Blog Archives

Peace Dividend

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Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Planners to Bless Mega Projects Before Kickoff

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Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Mulegeta Becomes Bunna’s Fourth President

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Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Gov’t to Ban Livestock Export, Favours Processing

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Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Ministry Formalises Steel Structure Work Operations

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Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Board Compels PLCs Adopt Accounting Standards

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Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Nation Greets its 12th Steel Mill

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Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Small Businesses Graduate to Medium Enterprise Status

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Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Classy Water Courts Controversy, Ceases Production

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Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

City Sets Deadline to Register Street Vendors

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Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Ex-CBE Executive Takes Helm at Bunna Bank

Regulators at the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) have approved the appointment of Mulugeta Alemayehu, former vice president of the state owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) as the new President of Bunna Bank, as of September 12, 2018. He is the fourth president of Bunna since its inception in 2008, following in the footsteps of Tadesse Chinkel, Eshetu Fantaye and Negede Abebe. Mulugeta replaced Tadesse, who had been running Bunna as president since 2017. Bunna will retain Tadesse as an advisor to the new President. Mulugeta has a Master’s of Business Administration and 19 years of experience in the banking industry. He earned his first degree in accounting and finance. Mulugeta was a Chief of Businesses at CBE before he moved to Bunna. He also used to work as the Chief Risk & Compliance Management Officer at the giant
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Show of Force

In keeping with a long line of opposition parties returning home, the leadership of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) touched ground in Addis Abeba on Saturday, September 15, 2018. Led by its Chairman, Dawud Ibsa, the leadership was greeted by a massive crowd that lined the streets of Addis Abeba from Bole International Airport to Mesqel Square. Traffic was closed along the way, and even the Addis Abeba Light Rail Transit paused its trains for the first time since it began service in September 2015. It was not, however, the first time the OLF’s rebel leadership held a rally for its supporters at Mesqel Square. In 1991, the OLF leadership led by Gelasa Dilbo was welcomed when the OLF joined the EPRDF to form the transitional government. Throughout the past week, a welcoming ceremony was planned, with supporters hanging flags
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

DONE DEAL

Ethiopia hosted the 33rd extraordinary summit of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on Wednesday, September 12, 2018. It was attended by the heads of state of Djibouti, Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia and Kenya, with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) chairing. The summit addressed two main issues up for discussion: the ongoing peace process between South Sudanese factions and Eritrea’s re-entry into IGAD after an absence of almost a decade. The South Sudan issue upstaged the event, however. The two leaders of the warring parties in the civil war, President Salva Kiir (left) and his former vice president, Riek Machar (PhD), signed a revised peace agreement to resolve the South Sudanese civil war that has raged for half a decade. Hundreds of thousands are believed to have died, millions displaced and almost half the population has been left at
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Ethio-Eritrean Border Re-opening Fuels Trade

Following the normalisation of Ethio-Eritrean relations and reopening of the border, business activities at the boundary towns are flourishing after two decades of standoff. Major trading activities have been taking place in Zalambessa, Adigrat and Meqelle, Trade activities have been taking place since last Wednesday, September 12, 2018, a day after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) and President Issaias Afeworqi reopened the crossings along their shared border. Eritreans have been marching to these towns to buy cement, bricks, macaroni, spaghetti, hardwood, teff, pepper powder and other commodities and merchandise. Ethiopians are also buying products such as televisions, mobile phone devices and livestock by travelling as far as the capital Asmara. “We started seeing many vehicles with Eritrean plates moving around in Adigrat on Wednesday,” said Muluberhan G. Wahid, a resident is Adigrat. “Most of them were loaded with commodities and
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Nation’s First Drone Soars High

The Ministry of Science & Technology has successfully launched its first drone, carrying cargo weighing five kilograms and flying at 5,000m altitude. The Ministry invested four million Birr in the pilot project, planning to use the drones to distribute medical equipment and supplies to remote areas of the country. “Our team did the full drone design,” Getahun Mekuria (PhD), minister of Science & Technology, told Fortune. “And some of the components and its engine were manufactured and imported from genuine suppliers.” The drone, assembled with components from China and an engine from the United States, can fly up to 120Km an hour. The drones will deliver medical supplies running in autopilot mode from dispatch centres to be located in Addis Abeba, Meqelle, Hawasa, Jima, Dire Dewa and Bahir Dar the drones, and will operate in an area that covers a
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Ministry Fast-tracks Manufacture of Medical Equipment

The Ministry of Science & Technology is planning to initiate manufacturing of medical equipment in six months and a national steering committee has been formed to implement the plan. The goal is to save the two billion dollars worth of annual foreign currency expenditures on imported medical equipment and to improve current maintenance capacities. The professionals in the biomedical and engineering field are unwilling to engage as maintenance experts, according to Getahun Mekuria (PhD), minister of Science & Technology. To address this, the Ministry wants to link the production of the equipment to maintenance efforts. “If we build up production capacity in Ethiopia, we will address the maintenance issue,” Getahun told Fortune. The national steering committee is made up of 15 members and three subcommittees, of which one will be responsible for the study of policies that can enable the
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

New 10b Br Convention Centre to Rise in Addis

The Addis Abeba City Administration plans to invest over 10 billion Br for a new exhibition and convention centre to be built in the heart of the capital. The Convention Centre will occupy nearly 10ha of land encompassing a 24,000sqm area that is owned by the Exhibition Center & Market Development Enterprise at Mesqel Square. The project will be the largest conference and exhibition place in the city, replete with conference halls, a “seven-star” hotel, a flexible exhibition centre and a parking lot that accommodates over 2,500 vehicles. The centre will also feature a museum inside its premises according to the plans. The planned auditorium and conference halls will sprawl over 17,000sqm, while the total area designated for conference and exhibition space is 57,000sqm. The halls are designed to accommodate flexible spaces ranging from 4,000sqm to 12,000sqm. “While the demand
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Two Firms Place Lowest Offers to Supply Nation With Wheat

Amid shortages of wheat supply in the market, the government is spending 1.37 billion Br to procure 155,000tns of wheat. The wheat was tendered under two schemes by the Public Procurement & Property Disposal Service, and the commodity will be distributed to beneficiaries under the fourth phase of the Productive Safety Net Program launched in 2005. The program was designed to enable the rural poor facing chronic food insecurity to overcome shortages, create assets and become food self-sufficient. The Program operates in Afar, Amhara, Dire Dawa, Harare, Oromia, SNNP, Somali, Tigray regional states and Dire Dawa city administration zone  and reaches up to eight million food-insecure people annually. The programme, which will remain active until 2020, will spend three billion dollars a year, out of which the Government of Ethiopia funds 14pc, and the rest is covered by World Food
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Tourism Bureau to Switch New Library Location

The Addis Ababa City Administration Culture & Tourism Bureau is pondering switching the location of its planned central library from the current location in Yeka District to a new location in Arada District. The construction of the library, estimated to cost 200 million Br, was expected to commence this fiscal year on a plot that the Bureau secured on the premise of Dejazmach Wendrad School in Yeka District, off Asmara Road. The Bureau was in the final stages of announcing a tender for the construction when it reconsidered the project. The Bureau is revising the initial plan with the aim of moving the central library to Arada, in front of Hager Fikir Theatre on John Melly Street. The area has been cleared by the city administration after relocating the residents in the area. Last month, the Bureau received Nebiyu Baye,
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

City Code Enforcement Officers to Don New Uniforms

The city administration invested close to five million Birr to redesign the uniforms of 4,100 law enforcement officers to combat crimes committed by individuals donning similar uniforms to the ones worn by officers. The new outfits were distributed to officers from the Code Enforcement Service Office starting in the Ethiopian New Year, which began last week. Each officer received two sets of complete uniforms. The colour of the uniforms was changed to dark blue and black from the former grey and dark green. The new uniform added some new features including badges with the name of the department, the department logo and the Ethiopian flag. “We caught some people involved in criminal activities wearing similar uniforms as our enforcement officers,” said Henok Tadesse, communications officer of Code of Enforcement Service Office, “especially in the Piassa area.” The Bureau, established in
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Djibouti’s Takeover on Doraleh Fans Flames of Dispute with DP World

The dispute between DP World and the government of Djibouti is heating up following the recent move by the East African nation to take direct control of the disputed Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) by nationalising the state-owned Port De Djibouti’s stake. Last Sunday, Ismail Omar Guelleh, president of Djibouti, ordered the nationalisation of Port de Djibouti’s 66.66pc stake in the terminal, following the termination of DP World’s concession and seizure of its shares in the terminal last July. “The nationalisation was made to protect the fundamental interests of the nation and ensure the situation of the DCT Company aligns with reality,” reads the statement from the government. The termination removed Doraleh from its role at the terminal and transferred the concession staff and assets to a public company specifically established to manage the infrastructure, Société de Gestion du Terminal de
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Noah to Deliver 120 Homes Costing 200m Br

Noah Real Estate Plc, a sister company of Great Abyssinia Plc, is planning to deliver 120 homes for a total cost 200 million Br to owners on Sunday, September 16, 2018. The seven-storey residential complexes, Noah East Gate Apartments, hosts two- and three-bedroom apartments located near CMC on the eastern side of Addis Abeba. The apartments, ranging from 86sqm to 172sqm, are priced between two million Birr and four million Birr. The residential apartments include waste management systems, water tanks and electric generators. “Everything complies with the contract I signed for,” said Elias Teshome, one of the homebuyers that will receive a key to his apartment. The buyers paid for the apartments in four instalments, starting with an initial payment of 30pc at 50% completion of construction, and paying the last 15pc of the cost upon transfer of titles. Construction
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Ministry to Seed New Forestry Roadmap

The nation is gearing up to adopt a new 10-year master plan for sustainable forest management. The draft master plan, National Forest Sector Development Program, is developed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change and has five principal pillars – enabling environment and institutional development, sustainable forest production and value chain, forest environmental services, forests and rural livelihoods, and urban greening and urban foresting. The master plan envisions the reforestation of nearly 2.5 million hectares of land with tree plantations, the creation of over 600,000 full-time jobs, increasing the value of agriculture and other sectors by 3.2 billion dollars and fully substituting the import of wood products. The plan is intended to be used by regional states as a blueprint to formulate their own programs to lower carbon emissions into the atmosphere by 50pc. “It will be the
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Rophnan: Roots with Rare Genre

Rophnan Nuri, Rophy, was only 16 when he started producing music, literally six years after his first performance before his classmates. The ninth child of a family of 10, he has gone through a career path as a DJ, composer, guitarist, radio host, producer, and songwriter. A native of Addis Abeba, the 27-year old recently released his first album, Netsebrak [Reflection], adopting a new genre of mixing music electronically. Fans put him in league with Swedish musician, DJ, and remixer, the late Tim Bergling, stage-name Avicii. As his album hit the market just a few months ago, Rophy has rapidly gained momentum and is winning the hearts of the younger generation, whose infatuation with electronic music is emerging. Produced by SIGMA Entertainment & Events Plc, the album was published with 50,000 copies and was well received among the youth. Rophnan,
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Teddy Afro, Joyous Event in a Fray

The artist Tewdros Kasahun, or Teddy Afro to his fans, and Joyous Event & Promotion, producers of his last Album ‘Ethiopia’, are embroiled in a tense dispute following an alleged breach of contract by the popular singer. Joyous Event claims that it should get priority to organise his upcoming concert, warning Teddy Afro that the case could end up in court if the company is not made part of the of the artist’s planned September 15th concert at Millennium Hall. The concert is organized in collaboration between the artist and Plus Events & Promotions. Teddy Afro and Joyous entered into an agreement in June 2016, where Joyous became the producer of the ‘Ethiopia’ album paying the musician five million Birr, and managed the exclusive distribution of the 500,000 copies of the album that sold worldwide in 2017. Teddy Afro released
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Home Buyers Leverage Favorable Ruling

Justices at the Federal Supreme Court closed the fierce battle that raged between May Real Estate Development Plc and its 24 home buyers, ordering the may real estate to deliver title deeds to the home buyers. The five justices of the Cassation Bench, Dagne Melaku, Teklit G. Mesqel, Teferi Gebru (PhD), Ken’a Kitita, and Abiye Kassahun, ruled in favour of the home buyers, five weeks ago, overruling the lower courts’ decision that relieved the real estate firm from handing over title deeds to the home buyers. The court battle was instigated in 2011 when the home buyers took the case to the Federal High Court claiming that the real estate developer had terminated the contractual agreement on homes they bought in 2007 and 2010. Contract termination was evoked when May Real Estate requested  home buyers to increase the payment to
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Tax Appellate Commission Goes Operational

A new autonomous tax commission, given authority to hear grievances and appeals from businesses, has begun operations. The Tax Appellate Commission takes over the duties from the dissolved tax council under the Office of the Attorney General. Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed (PhD), to whom the Commission will directly report, appointed Mulugeta Ayalew as its head. Five members have also been nominated as members of the new commission and are awaiting confirmation by the Prime Minister. “The main reason for the formation of the commission is the unresolved pile of complaints and inefficient service delivered by the previous council,” Mulugeta, who has served as chairman of the Tax Appellate Council under the Office of the Attorney General since 2015, said. The Commission had a backlog of 334 complaints to settle even before it began its work. Unlike the previous Council, which
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Agency to Upgrade Accident Prone Roads for 220m Br

The Addis Abeba City Road Traffic Management Agency is set to upgrade accident-prone roads by installing and maintaining traffic lights, safety devices, signage and marking at a cost of 220 million Br. The installation of traffic lights will take place at 31 proposed road intersections. It will also include maintenance work that consist of repainting 50Km of lanes and zebras, and fixing road studs along 82 different streets. While the traffic lights will cost 54 million Br, the upgrades and maintenance work will take up 128 million Br. Covering lane dividers and pedestrian crossings with new coats of paint will cost 39 million Br. The project is a continuation of a previous repainting project of around 100Km of roads. The work will be completed by the end of November. A tender for repainting work on another 145Km of roads has
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Three Firms Vie to Supply Bunna with ATMs

Three companies are competing to supply 50 automated teller machines (ATM) to one of the new entrants to private banking, Bunna International Bank. The procurement, tendered last June, is expected to cost the bank over 16 million Br. Moti Engineering Plc, Computer Business Machines (CBM) and Minaye Plc submitted bids that were deemed technically qualified and progressed to the financial evaluation stage. During the financial bid opening held on August 30, 2018, Moti placed the lowest bid of 16.4 million Br, CBM offered 16.5 million Br, and the highest bid was offered by Minaye at 18.6 million Br, according to sources close to the case. However, the management of the bank declined to disclose the offers citing the non-disclosure arrangement of an ongoing bidding process. Established in 2006 and with a history of having supplied over 4,000 teller machines, Moti
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Cost of Living Slightly Falls in August

Headline inflation, an indicator of the cost of living, dipped to an annual rate of 13.4pc last month, according to the latest report from the Central Statistical Agency. In August, food inflation stood at 16pc, showing a 0.7 percentage point decrease from the previous month. Non-food inflation also dropped to 10.3pc from 10.9pc in July. “Though inflation has increased, its growth rate is slower compared to the previous month,” said Alemayehu Teferi, director of household surveys and price statistics at the Agency. The headline inflation was 14pc in July. And last month’s growth rate has slightly fallen by 0.6 percentage points, as the latest consumer price index showed. The rise in inflation of non-food items is mainly due to the increase in the prices of housing repairs and maintenance, especially corrugated iron sheets and door sets;  clothing and footwear; cement
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Local Firms Seal Deal Worth 1.3b Br

Twelve local contractors and consulting firms completed deals to construct, design and supervise 26.4Km of new asphalt and gravel roads for 1.3 billion Br. The Addis Abeba City Road Authority awarded the contracts last Friday, September 7, 2018, at the Authority’s office on Roosevelt Street. The deal also includes the consultancy and supervision work and the design and preliminary feasibility study of roads. Yotek Construction Plc took a 1.4Km section of a 30-meter wide road that extends from Shiro Meda to Qusquam for 115 million Br a kilometre. The project is set to be completed within two years time. Yotek also won another contract to an construct asphalt concrete road from Fafa Food Factory to Debre Zeit, approximately 3.51Km, for 84 million Br a kilometre. Cross Land Construction won 304.3 million Birr of contracts to build two sections of roads
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Heineken Expands Qilinto Plant, Lifting Production by Third

Heineken Ethiopia is set to increase its production capacity by a third of its previous output. The new 126 million euro expansion that took 14 months, involved 1,500 people at its Qilinto plant. The brewer’s expansion at its plant in Qilinto will be inaugurated this month. This is the second development after the company’s 2016 investment of 112 million euro. The expansion comes on the back of a 40 million euro letter-of-credit facilitation that Heineken received from the government last year to undertake the expansion project. The expansion increases the annual production capacity of beer by Heineken’s Ethiopian wing at the Qilinto plant to 4.5 million hectolitres annually. This will bring its overall capacity, added with the Bedele and Harar breweries that produce a million hectolitres together, to 5.5 million hectolitres a year Heineken’s expansion has expanded its bottling lines,
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

In concert for a Cause

President Mulatu Teshome (PhD) (centre) visited the Gergesenon Association for Supporting Peoples with Mental Disorder, a charity located in Entoto, Addis Abeba last Friday. He was joined by veteran actor Debebe Eshetu (left), Deputy Mayor Dagmawit Moges (centre-right), and Yohannes Chala [MD] (right), head of the city’s Health Bureau. Melese Ayele (centre-left) one of the founders of the Association, gave the President a tour of the premises. The 13-year-old local charity is currently supporting 294 formerly homeless people housed at the facility. The president’s visit was followed by in-kind donations of glucose and gloves offered by the Bureau of Health. The visit is part of the City Administration’s campaign to support residents of Addis Abeba that are living under the poverty line. Launched by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) and the three deputies of Addis Abeba – Takele Uma, Dagmawit
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

