08 September 2015 News Round-Up

Third Conference on China-Ethiopia Production Capacity Cooperation takes place in China

Addis Ababa, September 7, 2015  – The Conference on China-Ethiopia Production Capacity Cooperation took place in Zhejiang Provincial State yesterday.

This was third business forum attended by the high-level Ethiopian delegation in China.

Opening the forum, Prime Minister Hailemariam said Ethiopia attached great importance to its relations with China and their strong mutual relation was the bedrock for investment flows to Ethiopia.

He said Ethiopia recognized China’s contribution to enhancing its manufacturing sector and in the future it hoped to see more relocated, labour-intensive, manufacturing industries move to Ethiopia.

This year alone some 300 Chinese companies have carried out pre-investment studies.

Zhejiang Provincial State is known for its small and medium scale industries in textile, leather and agro processing, and the Prime Minister said these were exactly the areas on which the Government was focused and in which Ethiopia needed quality investment.

He said Ethiopia had particularly favorable conditions for development of these sectors including a large and trainable young population, abundant land and water, cheap electricity and above all a favorable policy environment.

Ethiopian Investment Agency Director-General, Fitsum Arega, also addressed the forum and answered.

Later at a dinner in his honor, Prime Minister Hailemariam and the Governor of Zhejiang Province, Li Qiang, discussed the wide range of areas in which the provincial state could work in cooperation with Ethiopia.

Governor Qiang showed strong interest in supporting Ethiopia’s agricultural research and town planning and he said he would encourage businesses from the region to participate in industrial park development in Ethiopia.

During his visit, the Prime Minister also met with representatives of businesses from the region and members of the Ethiopian Diaspora living in Zhejiang and its vicinity.

He discussed current developments in Ethiopia and the opportunities for investment.

He encouraged the members of the Diaspora to participate in their country’s development by investing or joining in joint ventures with Chinese investors in areas where Ethiopia can best benefit from their knowledge.

http://www.fanabc.com/english/index.php/news/item/3829-third-conference-on-china-ethiopia-production-capacity-cooperation-takes-place-in-china

 

New information system to modernize Ethiopia’s agriculture

Addis Ababa, September 7, 2015  – An integrated national information system that helps to modernize Ethiopia’s agricultural sector is going to be implemented, according to the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA).

The new system was tested successful in preventing problems from happening through expediting information exchanging by pilot projects undertaken in four regional states, Agriculture State Minister Wondirad Mandefro told FBC.

The new system, to be implemented in collaboration with FAO, will store information available at all levels in a single date center, he said.

Implementation of the system will be commenced as of next week, according to him.

Wondirad called on pertinent bodies and stakeholders to join efforts for the effective realization of the system.

Strong cooperation is required from Ethio-telecom as the system needs internet connection, he said.

http://www.fanabc.com/english/index.php/news/item/3827-new-information-system-to-modernize-ethiopia’s-agriculture

 

Jiangsu-Ethiopia Investment Forum held in Jiangsu

Addis Ababa, September 7, 2015  – As part of the Conference on China Ethiopia Production Capacity Cooperation, Jiangsu-Ethiopia Investment Forum was held in Jiangsu (September 5, 2015).

Prime Minister Hailemariam in his address commended the vibrant business community of the Provincial State of Jiangsu for their exemplary investment in Ethiopia, particularly in the Eastern Industrial zone set up in Oromia regional State.

Ethiopia, the Prime Minister said, is the 4th largest investment destination in Africa, emphasizing that that the country is always ready to accommodate more Chinese investments.

He noted Ethiopia continues to emulate China’s poverty reduction scheme and opens its doors for quality investment in apparels, leather, and construction materials production sector.

The Prime Minister also welcomed President Xi Jinping’s announcement that the cooperation between the two countries will further be strengthened and that china will help Ethiopia become Africa’s manufacturing powerhouse.

Speaking at the Forum, Mr. Zhang Lei, and Vice Governor of Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government said the longstanding relations between Ethiopia and China is creating favourable environment for increased cooperation in modernization and industrial development.

Ethiopia, he said is China’s priority destination in production capacity cooperation, adding that the growing development financing program of China has benefited several countries, including Ethiopia.

Taking note of the fact that Jiangsu has a wide economic cooperation and stands to be the leading foreign direct investor with quality mid level industries, the Vice Governor added that the provincial state is keen to contribute much ahead in the development of Ethiopia.

http://www.fanabc.com/english/index.php/component/k2/item/3823?Itemid=674

 

Conference on “China -Ethiopia Production Capacity Cooperation” held in China

Addis Ababa, September 7, 2015  – Organized and facilitated by China Development Bank (CDB), a Conference on China-Ethiopia Production Capacity Cooperation was held in China, Diaoyuti State on September 4.

