Published On  Nov 27,  2011




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Lencho Leta, one of the founders of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), an organization recently categorized as a terrorist organization, along with three others, by the Ethiopian Parliament and Meles Zenawi, prime minister of Ethiopia, in Senafe, a market town located 135km south east of Asmara, the Eritrean capital, in 1991. This rare picture appears in a book titled Wounded Nation: How a Once Promising Eritrea Was Betrayed and Its Future Compromised by Berket Habte Selasie (Prof.), who served as Chair of the Eritrean Constitutional Commission before fleeing the country in disagreement with the government. He now teaches constitutional law at the North Carolina University in the United States. The book was published by the Red Sea Press Inc. a publisher and distributor of third world books. The book provides details about postliberation politics, the Ethio-Eritrea war, and Diaspora movements in a very personalized way. 


up and away

Solomon Gizaw (Capt.), owner of Abyssinian Flight Services (AFS), congratulates nine graduates from its Pilot Training School, the first to graduate with commercial pilot licences from a private school, on November 19, 2011. Established in 1999 with one lease-purchased Cessna Caravan, AFS is the first private air charter company in Ethiopia and the only one which provides pilot training. It now has nine aircraft, four of which are used mainly for training. 


all about flowers

Bernard Oosterom, chairman of FloraHolland (left) and Tsegaye Abebe, president of the Ethiopian Horticultural Producers-Exporters Association (EHPEA) smile as they hold up a book published to celebrate FloraHolland’s 100th anniversary in which Tsegaye’s picture appears during a ceremony held at the Hilton on Friday, November 25, 2011. FloraHolland is the premium flower auction centre in the world with six auction centres, a national intermediary organization (FloraHolland Connect) and an internationally active import department.


murphy beds

From left, Wubeshet Workalemahu, general manager of Anbessa Advertising, Melaku Taye, representative of the Ministry of Industry, and Tamrat Admassu, general manager of the Addis Abeba Exhibition and Market Development Centre look on as Estifanos G. Youhannes demonstrates a fold-down bed, known as a Murphy bed, during the second Home and Office Decor Expo on Thursday, November 24, 2011. The exhibition was organized by HPP Exhibitions, established in 1984, with offices in Holland, Ecuador and Ethiopia. This is the seventh exhibition it has organized in Ethiopia.


Ethiopia to Draft National Human Rights Action Plan

For the first time Ethiopia is to draft a bill on the Human Rights National Action Plan (HRNAP), which would enable the country to put into practice human rights protection and activate it in a coordinated manner. A task force of experts to draft the action plan has already been established. If the bill is passed by parliament it will be the main tool for entire human rights protection and implementation in Ethiopia.

A committee chaired by the Ministry of Justice has been established for the discharge of the action plan. Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Human Rights Commission will be deputy chair person and secretary, respectively. The Ministry of Finance & Economic Development (MoFED) and Ministry of Federal Affairs & Government Communication Office are also represented on the committee. As the first move of the action plan the committee will start its meeting by conducting a two-day meeting with 200 participants on November 28, 2011 at the Sheraton Addis. The meeting is expected to focus on national human rights action plans and structuring institutions to be involved in the preparation of the bill.        

 The action plan will bring together the separate functions that were implemented through different government departments, according to Berhanu Hailu, minister of Justice (MoJ).

“It will enable the country to better implement international commitments,” he said. 


Report Shows promise for Allana Potash in Ethiopia

A preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for the Danakil potash project of Allana Potash Corp., a Canadian company, has shown that the project has the potential to expand production at the site to two million tonnes of muriatic of potash (MOP) product a year.

The economic study conducted by Ercosplan, on an after-tax basis, yielded an internal rate of return (IRR) of 36.8pc and a net present value (NPV) of 1.85 billion dollars based on a 12pc discount rate. Allan has taken four concessions in Danakil, Afar Regional State.

The results have exceeded management's expectations and this makes the project one of the lowest capital expenditure (capex) and operating expenses (opex) in the world in the potash industry, according to Farhad Abasov, CEO of the company.

Estimated total capital expenditures, which include production, transportation and handling and port facilities in Djibouti are 796 million dollars, including 128 million dollars in contingency. Total operating expenses are estimated at 90.54 dollars per tonne of KCI - the composite grade of all four potash-bearing beds including sylvinite, upper and lower carnallite and kainitite - with a projected payback period of three and a half years.