MetEC Undergoes Two-way Split

The Metals & Engineering Corporation (MetEC), the state-owned, military-industrial conglomerate, is splitting into two parts – commercial and defence – following an order by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD). To facilitate the split, eight separate committees incorporating members of the Corporation, the National Defense Forces and the Ministry of Defense have been formed. A lead committee chaired by Minister of Defense Motuma Meqassa that includes Berhanu Jula (Gen.), operations chief of the Ethiopian National Defense Force, and Molla Hailemariam (Lt. Gen), chief of the Army Logistics Department, has also been formed. Though the idea of splitting the corporation into two entities was floated in the air for the past couple of months, the final decision was made by the Prime Minister three weeks ago, according to sources close to the case. The Prime Minister has also directed that the split
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Ministry Ponders Reforms to Overcome Downturn

The Ministry of Mines, Petroleum & Natural Gas is set to undergo a major reform by restructuring itself and introducing new policies in a bid to alleviate challenges in the industry and improve the efficiencies of its service delivery. The reform will be undertaken in five major areas under the direction of six committees to be formed from the Office of state ministers, the Ethiopian Geological Survey and the Ministry itself. Designing policy frameworks for both the mining and natural gas industries, reorganizing the human resources of the institution and enhancing the information and communication technologies at the Ministry are the primary areas to be considered in reforms. The project aims to ease problems facing the industry, according to Michael Mengesha, public relations and communications director at the Ministry. “The sector has been dealing with problems of illegal trading, information
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Bunna Advances with New, Upgraded Electronic Services

Bunna Bank, one of the late entrants to the private commercial bank industry, is set to introduce three new services, upgrade its servers and install new switches for a total investment of 100 million Br. Mobile, internet and agent banking will be new additions to the bank’s service offerings beginning in October of this year. The bank also upgraded its servers and card-banking switches. Undertaken by three global companies, the upgrade and launch of the new services took almost a year. Oracle, an American software company, upgraded the bank’s servers. M2M, the Morocco-based company that specialises in secured electronic transactions processing solutions, installed the switches. Virmati Software and Telecommunication, a mobile and telecommunications contractor for the banking & finance industries, is currently working on developing three new services. “The new services will boost our efficiency and accessibility,” said Wolelaw Berhane,
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Gov’t Opens Bidding for Stalled Sugar Projects

The government dismissed Metals & Engineering Corporation (MetEC) from three sugar-factory construction projects that are underway and is considering awarding the work to Chinese firms for completion. The state owned Sugar Corporation, responsible for the construction of the sugar factories, invited three firms to visit the plants as part of a new bidding process, according to sources close to the case. About a week ago, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) confirmed that the contract with MetEC has been terminated due to delays that extended the project by four years. “We are in the process of selecting capable companies,” said Abiy last Saturday in his first meeting with members of the media at his office. Jiangxi Jianglian International Engineering, China National Complete Plant Import-Export Corporation (COMPLANT), and China CAMC Engineering Co, Ltd. (CAMCE) are being considered by the government to finalise
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

PM-Led Committee Moves Boldly to Rescue Economy

The Macroeconomic Committee, chaired by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD), have introduced major reforms that may succour the economy and the financial industry. The Committee, which met late last week, made four core amendments that relieve private commercial banks and could trigger forex gains, according to Fitsum Arega, chief of staff at the Office of the Prime Minister. The committee made decisions on four major items that included raising the interest rate of government bonds, which private banks are compelled to purchase from the National Bank of Ethiopia at a level of 27pc of gross loans they disburse. The decision pushed the yield rate from three percent to five percent. The other three items involve removing the current diaspora account limit of 50,000 dollars; fixing the central bank’s purchasing rate for private banks at 30pc of forex earnings to the
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Authority Plans Minimum Energy Performance Standards

The Ethiopian Energy Authority is preparing to introduce a minimum energy performance standard for electrical motors in a bid to reduce power consumption. The Authority’s Energy Efficiency Conservation Department is conducting a study to identify the minimum standard for electric motor efficiencies  manufacturers must meet before they can be put to use in the country. At a cost of 20 million Br, the study was initiated in July and is expected to be produced in three phases, taking up to three years to finalise. In the first phase of the project, which is expected to take about a year, a minimum standard for energy use will be identified. The next two phases will encompass discussing the result of the study with stakeholders, conducting awareness creation programs and taking steps to reduce the import of substandard motors. Poor design, low quality
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

US Backs Tulu Moye Geothermal Plant

The United States Trade & Development Agency has thrown its support behind the Tulu Moye Geothermal project, the nation’s second geothermal plant. The Agency awarded a grant of 1.1 million dollars to conduct a feasibility study for the first 50MW phase of the planned 520MW project. The grant was made to TM Geothermal Operations Plc, a private Ethiopian company that signed a power purchasing agreement with the Ethiopian government last year. The signing ceremony was held at Sheraton Addis on August 27, 2018, attended by Katherine Hinderdael, East African representative for the Agency, Darren Boyd, CEO of TM Geothermal, and Frehiwot W.Hanna (PhD), state minister of Water, Irrigation & Electricity. TM Geothermal has selected Delphos International to carry out the feasibility study, Delphos is an American firm with experience in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. “The project is
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Investment Commission Launches Online Guide

The government has launched an online database system dubbed iGuide in a bid to provide information for investors entering into the country. Announced by the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) after three months of preparations, the system was designed by the United Nations Conference on Trade & Development and the Economic Commission for Africa. It has taken three months to launch online. On its website, the platform provides information on costs and prices of labour, taxes, rent values and transportation. It also contains licensing requirements, contacts and the experiences of established investors. Data on the platform can be updated whenever changes occur to legislation, prices or when cost adjustments are made. The iGuide allows other governments that run the system to interface and share their experiences. The data on the system can only be updated and uploaded by federal agencies. Although
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Ministry Opts to Certify Imported Goods

The Ministry of Trade is planning to enlist four or five international conformity assessment firms that will accredit products imported into the country. The firms will ensure the quality of products that enter the country and protect local manufacturers from unfair competition, according to Eyassu Semon, quality control director for Import & Export Goods at the Ministry. To proceed with the new plan, the Ministry drafted a manual that identifies the particular products that will require certification and the procedures needed in applying the system. The Ministry expects to launch the plan before the end of this fiscal year. Cosmetics products, electrical parts like voltage dividers and sockets, refrigerators, vehicular spare parts, chemical products, tools and toys are among the products that will need Pre-Export Verification of Conformity certificates before entering the country. The manual was submitted to the Ministry
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Ministry to Map Farmland with Drones

The nation is planning to launch drones to implement cadastral mapping, a digital mapping system that defines land ownership, on 13,000ha of farmland across six regional states for the first time. The mapping, which aims to solve disputes related to land tenure, is planned to be carried out by six drones operating in Amhara, Benishangul, Gambella, Oromia, Tigray and Southern Nations, Nationalities & Peoples’ regional states. The drones will produce a detailed digital map that contains spatial data, coordinate area and GPS locations of individual parcels. The Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock Resource, under its Sustainable Land Management Programme, will apply the new system. This 50-million-dollar project was funded by the World Bank and launched a decade ago to address environmental problems by reducing land degradation and improve land productivity. The project is expected to be phased out by April
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

WB Grants $1b for Budget

During his first press conference held since assuming power nearly five months ago, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) told local and foreign media on Saturday that the World Bank would provide one billion dollars in direct budgetary assistance to Ethiopia. “The money will be disbursed in the next few months,” Abiy told the nearly 120 journalists that gathered in his office for the briefing. The announcement was made just a month after Abiy met Jim Young Kim, president of the World Bank in Washington D.C during his trip to the United States. At their meeting, the Bank’s chief told the Prime Minister that his institution is ready to provide “robust support” for his administration. “World Bank is ready to help realise his vision of boosting human capital and to end poverty in Ethiopia,” Jim Young tweeted after his meeting with
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Authority To Open Large Taxpayers Office

The Addis Abeba Revenues Authority is set to open a new branch for large taxpayers, dedicated to businesses with annual revenue of 40 million Br or more. The Authority is now looking for an accessible office with amenities such as parking, reliable internet connection access and proximity to the centre of the city, according to Atakilt Gebregiziabher, deputy director of the Authority in charge of tax enforcement. “The new office will help us deliver quality service,” Atakilt said. “We are currently identifying and assessing taxpayer’s files.” So far, the Authority has identified 800 large taxpayers to be served at the new branch. The Authority, which recently split from the Ethiopian Revenues & Customs Authority, has a total of 340,520 taxpayers that are served under four office divisions – micro; small; middle and large taxpayers offices. Businesses with annual turnover of
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Afro-Tsion Repairs Defective Craftsmanship on Employee Homes

Afro-Tsion Construction, a company responsible for the construction of 1,192 houses for Ethiopian Airlines Employees, has started repair work on defective craftsmanship and work that seeks to remedy leaking roofs and broken and fissured tiles. To date, Afro-Tsion has booked 451 calls of complaints ranging from minor electrical problems to construction flaws causing leaky roofs. To address the repair issues, the company has deployed a total of 120 professionals. “Before the handover of the homes, all of the defects in the homes were recorded,” reads a letter from the Board of Housing Project, signed by Messay Shiferaw, the chairperson. “As repairing all the defects might take a long time, we have agreed to withhold payments of the contractor’s retentions to fix the defects.” According to the management of the construction firm, retention payments and fees for some other work amounting
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Telecom Rewards Employees with Mobile Phones

Ethio telecom, the state monopoly telecom provider, rewarded its 15,000 permanent employees by giving them mobile phones at a cost of 100.5 million Br The company provided its employees with the choice of two models of Lenovo brand phones, Phab two and Lenovo Phab two plus. The company spent 6,700 Br on each phone. “The procurement was made through a tender process,” said Abdurahim Ahmed, corporate communications officer of Ethio telecom. The company rewards its employees every other year, and the reward package is only for permanent employees of the company. Contract employees, even those who served the company for years, are not included in the reward package. The reward aims at benefiting its employees for the services they render, according to Abdurahim. Gashaw Kifle, an employee of Ethio’s Saris branch, was one of the beneficiaries of the program. “Last
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Roadmap Envisions Ministry’s Restructuring

An education roadmap that would see the Ministry of Education restructured into three components has been proposed. The 86-page roadmap was presented with four chapters. It focuses, aside from restructuring the Ministry, on education quality, curriculum content and problems of implementation. The roadmap focuses on reforming the role and responsibilities of government bodies in education. The suggested ministries include the Higher Education & Training Ministry, General Education Ministry and Human Resources Development Ministry. The Higher Education & Training Ministry will deal with higher learning institutions, teachers’ education and vocational training. The General Education Ministry would deal with lower learning institutions while the Human Resources Development Ministry will be responsible for catering to people with informal education and those who have failed to graduate previously by certifying them with degrees and diplomas. The Ministry and 1,300 representatives from the education, industry,
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Metered Taxis Enter Airport for First Time

Amidst a fierce court battle, metered taxis are once again allowed to operate inside Bole International Airport. Justices at the Federal Supreme Court Cassation Bench reversed their earlier injunction on August 1, 2018. The earlier injunction, which temporarily banned metered taxis from operating inside the airport, was handed down on July 6, 2018 by the bench in connection to a lawsuit filed by a collection of plaintiffs that included hotel taxi associations, Mekdela Airport, Andnet Yellow Cab, Siket and Wondmamachoch Taxi Associations against Addis Abeba City Transport Authority and three other defendants. The lawsuit alleged that metered taxis have caused a ‘nuisance’ at the airport. Temporary injunctions are granted if any property in dispute is in danger of being wasted, damaged or transferred to another party before a court action, according to Civil Procedure Code 154(A) of Ethiopia. The initial
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Bale Robe Flickers with Air Traffic Control Tower

The recently constructed Bale Robe Airport Terminal has become the nation’s 15th airport with an air traffic control tower designed to direct aircraft during takeoff and landing. The tower, costing 35.3 million Br, occupies a 460sqm plot and stands 25m in height. Bale Robe Airport is located in Bale Robe town, in Oromia Regional State, 430Km south of the capital. The tower, a five-storey building with 15 rooms, will be used as administrative offices for the airport, in addition to its air traffic control function. The Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority hired Unity Engineering to construct the tower with the supervision of K2N Architects & Engineering Consultancy Plc. K2N Architects, a company established a decade ago and currently operating with 100 employees, was paid 260,000 Br for the design of the tower and 28,000 Br a month for the supervisory work.
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Re-insurer Hires HST to Revamp Human Resources Strategy

HST Consulting has been engaged to overhaul the human resources strategy by Ethiopian Reinsurance, the nation’s first reinsurance firm, for 2.8 million Br. The firm was awarded the project last month after winning an international bid and competing against KPMG Consulting, one of the leading global consulting firms. The tender was announced in March 2018, and the two companies responded to the solicitation bid and submitted their proposals. The two firms passed the technical evaluation phase and reached the financial stage, where HST won the bid by offering the lowest price. Ethiopian Re recently completed its 10-year strategy planning that it expects to implement soon, according to Yewondwossen Eteffa, founding CEO of Ethiopian. “To implement it we need to have strong and qualified human resources,” he said, “that is why the design of a human resource strategy came into the
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Ethio telecom Advances Expansion Plans

The state telecom giant, Ethio telecom, is embarking on an expansion plan in a bid to double the capacity and improve the quality of its services. The expansion project is at the preliminary stage of selecting companies to undertake the expansion and analysing the magnitude of the expansion. “It is too early to tell the cost of the project and its duration,” said Abdurahim Ahmed, corporate communications officer of Ethio telecom. The move comes following the decline in capacity and quality of service that has led to customer dissatisfaction, according to Frehiwot Tamiru, the new CEO of the telecom monopoly. “The current network is congested, juggling more than it can handle,” said Frehiwot. The announcement was made at a press conference held by Frehiwot last Wednesday, August 22, 2018, where discounts on existing services were made public. They included price
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Top Water Invests 40m Br to Boost Production

Top Water Bottling Company, one of the late entrants into the bottling industry, is investing 40 million Br to boost its production capacity by 133pc. The company is in the process of importing a water purification and bottling machine from China. The new machine, which is expected to arrive in the country within two months, will push up the production capacity of the company to 42,000 litres of water an hour from 18,000 litres. The Chinese Newamstar Packaging Machinery Co. specialises in the manufacture of bottled-water production machinery, and it has supplied equipment to international companies such as Coca-Cola and Nestle. Newamstar had previously supplied the factory’s existing machine. Top Water became operational two months ago with 143 employees in Tatek Geffersa Nono Wereda of Burayu town, 18Km north of the capital. The plant rests on 11,000sqm of land. It
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Construction Bureau Ushers in Virtual Registration

The capital’s Construction Bureau has launched online registration services for contractors, consultants and suppliers of construction material and equipment, as well as other practitioners engaged in construction activities. The software, which enables virtual registration, was developed by the Centre for Information Technology & Scientific Computing at the Addis Abeba Institute of Technology. The Addis Abeba City Construction Bureau covered the 200,000 Br cost of the software. Although clients can fill in all the details through the system, they still have to pay a visit to the bureau’s offices to undergo a verification process and to pay the service fee. Annual renewal of licenses also requires making a second trip to the bureau, however. “The system flags any attempt to register repeatedly,” says Yonas Ayalew, head of the bureau. Implementing the system introduces an efficient administration of firms and hinders the
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

CAPITAL THIRSTS AGAIN

Despite being a city endowed with high access to water, Addis Abeba has recently been hit with one of its recurring bouts of water shortages. Taps have been running dry for several days in a row, and residents and businesses are complaining of the financial burdens they have faced and the inconvenience it has created. Nevertheless, water shortages have opened up business opportunity for vendors that operate around the city distributing water in yellow 20-litre jerrycans. Nonetheless, have created difficulties and extra expenses for public institutions such as health centres. The authorities admit that there is a persistent problem and claim that they are working to address it. The main culprit is the city’s large water demand, according to sources from the Addis Abeba Water & Sewerage Authority. The city is only able to meet 60pc of the demand of
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Advisory Council Set up to Cure Economy

The National Planning Commission is forming an economic advisory council that will regularly assess critical challenges in the economy and endorse policy amendments. Formed under the Planning Commission, the advisory council will have a biannual or triannual meeting with the Prime Minister, to discuss its findings and to make recommendations. “We are working on the terms of reference about the details of the advisory,” said Eyob Tekalegne, commissioner of the Planning Commission. “We expect to finalise it next week and present it to the prime minister for his approval.” The term of reference includes addressing the size of membership, procedures for membership recruitment, general proceedings, tasks, scope and frequency of board meetings and meetings with the prime minister. “We are in the process of recruiting candidates for membership of the council,” Eyob told Fortune. Along with representatives of the businesses
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Court Ends HIV-Test Kit Procurement Saga

A judge at the Federal High Court dismissed the court case over the procurement of HIV-test kits following the failure of the representative of the plaintiff, Medica Pharma Enterprise Ethiopia, to appear. The two-year court battle was first filed by Medica Pharma, which accused the Ministry of Health and Pharmaceutical Fund Supply Agency of allegedly excluding it from the procurement process in favour of another company. The procurement process, the cause of the dispute, began in 2012 when the Pharmaceutical Fund attempted to procure 11 million HIV-test kits thatwere meant to be distributed across the country. According to UNAIDS, the UN Agency focused on HIV AIDS, the prevalence rate of the virus among Ethiopia adults in 2017 was 0.9pc. The procurement process went through various back-and-forth iterations with disputes and a series of tenders and re-tenders. The cause of the
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Soil Test Center Project Remains Contentious

