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, 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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Addis Ababa, 6 May 2014 (WIC) - During Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s state visit to Ethiopia, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Ethiopian Airlines and ICBC Financial Leasing Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "ICBC Leasing"). 

According to the MOU, ICBC Leasing will provide Ethiopian Airlines financial support for its fleet expansion plan, including but not limited to B737 and B787 aircraft in the form of finance lease, sale and lease back, commercial loans or operating lease from ICBC Leasing’s Boeing order.

The MOU is one of the largest financial cooperation in the aviation industry between the two countries, which is an important step of China's financial industry to go international.
"We are delighted to work with Ethiopian Airlines-the top leading operator in the Africa, and to support its fleet expansion." said Chief Executive Officer of ICBC Leasing, Mr. Cong Lin, "The MOU marks a significant milestone between China’s Lessors and African airlines, which will promote deep financial cooperation between China and Africa."
"We are pleased to have ICBC Leasing, a leading global leasing company, as a strategic partner." said Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebremariam.
"The cooperation with ICBC Leasing and its parent company ICBC Bank, the largest commercial bank in the world, will support our Vision 2025 fast, profitable and sustainable growth strategy. We look forward to a long-term and mutually beneficial partnership with ICBC."
Ethiopian Airlines, the flag carrier of Ethiopia, was founded on 21 December 1945 and commenced operations on 8 April 1946. It is the most profitable and fastest growing global Pan-African carrier currently serving 80 international destinations across 5 continents with over 200 daily flights, and using the latest technology aircraft such as B777s and B787s.
ICBC Leasing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), with a registered capital of 11 billion Yuan, was founded in November 2007. It is the largest and the most innovative Lessor in China.
With domestic and foreign assets of 200 billion Yuan as of the end of March 2014, it manages more than 380 aircraft, of which 168 aircraft were delivered to more than 50 domestic and foreign world-class airlines.
According to a press release issued by Ethiopia, ICBC Leasing is not only the top aviation leasing company in China, but also one of the leading Lessors in international aviation leasing market.

The World Bank had provided 7 billion birr (US$380 million) financial credit for Ethiopia to finance another round of urban development projects. The agreement was signed between Sofian Ahmed, Minister for Economy Finance and Development, and World Bank Country Director to Ethiopia, Guang Zi Chenm on Tuesday (May 6). Minister Sofian Ahmed said the finance will be mainly used for the construction of infrastructure in urban areas and improvement of public services.

The first phase of the urban development financial support was utilized by 19 cities including Addis Ababa, with around 2.6 million people benefitting. The fund was spent on construction of over 700 kilometers of cobblestone roads and purchase of firefighting equipment as well as provision of dry and waste collecting vehicles, the provision of improved water sources for 29,000 people and other improvements.

These projects also created 300,000 jobs. Mr. Guang Ze Chen underlined the importance of urban infrastructure and job creation to cope up with increasing migration to cities in Ethiopia. He said in 2000 11% of the poor lived in cities; this had risen to 14% in 2010/11. This second round of urban development finance will consolidate and expand the achievements of the first phase with funds disbursed on the basis of performance by participating local government. It will benefit 26 new ULGs and provide for support to a total of 44 cities in capacity building, infrastructure development and improvement of service delivery.

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