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Don't Despair! My Weekly Eritrea Tidbits, Are Here.

Post by Zmeselo » 03 Jan 2018, 13:21


A Prudent Remedy

Saturday, 30 December 2017 ... editorial-

Written by: Shabait Administrator

All substantive commercial transactions, must adhere to relevant Bank regulations. This is not only normative but has also been stipulated in publicly announced, explicit, regulations.

As it will be recalled, the old Nakfa Currency Notes in circulation were redeemed and new Nakfa Currency Notes introduced two years ago; in December 2015. The overriding purpose of this multi-layered measure was to address, in a comprehensive manner, prevalent economic drawbacks and challenges. And, as it was assiduously explained by competent regulatory government bodies at the time, a raft of new regulations were charted out to ensure the achievement of the desired objectives through rigorous implementation, and periodic monitoring, of these rules.

One of the mandatory Bank regulations that were introduced with the redemption of the old Nacfa Notes, was the requirement to carry out all commercial as well as individual financial transactions above a certain amount, through bank Cheques and money transfers, instead of liquid money. Efficiency and security were vital considerations, behind the new regulations. To this end, all the Banks in the country have been exerting vigorous efforts to sensitize the public, to adhere to the new modalities of doing business, as well as to upgrade the efficiency of their own operations, with the ultimate objective of reducing cash transfers to the lowest minimum possible.

This is, admittedly, still work in progress. Modernization of banking operations is, indeed, predicated on efficient utilization of latest technology in the field, expert manpower and considerable experience. Nonetheless, robust efforts continue to be exerted, with a strong sense of purpose.

Commercial transactions carried out in cash are always fraught with security, social, economic and other avoidable pitfalls. Monitoring or verification of these transactions is often impossible, due to the absence of appropriate paper trail. In this sense, these transactions are amenable or convenient for flouting fiscal and monetary regulations; such as tax evasion and/or black market currency exchanges. Deleterious ramifications of these illicit practices include; spiraling depreciation of the national currency and resultant inflation, as well as illegal capital flight. This aggravates, in turn, the living conditions of the public at large.

Efforts exerted in the past months, to cultivate as a culture and consolidate the routine use of the new financial modalities have not been wholly successful, due to inertia and entrenched illicit practices in some circles. As such, violations that include periodic withdrawal of substantial cash from their bank accounts without injecting any back; opaque commercial operations designed to conceal the source and magnitude of their earnings/revenues; refusal to accept Bank Cheques for transactions that fall under this category and preferring to deal with cash transfer, in breach of the mandatory regulations; and illicit activities in parallel market currency exchanges and capital flight have continued. In the circumstances, the Government is taking appropriate remedial measures, on the basis of rigorous inspection and appraisal of these practices.

As part and parcel of these inspections and as a first warning, temporary stoppage of their commercial activities, has been imposed on almost 450 entities (mostly in the hospitality sector). The duration of the stoppage varies, from one to eight months, depending on the magnitude and gravity of the specific violations of each business entity. The number of enterprises affected by this measure may not be big, when seen in the context of the 58,000 licensed businesses, that operate in the country. The trend is nonetheless unhealthy and warrants appropriate action.

Needless to emphasize, the remedial measures taken are aimed at the cultivation and consolidation of commercial practices, that fully adhere to the prevailing financial regulations. As such, it is incumbent on all citizens, and especially on business enterprises, to conduct their business affairs in accordance with the law. The more so, as the ultimate objective of the mandatory financial regulations is, to strengthen the national economy and thereby secure the interests and rights of the population at large.

___________________________________________________ Q & A-Introducing Modern Date Palm Cultivation to Eritrea

Written by: Billion Temesghen

Wednesday, 03 January 2018

We talk today, to Dr. Abdallah Ben Abdallah, FAO international consultant and senior date palm specialist.

Dr. Abdallah made his way to Eritrea from his home country, Tunisia, for a joint project of the Eritrean Ministry of Agriculture and FAO; regarding the introduction of modern date palm cultivation. He is the team leader of the project, FAOTCP, and his experiences and views on Eritrea follow.

-Dr. Abdallah, thank you for your time. We would first like to get to know you. So please, introduce yourself to our readers.

I grew up with close familiarity to date palm and its cultivation from a very young age; my father is a date palm farmer in Tunisia. Therefore, for my higher education, I focused on the science of date palm and its nature. It is something I enjoy very much, as date palm farming is extremely rewarding. My job as FAO international consultant and senior date palm specialist, led me to many countries. I worked in Yemen, Namibia, and Saudi Arabia and at the moment I am here with you, in Eritrea. This time around, I am here for my third mission and our project has been showing us promising results. It has been a pleasure working in Eritrea, with its people.