Prime Minister Hailemariam in his key note address emphasized that Ethiopia is committed to enhance its production capacity by making the private sector an engine of change, adding that Ethiopia’s endeavour to change the economy from agrarian to industry and urban-based is paying off by attracting investment across from various parts of the world.

He noted the political commitment of the government; the macroeconomic stability in the country; the low crime rate and the exercise of zero tolerance for corruption are some of the attributes which placed Ethiopia to be a favoured investment destination.

He also noted that Chinese investment in particular is growing following Primer Li’s visit to Ethiopia last year.

Zheng Zhijie, President of CDB, on his part said Chinese economy is opening up and that many developing countries are benefiting through business and investment cooperation with China.

Ethiopia, he said is a friend to the people of China adding that both countries share similar development pursuits.

He noted the growth Ethiopia registered in the last decade or two in agriculture and infrastructure development puts the country as one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

The president also said CDB will strategically cooperate with Ethiopia in transferring capacity and invest in the development of industrial parks.

He also stressed the Bank will encourage Chinese investment to flow to Ethiopia and become a development partner in Ethiopia’s modernization by expanding areas of cooperation, promoting investment, and expanding capacity to enhance foreign exchange gains from coffee, clean energy, oil and gas.

Professor Lin Yifu, former Chief Economist at the World Bank and a’ friend of Ethiopia’, explaining on China-Ethiopia cooperation said Ethiopia was one of the last batch courtiers in development when he left the Bank; but now he added: the country is one of the leading ones.

He claimed Ethiopia-China relation makes up its share in Ethiopia’s ongoing developments. He further said China’s development will continue to benefit many developing countries in the years to come.

On the occasion, five packages of agreements were signed between Chinese Companies and the Ethiopian Government that included the Technical Cooperation Agreement, the African Regional Cooperation in Aviation, Letter of Guarantee and Buyer Credit Loan Agreement for Ethiopia-Djibouti Railway Power Supply Project, Letter of Guarantee and a Special Facility Agreement for the Development of Ethiopian SME’s, and Petroleum Pipeline Agreement.

http://www.fanabc.com/english/index.php/component/k2/item/3822?Itemid=674

 

Ethiopia’s exchange plans more commodities with electronic trading

Addis Ababa, September 5, 2015  – Ethiopia’s commodity exchange plans to double the items it trades by next year after introducing an electronic platform to replace its system of shouting and gesturing orders, the firm’s chief executive said.

Launched in 2008, the exchange (ECX) trades seven commodities, including coffee and sesame, two of the Horn of Africa country’s top exports, using an “open outcry” system.

Ethiopia is Africa’s biggest coffee producer with output of about 450,000 tonnes for both the 2013/14 and 2014/15 seasons.

In an interview with Reuters, ECX’s Chief Executive Ermias Eshetu said the launch of the electronic platform in July would allow a trading capacity of 5,000 times more than now.

“The whole point of having this capacity is to have the bandwidth to be able to trade multiple commodities with no limits,” Ermias said.

“We are going to go after sugar, teff, chickpeas, and whatever the market needs. We will be hoping to double year to year the number of commodities we are trading,” he said.

The exchange has so far focused on the country’s main cash crops.

In a bid to boost storage facilities, ECX announced on Thursday that a new government enterprise would handle its warehouse operations, whose dearth was an obstacle to expansion.

The exchange traded 590,000 tonnes of commodities in the 2014/2015 year that ended on June 30, according to company figures. It expects an annual growth of 15 percent each year for the next five years.

ECX also plans to introduce futures and forward trading next year, Ermias told Reuters, in a country where farmers are often accused of hoarding supplies in anticipation of price rises.

Ethiopia exported nearly 184,000 tonnes of coffee during the 2014/15 fiscal year, according to trade ministry officials, down from the 190,000 exported the previous period.

Ethiopia prides itself on being the birthplace of coffee. The livelihoods of more 15 million people depend on its production, mostly in smallholder farms in the misty forested highlands in the country’s west and southwest.

http://www.fanabc.com/english/index.php/component/k2/item/3821?Itemid=674

 

First phase Tendaho irrigation development project inaugurated

Addis Ababa, September 5, 2015 – Located in Afar regional state, the first phase of the Tendaho dam and irrigation development project was inaugurated today.

