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Long distance runner and entrepreneur, Haile Gebrselassie (left) gives a warm embrace to Abebech Gobena, founder and general manager of Abebech Gobena Yehetsanat Enkebekabena Limat Dirijit. Eugene Owusu (centre), resident coordinator of the UNDP, and Ermiyas Ayele, general manager of the Great Ethiopian Run, hand her the funds collected from the Running for a Child 2010 campaign.



Homeless children use the sidewalks of Addis Abeba to take an afternoon nap, unfazed by the cars that noisily rush past on the busy afternoon of Wednesday, August 10, 2011, near the National Theatre. The children manage to attract attention of curious onlookers who found it odd that the children chose 12:25 pm to get some sleep.



Ironically, Mitiku Kassa (left), got the much sought after number seven bottle cap when drinking Coca Cola inside a tej bet, a place that serves local honey mead, where he works as a server. Here he is seen shaking hands with Greg Jansen, managing director of East Africa Bottling Share Company (centre); while Nalaka Hettiarachchi, commercial director, displays the prize, a 75mg 21-karat coin on Thursday, August 11,2011.



A victim of Addis Abeba’s poorly maintained roads, this service minibus gets its front wheels stuck on the badly damaged water drain, at 8:30am, on Wednesday August 10, 2011, when trying to get to Debre Zeit Road from Saris Addis Sefer near the Total gas station. Passengers got out of the vehicle, as the driver and his helper try to loosen the iron bars that jammed the car wheels.


Huawei Donates 1.6m Br for Education

The Chinese telecom company, Huawei, has on Wednesday, August 10, 2011, donated over 1.6 million Br worth of office equipment to the Ethiopian Ministry of Education (MoE).

The equipments, which include computers, printers and accessories, will be sent to different schools all around Ethiopia to support ICT (Information, Communication, and Technology) in Ethiopia’s education.

“We are pleased to provide this assistance to the Ethiopian Ministry of Education and we believe that these office equipments would bring meaningful improvements in the operations of this very important government institution,” said Robert Chen, Huawei Ethiopia’s public relations manager.

In 2006, Huawei had donated data-com equipments and engineering services to Addis Abeba University worth one million dollars in value, to support the education sector. Furthermore, in 2009, Huawei donated musical instruments to Ethiopia National Association of the Blind (ENAB) worth 100,000 dollars. A number of other similar donations are also in the pipeline, and would soon be placed to other institutions in Ethiopia.  

Huawei, the second largest telecom company, has sponsored 22 university students from all 11 administrations and regions of Ethiopia to watch the “Universiade” game which is currently underway in Shenzhen, China

Huawei, China’s biggest telecom company, which registered 28 billion dollars in revenue in 2010, also plans to donate 10 pianos worth over half a million Br to the Yared Music School of the Addis Abeba University in a matter of weeks.


Gov’t Takes Over Sheba

Sheba Metal Works has been brought under the supervision of Metal and Industrial Technology Corporation (MITC) by the Federal High Court, First Corruption Bench.

The owner of Sheba was charged with conducting fraudulent practices in relation to payments of electricity costs by the Federal Ethics and Anticorruption Commission (FEAC). The commission has expropriated over 65 million Br to be gained by the government.

Since its owner, Gulham Abbas has fled the country; an independent body which is capable and willing to administer the company was selected to manage the company until it pays its liabilities to government, banks, customs authority and individuals.

FEAC has seized unlawfully owned eight vehicles, 120,000sqm of land, 400,000 Br and one residential house between the months of June and July this year it announced.


NIB Nets 247m Br

Nib International Bank (NIB) has netted 247 million Br in profits surpassing that of the previous year by 23pc, it announced.

Its gross profit has also reached 344 million Br, a 21pc increment from that of the previous year. The company has generated a total of 657 million Br in revenue during the 2010/11 fiscal year, which showed 18pc increments from that of the previous year.

Last year, NIB earned 556.5 million Br in gross revenues and a 200.8 million Br net profit after taxation. 

In accordance, NIB and Nib Insurance ventured to build joint headquarters. The structural design was awarded to Assefa Gebeyehu Consulting Architects & Engineers in a ceremony held at Hilton Hotel, on August 11, 2011. The design beat out 18 different architectural consulting firms. The other two from the top three finalists were those submitted by Moges Desta Consultants and JDAW Architects & Engineers, which ranked second and third, respectively. 

