Ethio Lease, Ethiopia’s first privately-held and foreign-owned equipment leasing company has distributed 85 combine harvesters to beneficiaries, including 10 to the Ethiopian Agricultural Business Corporation.
The equipment, representing more than USD 16 million in investment, was distributed today at an event held in Bishoftu town, southeast of the capital.
In his remarks, Ethio Lease CEO Girum Tsegaye said, “The equipment delivered here will be of paramount importance to our farmers and generate new economic activity for Ethiopia, by increasing efficiency and yield in Ethiopia’s harvest and bolstering the fight against the locust swarms that the country continues to face today.”
Since August 2019, Ethio Lease has endeavored to improve farming mechanization in Ethiopia, first by leasing 60 tractors to farmers in different parts of Ethiopia worth USD 4.2 million.
According to Girum, these latest harvester deliveries will create a significant impact, both boosting productivity and mitigating the losses generated by more traditional farming practices and unforeseen environmental issues like the locusts. (FBC)
Board announces platform to receive complaints
The State of Emergency Inquiry Board has officially launched a platform to receive complaints from people regarding the implementation of the decree in Tigray State and neighboring areas.
Briefing journalists via a press conference, Board Chairperson, Lemma Tessema said that as the board officially begins its activities; people can lodge their complaints about the implementation of the decree either through the Board’s phone number, email, P.O. Box, fax number, as well as Telegram, Facebook and Whatsapp accounts or appearing in person.
According to him, the board has also developed a plan to guide the overall activities and a code of conduct to properly carry out its constitutional mandates.
Referring Article 93 (6) of the Constitution, Lemma noted that the State of Emergency Inquiry Board has powers and responsibilities to announce the names of all individuals arrested on account of the SOE together with the reasons for their arrest within a month and check if inhuman measures are taken during the state of emergency. (The Ethiopian Herald)
Most of water hyacinth removed from Lake Tana in one month
Over 60 percent of the water hyacinth, locally known as Emboch, which invaded Lake Tana, has been removed through a national campaign that will last for one month, according to Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity.
Water, Irrigation and Energy State Minister, Abrha Adugna told ENA on Wednesday that 17 of the 30 Kebeles along the shore and in the lake were cleared from water hyacinth during the last 20 working days.
More than 200,000 people have taken part in the campaign that successfully cleared 60 percent of the weed.
The plan for this campaign is to remove 90 percent of the water hyacinth, which covers 4,300 hectares of land in Lake Tana.
The state minister said the campaign will continue for 10 more working days to hit its target despite the campaign initially planned to be concluded within a month.
The campaign will be used as best experience to be applied on Koka, Abaya, and Chamo lakes that are victims of water hyacinth, Abrha pointed out. (ENA)
Ethiopia, France to launch a social impact project
The French Development Agency (AFD) and the Ministry of Finance are set to launch a social impact project for water and sanitation supply of secondary cities.
A EUR 15 million grant agreement has been signed on November 16, 2020 between the Ministry of Finance (MoF) represented by Yasmin Wohabrebbi, State Minister of Finance, and the French Development Agency (AFD), represented by Valerie Tehio, Country director, in the presence of Remi Marechaux, Ambassador of France in Ethiopia and to the African Union.
The grant is said to contribute to the Second Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Program (UWSSPII), financed by the World Bank, which is conceived to support the Ethiopian government’s efforts to fight against open-air defecation, to develop “safely managed” sanitation services and to improve existing water supply services in Addis Ababa and 22 secondary cities.
The program should benefit approximately 3.9 million inhabitants and will specifically finance direct access to safe sanitation services and improved hygiene practices for Ethiopian citizens in selected urban areas amongst the beneficiary secondary cities. (FBC)
Horn in Brief
Five dead, many wounded in suicide bomb attack in Somalia
At least five people have been killed in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, after a suicide bomber blew himself up in a restaurant near a police academy.
Mohamed Abdirahman, a police officer at the scene, said two of the victims of Tuesday’s attack were police personnel.
More than 10 people were wounded and rushed to hospital, some in serious condition, Abdirahman told AFP news agency.
