Published On  Jan 01,  2012






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Ethiopia’s livestock population is often said to be the largest in Africa. The cattle population is estimated to be 53.3 million, of which female cattle constitute about 55.5pc, producing 4.1 billion litres of milk in the 2010/11 fiscal year.

However, only 15.8pc of the milk produced is sold in the market, whereas 54.7pc of milk produced is consumed at home. The total amounts to 2.9 billion litres, according to a Central Statistical Agency (CSA) sample survey report published in September 2011.The remaining, 29.6pc of the milk produced, is converted into butter and cheese. Based on the CSA’s survey, the annual per capita consumption of milk in Ethiopia is estimated to be 37.6 litres, which is 139pc less than the 90 litres recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).  Read More


Indians Remain Indomitable in Multimillion-dollar TextBook Contracts


A series of contracts, issued by the Ministry of Education (MoE) to hire foreign printers for high school textbooks, has gone to Indian companies, a trend that has been consistent over the past three years.


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National Mining Corporation Hits Jackpot

After 15 years of exploration and spending 79 million Br, senior managers at National Mining Corporation (NMiC) announced, last week, the discovery of the largest gold reserves ever discovered, in Oromia and Tigray regional states.


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City Bus to Send Team Abroad to Study GPS, Electronic Ticketing

Managers at the Anbessa Bus Transport Enterprise have received positive nod from the company’s board of directors two weeks ago to send a team of four overseas to study the electronic ticketing method and how global positioning system (GPS) technology could be deployed in their buses for fleet tracking.


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New Roads Corporation Gets in Full Gear

A new state corporation branching out from the Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) has been awarded its second road project last week, five months after its incorporation. Previously the operational arm of the ERA, the Ethiopian Roads Construction Corporation (ERCC) was formed in July 2011, with a capital of 2.5 billion Br, accountable to the Ministry of Transport (MoT).


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Sheraton Loses Renowned Banquet Manager to Tragic Accident

Tsegaye Deneke, a senior manager at the Sheraton Addis responsible for banquets and outside catering, died with three other passengers in a tragic car accident on Thursday night, December 29, 2011.


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Ministry Sees Spirited Interest from Int’l Firms to Survey Scenery of Tana

Close to 16 international and local consulting firms have shown an interest in undertaking a lifesaving topographic survey of Lake Tana, the largest lake in the country, better known for being the source of the Blue Nile, which is hoped will enable the dangers frequent floods.


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New Edifices to Adorn Half of Districts in Capital for 1.5b Br

Residents in Addis Abeba will soon marvel at new edifices when visiting district offices to undertake their municipal affairs. The city administration has approved a 1.5 billion Br budget to finance the construction of 10-storey buildings to house five of the 10 district offices in the capital.


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Directive to Speed Up Customs Process for Manf’rs, Except for Seven

The Ethiopian Revenues & Customs Authority (ERCA) issued a new directive last week that grants companies with manufacturing plants to be served based on their transaction costs when importing raw materials, including machinery and spare parts. However, the Authority has excluded imports for the production of semi-finished blankets, bed covers, shoes, batteries, and umbrellas, as it identified them as goods subjected to abuse of under invoicing.


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Ministry Claims 33.3m Br from Buyers for Loans Gov’t Takes

In a rare case, where owners of a privatised company with loans taken while it was under the state’s possession are now facing a legal battle from the government which demands them to settle loans that it took when it was the owner.


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Judge Accepts Case over Allegedly Overdue CCD Homes

One of Addis Abeba’s upscale real estate property builders have faced a legal challenge from half dozen disgruntled homebuyers, but residing abroad. Six defendants have filed a civil suit against Country Club Developers Plc (CCD) at the Federal High Court’s Six Civil Bench, in mid December 2011.


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Court Closes Vergnet, Hydro Case for Lack of Jurisdiction

A Presiding judge, at the Federal High Court Eighth Civil Bench closed a 50.4 million Br civil suit between Vergnet SA, a French company involved in a wind farm project in Ethiopia, and Hydro Construction & Engineering Company Ltd for lack of jurisdiction.


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DMC Absence in Court No Roadblock to NOC’s 46.4m Br Claim

Despite its absence from the Federal High Court, Six Civil Bench, DMC Construction Plc has faced yet another legal hurdle last week from what now appears to be its archrival company. Following an appeal by lawyers from the National Oil Company (NOC) Ethiopia, the Court passed a ruling to adjudicate the 46.4 million Br suit. The defendant neither responded to the charge nor was present in the court hearings.


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Used Furniture Market Boom Comforts Smaller Budgets


With the increasing number of people moving into and out of different homes, partially due to the large number of condos being transferred to new owners and tenants as well as people moving out of and back into the country, the market for second-hand furniture has recently boomed, writes HADRA AHMED, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER. There has been an increase in the demand as well as the supply.


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Ball Lies in Ethiopia’s Court


Joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO), a global trade watchdog founded in 1995 where there are now 157 countries, is an arduous journey. Judging by the experiences of countries such as Russia, whose delegates showcased a concert in Geneva, Switzerland, celebrating their accession to the WTO this month after negotiating for 18 years, Ethiopia’s nearly nine years might seem too short to complain. Neighbouring Sudan, for instance, has been on the waiting list for 18 years.

Although trade negotiators have traced Ethiopia’s involvement in global trade governance since 1953, it has not been member of the family and had remained an observer in the predecessor of the WTO, the General Agreement on Tariffs & Trade (GATT), was founded in the late 1940s. Not even when the WTO came about in 1995 did Ethiopia change its status, while many others, such as Kenya and Djibouti took advantage of becoming founding members.

Countries joining the WTO following its foundation have been required to give in a lot more concessions than those that signed at its founding in 1995. However, proponents of the global trade watchdog attribute the benefits of membership as much to reforms in domestic laws and policies governing trade as to opening up sectors to foreign goods and services.

Mekonnen Manyazewal, minister of Industry, and Ethiopia’s chief trade negotiator following Girma Birru, agrees. Seated for a brief conversation with Tamrat G. Giorgis, managing editor of Fortune, in Geneva, Switzerland, two weeks ago, while he was attending the Eighth WTO Ministerial Conference, he said that joining the WTO is a “worthwhile” undertaking.


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Offers on Goods, Services, Please - Soon!


Among the crucial phases that countries joining the Geneva-based World Trade Organisation (WTO) need to go through is the negotiation phase, involving member countries in a bilateral manner. Subsequent to submission to the memorandum on foreign trade regime, a fat document that lists all laws and policies governing international trade, member countries come forth with a list of questions demanding clarification. The country applying to join should reply to the questions.

To date, three countries - the United States (US), Canada, and the European Union (EU) - have given Ethiopia their lists, for the second time, now.  This process is to be managed by a working group appointed by the General Council of the WTO, immediately after a country submits its application for membership. So, a working party for Ethiopia formed on February 10, 2003, a month after the submission of Ethiopia’s application.

The British diplomat, Neil McMillan, was subsequently appointed to serve as a chairman, in May 2003, of the first working party, where there are 26 countries interested in engaging with Ethiopia. He stayed on up until May 2009, a time when not much happened and only one working party meeting took place.

The Danish Steffen Smidt (PhD) was appointed by the General Council as Ethiopia’s working party chair in October 2010. Talking to Tamrat G. Giorgis, the managing editor of Fortune, in Geneva, he urged Ethiopian trade negotiators to submit their offers on goods and services as soon as possible so that the working party can move on with launching negotiations on market access.


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