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.
Ethiopian Diasporas living in Ottawa, Canada, have contributed 14,500 Canadian dollars to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The money was collected at a fund raising event organized in connection with the Ethiopian New Year.
During the occasion, Nebiat Getachew, First Liaison Officer with Ethiopia's Embassy in Ottawa, said consolidated efforts are underway to complete the construction of the dam and called on the Diaspora to further extend their support.
Public Relations Head of the Council for GERD in Ottawa, Kidane Gebremariam said Ethiopians and foreigners of Ethiopian origin in the city have been extending continuous support to the dam since its launching.
He stated that this fund raising program was the sixth and will continue till the completion of GERD.
Professor Taj Elkhazin, Sudanese scholar at Carleton University's Institute of African Studies, noted that the earlier treaties on Nile were unfair as they did not involve all the stakeholders.
According to Professor Taj Elkhazin, the dam under construction by Ethiopia is laudable as it is meant to benefit all the stakeholders and integrate the region.
Representative of Ottawa’s Mayor, President of Africa-Canada Association and invited guests have attended the event.
The Singapore- Ethiopia business forum being held in Addis Ababa will inspire investors to look Ethiopia as a potential investment, business and tourism destination, the country's senior official said.
Singapore business persons and company representatives drawn from hospitality industry, health, education, manufacturing, agriculture and commodity trade are in Ethiopia to explore investment opportunities in the country.
At the opening of the forum, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defense & Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mohamad Malik Bin Osman lauded Ethiopia's potential saying it is a country with immense investment potential.
This creates a good opportunity to Singapore investors to engage in country, he said.
The trade exchange between Ethiopia and Singapore has reached 24 million USD in 2015, but it needs to be further expanded, he said.
The tie is expected to be strengthened with the launching of a direct flight to Singapore by Ethiopian Airlines, he added.
According to the Minister, the two countries are working to consolidate the ties. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed to Avoidance of Double Taxation is among them, he said.
Ethiopian Investment Commissioner Fistum Arega briefed the investors about the investment and business potential of the country, urging them to utilize these opportunities.
Cheap electric power and labor, incentives from the government including tax holidays are among the things that made the country suitable to invest and do business, he said.
Development of infrastructures such as industrial parks, transport and communication networks as well as the country's potential for agriculture and hospitality industry, makes it appropriate destination for investment, he said.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development in Canada, Karina Gould, has expressed her country’s desire to work hand-in-hand with Ethiopia in the spheres of energy, mining, and infrastructure development.
After conferring with Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom on ways of further deepening bilateral ties, Gould said Ethiopia and Canada are great partners in development and trade.
“We were very much working together to continue Ethiopia’s development and work hand-in-hand to improve economic situation and to continue strengthening development relationship”, she said.
The minster appreciated Ethiopia's efforts in stabilizing peace and security in Eastern African region and has expressed her government’s commitment to continue its support to the country in its efforts to bring durable peace in the region.
She finally invited the government to participate in the Canada-African business forum to be held in Toronto on November 2016. “We hope this is going to be a strong delegation and there is significant interest of Canadian companies in particularly energy, mining, aerospace, and infrastructure sectors”, the minster observed.
Foreign Minister Tedros said on his part that Ethiopia and Canada have various kinds of cooperation, including in capacity building.
The Government of Canada has been contributing a lot to support Ethiopia in its efforts to mitigate the recent drought, Tedros said, adding that each and every year Canada is the country that has been extending financial support for various development projects.
The minister further emphasized that the two sides should have to focus on expanding the existing cooperation to trade and investment.
Tedros has called on the Government of Canada to encourage investors to do business in Ethiopia as there are industrial parks that can accommodate them.
Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom has said Ethiopia remains committed to intensify its partnership with governments and international organizations to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as outlined in the SDG's, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said in a statement.
Addressing a high level meeting on Universal Health Coverage in Africa, the minister underscored the fact that universal health care remains to be a fundamental step towards inclusiveness.
"It is imperative that donors and international organization support African countries efforts through financial and technical support,” he said.
“Africa needs to be supported to make health accessible to its people through partnerships built on country ownership.”
The Ethiopian official's remarks came at the margins of the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) in Nairobi on Friday August 26, 2016.
Reflecting on the achievements, challenges and prospects in Ethiopia, Dr. Tedros said: "In Ethiopia we have made the initial steps towards achieving UHC. We have created community based insurance schemes (CBHI) in four regions of our country that covers about 12 percent of the population.”
“In addition, government subsidies are used to pay for the cost of health services for the poorest of citizens."
Dr. Tedros however said the country has faced several challenges, which among others include lack of a strong institutional set up for managing prepaid health services.
He added there was a need to raise more public funding for UHC and work towards ensuring enhanced donor support.
Describing the meeting on Universal Health Care in Africa as a significant event, Dr. Tedros pointed out the fact that the issue of Universal Health Coverage has been constantly gaining traction in international health forums, particularly at a time of the current post MDG era.
In his speech, Dr. Tedros stressed on four major themes: the progress Africa has made over the last decade and a half, the challenges that still bite the continent, the achievements, challenges and prospects in Ethiopia, and finally what remains to be done and the way forward.
In his concluding remarks, the Ethiopian minister said, "UHC is not a "one size fits all" journey.
Ethiopian Airlines has reportedly finalized preparations to commence flight to Moroni, the capital city of Comoros beginning October 30, 2016.
With the new flight, travelers to and from Moroni will get seamless convenience and connectivity options via Addis Ababa to its global network, Ethiopian Airlines said.
According to a press release of the airline, Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said the new flight will play a big role in bolstering intra-continental linkage.
''We believe our flights to Moroni and elsewhere in our beloved continent, Africa, contribute positively to the overall development of the continent and serve as a critically essential vehicle for the flow of investment, trade and tourism,'' he was quoted as saying.
Moroni will be Ethiopian’s 54th African destination, after Cape Town, Gaborone, Goma, Yaoundé and Durban that joined the vast intra-African network of the airline in the just-ended Ethiopian fiscal year.
According to the press release, Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopian) is the fastest growing Airline in Africa. In its seven decades of operation, it has become one of the continent’s leading carriers, unrivalled in efficiency and operational success.