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.
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.
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 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.
Preparation for the holding of the 6th Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa that takes place in Bahirdar city of the Amhara State from April 22-23, 2017 is finalized.
The theme of the two-day forum is: “Natural Resource Governance in Africa''.
Renewable resources, which can also be poorly managed and highly exploited, have often been side-lined during discussions on natural resource governance, Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa website reported.
The 6th Tana Forum background paper is identified as a comprehensive document on natural resource governance as its scope went beyond just the governance of extractive sectors, it added.
Member of the Organizing Committee and Diaspora Affairs and PR Director of Amhara State, Awlachew Masree told ENA that five committees were established to carry out the preparation work.
The forum will create opportunity to display Bahirdar city as a tourism site for the participants, he stated.
More than 250 participants, including former and current Africa countries leaders as well as prominent experts, are expected to take part in the forum.The Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa is organized annually to discuss current issues in Africa.
Ethiopia, home to many natural, historic and cultural heritages, is preparing to promote its heritages globally through international media outlets, the Ethiopian Tourism Organization (ETO) said.
The East African country has allocated 5.5 million Birr for promoting the country`s tourism potential globally through the media outlets, Jemal Kadir, Deputy Director General of ETO told ENA.
Despite Ethiopia’s huge potential for tourism, including nine world heritages inscribed by UNESCO, the tourist flow and revenue earned from it is low.
The move to promote its potential globally through the mainstream media is part of the country’s initiatives towards increasing tourist flow and revenue earnings.
Jemal said that promoting the country’s potential will be commenced in the last quarter of the current Ethiopian budget year.
In addition, promoting the new brand of the country - “Land of Origins” - and its Amharic version “Midre-kedemt” will also be undertaken, he added.