15 May 2015 News Round-Up


Growth of Ethiopia construction sector to surpass that of regional peers, BMI says


Light Rail Construction - Ethiopia Construction Sector to grow driven by infrastructure investments
Light Rail Construction – Ethiopia Construction Sector to grow driven by infrastructure investments

Ethiopia’s construction sector will outgrow that of neighbors in the region over the next ten years, according to projections by BMI Research International. The construction sector will grow at an annual average growth of 11.6% and will be fueled by a swell in infrastructure investments in the region. BMI said it expected the growth to be pushed in future, by residential and non-residential sectors.

Although the rate is expected to be slower than that in the previous years because the government will be unable to maintain spending in the infrastructural sector, it is expected that the growth will remain to be one of the highest growing in the world over the ten year’s forecast.

Ethiopia construction sector attained a 23.7% annual growth in 2014, and thus the growth this year was anticipated. Although Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP), under which the government is expected to undertake various construction projects in energy and infrastructure, is expected to push investment in the country, BMI Research says that the plan will be less intensive in relation to focusing on physical infrastructure since the country’s fiscal position is set to come under pressure.

Ethiopia has, according to BMI Research, double the amount of infrastructure project investments compared to Nigeria. With USD20bn worth of projects in pipeline, it is expected that the construction sector will have an output of USD3.2bn this year, so reports BMI Research. Kenya’s construction sector growth is expected to be 9% this year and maintain the trend over a ten years’ projection. Uganda’s growth rate in construction sector over 2015 will be 7.3% year-on-year. Tanzania construction sector will grow at real growth of below 9.5% over 9.5% per year during 2015-2019.

Most investments are being channeled to wind power projects in Ethiopia and hydropower projects, although significant investments are being put to residential and non-residential housing sectors and railway building. Ethiopia is looking to hook to Djibouti and Kenya ports through multiple lines. An increased spend in infrastructure has seen fixed investments in the country go high from 25% to 40% of GDP from 2008.

BMI Research notes that the government will not be able to sustain the high of fixed investment and although international investors in manufacturing and other investments are set to provide construction opportunities, they will not be able to cover up the government’s slump in investment in the sector.

Apart from government infrastructure investment effect on the growth, other examples to help in the growth include residential and non-residential sector, massive investments in industries – including the USD2.2bn Huajian Group Industrial Zone near Addis Ababa – and numerous investment in textile factories and increased entry of Chinese manufacturers.



City to Build Modern Hospital with 400 Million Birr


City to Build Modern Hospital with 400 Million BirrAddis Ababa May 14/2015 –

Addis Ababa City Administration disclosed that it is going to build a huge and modern hospital with an outlay of 400 million birr.

City Mayor, Diriba Kuma laid a cornerstone of the hospital today at Kolfe Keraniyo Sub-city.

During the occasion, the Mayor said the government has been working hard to provide access to quality health service for the public.

To realize this, building modern hospitals equipped with standard technology and sufficient manpower would play crucial, in addition to constructing health stations and expanding health extension services, the mayor stated.

There are 36 private and 11 public hospitals in the capital city. The facilities, according to Diriba, are not however proportionate to the population of Addis Ababa.  Hence cornerstones were laid for the construction of three hospitals, including Kolfe Keranyo Hospital.

The construction of the hospital will start in the coming Ethiopian budget year and it is expected to be fully operational within three years.



Ursus tractors opens factory line in Ethiopia


Ursus tractors opens factory line in EthiopiaAddis Ababa: May 15, 2015 –
Polish tractor producer Ursus has opened a dedicated manufacturing line at the METEC factory in Ethiopia, where it won a contract back in 2013 for the sale of 3,000 units.

The contract, signed in September 2013 and financed in part by the Polish ‘Go Africa’ programme, is worth some PLN 90 million, with over 1,500 tractors already sold in the country.

“We have been sending our people to train the local workforce for the past six months,” Ursus spokesman Marisuz Lewandowski told the Gazeta Wyborcza daily.

Former president Lech Wałęsa was at the factory in the Ethiopian city of Adama for the opening.

“If Africa will develop, then the whole world will follow suit,” Wałęsa said.

