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.

Chinese Vice President Set to Visit Ethiopia

The Vice President of the People's Republic of China Li Yuanchao will arrive in Addis Ababa next week for an official visit to Ethiopia, announced the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).

Spokesperson for the Ministry Tewolde Mulgeta told ENA that the Chinese Vice President will meet with Ethiopian officials, fostering the longstanding relations between the two countries.

Signing of various bilateral agreements was part of the planned visit.

Foreign Direct Investment from China hit close to a billion USD over the past five years, elevating the trade exchange between the two nations to over 1.3 billion USD.

The visit by the Chinese official will further enhance the exchanges based on mutual benefits.

Figures show that more than 800 Chinese companies are investing in various African countries including in Ethiopia, creating jobs for 80 million Africans in the manufacturing industry sector.

Prime Minister expresses sadness over loss of lives at Irreecha

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn extended condolences over the death of people because of violence occurred at the thanksgiving festival of the Oromo people, Irreecha.

The Prime Minister expressed sadness over the loss of lives at the festival that promotes peace, stability and tolerance.  

Hailemariam expressed sorrow over the death of 52 people at the festival, which was going smoothly until the violence started.

He said this shouldn’t happen at a festival that signifies tolerance and unity.

Noting that spectators were converging on Bishoftu since early in the morning to take part in the observance, Hailemariam said the festival was peaceful.

But, the peaceful celebration has turned into a violence that took the lives of many people, because of the violence instigated by anti-peace elements, he added.

Instigating violence on the day that the Oromo people thank their creator is an activity against the principle of the Oromo and an act that undermines identity of the people, he added.

Saying the government will bring the perpetrators of this act into justice, the Premier called on the Oromo people to stand with the government.

Noting that the government has exerted maximum effort to control the situation peacefully, he appreciated the police for the work they have done.

Nation declares mourning for loss of lives at festival

Ethiopia has declared a three-day mourning over the death of 52 people after a stampede at a thanksgiving festival of the Oromo.

Flags will lower to half-mast for the coming three days starting from tomorrow, the Government Communication Affairs Office said.

The country declares the mourning following the death of people who lost their lives because of the violence instigated by anti-peace elements, the Office said.

Flags will lower to half-mast all over the country and at the Ethiopian embassies and consular offices around the world.

UK Shares Ethiopia’s Stand on Peace, Stability: Sir Simon Gerard McDonald

Permanent Under-Secretary at Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, Sir Simon Gerard McDonald, said his country and Ethiopia share common agendas in international peace and stability concerns.

Foreign Affairs State Minister Taye Atskeselassie held discussion with Sir Simon Gerard McDonald about the bilateral relations of the two countries.

Following the discussion, the permanent under-secretary told reporters that the countries share common agendas in regional and international peace and stability issues.

He noted that the countries are heavily involved in ensuring peace and stability in the East African region, in Somalia and South Sudan in particular.

Sir McDonald said the two countries will also cooperate closely to improve conditions of refugees sheltered in Ethiopia.

Foreign Affairs State Minister, Taye Atskeselassie, said on his part Ethiopia and UK share similar interests.

The state minister noted that the active participation of the two countries in Somalia and South Sudan is showcase for the strong cooperation.

He said Ethiopia needs to further strengthen its partnership with UK during its tenure at the UNSC in particularly bolstering the capacity of peace enforcing organs and ensuring peace and stability of the East African region as well as the continent as a whole.

It is also the desire of Ethiopia to strengthen its age-long historical relation with UK in the economic frontier, Taye concluded.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalgen conferred with high-level US Foreign Affairs officials in New York on maintaining sustainable peace in East Africa.

Hailemariam met with Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and Shannon Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State.

During the discussion, the premier reaffirmed Ethiopia's commitment to maintain a leading role in ensuring peace and stability,  particularly in Somalia and South Sudan.

He said his country has been striving to bring the South Sudanese conflicting parties to negotiate since fighting broke out between them.

Ethiopia is also meeting its role in making the region free from terrorism by fighting against Al Shabab.

Prime Minister Hailemariam further explained to the officials about the recent unrest in some parts of the country and the efforts being undertaken to solve the problem.

According to him, the government has identified the root causes of the conflict and it has been carrying out various measures to tackle the problem.

The US has expressed its support for Ethiopia's efforts to create peace and stability in the East Africa in particular and in the continent in general, Ethiopia's Ambassador to USA, Girma Birru, told the Ethiopian News Agency.

According to Ambassador Girma, who attended the meeting, the officials are pleased with solutions the government has been providing to the conflict that occurred in some parts of the country.

Prime Minister Hailemariam is in New York to attend the 71th United Nations General Assembly.

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