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.

The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) on 17th July 2016, on the sidelines of the AU Summit in Kigali, held the 35th Session of NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HoSGOC). Opened by host President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, with remarks by  AU Chairperson, President Idriss Deby of Chad, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission and with a welcome President Macky Sall of Senegal the Chairperson of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee, the Committee's High Level Roundtable  was held under the subject of "Agenda 2063 and Industrialization: The Role of NEPAD."

Speaking on the subject of "Reflections on Ethiopia's Experience with Industrialization",  Prime Minister Hailemariam noted the fact that "in Ethiopia, Agricultural Development Led Industrialization (ADLI) is the fundamental building block of industrial development". He pointed out that the country's "strategic direction for industrialization is based on our natural and human resources." Focusing on the key role industrialization could play in transforming Ethiopia's economy for the better, the Prime Minister made it clear that ensuring accelerated and sustained industrial development was fundamental for bringing about the overall transformation and the long-term development of Ethiopia. In addition, he emphasized the fact that in "the current five-year Growth and Transformation Plan, which we launched in 2015, we have given supreme importance to accelerate the growth of the manufacturing industry". He said the country planned to expand manufacturing industry at all levels, micro, small, medium and large and it was making a countrywide effort to "sustain a 22% annual growth rate of the manufacturing industry during the second five year GTP (2015-2020)." The Prime Minister pointed out that at the regional level the industrialization process focused on small and medium industries, while at the federal level the government was promoting large-scale industries. The Prime Minister also added that there were extensive plans ""aiming to improve the sector's productivity, product quality and competitiveness," as a necessary element in achieving these ambitious plans.

Speaking of the implementation strategies and programs needed to realize the goals of the current industrialization strategy, the Prime Minister listed four major approaches that were of pivotal importance. The first of these was sustainable improvement of "the implementation capacity of the Ministry of Industry and the different Specialized Sectoral Institutions." Second was the special emphasis given to "pursuing the investment expansion program in manufacturing industry." Third was the launching of a specific "Productivity, Competitiveness, Quality and Capacity Building Program," and finally, the provision of "all-rounded support to manufacturing industry", the most important element of which is the construction of industrial parks.

Prime Minister Hailemariam emphasized that without such provisions "it is difficult, if not impossible, to realize the expansion in investment that we plan to achieve. Therefore, in order to attract investment, we have intensified construction of industrial parks, complete with some of the basic infrastructure services such as industrial sheds, power, telecommunication links and roads. The industrial parks also enable us to provide one-stop services to cover visas, customs, logistics and transport." He pointed out he had just inaugurated one eco-friendly industrial park, in Hawassa, a couple of days earlier. That was, he said, "a park that will create employment opportunity for 83,000 citizens. Indeed, the Hawassa environment-friendly industrial park is an archetype that we will emulate in constructing about 16 similar industrial parks throughout the country." 

The Prime Minister concluded his remarks on the industrialization process in Ethiopia by thanking the African Development Bank, the NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency and the UNECA for their continued support.

South Sudan Stabilizing, Grateful to Ethiopia

Ethiopia has been playing a leading role in bringing peace and stability to South Sudan, according to the Vice President of South Sudan.

South Sudan’s Vice President James Wani Igga met today with Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom to brief him on the status of the peace process in South Sudan after the establishment of the transitional government. 

The Vice President said Ethiopia’s role in bringing South Sudan together is immense and the South Sudanese government and the opposition have agreed on most of the issues.

According to him, agreements were reached on ten issues out of 12 and minor differences remain only on two issues. The peace process is progressing well, he added.

Igga said ‘“we are very grateful for the efforts Ethiopia” has been exerting to bring peace to South Sudan, adding that the agreement signed is under implementation so as to bring sustainable peace in the region.

Asked about the Murle tribe, who commit violent acts against neighboring tribes due to unreasoning behavior, the vice president said they are not out of control and the government has started awareness creation campaign to stop them from attacking their neighbors again.

Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Tewolde Mulugeta said Ethiopia has been striving to bring peace to South Sudan and will continue its support through IGAD.

The spokesperson added that the two sides have agreed on ways of revitalizing their cooperation agreement which was signed earlier.

South Korea to Build Energy-independent Village in Ethiopia

South Korea has reportedly announced that it would send a team that is to come up with a business model before setting up a local town that is self-sufficient in terms of energy.