Currently, 83 percent of Ethiopian society make their living on agriculture, although only two percent use tractors, the Ethiopian agriculture minsiter Ato Tefera Derebew told Gazeta Wyborcza.

Meanwhile, Ursus is mulling entering the Tanzanian market, with the CEO Karol Zarajczyk saying that the company intends on undertaking further contracts in Etiopia following the conclusion of the current delivery.



Small Farmers Harvest Over 270 million Quintals


Small Farmers Harvest Over 270 million QuintalsAddis Ababa May 15/2015 –

Central Statistical Agency announced that more than 270 million quintals have been harvested by small farmers this Ethiopian production year.

The harvest collected from 12.6 hectares of land has exceeded that of the previous year by 18.8 million quintals, it was indicated. This is 7.5 percent growth over last year.

Agency Statistics Studies and Census Sector Deputy Director-General, Amare Legese said the growth was registered due to the utilization of technology, strengthening of organization and focus of farmers on market-oriented products.

The country’s annual fertilizer consumption has reached 1.2 million ton and this has played a crucial role in increasing agricultural products, he added.

The samples selection was taken based on international standards that follow scientific ways, it was indicated.



African Trade Ministers Conferring on Establishment of Trade Area


African Trade Ministers Conferring on Establishment of Trade AreaAddis Ababa May 15/2015 –

Meeting of African Union Ministers of Trade that confers on strategic principles that will guide negotiations leading to the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) opened here yesterday.

Speaking at the 10th African Union Ministers of Trade, AU Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Fatima Harama Acyl said CFTA would play significant role   for the continent’s socio-economic growth and development.

The establishment of the CFTA will extensively boost intra-Africa trade and investment thereby making it easier to move goods and services around the continent, the commissioner added.

It would also support sustainable development, create more  jobs and empower  women as well as strengthen the geopolitical position of  Africa  vis-a-vis  the  rest of the world , according to Fatima, who added that  it  would  further enhance  the  investment  in the continent  which would help to improve  the  lot of  African people.

The commissioner urged member states to support the establishment of CFTA by making provision for resource for its negotiations.“It must be an African-owned and led agenda and it does not reflect well for it to be entirely financed by our generous partners,” she underlined.

She also stated that it is critical to consider the establishment of the CFTA not in isolation, but within the context of ongoing development across the globe.

Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Abdella Hamdok said on his part the CFTA will help to expand the nation’s market chain.

Upon full implementation, the CFTA would help make simpler the nation’s cost and waste, and develop trade exchanges, Hamdok noted.



Foundation for 491km railway project laid


Foundation for 491km railway projects layAddis Ababa May 14/2015 –

Prime Minister HaileMariam Desalegn laid down a cornerstone yesterday in Ambo town for the construction of a 491km railway that links Addis Ababa with Bedele, known for its dense natural forest and crop production, in Oromoia regional state.

The project is among the eight national railway roots set to be constructed by the Ethiopian Railways Corporation with a total length of 5060km.

Noting the government has been spending the first five years of the growth and transformation plan (GTP), on the agriculture sector, since it is the backbone of the economy, the Prime Minister said the efforts brought significant results.

Engaging in infrastructure development is now important to create market chain between producers and consumers locally and abroad as the agricultural production has been increasing from time to time, he said.

In this regard, the construction of the railway will help farmers in the area transport their products to markets, HaileMariam said.

The railway, with more than 25 stations, will reduce duration producers reach markets and link the nation with South Sudan.

Noting that the area, west Shoa, is known for utilization of modern agricultural equipments, the Premier said the railway will expand mode of transport to reach markets.

Ethiopian Railways Corporation CEO Getachew Betru said the railway, which will finally connect to Sudan, will play significant role in enhancing social, political and economic activities of the areas it crosses as well as the nation.

The country has identified eight railway routes for construction during the first five-year GTP period, to be concluded after two months and the second GTP period.

The Addis Ababa- Ijaji- Jimma- Guraferda- Dima including Jimma-Bedele (direct to Boma with further extension to South Sudan) is among the railway routes ready for construction.

Up on completion this railway route will connect the country with neighboring Sudan.

