warned-of-price-speculations

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DSGE says it received a wide variety of proposals to deliver funds

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This year diplomatic bazaar lands on November 22nd

Formerly called The Ambassador’s Heads of Missions Spouses and Diplomatic Spouses Group, The Diplomatic Spouses Group Ethiopia (DSGE) said it has received a number of project proposals to deliver funds.

Announcing that the annual bazaar is to take place at the Millennium Hall on November 22. Announcing the date at the residence of the Brazilian Ambassador on Wednesday, Leelie Selassie, president of DSGE said that last year the group raised 200,500,000 birr for the project proposals submitted.

Despite the number of proposals presented to the group, some are selected on the basis of having a direct relationship with the mission of the group. “Our primary target groups are women, children and most vulnerable citizens in Ethiopia,” Selassie, wife of the US Ambassador to the African Union (AU), said. According to the group, the diplomatic bazaar has extended its way of funding projects while the number of proposals being presented to the group grows year after year. Every year, the DSGE holds a fundraising event showcasing handicrafts, national dishes and products from participating diplomatic missions. “We keep our efforts to the end as much as the number of requests from the charities keeps growing,” Erica Usher, chair, project matrix and wife of the Canadian Ambassador, said.

Releasing 100 percent of the funds to the charity organizations registered in the country, the group has financed more than 25 charities found in parts of the country. Moreover, more than 800 vulnerable children receive school supplies to attend class. Sangeeta Verma, wife of the Indian Ambassador on her part said that the capacity of the group is gaining strength as the cultural exchange between participating countries is also deepening towards better understanding. As a result, reaching out the charities that need support.

Funds include equipment, furniture, and small-scale constructions and rejects funding salaries, rent, utilities, transportation, food and running costs. According to the committee, DSGE has been active in organizing similar events in the country for over 25 years in embassies and the AU compound before moving to the Millennium Hall in 2009. Tickets are available at Addis Ababa Hilton.

http://www.thereporterethiopia.com/index.php/news-headlines/item/2771-dsge-says-it-received-a-wide-variety-of-proposals-to-deliver-funds

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City’s Housing Construction Projects Booms, Gravel Suppliers Struggle to Meet Demand

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As part of its plan to solve housing shortages Addis Abeba City Administration (AACA) is building 120,000 condominium houses. Building materials are vital, especially gravel. In fact, the material was the subject of discussion in a meeting, chaired by Abate Sitotaw, deputy mayor of AACA, which took place at the Ghion Hotel on October 21, 2014. Gravel producers and suppliers for the city’s housing projects also attended.

The city needs 1.3 million cubic metres of gravel this fiscal year for its housing projects, excluding necessary supplies for the 40/60 housing scheme. Total demand for the next five years amounts to between five and six million cubic metres, the meeting was told. Currently this supply comes from only a few of the 260 gravel suppliers in Addis Abeba, and adjacent Oromia towns. The meeting was attempting to find a solution for the lack of gravel supply for its projects.

The AACA held suppliers responsible for not providing its housing projects with enough of the right quality of gravel, despite their agreement to do so. Meanwhile, suppliers blamed the administration for not paying them in time, as well as raising issues with the accessibility of gravel production sites.

Adugna Kebede, general manager of gravel supplier Nana Trading Plc, has been working with the Addis Abeba Housing & Construction Agency (AAHCA) for the past three years. The company’s production site is located in Akaki-Kaliti District, Debre Zeit Road, seven kilometres west of Tirunesh Beijing Hospital.

It owns two excavators, one loader, four freight track vehicles and a crasher machine, and has a production capacity of 650 cubic meters to 700 cubic meters per day. However, as a result of problems, ranging from the lack of finance to limited production area, the company is not producing as much as it potentially could, Adugna claims. Nana now produces 320 cubic metres of type 02 gravel per day, which it supplies to the Agency. It also produces other kinds of gravel, used for building construction and cobblestone roads.

Currently the company has a deal with the AAHCA to deliver 20,000 cubic metres to 25,000 cubic metres of gravel over two months for three projects, which Adugna says they may not be able to deliver. One contractor at the site of Project 16, near where Nana operates, says he is unable to meet the delivery deadline because of input shortages.

The project, which has approximately 240 blocks of G+4 and G+7 buildings, is planned to reach 70pc by the end of the fiscal year.

“We are now receiving 80 cubic metres of gravel a day, which is 48 cubic metres less than we need,” said the contractor.

The project site has quarries surrounding it, but Nana uses another quarry three kilometres away from where It transports the rocks to the crushing site. Four to five truck loads of rocks make one truck load (16 cubic metres) of gravel. So crushing machines should be installed near quarries. However, it takes six months to a year to move the machines and install them at a new site, Adugna says.

Adugna also wants the city to pay him in advance or give him a loan. However, he says “they are not even making timely payments for gravel already delivered; sometimes we even have to wait longer than a week.”

The imbalance between demand and supply of gravel production is a problem acknowledged by the AAHCA, as well as by producers. However, the Agency believes there are enough producers around the city, but that they are not providing enough.

“Most of the suppliers who get incentives from the Agency, in terms of access to land and machinery, are not helping to overcome our problem,” said Negus Tekelaye, AAHCA’s construction input project office head.

This happens for various reasons, he says. Primarily, those producers who get direct support prefer to sell their gravel to the private sector. Others simply pass the land they get from the administration, as an incentive, to third parties, without ever going into gravel production. The private sector preference instead of working with the government could be due to the fact that private companies pay promptly and cut a better bargain, says Adugna.

The AAHCA pays 250 Br to 300 Br for 16 cubic metres of gravel. The fact that the Agency transports the gravel itself the price ranges according to the distance between the gravel production site and the construction area: the farther the distance, the cheaper the price.

Private company prices range from 300 Br to 350 Br for 16 cubic metres, based on the distance between the construction area and the production site; the farther the distance, the higher the price.

A businessman, requested anonymity, who has 10 years experience in the sector, and co-owner of a gravel producer company in Addis Abeba, Gulelle District and Sululta town, 40Km north of Addis Abeba, complained that his company has the capacity to crush 250 cubic metres an hour, but now does that in a day because of problems such as electricity shortages, delays in payment and lack of credit facilities. He cites these as major challenges for the sector.

“Previously, I used to supply the Agency as they use larger quantities than private customers; however, due to the lower price they offer, compared to private developers, I now supply only private customers,” he said.

The price currently offered by the Agency was set five years ago. He believes it no longer suits current production costs.

Despite the complaints of suppliers, Negus says they receive all necessary direct assistance from the Agency, yet still fail to deliver. The Agency says it will solve the problem by identifying those actors and penalising them.

http://addisfortune.net/articles/citys-housing-construction-projects-booms-gravel-suppliers-struggle-to-meet-demand/ 

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Somalia Reaches River Water Sharing Agreement with Ethiopia, Kenya

IGADA conference that took days and held in Sanova Panafric Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, in which the agenda was spearheaded by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an agreement was struck between Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya to device mechanisms to share the waters of the rivers that run through those countries. The agreement also includes building dams. However, the final details of the agreement have not been released to the media.

Kenya’s Mandera district commissioner Ali Koba said the agreement notably pertains river water sharing, especially draught seasons when the water flow of the rivers is low.

A technical committee consisting of the three countries has been set up to oversee the river water sharing project and its implementation.

This is the first time the three countries reached an agreement of this kind.

http://www.raxanreeb.com/2014/11/somalia-reaches-river-water-sharing-agreement-with-ethiopia-kenya/

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