15 April 2015 Ethiopian Development News Briefs

 

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Disease Detection Gets A Boost With Plans For A CDC In Africa

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Jim Burress – April 14, 2015
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Secretary of State John Kerry and African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma signed an agreement Monday to establish the first Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Africa. The U.S. will provide technical advice and a few staff for the agency.

Secretary of State John Kerry and African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma signed an agreement Monday to establish the first Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Africa. The U.S. will provide technical advice and a few staff for the agency.

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In 1946, a malaria outbreak across the Southern U.S. catalyzed the formation of what would eventually become the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Then in 2002, China’s CDC began its operations just as an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, took hold.

Now, as the worst Ebola outbreak in history winds down, African health officials announced Monday they will partner with the U.S. to establish a continentwide African CDC.

The idea for an African CDC first came to light at the 2013 African Union Special Summit on HIV and AIDS, Tuberculous and Malaria in Abuja, Nigeria. If Ebola wasn’t the specific catalyst for forming the African CDC, the epidemic definitely sped up the timeline, U.S. health officials said Monday.

The African CDC will initially set up shop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which is home to the African Union. That should happen later this year.

Soon after, five regional centers will open at undetermined locations across the continent. Field epidemiologists will staff each location and “will be responsible for disease surveillance, investigations, analysis and reporting trends and anomalies,” the CDC said Monday in a statement.

In the event of a health emergency — such as Ebola — the office in Addis Ababa will act as a central command post, organizing and deploying teams of medical workers.

Some of that disease surveillance and emergency dispatching is already happening, says Dr. Thomas Kenyon, director of the U.S. CDC’s Center for Global Health. The African CDC will “take advantage of existing structures to make it additive to what’s already there,” he tells NPR.

In other words, the African CDC won’t create an epidemiological infrastructure from the ground up. It doesn’t need to. What it will do is link together agencies and laboratories in various countries that aren’t always great at talking to each other. “Countries that might be weak in one diagnostic area can benefit from a neighbor who might have a lot of capability in that area,” Kenyon says.

To help make this happen, the U.S. CDC is donating both brainpower and troops on the ground. The Atlanta-based organization says it will provide “technical expertise” and help in the African CDC’s long-term, strategic planning. It will also embed two public health leaders at the temporary headquarters in Addis Ababa and about 10 to 12 epidemiologists and support staff.

The CDC already trains hundreds of African epidemiologists each year, Kenyon says, and the establishment of an African CDC will help coordinate that force.

Of course, all of this comes at a cost. But how much funding it will take to get the African CDC off the ground isn’t something either side is touting. Those figures are still being worked out, Kenyon says. But the 54 member states of the African Union will ultimately be responsible for funding the organization.

“I think we’re all going to have to do our part,” Kenyon says, “but the leadership and real commitment will have to come from African governments themselves.”

http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2015/04/14/399427210/disease-detection-gets-a-boost-with-plans-for-a-cdc-in-africa

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Empowering women major part of cooperation between Ethiopia, Canada

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Empowering women major part of cooperation between Ethiopia, CanadaAddis Ababa: April 15, 2015 –
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Supporting women empowerment activities will continue to be one of the major cooperation areas between Ethiopia and Canada, an official said.

“If women are succeeded in business, their families benefit, they can pay school for children and better food. So it is very very important to work in that area.”said Canadian Ambassador to Ethiopia David Usher.

The Canadian government early this year provided 5.8 million dollars through UNDP to build the entrepreneurial capacity of more than 25, 000 women and young girls.

The Ethiopian government has been working over the past 4 and half years of the first growth and transformation plan period to empower women and improve their benefits.

Various donor countries including Canada have been supporting this effort of the government through finance and technical development.

According to the 2013 national labor-force survey, women participation at the managerial level is five times less than that of their male counterparts. Women make up the majority of those holding low end occupations.

Help more women entrepreneurs expand their businesses from micro to small and medium scale enterprises, improve accessibility of entrepreneurial training and credit and saving services, are among the goals set to improve economic benefits of women.

