29 May 2016 Economic News Round-Up

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South Korean President concludes official visit to Ethiopia

South Korean President concludes official visit to Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, May 28, 2016 (FBC) –South Korean President Park Geun-hye has left for Kampala, Uganda today, after concluding her four-day state visit to Ethiopia.

The President was bode a farewell by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopian at Bole International Airport.

The South Korean President arrived in Ethiopia last Wednesday. Upon her arrival, she was also greeted by the Premier.

During her four-day state visit to Ethiopia, the President held bilateral talks with the Premier, President Mulatu Teshome as well as attended the Ethiopia-Korea business forum, among others.

She also witnessed the signing of various memorandums of understanding (MoUs) between Ethiopia and South Korea.

Moreover, President Park delivered a speech to the African Union (AU) as well as had talks with Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission.

President Park will also visit Kenya and France.

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S. Korean company ready to invest in Ethiopia’s textile sector

S. Korean company ready to invest in Ethiopia's textile sector

Addis Ababa, May 28, 2016 (FBC) – A South Korean textile and footwear producer Youngone Corporation has expressed its desire to invest in Ethiopia’s textile sector.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn held talks yesterday with Kihak Sung, Chairman of Youngone Corporation on the company’s plan to engage in textile and apparel.

After the discussion, Chairman Sung told reporters that his company is ready to engage in apparel and textile manufacturing as quickly as possible.

He said the company wants to invest hugely in Ethiopia by making textile as its gateway to the country’s market.

Ethiopia’s Ambassador to South Korea, Shiferaw Jarso, stated that the company has made feasibility studies in Bole Lemi and Adama industrial parks to invest in the sector.

He indicated that the involvement of Youngone Corporation could lure other Korean textile factories to engage in Ethiopia’s textile and apparel industry.

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Ethiopia, Korea sign several MoUs

Ethiopia, Korea sign several MoUs

Addis Ababa, May 26, 2016 (FBC) –Ethiopia and South Korea have signed a number of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) today at a ceremony held at the National Palace.

The two sides inked a total of 24 agreements to collaborate in the areas of ICT, policy consultation, agriculture and environmental conservation, defense technology, textile industry, health, transport, avoidance of double taxation and power management, among others.

A 120 million US dollars loan agreement was also signed between the two countries to upgrade Gore-Tepi road.

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Earlier, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, along with senior Ethiopian government officials, held bilateral talks with President Park Geun-hye of South Korea.

Their talks were focused on ways of strengthening bilateral ties, said Berhane Gebrekirstos, special advisor to the Prime Minister.

President Park arrived in Addis Ababa yesterday for a four-day state visit to Ethiopia.

She was greeted by Prime Minister Hailemariam upon her arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.

The President is expected to meet with President Mulatu Teshome and deliver a speech at the headquarters of the African Union.

She will also meet with African Union Commission Chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to discuss ways to strengthen cooperation between the two sides.

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AfDB embarks on ambitious plan to ramp up agriculture in Africa

AfDB embarks on ambitious plan to ramp up agriculture in Africa

Addis Ababa, May 26, 2016 (FBC) – The African Development Bank (AfDB) plans to improve the agriculture sector in Africa by embarking on an ambitious seven-point plan which aims at transforming the sector and be able to empower the small scale farmers and youths.

AfDB Director of the Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department, Chiji Ojukwu, said agriculture remained a major source of income in Africa, but its untapped potential had resulted in persistent poverty and deteriorating food security.

Ojukwu said the AfDB, in collaboration with some partners, had come up with seven enablers that would address the various challenges which had been noted as hindering the growth of agriculture in Africa.

“The AfDB, in collaboration with partners, will contribute to orchestrate, architect, scale and replicate transformation through seven enablers,” he said.

In his presentation on Day 2 of the AfDB Annual Meetings in Lusaka on “The Road to Agricultural Transformation in Africa”, Ojukwu said among the strategies mapped up was to increase productivity, realised value of increased production and increased investment in hard and soft infrastructure.

Other enablers hinge on financing expanded agricultural, improved agribusiness environment, increased inclusivity, sustainability, nutrition and coordination.

He said to achieve the “Feed Africa” goal of the Bank’s High 5 development priorities, there was need for substantial investment and results in substantial revenues.

Ojukwu disclosed that 315-400 billion US dollars was required over the next decade or 32-40 billion US dollars annually to transform the agricultural sector in Africa.

“The AfDB and public sector partners will crowd in private and institutional funding by establishing enabling environments for private investments, employing innovate de-risking tools and blending finance,” he said.

Contributing to the discussion, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Associate Vice-President, Programme Management Department, Perin Saint-Ange, said IFAD had committed US 500 million US dollars to the development of the sector in Africa annually for a period of three years starting this year.

Saint-Ange said the aid would target the small-scale farmers and youths so that they could have access to better technology, farming inputs, processing facilities and markets.

AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina, who also participated in the panel discussion, said Africa needed to look at agriculture in a different perceptive if the continent was to actualise its dream of diversification.

Adesina said agriculture had the potential to stabilise economies and should be looked at as a business.

“We can’t keep sitting on potential. We need to change our mindset, agriculture is a business. Why is it that people in agriculture are poor? We must change this, agriculture is a business and a source of creating wealth and employment,” he said.

Adesina also observed that there was need to revisit most curricula in tertiary education institutions, which were outdated and not relevant to the modern times.

“When we talk about research, let us talk about research that has impact and not academic benefits. We need to change those curriculums taught in the ’50s as they are not applicable to recent times. People don’t eat paper [academic qualifications], they eat food,” he said.

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa Bukar Tijani said there was need to speed up the progress of improving the agriculture sector in Africa.

Tijani said the process should not take very long, but rather less than 10 years and was happy that various stakeholders including the African Union (AU) were working towards achieving the goal.

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ERA awards 5.6 bln birr road projects for indigenous contractors

ERA awards 5.6 bln birr road projects for indigenous contractors

Addis Ababa, May 26, 2016 (FBC) – The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) has signed an agreement with five indigenous firms for the construction of seven roads at a cost of 5.6 billion birr.

The roads with a total length of 626 kilometers are part of the road development programs incorporated in the second five-year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP-II).

ERA awarded the road projects to be built in Oromia, Amhara, Afar and SNNP regional states for SUR Construction Plc, Defense Construction Enterprise, Ethiopian Construction Works Corporation, Markan Trading Plc and Yonatan Abiye General Contractor.

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Bangladesh based DBL secures $100 mln to build garment factory in Ethiopia

Bangladesh based DBL secures $100 mln to build garment factory in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, May 26, 2016 (FBC) – A 15-million US dollars loan agreement was signed yesterday between the Swedfund and DBL, a Bangladesh textile and garment company.

