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.
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.
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.
Addis Ababa, June 13, 2017 (FBC) The Ethiopian Immigration and Nationality Affairs Main Department, in collaboration with Ethiopian Airlines, has reportedly finalized preparations of the initial phase to commence an e-visa service for international visitors to Ethiopia.
According to a press release of the Ethiopian Airlines, the e-visa is processed and issued online on a single web page where applicants apply, pay and secure their entry visa online.
Once the online application is approved, applicants will receive an email authorizing them to travel to Ethiopia and they will get their passport stamped with the visa upon arrival in Addis Ababa, it added.
The release further quoted Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam as saying the project is part of a new national initiative to transform the tourism sector in the country and the full commencement of the Online Visa Application and Issuance System will promote tourism, trade and investment to the country.
It will also save time, energy and cost for travelers to Ethiopia, in addition to the simplicity and convenience that it facilitates. With direct flights to/from more than 95 destinations from all corners of the world operated by the most modern airplanes, the airline will continue to make travel to Ethiopia dependable, easy, convenient and affordable.
Ethiopian Immigration and Nationality Affairs Main Department Director, Gebreyohannes Teklu, said the department is glad that it has been working together with Ethiopian Airlines for the effective implementation of e-visa facilities at Bole International Airport.
He added that now “international visitors to Ethiopia, from countries provisioned for visa upon arrival, will make use of this service. Moreover, we have set up separate counters to process the visas of travelers under electronic travel authorization.”
To apply use the following link: https://www.evisa.gov.et/#/home
United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May lauded Ethiopia’s utilization of funds properly on intended activities.
While discussing with Prime Minister Hailemariam in London on May 13/2017, the UK PM appreciated Ethiopia for properly use funds provided for development, Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu said.
As the leading donor country in Europe, UK closely follows Ethiopia’s utilization of funds.
Acknowledging the government’s commitment May promised to continue strengthened the support it provided to the East African nation, Dr Workneh said.
May also lauded Ethiopia for its efforts being exerted to help improve peace and stability in the region.
According to Dr Workneh, the leaders discussed bilateral and issues related to peace and stability in the region.
This move was announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping during the discussions held in Beijing with the visiting Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn on May 12/2017.
Considering Ethiopia as a gate to Africa, China has been working to further consolidate the ties with the East African nation.
“They have considered Ethiopia as a gate to Africa. That’s the reason for the elevation of the partnership to a higher level”, PM Hailemariam said. The role that Ethiopia has been playing in ensuring peace and stability in the region is also another factor.
The move by China to elevate the ties with Ethiopia displays the momentum that the relationships between the two countries have reached, Hailemariam added.
The Premier said “this means that the relations between the two countries are in the right position to closely work under any circumstances.”
According to him, Ethiopia is the first country in Africa to enter into strategic partnership with China.
“We are happy that our country has been chosen for this status that shows the possibility of building strong ties; and we are very happy to reach this level”, he stated.
Since Ethiopia is considered to be a gate to Africa, it has become a pilot country and hub to many of the projects envisaged and launched by China.
Ethiopia is a pilot country for the industry production capacity cooperation aimed to move capacity of Chinese manufacturers to Africa, and the Djibouti-Dakar railway system that connects East and West Africa that commenced with the Ethio-Djibouti railway line.
Ethiopia has also been chosen to be a hub for the broadband fiber optics aimed to interconnect the entire continent and become the center of Africa.
Since Ethiopian Airlines is playing important role in connecting China with Africa, China has decided to make Addis Ababa aviation center. More than 80 percent of China’s connections to Africa are being conducted through Ethiopian Airlines.
Apart from bilateral issues, the Belt and Road Forum, an initiative aimed at fostering economic cooperation and prosperity that Beijing will host was also discussed during the meeting with President Xi Jinping.
Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania are the pilot countries chosen in Africa for the realization of the belt and road initiative and the first two are invited to the forum.
Leaders from 29 countries will discuss the plan for two days in Beijing.
The initiative is an ambitious development plan through which China wants to boost trade and stimulate economic growth across Asia and Africa by building massive amounts of infrastructure connecting it to countries around the world.
The initiative has two main prongs: One is called the ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ (the belt) and the other the ‘21st Century Maritime Silk Road’ (the road).
The ‘road’ is not actually a road but rather a sea route linking China’s southern coast to east Africa and the Mediterranean. The ‘belt’ is a series of overland corridors connecting China with Europe, via Central Asia and the Middle East.
Prime Minister Hilemariam has also witnessed the signing of two agreements with China for the Ethiopian Railway Academy and Meles Zenawi Leadership Academy.