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  • Ministry Praises Ethiopian Airlines Role for Increased Presence of Diplomatic Community in Ethiopia

     

    Ethiopian Airlines, with its convenient and efficient aviation service, has been playing a crucial role for the increasing presence of the diplomatic community in the country.

    About 130 embassies and 40 international agencies exist in Ethiopia, thereby, making the country home to the third largest number of diplomatic missions in the world, only after New York and Geneva.

    In an interview, Dr. Aklilu Hailemichael, Ethiopia’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs said the airline has contributed a lot in linking Ethiopia with African countries and the rest of the world. It is also contributing its share towards attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) and tourism as well as building the image of the country, he said.

    Ethiopian Airlines is currently operating the youngest and most modern fleet to more than 110 international passenger and cargo destinations across five continents.

    It has 96 ultra-modern and environmentally friendly aircraft, in addition, it has plans to increase its number of aircraft to 120 and annual income to 10 billion US dollars by 2025, from 3 billion now.

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  • Efforts underway to repatriate Ethiopians from Kenya: Command Post

    Efforts are underway to repatriate Ethiopians who have fled to Kenya from Moyale, according to the Command Post established to oversee the implementation of the nationwide State of Emergency.

    In a press conference issued today, Assefa Abyou, Commissioner General of the Federal Police Commission, said that from 7,000-8,000 Ethiopians have fled to Kenya from Moyale, fearing for their safety.

    The government of Ethiopia is undertaking various activities to bring them back home, he indicated.

    According to him, illegal movement of arms increased in the country recently because of security problems in the neighboring countries and interest of external forces to add fuel to the violence occurred at home.

    As a result of the joint efforts of the Command Post and the public, hundreds of weapons and up to 20,000 ammunitions were intercepted, he said.

    In order to ensure safety and security of the people, the Command Post is taking measures against anti-peace forces that have been trying to plunge the society into chaos by circulating erroneous information via social media, he said.

    He finally called on people living in many parts of the country to continue to their normal life and do their normal activities.

    The Command Post released more than half of those who were detained for violating the nationwide emergency rule.

     

     

     

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  • African Continental Free Trade Area to be launched next week

    The leaders of Africa’s 55 countries will converge on Kigali, Rwanda, in March to sign an agreement that will launch the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), according to the African Union.

    The AfCFTA agreement would make the continent the largest free trade area created since the formation of the World Trade Organization.

    According to a press statement of AU, the launch will be convened by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, the new Chairperson of AU, who said of the agreement: "This is a historic pact which has been nearly 40 years in the making, and it represents a major advance for African integration and unity."

    Moussa Faki, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission said the African Continental Free Trade Area will also strengthen Africa’s position in global trade: “AfCFTA will make Africa one of the largest economies in the world and enhance its capacity to interact on equal terms with other international economic blocs.”

    A day before the signing, government delegations would join Africa’s top business leaders and other stakeholders to exchange views on the continent’s economic transformation through trade at a special day of celebration and dialogue called the AfCFTA Business Summit, it was learned.

    The progressive trade liberalization of Africa in the years ahead will mean new opportunities for African companies to compete and cooperate across borders and build continental reach.

    However, the success of the AfCFTA will depend on closer collaboration between policymakers and the private sector, President Kagame added.

    “We need active support from the private sector. In fact, without your voice something essential is missing,” he stressed.

    The agreement is a flagship project of Agenda 2063, the African Union’s long-term vision for an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa as the Free Trade Area has the potential to transform the fortunes of millions of Africans by boosting trading ties between Africa’s nations.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya said on his part The African “CFTA means prosperity for our continent. CFTA means jobs for our young people who today struggle and are fleeing our own continent.

    CFTA means peace and security because we have gainfully engaged our population. CFTA means Africa being able to be self-reliant. CFTA means the African Union meeting to discuss what to do with our prosperity and not what to do with the problems we suffer.”

    Intra-Africa trade stands at about 16%, compared with 19% intra-regional trade in Latin America, 51% in Asia, 54% in North America and 70% in Europe.

    The United Nations Economic for Africa estimates that the AfCFTA has the potential to boost intra-Africa trade by 53% by eliminating import duties and non-tariff barriers.

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  • Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) Makes Available Over 11 Billion Birr Loan for Cooperatives’ domestic marketing

    The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) has made available 11.4 billion birr loan for cooperatives’ domestic marketing.

    So far, only cooperatives engaged in international marketing were eligible to get access to loan service from the bank.

    Usman Surur, director general of Ethiopian Cooperative Agency, the previous system was a great challenge for cooperatives.

    However, the new systems will help improve domestic marketing and address financial constraints of cooperatives.

    According to him, the cooperatives are obliged to present their financial report and feasible business plan to get a loan from the bank.

    In addition to the loan which will be made available by CBE, the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) agreed to provide loan for direct machinery purchases and leasing.

    According to data from the Federal Cooperative Agency (FCA), there are 83, 000 cooperatives and more than 380 unions across the country. They have 18 million members and 21 billion birr capital.

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  • Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt to hold a meeting on Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) next month in Khartoum, Sudan

     

    The trilateral meeting on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will be held early next month in Khartoum, Sudan.

    Foreign and water ministers of Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt will attend the meeting that had been scheduled for last February but postponed for next month, said the Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Electricity of Ethiopia.

    The meeting is expected to discuss on studies regarding the impact of the dam on the downstream countries, it was noted.

    In a meeting held last January on the sidelines of the African Union (AU) summit here in Addis Ababa, leaders of the three countries agreed to continue their cooperation on the dam with a spirit of togetherness.

    During the meeting, they also agreed foreign and water ministers of the three countries to look into issues raised regarding the dam and conduct a study within a month so as to address the issues.

    They have also agreed to form a trilateral leaders summit to be held annually and to establish a joint infrastructure fund.

    The fund will focus on railway and road connectivity as well as projects that enhance trade and business between the three countries.

    With installed generating capacity of 6,450 MW, GERD will be the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa as well as the 7th largest in the world once completed.

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