DBL had already concluded an agreement and received 68 hectares of land to establish textile and garment company in Tigray regional state.

The firm decided to invest in Ethiopia after looking at the business and investment opportunities in the country.

And yesterday, the company signed a 15-million US dollars loan agreement with Swedfund, the Swedish Government’s development financier.

The Ethiopian Development Bank has extended additional 55 million USD loan to the Bangladesh company whose project is estimated to cost 100 million USD, it was indicated.

During the signing ceremony, Swedish Ambassador to Ethiopia Jan Sadek said “I’m happy to see Swedfund engage in Ethiopia.”

The integrated textile and garment factory to be built in Mekele, the capital of Tigray regional state, will add immense value to the Ethiopian economy and boost export, he stated.

Once it goes operational, the factory is expected to create more than 4,000 jobs.

Bangladesh’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Monirus Islam, said “this will be a model factory as we have garment factories all over Bangladesh but no single one outside that territory.”

State Minister of Industry Taddesse Haile said the Swedish H&M for Ethiopia has been an eye opener for the textile industry.

“We are in better position in achieving our vision of being textile and garment hub in the global market,” he added.

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Ethiopia builds defense force capable to carry out many operations at once, says Defense Minister

Ethiopia builds defense force capable to carry out many operations at once, says Defense Minister

Addis Ababa, May 25, 2016 (FBC) – Ethiopia has built a strong military force capable of carrying out many operations at once, said Siraj Fegessa, Minister of Defense of Ethiopia.

Despite anti-peace forces’ repeated provocative acts from outside and inside, the country has continued toremain peaceful and register economic growth due to its military hard work, he said at a panel discussion held here today in connection with the silver jubilee of Ginbot 20 (May 28), which marks the downfall of Derge regime.

Military personnel drawn from various divisions took part at the panel discussion which reviewed the role played by the defense force to lift Ethiopia out of conflict 25 years ago and its contribution in the current inclusive economic growth.

The defense force has undertaken successful activities towards foiling provocative acts of anti-peace forces from inside and outside, including from the Shaebian government, and creating peaceful environment for the public to carry out their daily activities, he said.

In addition to safeguarding the sovereignty and peace in the country, Ethiopian defense force has been undertaking notable peacekeeping operations in neighboring countries in particular and the continent in general.

Ethiopia has deployed more than 12,000 peacekeepers and is the leading country in deploying a large number of peacekeepers, according to Siraj.

Members of the defense force are also putting their mark on various development projects, including on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

In a related development, employees of ministries of Foreign Affairs, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Industry, Transport as well as Water, Irrigation and Electricity celebrated the 25th anniversary of Ginbot 20.

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ERA awards 2.8 bln birr road projects for four contractors

ERA awards 2.8 bln birr road projects for four contractors

Addis Ababa, May 20, 2016 (FBC) – Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) has signed today an agreement with four contractors for the construction of four roads at a cost of 2.8 billion birr.

concrete level include Dire Dawa-Melka Jebdu, Dabat-Kerkera, Werabe-Bojaber and Bako-Shambu.

Bako-Shambu road will be constructed by the Chinese CGC Overseas Construction Group (CGCOC) at a cost of 900 million birr earmarked by the government of Ethiopia and funding from OPEC and Arab Bank.

The remaining three roads will be built by the indigenous contractors Powercon, Melcon and Yemane Girmay General Contractor.

The cost for the three roads will be covered by the government of Ethiopia.

According to the agreement, Dire Dawa-Melka Jebdu raod will be finalized within one and a half years and the remaining roads will be completed in three years time.

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Revenue from leather export declines, says institute

Revenue from leather export declines, says institute

Addis Ababa, May 19, 2016 (FBC) – Leather export earnings have decreased, said the Ethiopian Leather Industry Development Institute (LIDI).

Although the target was to earn 129 million US dollars in nine months, it generated only 86.3 million US dollars, said Wondu Legesse, director general of the institute, while presenting nine month performance report today.

The revenue made from the sector declined by 42.9 million US dollars compared to the same period the previous year.

According to the director, the institute attained only 60 percent of its target.

Current prices fall at global market, lack of quality skins and power supply problems blamed for the decline in revenue.

Tadesse Haile, State Minister of Industry, said he is concerned by the decline in export earnings while new leather factories are joining the sector.

He said stakeholders need to join hands with the government so as to address the challenges facing the secto

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MetEC-built brake factory goes operational

MetEC-built brake factory goes operational

Addis Ababa, May 19, 2016 (FBC) – A brake factory built by Metals and Engineering Corporation (MetEC) in Awash Arba, Afar regional state, has gone operational.

The factory, which rested on 7,800 square meters of land, is supplying to the market 12 types of brakes, including disc brake pads, brake shoe and brake lining, among others.

The factory has the capacity to manufacture 3.2 million brakes that are fit for trucks ranging from light to heavy.

The brakes manufactured with German, Japan, Brazil and international standard allows vehicles to travel up to 40,000 kilometers of distances.

The factory has so far created jobs for 253 people.

The construction of the factory was launched three years ago at a cost of 350 million birr, it was noted.

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Ethiopia allows women to give birth free of charge in health institutions

Ethiopia allows women to give birth free of charge in health institutions

Addis Ababa, May 18, 2016 (FBC) –Government health institutions across the country have begun letting women to give birth free of charge.

The service also includes the supply of medicines for free.

The move is aimed at increasing the number of mothers giving birth in health institutions.

Girma Ashenafi, head of Addis Ababa health bureau, said the number of women giving birth in health facilities in the city doubled after the free service was introduced last month.

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World Bank approves $200 mln to support Ethiopia’s SMEs

World Bank approves $200 mln to support Ethiopia’s SMEs

Addis Ababa, May 18, 2016 (FBC) – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors yesterday approved a 200 million US dollars International Development Association (IDA) credit to support the growth and development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Ethiopia.

The Government of Ethiopia five-year development plan emphasizes the key role of SMEs for the local economy and identifies support to SMEs as a key industrial policy direction for creating employment opportunities.

A recent World Bank study on SMEs finance in Ethiopia finds that financing constraints of Ethiopian SMEs are one of the key obstacles to job creation and growth. Both demand-side and supply-side surveys clearly indicate the existence of a missing middle phenomenon whereby small enterprises are more credit constrained than either micro or medium/large enterprises.

‘’This project will address the missing middle challenge by providing financial and technical resources to SMEs and financial intermediaries in Ethiopia’’ said Francesco Strobbe, World Bank Task Team Leader of the Project.

“It is the result of an inclusive and participatory approach adopted during the preparation phase by working closely with all the key stakeholders in the public and private sector. The project complements ongoing World Bank interventions in the area of financial inclusion, women entrepreneurship and industrial zones’ support. By adopting a holistic approach to SMEs finance, this project will help to address one of the major obstacles for job creation and growth.”

