H&M launches industrial relations programme in Ethiopia
|February 08, 2016|
Swedish clothing major H&M, International Labour Organization (ILO) and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) have launched an industrial relations project aiming to improve the development of a socially sustainabletextile and garment industry in Ethiopia.
In a statement, H&M said promoting a well-functioning dialogue between the partners on the labour market is a fundamental and important part of the company’s fair living wage strategy. ILO highlights the importance of promoting freedom of association and collective bargaining as necessary for workers and employers to negotiate wages and working conditions.
“We share this view and that is why our strategy is focusing on improving industrial relations in our strategy. This three year project will assist the Ethiopian government, social partners and major industry stakeholders in their efforts to promote social dialogue and improve productivity as well as improve wages and working conditions through nurturing sound labour relations practices and promoting collective bargaining,” H&M said.
The project is funded by SIDA and H&M and implemented by the ILO in collaboration with the Ethiopian Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry of Industry, Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions and Ethiopian Employers Federation.
“Well-functioning relations and social dialogue on the labour market is key to improve working conditions and establish fair living wages. We are engaged in projects which have the aim of strengthening employees’ rights and their ability to negotiate on their own behalf on their terms and conditions through trade unions and or democratic elected employee representatives. Our goal is for all of our strategic supplier factories to have democratically elected and functional workplace representation in place by 2018 at the latest,” said Anna Gedda, Head ofSustainability at H&M.
H&M has an ongoing industrial relation project in Cambodia in collaboration with SIDA and ILO .This project in Ethiopia is part of the agreement between the ILO and H&M was signed in September 2014. It intends to establish a positive and innovative model for other brands and create a global alliance to promote the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda in the supply chain of the global garment industry.
Ethiopia’s industrialization model for Africa, says UNIDO
Ethiopia is developing industrial parks across the country that can contribute heavily in job creation and accelerating economic transformation, Jean Bakole, Representative to AU and Regional Director of UNIDO said.
Ethiopia has taken great strides in the development of industrial parks and industrial zones and this could be a model for Africans and COMESA countries in particular, he indicated.
Ethiopia’s heightened drive towards industrialization led to its selection by UNIDO as exemplary state in the continent, alongside Senegal, he indicated.
Ministry announces discount on retail price of fuels
The new retail price is effective as of today across the country and stays until March 9, 2016.
The adjustment was made following the decrease in price of fuel at the global market, according to a statement MoT sent to FBC yesterday.
Based on the new retail price, a liter of benzene will be sold for 16.61 birr, showing a 1.35 birr discount from its previous price.
The new retail price of light diesel and kerosene are 14.16 and 12. 43 birr per liter, respectively. Light diesel and kerosene showed a 1.94 and 1.70 birr discount.
Light black diesel will be solid for 12.42 birr with 1.49 birr reduction from the previous price.
The new price of heavy black diesel is 11.77 birr per liter, showing 1.50 birr discount.
Price of jet fuel remains unchanged for this month at 13.95 birr per liter.
Ethiopia’s inflation at 10.2 pct year-on-year in January
The 10.2 percent rise in general inflation rate is due to a slight rise in prices of some cereals, pulses, fruits, vegetables and spices, it said.
Food inflation rose to 12.4 percent in January, from 12.1 percent the month before, it said.
Non-food inflation also increased to 7.9 percent last month from 7.7 percent in December.
The rise in inflation in the non-food component is mainly due to rise in the prices of chat, clothing and footwear, construction materials, firewood and household goods and furnishings.
Region wise, Addis Ababa city administration showed relatively rapid rise in prices, according to CSA.
Work on Ethio-Kenya power line to commence in May
Acting managing director Fernandes Barasa said they have completed the preliminary engineering and design for the project, but cited shortfalls in the compensation budget for wayleave (right of way) acquisition.
“This project is progressing well and we haven’t faced wayleave acquisition challenges so far,” he said in an interview during a media briefing in Nairobi.
The Kenya-Ethiopia transmission line will traverse Marsabit, Samburu, Isiolo, Laikipia, Nyandarua and Nakuru. The total project cost is Sh129.12 billion.
Wayleave acquisition has been a major challenge for Ketraco in its plan to complete over 35 mega projects totaling 5,000 kilometers of high voltage transmission lines across the country by 2018.
The additional lines, such as Mombasa-Nairobi transmission line and Olkaria-Lessos-Kisumu Line, will be key in evacuating the over 5,000 megawatts power that the government wants to add to the grid.