-How did you get to know about Eritrea?

I was appointed by FAO to be team leader of the date farm project, a technical cooperation project between FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture, in Eritrea. The aim is to develop the date farm in the country. With, also, a special focus of assisting the laboratories of NARI, the National Agriculture Research Institute in Halhale, for propagating the technical approaches of the institute, as well as to enhance the capacity of the staff. Moreover, part of the project is to enhance the actual farming of date palm in suitable areas of the country, while raising awareness and enhancing knowledge amongst farmers.

-Is Eritrea favorable for date palm farming?

It is, extremely. Eritrea, in fact, has a huge potential. Date palm cultivation, could be one of the biggest agro- industrial sectors of the country. It can be advantageous for small, individual farmers and also for national harvest. I believe in the near future, Eritrea could be a major exporter of dates.

-Can you explain why you actually believe that the country could even benefit from exporting dates?

From a professional stand point, I believe that Eritrea meets all of requirements date farm needs. The soil is good, the water is there and the climate is extremely helpful. Eritrea’s climate is characterized generally, by three seasons. This is a factor that suits the cultivation of different types of date palm trees of good quality. I’d like to mention also the willingness of the Ministry of Agriculture and the farmers at large. Every stake holder, is ready to assist the sector in all possible ways. What I can assert, in few words is the fact that in Eritrea, only the technical knowledge was missing. This lack, hindered the farmers from realizing the benefits of date palm cultivation. However, with the willingness of the government to assist farmers as well as projects for national harvest, I believe that there will be great outcome, coming out of the TCP project in Eritrea. Eritrea’s Northern and Southern Red Sea Regions, are extremely suitable. Therefore, we disseminated nine types of date palm trees in both of the regions, after scientifically identifying the soil type, water basins and the climate. We planted and pollinated trees.

-Okay. Is there a reason why you became fond of date palm?

I learned from a young age, that date palm tree is a sacred tree. It can be harvested for more than 50 years. If well maintained, it can give its fruits even for 70 years. Moreover, in each harvest season, mostly once a year, one tree is able to produce 300 kilograms of dates! You have to work hard and treat the tree properly, in order for you to benefit abundantly. Of course once you plant, you have to wait two to three years. But then you can harvest early. Let’s stay in the 5th year, the tree gives abundantly.

-Can you please briefly tell us what your work experience in Eritrea was like?

I met and worked with professionals, of different fields. We worked on capacity building, within the laboratories. We worked with farmers and we worked with many other stakeholders, whose willingness to work hard led to the implementation of our project, as planned and as expected. This, along with the technical briefings of the project were explained in the terminal workshop in Massawa, in the presence of his Excellency the Minister of Agriculture, and others. The project was undeniably succesfull. For subsistence farmers, we set out intensive trainings and we planted with them. We divided the farmers in two categories: subsistence farmers; to whom we gave 10 plants to each household and commercial farmers; to whom we gave 100 plants each. And this is just the beginning. The project will be extended, based on the interests of the farmers. We also set out a pilot plantation in Gahtelay, with the collaboration of the Livestock Corporation of the Northern Red Sea Region, where we planted date palm of nine varieties. Gahtelay, will be our bank of seeds in case the demand of cultivation grows… In fact, I am quite certain, it will. I am extremely satisfied with the people’s participation, in the implementation of the project. Starting from pollination, plantation and harvesting. The interest from farmers of both categories, is impressive. Of course, this is the first aspect. The second aspect, will focus on harvesting, and the third on exporting. The Ministry of Agriculture, has set out its budgets and everything, so I think that the date palm project in Eritrea, will be prosperous.

-Before we end, tell me about your personal experience in Eritrea. I am sure you felt at home and had no problems of talking and discussing with the farmers as Arabic is widely spoken in Eritrea.

You are right. All along I had no problems in communicating and delivering my discourses. I felt welcomed and well received all along. It was honestly a real pleasure for me to be in Eritrea. I spent a lot of time in Asmara, Massawa and Assab. Eritrea is indeed, a beautiful country. But what pleased me most, is the willingness of the people to work. This particular attitude of the people, will impact the project positively. Many of the farmers I met, had abandoned date palm farming and shifted to cash crops. Slowly now, the interest is growing by the day and farmers are encouraged to invest on date palm farming. Like I said before, not far from now, dates will be a major export goods from Eritrea.