The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives.

IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries.

Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $19 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.

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Ethiopia’s total road coverage stands at 120,000 km

Ethiopia's total road coverage stands at 120,000 km

Addis Ababa, May 18, 2016 (FBC) – Ethiopia’s total road coverage has reached 120,000 km, said Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, minister of transport of Ethiopia, attributing the success to the huge investment on road infrastructure in the past 25 years.

“Two decades ago, the total road network expansion in the country was not more than 18,000km. But now the coverage jumped to 120,000 km,” the minster told FBC yesterday.

According to Dr Workneh, the road coverage in rural areas, which was not more than 10 percent 25 years ago, moved up to 70 percent.

This, according to the minister, helped farmers to get agricultural inputs such as fertilizer and select seeds on time and within their reach.

Moreover, road network expansion in rural areas contributed productivity and trade activities to increase as well as health, education and other social institutions to expand, the minister said.

The road infrastructure also allowed local contractors to benefit from technology transfer and acquire experience in road construction and management, he said.

More than 90 contractors who are capable of competing to execute overseas projects were created, the minister added.

According to Dr Workneh, problems in design, management and delay in the excution of road projects were some of the challenges faced the sector over the past 25 years.

Dr Workneh indicated that his ministry is designing a strategy to tackle these problems and to sustain the economic growth of the country by modernizing the road network.

In a related development, the minister said works are underway to make Ethiopia a hub for air transport.

The expansion and construction of airports is underway in various parts of the country and at huge investment areas to facilitate the direct delivery of export products to the global market, Dr Workneh said.

The activities carried out in the past let Ethiopia’s air transport to become the leading and preferable airlines worldwide, he said, adding plans are in the pipeline to make Ethiopia the leading country in the aviation industry.

Ethiopian Airlines is one of the few top airlines with flights to the U.S, thus showing the due attention given by the country for aviation safety, he said.

In order to maintain the reputation of the Airlines and enable it to remain competitive at the global market, the expansion and construction of existing and new airports is underway, he said, citing the Bole International Airport expansion project as a case in point.

Once completed, the expansion project being executed at a cost of 300 million US dollars will enable the airlines to accommodate 22 million passengers per annum, he said.

At present, the country owns 21 airports and there is a plan to build additional airports which could accommodate up to 100 million passengers annually, he said.

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Nine-month textile export earnings slip significantly

Nine-month textile export earnings slip significantly

Addis Ababa, May 16, 2016 (FBC) –Ethiopia’s textile export earnings have shown a significant decline during the past nine months.

Despite a projected target of 110 million US dollars, the sector made only 65 million US dollars.

The income generated during the past nine months declined by 18 million US dollars compared to the same period the previous fiscal year, said Ethiopian Textile Industry Development Institute.

Taddese Haile, State Minister of Industry, attributed the slip to low performance, failure to expand market and business administrative issues of larger companies, which took the lion’s share in last year’s export earning.

He also mentioned low quality and quantity of products as well as investment projects’ failure to commence production as per planned as reasons for the decline in revenue.

At total of some 60 companies (32 foreign and 28 local) are currently engaged in textile and apparel sector in Ethiopia.

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Addis Ababa, Djibouti cities sign sistership agreement

Addis Ababa, Djibouti cities sign sistership agreement

Addis Ababa, May 16, 2016 (FBC) –Addis Ababa city administration has signed a sistership memorandum of understanding (MoU) with cities in Djibouti.

A delegation led by Diriba Kuma, mayor of Addis Ababa city, has been on a working visit to Djibouti since May 13, 2016.

Following an in-depth discussion between the delegation and Houssein Abdillahi Kayad, mayor of Djibouti city, the two sides signed a MoU to foster sistership between Addis Ababa and cities in Djibouti.

Diriba also conferred with Youssouf Moussa Dawaleh, President of Chamber of Commerce of Djibouti as well as with representatives of the private sector, on how to bolster trade, investment and tourism relations between the two countries.

Dawaleh on the occasion expressed his Chamber’s interest to create strong ties with Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association as well as to engage in business and investment in Addis Ababa and various parts of the country.

He and some members of the private sector pledged to visit Ethiopia.

Diriba further met with Djibouti’s Prime Minister, Abdulkadir Kamil Mohamed and Interior Minister,  Hassen Omar Mohamed, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia.

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Commercial Bank posts 10.9 bln birr gross profit in nine months

Commercial Bank posts 10.9 bln birr gross profit in nine months

Addis Ababa, May 16, 2016 (FBC) – The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) has secured a gross profit of 10.9 billion birr during the past nine months of this budget year.

CBE also managed to raise its total asset o 359.3 billion birr, according to a statement it sent to FBC today. It disbursed close to 64.9 billion birr loan in the reported period.

Moreover, the total deposit mobilized by the bank has reached 272 billion birr, collecting 30.4 billion birr in the past nine months alone. It also collected 3.4 billion US dollars from various sources.

Furthermore, it deployed 740 automated teller machines (ATM) and 4,458 point-of-sale (POS) terminals at various locations.

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Ethiopia pushes health coverage to 99 percent

Ethiopia pushes health coverage to 99 percent

Addis Ababa, May 16, 2016 (FBC) – Ethiopia has pushed national health coverage to 99 percent following the activities carried out under the banner “one health center for 25,000 people!” said Dr Kestebirhan Admasu.

Due attention has also been given to prevent non-communicable diseases, he said.

Ethiopia’s prevention-based health policy has paid off, said Dr Kestebirhan while responding to questions raised by the public via Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC).

The national health coverage, which stood at 38 percent 25 years ago, has jumped to 99 percent now   owing to expansion of health services in urban and rural areas, he said.

Tuberculosis (TB), HIV/AIDS and malaria prevalence as well as maternal and child mortality rates have declined in the country, he indicated. Life expectancy, which stood at 45 years 25 years back increased to 64 years now.

However, the activities carried out to prevent non-communicable diseases and cancer in particular were not to the required level as the sector demands huge money and skilled professionals, Dr Kestebirhan noted.

But now the construction of cancer centers in underway in Haremaya, Jimma, Hawassa, Mekele and Gondar universities as well as in St. Paul’s Hospital, Addis Ababa.

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Corporation readied sufficient select seeds, fertilizer for upcoming production season

Corporation readied sufficient select seeds, fertilizer for upcoming production season

Addis Ababa, May 13, 2016 (FBC) –Ethiopian Agricultural Works Corporation (EAWC) said it has readied sufficient select seed and fertilizer supplies for this production season (meher).

At present, the distribution of 350,000 quintals of select seeds is underway, Kefyalew Berhanu, EAWC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), told FBC today.

