11 February 2015 Business News


Ethiopia’s Economic Growth Could Be Model for Other African Countries: WB Officials


Ethiopia's Economic Growth Could Be Model for Other African Countries: WB OfficialsAddis Ababa February 11, 2015 – The rapid economic growth Ethiopia has been registering could be a model for other African countries, World Bank (WB) said.

A 10-person high-level WB delegation held here on Monday discussion with Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn about the relations of the bank with Ethiopia.

World Bank Africa Group Executive Director, Louis Rene Peter Larose, said during the occasion the consecutive rapid economic growth Ethiopia has been registering can be a good experience to other countries of the continent.

The effort of the country to strengthen south-south economic cooperation is another worthy experience that can be cited, the executive director added.

The World Bank recognizes this economic growth, Larose said, adding that the bank and Ethiopia have excellent relations and this relationship would further be consolidated in the future.

World Bank Group Executive Director, Alex Foxley, said on his part the Ethiopian government has generally registered economic growth and alleviated poverty in the country.

The executive director stated that activities undertaken jointly by the bank and the government were evaluated; and WB would continue its partnership with the government in the coming five years.

Finance and Economic Development Minister, Sufian Ahmed, said the aim of the discussion was to assess the development works the bank has been supporting in the country and confer on future collaborations.

Representatives of the bank also want to see the progress Ethiopia has made in education, health, the private sector and infrastructure development, he added.



Ministry says would work more towards building development army


Addis Ababa, 11 February 2015  – The Ministry of Civil Service said it has been making efforts towards building a committed and vibrant civil servant which contributes share for the successful accomplishment of development plans set by various institutions.

Opening a three-day consultative meeting held yesterday at Adama Town, Good Governance and Reform Cluster Coordinator and Civil Service Minister with the rank of Deputy Prime Minister Aster Mamo said that the performance of government institutions in creating a vibrant civil servant with similar attitude and perception over the last six month is not yet achieved. In this regard, the Ministry will work aggressively to fix the major problems in the remaining six months.

The public, leaders and civil servants should work jointly to register better results in the next six months. Most of the government institutions carried out successful activities at the plan preparation period, Aster said adding, only few institutions are performing better when it comes to translating the plan into practice. Replicating best practices of certain institutions is helpful to have similar results in other institutions.

Regarding good governance, she said most government institutions have been making efforts through making discussion with the public to identify root causes of problems and put long, short and medium term solutions. In some institutions, it has been possible to address good governance problems and gain good results whereas some still remain behind in providing timely and effective solution.

“Still there is lack of leadership commitment in some government offices, Aster said. The performance of a given institution is measured by the commitment of its leaders and civil servants. Hence, much is expected from leaders in building capacity of civil servants,” she added.



“We are ready to actively participate in May general elections,” political parties

Addis Ababa, 11 February 2015  –  Six contesting political parties vowed to take active part in the upcoming Ethiopia’s fifth general elections. The parties told WIC recently that they are working vigorously to participate in the elections scheduled for May 2015.

President of the Ethiopian Federal Democratic Unity Forum (MEDREK) Prof Beyene Petros said his party is fielding candidates and mobilizing supporters to actively take part in the elections. My party believes in election as the main means to come to power, he added.

President of the Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP), Dr Chane kebede, said his party is delegating candidates and training its members to become a strong contender in the elections.

President of the Ethiopian Vision Party (EVP), Teshale Sebro, said his party will compete in all the nine regional states and the two city administrations. The party has already finalized fielding candidates.

President of Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD), Ayele Chamisso, said CUD has been preparing since 2006 EC to be a strong contender and take active part in the elections.

Ayele added his party is ready to field 450 candidates for the parliament and 700-750 candidates for the regional council seats.

President of the All Ethiopian National Movement (AENM), Mesafint Shiferaw, said his party is making all the necessary preparations to field candidates in all the regional states and the two city administrations.

New Generation Party (NGP) Head, Asfaw Getachew, said his party will field 280 candidates for the elections across the country.

The party is undertaking widespread activities focusing on the youth so that they would take active part in the elections.