Amidst various unsettled issues including uncompleted projects and missed payments, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has floated another tender to hire a company to finalise the renovation work of the National Soil Test Center. Though the UNDP has moved one step ahead to realise the project, which has been delayed for years, Digata Industries Inc, hired for the first phase of the project, has not yet handed over the project.  There is also the issue of unsettled payments of 271,00 dollars still owed to Digata by the UN agency. The Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock formed a new committee to take over the project from Digata Industries, which has been working on the project for the past four years. State Minister of Agriculture & Livestock Kaba Urgessa (PhD), wrote a letter dated July 22, 2018, ordering the contractor, Digata
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Authority Reboots Customs System to Ease Hassle

The Ethiopian Revenue & Customs Authority plans to launch a new customs management system developed for 4.7 million euros and financed by the European Union. The new system, Electronic Customs Management System, replaces the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), which has handled manifests, customs declarations, accounting procedures and transit procedures for the last 15 years. While 2.5 million euros was spent to upgrade the system’s software, the balance was used to improve infrastructure and capacity over the past four years. The new system, which has two integrated components, has been under development since 2016 by Webb Fontaine Group and is expected to go live by the end of this year. One of the interfaces is for internal use and is called Trade World Manager. It helps the authority reduce paperwork and increase efficiencies of repetitive procedures. The external component
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Bunna Bank Plans New HQs

Bunna International Bank, one of the late entrants among private commercial banks, is set to build its headquarters at the Central Business District, on Ras Abebe Aregay Street. The headquarters will sit on a 1,043sqm plot of land the bank leased from the city administration after winning a land lease auction with the highest bid of 66 million Br. The headquarters, which is expected to be constructed within 900 days of the contract award, will have a minimum height of 70m and a total floor area of 20,000sqm. The growth of the bank in the last nine years necessitated the bank to own its own headquarters, according to Tadese Chinkel, president of the bank. “This has created a demand to have our head office tailored for the services we render,” Tadese told Fortune. The construction could cost an estimated 800
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Customs Authority Eyes Mid-level Taxpayers

The Ethiopian Revenue & Customs Authority is set to open a new branch office designated exclusively for middle-level taxpayers. The authority has hired personnel for the new branch office and is looking for a convenient area for taxpayers to settle their taxes. Although parameters for a threshold have been set, which is annual revenue, the middle-level taxpayers that the branch will cater to have not been defined. “What we are looking for is a more efficient delivery of service to the middle-level taxpayers,” says Yoseph Shiferaw, customer service director at the authority. “This level is important as it is a transition from the small level to the large taxpayer.” Small taxpayers that have annual revenues of no more than half a million Birr a year account for 70pc of the total taxpayer base in the country. The Authority plans to
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Iron Manufacturers Overcome Price-gouging Charges

Prosecutor of the Trade Competition & Consumer Protection Authority has lost another case against six corrugated iron manufacturers, charged with conspiracy of price gouging. The prosecutor of the authority accused the six manufacturers of violating the anti-competition act by fixing prices for corrugated iron products in increments that ranged from 4.7pc to 140pc higher beginning in October of last year. In the charges filed on January 23, 2018, the prosecutor sought penalties amounting to 10pc of the defendants’ annual turnover and suspension of their trade licenses until prices of corrugated iron fall back to levels prior to the alleged price fixing. The price-fixing charges against the companies were filed a month after the 15pc devaluation of the Birr in October 2017, although the prosecutor did not mention this fact in the charges.  In November last year, investigators from the authority
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Pay-as-You-Go Lights Up Off-Grid Residents

A joint effort by four institutions has launched a solar systems project, Pay-as-You-Go, with the principal goal of addressing the power demands of the off-grid population. HelloSolar, an off-grid energy company, launched the project in collaboration with HelloCash Mobile & Agent Banking Service, BelCash, Shell Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development, the Department for International Development and Power Africa. The cost of the project, including a pilot project, is 600,000 dollars. The system, dubbed Pay-as-You-Go, was piloted in the Somali Regional State towns of Berket, Kebri Dahar, Degehabur and Shilappo. Eighty solar home system kits were provided to residents after registering them on the HelloSolar system. Pay-as-You-Go allows daily, weekly or monthly instalment payments from a mobile phone through HelloCash. The system also enables payments to be made from outside Ethiopia through credit cards. The number of agents
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

World Bank Boosts Conference Tourism with 28m Br

The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation has pledged 28 million Br to support the hospitality industry in Ethiopia. The financial support will be used to support the coordination efforts of the Ethiopian Tourism Organisation in the hospitality industry, especially conference tourism. Fitsum Arega, chief of staff at the Prime Minister’s Office and chairperson of the newly formed National Tourism Board, announced the pledge at a press conference held at Jupiter Hotel on August 13, 2018. Special packages for Ethiopian diaspora returning for the Ethiopian New year was also announced. “The World Bank reached this decision after consecutive discussions with the board,” said Fitsum. The World Bank plans to provide technical assistance to the organisation to improve institutional capacity, enhance management of conference tourism and launch stopover tourism. The Hotel Owners Trade Association is also currently developing a strategy that caters
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Addis Gets New Manager

The city of Addis Abeba gets the former head of Addis Abeba Water & Sewerage Authority as its manager, replacing Haile Fissiha who has been in that position since 2010. Awoke Hailemariam assumed his position last Friday, August 10, 2018, following the formation of a new cabinet by the new Deputy Mayor of the city, Tekele Uma, who came to office last month. Zerihun Abate, who was the chairperson of the Environmental Engineering department at the School of Chemical & Bio-Engineering at the Addis Abeba Institute of Technology, replaced Awoke as the head of the Autority. Haile was city manager since the mayorship of Kuma Demeksa and replaced the former city manager Mekuriya Haile, appointed minister of Urban Development & Construction by the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Haile has an educational background in Agriculture & Plant Science from Haromaya
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Defective Construction by Chinese Firm Upsets Ethiopian Employees

Design mismatches, cracked and unfinished walls, broken and fissured tile work, unsealed doors, leaky ceilings, inappropriate plumbing, peeling paints and a myriad of other problems are facing Ethiopian Airlines employees who bought homes through an employer-sponsored scheme. In a 60pc – 40pc sharing scheme between the airline and its employees, Ethiopian delivered 1,192 houses, constructed for 1.5 billion Br to its homeowners on July 24, 2018. The four-year-long delayed project was constructed by the Chinese contractor, Zhejiang Yefeng Construction Ltd on a 310,000sqm plot of land in Bole District.  The area is known as Bole Arabsa, and is located a couple of kilometres away from Ayat Real Estate. The Airlines covered 60pc of the cost of the project in a loan arrangement with its employees. The employees will repay the loan over 15 years through deductions from their salary along
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Premier Brings Back Dissolved Tourism Board

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) has formed a new National Tourism Board to replace the board disbanded  by the former Minister of Culture & Tourism, Hirut Woldemariam (PhD). The board was re-formed this month with eight members under the chairmanship of Fitsum Arega, chief of staff at the Office of the Prime Minister. Past members Fitsum, Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of the Ethiopian Airlines Group, Biniam Bisrat, president of Addis Abeba Hotel Owner Sectoral Association, and Yacob Melaku, president of the Ethiopian Tour Operators Association, were brought back to maintain their membership in the new board. Meaza Biru, a prominent journalist, Daniel Kibret, a renowned writer, Bizunesh Meseret, state minister for Culture & Tourism and Tadios Getachew, founder and CEO of Boston Partners Plc, operator of Kuriftu Resorts & Spa, are the new faces on the board that held its first
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Chinese Firm Close to Winning River Revitalization Project

China Communications Construction Company Ltd edged closer to undertaking construction and restoration work along the BantyaketuRiver, stretching from UrmaGarage toAfincho Ber, in Addis Abeba. China Communications gave the lowest offer of 605.5 million Br for the project, which encompasses the construction and installation of recreational and business centres, landscaping, bridges, ponds, walkways and parks on land comprising almost 50ha. In addition to alleviating the effects of floods and cleaning the river, indigenous trees will be planted along the banks of the river that stretches for 4.4Km and covers 12.8ha of land. Twenty-one companies showed interest by purchasing bid documents to refurbish the citywide riverside landscaping and recreational project when it was floated on June 21, 2018. The financial bid opening for the project was held on the premises of the lead agency, Rivers & Riversides Development Project Office, last Wednesday
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Eleven Firms Tendered Bids for Condos Elevators

Eleven companies are competing to supply 338 elevators for middle-income housing units. This tender is the third attempt by the city administration after the cancellation of two earlier bids. The initial tender, floated three years ago, was cancelled after the Addis Abeba Saving Houses Development Enterprise, the lead agency, determined that none of the bidders had passed the technical evaluation stage. The second attempt collapsed after one of the bidders, Dan Lift Technology, protested that the CE Certificate, a European conformity requirement that companies were asked to present, does not apply in Ethiopia. The city’s Finance & Economic Cooperation Bureau intervened and cancelled the bid. The Bureau also handed over the procurement to the Addis Abeba Public Procurement & Property Disposal Agency, which held the bid opening last Wednesday, August 8 at the agency’s office. The cost of the project
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Bahir Dar University Builds New Teaching Hospital

Bahir Dar University, one of 36 public universities in Ethiopia, has obtained a specialised teaching hospital at a cost of 207 million Br. Amhara Region Health Bureau initially began construction of the hospital. After reaching a consensus agreement with the University for the new construction it was turned into the University in October 2012. The agreement was made on the basis that the hospital could benefit both the public and students studying medicine at the university, according to Habtamu Sebhatu, the University’s physical projects coordinator. The contractors and consultants working on the project have been transferred to the university’s management. “The complex is a multipurpose building,” said Fantahun Biyadgilign (PhD), director in chief of the University’s Medical & Health Science College. The medical complex building has a basement, five storeys and 400 patient hospital rooms. It comes equipped with a
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Tourism Organisation Gets Consultant as New Boss

Lensa Mekonnen, an event organiser and consultant, has become Ethiopian Tourism Organisation’s third CEO. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) assigned Lensa for the position two weeks ago, replacing Yohannes Tilahun, who was removed from his post following a dispute between members of the former Tourism Board and the organisation. Lensa, who reported to the office last Monday, fills the position left vacant for six months after the departure of Yohannes. Before moving to the organisation, Lensa managed her own two companies; Aida Event & Design and Lensa Mekonnen CMR for the last five years. Aida Event & Design is an event management and interior design firm established with 80,000 Br of capital. Prior to establishing her businesses, she was working at Synergos Institute for three years in different capacities. She was also an administrative assistant to the Regional Director of
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Abyssinia Ushers in Third Special Branch

Bank of Abyssinia, one of 16 private commercial banks, is all set to open its third special branch in two weeks. The new branch rests on a 492sqm area and is located inside the Sunshine Building on Africa Avenue.  the interior design of the new branch was developed by the engineering department of the bank at an estimated cost of seven million Birr. The branch hosts valet parking, two conference halls, a canteen room, a lobby, a reception hall, booths and a waiting room decorated with a blend of traditional and modern furnishings. Four separate companies, including Sunshine Construction, Biniyam Solomon General Work, Samuel Atkaw General Work and Neat Interior Design & Aluminium Plc participated on different aspects of the construction work. These companies were selected following a restrictive bidding process where 20 companies participated. Sunshine was responsible for the
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Pharma Firms Conquer Price Gouging Legal Charges

Judges at the adjudicative tribunal of the consumer protection authority have ruled in favour of eight pharmaceutical product distributors and retailers charged with alleged price gauging. The tribunal rejected the charges of the government prosecutors, representing the Trade Competition & Consumer Protection Authority, stating that the prosecution’s evidence and witnesses did not substantiate the charges brought against the companies. The companies were embroiled in a legal battle with the prosecutors for 10 months, fighting charges brought against them for practising horizontal price gauging by increasing prices from four percent to 100pc. The charges were filed in the tribunal court on December 4, 2017. The defendants are commercially engaged in the distribution and retail market of human and animal pharmaceutical products and medical equipment. The prosecutors claim that the companies, beginning on October 11, 2017, and working across the country allegedly
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Expressway Fully Equipped with Truck Weight Sensors

The Ethiopian Toll Road Enterprise, the operator of Addis-Adama Expressway, installed 19 weigh-in-motion sensors that will detect overloads throughout the expressway entrances. Since its launch in 2014, enterprise  one of 13 state-owned enterprises operating under the Ministry of Transport, has been operating with five weight sensors, of which two are portable sensors. China Communications Construction Company, the company that built the expressway with 11.2 billion Br, has installed the checkpoints. China Communications has an agreement to maintain and install any additional service at its own cost, according to Robel Ayalew, senior public relations officer at the enterprise. The enterprises generated 244.8 million Br last fiscal year from toll fares, advertising and other miscellaneous income. “The system will enable us to increase the control and record the axle weights and gross vehicle weights,” said Robel. The overload sensor checkpoints at the
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Tax Season Taxes Gov’t, Payers

Tents could be spotted for much of July across the 10 districts of Addis Abeba. They were set up for the purpose of accommodating the thousands of category “C” taxpayers that made their way to their respective wereda offices to meet the tax deadlines slated for them. In just three weeks, the Addis Abeba City Administration Revenue Authority collected almost two billion Birr from this lower category of taxpayers, who make up almost two-thirds of the city’s tax base. This group is taxed based on a “presumptive taxation” system of regular assessment, rather than on size of earnings. The last assessment was done in 2017. The process of complying with the tax system has divided taxpayers. For some, it is a continual source of frustration, while for others it is convenient and has enabled them to settle their taxes in
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Ministry Eyes Drone for Medical Cargo

The Ministry of Health is collaborating with partners to develop and apply drone technology to distribute medical supplies and equipment to remote parts of the country. The ministry will begin a pilot project in September that runs to the end of the year.  The delivery of medicine and blood supplies to areas that are not easily accessible by roads will be accomplished by using drone technology. The Ministry will undertake the project in two separate phases; one with the Ministry of Science & Technology and the other with Zipline, a drone management and operations company that has conducted similar projects in Rwanda. “We will carry out the pilot projects with both entities but separately.  After which we will choose one of them to partner with,” Amir Aman (MD), Minister of Health told Fortune. With the Ministry of Science, the agreement
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Arbitration Court Upholds DP World’s Concession

Though Djibouti has rebuffed the trial and its outcome, an arbitration tribunal in London upheld the validity of the concession agreement DP World has with the nation to operate the Doraleh Container Terminal. Djibouti claims the agreement is still nullified because it fails “to protect the fundamental interest of the nation.” Djibouti’s parliament voted the concession agreement null and void last February. In cancelling the concession, Djibouti’s government stated that the agreement violates its sovereignty with a clause that stops it from entering into a concession agreement with another party in any other part of the country for half a century. Djibouti government also alleged misconduct by DP World in operating the terminal. Djibouti’s cancellation and seizure of DP World’s concession led lawyers of the company to take the case to an arbitration tribunal in London, where the case has
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Haile Hotels Extends to Debre Berhan

Haile & Alem International Plc, the operator of Haile Hotels & Resorts, is opening its ninth property in Debre Berhan, 130km northeast of of Addis Abeba, in Amhara Regional State. Owned by the celebrated long-distance runner Haile Gebrselassie and his wife Alem Tilahun, the new eight-storey, 100-room hotel is expected to cost 200 million Br and employ 200 permanent workers once completed. The hotel will offer a wealth of features including a business centre, swimming pool, playground, several meeting centers, restaurants and bars. The company has already secured an investment license from the investment bureau of the city of Debre Berhan, which also serves as the seat of government for the North Shoa Administrative Zone. The company has been operating for nearly two decades and provides employment to over 2,000 people across its business empire. Haile & Alem is involved
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Bus Shelters to Receive Maps, Routes, Locations

500 Newly-installed bus shelters in Addis Abeba will acquire maps showing routes and current locations. A local information technology firm, Bandira Addis Map Entertainment Plc, will create the maps using an application designed by the firm, Addis Map Pro. The maps are to be delivered free of charge to the Addis Abeba City Transport Authority under a Memorandum of Understanding signed in April between the firm and the authority.   The maps are aimed at making public transport users aware of bus routes and make them easily understandable, especially to those who are strangers to the city, according to Dawit Zeleke, deputy manager of the authority. The maps are to be coated with a sticker-back and affixed on stainless steel parts of the bus shelters, and the map keys will be inscribed in both Amharic and English. Bandira, established almost a
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Sheba Leather Puts Shoe Exports Back on Track

Sheba Leather Industries, one of 16 companies under the conglomerate of Endowment Fund for Rehabilitation of Tigray, has resumed exporting footwear after a five-year hiatus. In its first shipment since ceasing operations, the company has exported 6,588 pairs of shoes to Italy and generated 83,000 dollars. Sheba also plans to ship 25,000 pairs shoes to the same destination next year. It ceased export operations in 2013 following instability in the international market, according to Zerabruk G. Michael, marketing and sales manager at Sheba Leather Industries. “Due to market instabilities, most of our buyers quit buying our products,” Zerabruk told Fortune. Established with a paid-up capital of 93 million Br in 2004, the 900-employee company is located in Wuqerotown, 45Km from Meqelle, Tigray Regional State. Sheba Leather started operations in leather manufacturing and added the production of women’s bags, and men’s
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Bon Hotel’s Third Property Destined for Addis

Bon Hotels, a South Africa-based hotel management company, has partnered with a local property developer to triple its presence in Addis Abeba. Ayal Tizaz, a local businessman, invested 300 million Br to construct the seven-storey hotel. The property, located close to German Square on Guinea Bissau Street, has 115 rooms. Ozzie Business & Hospitality Management Group, founded by Kumneger Teketel, facilitated the deal, negotiating on behalf of Ayal Tizaz, who is in the freight transport and export business. Bon Hotels, founded in 2012, will manage the hotel for 15 years. The property, which sits on a 1,500sqm plot, is expected to be open within two years. The property will host two restaurants, three conference halls with the capacity to hold up to 400 guests, bars, a swimming pool and a parking lot with 70 spaces. The management fee for Bon,
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Cost of Living Dips on Positive Speculation

