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.

In a session held during

the 6th Northern Corridor Summit, the East African Commodity Exchange (EAX) is launched. President Uhuru Kenyatta ushered the launch of the East AfricaCommodity Exchange by ringing a bell signaling the formal launch of the Exchange. EAX is a subsidiary of Africa Exchange Holdings, Ltd. (AFEX), which is comprised of Heirs Holdings, Berggruen Holdings, and 50 Ventures, and is financially supported through private investment from AFEX and Ngali Holdings, a local investment company in Rwanda. Former US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Dr. Jenadayi Frazer and Board Chairperson of the EAX on her remarks noted that EAX will go a long way to address gaps in Africa’s agricultural commodity exchange. She underlined that the warehouse system will have significant impact in reducing after harvest losses. It will also contribute to Africa’s efforts of food security and to make African products globally competitive.  She also hailed the EAX as a successful venture in Public Private Partnership scheme. President Uhuru noted that the establishment of the EAX shows that we are moving in the right direction in realizing regional integration. He also noted Ethiopia’s efforts in putting in place a commodity exchange which he said will create a synergy for greater East and Horn of Africa integration. The EAX, he underlined will play a significant role in ending the exploitation of African farmers by middle men and ensure price stability. The EAX, headquartered in Rwanda offers warehouse operations, trading, warehouse receipt financing, clearing and settlement in addition to risk Management and Compliance.

Ambassador Berhane Gebre - Chirstos, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, on Thursday (July 3), held talks with US deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Mr. Steven Feldstein. Ambassador Berhane praised the long and excellent relationship between the two countries and said their continuing dialogue on bilateral, regional and global issues was a testament to their strong cooperation and good understanding. Ambassador Berhane noted that the two countries have three different fora whereby they deal with political, economic and security issues. He emphasized Ethiopian government’s commitment to the issues of transparency, accountability, Human Rights in relation with the country’s democratization process. As for the approval of Ethiopia’s candidacy to Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), Ambassador Berhane indicated that extractive materials are currently given focus as a tool for development, but only after the government had built strong institutions which will enable the government to manage the revenues collected from these extractive industries in a transparent manner. Ambassador Berhane underlined that effective government, civil society and private sector will help to build a strong democratic system. He also expressed Ethiopia's readiness to work closely with the US in establishing strong democratic nation and learn from the latter’s experience. On his part, Mr. Feldstein commended Ethiopia’s development path as well as the progress made in building strong institutions.  He further affirmed that the US is ready to work with Ethiopia through the EITI framework, adding that it was important to work together, to dialogue and to communicate effectively within the existing Ethio-US fora

Ambassador Berhane Gebre-Kristos held discussions with Italy’s Vice Foreign Minister, Lapo Pistelli at his office. The discussion covered bilateral issues as well as regional and transcontinental areas that affect Africa and Europe. On the bilateral front, Vice Minister Pistelli said his government wishes to strengthen its relationship with Ethiopia and is planning to open an office for the Italian Foreign Trade Agency (ICE) here in Addis Ababa. The Vice Minister also spoke about his government’s concern on the worsening condition of migration from Africa to Europe – pointing the inhuman treatment and suffering migrants go through en route to their intended destination.  State Minister Ambassador Berhane Gebre-Kristos on his part said the government welcomes ICE’s desire to open an office here in Ethiopia and expressed the  government’s readiness to cooperate with Italy on all matters important to both countries and their respective regions. He also said that the current migration problem needs to be addressed in a way that could provide a lasting and productive solution.

 

Ethiopia Realizes MDG Target Related to WaterAddis Ababa July 2/2014 Ethiopia has already met the MDG target of  halving population without access to improved clean drinking water, a year before the deadline. The Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Mines said that

According to the Ministry, the clean drinking water coverage of the country has reached 71 percent, way above the target 62 percent by 2015. The national clean water coverage was 30 percent when the MDG was launched.

The government is committed to meet the MDG target, reducing by 50 percent the proportion of the population without access to water and sanitation by the year 2015, thereby improving the overall health and socio-economic condition and quality of life of the population, especially children and women.

Ethiopia has gained 'remarkable' achievements in meeting the MDG target related to water. Some 60 percent of the population has now have access to clean drinking water, Public Relation Director with the Ministry Bzuneh Tolecha said.

Over 50,750 clean water facilities were constructed during the first three years of the growth and transformation plan period and benefited 22.2 million people.

The government's commitment and its ambitious plan helped to realize the target, Bzuneh said.

The country is working to construct clean water facilities within a radius of 0.5km and 1.5Km in urban and rural areas respectively.

It is also striving to meet the standard water provision per person in rural and urban areas, which are 15 litters and 20 litters respectively.

Consequently, Ethiopia has adopted ambitious water, sanitation and hygiene targets through its “Universal Access Plan”, which seeks to reach 98.5 percent and 100 percent access to safe water and sanitation respectively by 2015.

Ethiopia has made progress in clean water supply, said Samuel Godfrey (PHD), Chief-Water and Environment Sanitation at UNICEF in Ethiopia said.

"Great progress has been made in water supply. Across the country, many communities in both rural and urban context have enabled to can access the safe water in last 10 years."

The geological condition in some parts of the country has made difficult to access water sources, he said.

"Ethiopia is the vast country with many areas that have extremely difficult geological condition and in the areas more affected by drought or by low rainfall. It is very difficult to access water."

There is a challenge in some parts of East part of the country, where there is a ground water below 300m, to access water sources, he said.

Cost, identify and access water sources are the main challenges in the water sector, he added.

The cost in those areas is higher than other parts of the country because of the need to use more complex technologies.

"The cost of water supplying in Afar region is ten times more expensive than providing water supply in Amhara region." he said.

He suggested that directing more finance and investing in new innovations to supply safe water to those areas.

"There is need for us in the sector and the government to direct more finance to those areas which require more complex technologies."

The government of Ethiopia is working in collaboration with development partners such as UNICEF and World Bank to supply safe water to communities.

The One WHASH National Programme (OWNP), which was launched in 2012, is one of these initiatives. The program is expected to consume 35 million USD, which will be covered by DFID.

Through the programme, the government has been planned to benefit over 100,000 people from sustainable and equitable water supply and 250,000 from integrated sanitation services between 2013-2018.

The program spans in eight towns in Amhara, Oromia, Tigray and Somali regional states to supply water and sanitation to an estimated 20,000 to 80,000 population.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs in association with International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched (June 30) a project aiming to provide on ways to mobilize the Ethiopian Diaspora for national renewal, modernization and Ethiopia’s Renaissance. Under the theme of “Knowing the Diaspora,” over 20 Ethiopian Diplomats and Ambassadors are taking part on the training with the view to further accelerate efforts to tap the wealth of knowledge, resources, and expertise within the Ethiopian Diaspora communities in different parts of the world. Most of the participants are from countries with great number of Ethiopian Diasporas. The training is expected to help participants develop a system with full information about members of the Diaspora, protect the rights of the Diaspora communities and engage them in Ethiopia’s march towards the attainment of climate resilient green economy.  Mr. Josiah Ogina, Country Director of IOM, reaffirmed that IOM was committed to work with the Government of Ethiopia to counter the course of brain-drain. The Government of Ethiopia has attached paramount importance to Ethiopian Diaspora communities to contribute their share in the fight against poverty and is taking various measures to expedite the close engagement of the Diaspora in the overall development projects of the nation.

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