The nation is engaged in road and railway constructions to increase surface transport locally and connect it with neighboring countries to boost economic ties.

The Addis Ababa – Djibouti railway route that links the country with neighboring Djibouti is among the projects under construction.

Construction of the Addis Ababa – Djibouti railway project has already reached 80 percent.

Construction of another railway root that connects the potash rich northern and northeastern part of the country with Tadjoura port in Djibouti has launched this year.

The Mekele – Weldya/Hara Gebeya – Semera- Tadjourah Port railway project will enable the potash rich part of the country get quick access to ports.



Ethiopia benefiting from alternative sea ports

Ethiopia benefiting from alternative sea portsAddis Ababa: May 15, 2015  –
Ethiopia is benefiting from use of alternative sea ports at Berbera and Port Sudan.

Ethiopia has predominantly relied on Djibouti for its ever increasing import-export trade volume. The Djibouti port continues to serve a crucial role for the Ethiopian economy with an upgraded service. The port is Ethiopia’s gateway for open cargo, containers, livestock, petroleum, etc. The port’s ability to handle large ships is also a boost for Ethiopia.

However, depending on a sole port for a country’s entire import-export needs is not advantageous for Ethiopia. Mekonen Abera, Director of the Ethiopian Maritime Affairs Authority, says a lack of alternative ports will negatively affect pricing on services.

Ethiopia produces goods to be exported across the globe. Similarly, it imports goods from the four corners of the world.

Due to the sheer size of the country, depending solely on the Djibouti Port is not profitable. As such, the nation has embarked on utilizing alternative ports, such as Port Sudan, where recently, sesame seeds produced in North Western parts of Ethiopia were exported through and 50,000 tons of fertilizers to be distributed to the same area were imported through.

Somaliland’s Berbera Port is another cheaper alternative compared with the port in Djibouti. Port Berbera also has similar distance from central Ethiopia as does Port Djibouti, According to Mekonen.

A study has shown some requirements to be fulfilled before Ethiopia can fully utilize Berbera. Infrastructure on and to the port needs further development. As it currently stands, the port is unable to handle large ships.

There is an 800km road between Port Sudan and the Ethiopian border. Large trucks capable of transporting 700-1000 tons of cargo travel the distance with relative ease, facilitating trade.

The alternative routes, Mekonen noted, are benefiting Ethiopia in terms of lower service charges and minimal congestion at ports.



National input-output coefficient standard facilitates efficient service


National input-output coefficient standard facilitates efficient serviceAddis Ababa May 14/2015 –

The Ministry of Industry said the directives of the national standard input-output coefficient will enable exporters get quick and efficient service.

The directives will minimize the process to import inputs for export products, said Ahmed Nuru, policy and program researcher director with the Ministry while briefing exporters and implementers here yesterday.

Exporters are no more expected to go to the ministry every time they want to import inputs, rather they can find the exact amount of input need to be imported for their products through the website.

The exporters can submit a request for a change to the standards of existing products or to incorporate new products, he added.

The principle will end utilization of different varieties and amount of inputs for similar products, said Girma Gelelcha, sectoral relation and promotion director.

The national standard for textiles included 28 varieties of inputs for 360 types of textiles and garment products, he said.

Standard has also set for 39 types of inputs used during the production of 44 leather and leather products.

Newly imported inputs and on stockpiles are expected to comply the standards, since 9 April 2015, when the standard became effective.



Ayka Addis to purchase cotton from farmers’ union


Ayka Addis to purchase cotton from farmers’ unionGondar May 14/2015 – 

Ayka Addis, a Turkish-based textiles company, signed agreement with a farmers’ cooperative union in Gondar town of Amhara regional state to purchase 150,000 quintals of cotton this year.

The agreement is expected to stimulate cotton production, being diminished because of various reasons, which led to shortage of raw material for textile companies in the country.

Textile companies in the country have encountered raw material shortage, which led to reduction of production.

The government has been importing cotton to fill the gap.

The agreement will enable Selam farmers’ cooperative union supply quality cotton for the company at the international price, Jegine Tebikew, chairman of the union told ENA.