Present at the inauguration ceremony were senior federal and regional government officials and invited guests, including Water, Irrigation and Energy Minister, Alemayehu Tegenu.

Built to provide irrigation for the Tendaho sugar factory sugarcane plantation, the project will have a significant contribution to alleviate shortage of sugar supply in the country, Alemayehu said.

According to the Minister, the project was fully executed by Ethiopian professionals.

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The first phase, which was inaugurated today, has the capacity to irrigate 25, 000 hectares of land for the sugar factory, Abrha Berhe, project’s manager, said.

The project, launched 10 years ago, has taken time beyond its schedule due to lack of preparations and experience as well as financial shortage, he said.

However, owing to the strong efforts of the federal government and Afar regional state, the first phase was completed, he said.

The second phase of the project, which could develop 25,000 hectares of land, was also officially launched today.

http://www.fanabc.com/english/index.php/component/k2/item/3819?Itemid=674

 

PM Hailemariam meets with President Xi Jinping

Addis Ababa, September 4, 2015  -Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn Friday in Beijing, pledging more efforts to help Ethiopia boost infrastructure.

China and Ethiopia should advance reciprocal economic cooperation and step up cultural and people-to-people exchanges, Xi said during the meeting at the Great Hall of the People.

Hailing the smooth development of the bilateral relationship over the past decades, Xi said China is willing to work with the Ethiopian side to translate their traditional friendship into a strong driving force for further cooperation.

Xi stressed that the two countries should understand and support each other on issues concerning their core interests.

“China stands ready to enhance communication and coordination with Ethiopia on major international and regional affairs, and jointly safeguard the common interests of developing countries.” said the Chinese president.

Hailemariam arrived in Beijing on Wednesday to attend the commemorations for 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War.

Expressing gratitude for Hailemariam’s attendance, Xi said this shows the profound friendship between the two peoples and demonstrates the Ethiopian people’s commitment to safeguarding peace and justice.

Xi lauded the Ethiopian people’s contribution to the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War.

Hailemariam said he was glad to attend the event in Beijing.

Ethiopia gained invaluable support from China during and after the anti-fascist war, said the visiting prime minister, while pledging to pass on such traditional friendship.

Ethiopia regards China as a priority partner and will strengthen cooperation with China in such areas as industrial capacity, agriculture, and urbanization, as well as regional and international affairs, Hailemariam said.

http://www.fanabc.com/english/index.php/component/k2/item/3817?Itemid=674

 

Ethiopia, China sign 1.4 billion USD loan agreement

Addis Ababa, September 4, 2015  – Ethiopia and China today signed a 1.4 billion USD loan agreement in Beijing, China.

The premier, who was in China to attend the 70th anniversary of China’s defeat of Japan in World War II, began his official working visit to the country today.

According to the agreement, the money will be utilized to fund six projects, including the Ethio-Djibouti railway and Ethio-Djibouti power transmission line projects.

Provision of financial support to road, small and micro enterprises as well as gas pipeline construction are also included in the agreement.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn met his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang, in Beijing.

During the meeting, Li Keqiang and Hailemariam agreed to further promote cooperation in areas including infrastructure construction, energy and agriculture.

Prime Minister Hailemariam also held discussion with heads of the China Railway Engineering Corporation (CRECG).

The two sides discussed on railway projects being executed by the corporation and also on other similar projects to be done in the future.

Similarly, the premier held talks with president of the China Geo-Engineering Corporation (CGC), which is at present engaged in road construction in Ethiopia.

Their discussion mainly focused on water projects being implemented by the corporation.

Chinese construction companies are currently engaged in the construction of roads, railways and industrial village in Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian Roads Authority has so far awarded 77 of the 106 road projects to Chinese companies. About 20 Chinese contractors are currently operating in Ethiopia.

http://www.fanabc.com/english/index.php/component/k2/item/3813?Itemid=674

 

CDB backs Chinese investment in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, September 4, 2015  – China Development Bank (CDB) said Friday it will provide financial support to Chinese enterprises to encourage investment in steel, cement and shipbuilding in Ethiopia.

CDB president Zheng Zhijie said China has advanced and extra production capacity in some sectors and Ethiopia, with rich natural resources and abundant labor, needs rapid industrialization.

“The potential of bilateral industrial cooperation is great. Ethiopia is now one of our key partners in Africa,” said Zheng.

China has been Ethiopia’s largest trade partner and biggest source of foreign investment for years.

