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US Embassy’s New Chief


US Ambassador to Ethiopia, Donald Booth, seems comfortable in his plush office and seems delighted to be in Ethiopia. The ambassador arrived in the country on April 21, 2010 and submitted his credentials to President Girma Woldegiorgis on May 3, 2010. The US is interested in establishing a constructive dialogue with the Ethiopian Government on a broad range of issues including economic growth and development, governance and human rights, as well as peace and security, he said. Booth was a member of senior Foreign Service. He has been stationed at the US embassies of Romania, Belgium, and Gabon. He was the US ambassador for Zambia and Liberia. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Boston University, and another Master’s in National Security Studies from National War College. Ambassador Booth has a wife and three kids. The picture was taken on May 7, 2010 at the US Embassy in Addis Abeba located on Entoto Street.          



Give and Take


From left, Chung SoonSuk, ambassador of South Korea to Ethiopia, and Abadula Gemeda, president of the Oromia Regional State, at the inauguration of the Family Planning Health Training Centre by Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), at Itaya, Arsi Zone, on May 3, 2010. The completion of this project will benefit more than one million residents in Arsi Zone, in which the project will contribute to improving mothers’ and children’s health. It was given in recognition of the 6,000 Ethiopian troops who fought for South Korea in the 1950s.



Moving Forward Together

Andris Piebalgs, member of the European Commission, on the left and Peteris Ustubs, member of the European Union (EU) Cabinet and EU Commissioner for Development on May 7, 2010, at Sheraton Addis, after a press conference with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED). They were scheduled to discuss issues like women’s empowerment, justice, and health on Saturday, May 8, 2010, ahead of an expected contribution of 35.4 million dollars.



Q & A

From left, Tadiyos Bogale (PhD), candidate of the All Ethiopian Unity Party (AEUP); Mamushet Amare, candidate and secretary general of AEUP; and Gebretsadik Hailemariam, candidate of AEUP, were answering questions raised from the audience at Kolfe Keranio District, Weredas 24 and 25, in the Kebele 01/05 meeting hall. The audiences were a composition of AEUP as well as other parties’ supporters.


Dalol Oil Replaces Two Board Members

Dalol Oil SC accepted two new members to its board, Chanyalew Yilma and Adamu Tadele, on May 5, 2010, during a shareholders’ meeting held at the UNECA conference hall. The two members replaced two others that quit the board.

At the meeting, issues like the company’s general condition, future plans, memorandum of association (MoA), and articles of association were explained by board members for the invited shareholders.

Dalol Oil SC was formed by Edededya Assefa, Sisseha Asres, Dereje Walelign (Eng), Nebiyat Gezahegn (Eng), Badeg Bekele (Prof), Dereje Belay, and Gebreamlak Gebremeskel with a capital of 1.4 million Br in July 2009.

The company sold shares from September 2009 until closing on April 8, 2010.  The company’s head office is at Wollo Sefer, next to Medco Biomedical College on Ambassel Building.


Court Sentences ex-EEPCo Employee to 8years


The Federal High Court, First Criminal Bench, passed a verdict on May 3, 2010, of eight years of rigorous imprisonment for Birhane Abreha Hagos, who was accused by the Federal Anticorruption and Ethics Commission (FEAC) for falsification of governmental documents and illegally gaining over 1.2 million Br for his personal benefit.

Birhane used to work for the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) in the West District of the Addis Abeba Region as a warehouse secretary for almost a year, where he was said to have forged original request documents to gain electrical materials for his own benefit. Their value eventually totalled over 1.2 million Br.

The Federal Anticorruption and Ethics Commission brought evidence including documents and a witness to the case, and Birhane was not able to defend against any of the evidence, so the court passed the penalty.



Save the Children Calls for Maternal Health Investment


Save the Children has released a report titled “State of the New World’s Mothers,” saying that there is a need for 4.3 million healthcare workers to end preventable maternal and child deaths and recommending that countries invest in female frontline healthcare workers.

In the report, Ethiopia has shown progress in reducing maternal, newborn, and child mortality by training and developing more frontline female health workers since 2004. But every year, 381,000 children die in Ethiopia before their fifth birthday, which includes newborn babies, and 26,000 women also die annually from complications with pregnancy.