According to him, Ayka has decided to buy cotton from the area, north Gondar, by considering the quality of the product.

Farmers that are going to engage in cotton cultivation have identified and preparation of farming land and inputs are being underway, he added.

The Tach Armachiho woreda is among the areas known for its cotton cultivation previously.

According to the Woreda Administrator Eyasu Yilak, thousands of hectares land suitable for cotton production is available in the woreda.

Farmers in the area have stopped cotton cultivation and shifted to sesame because of price decrease. The agreement signed with Ayka is expected to change his situation and encourage more farmers to cultivate cotton.

According to the zonal agriculture bureau, target has set to cultivate cotton on over 40,000 hectares land in the zone this year.



Tekeze – Africa’s tallest Dam


Tekeze damAfrica’s tallest dam and biggest capacity are the words that describe Ethiopia’s dams currently under construction. For sure the country will be a land of many distinctions when the current crop of hydropower stations are completed in the years ahead.

The  country is endowed by mountains and is the source of over 90 percent of the Nile’s water. These attributes give the country a potential of over 40,000MW of hydropower. The country has every intention to tap this potential  if current developments are anything to go by starting with the recently completed Tekeze Dam. The dam holds the distinction of being the tallest Dam in Africa overtaking the Katse Arch Dam in Lesotho which previously carried that title.

Standing at 188metres the dam is located on the river that goes by the same name and is only 3 meteres taller than Katse Dam which is not much by any standards.

The dam was built by the Chinese National Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Corp and consists of the arch dam, construction of two river diversion tunnels, power waterways, an underground powerhouse containing four 75-MW Francis turbines, a 230-kV substation, and a 105-km transmission line to connect the project to the national grid at Mekele.

The country’s ambitious hydropower development plans also include the Gibe III dam and the Grand Renaissance Dam. The Gibe III will be the highest roller compacted concrete dam and will inject 1,870mw of power into the national grid while the Grand Renaissance will add 6000MW making it the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa.

When all these dams are completed the country will shift from a deficiency to excess power capacity and will be able to export this to other East African countries.



Government Provides Over 2.3 Million Hectares of Land for Investors in Agriculture


Gov't Provides Over 2.3 Million Hectares of Land for Investors in AgricultureAddis Ababa May 13/2015 –

Ethiopian Agriculture Investment Land Administration Agency disclosed that it has provided over 2.3 million hectares of land for investors this Ethiopia fiscal year.

The agency evaluated here yesterday its performance of nine months with stakeholders drawn from seven regional states, federal and investment bodies and investors in the sectors.

Agency Director-General Aberra Mulat said the government has distributed most of the 3.6 million hectares of land allotted by the government for investors.

Out of the land provided to the investors in the period under review, however, only 30 percent is cultivated, he said, adding that the performance is low.

Good governance, land grab, lack of infrastructure, shortage of chemical and agricultural equipment as well as loan are the main causes of the lowperformance, the director-general said.

Efforts have been exerted to resolve these challenges with stakeholders and investors, according to him.



African Development Bank presidential candidates outline their aims

Addis Ababa: May 14, 2015 –
As Donald Kaberuka prepares to relinquish the reins as AfDB chief, his potential successors reveal their plans for reducing inequality and increasing prosperity.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) will elect a new president at the end of the month as its current leader, Donald Kaberuka, steps down after a decade in charge.

Eight candidates are in the running to take over from Kaberuka, who is credited with steering the bank through the tumultuous 2008 financial crisis and ramping up infrastructure lending.

The bank is one of the continent’s biggest lending institutions, rivalling the World Bank in financing infrastructure projects to improve electricity, transport and water services. In 2013, the bank approved almost $3.16bn (£2bn) in loans and grants to infrastructure projects on the continent, according to its annual report.

Kaberuka, Rwanda’s former finance minister, was voted into office in 2005. Last month, he said the bank needs to do more to spread Africa’s economic growth and called on his successor to focus on reducing inequality across the continent.

Founded in 1964, the bank has 80 member countries, including 26 non-African states. Its mission is “to promote sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty in Africa”.

On 28 May, the board of governors will vote on the next president of the AfDB. The candidates to take over from Kaberuka are nearly all African government ministers, with the exception of one head of a regional development group and one former AfDB official.