Chinese direct investment in the African country totaled 910 million U.S. dollars at the end of 2014, and foreign trade between the two countries rose 55 percent to 3.4 billion U.S. dollars last year.

During a meeting on Friday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn agreed to further promote cooperation in areas including infrastructure construction, energy and agriculture.

http://www.fanabc.com/english/index.php/component/k2/item/3812?Itemid=674

 

Premier holds discussion with heads of Chinese construction companies

Addis Ababa, September 4, 2015  –Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn held discussion with heads of the China Railway Engineering Corporation (CRECG).

The two sides discussed on railway projects being executed by the corporation and also on other similar projects to be done in the future.

Similarly, the premier held talks with president of the China Geo-Engineering Corporation (CGC), which is at present engaged in road construction in Ethiopia.

Their discussion mainly focused on water projects being implemented by the corporation.

Chinese construction companies are currently engaged in the construction of roads, railways and industrial village in Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian Roads Authority has so far awarded 77 of the 106 road projects to Chinese companies. About 20 Chinese contractors are currently operating in Ethiopia.

The premier, who is now in China attending the 70th anniversary of China’s defeat of Japan in World War II, will participate at forums and conferences to be held on Ethio-China bilateral relations.

http://www.fanabc.com/english/index.php/component/k2/item/3811?Itemid=674

 

Agro-processing Industrial Parks to be established with 2.5 billion USD

Addis Ababa, September 4, 2015  -Agro-processing industrial parks are going to be established in four regions with an outlay of 2.5 billion USD, Ministry of Industry disclosed.

Speaking at a consultative meeting which conferred on meat industry in GTP-2, Industry State Minister Dr. Mebratu Meles cited shortage of inputs, low quality, failure to penetrate reliable markets, and lack of value chain among the challenges the sector is facing.

The state minister also pointed out the absence of industries in areas where there are abundant agricultural products.

On the other hand, lack of raw materials in places where industries are found have resulted in low income, he added.

To change the situation, Agro-processing industrial parks will be established in Tigray, Amhara, Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ states, Dr. Mebratu pointed out.

Currently the feasibility study of all is finalized and implementation would start, according to him.

More than 17 agro-processing plants have been identified and out of these the first to engage would be Bahker in Tigray, Bure in Amhara, Ziway in Oromia, and Sidama in SNNP, it was indicated.

Studies have proved that there is abundant livestock and fish, sesame, spices, and honey in the identified areas.

As they are also close to port, towns and infrastructure, they could be profitable to investors, according to the state minister.

Each of the industrial parks will have initially up to eight rural transformation centers that would serve as pre-processing sites.

The investment forum to be held in the January and February is expected to be the main source for the projects that require 2.5 billion USD, it was learned.

http://www.fanabc.com/english/index.php/component/k2/item/3805?Itemid=674

 

US, Netherlands partner to strengthen Ethiopia’s dairy sector

Addis Ababa, September 3, 2015  – The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands signed an agreement today to work together on the development of Ethiopia’s dairy sector.

The collaboration will provide significant expertise from both sides to benefit suppliers, farmers, processors, consumers and exporters engaged in the dairy sector, Embassy of the United States in Addis Ababa said in a statement it sent to FBC today.

The U.S. government and the Kingdom of the Netherlands have been at the forefront of supporting the Ethiopian dairy sector for nearly a decade.

“Our efforts over the years have contributed to its development from an embryonic state several years ago, to an industry with the potential to boom into a significant revenue generating sector for Ethiopia,” said USAID Ethiopia Mission Director Dennis Weller.

“This partnership between the U.S. Government and the Kingdom of the Netherlands marks a historic milestone in both countries’ efforts to support the development Ethiopia’s dairy sector.”

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USAID, through its Livestock Market Development activity, and the Embassy of the Netherlands, through its Dairy Business Information Service and Support (Dairy BISS) project, will bring their respective and specific expertise and experiences to the sector. The agreement to cooperate over the next two years is expected to greatly benefit the Ethiopian dairy sector.

By supporting dairy processing plants which cover tens of thousands of small-scale farmers, the joint effort will not only ensure that a market is created for dairy farmers but also encourage them to produce more high-quality milk to meet the demands of processors. This, in turn, will contribute to improved consumer safety.