According to the Ambassador, Canada has set plan to support 17,500 women entrepreneurs in urban areas by improving their access to finance and technical training during the second five year growth and transformation plan period, to begin the coming Ethiopian fiscal year.

The support will be provided through the EDP (Entrepreneurship Development Program), launched early 2013 by the government of Ethiopia to improve capacity of entrepreneurs.

The EDP seeks to support entrepreneurship development and job creation in the country by increasing the competitiveness and profitability of the Ethiopia’s micro and small enterprises, especially those owned by women and youth.

The bilateral tie between Ethiopia and Canada, which was predominantly based on development assistance, has broadened to economic areas and security since 2013.

Canada has been extending 200 million dollars every year in average for projects related to food security, water shade and sustainable economic growth.

The fast growth the country’s economy has been witnessing over the past decade forced the nations to broaden their areas of cooperation. “It is clear that, economic growth in Ethiopia in the last five and ten years has been very strong.”

The nation has halved poverty rates, achieved some of the MDGs including reducing under-five mortality, halving poverty and improving access to clean drinking water, and is on track to achieving others.

Trade and investment became one of the major cooperation areas for the two countries since 2013. In that year, the trade volume reaches 39.1 million dollars with 21.3 million dollars in Ethiopian imports from Canada and 17.8 million dollars of exports from Ethiopia into Canada.

The direct flight between Addis Ababa and Toronto began in July 2012 will help to increase this cooperation.
Improving trade and investment cooperation will benefit exporters in Ethiopia to utilize the Canadian market, since the two have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2003 to give Ethiopian exports of textile and apparel goods tariff-free access to the Canadian market.

Even though the trade volume is increasing yearly, it needs to further grow up. “The trade volume is growing but it is still smaller.”

The year before, 2012, had seen a large boost in Canadian exports to Ethiopia, which stood at 123.6 million dollars, due to the delivery of many Q400 aircraft from Bombardier, a Canadian aircraft manufacturer, to the

Ethiopian Airlines, since the later is a customer of Bombardier.

Bombardier has also set up a regional maintenance facility for the Q400 aircraft in Addis Ababa.

According to the Ministry of Mines of Ethiopia, 13 Canadian companies including Allana potash and East African Metals have signed contract agreements for the exploration of potash and precious and base metals, with a registered capital of 6.5 million dollars.

“Our program is continuing”, Ambassador Usher said, “We tried to promote trade flows and in terms of political relations, security affairs we have regular consultations with the government of Ethiopia”

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of a longstanding friendship, the cooperation between the two nations shifted from one which was focused on humanitarian aid to economic areas, he said.

“Throughout the 50 years, Canadian development assistance has increased in time and the trade has increased as well, and a relationship that is changing from donor recipient to one it is more world rounded including trade, security issues and discussion of Human right.”

http://www.fanabc.com/english/index.php/news/item/2726-empowering-women-major-part-of-cooperation-between-ethiopia,-canada

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Ethiopia’s election crucial manifestation of democracy in the country: Dr. Hailemikael Abera

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Addis Ababa, 15 April 2015 –
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Civil Service University President Dr. Hailemikael Abera said that the election Ethiopia has been conducting every five years is a crucial manifestation of the widening of democracy in the country.
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“Election is instrumental to weigh up if Democracy exists in a country,” he added.

In an exclusive interview with WIC, the president said that election is the manifestation of people’s sovereignty existence and its deciding role, hence it has critical role in our country’s fate.

As one of the pillars of democracy, election pushes the peace of development and equality and peaceful coexistence, he said.

“Various international human right principles are clearly placed in our constitution which promotes multi party system existence as important basis for developing democracy, he said, adding Ethiopian constitution clearly underlines that government should come through people,  via election,”  he said.

Dr. Hailemikael appreciates that the various competing political parties  having access to media so that they can promote their alternative political program to the people, which could help the people to decide whom to elect.