Ethiopia tipped for tourism surge


Annual report lists Ethiopia among emerging destinations, while bookings for Cuba rise and trips to Malaysia prove less popular

Ethiopia tipped for tourism boom

A rock-hewn church at Lalibela


Ethiopia has been tipped to become a popular holiday destination in the coming years by one of Europe’s biggest long-haul tour operators.

The East African country, which suffered a series of famines in the 1980s but can boast some of the continent’s most dramatic landscapes, has been included among a list of emerging destinations in Kuoni’s annual travel trends report.

Around 20,000 Britons visit Ethiopia each year, according to the Foreign Office, but that could increase with Kuoni offering trips there for the first time.

The Danakil Depression

The country’s highlights include the monolithic rock-hewn churches at Lalibela; the Simien Mountains National Park, a Unesco World Heritage Site that is home to a number of endangered species, including Ethiopian wolf and walia ibex; and the otherworldly Danakil Depression, with its colourful sulphur and salt lakes.

Trips to see the tribal communities of the Omo Valley are another, though some believe they are exploitative. In 2013, Exodus, an operator specialising in activity and adventure travel, announced it would no longer offer such tours.

Parts of the Ethiopia are off-limits, however. The Foreign Office advises against all travel to within 10km of the borders with Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya and Eritrea, and to larger parts of the country’s north-eastern and south-eastern regions.

Kuoni’s trips feature Lalibela, the low-key capital Addis Ababa, the towns of Gondar and Bahir Dar, the Bale Mountains National Park and the Simien Mountains National Park.

The Simien Mountains National Park

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Other emerging destinations listed by Kuoni included the Philippines, following the recent launch of direct flights from London to Manila, La Réunion, in the Indian Ocean, and Sri Lanka‘s east coast.

The tour operator’s annual report also highlighted those countries which have grown in popularity over the last year – and those which have fallen from favour.

Bookings for Brazil have risen 58 per cent, year-on-year, with the World Cup said to be behind the trend. A further rise is expected as Rio de Janeiro prepares to host the 2016 Olympic Games.

Malaysia, on the other hand, is proving less popular, with the two Malaysia Airlines disasters believed to be behind the fall in booking.

George Clooney’s marriage to Amal Alamuddin in Venice appears to have inspired holidaymakers – inquiries for weddings and honeymoons in Italy have increased 20 per cent since the ceremony in September.

Overall, the Maldives is Kuoni’s most popular destination for 2015, based on sales until the end of January. It is the 10th year running the islands have topped the list.

The UAE has risen to third, behind Thailand, while Cuba has jumped to seventh, its highest ever ranking, with travellers apparently keen to see the country before improved relations with the US affect its undeveloped charm.

Kuoni’s top 20 destinations for 2015

1. Maldives (2014 position: 1)
2. Thailand (2)
3. UAE (3)
4. Sri Lanka (4)
5. USA (6)
6. Mauritius (5)
7. Cuba (10)
8. Antigua (12)
9. Singapore (13)
10. Barbados (8)
11. St Lucia (11)
12. Mexico (16)
13. Vietnam (14)
14. Italy (-)
15. Indonesia (15)
16. Malaysia (9)
17. Australia (24)
18. India (18)
19. Hong Kong (25)
20. Switzerland (17)



Ethiopia, Argentina Agree to Expand Relations


Ethiopia, Argentina Agree to Expand RelationsAddis Ababa  – Ethiopia and Argentina have agreed to expand their longstanding political relations to the economic sphere.

State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Berhane Gebre-Kristos, signed here today a technical cooperation agreement that enables the two countries to strengthen their economic relations with his Argentinean counterpart Eduardo Zuain.

According to State Minister Berhane, both sides will benefit if they collaborate in agriculture and livestock sectors as Argentina has capability in the sectors and Ethiopia has extensive agriculture, livestock resources and strong human resource.

The countries have agreed to cooperate in science and technology, and research, it was disclosed.

The countries also agreed to work together in protecting their common interests at international forums, Berhane added.

The state minister said his counterpart has requested that Ethiopian Airlines fly to Argentina so as to bolster the people-to-people and economic ties. The airline will responsibly consider the invitation, he added.