“Through this MoU, the US Government and the Kingdom of the Netherlands not only establish a formal framework for fruitful collaboration in an important and complex sector which the dairy sector is, thereby adding value to our respective individual efforts and having a greater impact on the sector, but at the same time, we also send a message to the wider world highlighting that we should work together as donor governments as much as possible in order to achieve the synergies that are indispensable to making development cooperation efforts successful,” said Martin Koper, Deputy Head of Mission/Head of Development Cooperation of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

USAID’s Livestock Market Development is a five-year project implemented as part of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative which aims to improve smallholder incomes and the nutritional status of people living in four regions of Ethiopia.

Dairy BISS is a three-year project funded by the Netherlands with the aim of increasing the number of profitable dairy farms and firms in the Ethiopian private dairy sector by improving Business to Business (B2B) relations, the availability and utilization of quality business information, and advice.

http://www.fanabc.com/english/index.php/component/k2/item/3802?Itemid=674

 

Ethiopia to export value added meat products

Addis Ababa, September 3, 2015  –Ethiopia plans to export value added meat products within the coming ten years.

Stakeholders are deliberating on Ethiopia’s meat industry 10-year strategic plan.

Ethiopia should benefit more from its livestock resource potential, Industry State Minister, Dr Mebrhatu Meles, said at the consultative forum.

The sector can generate more foreign exchange and create jobs if the country managed to export value added meat products, he said.

Participants are deliberating on the research papers presented at the forum, it was noted.

http://www.fanabc.com/english/index.php/component/k2/item/3800?Itemid=674

 

Preparations made in agriculture key for nation to deal with problems

Addis Ababa, September 3, 2015  – The wide-ranging activities carried out in the agricultural sector during the past five years have helped the country to overcome the problems occurred due to rainfall shortage, the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA).

Agriculture State Minister Wondirad Mandefron made the remark here today at an event organized by SasakawaGlobal 2000 Ethiopia (SG2000-Ethiopia) in connection with the ending of “Strengthening Agricultural Extension Delivery in Ethiopia (SAED) Project.”

SasakawaGlobal 2000, in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture of Ethiopia, has carried out extensive awareness raising campaign on new crop varieties and agricultural productivity during the past five years, he said.

The association has created capacity for farmers and pastoralists to cope with problems that occur in the agricultural sector

Sasakawa Africa Association Country Director, Dr Abera Debelo, said the favorable conditions created in the sector allowed the association to become successful.

The 115 farmers and pastoralist training centers established in 22 Woredas at a cost of 250 million birr helped close to 220 framers to improve agricultural productivity, he said.

http://www.fanabc.com/english/index.php/component/k2/item/3799?Itemid=674

 

Hailemariam confers with Chinese corporate chiefs in Beijing

Addis Ababa, September 2, 2015  -Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn conferred in Beijing today with three Chinese corporate chiefs that have investments in Ethiopia.

The Premier held talks with the President of China Communications Construction Company, Liu Qitao, whose company built the ring road project in Addis Ababa.

Similarly, he held discussion with Vice General Manager of China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation, Zha Weimin and Vice President of China Poly Group Corporation, Wang Lin.

Poly Group Corporation Vice President Wang Lin has specifically discussed with the PM about the company’s activities in Ethiopia’s mining and gas exploration sectors.

The separate discussions with the companies held along with the Ethiopian delegation comprising the business community and top officials would consolidate the development activities in the country, it was indicated.

The PM is in Beijing to attend China’s 70th victory anniversary.

http://www.fanabc.com/english/index.php/component/k2/item/3794?Itemid=674

 

Tractor maker Ursus signs contract with Ethiopian Sugar Corporation

Addis Ababa, August 31, 2015  – The Lublin-based firm will send 174 tractors and 390 trailers (and parts) for sugar cane transportation.

The contract could be increased by 25 percent, and talks are also being held in Angola, Nigeria and Tanzania, the company said.

CEO Karol Zarajczyk said earlier this year that Ursus is also looking at creating a series of Joint Ventures in several countries in Africa.

The company plans to have production facilities, specifically a steel foundry, in Africa at some point in the future but will initially focus on building up a network of production and distribution centers. Tanzania, Kenya and Angola are targeted, Zarajczyk said.

In Africa, Ursus has already invested in Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa.

In 2013 Warsaw-based Ursus signed a USD 90m-contract to export 3,000 tractors to Ethiopia over a two-year period to the Metals and Engineering Corporation (MeTEC).

MeTEC was established by the government of Ethiopia and comprises 15 semi-autonomous and integrated manufacturing companies.

