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 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

South
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.

The
African Union Commission celebrated Africa Day on Sunday (May 25) in a
ceremony held at African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa. The day
marked the end of the year-long 50th OAU/AU anniversary celebrations
which included a variety of activities, among them sports tournaments, a
marathon ‘Great Run Africa”; the 10th Anniversary of the Peace and
Security Council of the AU; and the “Africa Re-imagination Creative Hub”
exhibition. Sunday’s occasion was chaired by Mr. Erastus Mwencha,
Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission with AU Commissioners, AU Member
States’ Ambassadors and AU staff and invited guests. In a message to
mark Africa Day, UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon said the world must do
more to unleash Africa's full potential in agriculture, and he urged
Africa’s leaders and development partners to combat growing social and
economic inequalities. Greater equity presents a common challenge to the
continent as a whole, he said, and can help foster peace and stability.
Mr. Ban said “Transformation, growth, dynamism, progress and
partnership” are central to the AU's narrative, and he pledged the UN's
continued cooperation on partnerships to pursue peace, sustainable
development, democracy and human rights. Mr. Ban also highlighted this
year's theme for Africa Day, which focuses on agriculture and food
security, pointing out that two out of three people in Africa are
employed by the agricultural sector. He said Africa had seven out of the
top 10 fastest growing economies in the world and the agriculture
sector, in particular, had progressed considerably, with the
intensification of staple food production. He
called for processing commodities and using other means to add value.
This would help develop rural areas, create jobs and empower people
while ensuring food security, he said. This year's commemoration of
Africa Day also falls during the observances of the ongoing
International Year of Family Farming, which aims to mobilize support for
smallholder farmers, particularly women.

During discussions with Ethiopian President, Dr. Mulatu Teshome, on Saturday (May 24),

U.S Secretary of Commerce, Ms Penny Pritzker, who was heading a business delegation from 21 companies,
announced that U.S would be opening an office in Ethiopia to follow business
affairs. Ms Pritzker expressed her country’s interest in strengthening economic
and business ties with Ethiopia, adding that since Ethiopia was a stable and a
peaceful country endowed with lots of investment opportunities a favorable
environment had been created for US investors. She also expressed U.S
investors’ interest in water, wind and solar energy sectors. The U.S Secretary
and the Ethiopian President also discussed on the issue of stretching the time
frame for the tax free season provided for the U.S government for African
exports to the United States.

Ethiopian declared on Wednesday (May 21) that it received its
seventh Boeing 787 Dreamliner named Walia Ibex on 20 May 2014. It also
announced that it would take the delivery of three more of the technologically
advanced Boeing 787s in 2014 aiming to increase its efficiency and offer the
best on-board comfort to customers. Ethiopian Group CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam,
reiterated that the Ethiopian had been and would remain the leading aviation
technology hub in the heart of Africa, adding that it was committed to provide
the most advanced aircraft for its customers. This latest delivery and the
three more 787 Dreamliners later in the year underlined Ethiopian’s
determination to continue to expand and build up its fleet in order to offer “maximum
comfort” to its customers. The airline has an ambitious expansion plan to be
implemented by 2025 that involves more training and new infrastructure
development as part of its 15 year strategic roadmap for fast, profitable and
sustainable growth, its Vision 2025. Apart from securing a $500 million loan
from China to buy aircraft from Boeing, Ethiopian Airlines has re-invested its
$110 million 2012/2013 profits in its fleet. It has also invested over $50
million in its Aviation Academy, with the purchase of flight simulators.
Ethiopian is a Pan-African and global carrier currently serving 80
international destinations across 5 continents with over 200 daily flights.

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