“We are working with the National Land Commission to ensure land valuations are done and all compensation completed,” he said.
Barasa said they are doing land compensation in phases for the Ethiopia line, a plan which has enabled the contractors to stay on the ground without facing hostility from the communities.
“We have compensated all the structures falling on the Kenya-Ethiopia transmission line route. What are now left with compensating the land owners,” he said adding the 2,000MW power line should be complete by December 2018.
Ethiopia has a hydro generation potential of 45,000MW, which is more than enough to help Kenya in balancing its power mix.
Ethiopia finalizing legal framework to benefit from “Power Africa”
The five-year energy plan is expected to double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa. Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana and Liberia are beneficiaries of the project.
The 7 billion US dollars initiative help bring 10,000 MW of electricity for about 60 million African in the sub-Saharan Africa region.
Some 30 billion US dollars is required to attain the goal of powering all of Africa by 2030, and in this regard, Power Africa program is expected to have a significant contribution for the success of the objective.
Since Ethiopia is one of beneficiaries of the program, preparation of a legal framework is nearing completion to practically implement the initiative, Wondimu Tekle, State Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity said.
The only thing left is the approval of the framework by the House of People’s Representatives (HPR), he said.
The legal framework has also a significant contribution to address problems being witnessed in power transmission cables and for the success of Ethiopia’s electric power export program.
Ethiopia missed that target of raising electricity coverage to 75 percent in the first Growth and Transformation Plan period by attaining only 55 percent.
However, efforts are underway to raise the coverage to 100 percent after five years.
Power Africa is an initiative launched by U.S. President Barack Obama in 2013.
Ethiopia, AfDB ink $328 million loan agreement
The agreements were signed between the Finance and Economic Cooperation State Minister Ahmed Shide and Josephine Ngure, Resident Representative of African Development Bank Ethiopia Group.
According to Ahmed, the first loan agreement amounting to 252 million US dollars will be used for the implementation of Basic Service Transformation Program.
The loan would help Ethiopia’s transformation effort through the provision of quality and accessible basic services to the population through the decentralized government architecture, he pointed out.
The second financing agreement amounting to 76.11 million US dollars will be utilized for the construction of four water supply and sanitation schemes in Adama, Bichena, Adwa, and Gode towns.
Resident Representative of African Development Bank, Josephine Ngure on her part said AfDB is committed to strengthening and deepening its longstanding support for Ethiopia.
The financing agreement signed here today would contribute greatly in availing basic services across the nation, she added.
Ngure stressed that the African Development Bank will remain a privileged and trusted partner providing the necessary support, including engagement in policy dialogue on the reforms required to achieve GTP-II and SDGs targets.
Africa Union Endorses Tedros Adhanom’s Bid to Head WHO
The Executive Council of the African Union (AU) has, except for one vote from the Senegalese representation, endorsed the bid of Tedros Adhanom’s (PhD) to replace Margaret Chan as Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The foreign minister of Ethiopia, known within the international community for his contribution to the development of the country’s health sector during his tenure as Minister of Health (MoH) between 2005 and 2012, has yet to make an official statement on his interest in heading the global body.
Tedros’ attempt is the second recent attempt by an official of the incumbent Ethiopian government, after that of Sufian Ahmed, former minister of Finance & Economic Development (MoFED) and now advisor to Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, to replace Donald Kaberuka (PhD) as President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) failed in 2015. Tedros’ effort, however, seems to have gained traction with the support from the continental body currently having its annual summit in Addis Abeba.
The existing Director-General of WHO, the Hong Kong Chinese and Canadian physician, Margaret Chan, is serving her second term, which will end on July 30, 2017.
It is said that Tedros’ bid, which is being made a year and a half before Chan’s term ends, has the full support of the government. Tedros has a PhD in Community Health, an MSc in Immunology of Infectious Diseases, and a BA in Biology. Traits the WHO Director-General ought to have include, a strong public health background, strong evidence of public health leadership, competency in organisational management, and sensitivity to cultural and political differences, according to the manual of the WHO.
Government to commence construction of rental houses
In a press conference he gave here today, Diriba said the houses to be built up to 1.5km far from the main road will be rented for civil servants and low-income dwellers of the city.
He further said the administration has devised a plan for residents that will be relocated due to development project.
According to him, those who are capable of paying the advance payment will be offered condominium houses and those who don’t will be given kebele houses (public rental houses) that were illegally possessed by individuals.
If their number exceeds from the available houses, they will be given condominium houses on a rental basis, he said.