Best wishes, to the farmers and stakeholders!


ERi-TV: Seeing is Believing/ ምርኣይ ምእማን አዩ - Students Tour National Development Sites.


Never Give Up - The Eritrean Boxing Doctor Biniam Kiflai from Germany.

The first Eritrean doctor ever, to have been born in Germany.

Senior Member
Posts: 10911
Joined: 30 Jul 2010, 20:43

Re: Don't Despair! My Weekly Eritrea Tidbits, Are Here.

Post by Zmeselo » 05 Jan 2018, 10:41

MJ (Mining Journal) / Colluli distinguishes Danakali ... s-danakali

Every step in the journey towards the near-term development of Australian-based Danakali’s (AU:DNK) Colluli premium potash joint venture in Eritrea is improving the already stellar outlook for the 200-plus year project.

Colluli hosts the shallowest evaporite deposit in the world with over 1.1 billion tonnes of potassium salts

04 JANUARY 2018

The company is in the middle of a busy quarter with its Front End Engineering Design (FEED) improving costings, efficiencies and taking the project's metrics to an accuracy of +/-10%; a London Stock Exchange listing is imminent and advanced offtake and debt funding discussions are underway. Early site works are slated for the end of 2018.

The Danakali team has taken a considered approach to "do justice" to the resource, which they describe as being positively unique.

Colluli has an expected 200-plus year mine life thanks to its 1.1 billion tonne ore reserve at 10% potassium oxide for 216 million tonnes of contained potassium sulphate (SOP), a product that commands a premium to the more common muriate of potash (MOP).

While the initial focus is on SOP production, Colluli's composition means it can produce three of the four potash types which are sold in the global market, plus it contains a 347Mt rock salt resource.

Unlike potassium-rich brine resources which are typically the most common source of primary feed material for SOP production, Colluli contains the optimal mix of potassium feed salts in solid form. With mineralisation starting within 16m of surface, this provides Colluli unrivalled capital intensity and a faster path to revenue generation in contrast with brine-based potash operations that require very large, capital intensive evaporation ponds, take considerable time to revenue generation due to the substantial evaporation requirements and carry significant production rate risk as a result of variability in ambient conditions and hydrogeology.

To date, the FEED phase has resulted in an increase in SOP production rate of each phase of the development by 47,000 tonnes per annum, a reduction in the operation's footprint and drop in capital costs from the DFS estimate of US$337 million to $333 million for phase one development. Further capital reductions are expected from the final optimisation work on the water delivery system which is nearing completion.

"Fundamentally, we're seeing greater throughput and lower cost estimates from FEED," outgoing managing director and CEO Paul Donaldson explains.

"And we have to reiterate, this project is not just an SOP project, it's got so much growth potential.
Potential that simply cannot be matched by any other potash resource on the planet.

"We have already started working on long term export options that will allow the monetisation of other salts within the resource and further improve the cash costs of Colluli SOP. The initial phase of the project will commence using existing shiploading infrastructure at Massawa, but we expect to announce results of the long term ship-loading solution in the first (March) quarter of the next calendar year which we are confident will further demonstrate the strength of the resource and its location.

"Colluli is, afterall, the closest SOP deposit to a coastline globally."

As the project transitions to the next phase, the company has also experienced a seamless management transition with Danakali head of marketing Danny Goeman taking over the CEO role from Donaldson, who is remaining on the board as a non-executive director and will chair a newly formed technical and risk sub-committee.

The pair have a strong working relationship and their views on the project's merits and the path forward were clearly aligned when they outlined Danakali's rapid progress to Mining Journal at their head office in Perth.

Goeman, a former executive of global mining giant Rio Tinto, said taking the figures to a higher level of accuracy in the FEED phase, to +/-10% from the +/-15% level in the earlier definitive feasibility study, put the company in a strong position to support the funding solution and take the project forward.

"It puts us in a really strong position to further advance our debt funding discussions, which have progressed in parallel with the study and offtake discussions," he said.

It also set the fully-permitted Colluli apart from other potash projects at scoping study stage which had figures at +/-40% accuracy, he pointed out.

"The questions from the debt side are ‘what specific items of equipment are required and who are your suppliers going to be?'," he said.

"We've already got firm bids, from our potential mining contractor and power provider. The bids have come in within 2% of our DFS estimates which really validates the quality of the study and the service providers we've used in our journey and adds further confidence to an already very robust project.