Regional states are also distributing seeds by multiplying by their own, he added.

Moreover, the 852,400 metric tons of fertilizer which the Corporation had purchased arrived at Djibouti Port and Port Sudan, Kefyalew indicated.

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U.S. announces nearly $128 mln in additional humanitarian aid to Ethiopia

U.S. announces nearly $128 mln in additional humanitarian aid to Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, May 13, 2016 (FBC) – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced today nearly 128 million US dollars in additional humanitarian assistance to help the people of Ethiopia face the impacts of the worst drought in fifty years.

Triggered by El Niño, the drought follows successive poor rainy seasons and now exceeds many people’s ability to cope. Today’s announcement will provide vital humanitarian aid including relief food assistance, safe drinking water, nutrition services, and mobile health teams to help address the needs stemming from the drought.

In addition, it will also help people by providing seeds for food production during the upcoming rains.

Acting Assistant Administrator for the Bureau of Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Affairs Thomas H. Staal announced the new funding in Ethiopia alongside Commissioner Mitiku Kassa, Commissioner of National Disaster Risk Management Commission.

In his remarks, Mr. Staal said, “This new funding underscores the United States’ commitment to working with Ethiopia to prevent this drought from becoming a humanitarian catastrophe.”

With this announcement, the United States has provided nearly $705 million in humanitarian assistance since October 2014, and continues to be the largest humanitarian donor to Ethiopia.

The U.S. commends the other donors who have contributed generously to the drought response, and encourages others to join this international effort to address the drought’s impacts and also protect hard-earned development gains.

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African economies need increased private investments: WEF panelists

African economies need increased private investments: WEF panelists

Addis Ababa, May 12, 2016 (FBC) – Africa needs more private investments to strengthen its economy and to fast track the growth of the continent, says panelists at the first day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa 2016.

The 26th annual WEF on Africa kicked off on Wednesday under the theme ‘Connecting Africa’s Resources through Digital Transformation.’

The three-day high level meeting has brought together more than 1500 delegates from Africa and beyond.

At the special session titled ‘Growth in Africa: Rising or Falling?’, distinguished panel of experts discussed whether Africa is shifting from “deficits” and “gaps” to opportunities, prospects, ventures and creativity.

“Business is booming in Africa, and now is time for companies to invest. African economies welcome both foreign and local investments to make these economies vibrant,” said Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Kenyatta noted that African governments should start pulling down trade barriers to promote intra-African trade.

“Private sector is an essential link in the development cooperation chain, as it drives economic growth. More private investments mean more industries hence advanced economies. We also need to create a conducive environment for these investments to flourish,” Kenyatta said.

According to David Lipton, First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), for the last 15 years, trade in Africa grew rapidly due to demand from emerging markets.

“The IMF has been a close partner in Africa’s journey, and we are supporting the region through this rough patch. Africa has just experienced a 15-year period of remarkable growth and development. However more investments will help transform this continent and give new hope for the future,” he noted.

Lipton further said that Africa leads the world in mobile adoption, which continues to offer the biggest cross-sectoral economic opportunities.

Amid falling commodity prices and continuing weakness in global growth, Sub-Saharan Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth decelerated to an estimated 3.0 percent in 2015 from 4.5 percent in 2014, according to the latest World Bank projections.

“Growth is there but it is captured by a few and the majority is left out. African economies are finally beginning to diversify beyond commodities, though this is still in the early stages,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International.

She noted that the continent is seeing a returning diaspora that recognizes the potential and opportunities in their own countries and invests back in their own communities.

However, Tony O. Elumelu, Nigerian entrepreneur and philanthropist said that to attract private investments is key to promoting business in Africa.

“Business leaders are hungry for vibrant new markets in areas of energy, technology, supply chain design and others,” Elumelu noted.

The IMF forecasts that Africa will be the second-fastest growing region in the world between 2016 and 2020 with an annual growth of 4.3 percent.

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Ethiopia working to improve small-scale farming practices, says Hailemariam

Ethiopia working to improve small-scale farming practices, says Hailemariam

Addis Ababa, May 12, 2016 (FBC) – Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said that works are underway to improve small-scale farming practices in Ethiopia.

The Premier made the remark at Grow Africa Investment Forum 2016, held on the sideline of the 26th edition of World Economic Forum on Africa, kicked off yesterday in Kigali, Rwanda under the theme ‘Connecting Africa’s Resources through Digital Transformation.’

Speaking at the forum which focused on African agriculture, PM Hailemariam said Africans should give prime attention to the agricultural sector. “Agriculture should be the main engine of Africa’s economy,” he said.

The government of Ethiopia is working as well as offering support for farmers to improve small-scale farming practices and  modernize the agriculture sector, he told the participants.

According to the Premier, the efforts made by government to improve productivity of small-scale farmers and transfer them to a better step have paid off.

He also called on the private sector to offer financial, market and technological support for small-scale farming.

The Premier finally said the government of Ethiopia is ready to support investors who are interested to engage in the agricultural sector.

The Grow Africa partnership was founded jointly by the African Union Commission (AUC), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the World Economic Forum in 2011.

Grow Africa works to increase private sector investment in agriculture, and accelerate the execution and impact of investment commitments. The aim is to enable countries to realise the potential of the agriculture sector for economic growth and job creation, particularly among farmers, women and youth.

Grow Africa brokers collaboration between governments, international and domestic agriculture companies, and smallholder farmers in order to lower the risk and cost of investing in agriculture, and improve the speed of return to all stakeholders.

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Addis Ababa-Dewele railway line to commence operation in September

Addis Ababa-Dewele railway line to commence operation  in September

Addis Ababa, May 11, 2016 (FBC) – The Addis Ababa-Meiso-Dewele railway line would be operational after three months, according to the Ethiopian Railways Corporation (ERC).

This was disclosed at the evaluation of the third quarter performance of the corporation by the Public Enterprises Affairs Standing Committee of the House of Peoples Representatives (HPR) today.

According to officials of the corporation, 98.1 percent of the construction of the Addis Ababa-Meiso and 98.8 percent of Meiso-Dewele railway lines are completed.

As a result, the Addis Ababa-Meiso-Dewele line will become operational by September, 2016.

The standing committee commended the corporation’s performance and its efforts for human resources development and knowledge transfer.

It also appreciated ERC’s financial management.

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Institute releases 47 new improved crop varieties

Institute releases 47 new improved crop varieties

Addis Ababa, May 11, 2016 (FBC) – Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research has released 47 new improved crop varieties.

Newly released crop varieties are early maturing, drought and disease resistant, said Dr Asnake Fikre, crop research director at the institute.

The new crop varieties to be used as of this Ethiopian rainy season help to improve productivity.