There are 57 countries with critical health workforce shortages worldwide, meaning that 23 doctors, nurses, and midwives are distributed per 10,000 people. Thirty-six of these countries are found in Sub-Saharan Africa. A small number of diseases and conditions are the biggest killers of young children today.

Ethiopia is ranked 20th among the 40 least developed countries for women’s health and wellbeing and 32nd out of 42 least developed countries in children’s health and wellbeing.

Nevertheless, Ethiopia is making progress to reduce child and maternal mortality. One of the major causes for Ethiopia’s success is the country’s investment in female health extension workers, said Ned Olney, Save the Children USA country director, speaking on behalf of Save the Children International members in Ethiopia.



Ethiopian Refutes Claims of Report Leak


Ethiopian Airlines refuted Agence France-Presse’s (AFP) report on May 6, 2010, that the plane crash of ET-409 was caused by pilot error. The pilot lacked experience, and had passed the 200-hour monthly limit, the report said. The pilot was also not able to cope with the instruments of the plane, it said.

The pilot and the co-pilot had only a month and four months of experience flying the jet, respectively, AFP said. The preliminary report, which has not been made public, indicates that the two pilots’ lack of experience with the jet was “certainly” behind the accident, according to the unknown source of AFP, but Ethiopian Airlines rejected the report.

Ethiopian also asserted its profound training and flight hour standards for its pilots. Ethiopian advised the media to wait patiently for the official release of the preliminary report. Furthermore, the pilot was never put up for 200 hours of flight time within a month, it argued, and denied the report of inexperience.

The Lebanese Information Minister Tarek Mitri declined to comment on the preliminary findings before the release of the report in about three months, AFP said.



DH Geda Founder Gets Statue


A statue of Duguma Hunde (Kegn Azmach) is to be unveiled today, May 9, 2010, in front of DH Geda Tower on Africa Avenue.  The event coincides with the celebration of the 62nd birthday of the late businessman, owner and founder of DH Geda Industrial Business Group Plc.

Duguma began trading with a capital of 85 Br and gradually ended up installing different factories and providing many of job opportunities for people in the country, according to the company.

Duguma died on January 10, 2009.

It is an Ethiopia tradition to erect a statue at the location where a deceased person in buried. It is also a tradition to commemorate their death one year after the occurrence.

Instead, the family chose to erect his statue in front of the tower bearing his name.


Ministry of Finance Signs $130m WB Loan


The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) signed a loan agreement worth 130 million dollars with the World Bank (WB) for water supply and sanitation programmes.

The agreement was signed by Ahmed Shadi, state minister for the MoFED, and Robert S. Chase (PhD), acting director of the WB in Ethiopia and Sudan. The WB previously gave 180 million dollars for 50 cities’ water supply and sanitation programmes, infrastructure, protection of basic services, food security, and education. Beginning in September 2009, there were 33 active projects with a net value of 3.6 billion dollars. 

Ethiopia is one of the beneficiary countries of the WB. Active projects in the country include governance, private sector development, agriculture and rural development, protection of basic services, health and HIV/AIDS, transportation, education, and water sector development programmes.


Memorial Hospital.


The designated project includes the establishment of surgical device management and provision of phachoemulsification services. On the job training for local staff will also be part and parcel of the project. The project, which will be implemented through the mutual consultation of KOICA and the hospital, is expected to be completed in one year and benefit more than one thousand people per year.


RCA Collects Half of 5.4b Br Target for Year


The Revenue and Customs Authority under the Addis Abeba City Administration’s Economic and Finance Bureau managed to collect exactly half of the 5.4 billion Br it targeted for the whole 2009/10, fiscal year during the last seven months.

The 2.7 billion Br revenue collected from tax and non-tax income, including land lease fees, has shown a 49pc increase from what the authority achieved during the same time last year, according to Belay Tafesse, director general of the authority.

Its business process reengineering (BPR), efficient information gathering (collecting finger prints and cash register machines), and law enforcement contributed to achieving the amount gathered.

“But this is not that much satisfactory, considering the potential,” Belay said, also indicating that the rising number of illegal trades in the city has contributed negatively to the number.

Master Plan Dev’d for City’s Sewerage System

The Addis Abeba Water and Sewerage Authority (AAWSA) made a feasibility study of the master plan for waste disposal in the city.