Ursus is a Polish tractor manufacturer in which agricultural machinery producer Pol-Mot Holding is the main shareholder.

http://www.fanabc.com/english/index.php/component/k2/item/3771?Itemid=674

 

Over 205km of cable installed for AA-LRT

Addis Ababa, August 29, 2015  – The Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit (AA-LRT) and Ethio-Djibouti railway power supply project has so far installed over 205km of underground cable for the light rail transit.

The 32km electrified light rail transit requires a total of 450km of underground power cable.

Four substations, which will supply power to the light rail, were built at Kality, Ayat, Torhailoch and Menelik Square areas, Eng. Demisew Zeleke, project’s manager, told FBC yesterday.

The substations will go functional once installation of the 450km of cable is completed, he said.

The Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit began its trail operation last February.

Upon going fully operational, the light rail transit will provide transportation service to 60, 000 people per hour.

http://www.fanabc.com/english/index.php/component/k2/item/3765?Itemid=674

 

Circum to raise $2.6bn for Ethiopia potash project

Addis Ababa, August 26, 2015  – CIRCUM Minerals, which is partly owned by a private equity fund invested in SA, is on the cusp of raising $2.6bn towards a potash project in Ethiopia, promising a mine that delivers some of the lowest-cost fertilizer ingredients in the world.

Circum, headed by Brad Mills, former CEO of the world’s third-largest platinum miner, Lonmin, plans to secure a mining and environmental permit before the end of this year, allowing it to seek out the funding, which could come from a strategic partnership.

The traditional way to finance these kinds of projects was to raise up to $1bn through equity and the balance through debt financing, Mills said.

“The effort at this point is to find a strategic partner who would come in and write the equity cheque,” he said.

This partnership could be in the form of a large cash injection into the project in exchange for a stake in the business, or the project could be started with finance cobbled together, followed by further large investments.

“There is no immediate plan to list Circum. It would only occur after we raised most of the equity and debt for the project such that if we came to market it was with a fully funded project,” Mr Mills said. Circum has outlined a large potash deposit in the Danakil Basin, close to the Eritrean border.

The entire potash resource is 4.9-billion tonnes as well as a reserve of 108-million tonnes.

Potash is a potassium-rich salt from ancient sea beds and used to make fertiliser. Canada and Russia are the world’s largest sources of potash, with most of their mining done underground.

Circum plans to mine near the surface, using fluids to dissolve the salts so they can be cheaply extracted and processed.

African Minerals Exploration and Development Fund, a private equity group, holds nearly 36% of Circum. It has stakes in a number of African mineral deposits, including Sepfluor, a South African fluorspar company.

The fund includes founding partners Rudolph de Bruin and David Twist.

The attraction of starting the project close to the shores of the Indian Ocean gave both operational and transport cost advantages for Asian buyers of potash, Mr Mills said.

“It becomes a natural project to develop for anyone that wants to have a major stake in production of potash for the Southeast Asian markets,” he said.

Circum has started test work at the project and will extract 5,000 tonnes of potash to be sent to prospective clients as well as firming up its own operating assumptions.

Initially, the project, which will deliver 2.7-million tonnes of potash in the first phase, will entail trucking the minerals 600km to Djibouti.

The long-term alternative is to build a 30km rail spur to a railway line.

Production would need to get to more than 3-million tonnes a year to justify the construction of the railway line. The estimated cost of the spur and rolling stock would be about $600m for installed capacity of 5-million tonnes a year, Mr Mills said.

Production would be 2-million tonnes of muriate of potash, which will have a free-on-board cost at Djibouti of $83.89/tonne; and 750,000 tonnes of sulphate of potash at $158.95/tonne in the first phase, which is expected to start production from mid-2018, according to a definitive feasibility study.

These costs would come down once the railway was built.

http://www.fanabc.com/english/index.php/component/k2/item/3744?Itemid=674

 

Ethio telecom set to fully solve network problems

Addis Ababa, August 20, 2015  –The network problems being observed in various regional towns will be fully solved next October, according to Ethio telecom.

The problem will be solved once the ongoing installation of new network infrastructure is completed, including replacement of the existing ones, Corporate Communication Manager at Ethio-telecom, Abdurahim Ahmed, said.

The telecommunications service provider also raised the number of its clients to 39.8 million, including 38.8 million mobile subscribers, during the past five years.

The target was to provide the service to 40 million people, he said.

Ethio telecom obtained 21.5 billion birr income from all telecommunications services last Ethiopian budget year. Some 14.6 billion birr of the income is a gross profit.

According to Abdurahim, mobile subscribers took the lion’s share in generating income for the service provider.

http://www.fanabc.com/english/index.php/component/k2/item/3702?Itemid=674

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