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.

Ethiopia, Sudan to Transform All-round Relations

The leaders of Ethiopia and Sudan have affirmed their commitment to work together to transform the existing all-round relations of the countries to a higher level.

An Ethiopian high-level delegation led by Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn is on official three-day visit to Sudan where it held bilateral consultations with Sudanese high officials.

Among the Ethiopian officials, Minister of Government Communication Affairs Office Negeri Lencho has conferred with his Sudanese counterpart Dr.Ahmed Bilal on media cooperation between Sudan and Ethiopia.

State Minister of Foreign Affairs Hirut Zemene also held discussion with Sudanese Foreign Affairs Minister Ibrahim Ghandou about ways of strengthening ties.

In a joint press conference the leaders of the two countries gave they affirmed their commitment to collaborate in transforming the relationship of the countries and ensuring the prevalence of peace and stability in the region.

Prime Minister Hailemariam said that the countries are working to benefit citizens and make trade and investment efficient through the economic integration they create.

He said the two countries have similar position on resolving both the problem of peace and stability in the region and the Gulf countries.

Hence we will exert joint effort to peacefully solve the instability in Somalia and South Sudan as well the Gulf countries, the Premier added.

According to Hailemariam, the security forces of the two countries are working together to maintain peace not only in the nations but also in the region.

President Omar al-Basher said on his part the visit of the Ethiopian high-level delegation would boost relations between the two countries and strengthen their economic integration.

The leaders have conferred on creating favorable condition that enables the countries to collaborate and work closely in trade, investment, national defense and security as well as information and cultural exchange, he revealed.

President al-Basher further stated that both countries will play a leading role in creating mutual understanding and common agreement about the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam among all countries.

Ethiopia Keen to Learn from Sudan’s Livestock Resource Dev't, Utilization

Ethiopia is keen to learn from the best practices of Sudan in the development and effective use of livestock resource.

The Ethiopian high level delegation led by Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn who is in Sudan has visited a veterinary medicine manufacturing company and a diary farm.

Minister of Government Communication Affairs Office, Negeri Lencho told ENA that the lesson that learnt from the visit will have important role in the efforts to benefit from the country's livestock resource.

Despite having the largest livestock resource in Africa, Ethiopia has not properly utilized its resources.

As one of its economic objectives, the government of Ethiopia is pursuing a policy of maximizing revenues through meat and live animal exports.

In addition to learning from best practices, Ethiopia is interested to attract Sudanese companies to invest in the sector.

To this end, Ethiopia is working to ensure efficient service provision and address challenges raised by investors regarding logistics, Negeri said.

This will contribute share to the enhancement of economic integration that the two countries are working to realize, he added.

On other hand, Prime Minister Hailemariam has also attended the graduation of Sudanese military personnel who completed military science trainings on Wednesday.

Negeri said the invitation for the delegation to attend the graduation ceremony shows the height of friendship that exists between the two countries.

He said that it also displays the level of commitment among the two countries to cooperate in every aspect.

Enhancing Capacity of Industries Prioritized to Improve Foreign Trade Performance

Enhancing capacity of industries that settled at existing industrial parks is important to improve the performance of the foreign trade, the National Plan Commission said.

 Despite better performance in the overall economic growth, the country's foreign trade has shown poor performance over the first two years of the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP-II) period.

To improve the performance in the area, ongoing activities in the development of industrial parks as well as enable industries to be fully operational will be continued, the Commissioner Yenager Dessie told ENA.

Efforts to enable companies that settle at industrial parks execute their operations as per the demands of the country will be conducted in the current fiscal year.

Yenager noted that the performance of the foreign trade is expected to be improved with the continued development of more industrial parks and  full  operational  of industries.

In the first year of the GTP-II period, a total of 2.856 billion USD, from the planned 4.22 billion USD was earned from foreign trade.

Though the plan was to earn close to three billion USD from agricultural products, only 2.1 billion USD was managed to be secured.

Of the total 916.8 million  USD revenue planned to be earned from the export of manufacturing, 413 million USD or less than half was obtained.

 Ethiopia has been working to improve its foreign currency earnings through various means. The development of industrial parks that are attracting many global anchor companies is among the mechanisms.

Ethiopia Desirous to Execute 50% of imports through Sudan

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said that Ethiopia is desirous to use ports in Sudan to execute 50 percent of its import-export transactions.

Prime Minister Hailemariam who is on official visit to Sudan expressed his country's interest to President al-Bashir while discussing bilateral ties.

The Horn African nation wants to make export-import transactions through Port Sudan because of its nearness to the northern part of the country.

The Premier said Ethiopia wants half of its import-export transactions to be executed through Port of Sudan.

To realize this, the Premier said Ethiopia is building a dry port facility to transit commodities, he added over 90 percent of Ethiopia’s current foreign trade is conducted through Djibouti, making it the sole outlet for the country’s export and import transactions.

Because of the geographical location of Port of Djibouti, Ethiopia has been forced to spend extra cost to transport commodities to and from the northern part of the country.

In addition to lowering transport costs, Ethiopia’s access to Port Sudan would also help to reduce congestions at Djibouti and facilitate timely transit of commodities.

In addition to Sudan, Ethiopia is looking for alternative sea ports in neighboring countries of Kenya and Somalia to improve the country’s international trade.

The country has planned to use the Mombasa port, the Port of Sudan and Berbera, in addition to the Djibouti port.

Body Habteselassie, Father of Ethiopia’s Tourism Laid to Rest

Habteselassie Tafesse, the man known as 'the father of Ethiopia's tourism' was laid to rest on August 13/2017 at the Holy Trinity Cathedral.

Habteselassie is known for promoting Ethiopia's tourist heritages by introducing the logo of “Thirteen Months of Sunshine”.

Born in Addis Ababa in 1919 from Fitawrari Tafesse HabteMichael and Mulatua Belayneh, he moved to Greece at the age of two.

The late Habtesilassie had attended primary and secondary school in Greek.

Before he went to the U.S. in 1950 to attend his college education, Habtesilassie attended college education in Egypt for two years.

Returned to Ethiopia in 1954, he established the first tourism organization. He served as assistance and later Director-General of the organization. 

Habteselassie has discharged his responsibility in promoting Ethiopia's tourist heritages globally till his death.

He received a national award from Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn in 2017 for his contribution.

He also had received awards from different governmental and non-governmental organizations for his contribution and achievements of promoting the country's tourism industry.

Habteselassie Taffese has survived by his three children.

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