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 Airlines announced the start of four weekly flights to Vienna, the political capital and the economic hub of Austria, on Monday (June 2).The city is also a major diplomatic centre and seat of United Nations agencies such as the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Ethiopian flights to Vienna will bring the total number of its international destinations across five continents to 82 and will mark the 9th European city served by the airline. Through commercial cooperation with Austrian Airlines, a fellow Star Alliance member with a strong network in Central Europe, Ethiopian now aims to provide seamless and convenient connectivity options for travelers between Africa and European cities such Prague, Bratislava, Warsaw, Budapest, and Bucharest, subject to regulatory approval. Mr. Tewolde Gebremariam, Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, said "we are very happy to spread our wings to Vienna, which is one of the most popular convention and conference centers in Europe.” He also noted that in addition to serving the growing travel needs between Vienna and Africa, this will offer efficient connections between Africa and Central/Eastern Europe in cooperation with Austrian Airlines. The new flights to Vienna are scheduled with a view to provide to Ethiopian customers convenient connections to 49 African destinations with a minimum layover in Addis Ababa.

A three day Ethio-South Africa Investment and Business Forum opened on Tuesday (June 3) in Addis Ababa with representatives of over 25 South African companies involved in education, health, infrastructure, manufacturing and agro-processing taking part in the discussions on possible cooperation in trade and investment. In his welcoming address, Endalkachew Simie, Deputy Secretary General of Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectorial Association, noted that Ethiopia and South Africa had a longstanding bilateral relationship which has been strengthened by bilateral agreements in different areas including education, tourism and agriculture. In addition, he noted, imports and exports between the two countries have been growing in value and in volume. Mr. Endalkachew said the Forum would contribute towards increasing existing economic ties between the two countries. Mr. Stanley Subramoney, Chairman of the NEPAD Business Foundation, said Africa was at a critical juncture and the continent currently provided a new edge of opportunities. He noted that intra-Africa trade was increasing and pushing back the frontiers of poverty. Ethiopia's Agriculture Minister, Tefera Deribew, stressed the Forum could help elevate existing Ethio-South Africa social, economic, and political relations to a higher level through fostering strategic economic alliances and solid business partnerships. He underlined the Ethiopian government's commitment to make the country a real destination for Foreign Direct Investment, emphasizing that the country enjoyed a conducive business environment, political stability, sound economic policies, and macro-economic stability. Mr. Fistsum Arega, Director General of the Ethiopian Investment Agency also noted the government's full support and the incentives available for investment in the priority sectors. He South African businesses to make use of Ethiopia's quota-free and duty-free access to European and other markets.

The Security Council on Thursday (May 29) voted unanimously to extend the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) for another 12 months. It also expanded UNSOM’s mandate to include support to the Federal Government and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) by providing strategic policy advice on peace building and state-building, including in the lead-up to elections in 2016. UN officials recently noted that the Horn of Africa nation is behind schedule on the development of a federal system, the constitutional review process and preparation for elections in 2016. The Council today called on the Federal Government to develop a “clear plan” towards the polls, including achieving key milestones such as a referendum on the constitution and the formation of interim state administrations. The Council resolution welcomed the re-opening of the United Nations Compound in Mogadishu in April and encouraged the UN Country Team to continue relocating to Mogadishu as security conditions permit. Under its broader mandate, UNSOM is asked to support the Government and AMISOM in such areas as security sector reform and rule of law; maritime security; and strengthening of the justice institutions with the aim of ensuring accountability, particularly with respect to crimes against women and children. The Council stressed the importance it attached to UNSOM working with the Federal Government in supporting national stabilization and coordinating international assistance, in particular in areas recovered from Al-Shabaab. It also expressed deep concern at the humanitarian situation, highlighting that 2.9 million people required assistance.

The Security Council voted unanimously on Thursday (May 29) to extend the mandate of the United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA). The mandate of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei, an area contested by Sudan and South Sudan, was extended until October 15. In its resolution the Council reiterated its demand that Sudan and South Sudan immediately resume the work of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee “to ensure steady progress” on the implementation of the June 2011 Agreement, which provides for temporary administrative arrangements for Abyei and the withdrawal of troops by both sides. It also demanded that the Governments resolve the deadlock over the composition of the Abyei Area Administration and Council   and constitute the Abyei Police Service in line with the Agreement. It condemned the presence of Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA)/South Sudan National Police Service armed personnel and Diffra oil police units from Sudan as well as repeated entry of Misseriya militias, and demanded both countries should redeploy any armed forces, reiterating that Abyei should be demilitarized. The Council expressed its concern over the stalled efforts to fully operationalize the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism as a result of South Sudan’s disagreement with the location of the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ) centerline, and called on both Governments to make effective use of the agreed joint mechanisms to determine conclusively the SDBZ centreline and ensure the security and transparency of the SDBZ, including the “14 Mile Area”. The Council also called on UNISFA to observe, document and report on the movement and presence of weapons into Abyei. UNIFSA, which is made up exclusively of Ethiopian troops, was set up by the Council in June 2011 following an outbreak of violence after Sudanese troops took control of the oil-rich area in the weeks before South Sudan became independ

Sudan President Salva Kiir has called for the immediate approval and
deployment of a IGAD regional deterrence and protection force to end
ongoing violations of the cessation hostilities agreement signed with
his former deputy, Riek Machar. President Kiir was speaking at the
swearing-in ceremony of South African President, Jacob Zuma recently
re-elected for a second term in office, in Pretoria on Saturday (May
24). South Sudan officials said the occasion was an opportunity for the
South Sudanese delegation to engage with other African leaders. Among
those present was Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam. Officials said
it was an opportunity for South Sudan to solicit support for a
settlement of the crisis in South Sudan. More than 40 foreign leaders
were in attendance at the ceremony, including the Presidents of Nigeria,
Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Sudan and Somalia, as well as the
vice-presidents of several African nations. South Sudan officials said
President Kiir held sideline meetings with a number of key leaders in
which he stressed that pro-Machar rebel forces would continue to commit
ceasefire violations. The two sides have repeatedly accused each other
of violations of the ceasefire agreement signed on May 9 in Addis Ababa,
and there have been claims that the IGAD Monitoring and Verification
teams do not have the facilities to verify who is really attacking whom.

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