01 May 2015 Economic News Round-Up


Ethiopia Registering Remarkable Achievements, Says UNDP 2014 Report


Ethiopia Registering Remarkable Achievements, Says UNDP 2014 ReportAddis Ababa April 30/2015 –

Ethiopia has registered remarkable achievements in economic and social changes, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) said.

The United Nation Development Program (UNDP) 2014 Report which was released yesterday stated that the nation’s per capita income reached 632 USD in 2014 from 171 USD in 2005.

The Human Development Index (HDI) of Ethiopia is also growing by an average of 3.5 percent over the past 10 years.

UNDP Resident Representative, Eugene Owusu said on the occasion that the country, which has been investing on education, health, social protection, essential infrastructure, water and sanitation activities, has increased primary education coverage to 85.7 percent from the previous 68 percent.

The regional Human Development Index (HDI) in Ethiopia has shown significant improvement in the past decades.

Ethiopia also registered remarkable achievements in health by immunizing 87 percent of its children.

Life expectancy is in the range of 57 and 62 years, except in Harari State which has the highest expectancy at 70.5 years.

According to the report, the regional disparities in Human Development Index (HDI) values indicate that four Regional States which are Afar, Somali, Amhara and Oromia have the lowest HDI’S, below the national HDI of 0.461.

Meanwhile UNDP report stressed that Ethiopia should work hard to improve good governance and political participation.



Efforts under way to make industrial sector leading contributor in Ethiopia’s GDP

Efforts under way to make industrial sector leading contributor in Ethiopia’s GDPAddis Ababa: April 30, 2015 –
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn noted today, while laying the foundation stone of the Hawasa Industrial Park, the government is exerting efforts to make the industrial sector a leading contributor in Ethiopia’s GDP.

The Premier stated extensive work is underway based in improved agricultural production to boost farmers’ benefit. The country is at a stage where a conducive environment is engendered to allow a vibrant industrial sector to have the lion’s share in the country’s economy. The establishment of an industrial park in Hawasa will promote benefits to citizens, he added.

Board Chairman of the Industrial Parks Development Corporation, Arkebe Ekubay said Hawasa is selected to host the industrial park due to the population size (up to five million residents) residing within 50-70 km of the city and a workforce of up to three million people. He urged higher learning institutions, including Hawasa University, to train the large manpower to work in the industrial park and also conduct research in the field.

The Hawasa Industrial Park, under the first phase of construction, will develop 250,000 hectares of land starting on June and ending on December. Federal and regional agencies will work in collaboration to realize the park, it was disclosed.

In the next ten years, the manufacturing sector is expected to employ up to 1.5 million people, from its current 350,000 employees, Ekubay underscored. He added the establishment and development of industrial parks plays a pivotal role in this regard.

President of Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s National Regional State Desie Dalke said the establishment of the industrial park in Hawasa has a significant positive implication on the region. The Region is prepared to provide all the assistance it is required for the realization of the project. The park will boost the city’s growth, provide employment and attract investors, Dalke noted.



Ethiopia, Argentina Agree to Boost Relations


Ethiopia, Argentina Agree to Boost RelationsAddis Ababa April 30/2015 –

Ethiopia and Argentina have agreed to boost their bilateral relations.

This was disclosed today after State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Berhane Gebre-Kristos, and his Argentinan counterpart Daniel Fernando Filmus held discussions here in Addis Ababa.

Berhane, who recalled the longstanding bilateral relationship of the two countries, said Argentina and Ethiopia have agreed to foster the agreement they concluded earlier in technical cooperation, agriculture, science and technology.

Argentina’s State Minister Daniel Fernando Filmus said on his part the relationship between Argentina and Ethiopia is at its best.

Argentina would further work to implement the agreement signed in areas of technical cooperation with Ethiopia, he added.

He also said Argentina is very eager to boost diplomatic, economic and cultural relations with Ethiopia.