The basic enabling environments for competing political parties are fulfilled, hence we can say democracy exists and is developing strongly, he reiterated.

He also recommended all parties to respect the final verdict of the people after the election vote is counted.

Eventually our people, not else body, is the witness, he said,  adding that in developed countries election is witnessed by their own respective.

He also appreciated Ethiopian Electorate Board for managing the election process properly, which clearly tells that our election process is booming.

The urged all university communities to play critical role in making the election constructive and peaceful that they have to  play crucial role using their  knowledge and the ability in pressuring the parties to focus on merits as per the party’s code of conduct, which benefits the country, he emphasized.

The people should participate actively in the election process to decide its fate, he said, adding that all Ethiopians must be careful from some groups who might advocate their own hidden agenda in the pretext of conducting election.

“We must work hard to make sure that the election is finalized peacefully and credibly,” the president said.

http://www.waltainfo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=18676:ethiopias-election-crucial-manifestation-of-democracy-in-the-country-dr-hailemikael-abera&catid=52:national-news&Itemid=291

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National strategy looks into monopoly of logistics operation 

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Ethiopia puts up a new national logistics strategy that will lead the sector’s development for the coming several decades.

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The strategy that is developed by Nathan Associates Inc. a US based company, with the support of United Nation Development Program (UNDP), is showing directions on how the logistics sector should be developed and expanded.

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The strategy document that was officially handed over to officials of the government by UNDP on April 9 includes a diagnostics study, a blueprint of actions, intervention and implementation plan, according to Mekonnen Abera, Director General of Ethiopian Maritimes Authority Affairs (EMAA).

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The goal of the Ethiopian National Logistics Strategy is to enhance Ethiopia’s economic growth through increasing trade, especially for value-added commodities, and through the reduction of transport costs by increasing efficiency. The strategy is structured to improve the export competitiveness of Ethiopian products and availability of imports for industry and consumers at competitive prices within reliable delivery times.

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The logistics sector, particularly the import/export stream, is said to be one of the hurdles that slows down the country’s growth. The Ethiopian government has been undertaking several restructuring measures on the sector while expanding and modernizing the infrastructures in the meantime. Despite the efforts, the sector is still in its early stages compared to international practices.

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Workneh Gebeyehu, Minister of Transport, who received the document, told Capital that the new strategy will be implemented in association with other policies and strategies. Mekonnen, on his part said that EMAA has been following up the development of the strategy.  “EMAA has setup a Logistics Transformation Office (LTO) that will be in charge of this task and the realization of the strategy’s implementation. UNDP has already committed resources for the setting up of LTO,” he said in a speech at the handover ceremony. According to the EMAA head, a major achievement in this context is made with the establishment of a high level government body, National Logistics Council (ENALCO) that is responsible to oversee the entire logistics system in the country.

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The council was formed under the direct leadership of the government. It is chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and Transport Minister, Workneh Gebeyehu who is its Vice Chairman, and various ministers, business community and logistics service providers that assume responsibilities in the council to spearhead the logistics sector development. EMAA serves as a permanent secretary office, while LTO serves as the expertise arm of ENALCO providing professional and technical support to facilitate the accomplishment of the planned logistics transformation strategies.

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Sources told Capital that the document stated that granting of a monopoly to Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Services Enterprise (ESLSE) for arranging ocean and inland transport of goods imported using a letter of credit, as well as for the operation of the dry ports where these goods are cleared has resulted in an inefficient system that increases the cost and reduces the availability of consumer goods.
The strategic document that Capital had access to indicated that given the capacity of the private sector to perform the same services in a competitive market, there is little justification for continuing this monopoly.

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Since the implementation of the multimodal system, the private sector has requested to be allowed to perform and be part of the logistics operations, while the scheme is fully controlled by ESLSE.
Workneh told Capital that the recommendations that were listed in the strategy document shall be implemented in harmony with the country’s policy.
He declined to give any details whether the private sector will be let to activate the multimodal scheme. “We will disclose that if we have any news about the issue,” the logistics Chief added.