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Awash-Woldia/Hara Gebeya railway project now 35 percent complete

Awash-Woldia/Hara Gebeya railway project now 35 percent complete

Addis Ababa, May 11, 2016 (FBC) –The Awash-Woldia/Hara Gebeya railway project, a railway line being built between Awash and Woldia towns, has reached 35 percent completion, said the Ethiopian Railways Corporation (ERC).

Corporation’s management team visited recently the progress of the project being executed by the Turkish-based company, Yapi Merkezi, at a cost of 1.7 billion US dollars.

The Awash Woldia / Hara Gebeya railway line involves the construction of 390 km of rail line, 40km maintenance lines and 18km station lines.

It also includes the construction of 14 tunnels, 65 bridges, 10 power supply stations, three terminal stations with two platforms, and six intermediate stations with a single platform.

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The project, which is part of Ethiopia’s target to have a network of 5,000km of railway lines by the end of the second five year growth and transformation plan (GTP-2) period, is expected to be completed in three years and seven months time.

Overall, 26 locomotives will operate on the railway line which is believed to stimulate business activities in the north and central parts of the country.

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The project has created jobs for 2,500 people, including for 1,800 Ethiopian nationals.

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Activities underway to realize system allowing people to save money using mobile device

Activities underway to realize system allowing people to save money using mobile device

Addis Ababa, May 10, 2016 (FBC) –Activities are underway to put in place a system which allows individuals to deposit money in bank using mobile device.

The new system enables low income community members to save money daily wherever they are and without going to banks, said Melaku Kebede, deputy manager of United Bank.

The new system increases the saving culture of the people

Moreover, it develops the saving culture of the people as well as allows banks to collect more money and add new clients.

Abdi Seid, who invented the idea, said people can deposit money in the bank using mobile cards.

According to him, the new scheme could be applied in six months time.

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Ethiopian Electric Power to execute over 2 bln birr expansion project

Ethiopian Electric Power to execute over 2 bln birr expansion project

Addis Ababa, May 10, 2016 (FBC) – Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) is to carry out power substations expansion construction in three towns of Amhara regional state at a cost of over 2 billion birr.

EEP Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Azeb Asnake, signed an agreement with Xiang Rui, representative of Shanghai Electric Group Company, a Chinese firm which was awarded the contract to build the substations in Kombolcha, Bahir Dar and Woldia towns.

The expansion project helps to meet the power demand of industrial parks, electrified train and condominium houses to be built in the areas, it was noted.

According to the agreement, a 400-kV power substation with 450MW carrying capacity will be built in Woldia town. The expansion at Kombolcha helps to supply 900 MW electric power to the town.

About 85 percent of the cost for the expansion has been earned from China Exim bank and the balance will be covered by the government of Ethiopia.

The expansion project is expected to be concluded and go operational within a year and six months, it was noted.

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Ethiopia, China ink MoU for Africa Information Superhighway project

Ethiopia, China ink MoU for Africa Information Superhighway project

Addis Ababa, May 7, 2016 (FBC) – Ethiopia and China on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for their partnership on a project dubbed Africa Information Superhighway, a project for cooperation between China and Africa in information and communication technology (ICT).

The MoU will enable the two countries to carry out joint activities under the framework of the Africa Information Super Highway for the East African region and beyond.

Dr. Debretsion Gebremichael, Ethiopian Minister of Communication and Information Technology, and Liu Lihua, Chinese Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology, signed the agreement at a ceremony held in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

The two sides have also held talks over the project, ways of going forward towards its implementation and successful realization.

The Chinese vice minister told reporters after the discussion that his delegation had held talks with the Ethiopian side and also signed the cooperation MoU for joint construction of Africa Information Super Highway.

Stating that China and Ethiopia have been cherishing a long-standing relation and cooperation in various areas, Liu said the MoU signed in Addis would further strengthen the existing cooperation in general and in the ICT sector in particular.

“China and Ethiopia have a time-cherished history of good relationship and friendship. Thus, we have strong confidence that this cooperation in the area of ICT would also proved to be another success,” he said.

“China and Ethiopia have wide areas of cooperation. Thus, we believe this MoU would really be beneficial for improving the quality of life of Ethiopian people as well as promoting the socio-economic growth in this country,” he added.

During the latest summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in South Africa’s Johannesburg last December, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced about 10 major areas of cooperation with Africa.

The cooperation between China and Africa in the ICT sector is one of the initiatives announced by the Chinese president.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Dr. Debretsion, who is also Ethiopia’s Finance and Economic Cluster Coordinator with the rank of Deputy Prime Minister, noted that the project would help Ethiopia accelerate the on-going rapid economic growth.

The project will also benefit countries in the East African region and beyond, noted the Ethiopian minister.

He expressed Ethiopia’s commitment to working together with China towards its success.

“This big project has a lot of contributions to Ethiopia and many other African countries. We work together with the respective companies that have been assigned by the Chinese government. I would also like to say we will collaborate on all fronts in particular the different projects that have been intended in East Africa,” stated Debretsion.

“We feel that Ethiopia will benefit out of this engagement. It will have more contribution in developing this super highway with other East Africa and beyond,” he said.

“We are committed to working with you to ease all the challenges that we can encounter, and finally we will have a great achievement that would be good for China and good for Ethiopia, and for many other African countries as well,” he noted.

“This (the project) will contribute a lot to our development. Ethiopia is growing fast, and for the future development of our ICT sector not only in communication but also ICT as an industry. We expect this super highway will have a lot of contribution in accelerating our growth,” he added.

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Ethiopia to amend income tax proclamation

Ethiopia to amend income tax proclamation

Addis Ababa, May 6, 2016 (FBC) – A new draft bill has been prepared to amend the existing income tax proclamation.

The income of the community, the country’s existing reality and global volatility are the reasons behind for the amendment of the proclamation existed since 1994 E.C.

The draft proclamation was prepared by a team drawn from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MoFEC), Ethiopian Revenues and Costumes Authority (ERCA) and regional finance bureaus.

The team also prepared a draft bill for the amendment of tax administration.

The new income tax proclamation is expected to reduce income tax of employees, said Wasihun Abate, legal service director at MoFEC and chairman of the team.

The two draft proclamations will be tabled for the House of People’s Representative (HPR) at the end of this budget year.

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U.S. clothing giant PVH prepares for Ethiopia production

U.S. clothing giant PVH prepares for Ethiopia production

Addis Ababa, May 6, 2016 (FBC) – US clothing giant PVH Corporation, owner of Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein brands, will begin manufacturing its clothing products in Ethiopia this summer, just-style has learnt.

The clothing provider will operate in a newly- built industrial park in Hawassa city, south of the capital Addis Ababa.

Fassile Tadesse, president of the Ethiopian Textile and Garment Manufacturers Association, said “PVH has been interested for a long time in setting up a manufacturing base in Ethiopia.”