Each candidate has submitted a vision statement that details their priorities for the bank. Last month, seven of the eight contenders met at the Center for Global Development in Washington DC to outline these priorities. The candidates outline their views below.


Sufian Ahmed – Ethiopia’s minister of finance and economic development

Africa is in the midst of a golden age, and I want the AfDB to play the fullest possible role in taking advantage of the extraordinary opportunities all around us.

As Ethiopia’s finance and economic development minister since 1995, I’ve helped Ethiopia to reap its share of this harvest. Our growth is among the fastest on the continent (more than 10% per annum over the last decade). Inflation is under control. And investors showed their confidence in our prospects when our $1bn Eurobond issue was oversubscribed by 260%.

I would be honoured to use my experience to work for the whole of Africa as the next president of the AfDB and, if elected, I would focus on three core tasks.

First, focus our financing on what we are best at and what will make the biggest difference for Africa – above all, infrastructure, agriculture, and supporting private sector growth and helping fragile states.

Second, bringing world class advisory capacity to the table in support of the countries we work with – supporting fragile and conflict-affected states, building enabling environments, and generating real results from private sector growth.

“Third, invest in high quality management and operations through an approach built on empowerment, delegation, and accountability, with the whole bank focused on effectiveness value for money and minimising costs.


Birama Boubacar Sidibe – Mali’s vice-president

I really believe that we are going through a fantastic opportunity now. Africa is changing very fast and I really believe that we are in a situation where we need to be relevant to African problems – with changes ahead – and I believe my aspiration is really to continue to build on the past success and the past progress.

My vision is of an AfDB that is of a new generation of regional development bank, seeking the effective development of the private sector as priority number one, and also as an institution that should be able to respond to the needs of its client, customer and/or shareholder.

This vision – I see five priority areas: I believe we need first to build strong institutions, service delivery institutions and presentation institutions.

My second priority would be [to] make it possible for the private sector to be the main investor in African problems in infrastructure and energy and so on. Also, [I would prioritise] the mobilisation of the resources to be able to finance mega projects, mega deal projects in Africa. That’s another area that I would really want to concentrate on if I were given that role.

The AfDB needs to adapt its operating model to be able to be the institution that structures the deals to attract the private sector to come and face the challenges. We have a fantastic opportunity: Africa is changing, the bank needs to adapt its operating model to Africa, we need a modern bank to do that.


Akinwumi Adesina – Nigeria’s minister of agriculture and rural development

I’m running for president of the AfDB because I have a vision for Africa, an Africa that actually has inclusive growth, an Africa where you have countries that are actually well linked to each other, so it’s regionally integrated. An Africa that is connected to the rest of the world so you have an Africa that is globally competitive. But also an Africa that young people want to stay in, not one that they want to move away from. An Africa that we can be proud to call ours. And that’s my vision for the bank, for what the bank can do.

I have laid out my priorities for doing that. First, it’s critical to have smarter infrastructure to have increased productivity and competitiveness for Africa. The second is the private sector – it’s the engine of growth … for wealth creation. A big thing for us in Africa is an inclusive model. But also jobs for Africa’s youth, jobs for Africa’s women, reviving Africa’s rural areas for inclusive growth and, finally, to have regional integration for shared prosperity.

Why am I ideal for this? I’ve lived in 15 countries, 10 of those were Francophone countries. I’m a development economist; I come with a whole set of skills that cover development finance in rural economic development, public policy, investment and finance. And I have worked and delivered programmes at scale, at impact. I actually come from a rural area; my father was a farmer, I came out of poverty. So I know poverty is not about statistics, it’s something we have to change. It’s not about someone like me being an exception, that should be the normal thing in Africa. And that’s why I’m running for president of the bank, because I think we can bring a lot of hope and prosperity to the continent.

Cristina Duarte

Cristina Duarte – Cape Verde’s minister of finance and planning

My vision for the AfDB starts with my vision for Africa. I have a quite deep conviction that change is possible – yes, we can do it despite [all the challenges]. The AfDB is supposed to help Africa to seize the opportunity, to help Africa to grab these moments in terms of Africa rising, and to ensure Africa’s transformation.