"We do talk about Colluli being the most advanced stage greenfield SOP development project globally. From PFS to completion of FEED, the project has consistently demonstrated that it is robust, fundable and unrivalled with regard to economic returns.

"We have consistently communicated the value of the solid form potassium salts to minimise capital intensity and development capital and the study results continue to validate this."

Donaldson pointed out that every study phase on Colluli had delivered better results than the previous one, which was testament to the quality of people involved and the approach taken.

"The amount of value we've created from this project through the disciplined execution process has been huge," he said.

"If you evaluate the journey from PFS to FEED, the estimated NPV value of the first module alone has increased by more than US$80 million."

The positive outcome of the DFS was an important milestone for another reason however, with Donaldson noting every project in Eritrea that has had a positive DFS outcome has made it into production.

"It might be a handful of projects, but it's 100% success rate," he said.

Danakali's 50% joint venture partner at Colluli is the Eritrean National Mining Corporation (ENAMCO), which has a solid development track record including taking the Bisha copper-zinc mine into production with its joint venture partner Nevsun Resources.

"Our joint venture partnership is a key enabler for success," Donaldson said.

"It takes away the noise of jurisdictional and political risk, and stabilises the landscape for us internally. I think the jurisdiction and the general geo-political landscape is the most poorly understood element of this project.

"Over the years, we have hosted many site visits with consistent, positive feedback on the people, in-country safety and ease of access to and from both the country and the Colluli site."

Further site visits are planned over the coming months as offtake discussions progress towards binding agreements. Multiple parties have completed their own technical due diligence and provided positive feedback not only on the project but also on the credible feasibility studies.

Offtake agreements are expected to be finalised by the end of the March quarter of 2018. The company has a very clear offtake strategy, and is executing negotiations consistent with it.

Danakali is well funded with approximately A$16 million (US$12.3 million) of cash at the start of December and is currently not planning to raise capital as part of its secondary listing on the LSE.

It sees London as the exchange of choice for an African-focused developer and has received strong backing from UK-based investors including JP Morgan and Capital Group in recent equity raisings.

The company has an increasing UK presence with former BHP executive Andre Liebenberg being appointed non-executive director. The seasoned industry professional is London-based, as is chairman Seamus Cornelius.

Danakali has made other strategic appointments to guide the company's growth, including experienced potash executive Bob Connochie who brings extensive senior mining industry experience to his role as non-executive director.

Furthermore, with support from ENAMCO, Danakali appointed multi-commodity and African construction experienced Tony Harrington as project manager to oversee Colluli's construction phase.

Endeavour Financial is leading debt funding discussions and will draw on its Eritrean experience in advising on the financing of the Bisha project.

"I feel the company is in good shape," Donaldson said.

"We've got a worldclass project, a good cash position, we're well advanced in all the key streams, FEED is going to deliver a better result than the DFS and we've got a really strong relationship with our joint venture partner."

He said the company was well-positioned for growth and said Goeman was the ideal person to take Danakali into the next phase of development.

"I'll always be passionate about the jurisdiction, the project and the company and that's part of reason I'm staying involved but fundamentally, I just believe in the project," Donaldson said.

"Having someone internal who can take over and do the transition that's non-disruptive and keep our aligned path forward I think is fantastic for the project, fantastic for the company and fantastic for shareholders."

Goeman said the sheer quality of the resource and the opportunity to build on the work done by Danakali's quality team were key factors in agreeing to take over the helm.

"We've made such good progress on the offtake discussions and discussions with financiers - you can see it all converge to the point where you can see this is going to be an exciting time," he said.

"I think we've really given ourselves the best opportunity for success."

___________________________________________________ / New direct shipping service between Italy and Eritrea ... d-eritrea/

5 January 2018

ERITREA - The Milanese shipping company Fortune International Transport has announced the launch of a new service that will connect Italy with Eritrea, by sea and by air.

To make it known, it was through a note the same shipping company, specifying that the service is characterized by withdrawals throughout Italy with consolidation in Milan and weekly departures.

In particular, with regard to shipping, the route will be via Genoa with arrival in Massawa while for the air freight will be shipped from Milan Malpensa airport with arrival in Asmara.

The global transit time is approximately three weeks for sea transport and one day for cargoes sent by air.

In addition, the company offers for this new line warehouses customs departing and arriving ("Fast track service" guaranteed). The service, which is still specified, is offered as a priority to shippers, who are offered highly competitive prices.

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