In a related development, 39,000 condominium houses will be transferred to beneficiaries after two months, Diriba said.
Moreover, 8, 422 condos that were built the past years but not handed over to beneficiaries due to various reasons will be given to winners as of the 11th round, he added.
He further said more than 1, 200 houses being built under the 40/60 programs will be fully finalized this month.
Ethio-telecom completes most of network expansion projects
The company has been implementing short and long range plans to address problems with network quality.
“Most of the expansion project has been completed and began rendering service,” Abdurahim Ahmed, Corporate Communication Directorate Director at Ethio-telecom told FBC today.
Besides, due attention has been given for fixed phone line to reduce the load on mobile phone networks.
In order to increase the fixed-line access, the company charges only 41 birr a month for local fixed to fixed line calls in addition to providing a handset for free, according to the director.
The company also allows clients to enjoy a-1800 minutes call with a monthly fee of 44 birr by offering wireless handset phone for free. Registration and service fee has also been canceled, he said.
Activities are underway to put in place a modern system which allows clients to pay service fee without coming to Ethio-telecom offices, he added.
Abdurahim finally said the company will continue executing network improvement projects to offer quality service to clients.
Ethiopia to export 400MW of power to Tanzania
A member of the East African Power Pool (EAPP), Tanzania will be Ethiopia’s second biggest client for electric power once the project commences operation in the coming five years of the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II). The largest client is Kenya, has already agreed to import 600MWof electric power.
The contract agreement between Ethiopia and Tanzania should to be finalized in the coming weeks, according to sources at EEP.
“The Ethiopian government has already agreed to provide the stated amount of power before the end of GTP II for the country, I hope they will also accept our proposal,” top management at EEP told Capital.
The project is currently under construction of a transmission line to connect with Kenya from Sodo, SNNP via the border town of Moyale.
When the current project is complete, electric power export will be one of the major hard currency earners in GTP II with over half billion USD in projected revenue. By the end of GTP II, the power sector will generate USD 642 million, 15 fold hike from earnings at the end of GTP I.
In the first GTP period (2010/11-2014/15), the country commenced electric power export to Djibouti, Sudan and border towns in Kenya and Somaliland. In the current GTP, power export to Kenya, Djibouti and Sudan is expected to expand. Officials at EEP said that there is also an agreement with Somaliland, a self-declared state out from Somalia, for high levels of power.
“We are undertaking a study for a second line in Djibouti but the amount exported will depend on the study,” an expert at EEP told Capital.
An extra high voltage study is being undertaken by Ethiopia and Sudan, also considering Egypt, also member of the EAPP. “If Egypt will never accept it the study will be concluded up to Sudan,” experts said.
“In GTP II we will at least export electric power to Kenya, Somaliland and Tanzania. And maybe there will be a second line to Djibouti transmitting additional power,” officials at EEP explained.
Fogera Dam nearing completion
Atalel Bante is a farmer in Fogera. He used to produce rice, bean, lentil and vetch on two hectares of his farm land. He told the Amharic daily Addis Zemen : “Though water and soil conservation activities have been carried out by the government on the River and its surroundings, he could not manage to collect the harvest he used to garner due to flooding of the river across his farm land during summer.”
Presently, Atalel and other residents of Fogera are confident to benefit from producing twice a year using the water from the dam in addition to protecting their farms from flooding. The farmer said that residents of Fogera depend on agriculture as their main stay. But these days, they are facing negative consequences on their production due to flooding and drought.
Priest Eshete Adugna is another farmer residing around Rib River. He also expressed conviction that his dream for using the dam for irrigation some eight years back is becoming true. “Though late, we are all happy that the construction is nearing completion,” he added.
Ethiopian Water Works Construction Enterprise Fogera Dam Project Acting Manager Eng. Feleke Kidane on his part said that the construction was delayed because of the gap created between the feasibility study and the actual construction, lack of construction materials and financial limitation. “But presently, all these have been fulfilled and the construction is progressing well.”
Water Works Design and Supervision Enterprise Fogera Dam Consulting Engineer Teshome Seyum also said that the dam is expected to cultivate 20,000 ha of land up on its completion. In addition, it would protect flooding and supply drinking water.
“Presently, the dam is 72 per cent complete and we are working day and night to finalize in the next five months,” he added.
The dam is expected to have 234 million cubic meter reservoir and to develop up to 45 kms radius.
Ethiopia’s power generation capacity to reach 17,000MW within five years
The Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, on its part said the construction of renewable energy power source with installed capacity of 7,000MW will be commenced at a cost of 526 billion birr this Ethiopian fiscal year.