This will require a change of mentality, of our mindset. So we can move away from business as usual to adopt a more leapfrog approach, we can move away from managing poverty, to adopt an approach [that seeks to] retain and create African wealth.

In order to do that, the AfDB will have to undertake some reforms to become a more efficient, effective, productive and responsible organisation. And, in order to do that, the AfDB will have to adopt, for example, a more selective and focused approach, a results-based management approach based on and supported by a strong monitoring and evaluation system. I think it’s time for the AfDB to start measuring impacts – not processes, not lending volumes, not process approval – so that we can build on leadership, ownership and partnership.


Samura Kamara – Sierra Leone’s minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation

As a former client of the bank, as well as a shareholder of the bank, and as an African, I’ve really seen the bank’s ability to make a lot of difference in people’s lives in Africa. And I do believe the bank can and must be pushed to advance the developmental monies as well as the financial monies. And I would be honoured to have the privilege to lead the bank to carry forward these two difficult challenges.

The bank has done very well in [its] 50 years: it’s been dynamic, it’s been innovative, effective and accountable. I think we need to build on this. We need to consolidate what the bank has done. There are challenges, we have to learn the good lessons and bad lessons that are coming out of this.

“But of course, we have a baseline on which we can build. We have the baseline which is the bank’s senior strategy to 2022. It lays down the imperatives of what are actually our core challenges in Africa. Secondly, we need to advance the bank’s AAA rating because it’s about also mobilising affordable resources, mobilising adequate resources and forming an optimally structured organisation.

Against this background, we also need to put greater efforts into fighting inequality – we need to fight exclusion. We need to put a lot of emphasis on insecurity, that’s very important. As we move forward, we need to ensure that strong partnerships are built because this is central if African development is to continue in this mandate.


Thomas Sakala (Zimbabwe) – AfDB’s former vice-president of country and regional programmes

Whether or not I was a candidate for this position, as an African I have a vision of an Africa that is determined to transform itself into a confident, integrated and prosperous continent, and it’s not original: it has been there for a long time.

When we come to why I am a candidate, I can summarise it in three words: consolidation, innovation and results. And to understand how I’ve arrived at this position you need to start by recognising that the bank is currently in a good space: it is strong, it has been doing reasonably well. And probably I can also say that I’m proud to have been part of the staff and management team that has worked under the leadership of Dr Kaberuka to bring [the bank] to where it is. I know some colleagues here have also worked at the bank so it’s a shared source of pride.

If elected, I intend to quickly and strongly build on the strategy and recent initiatives and reforms; I’ll also introduce some. I have a number of areas where I would like to introduce some reforms; I would prioritise funding for the preparation of our infrastructure projects.

Fundamentally, I believe the bank should continue with the same tenuous strategy objectives of inclusive growth and transition to green economies and it will have to remain focused on the five operational priority areas that have already been identified: infrastructure, regional integration, etc.

Personally, I’m going to pay more attention to infrastructure, regional integration, private sector development in Africa and also pay a lot of attention to gender issues, fragility and food security. And I believe my long years in the bank, involved in various areas, will help me do that quickly.

Jaloul Ayed

Jaloul Ayed (Tunisia) – president of the MED Confederation

My vision is to make the bank an engine to transform the unfathomed wealth of Africa for the benefit of all Africans while pursuing the path of sustainable, inclusive and green development. And in doing so, I will basically pursue the strategy that’s been set forth by the bank, particularly with respect to the areas of emphasis, mainly infrastructure, private sector, skills and technology. I will put much greater emphasis personally on the private sector because I believe that it’s really the engine for growth and development, particularly now that Africa is moving out and is relying more on its own resources. And so I believe the time now is for Africa to really capture the moment and push through the momentum that it has created over the last decade or so.

I also happen to believe that there is another area on which I’ll put great focus which is financial systems and financial systems development and reform. I believe that an economy can only be strong if it has a strong financial system, and by financial system I mean not just the banking system but all the areas of financial systems: private equity, capital markets and what have you.