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He said that the country’s logistics sector is tied in quandary but the government is working to revive it. The strategic blueprint document stated that there is a clear need to separate two unique flows of Ethiopian cargo.
There are cargos whose owners want to clear as fast as possible and owners cooperate with the system operators to minimize the likelihood of delays. There are, on the other hand, cargos owners whose seem to want to use the port facilities (and dry ports) as storages.
These long-deposited cargo generate additional burden on the temporary storage facilities, as they create additional cargo pile ups and reduce terminal capacities. Such behavior is observed in container cargos as well as break-bulk cargos.

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The earlier these cargo flows are separated, the lesser will be the impact on the cargo that is wanted quickly by its owners.  “This reduces the impact on the port, trucks assignment, highway congestion, dry ports operations and final delivery. The cargo can be temporarily stored outside the Port of Djibouti and transferred slowly, during off peak times to different storing facilities around Ethiopia. The segregation will also allow services to be tailored to fast clearance cargo, such as reliable and predictable customs clearance, expedited transfer from Djibouti to the dry ports and final delivery,” the strategy document reads.

http://www.capitalethiopia.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5072:national-strategy-looks-into-monopoly-of-logistics-operation-&catid=54:news&Itemid=27

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Ethiopia to invest $240 million on road construction

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As part of its fourth road sector development plan, Ethiopia is to construct three road projects costing more than $240 million, totaling 262.6 kilometers.

The first road project to be constructed is the 83.4 kms Sodo-Tercha  asphalt concrete project in Southern Ethiopia  signed with China Railway Seventh Group Limited with a total outlay of  USD $84 million.

The project is expected to pass through mountainous range, take 42 months to finish, be 19 meters wide in rural areas and 10 meters wide in urban areas.

The second one  located in Northern Ethiopia is the Bilbela-Sekota road project signed with China first Highway Engineering Company, expected to cost USD 102 million, be 98.7 kms long and take 39 months to complete. It’s also expected to be 14 meters long in urban areas and seven meters long in rural areas.

The Third one is the 80.5 kms Dichito-Gaielfi roundabout- Beleho  in north East of Ethiopia to be implemented  by a local construction company  Defense Construction Enterprise. The project will see 63.5 kms of it built with Cement Concrete Rigid Pavement, while the rest 17 kms will be with standard asphalt basis.

It’s anticipated to take 1170 days to complete, be 10 meters wide in urban areas, 7 meters wide in rural areas, and be vital in connecting Landlocked Ethiopia with Tadjourah Port facilitating export-import trade of Ethiopia and the economy of the areas on its route.

All Three road projects expenses will be fully covered by the Ethiopian government.

http://www.newbusinessethiopia.com/index.php/component/k2/item/309-ethiopia-invest-240-million-on-road-construction/309-ethiopia-invest-240-million-on-road-construction

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British’s KEFI to produce 29 tons of gold and silver in Ethiopia 

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 April 14, 2015

 Adams of KEFI Minerals Ltd. signing a 20 year gold and silver production agreement in Addis Ababa, April 13, 2015

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BY ANDUALEM SISAY GESSESSE

KEFI Minerals Limited of British set to start production of close to 28.8 tons of gold and silver in the coming 11 years. The company and Ethiopian Ministry of Mines signed a large scale gold and silver production agreement last night in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

The company will start production in Ganji Zone, Tulu Kapi area of Oromia Region of Ethiopia, according to Harry Anagnostaras – Adams, non- executive chairman of KEFI Minerals Ethiopia Limited.

“It will take real determination and responsibility from our side and we will do it,” said Mr. Adams said after signing the agreement.

He noted that six months is needed to access the around $152 million total financing from the banks specialized in mining. “…Through Nyota Minerals and our shareholders we are more confident and raise the capital required. We reduced the amount of capital from our initial Tulu Kapi project and also reduced the number of households to be resettled from 460 to 260 households by redesigning the area,” he said.