The PEA report is based on an operation that produces one million tonnes per year of a standard MOP product, over an initial estimated mine life of 30 years. The company is planning to start production with one million tonnes at the initial stage, intended by year 2017, and then ramp up to two million tonnes after year three, which would coincide with the planned completion of rail capacity for potash transport in the region. Start of construction at the project is anticipated for the end of 2012-early 2013, with minimal output expected by the end of 2014.


Ethiopia to Graduate from LDC in Three Decades at Current Rate

Despite strong Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth during the last decade in most of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), the benefits of the growth were neither inclusive nor sustainable, mainly because the growth was not complemented by structural transformation and employment creation, according to United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) latest report, which proposes a new type of developmental state for LDCs.

As one of the countries that follows such a strategy, Ethiopia is expected to graduate from the least developed countries (LDCs) category in less than three decades, assuming the country’s current GDP per capital, which stands at 380 dollars, will grow at 3.7pc on average annually, according to the report titled the “Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2011-2020”.

In order to meet the income graduation threshold of 1,086 dollars, the report concludes that the only way is to create a new type of catalytic developmental state in the poorest countries with an adequate policy framework that would strive for structural transformation.


Global Fund for Diseases Not So Global Anymore

Just a week before Ethiopia hosts the 16th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) on December 4, 2011, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has announced it is stopping new grants.

This cut by the Fund is due to global economic crisis. Budget challenges in some donor countries, compounded by low interest rates, have significantly affected the resources available for new grant funding, said the Global Fund in a statement after its board met in Accra, Ghana last week.

This is going to affect countries like Ethiopia whose majority of funds come from grants like the Global Fund. In the seven years it has been in operation, the Fund has disbursed close to 1.1 billion dollars. The fund is only going to maintain programs already in place and nothing more for the next three years. 

The public-private Global Fund, based in Geneva, accounts for around a quarter of international financing to fight HIV and AIDS, as well as the majority of funds to fight TB and malaria. Founded in 2002, it raises money from donors every three years. To date, it has committed 22.4 billion dollars in 150 countries.


ET Receives First Boeing 737-800 on Eve of Award


Ethiopian Airlines received the first of 10 Boeing 737-800 Aircraft with advanced interior design, known as Boeing Sky Interior, on November 22, 2011. The rest of the planes are scheduled to arrive over the next four years.

The new model airplane will reduce operation costs and carbon footprints, in addition to providing additional comfort for passengers, going hand in hand with the airlines’ 2025 strategic road map, according to Tewolde Gebremariam, Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines. 

The interior of the new aircraft is said to provide comfort to passengers by simulating a blue sky above and presenting a more open cabin. It will also have overhead bins to provide customers with better service.  

The Airlines, which started operations in 1946 with a flight to Cairo, has a largely Boeing fleet of various models for passenger service. Ethiopian airlines is the first African carrier to order Boeing 737-800. The new aircraft will operate daily by flying to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania during the day and to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia at night.

Two days after receiving the aircraft, Ethiopian Airlines was awarded for recording the best financial results of 2010, by the African Airlines Association (AFRAA). Yissehak Zewoldi, vice president of Alliances and corporate strategic planning flew to Morocco to accept this award on November 21, 2011, at the 43rd AFRAA Annual General Assembly.


Egypt Air to Start Flying Daily to Addis Tomorrow


EgyptAir is to commence daily flights between Addis Abeba and Cairo starting tomorrow, Monday, October 31, 2011, using Boeing 737-800 with the capacity of 144 passengers. This would be an increase from its previous schedule of five flights a week from Cairo to Addis. 

After the two countries signed a transport agreement, EgyptAir started flying to the capital in 1949, 17 years after it was established as the seventh airline in the world. Its flights to Addis were interrupted in 1974 when the Dergue came into power, but reopened in 1995 with two flights a week. This number went up to three flights a week in 2003 and up to five in 2009.

Operating a fleet of 65 aircraft, the airline, which became a holding company in 2002 with seven subsidiaries, recorded around 100 million dollars in profits in the fiscal year that ended in June 2010.


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.




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