He added that production of PVH products is expected to begin in July or August.

PVH is also planning to establish an Ethiopian clothing sourcing network: “They also have a plan to begin sourcing garments from well established suppliers in Ethiopia” added Fassile.

Dana Perlman, spokesperson for PVH, confirmed: “In addition to the factory, we expect to increase purchases as production in the country increases.”

The newly built Hawassa industrial park is due to start in June and will offer 37 factory units on a 300-hecatrs plot to apparel and garment producers.

Ethiopian government is also in negotiations with other clothing producers, including Ralph Lauren and VF Corporation to participate in Ethiopia’s clothing and textile sector, and begin sourcing from its apparel suppliers.

Ethiopia’s growing clothing and textile sector is set to expand further following a pledge from the World Bank to spend 240 million US dollars in financing Ethiopian government plans to build seven industrial parks over the next five years.

Apparel firms such as Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), George at Asda, Calzedonia, Primark and Tesco are already sourcing from Ethiopia.

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Mineral operation licenses of 32 companies revoked

Mineral operation licenses of 32 companies revoked

Addis Ababa, May 6, 2016 (FBC) – The ministry of mines, petroleum and natural gas has revoked mineral exploration and production licenses of 32 companies due to lack of financial capacity and for failure to fulfill their duties.

Because of lack of results and financial capacity, nine of the companies returned their licenses voluntarily, Tewodros Gebregziabher, state minister of mines, petroleum and natural gas, told Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC) today.

However, licenses of the remaining 23 companies were canceled due to failure to discharge their duties properly, he said.

Of the companies whose licenses were revoked include 13 in gold, five in coal, seven in cement raw material, three in tantalum and niobium, and four in iron ore exploration, according to him.

Tewodros said his ministry is replacing those failed companies with other potential companies from Australia, Canada, Israel and Britain.

The companies are expected to commence operation soon, he said.

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Ethio-China relation going beyond bilateral partnerships: Amb Seyoum

Ethio-China relation going beyond bilateral partnerships: Amb Seyoum

Addis Ababa, May 6, 2016 (FBC) – The relationship between Ethiopia and China has gone beyond bilateral engagement with the ever growing people to people ties between the two nations, according to Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, Ethiopia’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China.

The Ambassador briefed a team of Chinese journalists drawn from the country’s Jiangsu province on the overall relationship between Ethiopia and China.

Ambassador Seyoum responded to questions from the journalists regarding the status of the relation between the two nations, prospects and challenges in strengthening the relation and lucrative investment fields in Ethiopia for Chinese investors.

The Ethiopian diplomat confirmed to the Chinese media that the relation between Ethiopia and China has gone beyond bilateral exchanges, embracing increased people to people relations.

The two nations are enjoying strong relation in the social fields of education, health, cultural exchanges and others which were triggered by the well established trade and investment exchanges, he stated.

According to the Ambassador, the comprehensive bilateral cooperation between Ethiopia and China is also growing more than ever with over three thousand Chinese engaging in a range of development sectors in Ethiopia.

Mentioning the growing focus to modernize the agriculture sector in Ethiopia, Ambassador Seyoum called on Chinese investors to engage in fields of agriculture, especially, cotton farming which he said is enjoying huge demand from European and U.S. markets.

He also spoke of potentials in food processing, chemicals and fertilizer as well as livestock, hides and skin processing, fishery and others for which the government readies necessary facilitations.

With the expansion of roads and railways infrastructures as well as dams, industrial parks and other manufacturing hubs, investors engaging in inputs supply, textiles and garment, metals and plastics as well as mining are having better market accessibility, he added.

Activities are underway to formally establish sisterly relation between Oromia and China’s Jiangsu province which he said will take the people to people relation to a higher level.

With over 70 million people, a 9.4 per cent annual economic growth and a GDP of 1.4 trillion, Jiangsu is one of the richest and most populous regions in China, he said.

A delegation from the province is expected to pay a visit to Ethiopia within two weeks time to finalize the partnership with the regional state of Oromia.

According to Ambassador Seyoum, last year’s Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in Johannesburg, South Africa is among the conducive situations to increase the all-round partnership between Ethiopia and China.

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Corporation, Chinese firms ink agreement for construction of Mekelle, Kombolcha industrial parks

Corporation, Chinese firms ink agreement for construction of Mekelle, Kombolcha industrial parks

Addis Ababa, May 5, 2016 (FBC) – Ethiopian industry parks development corporation has signed today an agreement with two Chinese firms to begin the construction of Mekelle and Kombolcha industrial parks at a cost of 250 million US dollars.ы

The corporation inked the agreement with China Civil Engineering Construction Cooperation (CCECC) and China Communications Construction Company (CCCC).

The Ethiopian government will cover all the cost for the construction of the industrial parks.

Sisay Gemechu, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Ethiopian industrial park development corporation, said the indigenous firm MH Engineering will involve in the construction of the parks as a consultant.

According to the agreement, the construction of the industrial parks is scheduled to be complete in 6 months time.

Mekelle and Kombolcha industrial parks rest on 75 hectares of land each and will comprise more than 30 factory sheds.

Both industrial parks are expected to create 50,000 jobs.

Preparations are also underway to start soon the construction of Dire Dawa and Adama industrial parks, Sisay indicated.

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Ethiopia’s oilseed production to increase despite drought

Ethiopia's oilseed production to increase despite drought

Addis Ababa, May 5, 2016 (FBC) – Ethiopia’s oilseed sector, which is rapidly growing to meet both local and foreign demand, plays a vitally important economic role in generating foreign exchange earnings and income for the country, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) said in April 22 report.

In fact, approximately one-fifth of Ethiopia’s total export earnings are generated from oilseed exports. In addition, the oilseed sector provides income to millions of growers and others involved in processing and trading.

In contrast to grain production, the impact of the drought on oilseed production was minimal. In fact, the production of major oilseeds – sesame, Niger seed and soybeans – is forecast to increase by 28,000 tonnes to 788,000 tonnes in market year 2015-16 (Oct-Sep).

Soybeans, production fell slightly because of insufficient moisture. Looking further ahead, production of oilseeds is likely to increase to meet the growing demand for cooking oil and livestock ingredients, most notably soybean meal for poultry production.

Owing to the late rains and uneven rainfall distribution in some of the main soybean-producing areas, production for market year 2015-16 is forecast downward to 66,000 tonnes, a drop of 6,000 tonnes from previous year.

Going forward, production is expected to rebound and continue its upward climb in order to meet some of the increasing local demand for edible oil and soybean meal for livestock feed, most notably soybean meal for poultry production.

Over the last several years, soybean production has doubled from 35,000 tonnes in market year 2011-12 to 72,000 tonnes market year 2014-15. Most of this growth in production was due to an increase in the area planted and to a lesser extent improved yields.