The plan to dispose of waste through pipelines has been presented to stakeholders prior to the commencement of construction.

AAWSA currently deploys trucks and pipelines for sewerage disposal. However, the authority plans to upgrade the city’s disposal by an additional 800 pipelines.

The design for the eastern sewerage system’s master plan, which has been finalised will benefit residents around Kotebe, Yeka, Bole and CMC areas and will upgrade capacity by over 40pc, according to a press release by the Addis Abeba City Government Communications Affairs.

The master plan for the eastern sewerage system has been finalised and construction will begin in the next fiscal year as soon as the budget has been secured, according to Getnet Gessese, communication affair work process leader at the authority. 

The implementation is expected to benefit some 840,000 residents.



Awards Given at 14th Int’l Trade Fair

The Addis Abeba Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association held an award ceremony at the Hilton Hotel on March 3, 2010, occasioning the closing of the 14th Addis Chamber International Trade Fair.

The first award for Best Stand was given to Al-Sam Plc, Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Lucky Exports, Italian Trade Commission, MIDROC Technology Group, SNS Household and Office Furniture, Techtra Engineering, Petram Plc, MCO of the Federal Republic of Germany, Holland Car Plc and Q Diagnostics Plc. The second award for Special Partnership was given to GTZ-AMES-E.

The last award for sponsorship was given to Al-Sam Plc, the Development Bank of Ethiopia, Equatorial Business Group, Ethiopian Airlines, Omicron Engineering Plc, Sonic Screen Advertising, I-Print Advertising, Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation and United Insurance SC.

The trade fair that took place at the Addis Abeba Exhibition Centre from February 25 to March 3, 2010 brought together more than 118 local business companies and 108 foreign companies from 23 countries 


Institute for EIABC Dev’t Inaugurated

The inauguration of the new Ethiopian Institute for Agriculture, Building Construction and City Development (EIABC) was held yesterday, March 6, 2010, at Addis Abeba University (AAU) South Campus.

Demeke Mekonnen minister of Education, Junedin Sado minister of Science and Technology, Andreas Esheté (Prof) president of AAU and Dirk Hebel, Scientific Director of EIABC attended the inaugural ceremony and presented speeches on the significance of the institute.

The EIABC is one of the eight new semiautonomous institutes of technology being introduced in the country at various universities and is part of the overall university reform being conducted by the Engineering Capacity Building Programme (ECBP) and the Ministry of Education.

The university reform component is focused on the restructuring of governance and study programmes as well as technology transfers, standards, and benchmarks.



ECA Hosts African LDC Programme

The ECA hosted the Civil Society Assembly for Assessing Development Challenges in African Least Developed Countries (LDCs) on March 4 and 5, 2010.

The assembly reviewed the Brussels Programme of Action (BPoA) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

The Brussels Programme reviewed the last 10 year plan since coming to a close and proposed action plans for the coming 10 years.

There are 33 LDCs from Africa including Ethiopia. Cape Verde recently got off of the list of LDCs.

The action plan is to enable the LDCs to reach at least seven per cent of commodity driven growth. The LDCs economic growth is dropping because they are only engaged in exporting primary commodities.

Their exports face structural difficulties since there is no diversified exports, according to Adrian Gauci, economic affairs officer at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

In light of these problems, the proposed growth rate may not be possible for the coming two years. The inadequate infrastructure, small economy, less skilled human power is to blame for slow growth rate.


New IMF Framework for Low-income Countries Becomes Effective

The new package of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), concessional facilities, to support low-income countries, became effective as of January 7, 2010.

This far-reaching reform more than doubles lending resources, provides exceptional interest relief, and offers new lending instruments that are more flexible and responsive to individual country needs, according to an IMF press release.

Key elements of the reform include three new lending instruments, interest relief, and permanently higher concessionality.

The Extended Credit Facility will provide flexible medium-term support; the Standby Credit Facility will address short-term and precautionary needs; and the Rapid Credit facility will offer emergency support with limited conditionality.

The Fund has also relieved developing countries from paying interest on outstanding IMF concessional loans until the end of 2011 to help low-income countries cope with the global crisis. Permanently higher concessionality of Fund financial support refers to regularly reviewed annual interest rates so as to preserve a higher level of concessionality.




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