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Hundreds of brandnew earth moving machines, including tractors, excavators, bulldozers, and dump trucks can be seen parked a few metres from a 10,000ht plot of land leased by Saudi Star Agricultural Development Plc in Abobo Town, located 35km from Gambella, on December 18, 2010. Registered with a capital of 500 million Br as an investment company in August 2009, Saudi Star, which is co owned by Mohammed Al-Amoudi, plans to start cultivating rice by the Alwero Dam, which was constructed by the military during the time of the Derg for growing cotton on land that has lain idle for close to two decades, since the regime’s demise.




Bahir Dar Town, located 477km from Addis Abeba and the capital city of Amhara Regional State, will soon see the completion of its tallest building yet. The construction of the building, which is being built by Tileksew Gedamu on the shore of Lake Tana to serve as a hotel, has already reached the 10th floor, surpassing the three six-storey buildings that used to be the tallest.




Christmas Egg!

As the time for Christmas shopping approaches, despite it being fasting season, eggs were being sold in abundance at Shola Market, located in Yeka District, on Tuesday, December 28, 2010. The eggs are categorised as local and ferenji (foreign); the former is sold for 1.30 Br and the latter for 1.50 Br. Ironically, eggs that are slightly cracked are in higher demand than ones that are not, selling at one Birr apiece.

Great Responsibility . . .

Girma Wake, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines Enterprise, reminded graduates of the Aviation Maintenance Technicians School (AMTS) of Ethiopian Air Aviation Academy (EAAA) of the huge responsibility and mission they would carry from that day on, on Thursday, December 30, 2010, at the headquarters of the airlines. Girma made the speech to 75 students who had been trained in three departments of ATMS: Aviation Maintenance Technician, Avionics, and Air Frame Technician, for 24 months, 14 months, and 11 months, respectively. EAAA has trained 2,719 people from 48 countries worldwide, of whom 1,967 are Ethiopian, since its establishment, in February 1967.

Luxury Bus?

From left: Getachew Mengiste, state minister of Transport (MoT); Kassahun H. Mariam, chief director of the Federal Transport Authority; Desta Moges, chairman of the board of directors of Selam Bus SC; and Teferi Mengiste, accountant at Lion International Bank (LIB); tour the interior of one of the 10 Yutong buses, which Selam Bus imported, at their launching ceremony at Meskel Square on Friday, December 31, 2010, a little over a month after the buses’ arrival. The 25 million Br buses are all equipped with various amenities like toilets, air conditioning, refrigerators, as well as TVs and DVD players.


Sign on the Line

Fekade Haile (Eng), general manager of Addis Abeba City Roads Authority (AACRA), and Menash Levy, manager of Tedhar Construction Co, sign the contract awarding the construction of the 2.3km road from Asko to Wingate Ring Road to the latter, after the company outdid Macro Construction and Chinese Road and Bridge Construction (CRBC) Addis Engineering Plc in its bid for the tender. Tedhar was awarded the contract for 203.4 million Br, inclusive of VAT.

Democratic Party Shortlists Agenda

The Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP) has shortlisted 10 issues for an agenda on which to pass a decision during its fifth general assembly scheduled to be held in Addis Abeba in March 2011.

Attainability of liberal democracy in Ethiopian politics; the Constitution and related affairs; as well as current economic, social, and foreign relations affairs were on the agenda that the party introduced at a press conference at the Ghion Hotel on Thursday, December 30, 2010.

The EDP will also gauge political parties’ strategy during the 2010 election, the current role of political parties, institutions’ role in building democracy, political parties’ techniques, and the EDP’s main future political dimensions.
The party must make the issues available for discussion at different levels, to make the passing of decisions by the assembly easier.

Trade Ministry Prepares New Bill

The Ministry of Trade (MoT) has prepared a draft on the Ethiopian Standard Industrial Classification (ESIC), which was first published in November 2010, during a training session held on the new Business Licensing Proclamation (No. 686/2010), held on Wednesday, December 29, 2010, at the assembly hall of the ministry.

Since trade registration and licensing are generic terms and there are no systematic means for managing traceability, the possibility of controlling trade malpractices is low. However, the proclamation has set out a systematic classification by which to grant licences to each sector. The classification is made to cover all activities in the economic and social sectors while grouping similar fields, products, and services together.

The proclamation is intended to achieve the regulatory objective the ministry. The document was adopted from the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC). To date, there are 108 countries that have implemented the system.

“The document is intended to serve as an instrument to facilitate systematic licensing and to achieve trade fairness,’’ Legesse Gebre, director of the Technique Regulation Coordination Directorate for the ministry, told Fortune.
The proclamation’s final is to be published within the next few months.


Ethiopian Resorts back to 767 after Door Jams

The door of one of Ethiopian Airlines’s new Boeing 777-200 LR became stuck last week in Luanda, Angola, resulting in the passengers being transferred to one of its old planes, the Boeing 767, to transport them to Washington DC.

The first of the five Boeing 777-200 LR planes the Ethiopian government had ordered from Boeing arrived in Addis Abeba from Washington with 155 passengers in November 2010.

The planes are described as ultra long-range aircraft that can travel long distances without refuelling.

The plane has followed the same routine of flying to an African country in the day time and to Washington at night.