Soybeans contribute nearly 9% to the country’s total oilseed production and account for only 4% of area planted to oilseeds. The main soybean-producing areas are in the western part of the country in the Oromia and Benishangul Gumuz, and to a lesser extent the Amhara region. In these regions, the top-producing zones are Illubabor, Horogudru Wellega, East and West Wellega, Metekel, Assosa, Kemashi, Awi and West Gojjam.

Soybean consumption, which continues to grow, is forecast to reach 41,000 tonnes in market year 2015-16. Consumption is expected to continue its upward climb as consumers demand more soy-based edible oil and as the poultry sector demands more soybean meal.

In addition to oil, soybeans are used to make a variety of local foods, such as bread, chappati, porridge, soy milk, yoghurt as well as the traditional Ethiopian stew, shero wot. Soybeans are also used to make corn-soy blend (CSB) for emergency food assistance programs run by international organizations and the Ethiopian government.

With growing local demand and lower production this year, soybean exports are expected to contract to 21,000 tonnes. Main export destinations include Sudan, Indonesia, Kenya, Netherlands and Vietnam. Considering the growing demand for soybeans, post expects that exports will fall to near zero in the near future.

Furthermore, Ethiopia may begin to import soybeans since local demand will likely outstrip production capacity. In market year 2014-15, exports reached nearly 28,000 tonnes, valued at $13.3 million. Nearly one-third of production was exported during this period.

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Ethiopia’s manufactured goods export performance declines by 5.5 %

Ethiopia's manufactured goods export performance declines by 5.5 %

Addis Ababa, May 4, 2016 (FBC) –The ministry of industry has registered lower performance in the export of manufactured goods in the past nine months.

The House of Peoples Representative (HPR), in its 27th regular session, reviewed nine-month performance report of the ministry yesterday.

Accordingly, the House evaluated the ministry’s nine-month manufactured goods export performance as poor.

Minister of trade, Ahmed Abtaw, said the failure is due to lack of technological capacity which shoulders the falling price of textile and leather products at the global market.

Chairman of HPR’s Industry Affairs Standing Committee, Berhanu Mekuye, said the performance witnessed a 5.5 percent decline compared to same period the previous year, showing that the sector is at a critical stage.

The House urged the ministry to improve its performance in the remaining two months of the budget year and compensate the decline in export earnings next year.

Despite a target to generate 103 billion US dollars from export in the first half of this budget year, the ministry managed to mark only 53.5 billion US dollars.

The ministry also planned to create jobs for 185,000 citizens this budget year and so far created jobs for only 20,000 people.

The House evaluated the ministry’s performance in paper, soap and detergent, ceramics and marble as well as tyre and glass industry sectors as encouraging.

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Viettel opens representative office in Ethiopia

Viettel opens representative office in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, May 4, 2016 (FBC) – Viettel, Vietnam’s largest mobile network operator, will establish a representative office in Ethiopia with the aim of researching the market and promoting investment in the country, Viettel said.

Le Dang Dung, Viettel’s deputy general director, said the establishment would allow them to carefully prepare for opportunities to receive a business licence. The group has applied the long-term market research method to ensure suitable strategies and decisions.

Viettel has paid attention to Ethiopia and sub-Sahara countries since 2011.

In Africa, it has invested in telecom networks in four countries including Mozambique, Cameroon, Burundi and Tanzania.

Ethiopia has a lot of potential to develop the mobile network with the fast economic growth rate of 10 per cent a year and has been negotiating to join WTO. It is for this reason that the opening of the telecom market would be possible in the near future, Viettel said.

Big telecom providers such as France Telecom, MTN and Vodafone opened their representative offices in Ethiopia.

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Ministry to distribute seeds to farmers in drought hit areas

Ministry to distribute seeds to farmers in drought hit areas

Addis Ababa, May 4, 2016 (FBC) –The Ministry of Framing and Natural Resource said it would provide sufficient seeds support for seed insecure households living in drought hit areas.

As a result of the El Niño-caused drought, 10.2 million citizens are in need of food aid, according to the government of Ethiopia.

The government has been offering aid to these people since the outset of the drought. There are households who entirely consumed their seed reserves due to the drought.

Hence, preparations have been made to offer seed support for these farmers, said Alemayehu Berhanu, head of public relations at the Ministry of Framing and Natural Resource.

He said the distribution of seeds will be carried out in collaboration with agricultural bureaus of regional states.

In a related development, the procurement and production of fertilizer is underway for the upcoming main cropping “meher” season, Alemayehu indicated.

According to him, a good harvest is expected this “belg” season as the necessary inputs were supplied to framers and current rainfall distribution is sufficient.

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Ethiopia inflation dips to 7.4 pct in year to April – stats office

Ethiopia inflation dips to 7.4 pct in year to April - stats office

Addis Ababa, May 3, 2016 (FBC) – Ethiopia’s year-on-year headline inflation edged lower to 7.4 percent in April from 7.5 percent the previous month.ы

According to a statement the Ethiopian Statistics Agency sent to FBC today, food inflation has increased by 6.3 percent, while the non-food inflation rose by 8.7 percent in April 2016.

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.

The month-on-month general consumer price index (CPI) for April 2016 has showed a decline of 1.5 percent as compared to the preceding month.

The monthly inflation rate measures the price change between the two latest months.

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Addis Ababa bans smoking in public places

Addis Ababa bans smoking in public places

Addis Ababa, May 3, 2016 (FBC) – The Addis Ababa Food, Medicine and Health Care Administration and Control Authority has passed decision prohibiting smoking in public places.

Speaking at a relevant event organized yesterday, Mayor of Addis Ababa city administration, Diriba Kuma said realizing its economic, social and psychological impact, fighting tobacco smoking is a shared responsibility.

According to him, majority of tobacco smokers are in middle and low level income countries. Due to tobacco, people are dying and being exposed to several health hazards. Passive smokers are also victims of smoking.

For these reasons, the public have the responsibility to fight tobacco smoking in public gatherings, the Mayor said.

Addis Ababa Food, Medicine and Health Care Administration and Control Authority Director, Getachew Woreti, said smoking tobacco violates people’s right to live in a healthy and clean environment.

The regulation bans smoking in public conveyance, educational institutions, stadium, sport and recreational places, including in places where kids and pregnant women spend.

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Corporation working to finalize construction of 4 industrial parks within 9 months

Corporation working to finalize construction of 4 industrial parks within 9 months

Addis Ababa, May 2, 2016 (FBC) – Board chairman of the Ethiopian industrial parks development corporation, Dr Arkebe Equbay, said the construction of 4 industrial parks will be commenced later this month.

