South African companies keen to invest in Ethiopia

South African investors and representatives of companies have expressed their readiness to invest in Ethiopia and do business with.

A South African business delegation comprising 22 investors and representatives of companies are currently in Ethiopia to explore investment potentials and opportunities in the country, particularly in manufacturing, agro-processing, energy and construction sectors.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Aklilu Hailemichael met with the South African Business Delegation on Monday (March 6, 2017) and briefed them on investment prospects in Ethiopia. 

Dr. Aklilu  underscored that the delegation's current move will promote Ethiopia's aspiration to boost the intra Africa trade and enhance south-south cooperation.

He said, "Ethiopia attracts investors from China and Turkey as well as the US and Europe; nevertheless we would like to also promote south-south economic cooperation between African countries."

Touching upon the huge investment potentials in Ethiopia, the State Minister said, "Ethiopia's geographic location, its active membership in regional and bilateral trade agreements, including various other platforms with the U.S, EU and COMESA region, and the favorable investment policies make it an attractive investment destination."

Ethiopia's young and productive work force which accounts for 60 percent of the population also offers significant comparative advantages to investors, he added.

ECA Teams-Up with Int'l Hydropower Ass'n to Develop Special hydropower Tool

The Economic Commission for Africa is teaming-up with the International Hydropower Association (IHA) to develop a tool that can quantify the comprehensive benefits of hydropower schemes on the continent, said Soteri Gatera, Chief of Infrastructure and Industrialization in ECA’s Regional Integration and Trade Division.

Addressing a session on benefits of hydropower at the on-going World Hydropower Congress in Addis Ababa, Soteri said the tool will target investors and policymakers to ensure that the full value of hydropower projects is realized and the risk-reward profile for developers and investors is improved.

According to a press release of ECA, there is no comprehensive methodology, accepted within the hydropower sector, to quantify the non-power related and macroeconomic benefits of hydropower projects. Forecasting the benefits of various energy and infrastructure options will help ensure that opportunities are not missed, Soteri said.

“Once developed, this template or methodology will be will be rolled out within the hydropower sector, and testing it against planned and completed projects in various jurisdictions,” he told delegates to the congress, adding that hydropower was now the energy of choice of Africa with leaders committing at continental level to prioritize hydropower development as a source of renewable energy.

He stated that the recent African Union Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Transport, Transcontinental and Interregional Infrastructure, Energy and Tourism, held in Lomé, Togo, earlier this month, reaffirmed, in its declaration, the important role of hydro as a source of renewable energy in Africa.

“While acknowledging the role of other energy sources, the meeting affirmed that hydropower is the only renewable energy that has the potential to expand access to electricity to large populations, as well as to rural households,” he noted.

According to him, single and multipurpose hydropower facilities can make substantial contributions at local and regional levels.

In addition to export revenues, they provide other local macro-economic benefits relating to employment, education and recreation and in the process opening up new possibilities for trade, tourism and transport.

The session was used to discuss the methodology that can be used to quantify the benefits of completed and planned hydro projects. Hydropower benefits are often under-reported and companies and project developers struggle to collect, quantify and share information on the benefits of their projects.

“In many policy discourses, the non-power related benefits are often ignored. Yet, these are the benefits that make hydropower more competitive than other type of energy infrastructure, particularly in transforming the economies of many African countries,” Soteri stressed.

Meanwhile, the IHA yesterday launched the G-res, new tool for measuring carbon footprint of reservoirs, it was learned.

The G-res enables decision-makers and stakeholders to better estimate the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the introduction of a reservoir into a landscape.

Launched by IHA in collaboration with the UNESCO Chair for Global Environmental Change, this publicly-available, web-based tool can be used to measure net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on existing or planned reservoirs.

First Farm Service Center Opens In Oromia State

The first of the 20 one-stop-shop farm service and input distribution centers planned to be established in four regional states of Ethiopia, Bako Farm Service Center was inaugurated on May 12/2017.

This first center for the country which envisions addressing the needs of farmers in inputs and services will also serve as a platform to disseminate new techniques, technologies and practices, according to a press release of the Embassy of USA in Ethiopia.

As part of Feed the Future initiative the public-private partnership is meant to expand Ethiopian smallholders’ access to supplies.

Access to quality agricultural supplies at affordable prices at the right time of the season is a significant challenge to Ethiopian farmers, the press release noted.

The newly inaugurated Bako Farm Service Center is located in the maize belt area of Ethiopia, in the remotest part of the country where access to agro-supplies has been a critical challenge to smallholder farmers.

The enter owned by Alemitu Hordofa, a female entrepreneur, is a one-stop-shop that provides smallholder farmers with quality farm supplies such as improved seed, chemicals, farm equipment, veterinary drugs and equipment, as well as consultancy services and training, which enable smallholder farmers to sustainably increase productivity and household income, it was pointed out.

