Wednesday 22 November 2017
(Xinhuanet 10/17/17)
Kenya's plantation union on Monday denied reports that flower farmers are relocating to Ethiopia due to frequent labor unrest in the east African nation. Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU) Assistant General Secretary Meshack Khisa rejected reports made by county officials as alarmist and reckless. He said that workers in the sector had the right to agitate for higher pay due to the high cost of living which had pushed up the price of basic commodities. "The governor's statements of farmers relocating to Ethiopia is misinformed, alarmist and reckless as the flower industry has continued to grow and expand rather than shrink," Khisa said in Naivasha, about 90 km northwest of Nairobi, referring to Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, who...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Though its motto is "one Africa, one voice", the reality of "Africa's parliament" could not be more different. Since its creation in 2004, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has struggled to make its voice heard, prompting its deputies to ask themselves at a recent gathering: "What are we for?" "Every time we're here, we obsess over the same things. If we are not making laws, then what's the point of being here?" Corneille Padonou of Benin said to his fellow parliamentarians. "This forum is not a parliament, it is just a discussion platform that does not have any legislative powers. This institution is still wobbly," said Floyd Shivambu, a parliamentarian from South Africa. "As it is, it is a waste of...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Dakar (Senegal) - The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Monday 16 October as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16 to 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Norman Borlaug Lecture under the title: “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, will be held on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration. AfDB President Adesina will receive the 2017 World Food Prize on Thursday October 19, announced a press release issued by the AfDB on October 16, which also said “the prize is to agriculture what the Nobel Prize is to peace, science and literature.” The World...
(The Associated Press 10/12/17)
An Ethiopian official says protests in the restive Oromia region left six people dead Wednesday as anti-government demonstrations return to some parts of the East African country. Oromia regional official Abiy Ahmed says more than 30 people were injured in clashes in Shashamane town and an area called Boke. He did not say who was responsible for the killings. Blogger and university lecturer Seyoum Teshome says more than 15,000 people rallied again Thursday in Wolisso town against the country’s ruling elite. He says it was mostly peaceful. Ethiopia in August lifted a 10-month state of emergency imposed after widespread protests. Oromia is the country’s largest federal state and has seen large anti-government protests since the end of 2015. Rights groups...
(APA 10/11/17)
APA-Gaborone (Botswana) - Botswana and Ethiopia are set to sign a considerable number of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) among them an extradition treaty agreement, APA learnt on Wednesday. Botswana foreign ministry spokesperson Emanuel Pheko said this was revealed on Wednesday during the inaugural Botswana/Ethiopia Joint Ministerial Commission held in Gaborone and attended by International Affairs and Cooperation Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi and visiting Ethiopian State Minister for Political Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hirut Zemene Kassa. “The two ministers urged senior officials to accelerate conclusion of the pending draft agreements and memoranda of understanding, namely the Draft Extradition Treaty...
(APA 10/11/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The Ethio-Djibouti railway line linking the two neighboring east African countries will begin service as of November 8, 2017, an official of the Ethiopian Railways Corporation (ERC) said. The railway service was supposed to start early last month but was suspended due to problems associated with power supply shortage, the new acting General Manager of the corporation Dr. Berhanu Besha said during public debate on Wednesday. Dr Berhanu said problems associated with electric power supply to the line has been resolved as Ethiopia agreed to supply power and the cost to be dealt...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Ethiopia will devalue its currency by 15 percent in a bid to boost demand for its major exports, a state-run media outlet reported Tuesday. Africa's second most-populous country is also one of its best economic performers, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimating in September that the economy had grown by 9 percent since 2016. Fana Broadcasting Corporate reported the devaluation of the birr currency will take effect on Wednesday and is intended to boost demand for the country's flagging exports, including coffee, leather and gold. Income from Ethiopia's top products has dropped in recent years because of low global commodities prices, contributing to a shortage of foreign exchange that has hampered the economy. John Ashbourne, researcher at London-based Capital...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria contracted by 1.6 percent in 2016, but is predicted to grow by 0.8 percent this year and 1.9 percent next year. The IMF said Nigeria was benefitting from "recovering oil production and ongoing strength in the agricultural sector", but the...
(AFP (eng) 10/09/17)
She was not one of them, but Saada Youssef had lived alongside the Somali people of eastern Ethiopia for years. Then came the day local officials told her to leave or die. "Even on the truck, people were throwing stones at us," Saada said, recalling her escape in a vehicle sent to rescue people of Oromo ethnicity living in the Somali region where tit-for-tat ethnic violence killed hundreds last month. Saada found refuge in a collection of abandoned buildings in Adama, a city far from her home in the eastern town of Wachale, one of several areas in Ethiopia's Oromia and Somali regions that have seen fighting between two of the country's largest ethnic groups. The bloody clashes threaten to...
(APA 10/09/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - Speaker of the Ethiopian parliament Abadula Gemeda has submitted his resignation amid rumors of split within the government and the security force. Abadula Gemeda did not disclose reasons behind his resignation, but said he would disclose the factors once his request is approved by the House of People’s Representatives (parliament) . "Given the existence of circumstances that do not enable me to continue and loss of interest in this position, I have submitted my resignation to my political party and the House of People's Representatives," he said in a short speech on national television on Sunday. “I, however, would continue working as MPs, discharging responsibility bestowed up on me by the people I represent and the...
