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 won the 2014 Airline Reliability Performance Award from Bombardier Aerospace.

Ethiopian won the award for the fourth consecutive year. The award was given to Ethiopian for achieving an average
dispatch reliability rate of 99.4 percent, making it first in the overall Q-400
product category for the Middle East and Africa region and to recognize the
skill and dedication of Ethiopian employees working on the turbo prop and light
aircraft of the airline. Ethiopian CEO, Mr. Tewolde Gebremariam, expressed his
gratitude to all Ethiopian Airlines employees and especially those working in
our light aircraft and turbo-prop section for this outstanding result. He noted
that the success is the fruit of their continued dedication and hard work and
the commitment to provide reliable schedule and punctual flights at all times. On
the occasion, Vice-President Customer Service and Support, Mr. Todd Young, said
Ethiopian Airlines was the first operator to introduce the Bombardier Q400 in a
dual class configuration, recently certified as a Bombardier authorized service
facility for the Bombardier Q400 aircraft. He further noted that Ethiopian won
this reliability award for the fourth times which is a testimony to their
commitment to their quality of maintenance and utilizing Q400 for both Regional
and Domestic routes. “It is my great pleasure to once again recognize their
effort and achieving this reliability award", he said. Ethiopian currently
operates 13 Q-400 Next Generation aircraft, of which five of them are
re-configured in to business and economy class with 7 and 60 seats
respectively. The Q-400 is an ideal aircraft for domestic and regional flights
with a speed closer to narrow body jet airplanes and with reduced noise, fuel
consumption and emission. Ethiopian Airlines flies the Q-400 to 18 domestic
destinations and regional routes such as Djibouti, Mombasa, Nairobi,
Kilimanjaro, Dar-es-Salaam, Zanzibar, Entebbe, Kigali, Juba, Khartoum and
Hargeisa.

Dr.Tedros Adhanom opened on Friday (June 6) a multi-stakeholder Symposium aiming
to initiate an inclusive phase of IGAD-led peace talks for South Sudan in Addis
Ababa. Under the theme of “Towards
Sustainable Peace in South Sudan,” the Symposium brought together up to 150
representatives of the People of the Republic of South Sudan, including senior
officials from the Government of the Republic of South Sudan,
SPLM/A-in-Opposition, political parties, religious leaders, elders, civil
society organizations and other stakeholders across the country. In his key
note address, Dr. Tedros Adhanom noted that peace was a central element as well
as a prelude in the pursuit of an integrated, peaceful and prosperous South
Sudan, adding that peaceful settlement of the differences would push forward
efforts for the restoration of stability in South Sudan and recovery of the
people. He also noted that Ethiopia’s committed leadership was supportive of
the people of South Sudan to prevent the pain of dying for a wrong cause and
the deterioration of the country’s humanitarian situation. He welcomed the
signing and a rededication to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement that was
signed on 9 May by the leaders of the warring parties of the country in Addis
Ababa, lauding that the recommitment of the principals signaled a new paradigm
shift in the quest for peace in the country and laid the foundation to the
enhancement of a peaceful and inclusive dialogue to stop the violence. He
explained that there were signs of optimism and promising trajectories in the
hemisphere of South Sudan, but, he said, the world had recently witnessed the
violation of the commitment to Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, the killings
of civilians and the worsening of humanitarian situation throughout the
country. Efforts to enforce the May 9 truce signed by President Salva Kiir and
Riek Machar in Addis Ababa on May 9 should be sped up with a new vigor and
enthusiasm to support IGAD-led mediation efforts in a bid to find a peaceful
and sustainable solution to the crisis in South Sudan. He also welcomed that
the full engagement of all the constituencies of the people of South Sudan
could be considered as a historic opportunity to resolutely turn the country
from ongoing violence to progress in both the political and economic spheres.
Both parties must place the safety and security of the people of South Sudan at
the heart of their political negotiation and discussion, he suggested. He added
that genuine and inclusive political discussion would only open the window of
sustainable peace, stability and development across the country. In this
regard, Ethiopia along with IGAD Member States and partners would only assist
the people of South Sudan to move their country out of violence to a country
they want, he underlined. The two-day Symposium provides opportunities to all
stakeholders of South Sudan to discuss transitional government, national
reconciliation and healing, institutional arrangements, and constitution.