The entrepreneur is quoted as saying that “I strongly believe in the impact that my farm service center can have in this community. It will offer the solution for farmers to access good quality goods and services at an affordable price in close proximity”.

The farm service center is expected to impact the lives of more than 10,000 smallholder farmers in Bako and neighboring woredas.

According to the press release, the project will be establishing farm service centers in Ethiopia’s main farming regions: six in Amhara, seven in Oromia, and four in Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples, and three in Tigray.

Each farm service center will open in collaboration with qualified entrepreneurs who were identified through a competitive process to receive grants up to 50,000 USD to start their business.

Each successful bidder contributes a minimum of 50 percent of the funding necessary to establish their center-designed and operated based on standards and support provided by the project.

Feed the Future, a 3.5 billion USD global hunger and food security initiative, sustains the U.S. Government’s commitment as one of Ethiopia’s largest partners in developing the agriculture sector, which is a fundamental cornerstone of the Ethiopian economy.

Dire Dawa City Jubilant at Reopening of Modernized Ethio-Djibouti Railway

Ethio-Djibouti railway is crucial in boosting investment and creating jobs for Dire Dawa city, the Deputy Mayor Abdella Ahmed said.

The Deputy Mayor, who is also Trade, Industry and Investment Bureau Head, said the city has been intertwined with the railway line for about a century and the livelihoods of the dwellers are dependent on it.

“We can safely say the railway is a lifeline for Dire Dawans”, he added.

The launching of a modern railway is, therefore, a renaissance to the city and the revival of socio-economic benefits to the dwellers, the Deputy Mayor stressed.

According to him, the railway line will motivate investors to engage in the industrial sector as they can easily access Djibouti and Barbara ports and the activities will subsequently create jobs, he noted.

Abdella further said the Dire Dawa Industrial Park under construction is expected to attract local and foreign investors and the opening of the railway line will help the investors to transport their inputs and outputs easily.

Moreover, it will create opportunities to attract tourists and enhance the tourism industry, according to the Deputy Mayor.

The city administration is working hard to solve the problems of access to potable water and road, among others.

For Sultan Ahmed,a resident of Dire Dawa, the launching of the railway service is a rebirth to the city and its dwellers.

The electrified Ethio-Djibouti line replaces the outdated diesel operated system which was opened in 1917.

The freight transit time is accordingly expected to drop from the previous seven days to 12 hours, it was learned.



Ethiopia, Canada Agree to Enhance Trade Relations

Prime Minster Hailemariam Dessalegn has urged a Canadian delegation to strengthen engagements in trade and investment in Ethiopia, alongside other prioritized areas.

The premier held talks with a Canadian delegation led by Omar Alghabra, Parliamentary Secretary to Global Affairs of Canada.

According Canada’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Philip Baker, who attended the discussion, Canada and Ethiopia have both expressed their desire to enhance their trade relation alongside strengthening the existing “broad and deep” relationship on development programs.

He noted that poverty reduction, women empowerment and the engagement of Ethiopian young people in their own businesses are areas of achievement that Canada’s development programs have been involved in.

Food security and agriculture are also among Canada’s large engagements in the Ethiopia, according to Baker.

“We have strong development programs but we really hope to grow our trade relationship between the two countries and the aviation sector”, the ambassador stated.

The ambassador also expressed his hope that the two countries will collaborate in Ethiopia’s mining sector, mainly to benefit the community.

Ethiopia is beneficiary of Canada’s largest global development program that on average allocates over 100 million US dollars annually.


Ethiopia, Spain to Height Cooperation to New Phase

Ethiopia and Spain have agreed to heighten their bilateral and multi-faceted cooperation to a new level.

Ethiopia’s State Minister Foreign Affairs Hirut Zemene and her Spanish counterpart Ildefonso Castro have agreed on the importance to consolidate the ties during the bilateral consultations held in Addis Ababa.

The ministers have exchanged views on issues of mutual interest as well as regional and international issues and agreed to intensify the long standing bilateral ties to a higher level.

Trade, investment and tourism are among the major areas of cooperation that need to be further consolidated, according to spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Meles Alem.

Twenty Spanish companies are currently engaged in various sectors in Ethiopia.

The two sides have shown interest to share experiences on peace and security issues as Spain has served as non- permanent member in the UN Security Council while Ethiopia was earlier elected to serve in the Council.

Spain gives special attention to Ethiopia as it contributes a lot to the country’s efforts to build relationship with Africa, Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs of Spain, Ildefonso Castro said.

The Minister said that Spain will continue to provide support for Ethiopia in the area of capacity building especially through scholarship programs.

The Minister appreciated Ethiopia’s role in ascertaining lasting peace and stability in the Horn of Africa.

The Minister invited his counterpart Hirut Zemene to pay visit to Madrid, Spain in the coming month according to Meles.

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