I also believe the focus should be put on some areas that I believe are important, [such as] culture, and I attach great importance to gender, as well as to pushing through the strategy that has been deployed by the bank with respect to the fragile states.

Kordjé Bedoumra

Kordjé Bedoumra – Chad’s minister of finance and budget

I think Africa is at a critical tipping point and that can and will accelerate the current growth, inclusive growth and sustainable growth. The AfDB can play a great role in focusing the resources on areas which can get results on the ground. And when I’m talking about results on the ground, I’m talking about things which can change the situation of our population.

Four of them, quickly: the first one is that I hope that the bank can work with regional integration organisations so that we can soon come into a situation where the [free] movement of goods, services, people and capital is a reality on the continent. You have a market on the continent which can promote the economic transformation and also investment in the continent.

The second thing we know we have to focus on [is] providing jobs for youth and the empowerment of women. These are areas that we have to focus on. Everything we are going to do in terms of promoting private sectors, small and medium-sized enterprises, micro-finance, we should measure [in terms of] how many jobs we create for young people, how we really promote the empowerment of women. We have to ensure we get results in these areas. That’s why I’m calling for an impact on the population.

The third thing is the human being and the last one is security and peace, which is very, very important.



Chinese companies play role to bring industrial development


Chinese companies play role to bring industrial developmentAddis Ababa May 13/2015 –

President Mulatu Teshome called on Chinese companies’ to invest in Ethiopia in the manufacturing sector thereby contribute to the country’s vision of becoming industrial hub in the continent.

While receiving a business delegation consisting representatives of companies in the manufacturing sector here yesterday, the President said the participation of Chinese companies is important to realize this vision.

The President briefed the delegation that companies will be profitable if they invest in the manufacturing sector, which is the priority of the country.

Companies will benefit from the overall development of the country, stability, abundant labor and cheap electricity, he said.

Ethiopia also serves as a bridge to other African countries to supply product to market destinations in the continent, he added.

The companies included in the delegation pledged to construct industrial park on 500 hectares land with 500 million USD.

Leader of the delegation, Lyu Xinhua and said South-South Cooperation council established to promote cooperation between China and Africa will continue to encourage companies invest in Ethiopia.

Fourteen companies engaged in energy, mining and infrastructure development, among others are included in the delegation.



Immediate action needed to save Lake Ziway


Immediate action needed to save Lake ZiwayAddis Ababa May 6/2015 –

The Rift Valley Lake of Ziway, in Ethiopia is in danger because of deforestation and inappropriate irrigation practices said researchers.

Researchers gathered recently to confer about the dangers posed against the lake pointed 8 challenges that are threatening the existence of the lake and its biodiversity.

Reduction on volume of water, increasing siltation, increasing saltiness, high amount of evaporation and reduction of biodiversity are among the dangers.

Absence of natural resource conservation activities around the lake, traditional irrigation practices, and loss of biodiversity are among the challenges that threaten the 440km2 Lake, said Dr Girma Tilahun, researcher at the Hawasa University.

As more silt enters the Lake, the depth of the lake has minimized to four meter from seven meter, he said.

The lake, which was known for its population of birds, estimated to be around 300 varieties, has now lost most of them because of the increased saltiness of the water.

Productivity of fish has also decreased to 1,000 tons from 2,500 tons, because of illegal fishery, reduction of biodiversity used by the fish as food and shortage of oxygen.

According to Getachew Senbete, General Director of Ziway Fish Research Centre, tourism activity in the lake has also reduced because of problems during transportation as the depth in most of the lake’s part is becoming shallow.

Since the waters of the lake has been reducing significantly, water supply reaching residential areas and industries in the surrounding areas that depend on the lake for their daily consumption is reducing.

Urging that the lake needs priority, the researches recommended the immediate commencing of sustainable natural conservation activities around the lake.

Creating a free zone around the lake, in order to protect the area surrounding the lake from people and animal contact is also needed, according to the researchers.

Academic Affairs Vice President at Arsi University, Dr. Herphi Teno said a forum has established in collaboration with the Oromia regional government to address the challenges threatening the lake.

The forum, which is led by the regional government president, will work with stakeholders to save the lake and its biodiversity, he added.


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