On  Tuesday last week the UN Security Council approved the deployment of
three battalions of IGAD peacekeeping forces to South Sudan to protect
teams of monitors from the region whose mission is to verify reports of
violations of a temporary cease-fire. They will also try to prevent
further fighting between South Sudan government forces and forces loyal
to the former Vice President Riek Machar. The troops will be part of the
existing UN mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, whose mandate now provides a
focus on civilian protection. The Security Council said last week that
the 2,500 troops which will come from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Rwanda should
begin deploying as soon as possible. Getachew
Reda, an adviser to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam , said the
verification process should be finalized by IGAD member countries
shortly and this would be followed by the deployment of the three
battalions. The force would be commanded by an Ethiopian General and he
indicated that the peacekeeping mission would also aim to enforce the
May 9 truce signed by President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar in Addis
Ababa on May 9.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn opened the US-Africa Energy Ministerial in Addis
Ababa on Tuesday (June 3). Under the theme of “Catalyzing Sustainable Energy
Growth in Africa, the Ministerial is focused on issues connected with the
identification of strategies, technologies and practices throughout Africa and
the US for the expansion of clean energy use, adoption and improvement of
energy efficiency, facilitation of financial and technical capacity building
partnerships among governments, companies and academia and an exchange of views
on the progress of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative as well as
exploration of ways to finance energy infrastructure projects. In his welcoming
remarks, Prime Minister Hailemariam noted that Ethiopia considered energy a
strategic imperative for inclusive economic and social development. The
Government was therefore committed to the enhancement of access to energy
infrastructure and services to rural areas to improve the lives of people
across the country. Recognizing the catalytic role of energy in facilitating
overall development, he said, the developmental state had put in place the
right mix of policies and strategies to promote sustainable energy production
and efficiency at affordable and competitive prices to achieve sustainable
economic and social development, reduce poverty and facilitate Africa’s unity
and integration, making Ethiopia a nucleus for the energy market from eastern
to southern Africa. He underlined that more needed to be done to increase energy
production to expand access to energy services for people’s welfare. He also
emphasized the importance of energy for regional links and integration,
explaining that Sudan and Djibouti were already connected to Ethiopia through a
regional network of power trade in electricity. He stressed that African
governments should create favorable conditions for private investors to engage
in the development of energy infrastructures. He underlined that Ethiopia was
developing renewable energy resources for mitigation and adaptation of the
effects of climate change. The Prime Minister, thanking the US Department of
Energy’s commitment to elevate Africa’s energy infrastructure and services,
noted the importance of US-Africa cooperation in energy and the Power Africa initiative.
Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Alemayehu Tegenu, also
briefed the Ministerial on Ethiopia’s commitment to the development of national
and regional sustainable, clean and renewable energy production and supply
through the diversification of various energy resources. He said that Ethiopia
was fast-tracking efforts for the use of electricity and bio-fuels for
transport and domestic energy needs and implementation of adaptation and
mitigation measures on climate change. He stressed that Africa and Ethiopia
were ready to mutually cooperate with the US Government and investors to tap
the benefits from development of energy infrastructure using the principles of
win-win strategies and mutual advancement. Ernest J. Moniz, the Secretary of US
Department of Energy, noted that America was committed to collaborate with
Africa to jointly curb impediments of Africa’s energy infrastructure
development. He also unveiled a new US Government Power Africa sub-initiative
called “Beyond the Grid” to “unlock investment and growth for off-grid and
small scale energy solutions” for millions of Africa’s households, businesses
and public facilities.

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.

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