“We have involved Ethiopian experts in designing to create new livelihood. Whatever the compensation is required we will pay,” Mr. Adams added.

From Golden Prospect to Nyota and KEFI, the Tulu Kapi gold exploration went through different companies since 2005 with a total investment of $42 million, according to Dr. Kebede Belete, KEFI Minerals Country manager for Ethiopia.

Before KEFI has taken over Tulu Kapi’s project in Ethiopia 18 months ago and has been in similar mining project in Saudi Arabia for the past seven years.

“The agreement we signed will create jobs for 700 people and generates $1.06 billion foreign currency for the country in eleven years with additional $130 million income for government. They will also train our people and we also agreed that they will protect the environment. It will be a good model for other mining companies and open doors for others,” said Tolossa Shaggi Minister of Mines of Ethiopia.

“We hope that other companies will follow KEFI’s suit and engaged in development of Ethiopia’s minerals,” he said indicating that in the coming two years his ministry expects at least a minimum of three companies engaged in gold exploration to acquire production license.

From 15-20 years we plan to continue production from 15 to 20 years,” Dr. Kebede said indicating the initial production area is 7 square kilometers.

Mr. Adams on his part noted that the overall gold reserve potential is unknown. “What we know is what is already identified … Sometimes one has to go underground to estimate the additional. Our ambition is to be an example. The minister encouraged us to do further,” Mr. Adams added.

Ethiopia has been earning up to $500 million annually from its mineral exports. Out of this, gold covers the major share. So far MIDROC Gold Company of the Saudi- Ethiopian tycoon Al-Amoudi was the only one engaged in large scale gold production in Ethiopia with 5 tons per annum. The rest around 7 to 8 tons per annum is produced by thousands of artisan (traditional) gold producers.

http://www.newbusinessethiopia.com/index.php/component/k2/item/304-british-s-kefi-to-produce-29-tons-of-gold-and-silver-in-Ethiopia

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B&C exploring aluminum deposits

By Muluken Yewondwossen   
Tuesday, 14 April 2015

B & C Aluminum Plc., a local company that produces extruded aluminum, is exploring aluminum deposits to develop in joint venture with foreign companies.

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B & C Aluminum Plc. turned its face to aluminum mining after two years of manufacturing experience of extrusion aluminum. The company is the sole manufacturer of such type of aluminum in Ethiopia. Biruk Haile, owner of the company, said that his company was granted permits from the Ministry of Mines (MoM) to explore aluminum resource locations.

“We are in the course of preparation to begin detailed surveys on the potential locations on which we got directions from the ministry,” Biruk said.

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Biruk further said that his company has  already entered into discussions with international miners to develop potential aluminum ores. He said that the company will appear with concrete moves to transform its plant towards the end of the next budget year.

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The company currently uses scrap aluminum that is collected locally as input for its extrusion product.
“Our main source for the scrap product is the Public Procurement and Property Disposal Service, a government office, and we also use scraps that are collected by small scale enterprises,” Biruk said. Since its establishment, B & C Aluminum,  it managed to substitute imported aluminum.

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Recently, officials of the Ministry of Mines had visited the company’s manufacturing plant, according to Biruk. In addition to manufacturing aluminum products, the  company also participates in aluminum installation works in construction projects. Currently, B & C Aluminum  is undertaking aluminum installation works on the homes Addis Ababa Housing Project is constructing, according to Biruk. The company has installed aluminum fittings to 19 blocks of the 40/60 condominium project on the building located at SengaTera and Crown (Kality) sites at the cost of 95 million birr.

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“We are supplying our products on competitive price as  almost all of our products  are made of local resources. That is why we manage several huge projects in the country,” Biruk explained.
According to him, the company has also a plan to involve in house/office furniture and kitchen equipment production in the near future.

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B & C is one of the leading manufacturers, producers and suppliers of a wide range of high quality extruded aluminum products and parts to the fast growing construction industry for the past twelve years. Currently, there are several aluminum suppliers and contractors operating in the country and most of them use imported materials.

