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.

Addis Ababa, 9 May 2014 (WIC) - Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Børge Brende, have held discussions on regional security issues, focusing on the conflict in South Sudan.

Dr Tedros briefed Foreign Minister Brende on the IGAD-led peace talks mediating the conflict in South Sudan, pointing out that the situation had been more complicated than originally appeared and the two parties had been advised to hold discussions at the SPLM party level, where the problem originated.

Dr. Tedros said the most effective way to implement the Cessation of Hostilities and Humanitarian Corridor Agreements effectively and stop any escalation was to deploy the proposed deterrent force as a matter of urgency.

He urged the United Nations to pass a resolution to provide the necessary mandate for the force. Dr. Tedros expressed Ethiopia's commitment to participate in a mandated force for South Sudan.

Dr. Tedros noted that the leaders of the two parties in the conflict had agreed to meet for face-to-face talks in Addis Ababa on Friday (May 9).

He hoped this would be an indication that it would be possible to capitalize on current positive developments, but, he said, decisiveness was key to progress.

Describing Ethiopia as a very good partner for Norway, the Norwegian Foreign Minister said Norway appreciated Ethiopia's role in the region.

He said Norway would assist IGAD peace efforts and its calls for respect for the Cessation of Hostilities and Humanitarian Corridor Agreements signed by the two parties.

He also announced that Norway, in cooperation with various UN agencies, was organizing an International Donors Conference on South Sudan, to be held on May 20.

Addis Ababa, 8 May 2014 (WIC) - President Dr Mulatu Teshome inaugurated on Wednesdaya new carassembly plant built a cost of 4.5 million USD in Dukem town.

Speaking on the occasion the president stressed the importance of investment in the automotive industry in Ethiopia since the country’s growing economy and the rise of the living standard of the people demand the subsequent development of the automotive industry.

Along with the inauguration of the new Lifan assembly factory was also launched Lifan 530 Model.    

Chairman of Lifan Industry group Yin Mingshan said during the inauguration the Growth and Transformation Plan encouraged Chinese investors to invest in various development activities.    

According to Daniel Tamrat, Marketing Head of the factory, Lifan will in the long run raise its production to 3,000 cars per year. The cars are reportedly of European standard.    

Lifan has branches in Mekele, Hawasa and Dire Dawa, in addition to Addis Ababa, it was indicated.

According to ENA, the new Lifan Yangfan car assembly factory is built on 10,700 square meters of land in Oromia Regional State.    

Addis Ababa, 8 May 2014 (WIC) - The construction of Mieso-Dire Dawa–Dewanle railway project entered a new phase with the commencement of the laying of tracks.

The 339km single track railway line is part of the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway project whose overall progress has reached 37 percent.

The official ceremony of the laying of tracks was held on May 8, 2014 in MelkaJebdu, one of the future stations in Dire Dawa City.

The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister HailemariamDesalegn and Moussa Ahmed, Minister of Equipment and Transport of Djibouti, as well as senior government officials.

The Addis-Djibouti railway will enable Ethiopia easy access to the port of Djibouti providing both passenger and freight service transporting 3,500 tons of goods at a time.

“This project will enable our country to be competitive in the international market by curbing logistical costs caused by the current poor transport system,”Hailemariam said during the ceremony.

The project owner, Ethiopian Railways Corporation (ERC) and the contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) expect the project to be completed by October 2015.

“We are confident and competent to accomplish this project on schedule with the allocated budget and the expected quality,” GetachewBetru (Dr/Eng.), director general of ERC, said on the occasion.

The Addis-Djibouti Railway stretches a total length of 756km, out of which some 100km will be built within Djibouti.

The first section of the project stretching 317km from Sebetta to Mieso is also under construction by the China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC), the same company undertaking the Addis Light Rail Project.

When completed the Addis-Djibouti electrified railway, a priority project within the GTP, is expected to reduce the travel time from Addis Ababa to Djibouti by half to less than ten hours with a designated speed of 120km/hour.

The railway will have 17 major stations and passes through major cities including Bishoftu, Adama, Metehara and Dire Dawa.The 107kms from Addis Ababa to Adama line is a double track while the rest 549 kms is a single track rail.

Kenya’s President Kenyatta has promised that “attackers will not derail us; we will continue and we shall fight this battle and we shall win this battle.” He was speaking following a weekend in which suspected Al-Shabaab bombings killed seven people in several attacks in Kenya. Nairobi was hit by two bombings of buses on Sunday (May 4) that killed three and left 86 injured.

A day earlier there had also been two attacks in Mombasa in which four died. The President was speaking during a state visit to Nigeria. At a joint news conference with Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan, President Kenyatta said both countries had suffered “at the hands of cowardly terrorists, people who have no value for life, who continue to wreak wanton havoc on lives and property in our two countries.”

According to Save the Children’s latest ranking released on Tuesday (May 6) pregnancy-related deaths in Ethiopia have fallen by nearly two-thirds, making it most successful country in Africa in lowering maternal mortality rates, thanks to lifesaving investment in female health workers and girls’ education. Save the Children wrote in its annual “State of the World’s Mothers” report that Ethiopia’s maternal deaths have fallen from one-in-24 dying in pregnancy in 2000 to one in 67 last year.  

A decade ago, the Ethiopian government started the process of hiring 30,000 basic health workers to provide preventive and curative health care services across the country. There is now a health post, staffed by two health workers, for every 5,000 people. All of these health workers are women. It is culturally easier for them to talk to other women about family planning, healthy pregnancies, clean delivery and childcare.

The health workers also link up those who need more sophisticated and other care with the larger health centers and hospitals. Overall, the number of women receiving antenatal care has risen from 27% in 2000 to 42% in 2011 said Save the Children’s regional health adviser Ms. Metasebia Gizaw Balcha.  Key to reducing maternal mortality, she said, was for women giving birth to have a doctor, midwife, or nurse present in case they need skilled assistance in delivery, administration of drugs or surgery.  According to government figures, the availability of skilled assistance at delivery has increased from 6 to 10% over the last six years. 

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