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    Ethiopia secures USD 2.3 bln remittance in 8 months

    Ethiopia secured USD 2.3 billion in remittance over the past eight months, according to the Ethiopian Diaspora Agency.

    Ethiopian Diaspora Agency Director-General, Selamawit Dawit told ENA on Friday that the nation planned to obtain USD 4 billion in remittance during the current Ethiopian fiscal year and secured USD 2.3 billion in 8 months.  

    She expressed her hope that the remaining revenue will be achieved during the coming four months of the fiscal year.

    Most of the remittance was obtained from the Ethiopian Diaspora residing in North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa, Selamawit revealed.   

    The impact of COVID-19 on remittance is very negligible, according to the director-general who urged members of the Diaspora to use the legal system in sending money home legally since it is advantageous to the national economy.    

    According to her, the huge difference in exchange rate between the legal and black markets has been one of the challenges in the efforts to improve the nation’s remittance. (ENA)

    Company graduates 34 train captains

    Ethio-Djibouti Railways Share Company has graduated 34 train captains. The captains received two years of training and practiced for six months in China. Chinese companies CCEC and CERC have graduated students by providing training to help them transfer technology and knowledge in accordance with a joint venture agreement with the corporation.

    Attending the graduation ceremony on Tuesday, Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges said the railway sector is registering growth in Ethiopia, with a lifting capacity of 821,000 tons in 2011 to 1.3 million tons in 2012.

    Efforts are underway to enhance the role of the sector in the country’s overall export revenue.

    She called on the graduates to use the knowledge and skills gained from the training to support the country’s development efforts. Director General of Ethio-Djibouti Railways, Tilahun Sarka, on his part said the training provided by the company and the two companies will continue. (The Ethiopian Herald)

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    Somali region inaugurates oxygen plant amid pandemic surge in Ethiopia

    Deputy President of Somali Region, Mustafa Omer along with other high level regional Officials inaugurated an Oxygen Plant that has a capacity of producing 200 cylinders of oxygen per day.

    The inauguration of the oxygen plant comes at a time when the pandemic is rapidly increasing and number of deaths from the virus is rising in the country.

    Addressing the inauguration ceremonyon Thursday, the Deputy President of the Region Mustafa Omer said the plant will have a crucial role in addressing pandemic induced oxygen shortage in the region and the country at large.

    Medical institutions in the region were getting oxygen from Addis Ababa, 622 Km from the regional capital Jigjiga, as indicated on the inaugural ceremony.

    There is a plan to reach a wider area beyond the region through increased production, the Deputy President said on the occasion.

    Regional Deputy Administrator, Ibrahim Ousman and the Health Bureau head, Yusuf Mohammed, also attended the inaugural ceremony. (FBC)

    City administration undergoes jumbo projects

    Jimma City Administration stated that it has begun some 23 projects with a view to providing the city with a majestic look and create many jobs opportunities this year. Jimma City Deputy Administrator, Kassahun Jober said that some 8 projects are backlogs, and three of them are connected to Awetu river side project.

    As Awetu River bisects the city equally, it has been affecting city dwellers especially during the rainy season due to the floods. The Administration has outsourced three projects namely Awetu river side projects, worth some 650 million Birr in a bid to solve many societal problems in the city, and Awetu River project requires some 146 million Birr combined.

    This project aims at channel the water, treat the water, and make the area green and a center of recreation. The two projects will be completed this year and open for the public. (The Ethiopian Herald)

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    Horn Brief

    Somalia revives diplomatic ties with Kenya

    Somalia said on Thursday it was restoring diplomatic relations with neighboring Kenya almost six months after severing ties, accusing Nairobi of meddling in politics. 

    Relations between the countries have also been tense over the ownership of potential oil and gas deposits, some of which lie off the coast of Jubbaland, one of Somalia’s five semi-autonomous states.

    “Now diplomatic relations are restored,” deputy information Minister, Abdirahman Yusuf, told a news conference in Mogadishu, saying the Gulf Arab state of Qatar had helped in the process.

    Kenya’s Foreign Ministry said that it took note of the Somali government’s announcement.

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs “looks forward to further normalization of relations by the Somali authorities including with regard to trade, communication, transportation, people-to-people relations and cultural exchanges,” it said in a statement. It also acknowledged the support of Qatar in particular in its efforts to normalize relations.

    Qatari Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, told Reuters that Doha had agreed with the presidents of both countries that they would work on strengthening bilateral relations and bring them “back on track”. (Reuters)

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    Turkey ratifies agreements with Djibouti, Georgia

    Turkey has ratified agreements with Djibouti and Georgia in various areas, according to the Official Gazette on Friday.

    The ratification of Air Services Agreement between the governments of Turkey and Djibouti that was signed in western Izmir province in May 2012 was published in the Gazette.

    The agreement grants various rights to the airlines designated between the parties in order to carry out scheduled international air services on the directions specified in its annex.

    It grants rights “to fly without landing across the territory of the other contracting party, to make stops in the said territory for non-traffic purposes, to make stops in the territory at the points specified for that route in the annex for the purpose of embarking and disembarking the international traffic in combination or separately,” and the rights otherwise specified in the agreement.

    Agreement on International Combined Transport of Goods between the governments of Turkey and Georgia – inked in July 2016 – was also ratified and parties agreed to encourage combined transport of goods. (Anadolu) 

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    South Sudan students, teachers back in school after 14-month lockdown

    Primary and secondary schools across South Sudan reopened Monday, a little more than one year after they were closed in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

    Hussain Abdelbagi, head of the South Sudan taskforce on COVID-19, urged teachers and students to continue social distancing and adhere to all other preventative guidelines as they return to classrooms.

    At the launch of the back-to-school campaign at Juba One Primary School on Monday, Abdelbagi said the government decided to reopen schools after seeing a significant drop in COVID-19 cases across the country. She urged all teachers to get fully vaccinated, noting the government has opened more vaccination centers.

    “We are going to increase the centers to ten centers across Juba and the states, so we want all our teachers to go to the vaccination centers to get COVID-19 green cards against Coronavirus,” said Abdelbagi.

    Over the next few months, the government will send COVID-19 committees to various schools to assess whether teachers have been adhering to the health ministry’s preventative guidelines, according to Abdelbagi. (VoA)

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    Sudan secures USD 425 mln loan to clear AfDB arrears

    Sudan said on Wednesday it had cleared its arrears to the African Development Bank (AfDB) through a USD 425 million bridge loan provided by Britain, Sweden and Ireland, opening it up to new funding, including an immediate grant of USD 207 million.

    The arrears clearance is Sudan’s latest step to clear at least USD 50 billion in debt. It has enacted aggressive economic reforms, which an ADB official praised in the statement.

    Sudan expects to begin the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) process in June, and France is hosting a debt relief conference for the African country on May 17, 2021.

    Sudan was previously able to clear its arrears to the World Bank through a bridge loan provided by the United States. It must still clear its International Monetary Fund arrears in order to proceed with HIPC.

    France will grant a USD 1.5 billion bridge loan in order to accomplish that, a French diplomat said in April. (Reuters)

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