More than 1 billion US dollars has been allocated for the parks to be built in four selected parts of the country, namely, Adama, Mekelle, Kombolcha and Dire Dawa towns, he said.

According to Dr Arkebe, the construction of the industrial parks will be finalized within the coming 9 months.

At present, foreign investors prefer Ethiopia for investment and the construction of the parks will increase foreign direct investment (FDI) flow to the nation, he told FBC today.

Last year’s FDI flow to Ethiopia has reached 2.5 billion US dollars and the government will work courageously to further increase the flow, which among others includes construction of additional industrial parks, he noted.

Hence, 4 industrial parks will be built within the coming 9 months, he concluded.

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Ethio-Kenya road nearing completion

Ethio-Kenya road nearing completion

Addis Ababa, April 28, 2016 (FBC) – The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) says the construction of the road linking Kenya to Ethiopia will be completed soon.

According to the authority, the road covers 121 kilometers from Merille to Marsabit and 122 kilometers from Turbi to Moyale.

It pointed out that the sections form part of the strategic transport corridor linking Mombasa Port to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“Once the road is complete, it will have significant impact in regional integration and boost trade for the benefit of Kenya and Ethiopia. He noted the increase in traffic along the corridor and the new trade opportunities with Ethiopia and champion development in the semi-arid areas,” said Gabriel Negatu, the Regional Director, Eastern Africa Resource Centre of the African Development Bank Group.

He stated that the 498 kilometers from Isiolo to Moyale funded by the government, Africa Development Bank and European Union at a cost of approximately sh44 billion will play a key role in opening up Southern Ethiopia and Northern Kenya.

“By providing a critical link in the Trans East Africa Highway connecting landlocked Ethiopia to the Port of Mombasa, the road corridor will also be key in supporting the Lamu-Port-South-Sudan-Ethiopia- Transport (LAPSSET) corridor,” he stated.

The new corridor wills also improve trade between the two countries, open up Northern Kenya for more trade and business and contribute to an increase in the volume of Ethiopian goods transiting through the Port of Mombasa.

The Regional Director urged the contractors to expedite the remaining works in order to ensure the whole corridor is easily accessible.

The project engineer Daniel Cherono noted that the road has already resulted to reduction of travel time and transport costs with bus companies introducing more buses to ply the route.

“With the busy road, more businesses such as the banking and hospitality sector have set up and ready to take up every opportunity. Increased traffic and business setting up, security has been enhanced along the Isiolo – Moyale corridor,” he stated.

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EEP, Chinese firm sign $98 mln power transmission agreement

EEP, Chinese firm sign $98 mln power transmission agreement

Addis Ababa, April 27, 2016 (FBC) – Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) and a Chinese firm, TBEA Contractor Limited have today signed a contract agreement amounting to USD 98 million for power transmission project.

Engineer Azeb Asnake, CEO of EEP and Xue Fen, Deputy General Manager of TBEA Co. Ltd signed the agreement here in Addis Ababa.

Accordingly, TBEA will handle the construction of Bole-Lemi and Kilinto Industry Zone power transmission project.

“This project is expected to satisfy the power demand of the industrial parks, condominium houses, real estates and other new demands around Koye Abo, Koye-Fitche, Kilinto and Bole Lemi areas of Addis Ababa,” said Engineer Azeb Asnake, CEO of EEP.

The contract has two packages of substations and transmission lines construction, she indicated.

Both projects are expected to be accomplished in 12 months with 85 per cent of the total project cost to be financed through a commercial loan from the Exim Bank of China and the balance will be covered by the Ethiopian government.

Xue Fen on her part said: “I guarantee you that TBEA will spare no effort to contribute ourselves to Ethiopian power construction and national development with our quality products, efficient performance and reliable service.”

EEP is confident that TBEA will replicate its successful past experience in constructing the Gibe III-Addis Ababa 400 Kilo Volt Transmission Line project in delivering the latest agreement.

It promised to offer necessary leadership and support to ensure the timely completion of the project within the required standards.

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Ethiopia, Djibouti selecting company for railway project management

Ethiopia, Djibouti selecting company for railway project management

Addis Ababa, April 21, 2016 (FBC) –Ethiopia and Djibouti are selecting a company which will manage the operation of the Ethio-Djibouti railway project, the Ethiopian Railways Corporation (ERC) said.

After the selection of a company, the railway line is expected to begin trial operation soon with an electric power system, said Dereje Tefera, communication service head at the corporation.

The trial operation will depend on the decision of a company which won the project management contract.

Ethiopians are expected to get experience and technology transfer from the winning company.

The 450-mile Ethio-Djibouti railway line is being built by China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) and China Civil Engineering Construction (CCECC) at a cost of 4 billion US dollars.

The project is now 97 per cent complete. It began trial operation last December by carrying food aid from port Djibouti to Ethiopia.

Ethio-Djibouti railway project is part of Ethiopia’s plan of constructing around 5,000 km of new lines across the country by 2020.

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IRENA lauds Ethiopia’s renewable energy initiative

IRENA lauds Ethiopia’s renewable energy initiative

Addis Ababa, April 21, 2016 (FBC) – The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has praised Ethiopia for its initiative to promote renewable energy source.

Director for Knowledge, Policy and Finance Center of IRENA, Henning Wuester, said in the Renewable Energy Source workshop held yesterday, Ethiopia has been undertaking successful projects on renewable energy source which could help to sustain the climate resilient economy.

‘‘By 2030 we expect half of the energy source of our world would come from renewable energy. African countries are doing well in using renewable energy sources,’’ he stated, adding ‘‘Ethiopia is a good example from Africa in implementing the green energy policy that can combat climate change. We have to give credit for this effort’’

The director disclosed that renewable energy source not only reliable and clean energy source but also cost saving that could be affordable to all people.

Africans have huge potential of renewable energy source which can be generated from wind, geothermal, solar and hydro, Wuester further elaborated, urging Africans to develop their financial and technical capacity that enable them to utilize these resource fully.

According to him the renewable energy sector has created job opportunity for 9.2 million people so far and it would be expected to grow to 24 million in 2030.

Minster of Water, Irrigation and Electricity Motuma Mekasa on his part said that the infrastructural developments of the country should be climate resilient.

‘‘We are in the frontline for promoting green energy and climate resilient economy in Africa. When we start any infrastructural project, it is must to study its effects on climate change,’’

Mekasa admitted that although Ethiopia has been achieving a lot in the renewable energy sector, financial constraint has hindered to start further projects.

The Minster has called for investors who want to engage on renewable energy sector to invest in Ethiopia, pledging the government will provide them any necessary support.

It was learned that Ethiopia’s hydropower potential will have an important contribution to immediate neighbors Sudan, Kenya, Djibouti Somalia and Eritrea, as they constitute a readily available market for hydro-electric power within the region.

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