Witness Abdukadir Hussein said there were dozens of people in the restaurant when the attack took place.
“Many of the people inside were wounded and I personally saw the dead bodies of two people,” he said adding “the whole area was in a mess as the blast destroyed everything.”
Another witness, shopkeeper Mohamed Ali, told Reuters news agency police opened fire after the blast went off. He said he could see huge clouds of smoke rising above the restaurant and ambulances trying to reach the site, in the city’s Hamar Jajab district near Mogadishu port. (Aljazeera)
Sudanese banks take first steps to end decades of isolation
Sudanese banks have started moves to re-establish relations with foreign banks as the United States prepares to remove Sudan from its state sponsor of terrorism (SSOT) list, although bankers and analysts say the process will likely be slow.
Restoring international banking links could provide a vital boost to an economy still in crisis more than 18 months into a political transition, following the overthrow of former president Omar al-Bashir.
Banks have been blocked from correspondence relationships involving U.S. dollars and have had difficulty dealing in other major currencies for nearly two decades, forcing them to rely mainly on the United Arab Emirates Dirham for transactions.
Importers have depended on expensive brokers, mainly in Dubai, to source foreign currency, passing on the extra cost to local consumers and helping to exacerbate inflation, now running at 220 percent.
On Oct. 27, Albaraka Bank Sudan completed Sudan’s first dollar-denominated cash transfer in years, bringing in dollars sourced in New York through its Cairo-based sister bank Albaraka Bank Egypt, its general manager said. (Reuters)
Free movement of people underway in IGAD member states
Countries that are part of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on Tuesday drafted a protocol on the free movement of persons, labor and services to promote trade, education, security and development.
“We have to implement the protocol of free movement of persons,” said Edith Namutebi Nsubuga, who is the head of IGAD Division regional peace, security at the Ministry of Foreign affairs in Uganda. “We are left to validate the roadmap for the free movement of persons, which is still going on. IGAD wants to regularize this movement.”
She was speaking during the opening of a two-day meeting that ended on Tuesday for high level legal and policy experts, who convened on behalf of the eight countries under IGAD, to validate the road map for the protocol on the Free Movement Protocol in the IGAD region.
Fathia Alwan, the director of Social development under IGAD, Asarar Ahmed who is the IGAD focal point in Sudan, also addressed the meeting. Sudan is the current chair of the IGAD. (New Vision)
Violence, insecurity continues to plague South Sudan communities
Over 1,000 people have been killed and more than 400 abducted in the past six months in an intercommunal violence in South Sudan, amid fears that tensions may worsen with the onset of the dry season, the UN envoy for the country said.
David Shearer, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan, warned of increased risk of conflict with the start of the dry season, in December-January, as people start moving towards sources of water for their cattle.
“I think we can anticipate increased tensions,” he said on Tuesday, explaining that losses of cattle in floods earlier this year and poor economic conditions could exacerbate the situation.
The problems need to be “nipped in the bud” before they escalate into violence, added Mr. Shearer, calling for the appointment of officials at the county level “to fill the vacuum of power that has existed since the transitional government was formed.”
Shearer, also underlined an “urgent need to breathe fresh life into the peace process, which has currently stalled.” (UN News)
Kremlin green-lights Russian naval base project in Sudan
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday approved the draft agreement between his country and Sudan for the establishment of a Russian naval base on the shores of the African country.
The draft deal was announced last week and waited for the Russian leader’s stamp. The base will be Russia’s first ever full military presence in Africa and the second in the world, after Tartus in Syria.
The future military facility will be built near Port Sudan, on the shores of the Red Sea. It will be able to accommodate up to 300 soldiers and employees as stipulated in the agreement, in addition to ships equipped with nuclear gear “taking into account nuclear and environmental safety requirements,” provided that no more than four ships would anchor simultaneously.
Under the deal, Russia will have the right to transport, via Sudanese ports and airports, arms, ammunitions and equipment intended for the operation of its base.
Sudan, according to Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, approved the establishment of the base on its territory. (North Africa Post)