Argentina’s State Minister Eduardo Zuain said on his part Argentina is ready to strengthen its economic relations with Ethiopia.

He stated that the countries will build their economic relations by consolidating the agricultural, health and technical cooperation; and we have signed the technical agreement to consolidate this.

The state ministers have also discussed the situation in Somalia and about peace and stability in the region, it was learned.



AU Summit provides Ethiopia with opportunity to strengthen ties with various countries

Addis Ababa, 10 February 2015 (WIC) – The 24th African Union Summit concluded last week provided Ethiopia with the opportunity to strengthen its bilateral ties with various countries.

MoFA Spokesperson, Ambassador Dina Mufti made the remark at a press conference held today at the Ministry’s premises.

He said the Summit helped Ethiopia to held discussion with various African, Asian and European counties as well as heads of continental and international organizations.
He said PM Hailemariam Dessalegn and Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Tedros Adhanom, held discussion with heads of states and governments, ministries and representatives of the various organizations at the sideline of the Summit.

According to Ambassador Dina, the discussions were successful in terms of deepening Ethiopia’s ties with the countries and officials with whom PM Hailmariam and Dr Tedros met.

He further said that the visit paid by Prime Minister Hailemariam to Djibouti over the weekend was significant in further cementing the relationship between the two neighboring countries.

During his visit, the two sides signed six agreements that help both countries take their relationships one step further.  The agreements were signed in the areas of boarder trade, transport, mining, gas and railway, among others.



Hellocash Mobile Money Service Goes Live in Ethiopia


Hellocash Mobile Money Service Goes Live in Ethiopia Addis Ababa: February 11, 2015 – Lion International Bank and Somali Micro Finance in partnership with BelCash Technology Solution PLC launched the official pilot of the HelloCash mobile money services.

BelCash Technology Solution PLC is an Ethiopian based technology service provider for financial industry.

The HelloCash mobile money platform will provide financial services to all Ethiopians. The HelloCash service enables existing and potential customers of Lion International Bank and Somali Micro Finance to carry out transactions in four key areas of financial transactions: Deposit, Withdraw, Transfer and make payments.

The HelloCash mobile money service is provided in compliance with National Bank of Ethiopia’s directives on mobile money.

The pilot of HelloCash mobile money service is underway in three part of the country with locations consisting of a mix of agent outlets and branches.

HelloCash Mobile Money would make financial services available to more Ethiopian, especially at the grassroots in order to drive financial inclusion in the country.

One of the uniqueness of HelloCash mobile money services is its interoperability and shared infrastructure features. The system is designed for multi banks and MFI’s to be interconnected and offer the mobile money service to their respective customers, therefore, partnering financial institutions are able to share each other’s agent and branch network to serve each other’s customers.

This allow any customers of any partnering bank to visit any agent or branches to conduct financial services regardless of which bank customers belongs too. The sharing of agent network allows partnering banks to optimize their investment as well as increase national wide service coverage.

CEO of BelCash International, Mountaga Vince Diop mentioned that this is only the beginning of what seems to be an irreversible step to reinforce Financial Inclusion in the country.

BelCash Technology Solutions PLC provides the Banks and the Micro Finances, Go-to-Market turn-key mobile money solutions (including capacity building, business and operational models, hardware, disaster recovery and Call center facilities) and facilitate the penetration of Mobile and Agent Banking in the Ethiopian Financial landscape.

The Financial Institutions providing HelloCash in Ethiopia are confident to build a unique network of more than 20,000 agents across all Ethiopia within the 3 coming years.



Ethiopia Distributes its Cargo Among Neighbouring Countries’ Ports


In the wake of Ethiopia issuing bonds, it has come to the realization that it may need alternative ports aside that of Djibouti.


Ethiopia is to start using the Port of Berbera this month on an agreement reached between the two countries on January 29, 2015, while the use of Port Sudan has started by the importation of 50,000 tonnes of fertilizer.