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Even though there are indications that show the country has aluminum resource in some areas, there is no extraction work being done.  Some companies have recently started expressing their interest to invest in the sector and most of them are in early stages to go into explorations.


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Ethiopia keen to expand Africa-Japan industrial cooperation

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Addis Ababa, 14 April 2015

Ambassador Berhane Gebre-Christos, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, meeting a delegation of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) headed by Hiroyuki Nemoto, Director-General for Overseas Planning Department of JETRO on Tuesday (April 14), reiterated Ethiopia’s firm commitment to build and promote cooperation between Japan and Africa in industrialization, MoFA reported.

Ambassador Berhane, underlining historic ties with Japan, emphasized it was a country Ethiopia valued highly and was ready to pursue shared benefits.

He noted that Ethiopia has made huge headway in socio-economic development coupled with encouraging FDI inflows and an improved investment landscape.

He said it was time for Japanese companies to invest in Ethiopia, and become part of the impetus for the resurgent Ethiopia, not least in area of establishing industrial zones.

Ambassador Berhane, pointing out that Ethiopia was implementing Japan’s Kaizen Management Principles in order to enhance productivity and quality, expressed his hope that the engagement of Japanese companies would encourage Ethiopia’s developmental agenda.

Director-General Hiroyuki Nemoto stressed JETRO was keen to work with the Government of Ethiopia and emphasized that JETRO’S extensive experience in attracting Japanese companies to industrial zones in countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar and India would help support  Ethiopia’s industrial development policy.

He noted that JETRO was intending to be a promoter of two-way trade between Africa and Japan and said it would support African infrastructure development, local industries and human resource development.

JETRO is a Japanese government linked organization focusing on promotion of trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world.

http://www.waltainfo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=18665:ethiopia-keen-to-expand-africa-japan-industrial-cooperation&catid=52:national-news&Itemid=291

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Ethiopia envisions USD 1bn revenue from textile export in GTP II

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Ethiopia envisions USD 1bn revenue from textile export in GTP IIThe Ethiopian government extends attractive incentive packages to boost production of the manufacturing industry subsector in an attempt to make the nation a major exporter of textile products.
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The government’s incentive is provided for private sectors so as to attract more investment in the sector with 100 percent duty free importation of machineries and equipment.

Similarly, duty free importation of spare parts of 15 percent of capital goods for the first five years of operation, the possibility to hire expatriates free from income tax provided they stay for no more than two years, and reconciliation of VAT for materials purchased locally during the project period is possible if declared in six months time are included among the incentives provided by the government.

During the second phase of the growth and transformation plan, Textile Industry Development Institute (TIDI) said that they have targeted USD one billion in annual revenue from textile and garment export.

Silesh Lemma, Director-General of the institute, at a workshop held at Intercontinental Hotel last week organized to sensitize manufacturers over Ethiopia’s plans for the sector said that they are working to be a leading country in light manufacturing in Africa which will lay the foundation for heavy and high tech industries by 2025.

According to the director, more than 152 new investments are expected during GTP II while at least USD one billion is anticipated from the sector’s export coupled with more than 170,000 job opportunities.

The Director-General also indicated that the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) extends a 70 percent loan against 30 percent equity contribution in-cash by the investor (in-kind contribution policy revision is underway) for green field investment. In addition, DBE further extends a 60 percent loan against 40 percent equity contribution in cash or in kind.

In order to realize the ambitious plan, the country is building over ten industrial zones all of them are state developed.

Textile Industry is considered as a number one priority by the Government’s Industrial Development Strategy even during the current GTP which ends in June 2015.

However, the sector’s performance has not been to the satisfaction of the government during the GTP period with annual earnings from export not exceeding USD 100 million with shortage of raw materials, inefficiency, and lack of technological applications, among others affecting the sector. But the government insists that the future for the sector is bright.

http://www.yarnsandfibers.com/news/textile-news/ethiopia-envisions-usd-1bn-revenue-textile-export-gtp-ii#.VS1Sb_nF-So

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