“The consulting firm will undertake supervision and evaluation once internationally known contracts tendered to construct the building,” told Amerga Kassa, president of NIB. The building is estimated to cost 400 million Br and its site is in front of Addis Abeba University School of Commerce.


Weather Disrupts Ethiopian

Ethiopian Airlines has cancelled some flights and delayed others destined towards northern Ethiopia due to bad weather it stated on Monday, August 8, 2011. Areas affected include key tourist destinations like Axum and Mekelle.

Last weekend, the foggy and cloudy weather in northern Ethiopia had hindered some flights from landing at their destination and forced them to come back to Addis Abeba. In light of these problems, Ethiopian Airlines has implemented a new time schedule this week, for its regular morning flights towards northern Ethiopia. According to the new schedule, the morning flight to Mekelle that used to board at 7:15am in the morning has now been moved back to 11:00am. Ethiopian flies to Mekelle three times every day.

As of August 8, 2011, Shire Airport, in the Tigray Regional State, has temporarily stopped giving service because it is undergoing maintenance. The airport will remain closed until September 15, 2011, the airline ticketing office informed Fortune.

Ethiopian currently flies to Shire four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Travelers to Shire are advised to take planes towards Axum instead.

There are no difficulties encountered or changes made to international flights, Ethiopian said.


Exhibition Enterprise Exceeds Targets


The Exhibition and Market Development Enterprise (EMDE) has stated in its annual business report that it has exceeded its targeted net profit by 127pc.

The enterprise has netted a profit of around five million Birr, a figure currently being verified by independent auditors, Tamirat Admassu, managing director, told Fortune.

The enterprise had hosted 35 trade shows and exhibitions this past year, two of which were in collaboration with other companies. Over four million visitors visited these exhibitions, according to the enterprise’s annual report.

One successful show hosted by the enterprise was the Addis International Trade Fair organised by the Addis Abeba Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (AACCSA), in February. The trade show had brought in 157 local companies and 126 foreign companies from countries like Holland, Egypt, Sudan, Iran, India and Turkey. Between 50,000 to 70,000 people attended the trade show, out of which 20,000 to 25,000 people were paying customers.

The enterprise stated that almost 90pc of the shows planned to take place next year are already booked. Currently in the works is an exhibition titled “The Renaissance Dam Exhibition and Symposium,” that the enterprise plans to organise and host in the coming year.

The targeted annual gross income of the enterprise for the coming fiscal year is 13 million Br, a 28pc increase from this year’s target. 


Roads Authority Commits Five Billion Birr


The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) has signed agreements amounting to five billion Br for 46 projects with 15 contractors and 31 consultants in announcement made during its annual meeting held at Alem Gena, located 19Km from Addis Abeba, on August 12, 2011.

The agreements were signed between 12 new contractors including the Diriba Defersa General Contractor with the highest contact of 623 million Br. In addition, ERA signed agreements with three contractors that have pre-existing contracts with the authority, including SATCON Construction, Alemayehu Ketema General Contractor, and Gemshu Beyene Construction, signing contracts amounting to 698 million Br, 479 million Br and 777 million Br, respectively.

The agreement consists of erecting about 555Km in roads out of which 357Km will be for asphalt road construction and the rest of 201Km will be for gravel road construction.

The ERA planned to work on 19,563Km of road construction, and budgeted 13.6 billion Br in the fiscal year of 2010/2011. The plan includes rehabilitation, upgrading and construction of 1,755Km.


WB Changes Its Africa Strategy


The World Bank (WB) has introduced a new strategy for Africa titled, “Africa’s future and the WB’s support to it.” This serves to boost African economies in the same manner as those of Asia which took off three decades ago, it stated in a press release.

The three main areas on which the project is focused are competitiveness and employment, vulnerability and resilience, as well as governance and the public sector.

“The strategy is as much a reflection of what we heard from Africa’s people and leaders as it is the thinking of the WB,” according to Shantayanan Devarajan, chief economist for Africa at the bank.

The new strategy reverses the order of importance of the bank’s instruments to support Africa, with the most important aspect becoming partnerships, followed by knowledge and finance, according to the press release.

“We are excited about Africa’s future,” Obiageli Ezekwesili, vice president of the Africa Region for the WB, is quoted as saying in the press release. “We used the opportunity of our new strategy to listen, learn, and define how to better support the continent’s aspirations as it maintains the momentum of economic reforms over the next decade.”


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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