Gibe-III will begin generating power soon. Other power projects, including the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), will be finalized in the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP-II) period.
This would help raise Ethiopia’s power generation capacity to 17, 347 by 2020, which is enough to meet the country’s demand for energy in its efforts to become a middle income country by 2024, it was noted.
The target set to generate energy from hydropower, wind, geothermal and solar energy will be consolidated in GTP-II so as to meet the national demand and raise the electric service coverage to 90 percent.
Moreover, a target has been set to increase the total length of power cables to 21, 728 km after five years from 12, 825 km last Ethiopian fiscal year. There is also a plan to reduce energy wastage to 11 percent from 22.3 percent now.
It has also been planned to totally address power cut by attaching due attention to power transmission and distribution works over the coming five years.
10 reasons to visit Ethiopia
Ethiopia is connected to India with double daily flights from Mumbai and Delhi to Addis Ababa on Ethiopian Airlines. Ethiopia offers accommodation options that range from budget lodges to luxury hotels.
2. The landscape
Ethiopia has an array of sights to be seen. Among these are the Simien Mountains, the Danakil Depression, and the Blue Nile Falls.
3. The wildlife
Ethiopia has numerous national parks, such as Awash National Park, Abijatta Shalla Lakes National Park, Mago National Park, and more. These parks, along with the lakes of the Great Rift Valley, are home to rare species of birds and animals, such as the Mountain Nyala, the African antelope, the Walia Ibex, the mountain horned goats, and the Ethiopian wolf.
4. Historical places
Ethiopia has a rich history which can be seen through its historical structures. The 11 churches of Lalibela, for instance, were built during the 12th and 13th centuries. These churches are cut from rock. The Castle of Fasilides built in the 17th century is a popular destination among tourists. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
One of the best known Ethiopian dishes is injera. Injera is used not just as a serving dish, but also as an eating utensil for sauces.
Coffee is said to have been discovered in Ethiopia. Today coffee is still grown and roasted across much of Ethiopia. Taking part in an Ethiopian coffee ceremony is considered a good cultural experience.
Ethiopia has a year-round calendar of celebrations which offer an insight into Ethiopian culture and tradition.
Addis Ababa boasts of its nightlife. The place is said to be flooded with numerous bars, clubs, discs and other night spots.
Unlike the other African nations, Ethiopians were able to protect their country from the European colonisers which helped them in keeping their culture from the exposure of becoming a mixture of another. Every ethnic group has its own way of dealing with life.
10. Trip to Danakil Depression
It is one of the lowest-lying places in the world, dropping to 116 metres below sea level, while temperatures on its shadeless plains often soar above 50° celsius.
Ethiopia thinking about agricultural insurance
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn held talks with a Swiss-based insurance company, Swiss Re, on ways of getting agricultural insurance.
Insuring the agriculture sector is important for a nation such as Ethiopia which suffered from climate change induced drought so as to manage agricultural risks.
According to the 2016 HRD, 10.2 million people are in need of emergency food assistance, because of the El Nino induced drought. Low aid flow made the situation more challenging.
This has made right for the Horn of African nation to search for alternatives that will enable it cope with such incidents in the future.
If Ethiopia managed to insure its agriculture, it will enable to feed the needy in case of drought without waiting donations.
Agreeing on the idea, the Premier said that the insurance will be operational following dialogues. The company will send a delegation to Ethiopia to make assessment and make consultations, CEO of Agricultural Transformation Agency Kalid Bomba said.
EAPP endorses master plan to inter-connect East Africa
The 25-year master plan will enable countries in the region connect through a regional power interconnections thereby boosting economic development.
All member countries of EAPP, except Egypt, agreed on six points that will lead to the implementation of the master plan.
Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, Motuma Mekasa, said that the master plan would help countries to work together for the realization of rapid economic development in the region.
According to Motuma, it will provide opportunity for countries to develop and utilize natural gas resources in the region.
Since Ethiopia is among the fastest growing economies in the world, it is important to develop its energy resources and improve utilization.
The Minister said that the government of Ethiopia will exert maximum effort for the implementation of the master plan, because of its benefits for the region.
EAPP Council Chairperson and Burundi’s Energy and Mines Minister, Come Manirakiza said that the master plan would enable countries in East Africa to jointly utilize resources and ensure mutual development.
He urged the need to engage in infrastructure development and countries to extend the necessary support so as to enter into action as fast as possible.
The Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP) which has 10 member countries, established in 2005 with the objective of optimum development of energy resources in the region and to ensure access to electricity to all people in the region through the regional power interconnections.
Hailemariam: energy shortage hinders digital revolution in Africa
In a round table discussion held on the sidelines of the 46th meeting of the World Economic Forum held under the them: “Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution”, Prime Minister Hailemariam noted that energy is a key factor for mastering the digital revolution.
According to Hailemariam, low level of energy supply is the major obstacle that hinders Africa towards realizing the digital revolution. He urged countries to engage in energy development.
Despite Ethiopia’s efforts towards energy development, the country’s power supply is far below the demand, which the Premier said hinders technological advancement.
Hailemariam stressed on the need for technology transformation and leadership skills to tackle constraints in which Africa is facing.
In spite of being home for nine of the 15 countries with emerging economies, over 600 million people in the continent do not have access to electricity.
African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina emphasized the need to enhance electricity coverage in the continent so as to realize the digital revolution and make use of it.
Acknowledging this fact, the Bank will support initiatives towards boosting electricity coverage in the continent, he added.
Ethiopia wins Petrotrans’ $ 1.4 billion compensation claim
The Geneva Tribunal totally decided in favor of Ethiopia by rejecting Petrotrans’ claim to be reinstated or awarded compensation of 1.4 billion US dollars.
Briefing journalists here yesterday, Minister of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Tolosa Shagi, said the verdict is a lesson for those companies who don’t operate in accordance with the terms of their contract.
Tolosa said the decision of the Court also shows how much the country’s mining laws and agreements are up to the international standard and the action taken against Petrotrans is appropriate.
He also added that the ruling gives clear picture to those companies which want to work with us in the future not to miscalculate.
The Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas and Petrotrans signed the agreement in July 2011 that enables the latter to explore and develop petroleum and natural gas in five blocks in the eastern part of the country.
According to Tolosa, the agreement was revoked by the Ethiopian government after the company failed to carry out its contractual obligation, including within an extended period of time, and after repeated warnings.
Ethiopia calls for development of East African power market
Speaking at the 23rd Eastern African Power Pool Steering Committee meeting here Thursday, State Minister for Water, Irrigation and Electricity Wondimu Tekle said Ethiopia was developing clean and renewable energy projects such as hydro-electric, wind and geothermal power.
He added that many of these projects were nearing completion and would raise the nation’s installed capacity to more than 10,000 megawatts (MW) which would serve to meet demand not only in Ethiopia but also in the sub-region.
With regard to transmission infrastructure, Ethiopia was currently building the 500-kilovolt (KV) Ethiopia-Kenya inter-connector and is looking forward to building others, the state minister said, adding that “the new 220-KV and 400-KV line inter-connecting Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, would be mostly commissioned in 2016.
The chief executive officer of the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation, Azeb Asnake, said the 23rd steering committee meeting would discuss ways of connecting Africa through electric power with the help of countries like Ethiopia which have the capacity to produce huge amounts of electrical energy.
She indicated that that Eastern African Power Pool (EAPP), through the support of development partners, had been working to ensure that the necessary framework was in place to enable smooth operations of the inter-connected power system and the regional power market which would be created as a result.
“We are now at a very crucial time for the development of the regional power trade,” she said, adding that efforts were being made for timely implementation of major inter-connection projects which would bring the region close to full inter-connectivity.
According to Azeb, Ethiopia had untapped energy resources which would make it a hub for energy in Africa while currently Kenya and Djibouti are among countries receiving electricity from Ethiopia.
Africa becoming global pole for growth: PM Hailemariam
Rwandan President, Paul Kagame and Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, including Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), participated at the debate panel.
“Africa is becoming a global pole for growth. It is a rising continent with challenges we can address together. The global economy is favoring us in many ways,” PM Hailemariam said.
“However, we can’t hide that there is a big problem in good governance in Africa,” the Premier indicated. “But there are also opportunities,” he added.
In a related development, PM Hailemariam delivered a speech at a forum organized by World Food Program (WFP) on the sideline of the 46th annual meeting of WEF.
He said Ethiopia has begun implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in advance by integrating it with its second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP-II).
He further called on the international community to realize the pledges they made to support developing countries for the success of the goals.
SDGs are an intergovernmental set of aspiration with 17 goals and 169 targets covering a broad range of sustainable development issues.
These included ending poverty and hunger, improving health and education, making cities more sustainable, combating climate change, and protecting oceans and forests.