According toBusiness Korea, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of South Korea has said an on-site inspection team to Ethiopia was scheduled to be sent to Ethiopia to come up with a business model before setting up a local town that is self-sufficient in terms of energy.

The team which includes personnel from the ministry, the Korea Electric Power Corporation, the Korea Electric Power Research Institute, the Korea Energy Management Corporation and the Korea New and Renewable Energy Center will stay in Ethiopia from June 19 to 25/2016, it was indicated.

Specifically, power is to be produced in an environmentally friendly way by means of solar power, wind power and the like and then be stored and distributed by the use of energy storage systems and micro grids.

Although Ethiopia has registered high annual economic growth rate, its power and water shortage is still chronic,Business Korea added.

“Once the project is completed, it becomes possible for Ethiopia to do farming in a stable way by developing agricultural water with electricity,” the ministry explained, adding that  “then, the living standards of the people will be improved along with their income.”

AU praises Ethiopia's handling of refugees in times of trouble

The African Union (AU) has praised Ethiopia's sound handling of refugees despite the critical challenges it faced due to the El-Nino impact.

The various humanitarian supports Ethiopia is availing to the refugees from different African countries is commendable, according to the AU.

The acclaim came during the commemoration of this year's World Refugee Day in Tsore Refugee Camp in the regional state of Benishangul -Gumuz on Monday 20 June, 2016.

Dr. Aisha Abdullahi, Commissioner for Political Affairs of the African Union Commission delivered speech at the event representing the AUC Chairperson.

The AUC representative mentioned the current grave humanitarian situation in the world including the continued loss of lives in the Mediterranean.   

She also disclosed a 20 thousand dollars support to the refugee camp whose refugee population is composed of over 80 per cent women and children. 

UNHCR Representative in Ethiopia Clementine Nkweta Salami on the occasion also commended Ethiopia's open door policy for refugees. 

According to Zeinu Jemal, Deputy Director for the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) of the National Intelligence and Security Service, the country is working to improve the livelihoods of refugees sheltered in Ethiopia. 

Speaker of the Benishangul-Gumuz State Council Fekadu Tadesse for his part assured those attending the event that the refugees sheltered in the camp will enjoy a close follow up and continued government support.

Despite mentioning shortage of water at the camp, some refugees also expressed gratitude for the support they are entitled to in Ethiopia.

Many participants including Ambassadors of different countries attended this year's World Refugee Day in the state which featured planting of tree seedlings.

Ethiopia, Egypt aim for increased trade, investment exchanges

The trade and investment exchange between Ethiopia and Egypt is showing progress, claimed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).

The ministry said the two nations have agreed to further strengthen the exchanges in the two sectors.

"Trade and investment volume of the two countries has reached to 137 million USD during 2013," according to MoFA Spokesperson Tewolde Mulugeta.

Talking exclusively to ENA, the Spokesperson said pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and health, are among the key areas Egyptian investors are engaging in.         

The two countries have signed investment promotion, avoidance of double taxation and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in agriculture to enhance trade and investment ties.              

This fiscal year alone, some 13 business persons from Egypt carried out investment feasibility studies in Ethiopia, Tewolde added.   

Commercial Office Counselor of the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Addis Ababa, Waleed El Zomor on his part said the trade and investment relation between the two countries is in a good condition.          

"There is good commitment in Egyptian businessmen to come and explore investment in Ethiopia," the Egyptian embassy official remarked.          

El Zomor also mentioned Egypt's increased commitment to further enhance the import and export volume between the two nations to over 200 million USD.

Egypt increased its export volume into Ethiopia by 27 percent between 2012 and 2014, he said, adding in 2014, Ethiopia secured over 33 million USD from export products into Egypt.      

El Zomor applauded Ethiopia's emerging economy as an important element in attracting Chinese, Turkish, Indian and other international companies.

Agro processing, pharmaceuticals and chemicals industries are among the priority areas for Egyptian companies to bolster trade and investment ties, he said.

Tourism, peace and security are mentioned by El Zomor as potential future areas of partnership between the two nations. 

He cited visits by leaders of the two countries that aimed at strengthening bilateral exchanges and partnerships.

Ethiopia exports among others, cereals, live animals and coffee to Egypt while it imports chemicals and medicines from the country.

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