Water Auth. Signs Well Drilling Contract

The Addis Abeba Water and Sewerage Authority (AAWSA) signed an agreement for the drilling of 26 water wells with two Chinese companies and one local company, on Monday, December 27, 2010.

The authority signed the agreement with Shandong Geological and Mineral Equipment Ltd Corporation and Construction Group Corporation (CGC), as well as Tana Water Wells Drilling Plc for the drilling of the wells at a cost of 200 million Br.

Out of the total, Tana was awarded the drilling of eight 500 metre deep water wells, at a cost of 60 million Br.

The AAWSA plans to drill a total of 46 water wells this fiscal year with financing by the government and the World Bank (WB). The authority provides the city with a daily 301,000 cubic metres of water from the dams in Gefersa and Legedadi as well as the water wells in Akaki.

The new water wells are also to be drilled in Akaki and are expected to be finished in four months, with pipelines running through Lebu in Nefas Silk Lafto District to Alem Bank in Kolfe Keraniyo District, areas that have severe water shortages.



Airport, Bole to Restore Damaged

The Ethiopian Airports Enterprise (EAE) and Bole District Administration signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on December 17, 2010, for the rehabilitation of 109ht of land, which was damaged while producing gravel.
The enterprise is to plant trees that do not contain food for birds, that suits the nature of the airline, and will reduce sound and air pollution.

The master plan of Addis Abeba has tasked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with developing green areas, and the agency in turn transferred the role to Bole District Environmental Bureau, according to Sisay Habtegebriel, representative for the district environmental bureau.

The EAE, Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA), Bole District Plan and Information Preparation, and the EPA discussed the proposal in October 2010, after which they agreed to sign the MoU.
Tax Auth. to Start VAT Receipt Lottery

The Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) is to implement a directive to allow it to start a lottery using numbers on VAT receipts in collaboration with the National Lottery Administration.

The lottery system will award prizes based on VAT receipts with the tax identification number (TIN) of either the person or company that paid for goods or services. The receipt must also contain the number of the cash register machine which printed it.

Drafted in August 2008, the directive was meant to encourage customers to demand receipts as well as reduce the amount of money the authority is losing, according to sources close to the ERCA who were not authorised to comment.

“This will reduce the reuse of receipt by waiters when customers are not paying close attention,” the sources told Fortune.

The authority can decide on the date of announcement, the issuance of the programme date, prize types, numbers, and the medium of communication for the announcement of the prize. The ERCA could also announce the types and levels of the prizes 15 days in advance.

Japan Aids 144m Br More for Abay Gorge


The Japanese Government donated an additional 144 million Br on June 25, 2010, for equipment supply, operation, and maintenance of the Goha Tsion - Dejen Road, which crosses the Abay (Blue Nile) Gorge.

The grant agreement was signed by Kinichi Komano, ambassador extraordinaire and plenipotentiary of Japan to Ethiopia, and Ahmed Shide, state minister for Finance and Economic Development (MoFED). The trunk road from Addis Abeba to Dejen, which underwent reconstruction beginning in 1995, is already completed and in use. But the segment through the gorge has been damaged due to landslides.

This trunk road connects mainly the food crop areas of the country’s west, northwest, and some parts of its northeast.

Since 1998, Japan has provided grants totalling 2.2 billion dollars for the rehabilitation of 223km of road from Addis Abeba to Goha Tsion and from Goha Tsion to Dejen.


10 Years of Educating while Entertaining Public


Population Media Centre will be celebrating its 10 years of establishment in Ethiopia with an exhibition to display its decade long effort. This international company will also inaugurate a book titled “Mulu Sew,” meaning “Whole Person,” which is a collection of young authors’ works, on July 4, 2010, at the Hilton Hotel.

Population Media Centre works worldwide using entertainment as an educational tool to effect social change. It broadcasts its educational messages through the medium, Amharic Radio Program. The programme titled, “Alegnta” meaning “Someone to Rely On,” features research based audio dramas, to reach the public at large.

The centre promotes family planning, reproductive health, and women’s status, with the ultimate goal of stabilising population growth, managing the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and decreasing Harmful Traditional Practices especially Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), according to its website. It is well known for its Afar and Somali language radio programmes on FGM. 

Population Media Centre was founded in 1998 by William Ryerson, with the intention of using the extensive experience of experts in entertainment-education to spread the application of the Sabido Methodology in addressing population and reproductive health issues. This methodology designs and produces drama series for radio and television to win over audiences while imparting pro-social values, according to the website. 


Weyra Buys 50 Tankers for Fuel Trans.


The state owned Weyra Transport SC replaced its old and outdated vehicles and trailers with 50 new ones that have the capacity to handle 45,000 litres of liquid goods each. A ceremony was held on June 21, 2010 for the presentation of the new vehicles.

The vehicles, imported from China, cost the company 75 million Br. Seventy per cent of the financing was covered by a loan from the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE). The trailers were assembled by Mesfin Industrial Engineering.

The trucks will be assigned to transport oil for Total and OiLibya.

Weyra’s market share has grown from four per cent to seven per cent because of the new trucks, according to Mesfin Tefera, managing director of the company.

Beyene Gebre Meskel, director of the Privatisation and Public Enterprises Supervising Agency (PPESA); board members; and other officials were present at the inauguration of the vehicles.  


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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