(AFP (eng) 10/08/17)
The speaker of Ethiopia's lower house of parliament announced his resignation without giving any reason on Sunday. Abadula Gemeda was the speaker of the House of People's Representatives from 2010 and was previously army chief of staff and president of the country's most-populous region, Oromia. "I have submitted a letter of resignation to the House of People's Representatives and the concerned body to quit my job as the speaker of the House," he told a press conference. "I don't want to continue in this position and I have lost interest," he said, adding that he would disclose the precise reasons for his departure once his resignation is accepted. Abadula said he would stay in parliament as a member of the...
(APA 10/06/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - India on Thursday pledged $195 million to support expansion of electric power transmission lines in Ethiopia. The pledge was announced by the visiting Indian President Ram Nath Kovind in Addis Ababa where the two countries agreed to work on trade, communication, information and media sectors. India will continue supporting Ethiopia’s economic development including education and health sectors said President Kovind in a joint press conference with his Ethiopian counterpart Dr. Mulatu Teshome. He stated that the two countries have made great progress to bolster their relations in multifaceted areas but need to forge their investment, trade and people-to-people relations. Ethiopia attaches great attenetion to its multifaceted relations with India and vows to further strengthen the long...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in Sub-Saharan African tourism in the past year, according to data from the U.N. World Tourism Organisation. Hilton said the remaining additions to its 39 existing African properties would be operational within the next five years. “The model of converting existing...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The African Union (AU) will on Thursday endorse reports and recommendations on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARWE) made by experts and senior officials in a meeting held on Monday and Tuesday. The endorsement will take place during the ministerial session of the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on ARWE that opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa under the theme “Improve environmental sustainability and transform agriculture to ensure food and nutrition security.” These include policy papers and reports on agriculture, rural development, water and environment and recommendations and guidance on issues in the 2063 Africa Development Agenda, including agriculture, environment, climate change, and youth engagement. Among the points chosen for the discussions are the assessment of...
(APA 10/03/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - Ethiopia on Tuesday has launched a National Financial Inclusion Strategy to expand access and usage of affordable and high quality financial products and services for all people. According to the World Bank Survey (Findex2014), only 22 percent of adults have transaction accounts in regulated financial institutions in Ethiopia, lower than compared to Sub-Saharan Africa countries, which is at 34 percent on average. The strategy, to be implemented over the coming five years, would mainly focus on expanding financial institutions in the rural parts of the country and increasing the number of transaction accounts from 22 percent now to 60 percent. Teklewold Atnafu, Governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NEB), said usage of regulated financial service...
(AFP (eng) 10/02/17)
An Ethiopian religious festival transformed on Sunday into a rare moment of open defiance to the government one year after a stampede started by police killed dozens at the gathering. The Irreecha festival is held annually by the Oromos, Ethiopia's largest ethnic group, which in late 2015 began months of anti-government protests over claims of marginalisation and unfair land seizures. Parliament declared a nationwide state of emergency aimed at quelling the unrest shortly after the bloodshed at last October's Irreecha, but the protests at this year's gathering show that dissatisfaction still runs deep. "The government is trying to control us and deny our rights, lives and security," said Sabana Bone, who was among the tens of thousands clad in traditional...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/02/17)
BISHOFTU, Ethiopia (Reuters) - Hundreds of people chanting anti-government slogans marched in the central Ethiopian town of Bishoftu on Sunday at a religious festival where a stampede triggered by a police move to quell protests killed dozens of people last year. The incident during the annual Irreecha festival in Bishoftu, which lies 40 km (25 miles) south of the capital Addis Ababa, marked the bloodiest period in unrest that plagued the Horn of Africa country for months in 2015 and 2016. Authorities at the time said 55 had died in the stampede, while dissidents put the toll at around 150. On Sunday, thousands of people attended the thanksgiving event that marks the end of the rainy season, a majority clad...
(AFP (eng) 09/30/17)
A year ago Firommisa Darasa barely made it out of Ethiopia's Irreecha festival alive, managing to escape from a deep ditch where dozens perished. The tragedy happened after police fired tear gas at anti-government protesters, sparking a stampede. Last year's bloodshed at the annual religious festival held by Ethiopia's largest ethnic group, the Oromo people, became a turning point in the months of anti-government protests which prompted the government to declare a nationwide state of emergency. While dissatisfaction with Ethiopia's government still runs deep among the Oromos, last year's protests have since died down. Those planning to attend this year's Irreecha festival say they are hoping for the best when Sunday's....
(APA 09/29/17)
Ethiopia has earned $2.9 billion in revenue from export trade during the country’s last fiscal year which ended on July 8, 2017, a top government official said The revenue has seen $1.1 billion lower than the targeted $ 4 billion, Asefa Mulugeta, Director General of Export Promotion at the Ministry of Trade, said in a briefing on Thursday. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday announced that Ethiopia’s economy showed strong resilience in 2016/17 amid continued weak global prices for the country’s key exports and re-emergence of drought coenditions in parts of the east African nation. IMF’s preliminary findings revealed the country’s exports have been stagnant due to weak global commodity markets and delays in completion of key related projects...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Government shutdowns of the internet have cost sub-Saharan Africa about $237 million since 2015, according to a study released Friday, as authorities increasingly implement planned disruptions. At least 12 countries have had internet shutdowns, often before elections or when protests erupt, with mobile internet networks most recently suspended in Togo during opposition demonstrations. "Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile," the CIPESA report said. The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released its...

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