Why foreign-educated Ethiopians are returning home


ethiohardhatIn 2011 business executive Blen Abebe visited her country of birth, Ethiopia, for the first time in nearly 20 years. She grew up in the US and her memories of Ethiopia from the 1990s were of an under-developed country with poor infrastructure. She had built her career working in investment in the US with companies such as Morgan Stanley.

“I first came to visit Ethiopia in 2011 and noticed the country was undergoing a heavy transformation process and the changes were apparent everywhere from the massive infrastructure projects to the overwhelming construction developments all over Addis Ababa.

“That for me was a wakeup call, I needed to be involved and be a part of it,” she says.

These days Abebe works in Addis Ababa as vice president at Schulze Global Investments (SGI), a private equity firm focused on emerging markets. In 2012 SGI launched the Ethiopia Growth and Transformation Fund and has invested in several local enterprises.

Returning home

She is one of many Ethiopian young professionals heading back home after spending years living and studying abroad.

Some left for studies and opportunities, others fled in the 1970s when an oppressive communist government took over. And some children were adopted following the international media coverage of the 1980s famines. Now many are moving back home to help build one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

Michael Tesfaye Hiruy spent 14 years in France and worked with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission. He returned 14 months ago to start Andalem, an IT consultancy in Ethiopia. Having seen the transformative effects of technology in Europe, 34-year-old Hiruy was motivated to promote the development of an IT ecosystem back home.

Like Abebe and Hiruy, many returnees are opting to start their own businesses or work for foreign companies setting base in Ethiopia. At SGI, for instance, most employees are Ethiopian-Americans, says Abebe, and their mix of international and local knowledge comes in handy when dealing with potential investees.

“The fact that you look Ethiopian and speak the native language means the locals can relate to you,” she explains. “We have had deals that we closed partly because we were on the ground and were more relatable to the locals than other private equity firms. And it makes sense, as most of the family businesses have been passed through generations, so they wouldn’t necessarily trust or be willing to work with you before they get to know you.

“That is why Schulze Global ensures it has people who know both the foreign and local culture.”

Competition for jobs

However, many of those returning are finding it difficult to get jobs.

“As more people living abroad are trying to move back, there are high numbers competing for the same jobs. And it’s not just Ethiopians. Non-Ethiopians as well are trying to come here so competition is intense,” says Abebe.

Fitting into Ethiopia’s business environment after spending many years working in a developed economy is also not easy. UK-educated Samuel Getu says he faced difficulty getting his employees to be fully productive at work. Getu left Ethiopia at age 13 and spent 12 years abroad where he studied for two degrees. When he returned home Getu joined his family’s conglomerate, Get-As International, which is involved in the FMCG, real estate, transportation and hospitality industries.

Different work ethic

“I had to again learn the culture here and understand how people’s mentalities work,” says Getu. “You see, in London if you gave an assignment to an employee you know it will be done in time. But here you have to chase people because they can fail to deliver for no reason. So I’ve devised ways how to approach people and get them to be more, even fully productive.”

Abebe says she needed to make “serious adjustments” due to the different work ethics and general work atmosphere.

And although fitting in was a little easier for returnees who visited Ethiopia constantly during their stay abroad, they too still face challenges.

“I was never disconnected from Ethiopia. I know the business environment well because during the 14 years that I was in France I used to come here every year,” says Hiruy. “But when you work in the private sector in the west there is this pressure of profitability and everything goes fast. You need to re-adapt when you come here. This market is completely different and you have to be patient.”

Nonetheless, Hiruy urges Ethiopian professionals still working abroad to return home to harness the many opportunities opening up.

“I have been telling all my friends to come back because you can feel the impact of your work here,” Abebe concurs. “In the US I worked for big firms like Morgan Stanley and I was just one of the many.

“Despite working on complex projects at the bigger firms it is impossible to know your contribution to the bottom-line numbers, but here I can feel the direct impact for the country, for the company and for our investors.”




Chinese company to build East Africa’s tallest building in Ethiopia


Chinese company to build East Africa’s tallest building in EthiopiaAddis Ababa: April 30, 2015 –
The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) has signed an agreement with the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) for the plan to build a 198-meter building for CBE’s headquarters in Ethiopia, which is expected to be the tallest structure in East Africa.