Ethiopia had expressed its dependence on Port Djibouti as a concern when it issued a one billion dollar sovereign bond in October 2014. The move towards issuing the bond came after Ethiopia got a ranking of B+ by foreign rating companies namely, Moody’s, S&P and Fitch.

It seems that the effort to reverse the full dependence of the country on Djibouti by finding alternative ports is bearing fruit.

“Five to 10pc of the country’s imports are planned to come through the port of Berbera, and we will be looking for proper ports for different areas of the country,” said Workineh Gebeyehu, minister of Transport when reporting his office’s six months’ performance to the Parliament. “But the Port of Djibouti continues to be the major one.”

Considering the annual average growth rate of Ethiopia, that is 10.1pc through the five years of the Growth and Transformation (GTP) period, Djibouti has started 9.8 billion dollars of expansion of Port Djibouti. The expansion, which is meant to be completed by the end of 2017 is planned to increase the capacity of the port 15 times.

Ethiopia is also undertaking construction of a 98Km railway that will stretch from Somali, a region in eastern Ethiopia, to Djibouti. It is being constructed by a Chinese firm, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC). The 1.98 billion dollars project, according to the CCECC website, is financed by the Chinese Export Import (EXIM) Bank.

The Ethiopian Shipping & Logistics Services Enterprise (ESLSE), which has 15 ships out of which two are for oil, has finished dealing with an agent in the Berbera Port and one of its ships will be deploying 20 to 30 containers to the port this month. The agent is a Member of GSK Group of Djibouti. For now ESLSE will be bringing goods to Berbera from India, Middle East and Saudi Arabia while planning to extend its reaches to China and the Far East, according to Alemu Ambaye, (Chief ENG), Shipping Services Sector deputy chief executive officer.

“In terms of suitability, while Berbera has a slight closeness to our country, the road to it is not suitable,” Alemu told Fortune.

The road that extends from Jigjiga-Togo-Wuchale is concrete asphalt but the road within the border of Somalia is not suitable and therefore the Ethiopian government is working with the Somali government to source financing, according to Samson Wondimu, the communications director at the Ethiopian Roads Authority. The port, for the time being is going to be used for importation of coal according to Tesfaye Chanchissa, public relations officer at the Ethiopian Maritime Affairs Authority.

The rate of payment, which is based on loading and unloading of goods is also said to have a slight difference from Djibouti although it is yet to be experienced, according to Alemu.

The service that the Shipping lines will give will be transshipment- which means the ships will come mainly to Djibouti and will go to its place of origin after reaching the Port of Berbera. The ESLSE ship that is coming from Dubai will reach Djibouti then Berbera and finally go to Dubai.

“We will use alternative ports without affecting the benefits of other ports,” stated Workineh.

The same as Workineh, Alemu also believes that there is enough load that can suffice all the ports.

The ESLSE will be deploying goods at the newly agreed ports every two weeks. It has also made new customers in the line which is why it started the new route. Ethiopia has been using Port of Sudan for its exports.

Currently, Ethiopian cargo, especially container, delivered to Port of Djibouti is around 10,000 containers a month and 550 – 600 trucks leave Djibouti to Ethiopia every day carrying Ethiopian cargo, according to a data from Ethiopian Maritime Affairs Authority



Ethio-Swedish Agro Technology Forum held in Addis


Ethio-Swedish Agro Technology Forum held in Addis Addis Ababa: February 11, 2015 – The first Ethio-Swedish Agro Technology Forum for the dairy, sugar and energy sectors was held at Sheraton Addis yesterday with the presence of Ethiopia’s State Minister of Industry, Dr Mebrahtu Meles and Ambassador of Sweden to Ethiopia Jan Sadek.

The Forum was organized by the Ethiopian Embassy in Stockholm and The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa, in collaboration with Valley International Projects (VIP), founded by Swedish businessman Carl Gustafsson and his Ethiopian partner Akal Mamo.

The Swedish business delegation consisted of companies TetraPak, AlfaLaval and DeLaval. Ethiopian stakeholders of diary, sugar and energy sectors and the Swedish business delegates made their respective presentations, followed by business-to-business meetings in the afternoon.

The forum was attended by about 50 people engaged in the sectors.”



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