Even though headline inflation has shown a slight dip in July 2018, reaching 14pc, it surpassed the average rate of the recently concluded fiscal year by one percentage point. The rate, which is an indicator of the cost of living, has dwindled by 0.7 percentage points since June, according to the latest consumer price index report from the Central Statistical Agency. Last fiscal year’s average headline inflation rate was 13pc, the highest in four years. “The rate of price increases stabilised last month compared to previous months,” reads the report from the Agency. Food inflation has shown a considerable decrease, falling to 16.7 from 17.9pc reported in June. The inflation rate of non-food items decreased by an insignificant figure, 0.1pc. “The prices of cereals, fruits, vegetables and spices increased compared to last month,” reads the report from the agency, “however,
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Government Privatisation Advisory Council Forms and Meets

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) set up an advisory council, consisting of 21 members.  The council will advise the government on the process of privatising state-owned enterprises. Council members, formed on Friday August 3, come from government, the private sector, academia, international institutions and the diaspora community. On the same day, an urgent meeting was called at the Office of the Prime Minister where the members of the new council held a meeting in the afternoon. The members of the Advisory Council are expected to meet again this week for further discussions to draft terms of reference, which includes the mandate and responsibility of the various stakeholders. “When they called me I didn’t expect the agenda to be about privatisation,” said Beyene Petros (Prof.), a prominent opposition party leader, “rather I thought it would be a follow-up meeting from our
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Diageo Introduces Apps to Authenticate Bottles

Diageo Ethiopia Plc, the owner of Meta Abo Brewery and representative office of Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky, has introduced a new application to confirm products imported by authorized channels. The application enables consumers to scan a QR code, a trademarked matrix barcode, on the bottle confirming the authenticity of bottles imported through authorised channels. The company has distribution agreements with Ethiopian Tourist & Trading Enterprise, NHY Importer and Coskal Ethiopian Plc to import its products. Though Diageo International, the parent company, introduced the new QR code system three years ago, the local representative launched it only three months ago. The technology enables authentication by tracing each bottle from production to the retail outlet, and the bottles have seals and labels that cannot be reproduced. These security features are registered in the database of the company as a unique fingerprint for
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Semegnew Leaves Many in Grief, Doubt

Ethiopians are in shock and in a state of disbelief following the tragic death of Semegnew Bekele, chief engineer of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.  He was found dead in his car and shot near his right ear at Mesqel Square, the busiest traffic area in the capital. Police have not confirmed the number of shots fired and the type of bullets used, except to say that they have found a handgun in the vehicle, a light-gold Toyota V8. Police arrived at the scene at 8:20am on Thursday morning, July 26, 2018, to find Simegnew dead from a gunshot inside the car with the engine still running. Members of the Federal Police and the Addis Abeba Police arrived 20 minutes behind local forces who responded from QirkosDistrict. His car was found parked facing east towards Africa Avenue. Police had to
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

New Medical Waste Incineration Centres Come to Ethiopia

Ethiopia is constructing the first eight medical waste incineration centres, disposal facilities of medicine and clinical wastes, for a total investment of 440 million Br. Financed by Global Fund, the turnkey project is managed by United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and will be delivered to the Pharmaceutical Fund & Supply Agency upon completion. Incinco Ltd, a British company specialising in waste furnace machinery, will supply and install the machines, while Jambo Construction Plc, a local firm first established in 1997 as Selamawit General Constructor, will construct the centres. The machines will be installed in Adama, Mekele, Bahir Dar, Dessie, Jima, Neqemte, Hawasa and the city of Dire Dawa. The centres are selected geographically given their accessibility, according to Loko Abraham (MD), director general of Pharmaceutical Fund & Supply Agency. “At the beginning operations we will be incinerating the
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Ministry to Construct New Health Posts

The government is investing 360 million Br to construct 100 health posts across nine regional states and in one city administration. The Ministry of Health will undertake the project with financing from the government’s budget and pledges from development partners. The ministry will also invest 7.41 million Br on 136 existing health posts by upgrading, equipping and providing medicine supplies. Under the new project 100 new posts will be built, replacing an equal number out of the existing 17,187 health posts spread throughout the country. The posts designated for replacement were constructed poorly and provide inadequate facilities and services, according to ministry officials. Another 136 posts will be upgraded, equipped and supplied with medicine, while the remaining old posts are planned to be rebuilt by regional health bureaus over the next ten years. The pilot project is part of the
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

DP World, Djibouti Fail to See Eye to Eye

The government of Djibouti and DP World, the UAE port management company, are embroiled in a tense dispute, unable to see eye to eye on the most fundamentals issues in the disputes over the concession to run the Doraleh Container Terminal for 50 years. The officials of Djibouti Ports & Freezone Authority (DPFZA) claim they have offered DP World close to half a billion dollars to buy out the 33pc stake in the terminal owend by the company along with compensation. Djibouti’s government claim that 334 million dollars of it was made to buyout DP World’s stake, while the balance is allotted as compensation. “We’re going to buy their shares,” Aboubaker O. Hadi, chairman of the Authority, told Fortune. However, the management of DP World insists that the company has received no offer from the government of Djibouti. “We haven’t
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Document Registration Agency Set to Erect HQs

The Document Authentication & Registration Agency is set to erect a new 21-storey headquarters on a 2,800sqm lot in Mexico Square along Tessema Aba Kemaw street. The Construction Project Office of the Federal Government Bureau awarded Yohanes Abay Consulting Architects & Engineers to design and consult on the building. “We are struggling to deliver service efficiently given space constraints,” says Meresa G.Yohannes, director-general of the Agency. “We’re currently forced to keep documents away from the head office.” The agency’s current head office is located in Sidist Kilo. The Bureau floated the bid to hire a consultant last September. Out of the 17 companies that expressed interest, seven firms submitted bids for the project, and only two passed the technical evaluation. “After complaints were received from the bidders, it took a year to settle on a winner,” Meresa told Fortune. “But
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Investment Agency Head Diverts to Investment

The former head of Adiss Abeba Investment Agency, Kidanemariam Berhe, has invested five million Birr to set up a honey processing plant in Tigray Regional State. Sitting on a 1,000sqm plot of land, the new plant will be located in Hintalol Jirat wereda, 60Km from Mekelle city in Tigray. Kidanemariam invested 3.5 million Br to construct the apiculture and 1.5 million Br for the honey processing machine, imported from China with duty-free privilege. The machine, which can adjust the test and colour of the honey, is expected to arrive in the country within a month, according to Kidanemariam. After being fully operational, the machine will filter and process up to 1,000kg of honey a day. The new plant is expected to open up job opportunities for 12 individuals, including an agricultural expert, a chemist and an accountant. The company will
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

House Speaker Ends Trademark Saga

Keriya Ibrahim, the Speaker of the House of Federation, has concluded the four-year trademark proprietorship saga by handing the copy of the judgment to the lawyer of Six Continents Hotel, Mehrteab Leul & Associates, the party that won the court battle. Mehrteab Leul & Associates, as the legal representative of the hotel, received the copy of the judgment early last week, 10 months after the House made the favourable decision for the Hotel. However, the law firm was denied a copy of the ruling by the legal department of the House, insisting that the hotel, not the legal representative, make an appearance to receive the document. The case started when Six Continents requested the Intellectual Property Office to register Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resort as a trademark. The Hotel sought the registration following its franchising agreement with Tsemex Hotels &
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

State Bank, Employees Reach Accord

The management of Commercial Bank of Ethiopia and the 29,000 employee association members reached an accord over salary adjustments and a proposed restructuring. The recently appointed bank president, Bacha Gina, in a July 26, 2018 letter announced the agreement to the staff. While the bank’s board agreed on the proposal to adjust salaries, the human resources department of the bank is charged with looking into the restructuring that accompanies the reshuffling of employees. Responses to the complaints will begin to be given in the coming week. “As the management of the bank is working tirelessly to address the grievances, I encourage employees to kindly and responsibly perform their duties,” said the president in his statement. The labour union, which started with just 500 members, and the bank management came to this agreement after a discussion meeting of the member of
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

US Grants $170m for Conflict and Drought Victims

Humanitarian assistance from the government of the United States to Ethiopia reached a little over 800 million dollars in the last two years with the latest donation of 170 million dollars last week. United States Agency for International Development (USAID), an agency that administers civilian foreign aid and development assistance, has pledged this donation to support nearly 11 million people affected by drought and displacements caused by inter-regional conflicts. According to a press release by USAID, 8.5 million people are in need of assistance and relief due to the weather effects of El Niño, and an additional “1.6 million Ethiopians elsewhere in the country have been pushed from their homes by conflict or drought since last year.” The above figures do not include the other one million people recently displaced as a result of inter-regional disputes in Gedeo and West
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PRIVATE MATTERS

Yinager Dessie (PhD) (left), governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), met with private business players at the bank’s premises, off Sudan Avenue, on July 19, 2018. The Governor, who was recently appointed to the post after a three-year stint at the National Planning Commission, focused on the challenges of access to finance  when he met with business leaders and members of the banking community including Zafu Eyesuswork (right), current chairperson of United Bank’s board of directors and former president of both the national and city chambers. Lack of access to resources, including land and finance, and a weak tax administration system gained traction during the discussion. The issue of access to finance was attributed to constraints imposed by government policies and regulations that have limited the ability of banks to give credit.  The absence of alternative means of
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Largest Cold Rolling Mill Plant to Break Ground in Bahir Dar

A business wing of the Amhara Regional State is going to invest close to two billion Birr to construct the nation’s largest steel cold rolling mill complex in Bahir Dar, 578km north-west of Addis Abeba. Abay Industry Development S.C. (AID) is searching for a company to construct the complex with a production capacity of 300,000tn of coil and sheet a year. The selected company will be hired for the design-build project and will supply the material inputs, engage in civil construction, install and commission the production components and perform a test trial of the steel complex when completed. AID was established last year as a public-private partnership with four billion Birr registered capital raised from about 516 investors and state-owned enterprises in the Amhara Regional State. The company was established to develop 22 different industries in the region including steel,
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Changes Afoot atop Central Bank

A veteran government official, Girma Biru, has assumed the chairmanship of the board of directors at the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), heralding a management reshuffle after almost a decade. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) appointed Girma to chair the board of the bank, replacing Mekonnen Manyazewal, head of the Policy Research Institute, who retired last May. Girma took the new post effective July 19, 2018. A month ago, the Premier appointed a new governor and vice governor for the bank. Yinager Dessie (PhD), has moved from the National Planning Commission to govern the Central Bank, while Bekalu Zeleke, former president of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) joined NBE as a vice governor. They replaced Teklewolde Atnafu, who led the bank for two decades, and Yohannes Ayalew (PhD), a vice governor and chief economist for the past decade, respectively.
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Parliament, Ministries Reach Accord to Ensure Accountability

In an effort to ensure the accountability of the government, parliamentary standing committees signed an agreement with the executive branch on delivering annually targeted performances for each ministry. The signing ceremony was held last Friday, June 20, in parliament where Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) and Muferiat Kamil, speaker of the House, were present. “The parliament standing committees will get into a formal contractual agreement with the respective ministries that lists the tasks that are expected to be delivered by government agencies at the end of the fiscal year,” Abiy had said back in May, during the meeting he had with his cabinet. Twenty standing committees have signed the agreement with their respective ministries. “Based on each ministry’s target, the second edition of the Growth & Transformation Plan (GTP II) and the government’s long-standing policies, we will follow-up the performances
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Document Registration Agency Goes Online

The Document Authentications & Registration Agency (DARA) launched an online document registration servicing nine of its branches at a cost  of 5.3 million Br. Developed by Custor Computing Plc, the new system has been tested under a pilot program prior to being fully operational last month. The new system will enable applicants to register and request authentication of documents online without stepping into the doors of the agency. The agency records and authenticates contractual agreements and power of attorney documents created by individuals and organisations. Custor, the company which upgraded the new system at DARA, was established in 1993 and provides localized, web-based public service delivery solutions, IBM enterprise solutions, system development and infrastructure design and consulting services. In 2011, at a cost of one million Birr, the company installed a portal at the Ministry of Trade that is used
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Nexus Hotel Expands Further with 410m Br

Nexus Hotel, one of the locally-branded hotels, has completed a significant expansion with a 410 million Br investment. The development pushed the total number of rooms at the hotel to 151. The new building is adjacent to the existing hotel in front of Anbessa City Bus Service Enterprise on Jacros Street. The eight-storey building rests on a 3,000sqm lot and encompasses 85 new rooms, five meeting halls with a maximum capacity of 450 people, bars, a restaurant, a gymnasium, a spa, outdoor swimming pools and a parking lot that accommodates up to 70 vehicles. Kassa & Sons Construction Plc, established nearly two decades ago with a capital of half a million Br, is the contractor of the new hotel. Kassa & Sons previous projects include Dukem Total and NOC depots, as well as two buildings constructed for Dashen Bank in
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Railway Labour Union Drops Strike after Pay Raise Vows

The management and employees of the Addis Abeba Light Railway Transit (AA-LRT) have reached partial settlement after the management agreed to grant most of the employees’ demands. All of the trainmasters went on a day-long strike by mid-week, requesting benefit package changes to shifts, responsibilities, salary increases, and conveyance and telephone allowances. The employees also demanded permanent dormitory facilities and better meals. The strike began in the early morning of Wednesday, July 18, which suspended all train services until  10:55am. It led to the management of the corporation and the labour union to sit down for a day-long negotiation. Meanwhile, Shenzhen Metro Group, administrator of LRT, took over operations of the trains and resumed services by 11:00am, according to Dereje Tefera, communications director of the Ethiopian Railway Corporation (ERC). The strike ended after 24 hours, following a negotiated agreement between
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Habesha Weekly Grips Easter Expo Bid

Habesha Weekly, a local event organiser and promoter, made a second high offer of 21 million Br in the span of one week to organise the upcoming Ethiopian Easter holiday expo. A week ago Habesha signed an agreement with Addis Abeba Exhibition & Marketing Development Enterprise to rent the venue of the Enterprise to organise a 21-day Christmas Expo. It won the bid with the record offer of 26.2 million Br beating Eyoha Addis Entertainment & Event and Century Promotion Services, which offered 21.7 million Br and 21.5 million Br, respectively. This time, too, the company has competed against these same two companies to organise the Easter expo, which is expected to attract over half a million visitors. The total amount of Habesha’s investment for the two holidays adds up to 47.2 million Br. The bid to rent the space
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Dashen Kicks off Mobile Electronic Payment Service

Dashen Bank, one of the nation’s leading private commercial banks, has launched a digital wallet system. The private bank’s electronic service will allow customers to make purchases via their mobile phones. The service, named Amole after an ancient form of currency used in Ethiopia, was developed by Moneta Technologies, which will operate the system. Moneta is a fintech company fully-owned by Kenya’s Fettan Holdings Limited and is headquartered in Addis Abeba. The Amole application is an electronic payment platform that links consumers, banks and sellers into an electronic payment ecosystem. Customers can access Amole through an application software on their smartphones, or use a four-code SMS system on non-smartphones. The arrangement between Dashen and Moneta, is based on the number of transactions made and not on volumes. The bank is charged a fixed rate of 1.50 Br for every transaction.
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

City Expands, Renovates Oldest Zoo

The Addis Abeba City Administration is investing 28 million Br for in the renovation and expansion of the Addis Zoo Park Center, located in the Sidist Kilo neighbourhood close to Addis Abeba University. The 12ha-expansion will include a playground, animal sculptures, a picnic area, reading and sitting areas, an aquarium and an aviary. Upon completion, it will house 12 species of wildlife including lions, Gelada baboons, monkeys and birds. It is also expected to create job opportunities for 80 people and attract between 2.5 million to three million visitors a year. Ethiopian Construction Works Corporation (ECWC), which has 15,000 employees, operates with a capital of 20 billion Br and was formed by merging three public enterprises, was hired to design the park and undertake construction. The zoo, which has been serving 1.4 million visitors a year, was closed a year
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Ethiopia, Eritrea On Positive-Sum Road

The last time he was here it was in 1996, two years before his troops advanced into what was then a disputed town, Bademe. The war caused a bloody two-year conflict with Ethiopia and the subsequent standoff that lasted over two decades. On Saturday, July 14, 2018 tens of thousands of Ethiopians lined Africa Avenue (Bole Road) extending a warm welcome to Eritrea`s autocratic leader, Issayas Afeworqi. His three-day visit to Ethiopia in 22 years signalled a departure from the past that his country will perhaps be engaged in a positive-sum – a.k.a Medemer– road with Ethiopia. Issayas and his delegation came a week after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s (PhD) courageous visit to Asmera, where he signed an agreement that formally ended two-decade hostilities. Abiy was greeted with a disarming show of joy by tens of thousands of Eritrea’s residents
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Think-tank Embarks Scrutiny to Detect Commercial Farming Mess

The state policy think-tank launched research to assess the causes behind the non-fulfilments of rain-fed commercial farming. It will also develop a strategy to find a way out of the sector’s current slowdown. The Ethiopian Research Development Institute (EDRI) headed by Yohannes Ayalew (PhD), former vice governor of the central bank and chief economist, was contracted by the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) to conduct the study and develop the strategic plans. The bank holds over six billion Birr outstanding loans to over 400 commercial farmers. The farmers cultivate cotton, sesame, mung beans, and sunflower on a large scale mainly in Assosa, Gambella, Tigray, Amhara and Afar regional states. The decision of contracting EDRI for the study was passed by the board of the bank chaired by Shiferaw Shigute, former minister of Agriculture & Livestock and who was appointed by
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

State Bank Switches its Switch

The state giant, Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), is to launch a new electronic funds transfer system after completing  a pilot project it runs close to a year. The three-quarter century bank has been using “Switch Magic,” provided by M2M Group, a Morocco-based electronic transactions processing software company through its local agent, Moti Engineering Plc. The system has been able to integrate the Bank’s Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and point of sales (PoS) terminals. The bid to upgrade the system was floated back in May of 2016. The Bank had invited six international firms to compete, with three showing interest including Swiss-based BPC Group Banking Technologies, represented by its local agent SS Communications Plc; Tieto Oyj,  a Finnish company, which partnered with Moti Engineering Plc; and the US-based ACI Worldwide. ACI was the only company that passed the technical evaluations
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Aviation Authority Sets to Shine with New HQs

The nation’s air transport administrator is soon to get a new headquarter complex at the cost of 322 million Br paid from the government’s coffers. The new construction will house the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority. The Ministry of Urban Development & Housing has hired two local firms for the design and construction of the project.  K2N Architecture & Engineering Consultancy Plc, a company established a decade ago, was hired for 1.06 million Br to design the building and supervise the construction of the new complex. Beha Construction is engaged for 321 million Br to construct the building complex.  The building will sit on a 2,070sqm lot inside the current premise of the Authority adjacent to Bole International Airport. The project is expected to be completed within two years after the contract is awarded. “The current building is very crowded,” said
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Imitation Cultural Clothes Hit Markets, Raise Concerns

Bethlehem Getachew, in her mid-thirties, is a regular buyer of traditional Ethiopian clothes. She buys clothes for herself and her siblings who live abroad. She is a fan of locally made traditional dresses made from cotton calledShemma, woven fabrics produced in long strips and sewn together. A dress made in this fashion used to cost her 9,000 Br. Just like many other Ethiopians, Bethlehem prefers to wear Habesha kemis, the long snow white and embroidered national outfit, usually worn with an accompanying shawl calledNetela. As she has done many times before, she went to Shiro Meda, the largest marketplace for traditional Ethiopian dresses, last month to buy dresses for her nieces. Unlike the previous days, she did not go looking for dresses made from Shemma.  Rather, she was looking for garments made from imported chiffon – a light, transparent fabric
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Ethiopia Hails Six Countries to Host Regional Meteorology’s HQs

The government of Ethiopia is going to invest one Billion Birr to construct a new headquarter for the World Meteorology Organization’s (WMO) African Regional Office, a United Nations Agency which is relocating to Ethiopia from Geneva, Switzerland. The 11-storey building that sits on a 35,000Sqm lot will also house the National Meteorology Agency (NMA); and will have research, training and technical facilities.  The foundation for the building was laid last Tuesday by Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen and Petteri Talas, secretary-general of World Meteorology Agency. The building will rest inside the premises of NMA located in Bole District across from the airlines cargo terminal. The building is expected to be completed within two to three years after start of construction.  The previous building is too old and will not be able to facilitate the technologically advanced services required, according to
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Habesha Weekly Places Record High Offer to Host Christmas Expo

A local event organiser and promoter won the bid to present the next Christmas holiday bazaar and exhibition by placing the highest ever bid price paid for the venue. Habesha Weekly Promotion won the bid for Addis Abeba Marketing & Development Center by offering 26.2 million Br for 21-day rental of the exhibition space for the 2018/2019 season. Other bidders for the venue included Eyoha Addis Entertainment & Event (Eyoha), founded by Ayu Alemu which offered 21.7 million; and  Century Promotion Services, founded by Zewge Jemaneh, offered 21.5 million Br. The tender for the space rental was floated several months ago by the 35-year old Exhibition Center & Market Development Enterprise, a wing of Addis Abeba Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Association (AACSA) and operator of the center. Beginning in 2014, the Addis Abeba City, Administration which owns the venue
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Current, Former, ‘Future’ Leaders Meet

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (right) joined Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) in a meeting attended by over 1,000 university students, young leaders and future leaders under the age of 29 at the headquarters of the United Nations’ Economic Conference for Africa (UN-ECA) on June 1, 2018. Dubbed “Inspiring the Future Leaders of Ethiopia,” it included top-scoring college student and young leaders. Abiy made the opening remark, where he spoke of growing in poverty with parents that were illiterate. He added that “friction” is holding back the nation from developing, with hearsay instead of reason driving discourses. “The hatred is huge, that friction must be caged,” he told students. Blair, who served as premier of the United Kingdom between 1997 and 2007, and whose time in office has since been overshadowed by his support for the 2003 invasion
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Despite Hurdles Keangnam Hopes for Reentry

Keangnam Enterprise Limited, a Korean construction company that pulled out of the country after bankruptcy and landing in debt for 339 million Br of taxes and customs duties, has requested the government of Ethiopia to be reinstated despite its past ordeals. The company ceased operations in Ethiopia three years ago after it entered into bankruptcy following the financial crises that emerged after the death of its board chairman, Sung Woan-Jong. Its assets, properties, bank accounts and headquarters in Ethiopia were seized and put under injunctions by the Ethiopian Revenues & Customs Authority (ERCA) for unpaid taxes and customs duties. It was also blacklisted by the Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) after reports of its financial crises emerged. On May 22, 2018, the country director of the company, Lee Joon, submitted a letter to the Ministry of Finance & Economic Cooperation (MoFEC)
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Ayka Addis Sees Ray of Hope from DBE

Ayka Addis Textile & Investment Group, which has seen massive losses for the past four years, has got support from the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) board of directors. DBE’s board has directed the management of the bank to assist in granting it a pre-shipment credit. The company owed the Bank 2.3 billion Br for the loan it has extended to Ayka in the form of project financing and working capital credit. The Bank’s management took a strict stand against the company citing its outstanding loan, repayment history and loan portfolio. As the company is under stress, the Bank is extending assistance, according to Shiferaw Shigute, the board chairperson of the Bank and minister of Agriculture & Livestock. But he strongly argues that the Banks is not considering an option in pledging additional working capital to the company. “The Bank
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Police Probes Former DBE Heads

Former senior management members of the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) are under investigation for alleged corruption crimes. In conducting the investigation, the Corruption Crime Cases Division of the Federal Police Commission (Commission) has sent a letter to all commercial banks requesting reports, if any of the suspects have accounts with the banks and the amounts held under their names. The list submitted to the banks includes close to 30 people including six from DBE, the state policy bank. Esayas Bahre, former long-serving president and Tadesse Hatiya, former vice president of the bank for credit services are two former officials included in theCommission’s letter. The letter was sent to the banks two years after Essays’s dismissal and a year after Tadesse was relived from his post. Esayas was dismissed from his position at the end of 2016 after receiving a
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City Council Accuses MetEC of Patchy Buses

Most of the Anbessa city buses that frequently broke down and went out of service in the first three quarters of this fiscal year were assembled by Bishoftu Automotive Engineering Industry (Bishoftu Automotive), a division of Metal Engineering Corporation (MetEC), according to a report by Addis Abeba City Council (Council). The report demonstrated the results of a single day trial. Out of the 396 buses assigned daily for public transportation in the city, 97 buses needed repairs, of which 86 buses were assembled at Bishoftu Automotive. The report was presented by Aregash Chekol, chairperson of the Urban Development & Environmental Protection Affairs Standing Committee of the Council. The Anbessa City Bus Service Enterprise (Enterprise), which has repair centres in Piassa, Leghar and Yeka had set out to allocate 534 buses for public transport services during this fiscal year, achieved almost
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Black Lion’s Emergency Medical Unit Construction Still in Problem

The stalled construction, which is designated to be an emergency medical unit for Black Lion Specialised Hospital under the Addis Abeba University (AAU), is still in peril as the budget allocated for the project can only cover 70pc of the project. Started with an initial project cost of 191 million Br, it’s investment later rose as high as over 300 million Br, as a result of to repeated design changes. The project was awarded to Tekleberhan Ambaye Construction Plc (TACON) in April 2015. TACON was granted the project to finalise and deliver the facility to the project owner, AAU, within a year. However, the project was delayed for two years following design, location and structural changes. “The amendments doubled the size of the project,” said Mulegeta Ademete, managing director of the project from TACONs side, “and the design is also
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Ministry Ushers-in Simulation Laboratory

High School students are going to take laboratory tests classes with simulators starting from the next academic year. For the new system, the Ministry of Science & Technology (MoST) has developed a virtual laboratory software for use in schools from grades nine through 12. The software which simulates an actual laboratory is developed based on the current curriculum of the Ministry of Education (MoE). It will be used to aid in teaching biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics, and includes features that are not possible in the real laboratory set up, such as simulations of flow of electric charges. Getahun Mekuriya (PhD), minister of Science & Technology (MoST), stresses that without adequate laboratory equipment, the quality of the teaching and learning processes of science-related subjects cannot be maintained. “The Ministry is trying to be a part of the solution for problems
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Office to Fight Fake Driver’s Licences Digitally

Addis Abeba is set to launch a software application that will enable traffic officers to detect forged drivers licenses starting mid-June. The system enables traffic polices to scan licenses with smart-phones. Financed at a cost of 2.5 million Br by the Addis Abeba Transport Programs Management Office, Custor Computing Plc., a local company, developed the mobile-based system known as Point Penalty and Accident Registration Application. The developer finalised and submitted the software to the Office in January of this year. Custor won the bid after winning a competition against three other local software developers and signed an agreement with the Office in 2016. Custer, a 25-year old company, has previously developed the Online Trade Registration & Licensing System, Document Authentication & Registration System, Integrated Transport Management System and Integrated Revenue Management System. The new software operates on Android smart-phones and
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New Standard Arise to Regulate Solar Panels

The government has drafted a new national standard for the small-scale solar home system (SHS) with the primary aim of regulating the quality of imported items. The standard, which was drafted with a joint effort by the Ministry of Water, Irrigation & Electricity, Ethiopia Standards Agency and Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, was finalised two weeks ago. It was then tabled for discussion to receive comments from stakeholders in a seminar that was held in Adama, 100Km South of the capital. The Initiation to drafting the standard came from the MoWIE that requested the Standard Agency for the preparation of the standard in November 2016. The technical committee of the Agency, formed to formulate such specification drafted the standard in collaboration with stakeholders including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC). The
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New Hotel Breaks Ground in Small Town of Amhara State

A small town in Amhara Regional State, Debre Werq, located 300Km north of the capital, is about to get its first new 12-storey hotel costing a total of 300 million Br. Alemye International Hotel, owned by WA Resorts, will sit on a 1,800sqm plot of land in Gojjam Zone of Enarj Enawga wereda. It is expected to have 100 rooms, swimming pool, conference centres, restaurant, cafe, bar, gymnasium, spa, and business centre. The hotel will house two halls with the smaller holding 350 to 400 guests, while the larger hall can accommodate up to 4,000 people. The building will also have shops and business area as it is designated a multi-purpose hall. The hotel is expected to open job opportunities for 90 individuals. Debre Werq has a population of 201, 221 with an economy based on agriculture. The town hosted
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Rwandan Connection

Rwandan President Paul Kagame (right) arrived Thursday evening at the Bole International Airport in Addis Abeba for a three-day state visit. For Prime minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD), with Worqneh Gebeyehu (PhD), minister of Foreign Affairs, this marks the first visit by a Head of State, although Abiy has had a busy itinerary, shuttling around the country and abroad almost non-stop. Kagame held bilateral talks with Abiy at the National Palace before heading south of the capital for a tour of the Hawassa Industrial Park, a flagship project of the Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC) which cost a quarter of a billion dollars and became operational two years ago. The President also met with Ethiopia’s track-and-field athlete, Haile Gebreselassie, and was presented with a cow and a calf as a gift. Ethiopia’s Prime Minister is relatively new to the nation’s politics,
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Reshuffle Continues at Palace, Police and Agency

The administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) keeps up the reshuffling of senior officials running federal agencies last week, including at the National Palace Administration, the Federal Police and Vital Events Registration Agency (VERA). Three of the four Deputy Commissioner Generals at the Federal Police responsible for departments of Crime Prevention, Crime Investigation and Human Resources were replaced, while the Deputy Commissioner in charge of the Police University College was left untouched, according to people familiar with the Federal Police. This followed the reshuffling of the cabinet by the administration of Prime Minister Abiy last month that saw the coming to office of Yared Tilahun as Commissioner General of the Federal Police. He replaced Assefa Abyou, in April 2018. Last week, the longest serving Deputy Commissioner General, Girmay Kebede, in charge of Crime Prevention Sector since 2009, was replaced
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Auditor General Reprimands Oldest University for Audit Gap

Close to 911 million Br of an audit gap was reported at the oldest higher learning institution in Ethiopia, Addis Abeba University (AAU). The Office of the Federal Auditor reported the gap in the 2015/16 fiscal year. The report was made to the parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Expenditures, Administration & Regulation on May 25, 2018, chaired by Woyinshet Gelessu, head of the Committee. The management of the University gave its response after questions were raised by members of the Standing Committee and representatives of governmental institutions including the Ministry of Finance & Economic Cooperation (MoFEC), Office of the Attorney General, Federal Ethics & Anti-Corruption Commission and Ministry of Education (MoE). The report highlighted alleged illegitimate procurements, bloated salaries and benefits, uncollected accounts, unaccounted and unproven expenses and mismanagement of properties as the basis of the audit gaps. The audit
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Addis Hosts Three Market Halls

Addis Abeba is going to get three market halls constructed for a total of 82 million Br. The halls, which are designated for food items, are expected to be operational beginning June 2, 2018, in Aqaqi-Qality, Kolfe and Nifas Silk districts. They are the first three of eight market halls financed by the City’s Trade & Industry Bureau to be constructed in the capital. Except for the hall located in Aqaqi-Qality, that is designed to accommodate a livestock market; the other two have three-story buildings. The halls will have parking areas, cafeterias, restaurants and clinics. “The main goal is to realise the delivery of fast, convenient and fair service to consumers,” said Solomon Bekele, head of the administrative team at the Bureau. The Aqaqi-Qality district market hall costs over 34 million Br and rests on 21,000sqm area. The market hall
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Agency Concedes Tuition Fee Adjustment for Hundreds of Schools

More than two-thirds of private schools in Addis Abeba got an approval from the regulatory body to make a 10pc to 40pc tuition fee increases for the upcoming academic year. Addis Abeba’s Education Quality & Relevance Regulatory Agency has approved the requests of 707schools which have submitted their proposals to make fee increases. The schools have to submit their applications to the Agency within a 15-day period between April and May. Before submitting their proposals, they are required to have consultation forums with parents to get their consent. The Agency sends observers who will follow-up with such discussions. “Out of the total schools who proposed for school fee adjustments, 698 of them had discussions with partners,” Biruknesh Argaw, director general of the Agency told Fortune. “A little over half of these schools have reduced the initial fee increase proposals after
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Tigray Region Gets Statistical Agency, Policy Research Institute

Tigray Regional State is soon to get its own statistical agency and an institute for policy research. The Council of the regional government has approved two proclamations which established the two bodies by mid of last week. During its fifth-year and fourth urgent meeting, attended by 128 members of the 151 body, the Council unanimously voted for the ratification of two legal frameworks. Drafted a month ago, the proclamation will establish the Tigray Regional Government Statistical Agency and the Policy Study & Research Institute. The statistical agency will be responsible for organising seasonal statistics about the region in preparation and follow-up of the socio-economic plans, according to the declaration’s document. The document has 27 articles that contain the proclamations for the roles, responsibilities, rights, duties of the Agency, as well as the public and the officials serving under it. “The
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Discrete Employers’ Federations Rival to be Confederation

Two of the largest employer federations are engaged in a cut-throat competition to upgrade themselves and create the Ethiopian Employers’ Confederation (EEC). The six and half-decade-old Ethiopian Employers’ Federation (EEF) and five unions formerly associated with EEC have separately applied to the Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs (MoLSA) to form their own confederations. The five unions jointly announced the formation of a new confederation during their first general assembly held at Intercontinental Addis Hotel on May 23, 2018. A day earlier EEF, which represents over 30,000 employers, had announced that it, too, is upgrading itself to a confederation. It is worth noting that EEF celebrated its 65-year anniversary on May 24, 2018. EEF had also lodged its application to form a confederation with the MoLSA two days earlier, beating the union in the race. The union of the five
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Hundreds of Prisoners Off Jail with Pardon, Charge Drop

The Office of the Attorney General has dropped charges and pardoned over 749 prisoners, who were charged and sentenced for allegedly involved in corruption, terrorism and other crimes. Attorney General Berhanu Tsegaye made the announcement yesterday, May 26, 2018, at the premises of the Office located on Haile Gebre Selassie Avenue. Out of the total, 576 of them were freed by the Pardon Board, which is chaired by the Attorney General. President Mulatu Teshome (PhD) approved the pardon. While the Office dropped the remaining prisoners’ charges. The Office dropped terrorism and corruption charges against 137 defendants and 31 individual and four company defendants. “Dropping charges doesn’t mean that the prisoners didn’t commit the crime,” Berhanu told journalists. “Rather, the decisions were made for the benefit of the government and the people.” Out of the corruption charge drop, the five-year-old equally
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Promising Offers Lowest Price in Third Attempt to Stabilise Market

Promising International offered the least price of 1.39 billion Br to supply 200,000tn of wheat. This comes after two attempts by the Public Procurement & Property Disposal Services (PPPDS) to procure wheat for market stabilisation. Promising, a company established in 2007 and actively works in Ethiopia, Dubai, Ukraine, Syria, Egypt and Tunisia, offered 258.05 dollars and 262.05 dollars for a tonne of wheat for lots one and two, respectively, both of which consist of 100,000tn. The Service floated the bid on behalf of the Ministry of Trade (MoT) on April 28, 2018, which was extended to last Friday. This was to give more time to bidders, according to Solomon Betre, director of Procurement Services and chairperson of the tender committee. Forty-six bidders, consisting of local and international firms showed interest, with only eight submitting their financial offers. They were ADM
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Mama Fresh Starts Afresh

Mama Fresh Plc, a company which bakes and exports Injera and had got into trouble after a dispute with the city administration, gets back on track after a two-month pause. The company was required to evacuate from its former premises for losing a contract agreement for the four-storey building it rented in the Kirkos District, for a monthly rental fee of 47,000 Br. The former premises, the company homed for two years, is located in the area locally known as Wengelawit, a few kilometres down the Gotera interchange. The district management forced the company out of the building claiming the facility was required for the youth of the area, who were in need of working place. It moved to its current home in the Akaki Kality district, after investing 600,000 Br to develop a temporary facility. It recently started operations
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Enterprise Announces Construction of 8,428 Condo Houses

Addis Abeba is going to get additional 8,428 homes under the middle-income housing scheme. The last construction under this scheme was embarked four years ago. For this construction project, the Addis Abeba Savings & Houses Development Enterprise (AASHDE) has obtained 38ha of land in Bole District from the Addis Abeba City Administration. The new homes, which will be constructed around Bole Arabsa, are enclosed in 54 buildings. Where 40 of them have 15 storeys while the remaining have 13 storeys and two basements. The homes will be constructed in one, two and three bedrooms having 59sqm, 75sqm and 100sqm floor areas, respectively. Expected to be finalised in a two-year period, the construction is scheduled to commence by the beginning of the upcoming fiscal year. The Enterprise is in the process of reviewing the bidding documents of the consultancy firms that
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Prime Minister Abiy Reshuffles MeTEC Board

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has reshuffled directors of the board of the state-owned Metals & Engineering Corporation (MeTEC), appointing Ambachew Mekonnen (PhD), minister of Industry, as its third chairman, sources disclosed to Fortune. Ambachew has replaced Demeke Mekonnen, deputy prime minister, whose shortlived stay on the role spans less than six months. He had replaced the long-serving chairman, Siraj Fegessa, then minister of Defence, now minister of Transport. Incorporated a decade ago with a 10 billion Br registered capital, the state-owned military-industrial complex has 17 industrial subsidiaries employing over 19,000 people. For long a subject of public controversy and legislative criticisms, an army General Kinfe Dagnew (Maj. Gen) had run the company. He resigned from his executive position last month. Among the newly appointed board members include Azeb Mesfin and Asmelash Weldesellasie, a.k.a Abay Nefso. Azeb is a widow of
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Investment for Berbera Port Expansion Dropped by 23pc

DP World and Somaliland Port Authority have reduced the investment for the expansion of Berbera Port by 23pc. The price adjustment came into the scene after the update of the feasibility study of the project, in which Ethiopia holds a considerable stake. The initial pricing was made by a European consulting firm and is estimated to be 260 million dollars. Hence, the two parties made the re-assessment that reduced the amount to close to 200 million dollars. “The re-assessment was amended as the initial one was made a couple of years ago,” Abdi Abdillah Hassen, deputy manager of Somaliland Ports Authority told Fortune. On the port, Ethiopia recently acquired a 19pc stake while the UAE based DP World and Somaliland hold a 51pc and 30pc stake, respectively. In the partnership, Ethiopia is committed to constructing the 271Km road between the
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Sabir, Wilmar Wind-up Dispute Amicably

The nation’s largest civil suit claim between Sabir Argaw, the prominent local businessman, and his Singaporean partners involving 370 million Br finally ended with an amicable settlement. Sabir agreed to transfer his shares in two companies, which he formed with Wilmar, to the latter with a total of 337.3 million Br including compensations. The two parties settled the case after a year plus court battle over share buyout in the two companies, Repi Soap & Detergents S.C and Repi-Wilmar Industries S.C. Beyond Sabir’s agreement to transfer his shares in these companies, the amicable settlement involves the closing of six pending court litigation. The amicable settlement between the parties was signed on March 16, 2018, and filed with the court the next day. The five justices of the Cassation Bench of the Federal Supreme Court approved it during the latest court
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Authority Devices First Ever Binding Invoice Format

The Ethiopian Revenues & Customs Authority (ERCA) devised the first binding invoice format for the valuation of customs taxes in a bid to streamline the tax administration. The format will become effective as of July 22, 2018, and is expected to eliminate causes for ambiguity, inconsistency and reduce the time for checking and confirmation by customs personnel and importers. The format took more than a year to finalise and it was undertaken by a team which was led by Getu Legesse, valuation and tariff classification procedure and support director at the Authority. “The invoice gives elaborated information about the consigner and the consignee and removes any room for misunderstanding,” said Getu. Previously, there has not been a binding standard invoice – it was predicated on the format agreed by the exporter and the importer. If the invoice fails to provide
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Labour Strike Rocks Bole Lemi Industrial Park

Labourers working inside the factories of the nation’s first industrial park, Bole Lemi, were on strike for five days starting on May 11, 2018. They are demanding higher pay and a favourable working environment. The strike at the Bole Lemi Industrial Park occurred at only one factory on Friday and climaxed to four by last Monday. The factories were Shints Garment Solution from South Korea, Arvin Garment and Ashetn Apparel, the two Indian companies and the Taiwanese George Shoe. Only the first has an association for employees, which is also where the strike began – a company that pays between 900 Br and 1,600 Br to employees. By Wednesday, the environment at the Park had worsened and was tense, with the compound occupied by federal police forces. The management of the park and the factories, officials of the Industrial Parks
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Intra-City Bus Terminal Edges to Break Addis’s Ground

O Bon Voyage Architects & Engineers Consultant, a local consultancy firm, hands over the design of Megenagna Intra-City Public Transport Terminal, which was contracted for 3.38 million Br. To be situated in wereda 08 of Yeka District, the terminal will be constructed by the Addis Abeba City Administration for an estimated of two billion Birr investment. The terminal is expected to host 25,000 passengers an hour. The Addis Abeba University’s (AAU) Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction & City Development (EIABC) has reviewed the submitted design. To hire a consultant for the project, the Authority floated a tender in March 2017. And O Bon Voyage, a company which has been in the business for the past eight years in designing buildings, drainage designs, and geotechnical investigations, won the bid. The company has previously designed the three major hospitals of Addis
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Chinese Firm Builds-up Pharma with $85m

SanSheng Pharmaceutical, a wing of the publicly listed Chongqing Sansheng Industrial Company in China, begins the first phase of production this month amidst a shortage of medical drugs. The pharmaceutical manufacturing plant is located inside the Chinese held Eastern Industry Zone in Dukem. Lying on 16.7ha of land, the factory has been under construction since 2016 and was completed last December. For the installation, SanSheng, which has a starting capital of 85 million dollars, spent 20 million dollars. Drugs such as anti-pain drugs and antibiotics will be produced in the first phase of production, with plans of more to be added in subsequent phases. Drugs are produced in tablet and capsule form, as well as in small and large volume parenteral. An aggregate of five billion units of capsules and tablets will be produced per year in the first phase.
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Traffic Accident Marred City to Distribute Breathalysers, Mouthpieces

Addis Abeba’s Road Traffic Management Agency has procured half a million mouthpieces and 5,000 blow-tuber breathalysers at a total cost of 3.3 million Br. Imported from overseas, they will be distributed in June and July to traffic police officers in all 10 sub-cities of the city. Kasper Trading Plc supplied the items after winning the bid floated by the Agency five months ago. “Law enforcement has appeared lax amongst our traffic polices and must be at the heart of our strategy to decrease the number of traffic accidents by 50pc,” Genetu Desallegn, director of the agency told Fortune. “There was a scarcity of the equipment so far, and this will not be a reason for accidents related to drunken driving after now.” The legal alcohol limit for drivers is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The full
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Addis Welcomes Sherar Hotel

Addis Abeba gets an additional local brand hotel, Sherar Addis, that was constructed for a total of 80 million Br. The hotel is located off Africa Avenue. Under construction for the past four years, the hotel was inaugurated and opened its door for business last Thursday, May 17, 2018. Sherar, literally translated as Family in the Gurage language, has six storeys with 30 standard rooms. It is located just behind Friendship Supermarket, next to Jupiter International Hotel’s Bole Branch, and only minutes away from Bole International Airport. The hotel rests on a 500sqm plot of land and has different facilities including a bar, lounge, restaurant and cafe. The construction took four years due to delays in procurement of construction materials, according to Amha G.Tsadik, managing director of the Hotel, which hired a total of 60 employees. Amha has been previously
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Edible Oil Producers Cook Up an Association

Edible oil manufacturers established an association that was officially unveiled on May 17, 2018, at Ras Amba Hotel on Queen Elisabeth II Street. Close to 66 manufacturers were present at the event, while nearly 100 companies have signed on to the association. A team of six were tasked with overseeing the organisation of the association, which is dubbed the Ethiopian Edible Oil Producers Manufacturing Industry Association. The team consisted of a representative from the Food, Beverage & Pharmaceutical Industry Development Institute, and the others were from the private manufacturers. The organisation of the Association took almost two months, while the idea was conceived two years ago. Monitored by the Ministry of Industry (MoI), any edible oil manufacturing company, either Ethiopian or foreign, and with a legal license to produce edible oil in the country can be a member of the
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Bunge SA Proffers Least Price to Supply Wheat for Humanitarian Relief

Bunge SA, an Amsterdam based grain trading company, made the least offer of close to 290 million Br to supply 35,000tn of wheat that will be distributed to beneficiaries under the fourth phase of Productive Safety Net Program. The Public Procurement & Property Disposal Services (PPPDS) announced the bid on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture & Natural Resources (MoANR), which secured the fund from the International Development Association (IDA). For the initial tender that was announced two weeks ago, eight companies showed interest purchasing the bidding document. However, only three submitted their offers; Bunge SA, Hakan Agro DMCC and Promising International Trading Company. For the first lot that consists of 10,000tn of wheat to be delivered to the Adama central warehouse, Bunge SA offered 299 dollars a tonne while Hakan and Promising offer 302.6 dollars and 304.97 dollars, respectively.
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Forward Together

The Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, Li Zhanshu (centre-left), met with President Mulatu Teshome (PhD) (centre) and Hirut Zemene, state minister for Foreign Affairs (centre-right), at the National Palace. This was Li’s first official visit since he assumed the position of chairman of the Committee last March. Li also met with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) and visited the recently operational Addis Abeba-Djibouti railway line, for which China provided the majority of the funding in the form of a loan. The project was contracted to Chinese firms as well. Ethiopia has one of the closest economic and trade relations with China. The Asian country is one of the top investors in the country, the number one export destination and its firms are in charge of mega projects, such as the ongoing Bole International
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Ethio Telecom Takes Baby Step to Liberalise Services

The government has moved one step forward in liberalising the service part of the telecom industry by outsourcing a local private company to sell fixed-line internet services. Awarding G2G Clarity IT Solutions S.C for the service is part of the Ethio telecom’s plan of reforming its structure which includes splitting the company and liberalise the service provision part. The company has monopolised all aspects of the telecommunication sector, despite the pushes to open it to the competitive local and international companies. Mossie Desta, Indirect Partner Manager of Ethio-Telecom and Biruk Moges, manager of G2G Clarity, announced the agreement on May 11, 2018, at Getfam Hotel on Haile Gebresellasie Avenue. “The main target of outsourcing the service is getting more clients,” said Abdurahim Ahmed, corporate communications officer of the state monopoly telecom service provider, Ethio telecom. G2G Clarity took the license
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Ministry Tosses Midroc’s License

The recent heated dispute and controversy over the extension of Midroc Gold’s concession period to extract gold in Lege Dembi, Guji Zone in the Oromia Regional State for an additional 10 years ended with the suspending of the company’s license. A robust public grievance surfaced the past couple of weeks, alleging the company of disposing chemicals within the surrounding area and causing environmental pollution. The anger and the protests of the localities of the Guji zone in the Oromia Regional State reached a climax beginning early last week. The protesters claim that the discharge from the company is causing skin irritation, complications in women’s delivery, child illness and death. The grievance and unrest triggered the Ministry of Mines, Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoMPNG) to suspend Midroc Gold Mine’s license starting May 9, 2018. The site is the largest gold producer
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Legal Wrangling over Ambo, Coca Merger Backtracks

  The legal battle the bottlers of Coca-Cola and Ambo Mineral Water are having with the prosecutors of the Trade Competition & Consumer Protection Authority set out for another trial as the appellate tribunal remanded the case to the lower judicature. Fighting on the tribunal since June 16, 2017, Ambo Mineral Water and East African Bottling Company were adjudged for allegedly making an illegal merger without giving proper notice to the Authority. The two companies were fined five percent of their annual turnover from each account. Though the bench closed the case after penalising the companies, the Appellate Tribunal of the Authority has remanded the case back stating that the lower tribunal gave the final verdict without reviewing some points. The case was instigated 11 months ago when the we processors of the Tribunal filed a suit accusing the duo
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ERCA Compels Banks to Pay Taxes on Employees Fringe Benefit

The Ethiopian Revenues & Costumes Authority (ERCA) ordered all the private banks and the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) to collect and pay taxes from the fringe benefits they have been providing their employees since July 2016. ERCA’s move bases the regulation that was drafted by the Ministry of Finance & Economic Cooperation (MoFEC) in pursuant to the Income Tax Proclamation. The regulation stated that the fringe benefits – housing, telephone and electricity bills and vehicle allowances – are subjected to no more than 10pc of the beneficiaries gross salary. The tax on the banks is levied on the benefits they provide to their employees such as advance loans for housing and vehicle purchases. The financial institutions provide loans to their employees with a deposit interest rate instead of a lending interest rate, which is twice higher than the deposit
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Teshome Gebremariam’s Patrimony Epic Falters Once Again

The saga to finalise the inheritance of a prominent lawyer, the late Teshome Gebremariam, has lingered for an additional 20 days as the judge of the Federal First Instance Court, Lideta Division First Succession Bench extended the ruling date to May 29, 2018. Judge Meka Nesiru, who has been reviewing the case for the past year, received the third amended liquidation report two weeks ago, though, he was meant to receive it on February 12, 2018. However, it was postponed twice as the liquidator claimed that he did not get sufficient time to process. Meka presided last Monday’s session to give a ruling. Although, he said that he needs to review the third liquidation report as the two claimants in the case for unsettled payments, are dissapointed with the report. Until then the bank account and the assets of Teshome
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Forex Crunch Rams Smart Parking Design to Change

The Addis Abeba City Road Traffic Management Agency has modified its plan of building a smart and surface parking lot, at Ras Makonnen Bridge, to a two basement concrete building. Since the opening of letter of credit (LC) and land clearing have created delays for the construction of the smart and surface parking lot, the Agency has decided to build a two basement concrete building to alleviate traffic congestion meanwhile. The basement will be integrated into an automated parking lot that requires structures to be imported from overseas. The basement parking will be able to accommodate 245 cars – 79 cars on the first basement and 83 cars each on the second basement and the ground floor. This will bump up the smart and surface parking lot’s capacity to 525 cars. The Agency has hired Yohannes Abay Consulting Plc for
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

State Enterprises Score 2b Br Profit

The enterprises under the Ministry of the Public Enterprises (MoPE) have earned 26.7 billion Br in revenues within the first nine months of the current fiscal year. The revenue comes from the 17 enterprises’ transactions and services which is 70pc of the fulfilment for the target set by the Ministry. This puts the net profit – after operating costs and capital investments – by the enterprises at two billion Br, below the targeted 2.5 billion Br. The Ethiopian Shipping & Logistics Services Enterprise (ESLSE) generated the bulk of the revenue, generating 3.6 billion Br in the same period. The Ethiopian Sugar Corporation and the Ethiopian Construction Works Corporation follow, making up for 5.1pc and 2.8pc, respectively, of the gain. The nine months report of the Ministry was presented at the parliament by Girma Amente (PhD) in March 2018, who was
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Sheger Royal Joins Blossoming Hotel Industry

A local company in the business of building rental, Sheger Plc, inaugurates a hotel worth a quarter of a billion Birr in the Bole district of Addis Abeba. The hotel, called Sheger Royal, has been under construction for the past three years and inaugurated today. The six-storey hotel has 40 rooms, a gymnasium, two bars, a restaurant, and two meeting halls –  the last three of which can accommodate up to 280 people. Occupying 600sqm of land, it will provide 80 to 100 people with employment opportunities. “We have noticed a gap in the hotel industry, which needs tremendous effort in order to be filled,” said Tadelle Kassa, founder and chairman of Sheger. “It is a sector with more potential to make profits and create job opportunities than the one we are used to.” Sheger rents building spaces for the
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Agency Aims to Reduce Speed-Induced Accidents

  Addis Abeba gets speed humps for 10 accident-prone roads in the city in a bid to reduce traffic accidents. The Addis Abeba City Road Traffic Management Agency, has invested 62 million Br for the project and additional safety works. The roads with the new speed humps were selected based on their level of sloppiness and record of causing at least three fatal accidents annually. The placing of the speed humps begun last week. They will be installed on the roads going from Torhayloch to Mendida, Keranio to Bethel, Bethel to Torhayloch, Number Three Mazoriya to Zenebework Bridge and Hanamariam to Tuludimtu. Additionally, the speed humps will be placed on the main road from Bole to Saris Abo, and the roads linking the Jakros area before Goro to Summit and the Jackros-Sahlite Mihiret Road. There are different types of speed
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Capital’s Auditor General Discloses a 905m Br Audit Gap

The Addis Abeba City Administration’s Auditor General Office has found that institutions of the capital have made a 905.8 million Br worth of unaccounted transactions in the last fiscal year. Tsegewoyn Kassa, the capital’s auditor general, said that illegitimate procurements, inflated salaries and benefits, unaccounted for expenses, uncollected accounts, as well as mismanagement of properties were the reasons for the audit gap during the annual assembly of the City Administration’s Council. The report was submitted to the Council at the assembly, that was chaired by Tabor Gebremedhin (PhD), on April 17, 2018 The report encompassed the financial, procedural and properties administration of the city’s institutions and the challenges encountered during auditing by the Auditor General’s Office, which was established six years ago. After each auditing of an institution, the Auditor General conducted an exit conference, where the audit findings and
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Industrial Classification Queues Amendment to Circumvent Overlaps

The Ministry of Trade (MoT) has started to attempt revising the Ethiopian Standard Industrial Classification (ESIC), a system used for classifying industries by a five-digit code. It has formed a technical committee to conduct a preliminary assessment that will be used for the revision. The committee, which is composed of the staffs of the Ministry and led by the legal department director, will work on the preliminary assessment and revision of the classification, which was last revised half a decade ago. The classification is mainly used to trace businesses, for better regulation and to do away with general licensing. It is also used to avoid overlapping of responsibilities and devise ways in which each governmental agency carries out its duties in the process of registering business activities and issuing certificates of competence. Just like the ESIC, the country uses different
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Authority Allys with Continental Body to Conserve Simien National Park

The Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA) signed a co-financing and advisory agreement with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) late last month. The deal is towards the implementation of a project inside the Simien Mountains National Park entitled “Conservation & Sustainable Use of Biodiversity”. The project aims at revising the Park’s management plan, enhancing facilities and increasing the engagement capacity of private organisation’s. It also has a 12-month completion period. In line with the project, the AWF constructed a school close to the park for 12 million Br, which has been in operation since feburwary 2017. A sustainable resettlement program for the 418 households relocated from the Park to Debarq, around 20Km away, three years ago for 157 million Br, will also be targets of the project. Having begun in 2014, the project’s four million euros cost is almost entirely funded
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Local Firm Secures Pact to Design Wabi Dam

Ethiopian Construction Design & Supervision Works Corporation sealed a deal to conduct feasibility studies and design for the Wabi Hydropower Project which will generate 100MW of electric power. The Ministry of Water, Irrigation & Electricity has awarded the project to the company during a ceremony at the Capital Hotel last Wednesday, May 2, 2018. It will take 18 months to finalise the design and feasibility studies for the hydropower project. It is to be located in Wolqite, 158Km away from Addis Abeba, in the Gurage zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities & Peoples Region (SNNPR). The Corporation will analyse and select the engineering, socio-economic and environmental aspects of the project. It will also carry out geotechnical and hydrological analysis based on test work and engineering analysis, to determine whether or not the project should advance to the design and construction
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Addis Forms a New Agency to Manage Wastes

The Addis Abeba City Council has legislated a bill that dissolves two institutions, which have been working on waste disposal management, to establish the Waste Administration Agency. The Cleanliness Administration Agency and Solid Waste Re-use & Disposal Project Office are the two organs that are disbanded with the new proclamation that was legislated on April 26, 2018. The offices were not efficient and properly managing the waste management in the capital, according to Paulos Degu, Chairperson of Addis Abeba City Council, Municipal Affairs Standing Committee. Tasked with collecting, transporting, disposing and recycling of solid wastes, the new Agency will be directly accountable to the city manager, Haile Fisseha. The Agency will control and coordinate an integrated solid waste management activities basing on studies and research. Surveying the implementation of technological methods to recycle and re-use solid wastes is also tasks
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Quality Award Organisation’s Re-establishment Moves a Step Further

A draft regulation that proposes the re-establishment of the Ethiopian Quality Award Organisation as an independent body has been finalised. It is set to be sent to the Council of Ministers (CoM) for approval in two weeks time. It has already been reviewed by the Office of the Federal Attorney General, which recommended additions and exclusions from the March 21, 2018 proposal, according to Tewodros Mebratu, CEO of the Organisation. The regulation, which has five parts and 35 articles stipulate duties and responsibilities for the proposed bureau and its structure. It was drafted by a committee comprising of five legal experts. Awarding experiences were taken from India, the United States and Japan. After deliberation on the overall content of the draft regulation, the organisation referred it to its honorary guardian, Mulatu Teshome (PhD) for further scrutiny. Established almost a decade
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Headline Infilation Dips, Amid Price Hike on Non-Food Components

Headline Inflation which has been skyrocketing for the past year has shown a decline last month reaching 13.7pc, according to recently released consumer price index from Central Statistical Agency (CSA). An indicator of the cost of living, headline inflation, has shown a 1.5 percentage points decline from the preceding month of March which saw a 15.2pc rate. The decline was encountered due to the fall of food inflation last month. Food inflation has declined to 16.1pc from 20pc while non-food inflation has a moderate spike with 0.8 percentage points reaching 10.8pc. A rise in the prices of clothing and footwear, housing repair and maintenance such as corrugated iron sheets and cement, and charcoal pushed the non-food inflation, according to CSA. However, the prices of major cereals situation compared to last month, while prices of pulses, pepper, vegetables and fruits declined
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More Street Vendors Receive Spots in the Marketplaces

The Addis Abeba Trade Bureau has awarded areas in the marketplaces to 1,658 street vendors in the district of Qirqos as it moves forward to formalise parts of the informal sector in the city. This comes over a month after 253 streets vendors were awarded spots in a marketplace inside the Kolfe Keraniyo district. Out of a registered 2,600 street vendors, 1,658 received a trading area inside the marketplaces of weredas two, six, eight and nine of Kirkos district last Tuesday. “We have identified 158 areas in different parts of the city that can be used as a marketplace, and have currently approved 48 of them,” Mesfin Assefa, head of the Bureau said. The street vendors have to present an identification card from a kebele and have capital below 10,000 Br. A registration fee of 70 Br is also mandatory.
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Dashen Employs Up-to-Date Core Banking System

Dashen Bank has upgraded its core banking system which was developed by the US-based company, Oracle, for over 140 million Br total project cost. This is the second time the Bank upgrade its system since 2010. The new system, which integrates the bank’s 354 branches and dubbed as Flex Cube, will go operational starting May 7, 2018. Low transaction speed and repeated errors caused customers to complain prompting the upgrade, according to Mulugeta Alebachew, marketing and communications director of the Bank. “It will enable us to enhance operational excellence as well as technological capabilities,” said Mulugeta. “It also has new modules for Interest-Free Banking (IFB) and other digital channels.” Finonyx Software Solutions, an Indian based company that is involved in software installation and consultancy services, has deployed the software for the past year. The company was contracted for the project
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USAID Builds Health Center in Amhara State

The United States Agency, which administers civilian foreign aid and development assistance, has inaugurated a health centre constructed for over 40 million Br in the Amhara Regional State. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) inaugurated the health centre in Lemi town, Ensaro wereda, North Shoa zone of the Amhara regional state. Universal Construction Plc, a local company, constructed the clinic which will serve 25,000 people residing in five kebeles of the town. Universal has been in business for the past four decades engaging in business areas including building construction, concrete waterproofing, elevator installation and maintenance, machinery rental and property assessment and valuation. Under construction for the past three years, the Clinic was officially inaugurated on May 3, 2018. It is expected to serve 47,000 people in the nearby areas of the town. The new health centre was built on
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Bow Out

Former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn bows before the Ethiopian flag in the compound of the Jubilee Palace, around Yohannis Street. Over two months since his resignation from office, he was given a farewell dinner at the Palace by his successor, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD). Ambassadors and delegates of international institutions were invited to witness what was a jovial event in which two of the nation’s subsequent leaders showed that they harbour no hard feelings for one another. Heads of government agencies and religious leaders were also in attendance. The speeches made by Abiy and Hailemariam, were the highlight of the event. The Prime Minister thanked Hailemariam for the continued support he gives on the intricacies of the Office at Arat Kilo. And praised him as one of the few public officials that could be an example to others in
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Over-Indebted Ayka Spurs to Build Textile Plant in Burkina Faso

Ayka Addis Textile & Investment Group, whose debt is three-fold higher than its paid-up capital and has over 1.3 billion Br debt from the government, is going to build an integrated cotton processing plant in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso with an estimated investment of 200 million dollars. The company, which was inaugurated in 2010 with an initial investment of 140 million dollars at Alemgena, 20Km west of Addis Abeba, has been declaring loss since 2013. The company made losses of 615.29 million Br and 312.8 million Br in 2014 and 2015, respectively. It also had accumulated losses of 1.86 billion Br while having a paid-up capital of 678.89 million Br as of December 2015. Ayka’s to be built integrated cotton processing plant is set to be completed in the next six months, according to Sidwaya, a French-language and the second highly
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Trade Ministry Heads to Ease Hustles in Business Registration

Following the order from the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Trade (MoT) has slashed the number of business activities, which need a competence certificate as a prerequisite to obtain a business license by three-fold. Close to 1,352 business activities were obligated to get a certificate of competence before obtaining a business license. However, the new procedure reduced the amount to 429. The order was passed with a letter signed by Assed Ziyad, state minister of Trade, and accorded to the two branches offices of business registration and licensing department under the Ministry on April 16, 2018. It was mandatory for all the business activities that are related to environmental protection, public, animal and plant health to obtain a competence certificate, according to the amended business licensing and registration proclamation issued in 2016. However, an assessment conducted by
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Businessman Convicted for Allegedly Covering Illegals Off Prison

Ashref Awel, a manager and minority shareholder of Okapi Impex Plc, who has served three and half years in prison, convicted for allegedly giving cover to non-nationals that have been operating in the country without a legal business license, was released with probation on Friday. Though the probation period allowed him to be released on the last day of the trial; he stayed for an additional 47 days in prison due to the proceeding between his lawyer and the Federal Prison Administration. Prison Administration stated that his release would not be admissible as his case is pending at the Supreme Court. He was charged four years ago for allegedly giving cover to 14 non-national defendants by pretending that they were employees of Okapi Impex. He did that knowing full well that they were employees of two locally unlicensed foreign companies,
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Three Radio Stations Join Mushrooming Broadcasting Service

The Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority (EBA) has awarded three private media companies frequency modulation (FM) for broadcasting purposes. This brings the number of private radio broadcasting stations based in Addis Abeba to 10. The new companies are Selam Multimedia, Muarse Multimedia and Afri Health Trading, which can now broadcast on bands ranging from FM 90.0 to FM 107.9. This comes after the Authority announced a bid on February 9, 2018, on the state-owned Amharic daily, Addis Zemen. The Authority had 18 to 20 shortwave radio frequencies up for grabs, according to Gebregiorgis Abrha, director of communications at the Authority. Only four companies showed interest, and three passed to the final stage over a week ago. In the technical and financial evaluation of the bid infrastructural capacity in regards to the companies’ proposed programming, human capital and brand vision were assessed. Selam
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Anti-Corruption Commission Signals Ambiguity in Pension Fund HQs Bldg Bid

While the Federal Police closed the case, stating no corruption was committed in the procurement process for the construction of Public Servants Social Security Agency headquarters building, the Federal Anti-Corruption Commission, however, noted that the process has some deficiencies. Following a complaint letter lodged by one of the local prominent construction companies, Tekleberhan Ambaye Construction (TACON), the two institutions were separately investigating the case. TACON filed its claim on March 13, 2018, stating that the Agency’s bidding document had intentionally excluded local construction companies violating the procurement law of the nation. High annual turnover, ignoring the minimum requirements for local contractors, and not specifying experience of the bidders were the points of deficiencies raised by TACON in its letter. Established in 1993, TACON is a member of TAF Corporate Group and is currently working on mega projects, which include the
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Seven Assemblers Vie to Render 387 Vehicles

Out of the 11 local companies which showed an interest to supply 387 vehicles, only seven of them submitted their financial and technical offers to the Public Procurement & Property Disposal Service (PPPDS). The preliminary technical evaluation opening of these companies was held on April 25, 2018, on the premises of the PPPDS. The PPPDS floated the tender a month and a half ago on behalf of the Ministry of Finance & Economic Cooperation (MoFEC). The vehicles are tended to be distributed to governmental organisations. Yangfan Motors, Hagbes, AGTA and Marathon Motors are the four companies which bought the bidding document, but did not submit their offers due to the shorter tender floating time and stringent requirements, according to some of the companies Fortune spoke to. Ries Engineering, Belay Ab Motors, Ultimate Motors, Abay Technic & Trading, Nyala Motors, Alta
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Kifiya Starts to Automate Capital’s Stadium Ticketing System

The Ethiopian Football Federation will launch in early May an e-ticketing service at the Addis Abeba Stadium to reduce the long waiting lines before football games. The technology will automate the manual ticketing and payment system. Kifya Financial Technologies Plc, which signed a five-year-agreement with the Federation, has set up the system which the Federation will administer. The payment service provider will get 1.5pc of the entry fees that range from 10 Br to 200 Br. Consequently, sources indicate this will hike ticket prices. The tickets can be bought at any of Kifiya’s agents, Lehulu centres and Kifiya shops. The tickets will have a barcode that can be scanned by any of the validator machines installed at the 12 entryways to the stadium. The ticket also has a blank space on the back that will be used for advertising, according
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City Amends Labour Law to Reflect Affirmative Actions

The Addis Abeba City Administration approved a proclamation that gives further priority to female employees, persons with disabilities and minority nationalities. The proclamation necessitates institutions to allow members of society that are eligible for affirmative action to get priority and obtain advantages in recruitment, promotion, transfer, redeployment, education and training. The new proclamation that was approved by the council members of the Administration during their annual assembly this past week repeals the decade long-governing law for civil servants. It contains 12 sections and 100 articles overall and necessitates that no employee can be eligible for recruitment and promotion without presenting a certificate of competence (CoC). The law prohibits institutions from reassigning a pregnant civil servant to other roles or expelling females from work during pregnancy, or within the four months of delivery. It also allows paid leave for medical treatment
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Gov’t Commits 300m Br to Reduce Traffic Accidents

The Federal Transport Authority (FTA) is attempting to construct a 11-storey Transport Management & Traffic Safety Training Institute. The Institute is estimated to cost 300 million Br. The training institute will reside inside the compound of Drivers & Mechanics Training Centre located in Kality, north of Addis Abeba, commonly known as Maseltegna. For the construction, the Public Procurement & Property Disposal Services (PPPDS) has announced a tender on behalf of the Authority on February 27, 2018. The building will be comprised of classrooms, offices, a dormitory, library, research centres and cafeterias. During the opening of the bid on April 24, 2018, 14 companies submitted their financial and technical documents out of the 36 firms that bought the bidding document to construct the Institute. Except two Chinese firms, China Railway No.3 and CGCOC Group, the remaining contractors were local firms. Tekleberhan
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Bureau Endorses Fixed Rate Contract System

The Addis Abeba Construction Bureau has introduced fixed-prices to the contracts it awards through a directive. Prices are henceforth calculated and fixed by the Bureau for every part of a project and are given to contractors who are willing to accept the rates. The directive is drawn out in a bid to alleviate delay of construction projects, wastage of materials and low quality work, according to Elias Kebede, acting deputy manager of the Bureau. It also enables the bureau to take measures and provide necessary support for contractors unable to continue, by either making financial adjustments or giving them expert advice. The directive comes months after the Bureau suspended 116 small and medium-sized contractors for the delay and lack of quality. “The fixed rate unit price is subject to revision on a quarterly basis,” said Elias. “It allows us the
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Diaspora Community Extends Hands to Save Tana

The Global Coalition for Lake Tana Restoration, a non-profit organisation, established by water and environment professionals in the United States, procured the second machine to remove water hyacinth, popularly known as Emboch, from Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia. After a fundraising event that brought 1,500 people and some artists including Muhammud Ahmed together in Washington DC, the coalition procured the machine. The machine was purchased from a Canadian vendor for a total cost of 92,350 dollars. A month prior the Coalition bought a similar machine for 67,290 dollars and had it shipped to Ethiopia. The recently purchased machine is different in that it comes with a conveyor belt to transport removed hyacinth to the shore which the first machine did not have. The first machine which was purchased a month ago is expected to arrive Djibouti port by the
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Chinese Firm Comes to Ethiopia to Test the Waters

The Shanghai-based Shangten Holding Group inaugurated a new garment factory inside the Chinese held manufacturing hub. Located in the Eastern Industry Zone 37km away from Addis Abeba, for a total cost of 54 million Br. The company started its operation in November with training from its human resource department, that now totals to 400 Ethiopians and 12 Chinese. Two of the latter are in the top management, and the rest make up the technical team. Lonto Garment Private Ltd, one of the 600 plus subsidiaries of the state-owned Shangten, will oversee the factory. The arrival of the company to Ethiopia is part of China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative. The Initiative is a global development initiative that comprises Asia, Africa and Europe, according to Xue Jifeng, vice-president of Shanghai Dragon Corporation under Shangtex. This modest investment will help Shangtex test
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Premier Moves Through the Gears with New Cabinet

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) steps ahead towards walking his talk forming his new administration after the parliament had approved his nomination mid last week. In his cabinet, Abiy brought 10 new faces to the helm, switched six ministers to another post while keeping close to half of the ministers in office. The new administration has 25 ministries and four director generals with ministerial ranks. Abiy’s new cabinet eliminated one ministry after merging the ministries of Agriculture & Natural Resources and Livestock & Fisheries Development. The two ministers had split three years ago. He considered the merger with a rationale that the two ministries share common visions and goals, address financial and human resource constraints and bringing better efficiency. Abiy’s motion was not approved by Parliament unanimously, whose members are becoming assertive in recent days. Three MPs – Usman Ali
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Ethiopian Enhance Rental Fees on Airport Businesses

Ethiopian Airlines Group, has made a 450pc to 3,500pc rental fee increases on the service providers operating on its premises. Ground handling companies, transistors, private airline companies, cargo service providers are the companies that the Group revised rental fees for. The companies provide the airport with a scissor lift, storage, loading and unloading services, issuing air waybill, warehouse service and transporting cargo inside the terminals. The decision was made by the Group two months ago and was communicated to the companies with a written letter. The Ministry of Finance & Economic Cooperation (MoFEC) has been providing the Group with a budget. Although it is about to quit and exclude the Group from the federal budget, as it is a business-oriented state enterprise, according to Tewdros Dawit, CEO of the Ethiopian Airports Enterprises, one of the Group’s business unit. “We are
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Ministry Edges to Auction Off Hilton

Industrial Project Services (IPS), a state-owned consultant, has finalised and submitted the first round of asset valuation report of Hilton Addis Hotel to the Ministry of Public Enterprises (MoPE). IPS, of the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC), has been conducting the assessment report for two weeks and had tendered the report to MoPE three weeks ago. Experts from investment administration and privatisation directorate of the Ministry are currently cross-checking the report with the assets of the hotel, according to Asebe Kebede, the assistant director of corporate communications at the Ministry. Both IPS and MoPE declined to disclose the value, stating the confidentiality of the agreement between them. However, the hotel would be worth close to 4.5 billion Br to five billion Birr, according to experts. The experts estimated the price range based on the hotel’s 130,000 dollars cost per room and
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Dissolved Shell Comes Out Victories Again

Justices of the Federal Supreme Court’s Cassation Bench rejected an appeal by Hailu G.Hiwot, a real-estate owner, who has been battling with Shell Limited Ethiopia over ownership of a gas station located in Kazanchis. Hailu took the case to the Cassation Bench stating the lower court, the Federal Supreme Court, made 13 fundamental errors of law in ruling in favour of Shell. The Cassation Bench dismissed the case citing that there is no error of law. The parties had been in a court battle for four years, which was won by Shell in April 2011. The two parties got into a dispute 11 years ago when Shell, an oil retailes established during the regime of Haile Selassie, dissolved by Oil Libya in 2007. Shell, the dissolved company, filed a civil suit to the Federal High Court claiming that the 1.1
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Kebede Tesera Hits Wall at Court, Again

The Federal Supreme Court Criminal Appellate Bench rejected a local businessman, Kebede Tesera’s appeal to reopen his case battle with the Ethiopian Revenues & Customs Authority (ERCA) over a reduction of sentence. The Supreme Court stated that the law does not have a specific time limit on when a file can be re-opened once it has been closed. But from the understanding of the procedural laws, Kebede’s appeal comes nine-months after the file closed, hence the time that has passed is too long. Kebede is one of the 92 prisoners that received a pardon from President Mulatu Teshome (PhD) last year. This though was overturned after prosecutors at the Authority argued that he cannot be pardoned given the nature of his alleged offences. The case began eight years ago, when Kebede, 76, was sentenced by the High Court to 20
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Former Culture Minister Dissolves National Tourism Board

Hirut Woldemariam (PhD), former minister of Culture & Tourism (MoCT), who has been in dispute with members of the National Tourism Board ended the quarrel disbanding the board. She notified the board members, under the chairmanship of Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of the Ethiopian Airlines Group, of their dismissal with a written letter on April 11, 2018. In the letter, Hirut copied the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ethiopian Tourism Organization (ETO). Although the board was formed with the regulation which was approved by the Council of Minister, it was dissolved with the head of the Ministry. The board was to oversee ETOs activities including reviewing and approving the programs and budgets as well as evaluate the performance. The board was formed five years ago with an initiative from the former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalgn, comprised of 10 members.
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Football Federation Rebukes Local Broadcasters

The Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) has served a warning for the 16 football clubs, which are contesting on the Ethiopian premier league. EFF is claiming that the clubs failed to regulate television and radio stations that are live-streaming matches from the stadiums. The broadcasters that live-stream the matches are Tigray TV, Debub TV and Amhara Mass Media Agency (Amhara TV). Along with some city and regional based radio stations including Bisrat, Zami and Debub. Ethiopian News Network (ENN) and Walta televisions are also in the pipeline, according to Esayas Tafesse, marketing director of the Federation. A letter that was signed by the president Junedin Basha issued on April 14, 2018, claims that neither the clubs nor the broadcasters are informing the proper authority. The federation refers to an article of its regulation which restricts any organisation from airing or broadcasting
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Meqelle to Home Hilton Brand Up North

Green Coffee Agro-Industry has teamed up with Hilton Worldwide to open a five-star hotel in Meqelle, Tigray Regional State. This makes the capital of the Tigray Regional State the first city in the Northern part of Ethiopia to host an international brand hotel. The agreement between Green Coffee and Hilton was signed on April 16, 2018, in Meqelle. The hotel will be the fifth of its kind that is in the pipeline under the Hilton brand. A team of advisers from Fairfax Africa Fund were present at the signing ceremony. Fairfax Africa Fund is a consultancy firm that facilitates business deals for Ethiopian investors with foreign companies; they also conduct feasibility studies to construct hotels. “We reached this stage after a two-year study and assessment of other brand name hotels using the following criteria; their level of commitment, presence in
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Oromia State Accrues Investments Worth 5b Br

The board of Oromia Investment Commission (OIC) has approved 167 investment projects worth 5.37 billion Br. Over 81pc of them are in agriculture and agro-processing sectors. The board has been approving the projects for the past five months. Within the past two weeks, the OIC has granted licenses and plots for the investors who deposited 30pc of the project cost. “Due to the country’s unstable situation, the investment sector was facing dangers,” said Kuma Daba, director of projects at the OIC. The Oromia Regional State was in massive protests and violence, for the past two years. Due to this, various businesses were vandalised by protesters which led foreign investors to abandon their investments and leave the country. Vandalisation included a 70ha corn farm that belongs to ELFORA Agro-Industries Plc, which was one of the businesses that felt the heat as
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Immigration Affairs Relocates Main Departments

The Main Department for Immigration & Nationality Affairs has moved two of its departments, for foreign citizen applicants and passport re-issuance, to a new location. The main department is scheduled to move the two sections to the first floor of the new Ethiopian Postal Service’s building, in Arat Kilo by May 13, 2018. The relocated departments are the administrations for Foreigners & Consular Services and Services for Ethiopian Citizens. This is in a bid to facilitate services and solve the delay in delivery for non-nationals, according to Mengistu Alemayehu, deputy director at the Department. The departments will provide permits for residents, tourists and students as well as visas for non-nationals. On average, the current main department serves more than 700 non-nationals and 5,000 nationals a day, according to officials of the department. “The level of demand strains services that are
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Kality to Get Transportation Terminal

A dozen of construction companies are vying to construct the Kality transportation terminal, located in Akaki Kality District, for an estimated cost of half a billion Birr. The Public Procurement & Property Disposal Services (PPPDS) floated the tender on behalf of the Federal Transport Authority on February 27, 2018. The Service opened the bids of participating companies at its premises on April 18,2018. Out of the total 37 companies that purchased bidding documents, 12 of them returned the bidding document. Out of the 12 companies companies that submitted three were Chinese, the remaining being local companies. China Jiangsu, CGCOC Ethiopia Ltd and China Railway No. 3 Engineering are the three Chinese companies that are vying with the local companies to construct the terminal which will be lying on a 31,000sqm of a plot. The terminal will have a four-storey building
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CHARM OFFENSIVE

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) has continued to charm the nation, addressing the public from east to west to north, last week. His latest appearance was in Meqelle, the capital of the Tigray Regional State, where thousands of people showed up at the airport to welcome him on Friday, April 13, 2018. It was one piece of the bigger picture, where he is touring the nation in an attempt to reassure communities that change is on the way. However, he pleads for more time as he alluded in his address in the town of Ambo, 120Km west of Addis Abeba. The epicentre of protests in the west, where the popular uprising began three years ago, tens of thousands of residents in the town were seen packing the town`s stadium early last week. Accompanied by his staunch political ally, Lemma Megerssa,
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MetEC Boss Tenders Resignation

The founding CEO of the Metal & Engineering Corporation (MetEC), Kinfe Dagnew (Maj. Gen.) has tendered his resignation from office, after serving Ethiopia’s military industrial complex for eight years. MetEC started operations with a registered capital of 10 billion Br in 2010, and has incorporated 15 military and civilian companies. However, the Corporation hired over 19,500 people employed by close to 98 subsidiaries. Although reporting to a Board of Directors, chaired by Demeke Mekonnen, deputy prime minister, Kinfe has submitted his resignation late last week to the Office of the Prime Minister, according to people familiar with the issue. The late Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, put forward the establishment of the military industrial complex as one of the possible major tools for industrialisation. With the main aim of transforming the national economy to industrialisation and creating a middle-income country. During
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Deloitte Seals A Sweet Deal to Overhaul Mang’t Strategy For United

Deloitte East Africa sealed a deal to redesign a 12-year management strategy for United Bank, dubbed as “strategy 2030” for an estimated cost of 21 million Br to 25 million Br. The agreement was signed yesterday April 14, 2018, at the premises of the bank’s headquarters located on the Sierra Leone Street. Rodger George, advisory leader of Deloitte East Africa and Taye Dibekulu, president of the bank inked the deal. The deal makes United the fifth private bank to hire an international firm for the redesign of its strategy. Bank of Abyssinia pioneered the trend three years ago by hiring Deloitte Consultancy. Awash, Dashen and Nib International Bank followed the course awarding KPMG East Africa Limited for the same project. United chose Deloitte in its second attempt of the bid, as the initial tender had failed. In the first round,
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Bon Hotels Doubles Brand in Addis

Bon Hotels, the South African hotel management company, doubled its brand in Ethiopia after partnering with Bahiru Abraham to open an 82-room hotel on African Avenue. The hotel management company and the local property developer have signed a 15 years management deal to operate the hotel which is expected to be operational in six months period. Ozzie Business & Hospitality Management Group, founded by Kumeneger Teketel, facilitated the deal, negotiating on behalf of the local property developer Bahiru, who also owns Bitweded Bahiru Abraham Tower located on African Avenue adjacent to the hotel that is under construction. The property located right next to Dembel City Center, in Kirkos District, had its construction finalised with the owners now working to install technical, security and IT systems. The 12-storey building laying on over a 1,000sqm plot of land has consumed close to
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New Organ Takes Shape to Manage Public-Private Partnership

A bill is underway to establish an autonomous body that will manage the structural and legal framework of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) agreements, which did not exist in the country before. The Ministry of Finance & Economic Cooperation (MoFEC) has finalised the first draft of the directive, which also identified the bidding procedures of the partnership and draws the strategic plans for the implementation of the projects. A team composed of five members was formed by the MoFEC four months ago to draft a directive and other legal frameworks, including manuals, for the implementation of the PPP proclamation, which was legislated by the parliament in February of 2018. The four-member team was in Bishoftu, Oromia Regional State, to draft the directive and issue the zero drafts mid last week. The experts sample the experience of South Korea, China, UK and
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Oldest University to Obtain a New Building

Yotek Construction Plc wins a 700 million Br project to construct a 12-storey dormitory for 2,000 medical science students of Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital (TASH). The newly elected president of Addis Abeba University (AAU), Tassew Weldehana (Prof.) and Yohannes Teklay, the chief executive officer of Yotek signed the agreement on April 13, 2017, on the premises of the University on Algeria Street. “We had a problem with limited space,” said Dawit Wondimagen, executive director of the College of Health Sciences at AAU. “The new building could alleviate our problems,” he adds. The building will rest on a 13,000sqm plot of land located in front of National Meteorology Agency and is expected to be completed within two years. A total 29 companies, of which two were international companies, showed interest during the initial tender that was announced in May 2017. Yotek,
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Defected Books Cost Regional State 50m Br for Replacement

The Oromia Education Bureau has started developing content for textbooks and teachers’ guide to replace disposed books. The books had errors in language and vague descriptions of words used in the books. A group of 12 experts, selected from zones and colleges, started the preparation of the content for the Oromifa language textbooks mid last week. The books are expected to teach the Oromifa language to more than eight million elementary students whose mother tongue is Afan Oromo. For the content preparation and validation sessions, that will be held with representatives from 20 zones and 19 city administrations, the Bureau allocates 1.5 million Br. The content preparation and validation sessions are expected to be finalised in a months time. It also plans to print 10 million textbooks for the coming academic year. With a cost flexibility of 50 million Br,
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Faffa Faces a Charge for Alleged Price Gouging

Faffa Food S.C, the half a century old and pioneer of the food processing industry in Ethiopia, faced a legal suit by the Trade Competition & Consumer Protection Authority (TCCPA) for allegedly gauging prices. Federal prosecutors at the Authority, who have been investigating the company, filed the lawsuit against Faffa on March 23, 2018. Filed before judges at a tribunal under the Authority, prosecutors argue that the defendant deliberately made price adjustments on its products. The company took advantage of consumers who buy its products, hiking prices since last October 2017, by 30pc to 50pc on all of its products, reads the charge. Arguing that prices were jacked up without legitimate economic reasons, federal prosecutors appealed for an injection, penalty and declaratory judgement, hoping to stop other operators in the marking from price gouging. The latest case is just one
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Trio Tie Up to Digitise Judiciary, Executive

A joint venture (JV) of the three technology companies won the right to integrate the systems of the Office of the Attorney General, regional and federal courts, police and prison administration for 15 million dollars. Alrowad IT Solutions, ISYX Technologies and Africom Technologies, are the companies awarded for the first phase of the project which is fully funded by the government. The companies signed the agreement with the Office last Thursday, April 12, 2018, at the premises of the Office located on Haile Gebresellasie Avenue. The companies will use Virtual Private Networks (VPN), a technology that creates a safe and encrypted connection over a less secure network, to carry out the project. Expected to be operational within two years, the project will enable the institutions’ transferring, storing and ability to access data electronically with its 21 systems. The second and
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National Alcohol Ensures New Merchandise

The over a century old National Alcohol & Liquor Factory (NALF) has launched a new alcohol product dubbed National Vodka. The alcohol is a year in its making and will be available in the market before the next week is out. Having 40pc alcohol content and at three-quarters of a litre per bottle, it will be an addition to the locally bottled vodkas from the Abyssinia, Marathon and Black Lion brands. The vodka will be packaged in a 0.75 litre bottle and sold for around 100 Br. The bottles will be packed in a box, which can hold one, two, six and 12 bottles at once. “Although we have a long-term plan, we have planned to initially distribute to specific places such as bigger hotels and supermarkets,” Alem Walday, sales team leader at the Factory told Fortune, adding that the
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Regional State Water Projects Sprinkle Craving Nation

Four water projects, which would provide potable water to 137,175 residents in Oromia Regional State, were completed by the Oromia Water, Mineral & Energy Bureau for 149 million Br. However, the extracted water from one of the projects was not distributed to the 35,000 residents because it was cloudy and unclear. The residents of the four towns were not getting enough supply as they had been using spring waters and small water wells, which both dried in the courses of time. Constructed by five contractors, the projects are in Shambu, Semira Kolba, Qaqe and Tulu Bayu towns in Wollega and Arsi zones. Oromia Water Works Design & Supervision Enterprise, which was established in 2006, was a consultant for all of the projects. Shambu project, which consumed 69 million Br, is located in Horogudru Wollega zone and was constructed in two
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Top Water Penetrates Uprising Water Bottling Industry

The 68th bottled water brand, Top Natural Water, hits the local market, being purified and bottled by Abebe Dinku Water & Non-Alcoholic Beverages Factory with an investment of 273 million Br. The new company will join the existing 67 water bottling companies in Ethiopia, an increase from three years ago with just 25 companies. Of these companies, the majority are located in the Oromia Regional State close to Addis Abeba, where they can access the most significant number of consumers in the country. These operational water bottling factories produce close to 3.5 billion bottles of water per year. Established two years ago, the new water bottling company locates in Burayu, Oromia Regional State, 18km North West of Addis Abeba rests on 11,000sqm of land. The factory has a production capacity of purifying and packing 18,000 bottles of water an hour
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Nahoo, EBS Secure Local Licenses Ending Debate

Nahoo and Ethiopian Broadcasting Service (EBS), two television stations previously owned by non-nationals, has acquired local broadcasting license, after transferring their shares to nationals. The two stations are among the four broadcasters listed by Zeray Asgedom, director general of the Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority (EBA), that are operating in the country without a proper local license. Five months ago Zeray reported to the parliament, that Kana, EBS, LTV, and Nahoo, are owned by Ethiopia-born members of the diaspora and engage in a sector which is reserved for Ethiopian citizens only. Zeray also called for an assistance of the parliament to tighten its regulatory efforts on broadcasters operating in Ethiopia. The Authority has also served a notice to the owners of these stations to transfer their shares to Ethiopians. So the owners of the two station are now processing their cases at
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Ethiopian Posits Cargo Screening Machines

Ethiopian Airlines Group inaugurated its two cargo screening machines donated by Transportation Security Administration, an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The Agency has provided the cutting-age machines, which gives 65 different views of baggage in three dimensions, scanning 250 items an hour and worth over 40 million Br, through its Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program. In function, the scanning machines resemble the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), a non-invasive imaging technology that produces detailed anatomical images without using radiation.The screening devices also employ a technique called computed tomography, the latest in imaging for baggage scanning. The machines were inaugurated early last week, with the presence of Michael Raynor, the United States Ambassador to Ethiopia, Gary Seffel, the United States Transportation Security Administration representative for East Africa and Tewolde Gebremariam, group CEO of Ethiopian, which operates 96 fleets with less
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