A signing ceremony of the 46-storey building was held on Tuesday at CBE’s head office in the capital Addis Ababa.

Speaking at the ceremony, CBE President, Bekalu Zeleke, said CBE and CSCEC would be committed to the success of the project as “it reflects the image of both sides.”

“Not only the height, but the overall quality of the building, we believe that this will be one of the best buildings in Africa,” he said.

Song Sudong, general manager for CSCEC in Ethiopia, said at the ceremony that the company has successfully carried out such building projects in China.

“We believe this will be a new window for your country, for your city, and also for East Africa,” said Song, adding the two sides could be “win-win partners” in the future with the success of this project.



EBG Builds Heavy Trucks Maintenance Center in Afar Regional State


EBG Builds Heavy Trucks Maintenance Center in Afar Regional StateAddis Ababa April 29/2015 – 
A heavy trucks maintenance center and employees’ living quarters built by Equatorial Business Group (EBG) with over 50 million birr in Semera, the capital of Afar Regional State, was inaugurated on Saturday, April 26, 2015.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Afar Regional State Representative Commander Mahmoud Mohammed said the state would provide all the necessary support for investors as the role of the private sector is crucial to the growth of the region and the country.

The center would solve the problem vehicles face on the Djibouti route thus enhancing the import and export of the country, he pointed out.

The center would also help reduce traffic accidents in addition to creating job opportunities to the localities, Commander Mahmoud noted.

According to him, students of the regional vocational and technical colleges would benefit from the center as they can practice in the center.

Equatorial Business Group Senior Director, Daniel Seyoum said on his part the center which took three years to get constructed meets international standards to provide maintenance for heavy trucks.

The regional state has made available 33,000 hectares of land free from lease, the director also revealed.

The center would provide maintenance services for Trans Ethiopia, Tikur Abay, Derba Transport and other clients, it was learned.



Experts from 100 countries storm Ethiopia for E-Learning Africa conference

Experts from 100 countries storm Ethiopia for E-Learning Africa conferenceAddis Ababa: April 30, 2015 –
Poised to provide a unique forum for dialogue, networking and exchange of ideas, e-Learning Africa, the largest and most influential conference on technology-assisted learning and training in Africa, will be bringing together African education and ICT ministers to meet leading global experts to discuss new opportunities and initiatives in the field of technology and learning in the continent.

Keynote speakers expected at the conference include the Executive Director, Mozilla Foundation, makers of Firefox, Mark Surman and the founder and President of the University of the People, Shai Reshef. Other leading global experts on ICT and education expected are the Prime Minister of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn; Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Ethiopia, Dr. Debretsion Gebremichael;

Minister of Science and Technology, Ethiopia, Demitu Hambisa; Minister of Education, Ethiopia, Shiferaw Shigutie Wolassa; Personal Representative of the German Chancellor Angela Merkell for Africa in the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany; Günter Nooke among others.

Being the 10th International Conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training, the conference will span May 20 to 22, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Annually, the e-Learning Africa conference is reputed for bringing together over 1, 500 people from nearly 100 countries. This year’s edition is organised by the African Union in collaboration with the Government of Ethiopia.

According to the organisers, “A major focus of the conference will be on the role technology-assisted learning can play in helping to develop the skills vital for the future of Africa, by equipping young Africans with entrepreneurial expertise, supporting capacity development in key sectors such as health, and assisting a new generation of entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions in the education technology sector.

“Other key themes for the conference will include the development and promotion of African research, boosting international cooperation in the education sector between African countries and the rest of the world, and the expansion of open education resources and tools.

“Sessions at the conference will feature presentations on the use of mobile applications for health professionals, the use of ‘gamification’ to bridge the skills and learning gap, an in-depth examination of the latest statistics on ICT in education in Africa, the role of education technology in empowering Africa’s female farmers, online African language learning, removing digital illiteracy, and developing the role of the librarian.”



Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: