Blog Archives

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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)
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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,
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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.
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
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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,
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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.
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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,
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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,
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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,
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

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
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

PIVOT OF ETHIO JAZZ

Mulatu Astatike, the 74-year-old father of Ethio-Jazz, is a musician, composer and arranger of a unique fusion of traditional Ethiopian beat with jazz and Latin music. Born and raised in Jimma, Mulatu was the first African student to enrol at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, in the United States. Since then he has recorded over nine albums, sold-out international concerts, played with the likes of Duke Ellington and is known for playing the conga drum and vibraphone on international stages. Recognised internationally, prominent musicians including Damien Marley, Nas and K’naan have featured his music in their recordings. FORTUNE’S EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, FASIKA TADESSE, sat down with Mulatu for buoyant discussion. YOU CAN READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE.   Fortune: Had you not been a musician and arranger, what would your profession be? That is a difficult question. I was good
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Archaeologist Bares Charge Traveling with 19,000 Br

An American citizen and archaeologist Simpson Scott Wilson (PhD), faces a criminal charge for attempting to leave the country carrying 19,000 Br, which is 19 folds higher than National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) Birr holding limit, without a permit. The Archaeologist, who has been conducting researches in the Afar Regional State along with his two fellow researchers from Addis Abeba University (AAU) for 14 years, was caught at Bole International Airport on February 27, 2018, carrying the cash in his bag, while he was departing to the United States. Before police finalised the investigations Wilson had stayed in prison for two days. On March 1, 2018, the prosecutors of the Economic Crimes Department of the Office of the Attorney General filed a suit against him to the Tenth Criminal Bench of the Federal First Instance Court. On his first appearance
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Court Orders Total Square 14m Br Corporate Tax

Justices at the Cassation Bench ruled in favour of the tax authority, which requested Total Ethiopia S.C settle 41 million Br of corporate tax ordering the latter to pay 34pc of the amount. The majority vote of the two justices ruled that Total has to pay only 14 million Br out of the total disputed amount, while one of the justices voted the company should be fully relieved from tax. Started five years ago when Ethiopia Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) levied 41 million Br tax on Total. Calculating 37.5 million Br unpaid tax by Mobil East Africa Ethiopia, which was acquired by Total 12 years ago. ERCA also requested Total to settle 3.8 million Br payable tax for three consecutive years a decade ago. In 2013, ERCA sent a letter to Total requesting it to settle the amount due;
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Nib Picks KPMG to Appear Competent, Powerful

Nib International Bank hires KPMG East Africa Limited to design and formulate the management strategy of the Bank after a 12-month long bidding process. The project has an estimated cost of 20 million Br to 25 million Br. The contractual agreement was signed by Kibru Fonja, president of Nib and David Leahy, KPMG East Africa director, on April 4, 2017, at the premises of the Bank located on Africa Avenue. The project was officially kicked-off on the same day. Based on the agreement, KPMG will formulate a five-year strategic plan, a 10-year strategic roadmap and will study the organisational restructuring of the Bank, whose profit bumped up by 45pc to 516.4 million Br in the past fiscal year with a shareholders’ return of 157 Br. “We expect KPMG to upgrade our standard to be the leading bank in the nation,”
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Inflation Rate Slightly Slides to 15.2pc

Headline inflation, which hit five years record high in February, slightly dips last month with 15.2pc rate, according to the latest consumer price index from Central Statistical Agency (CSA). An indicator of the cost of living, headline inflation, has shown a 0.4 percentage points decline from the preceding month. This decline was mainly driven by a fall of food inflation, which has been increasing for the past year, to 19.9pc. In return, non-food inflation has spiked to 10pc. The current political stability and the sufficient supply of basic consumer products were the major reason for the reduction of inflation growth rate, according to Kassahun Beyene, director of Inspection & Regulatory at the Addis Abeba Trade Bureau. “Along sufficient supply in the market followed the political stability, the consumers’ associations have been supplying sugar and edible oil,” he said. However, last
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Zemen Obtains New Board, President

The new board of directors of Zemen bank, which consists of nine members, get a green light from the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE). Chaired by Abebe Dinku (Prof), new board composition gets the central bank’s approval on February 26, 2018. Former chairperson of the board Amare Habe, who has LLB in Law and MA in development economics, continues as a member of the new board of directors. The members were elected during the latest general assembly of the bank that was held in November 2017. During the assembly, the shareholders brought six new faces to the helm. Abebe, Tewodros Atlabachew (PhD), Emana Getu (Prof.), who vied with Tassew Woldehana (Prof.) to head Addis Abeba University (AAU), are the new members along with Mieraf Shewaye, Addisalem Kedir and Wegayehu Weldeiyesus. The former chairperson Amare, Bezuwork Mamo and Mikre Ayalew will
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Oromia State Institutes Point-based Penalty System

The Oromia Transport Authority (OTA) is in the final stages of implementing a point-based penalty system for traffic violations. Daf-tec Computer Engineering supplied the technology after being awarded the project by the Authority. The traffic penalty calculation system will be on pilot within a month. The Authority purchased the new system to implement the national regulation of using the point-based system for traffic penalties, according to Israel Debele, an information technology expert at the Authority. Used in most of the developed worlds, traffic offences are logged to amount to points within the system. Traffic police officers will be able to access a driver’s record through Short Message System (SMS ) codes or the internet. Drivers that have earned the maximum demerit points can face penalties, from suspension for a limited period to the revocation of a license. The Authority had
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Agency Devises 546 Standards for Products, Services

Close to 546 standards for both locally manufactured, imported products and services were approved by the National Standardisation Council (NSC) on April 3, 2018. The Ethiopian Standards Agency (ESA), which was established in 2010 to formulate required standards for both goods and services, made the announcements of approval, which will be applicable in seven sectors. Of the 546 standards approved, 267 of them are newly formulated, 76 revised and 203 reaffirmed. Consequently, 41 standards have become mandatory for products such as soft drinks, juices and baby foods. From that figure, 25 standards directly affect health service providers while the remainder concern food and agricultural products. From the approved standards, 59 of them are for construction and civil engineering; 68 for environmental protection and health; 103 standards for electromechanical and 109 are for the basic and general sector. The remaining 89,
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Five Oromia State Towns Get Pottable Water

Five potable water projects in the towns of Gojo, Azgori, Chancho, Mikawa and Gundo Masquel have become operational last month at the cost of 212 million Br financed by the Oromia Water, Mineral & Energy Bureau (OWMEB). The projects benefit around 147,000 residents of the towns located in the Eastern and Western Shoa as well as West Wollega zones. The two projects, Gojo and Mikawa, have cost the region 48 million Br and 28 million Br, respectively and were completed six months earlier than the planned two years time. While the remaining Azgori is worth 20 million Br, Chancho is worth 42 million Br and Gundo Masquel that consumed 74 million Br, have taken more than five to six years from the intended time of completion. Project administration, timely provision of inputs and extended Letters of Credit opening time, as
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Ministries Ally to Avert Anthrax, Rabies

Four ministries have developed a strategic document aimed at controlling and preventing animal and human diseases. Implementation of this project is projected to cost the nation over 600 million Br. The ministries of Health (MoH), Livestock & Fishery (MoLF), Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC) and Culture & Tourism (MoCT) were involved in the development process. The latter has been involved with the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA). Development partners such as Centre for Disease Control (CDC), Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Ohio State University have also taken part in the draft national strategy. Its main aim is to prevent and control anthrax and rabies. The former is a type of disease which is caused by bacteria. It affects farm animals and humans that have come in
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

MultiChoice Offers Discounts on TV Subscriptions

MultiChoice Africa, the continent’s premier pay-TV broadcaster, is to introduce discounts across all its subscription services, in its bid to double the size of its subscribers across sub-Saharan Africa. Its executives appear to hinge their hopes on trading revenues from determined number of subscribers for volume coming from mass client base. To appeal to a larger number of audience, the company also plans to use popular comedians in Uganda and Nigeria to reach out to its subscribers estimated to reach at 2.1 million across the continent, while close to six million more are in its native land, South Africa. MultiChoice Africa, homed in Dubai, owns DStv, a popular distribution channel for entertainment, news, movie, documentaries, lifestyle and culture. However, it is known in the Ethiopian market rather for its exclusive rights to broadcast sports, particularly of the European Premier League
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Command Post Forbids Watching ESAT, OMN

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Intercontinentals to Face-Off in Court Again

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Bunna Raises Salaries Amid Questions

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Court Again Denies Bail in High Profile Corruption Case

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Inflation Hits Three-Month High

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Businesses, PM’s Office Positive to Deal with Protest Damage

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Planned Reforms Skin Deep, Claim Opposition

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BREAKING NEWS: The Federal Government Has Declared a State of Emergency

The federal government has declared a state of emergency as of Saturday, October 8, 2016. The cabinet of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has an emergency meeting on Saturday afternoon where the government declared the state of emergency at a time of deteriorating security situation in Oromia Regional State. The state of emergency declared for the first time in 25 years, will last for six months.”It may be shortened depending on the improvement on the security front,” a senior government official told Fortune. UPDATE: The constitution allows the Prime Minister to declare state of emergency for up to six months, but needs to present the bill to parliament in two weeks. Prime Minister Hailemariam is expected to table his declaration to Parliament in 10 days.
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Destruction, Looting Mare Popular Oromia Protests

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Merkel Visit to Focus on Political Openness, Stability

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IMF Reports Positive Economic Growth Despite Unrest

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Chamber Elects Elias President, Members Cry Foul

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Addis Redevelopment Threatens Historical Building

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Fana to Host Panel, Gather Input for EPRDF’s ‘Deep Reform’

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Tech Mahindra Rewarded $3.4m Project

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Long Term Employee Becomes Third New Dashen Bank Vice President

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Chamber Maintains Status Quo

Elias Geneti and Abebaw Mekonen were re-elected as president and vice president of the Addis Abeba Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Associations today. The Chamber also elected 16 members as its Board of Directors. Elias managed to secure 683 votes from the 1300 delegates, while Abebaw received 519 votes. The two individuals were the only nominees presented for their respective positions. The president is elected for a period of two years. The Presidency is an honorary part time appointment. The President Chairs the Board meetings and the annual General Assembly. The Board of Directors is also elected for a period of two years and sets policies, approves the programme and budget of the Secretariat, forms sectoral committees, appoints the Secretary General and committee chairs. The Chamber has around 16,000 members.
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Protestors Torch Bishangari Lodge

Angry protestors have torched Bishangari Lodge with fire this morning, on the shores of Lake Langano, 200km south of the capital. The fire is still raging. The fires follow fresh outbursts of violent protests in the country’s restive Oromia region on Monday after the passing of 55 individuals as a result of a stampede at the Irrecha festivity on Sunday. On Wednesday, the regional government had announced it will take all the necessary measures to uphold the rule of law and peace and security in the region.  
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Ongoing Riots Target Locals, Foreigners

The US Embassy in Addis Abeba has confirmed the death of an American citizen, attacked inside a vehicle driving outside of the capital on Monday, October 4, 2016. Fresh protests erupted on Monday across Oromia Regional State after a large number of deaths occurred at a traditional thanksgiving event in the town of Bishoftu (Debrezeit) on Sunday morning. A reported 55 people died, after a stampede triggered by tear gas shots fired by the region’s law enforcement force. This was done to disburse protesters showing the now popular symbol of crossing their hands above their heads. However, eyewitnesses in the town give an account of casualties numbering much higher than what the government has acknowledged. Immediately after the incident, protesters began blocking roads on the way to Hawassa and Ambo, and battled with the police. On Monday, protesters burned down
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Mesqel Reflection

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ECX to Launch First Trading Centre Out of Addis

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Pharma Manufacturers Get Green Light From MoFEC

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Anbessa Shoes Undertaking Half Billion Br Expansion

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Dashen Sets Sights on 100 New ATMs

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Enat Bank Receives $10m Collateral for Women

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HIV Test Kit Complaint Reaches High Court

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City Launches First Ever Traffic Safety Campaign

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Modernising Agricultural Warehouses

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Second Schedule of Incentives Comes into Effect

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Local Company Gets Green Light for Kia Assembly

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Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Fatal Car Crush Claims Lives around Piazza

A fatal car crush claimed several lives this morning. A mini bus travelling from Piazza to Saris around 8:00 a.m. collided with a fence of a construction site and subsequently crushed into a deep ditch filled with water. So far there have been four confirmed fatalities and several injuries.
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

The Need to Change

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Complaints Put Brakes on Driving License Purchase

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Local Company Pioneering Aluminium Exports

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DBE to Provide Interest Free Lease Financing

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Nail Producers to Appeal to Consumer Authority

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ZayRide, M-Birr Ink Taxi Payment Deal

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Sinking Fish Supply Drives Up Prices

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Record Bids for Holiday Bazaars

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EPRDF’S CHARM OFFENSIVE

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Bullied, Crowed: the Nation’s Singers Shun New Year Festivities

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GERD Deal Hits a Wall

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Shipping Enterprise Again at Centre of Fraud Case

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Pharma Manufacturers Regain Local Privilege

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Cost of Living Dips to 20-Month Low

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Investors Ink Acquisition Deal for Artistic Press

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BREAKING NEWS: Federal Government Pardons 707 Offenders

The Federal government has granted pardons to 707 offenders, convicted and serving sentences in federal prisons. It is customary for the President of the country to grant pardons in relation to Ethiopia’s New Year.
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

More Meter Taxis to Operate in Addis

Addis Abeba welcomed 836 meter taxis today at an inauguration ceremony held at Mesqel Square. 26 share companies, organized from taxi owners associations, had the permit to import 1,163 cars duty free and will start the service next week with the 836 cabs. The taxis are equipped with a cab meter, GPS and a radio communication device. Customers can hail these taxis through a telephone hotline. The Ministry of Transport is preparing the tariff for the taxi fares and residents of Addis Abeba will have access to the service next week. Currently, Adika is the only company that provides meter taxi services in the capital.
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Hearty talk

Hearty talk from Zhu Xiaodan (middle), the governor of Guangdong province in China, to a great friend, Arkebe Oqubay (PhD) (right), special adviser to the Prime Minister, during the opening ceremony of the Ethio-China (Guangdong) Economic and Trade Cooperation Conference at the Hilton Hotel on September 1, 2016. A closer look into the relations of the two countries reveals that it dates back to the Axumite dynasty – trading with its Chinese counterparts – yet the changing position of Ethiopia from the west to the eastern bloc during the Cold War put relations into a freezing zone. Before the political wedding, announced by the coming of the Socialist government, was saved due to incidentally mutual benefits – the post-1991 transitional government’s critical demand for international recognition and economic support met with China’s burning demand, which turned all of its attention
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Procurement Bill to Amend Local Preferences

A new procurement bill favouring local manufacturers and suppliers is to be tabled to Parliament. The standing committee for finance has endorsed the proposed changes. This is the first bill to amend the law that has been operational for the past five years. The proposal, which gives greater authority to the Agency – now responsible for overseeing the proposed change – touches upon many factors. These include price seals and national preferences – favouring local manufacturers and local suppliers in general. The draft has been discussed with different sector representatives, who presented their challenges and opportunities from the past five years. “We hope it will be among the first laws to be approved when the house opens in September,” said Setegne Gelaw, communications head at the Agency. The legal system put in place in 2009 is the first legal framework
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Controversy in Bids for Easter, Christmas Bazaars

With the technical evaluation to win the organiser’s title for the Christmas and Easter holiday exhibitions in 2016/17 disbursed without a clear decision for the second time, the chance of a delayed process is once again likely. It was Habesha Weekly that caused the disruption in both cases. The recent bid for the New Year’s exhibition was delayed by more than three months. Century Promotion, which is now organising the Ethiopian New Year Exhibition, claims that this has affected them in terms of extra costs and less time for preparation. The Company secured the award to organise the expo in the early weeks of July 2016. “I hope this will not happen again this time,” said Zewege Jemanhe, manager of Century. Habesha Weekly has lost their second chance to fulfil the technical requirements needed to organise the upcoming Ethiopian Christmas
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Manufacturers Get Warning Over Pollution

The Addis Abeba Environmental Protection Authority has issued a warning against over 48 institutions responsible for polluting the environment. The Nefas Silk and Rainbow Paint Factories, Sunshine Construction and sixteen plants engaged in plastic bag manufacturing were among 48 institutions identified by the Authority for polluting the air, land and water in the city. The Nefas Silk Paint Factory, located in the Nefas Silk District, had been discharging untreated waste liquid into the lower Akaki River since its establishment in 1967. The river continues to flow into the main Aba Samuel River. The company had once been sued by the Authority for its pollution of the river, though an intervention from the then Ministry of Justice led to the case being dropped. Even though the liquid discharge from the factory appears clear to the naked eye, the company’s waste tested
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

EUROSTAR Battles to Keep Its Trade Mark

Addis Abeba City Police has confiscated close to 8,690 pirated satellite dish. Police suspects the items to be imported to confuse customers with the original brand of EUROSTAR. In this process two warehouses in Merkato were raided by members of Addis Ketema district police department. The raid has come after the appeal by the lawyers of EUROSTAR Communication Plc. to the police that there are counterfeit merchandise mimicking their items and confusing customers which in a bigger scale, is affecting its market share. The appeal was issued in June 2016. The company in the letter argued that it is loosing its benefits from the market because of the presence of counterfeit commodities. It also indicates that the forged dishes from China are now being sold in Addis Abeba and other regions. EUROSTAR has finally requested for a lunch of investigation
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Agency Drop Appeal Over Billion Br Purchase

The Public Procurement Agency has dropped an appeal by Transitional Computer Technology (TCT), a US based IT firm, which claimed irregularities in the bid process run by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MoFEC) for an Integrated Financial Management Information System. The Ministry announced the bid in May 2016, with 30 companies, including TCT, taking part. This was, however, the third times for the Ministry to bring forward this bid. Previously, the Ministry cancelled two bids because of the high offers by the bidders. In mid-August, TCT filed a complaint identifying two points as deviations to the procurement law of the country. The Company sent its compliant to the Agency on August 15, 2016. In its compliant letter, TCT argued for a change in the proportional value given to the technical and financial evaluation. The Ministry of Finance &
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Flower Farms Ransacked in Bahir Dar

Close to ten flower farms were set on fire and ransacked between Monday and Wednesday, last week, following the ongoing unrest in the Amhara state. The conflict destroyed half a billion Br’s worth of investment. Most of these farms are located ten kilometres north of Bahir Dar, the capital of the Amhara State. Among these farms, Esmeralda Farms, a Dutch company, had ten million euro’s worth of property vandalised and destroyed. In a statement released by the company’s website, it stated that the entire farm had been set ablaze. “There were soldiers on our farm when the rebels came; they ran away because the group was too large,” reads the statement. The farm has 150ha of land available in Ethiopia. Last year, 25ha of it was in production, while 17ha of greenhouses were growing spray roses. Out of its farms
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Door Opens

More than six months after its establishment, Ethiopia’s maiden local reinsurance company, EthiopianRe, last week officially announced the commencement of its operations. A reception held at the Addis Abeba Hilton on Tuesday, August 23, 2016, brought together big wigs from Ethiopia’s financial sector, who at times during the establishment of the company experienced ups and downs in order to realise what can safely be described as a major turning point in the country’s insurance industry. Various institutions had their say in the process, including consulting firms in the sector, like Deloitte, under the guidance of Solomon Gizaw, managing partner (left), who suggested that Ethiopian insurance companies lose as much as 30pc of their income in hard currency to foreign reinsurers. Deputy Governor Getahun Nana of the Central Bank (centre) represented the strong hand that jealously controls Ethiopia’s financial sector and
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Pharma Manufacturers Appeal End of Protection

The Ethiopian Pharmaceuticals Manufacturers’ Association, which includes 15 local manufacturers, has submitted a letter of complaint on the unilateral action by the Pharmaceuticals Fund Supply Agency’s (PFSA) to call off a local preferential treatment clause for pharmaceutical manufacturers. This came after a back and forth, requesting a change of heart from the Agency, failed. The local preference, applied for the last four years, was granted by the then Ministry of Finance & Economic Development. A circular signed by Alemayehu Gojea, State Minister at the Ministry, was issued ordering the PFSA to make its purchases from local producers. Unless medical supplies are not available locally, they should be bought from local producers. It was made either through a national competitive bid, or a rock bottom price reached through negotiations, taking into consideration international price ranges. If there is only one producer
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

DBE Invests in High Tech Systems

Tech Mahindra Ltd. (TechM), an Indian company specialising in digital transformation, consulting and business re-engineering, has signed a deal with the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) to implement Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Business Intelligence Systems, at a cost of 780,000 dollars. The system will be integrated with the core banking system of the bank by which transaction payments and taxes are automatically monitored. Furthermore, the system will integrate the human resources including profile of employees and performance management. The agreement is aimed to enhance the operational efficiency of DBE’s business resources. “This deal demonstrates our long term commitment towards the African continent and Ethiopia,” TechM Africa Head, Prasad Kotikela, said. Esayas Bahre, President of DBE, discussed the agreement. “Various sectors in Ethiopia are currently going through an IT transformation and DBE would like to take the lead,” Esayas noted.
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Industry Monopoly Claim Rocks PM’s Office, Again

The Prime Minister’s office is once again looking at the appeal by 48 nail producers over an alleged monopoly of the market by a single producer. The investigation has now been reinitiated following the appeal submitted to the office in January 2016. The controversy first started in April 2014, when the then Ministry of Finance & Economic Development, under the request submitted by Steely RMI, wrote a letter that stripped the incentives, being treated under a lower tariff schedule afforded to nail producers. These incentives were given in the form of putting the raw material used for nail production, the wire road, under second schedule tariff incentives. Accordingly, before the introduction of the circular by the Ministry, the tariff on wire rod was just five percent. However, after 2014 it was decided that the producers who import wire rod should
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Hybrid Designs, Taxi Associations Deal to Uberise Service

A local IT company, Hybrid Designs Plc, has sealed a deal with a newly established meter taxi service provider, Ze Lucy, to “Uberise” its taxi business. Hybrid will provide and implement a technology that will be used to operate its meter taxis. The price of the service is expected to be decided in the future, after the Federal Transport Authority (FTA) determines meter taxi tariffs. Ze Lucy, a consortium of 18 taxi associations, is in the process of acquiring 800 meter taxis, from Yangfan Motors Plc, a local subsidiary of the Chinese Lifan Motors company. It comes following the FTA’s initiative that encouraged taxi associations in the capital to organise themselves under associations and provide services using duty-free imported vehicles. Hybrid had been working on a similar project, called Ride, for Addis Abeba’s iconic blue Lada cabs. Here, Ride-subscribed taxis
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

TechnoBrain Facing Half a Million Br Labour Law Suit

TechnoBrain IT Solutions Plc has been sued for half a million birr compensation and ordered to reinstate six employees. The civil charge came following the company’s decision to layoff earlier in April 2016, where it justified its action on the grounds of loss. It was the company’s audit report from two years back that was referred to in the letter to illustrate a serious financial loss, calling for such a decision. The action was justified by the labour laws provision that allows for the reduction of workers revoked in the action. Article 28 of the law allows for the reduction of workers when there is a fall in demand for products and services. Established in 1997, Techno work as software application providers, supplying leading technology, consulting and outsourcing solutions across the globe. The company has eight offices across three continents,
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Commercial Farmers Appeal Agency Warnings

Five Commercial farm developers, out of seven that faced administrative measures after receiving warning letters from the Agricultural Land Investment Agency over undue underperformance – have appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture, claiming that the decision came without a strong rationale or consultation. It was in July 2016 that the Agency gave its first level warning to seven investors, who occupy a total of 37,500ha of land in three regions. Out of these, five, which each lease a plot ranging from 500 to 10,000ha in the Southern Nations, Nationalities & Peoples’ region, are located around the Omo River. The investors have had between four to six years to show an improvement on their farms. They were supposed to develop and show progress on a yearly basis, according to the contract signed with the government. However, the investors have argued that
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

CHANGING YET CRITICAL

A year after Ethiopia faced the worst drought in its history, which put the lives of a staggering 10 million people in severe danger, the latest reports suggest that there are now some signs that the situation has improved. Historically, Ethiopia’s climatic calamities have resulted in unprecedented global funding mobilisations, with “We are the World” and the like. Now, once more, the country is officially the leading top recipients of global response funding, with close to 900 million dollars coming through a humanitarian appeal crafted in March 2016. This has come as the situation worsens, with the projection of negative impacts from La Niña – an extreme weather phenomena characterised by excessive flooding. This is expected to put close to two million people at risk and displace half a million. Though as many as 40 countries and various international aid
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Diageo, Union Standoff Over 30pc Proposed Layoff

Diageo Plc, a UK based company, has faced resistance from both the labour union and the Federation for Beverage, Tobacco & Allied Trade Unions, after Meta Abo Brewery’s proposal to layoff close to 30pc of its staff. Close to 200 employees are set to their jobs out of the more than 600. This is the fourth time the company has presented plans for mass redundancies over the past five years. Starting from 2014, the company has started to lay off its workers. From August to September 2014, Meta sacked 314 employees in two rounds. Again, for the third time it has now added 22 to that list. Those who left the company received a minimum of 19 months’ salary and more as compensation. The letter sent to the Federation ten days ago lists over ten points, justifying its move to
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Addis Rivers to Have a Face lift

A newly established office to develop rivers in Addis Abeba is to launch 14 projects throughout the city. These will be spread out across the rivers and riversides in the capital and will bid to make the city among the cleanest in Africa. The Addis Abeba River & Riversides Development Project Office was established just last year. It will be involved in the integrated development of rivers, implementing tasks to overcome soil erosion along the banks and flood exposed areas of the city. The aforementioned projects will be implemented on rivers that include – Kebena, Banche Yeketu, Kortame, Bulbula and Lequ, which cover around 600km within the city limits. In this respect, Addis Abeba University is conducting a detailed study of the rivers in five thematic areas, including socio-economic aspects and issues related with pollution. The university conducted the study
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Zemen Bank Laying Foundations Amidst Turmoil

Zemen Bank have inked a deal with a foreign construction company to erect its headquarters at the heart of Ethiopia’s financial district, along Ras Abebe Aregay Street, at a cost of 1.23 billion Br. The signing was held at the Radisson Blu Hotel on August 19, 2016, by Tsegaye Tetmke, president of Zemen, and Cai Hailong, general manager of Wu Yi’s branch in Ethiopia. This comes soon after the recent harsh measures by the Central Bank on its two senior managers, with outstanding allegations of abuse over 100-million-150 million birr in loans. Shareholders presented their issues to the National Bank in February this year. Amidst the shock, Zemen managed to award the construction contract to a Chinese company, China Wu Yi Ltd. The contractor has managed to win its first endeavour in the country, after snatching the bid from 15
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

CBE Boasts Positive Fiscal Performance

The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) has boasted a generally positive assessment of its banking operations in the recently concluded 2015/16 fiscal year. The bank’s report comes a few months after it merged with the Construction and Business Bank of Ethiopia. The merger gave the state-owned bank even bigger clout in the country’s nationalised banking industry. CBE’s branches subsequently rose from 965 to 1,136 following the historic deal. The bank, invigorated by the merger as well as its expansive strategies, now commands well over 20pc of the industry’s pre-tax profits. During the last fiscal year, CBE bagged almost 14 billion Br in profit. The bank generated income of well over 27 billion Br, while it spent just above 13 billion Br. Its profits registered a 10.3pc increment compared with the 2014/15 fiscal year. CBE, established half a century ago, is
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

City to Build 200m Br Bus Terminal

In a bid to enhance its mass transport operations, Addis Abeba is set to have four standardised bus terminals. One of the terminals in the pipeline is progressing with the selection of a construction company nearing its conclusion. Located in Merkato, Piazza, Summit and Meganagna, the terminals will accommodate a number of facilities, including cafes, ticket offices and shops. Implementation of the project has come before the endorsement of the city’s 10th Master Plan, which is still being discussed by the public. Several other components of the Master Plan have already started implementation phases. The Addis Abeba City Programme Management Office is the custodian of the project and aims to avail 40 more similar facilities in the city over the coming 10 years. The terminals are designed to enhance mass transportation services provided by different buses as points of departure
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Bill to Establish Railway Regulation, Standardisation Agency Underway

The Ministry of Transport has finalised preparatory processes ready to table a bill for the establishment of a railway regulatory body. The office will mainly be responsible for setting up and auditing standards of safety and tariff levels. It will also be expected to streamline capacity building in the required technologies, as well as licensing issues in the sector. The regulatory body, with a prior vision to ensure the safety of railway transport, comes a year after the LRT became operational, while the Ethio-Djibouti railway has come to its final chapter before completion. Among the pioneering African countries to have a railway, the Ethio-Djibouti route ceased providing a service in 2008. In the meantime, different advanced lines and technologies have been introduced to revamp the service. The Light Railway System, operational since 2015, is also the only one on the
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

The Tough Get Going

As Addis Abeba blooms into a metropolitan urban centre where millions of people dwell and make a living, getting from one end of the city to the other, or even making a short commute, is becoming a hassle to the point where transportation consumes a great deal of energy and time. Over the years, the city has witnessed different plans proposed by different administrations to address the ever-worsening problem. With the city’s current estimated population size of 3.4 million people increasing at an annual average rate of 2.5pc, and as reports indicate that only 63pc of the transportation needs of the city’s residents are being met, providing adequate transportation has become a major challenge. Despite the introduction of Sub-Saharan Africa’s maiden Light Rail Transit system, and the addition of hundreds of buses, residents brave the elements on Addis Abeba’s streets
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Importers Appeal to PM on Local Producers Steeling

Local steel importers have appealed to the Prime Minister over what they claim to be abuses by local steel producers during a mega steel purchase by government offices. The letter of appeal was filed two weeks ago directly to the PM, and also sent to Getachew Assefa, chief of the National Intelligence Agency, Mayor Diriba Kuma and attorney general Geachew Amabaye. The letter attacked local producers for manipulating the special privilege granted to them. It was in early February 2016 that a circular signed by the Minister of Finance & Economic Cooperation, Abdulaziz Abdulahi, directed government procurement agencies to give priority to local producers. “For an unlimited period of time, every purchase of re-bars and ceramics must be from local producers,” reads the circular. This circular comes after months of lobbying and discussion with the executive organ. Moreover, prior to
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Come What May: Real Estate Saga Finally Ends

A decade after May Real Estate and home buyers inked a contract, the case between 24 home buyers and the company was closed once and for all by the Council for Constitutional Inquiry, in favour of the home buyers. It was earlier this year that May Real Estate appealed for constitutional interpretation, claiming that the judiciary has denied it of its constitutional right of freedom of contract, ordering forced labour on the company. The Council, however, after examining the case, endorsed the decision of the Supreme Court ruling, which based its reasoning beyond the letter of and in the spirit of the law. “The whole purpose of the contract of real estate companies and homebuyers should be understood in the overall policy direction that took into consideration alleviating housing problems,” the ruling reads. Following this frame of interpretation, it has
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

City Spends Big on Roads

The road sector continues to enjoy the largest share of the budget from the Addis Abeba City Administration. For almost five years now, the sector has been allotted a large amount of money, surpassing investments in other sectors. The road sector took the lion’s share of this fiscal year’s budget, with 5.5 billion Br out of the total 35.4 billion Br budget. The figure, though large, has seen a decline in comparison with the previous two fiscal years’ budget for roads – 5.7 billion and 5.8 billion Br. The city’s budget, which comes after the city endorsed a new master plan, focuses on mass transportation schemes, housing and socio-economic development, and industrialisation, with the road sector getting the biggest portion. For the last five consecutive years, the city has allocated 1.4 billion, 1.5 billion, 3.9 billion, 5.7 billion and 5.8
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Export Earnings Plunge Despite Volume Surge

Ethiopia earned approximately seven percent less from its exports in 2015/16 than it did in the previous fiscal year, though the country actually exported more commodities in terms of volume. Any rate of decline in earnings from exports is closely watched in the country, as the state-driven economy is continuing with its policy of robust public investment. The decline in earnings will inevitably exacerbate public debt. A report published by the Ministry of Trade (MoT) last week showed that the country earned 139 million dollars less than the three billion dollars registered in 2014/15. Last year, the export sector significantly underperformed as it missed its set target of four billion dollars by a wide margin. Compounded by last year’s poor performance, the share of export earnings in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country has continued its usual pattern
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Agency Frames Regulatory Stick on Private Higher Education Institutions at Fault

The Higher Education Relevance & Quality Agency (HERQA) is about to introduce penalties on higher education institutions that engage in activities that do not adhere to the principles stipulated in the country’s higher education proclamation. The Agency has taken more than a year since it came up with its zero draft of the directive, which categorises illegal conducts by colleges and universities. In line with this, the directive also clearly states the consequences when it comes to making offenders accountable to their actions. The initial document has indicated a few misconducts and their penalties, while the latest draft has introduced 15 misconducts and irregularities and their corresponding penalties. “The directive has come very late,” a source told Fortune on the condition of anonymity. The latest draft has been circulated to stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Education, private higher education
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

A Performance that Restores Faith in Clean Sport

In a scintillating solo performance on Friday morning, Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana obliterated the world 10,000m record to win the first gold of the athletics events at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. With ever-increasing doubts and scrutiny over top level performances in athletics these days, can the 25-year-old help to restore faith in the sport? In the world of sport, there are great performances. There are also unbelievable, out-of-the-blue results that drop jaws and have fans grasping for air. And then, there is Almaz Ayana, whose performance in the final of the women’s 10,000m final at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games had a few atheists screaming “Oh My God”. It was barely noon Rio time before Ayana, who came into the Games having ran a world-leading mark for the event, took hold of the race at the 4,000m mark,
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

4.6b Br Roads Linking Expressway Inaugurated

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn inaugurated two roads with a combined length of 28.1km that connect the Addis-Adama expressway with Addis Abeba. The 4.6 billion Br project links the express way with the city through the 14.6km long Akaki-ICT Park (Goro) road and the 13.6km Akaki-Lebu road. The Chinese contractor, China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) won the bid for the project back in 2009 and finalized the construction six months ahead of schedule. Supervision and consultancy of the project was carried out by another Chinese firm, Beijing Expressway Supervision. The inauguration of the two roads is expected to significantly ease traffic congestion at Ethiopia’s busies road – the Akaki – Bishoftu corridor. The newly inaugurated roads, which are 28m wide and have three lanes on each side, features 16 bridges and a train-crossing bridge. The Chinese EXIM Bank provided a loan
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

NEW GENERATION

The countdown is finally over and the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games officially launched on Friday evening. Rio delivered a glitzy opening ceremony and the Brazilian authorities can breathe a sigh of relief after finalizing preparations to the games on the set date, beating expectations made by some that the games would not start on time in light of lagging construction of venues and other infrastructure facilities. Friday night’s bright opening ceremony also seemed to have removed the threat of the Zika Virus that have plagued the run up to the games in Brazil. Among the beats and dancing of the Brazilian Samba, athletes from the world over paraded with their national flags held up high. A first for Ethiopia, the country’s Olympic team delegation paraded with Tsigabu Gebremariam, a cyclist carrying the national flag. This summer’s games also sees
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Win Some, Lose Some on Grand ERCA Corruption Case

The high profile corruption case brought against high ranking government officials and prominent businessmen back in October 2013 by the Federal Ethics & Anti-Corruption Commission, last week saw the High Court dropping some charges and upholding others. Despite having some charges dropped, all defendants were ordered by the court to prepare their defenses for some 93 charges. In a large scale operation that saw the apprehension of around 60 high profile individuals, the government claims it has lost close to 800 million Br due to the alleged corruption offences perpetrated by the suspects. The offences allegedly took place between 2008 and 2012 while Melaku Fenta, the Netherlands educated former head of the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA), was at the helm of the Authority and was credited with boosting government revenue from 19 billion Br in 2008 to 84.2
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NBE Pulls Red Card on Two Zemen Bank Vice Presidents

Zemen Bank has lost two of its top-executive mangers, Helaway Tadesse and Sebhat Belayneh, senior vice president and vice-president for international banking  respectively, based on the allegation that they have involved in loan approval process, in which they are believed to have a close relationship with the borrowing company. The letter dated August 2nd, 2016 signed by Getahun Nana, vice-governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) makes reference to two particular loan approval procedures close to six years ago. The first case in which the Senior Vice President Helaway was implicated was the loan granted in 2010. Helaway, prior to his engagement in Access Capital had experience in the macro-economic and close acquaintance with Ermias T. Amelga, major shareholder in pioneer agro industry. The letter came without citing any procedural trespass but rationale of conflict of interest.  The same
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Addis Glass Completes Phase One Expansion

The 40-year-old Addis Abeba Bottle & Glass Company has completed an expansion project worth half a billion birr. With this, it has increased its capacity to 81 million bottles a year. As it stands, it has a capacity of producing less than quarter this amount – 20 million bottles. “This is a third of the planned three-phased expansion worth 1.5 billion Br commissioned a year ago,” said Semene Bekele, deputy CEO of the Company. “The Company will boost its capacity eightfold.” When the ownership of company was transferred from the state to a local company, Bazeto, five years ago, the latter paid 61 million Br for the acquisition. Five years down the line, the capital value is estimated to have grown to half a billion birr. In 2015, the ownership changed to a 50-50 share between Ethiopian Bazeto Industries &
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New Board to Spark National Tobacco’s Progress

Following the transfer of the government’s 40pc share in the National Tobacco Enterprise (NTE), a new board of directors (BoD) has been brought in to oversee the company. The restructuring of the BoD was made as per the share amount owned by the three shareholders, Japan Tobacco International (JTI), Sheba Groups and the Ethiopian government. In this respect, JTI is represented by three individuals, while Sheba and the Ethiopian government are delegated by two individuals each at the seven-seater board. The board will be chaired by Sufian Ahmed, former Minister of Finance & Economic Cooperation. In addition, the Board has Demitu Hambissa, Minister of Public Enterprise, as the second individual representing the government on the board. JTI paid 510 million dollars to purchase the shares from the enterprise. The offer by JTI was a record high as far as Ethiopia’s
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Abyssinia Bank to Pay 100,000Br President Salary

The Bank of Abyssinia has claimed the top spot as the Ethiopian bank paying the most to its senior management, though the salary increment for its mid-level staff is rather less flamboyant. While some staff members saw their salary shoot up by as much as 200pc, others were completely left out with no addition to their monthly income. In addition to the lack of uniformity in the increment scheme, there is a huge gap in the scale by which staff salaries have risen based on hierarchy. The pay rise. which is said to have come after a study conducted by an international consultant, Deloitte, has brought a significant change to the income of staff at the highest managerial level. Clerks at the department level will get 15,000 to 16,000Br; principal managers of departments from 26,000 to 37,000Br; directors of departments
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Public Transport Ticket System Outsourced

Kifya Financial Technology is working on an initiative to oversee the billing system for public transport across the country. In a bid to modernise the system, the Federal Transport Authority has been facilitating a link between the company and the associations. The two are yet to reach an agreement over the profit share of Kifya, however. Kifya will manage the billing system by making it close to the customers, using around 500 agents. Currently, customers in Addis Abeba, for instance, have to visit the bus depot to buy their tickets. In addition, Kifya will create a system where the owners of the buses would get their money from a Bank or the nearest Kifya office. In this respect, close to 1,500 buses will be integrated into the system, owned by 17 associations and four private companies. Out of these, the
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Dev’t Bank Reports Decline in Profits, Increase in Loans

The Development Bank of Ethiopia has reported a decline in its net profit after tax and an increase in its non-performing loans (NPL). In this regard, the profit has declined by 39pc to 413.9 million Br, while the NPL has increased to 5.6 billion Br from 3.4 billion. Throughout the year, the Bank has gone through a series of changes, as well as a restructuring of its operational framework. The unaudited report of the bank shows that, in its core role of financing projects, it has managed to improve its figures. In the last fiscal year, the bank disbursed total loans of 11.84 billion Br across 283 projects – underperforming its plan of 14.82 billion Br. Sector wise, manufacturing took the lion’s share of the loans, with 9.4 billion Br; agriculture followed with 1.5 billion Br, while the rest spread
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Finally

With a renewed impetus to revamp its earnings from taxation, given the herculean task of financing wide-ranging infrastructure development projects envisioned under the growth and transformation plan, the government has endorsed a new bill on income tax last week. Ethiopia does not fare well when it comes to government revenue collected in the form of taxes from individuals and businesses compared to other African countries and the sub Saharan region in particular. Though government revenue from personal income taxes during the first five years of the country’s development program has witnessed a sustained growth, the overall government income from all taxes has failed to meet its set target in relation to its share of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country during the previous fiscal year. House Speaker Abadula Gemeda (left) was as witty and humorous as ever as
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C&E Brothers Steels a Move with 784m Br Contract

The Public Procurement Service has awarded a local steel producer, C&E Brothers, a 784 million Br contract for the supply of 44 million kg of reinforcement bars. C & E won the bid to supply the bars after giving the lowest offers, competing alongside two other local producers, Steely RMI Plc and East Steel Plc. This is the second major contract for C & E, as far as sealing a deal to supply steel bars is concerned. Just three weeks ago, it also managed to win over another tender to supply 125,549tn of steel bars to the Addis Abeba Saving House Development Enterprise, with a total contract price of 2.2 billion Br. At that time, the company had listed 17,710Br, 17,110Br, 17,110Br and 17,240Br for one tonne of the 12mm, 14mm, 16mm and 20mm bars, respectively. C & E has
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Geothermal Energy Heats Up With Royalty Payment Exemption

The newly approved bill on geothermal resources exempts royalty payments for companies engaged in thermal resource development and exploration in the country. Last week, Parliament, which was dissolved on July, 8, 2016, was summoned for an urgent session and unanimously approved a number of bills, including the “Geothermal Resources Development Proclamation 2016”. Before the new proclamation was approved by legislators, geothermal resources were considered as any other extractable mineral resource, with no consideration to the peculiar characteristics of this energy source. It was governed by legislation designed for other minerals. Investment in geothermal resource development was subjected to Mining Proclamation No.52/1993 and administered by the then Ministry of Mines and Energy (MoME). However, geothermal resource is unique, as it is a renewable source of energy. “Royalty payments remain binding for non-renewable energy resource developers, but not for renewable ones,” said
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Gore-Teppi Road Project Gets Parliamentary Nod for $127m Korea Loan

Ethiopian Parliament, during its extraordinary session last week, approved a 127-million-dollar loan agreement with the Korea EXIM bank for the Gore-Tepi road connectivity improvement project. The poor condition non-paved road is planned to be upgraded to an asphalt concrete road at an average cost of nearly a million dollars a km. This stands way behind the record high Melka Jebdu to Dire Dawa road project, which cost 63.5 million dollars a km. While the Bank will hold back nine million dollars as a service charge, the remaining 30 million dollars will be financed by the government. The whole loan is to be repaid in full in four decades, with an interest rate of 0.01pc. Beginning the approval of the loan and first disbursement in three months’ time, the project is scheduled to be finalised in five years. Preparation, including route
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Shoa Bakery Forced to Reinstate Union Leader

The one-year saga between the Shoa Bread and Flour Factory and its newly elected workers’ union leader has ended, with the High Court decision to reinstate Edilu Negash. The series of events started when the company unilaterally and without the consent of the leader decided to transfer him away from the head office to a branch in Adama, Oromia region. Edilu Negash opposed the company’s decision, referring to a special protection extended to union leaders by a regulation. It was at this point that the Federation for Beverage, Tobacco & Allied Trade Unions became involved, on January 7, 2016. Later, the Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions (CETU), under the auspices of national trade union federations, took over the case and appealed for intervention from the Addis Abeba City Administration Labour Relations Board. CETU, at this stage, has more than half
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Ethiopia Becomes Destination of First Private Pan-African IT Academy

A collaboration between Coders for Africa (C4A), an African software developer and software outsourcing company, and Hiruy Amanuel Yikunoamlake, an investor based in the Silicon Valley, has resulted in the establishment of Gebeya Developer Services, a Pan-African IT training centre that also doubles up as a talent sourcing platform. Established with an estimated overhead cost of around 12 million Br, the training centre aims to develop African talent while providing an online IT services marketplace for a global cliental. Gebeya’s business model has various structures, with its marketing division based in Kenya and its administrative and legal staff based in the Silicon Valley, while the academy is located in Ethiopia. Gebeya was conceived when the co-founder and CEO of C4A, Amadou Daffe, was searching for an investor who would be willing to get on board the African IT industry wagon
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City’s BRT Project Gets Additional French Finance

Addis Abeba’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project has received an additional 39 million dollars in finance from Agencé France de Development (AfD). This is a second round credit, after the organisation injected finance into the same project last year. The project has already received 56 million dollars of finance from the AfD to commence construction. The money will be used specifically in the construction and launching of the BRT’s pilot lane, B2. BRT, which is considered a cost effective approach, is a component of the city’s plan to shift to a mass based transport system. BRT will introduce dedicated lanes for buses, a longer stop spacing than the conventional buses and wider rights of way. It is also more cost effective than the newly implemented Light Railway Transit (LRT) mass transport system. The aforementioned study found that BRT fares can
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Heritage Society on the Verge of Bankruptcy

The Public prosecutor has filed a lawsuit against five administrative and finance managers at the Ethiopian Heritage Conservation Society (EHCS), as a result of close to two million birr being missing from their book of accounts. In the meantime, the impact of the misappropriation has left the society in dire straits, with the failure to pay salaries to close to 90 employees for months. It was an external audit report in 2014 that first reported the misappropriation of 3.5 million Br. The general assembly, which was surprised by years of misappropriation, handed the case over to the Charities and Societies Agency. The Agency, mandated to closely follow-up the administration and accounts of such organisations, filed cases against the individuals and managers who failed to carry out their duties as prescribed by the law. Since the new law that categorises non-governmental
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Farmer Protests Leave City Under Trash

Addis Abeba’s solid waste has now been piling-up across neighbourhoods in the city for the past 10 days, after the Sanitation Administration Agency failed to pick up the capital’s trash. Farmers in Berke Wereda, Oromia Special Zone, where Sendafa Landfill, the new waste disposal and recycling centre of the city, is located, refuse to allow garbage to be dumped in the area. Sendafa Landfill, which was built by VINCI Grands Projets, a French construction company, with over 337 million Br, rests on 137ha of land. It is designed to provide waste management services for over 3.5 million residents of the capital and 195,255 residents of the Oromia special zones, particularly – Sululta, Lege Tafo, Burayu, Sebeta and Gelan. On average, a person in Addis Abeba generates 2.1 cubic metres of trash a day. The city’s government plans to collect over
Posted in Business, Ethiopian News

Supply Agency Faces Wrap in Defective Condom Procurement

The international pharmaceuticals Company HLL, which was on trial for supplying 60 million substandard and defective condoms, was let off the hook last week. The Property Administration Agency dropped the request of the Pharmaceuticals Fund & Supply Agency (PFSA) to blacklist the company alongside other penalties. The decision came after four months of investigation, which ruled that the PFSA failed to carry-out the quality check as per the contract. “The investigation has found that the Agency had failed to follow procedures, as per the contract, and therefore burdens the responsibility and not the company,” an expert involved in the investigation told Fortune. While the investigation was pending decision, the PFSA publicly declared the disposal of defective condoms delivered by HLL, basing its decision on Ethiopia’s Food, Medicine & Health Care Administration & Control Authority (FMHACA). The FMHACA report indicated a
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Bureau Steps Up Hawassa IP Recruitment

The Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Trade and Industry Bureau has sourced close to 25,000 workers to be trained and recruited for the Hawassa Industrial Park (HIP), which is expected to become operational in October 2016. A total budget of close to 60 million Br is set aside for the Hawassa Industrial Park Sourcing and Training Employees in the Region (HIPSTER) to source, recruit and train 30,000 workers in two years. This represents half of the ultimate absorption capacity of the Park when it is fully occupied and operational at full capacity. The signatories, represented by the Regional Bureau of Trade and Industry, the Ethiopian Textile Industry Development Institute (ETIDI), the Association of Tenants of the Hawassa Industrial Park and Enterprise Partners, have committed to raising the required labour force over the next two-and-a-half-year period. “The Corporation is glad to
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Low Debt Stress Risk to Ethiopia Despite Rising SOE Loans

Though state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Ethiopia continue to borrow heavily to finance their multi-dimensional development investments, the nation is among the few in Africa with a low debt stress risk. The Economic Development in Africa Report 2016, subtitled Debt Dynamics and Development Finance in Africa – published on July 21, 2016, by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) – indicated that Ethiopia is one of only 10 African countries with a low risk of debt distress, as of November 2015. The report underscored that “Africa’s external debt ratios appear manageable, but African Governments must take action to prevent rapid debt growth from becoming a crisis”. The publication of the report comes against the backdrop of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa, a few months back. The SDGs require at least 600 billion dollars
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Agency Gets Tough on Dormant Commercial Farms

Seven commercial farm developers, who occupy a total of 37,500ha of land in three regions, have received warning letters for leaving the land unutilised for so long. The area of farmland is almost equivalent to three quarters of Addis Abeba city or three times the size of Bole district. During the early weeks of July 2016, the Agricultural Land Investment Administration Agency wrote a final warning letter to one of the developers and first warnings to the remaining five. This comes after a four and six-year wait, respectively, for the developers to show significant produce from their estates. The investors who leased the land, which ranges from 500ha up to 10,000ha in the SNNP, Gambella and Benishangul-Gumuz regions, have failed to bear fruit. In this respect, the total land leased in SNNPR takes the lion’s share. Among the seven companies,
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Local Steel Producers in Final Race to Win Bid

Three local steel producers have passed through a technical evaluation and progressed on to the financial evaluation stage. Each submitted their offers to win a competitive bid for the supply of reinforcement bars to the government. The three producers, C & E Brothers, East Steel Plc and Steely RMI, gave their respective prices for the supply of 44.1 million kg of reinforcement bars. This bid comes after a battle with the Public Procurement & Property Disposal Service, when it was declared that they had failed the technical evaluation a month ago. The Service rejected the bidders’ certificates, claiming they did not meet standard tests. The Service opened the companies’ technical proposals on May 5, 2016. After almost one month of evaluation over their technical eligibility, the results were announced on June 14, 2016, in a letter sent to all three
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