Thursday, April 18, 2024

Ethiopia to remove trade barriers

The Ambassador of Ethiopia, Jamal Beker Abdula, has apprised that around seven to ten agreements pertaining to trade promotion, political consultation, defense cooperation, aviation, technology transfer and others will be signed with the government of Pakistan within a month or two to help connect the two countries promote economic exchange.

The Korangi Association of Trade and Industries (KATI) President, Farazur Rehman noted that, “Ethiopia’s economy is import-driven and its dynamics are akin to Pakistan.”

“Trade with Ethiopia will also open pathways to other emerging African markets. Pakistan needs to focus on African countries and other emerging markets to reduce dependence on developed economies,” he emphasized.

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The ambassador further stated that Ethiopian Airlines, which has been operating in 127 destinations, will soon be flying to Karachi as well and the crew of the airline was ready.

“We are also working on the modalities so that goods can be directly transited from Gwadar to Modjo Dry Port in Ethiopia,” he added.

While appreciating KCCI’s eagerness to enhance trade and investment ties with Ethiopia, Abdula pointed out some obstacles to greater engagement between the two countries.

The express tribune

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Bodies of 26 Ethiopians found in mass grave in Malawi

Officials in Malawi have exhumed the bodies of 26 suspected Ethiopian migrants from a mass grave 255 kilometers (155 miles) north of the capital city, Lilongwe.

Villagers found the bodies in a forest located near the main road that connects Malawi and Tanzania, which is known as a route traffickers use to transport people to South Africa.

The early evidence suggested the men buried in Mtangatanga Forest may have suffocated while traveling in a van, police said. Investigators are looking into the deaths as a potential human trafficking case.

Evidence collected at the scene indicated the men were Ethiopian nationals between the ages of 25 and 40, Malawi police spokesperson Peter Kalaya said.

In July, police impounded a 30-tonne (33-ton) tanker truck carrying 42 Ethiopians into Malawi along the route from the border with Tanzania.

Authorities said at the time that some of the passengers looked frail and in urgent need of medication and nourishing food.

One of the migrants, the only one who spoke English, told police the group had been in transit for at least four months to get to Malawi.

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KEFI Gold says higher costs for Tulu Kapi covered by financing

KEFI Gold and Copper PLC said the costs of the Tulu Kapi gold project in Ethiopia have risen by seven percent, though its financing partners are willing to up their investment to cover the additional capex, it added.

Estimates of the capital spending required – excluding the mining fleet provided by the contractor – are now USD 320 million from USD 300 million previously.

KEFI said cost inflation that companies have been widely experiencing across the world was the reason.

Harry Adams, executive chairman, added: “The fact that there have been increases to the ultimate capex figure required to first production should come as little surprise given the inflationary factors witnessed across the globe.

The final proposed project finance plan has been circulated for sign-off by all syndicate members and approval of the final finance plan is expected to be completed in mid-November rather than this month.

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Tulu Kapi is anticipated to be Ethiopia’s showcase mining project, Adams said.

Shares were changing hands 2.1 percent higher at 0.59p following the news.


U.S. grants Temporary Protected Status to Ethiopians fleeing conflict

The U.S. government on Friday granted Temporary Protected Status for 18 months for Ethiopians currently residing in the United States, the Department of Homeland Security said.

“The United States recognizes the ongoing armed conflict and the extraordinary and temporary conditions engulfing Ethiopia, and DHS is committed to providing temporary protection to those in need,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement announcing the designation.

The Ethiopian military and allies including troops from neighboring Eritrea have been battling forces from the northern region of Tigray on and off for two years. The conflict has killed thousands, displaced millions and left hundreds of thousands on the brink of famine.

An estimated 27,000 Ethiopians in the United States will be eligible for TPS under the new designation, a Homeland Security department spokesperson said. To qualify for the program, Ethiopians in the United States will have to show they have been continuously resided in the United States since October 20, 2022, and those who attempt to travel to the United States after that date would not be eligible, the department said.



Somalia Signs Oil Production Sharing Agreement with USA Company

Somalia’s government signed an oil-production sharing agreement with US-based Coastline Exploration Ltd., the latest step toward developing the war-torn nation’s energy industry.

Coastline, based in Houston, Texas, paid USD seven million to the government for seven agreements and will now proceed with an exploration program, the government said in a statement on Friday. The deal was signed after a review of an accord signed in February that was deemed illegal by the Horn of Africa nation’s former government.

“The federal government will do all it can to support this project and we want the first exploration well to start as soon as possible,” President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said in the latest statement.

International oil companies haven’t operated in Somalia since a civil war erupted in 1991, compelling them to declare force majeure. The country is still battling an insurgency by Islamist militants affiliated to al-Qaeda that began in 2006.


Kenya’s new stance on GMOs is pitting politicians against scientists

A conundrum is ensuing in Kenya on whether the lifting of the ban on GMOs is good for a country where millions of people face hunger every year

The lifting of a ban on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) by Kenya’s new government barely a month after president William Ruto was sworn in is causing jitters, with politicians, and pressure groups clashing with biotech scientists over safety.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga is opposing the move by cabinet, which opens the doors for GMO maize, cassava, and potatoes, claiming GMO food products pose a health risk to Kenyans. He called it “rubbish.”

On Oct. 13, Odinga’s lawyer Paul Mwangi filed a petition against the removal of the 10-year ban on GMOs, saying it was unconstitutional, a threat to food security in the country, and “goes against the right to food of acceptable quality, consumer rights guaranteed by Article 43.”

Kalonzo Musyoka, another opposition leader, claimed the government’s endorsement of GMOs means the fate of the country’s food security will be in the hands of multinationals which own GMO technologies.


East Africa hunger crisis likely to lead to 1 death every 36 seconds, Oxfam warns


After four consecutive failed rainy seasons, harvests in East Africa have become so barren that one person is likely to die every 36 seconds from hunger, according to a new report about acute food insecurity in the region.

Conditions are deteriorating so fast across Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya that human rights experts say it’s the worst hunger crisis in the region’s history  with little relief in sight.

“The next potential improvement of the situation is the next rainy season, which is March to May. So the first time that we can hope to have any harvest is next year [in] June. Until then, the situation is going to deteriorate, and already, 9 million animals have died in the region.” said Margret Mueller, regional coordinator for East and Central Africa of Oxfam International,

An estimated that 31 million people across the three countries are facing some level of acute food insecurity, while 11 million are expected to face high levels of insecurity, which means they are in dire need of food assistance, according to the latest data from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC).

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Devastation in South Sudan following fourth year of historic floods

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is urging international support for humanitarian efforts in South Sudan in the face of record-breaking rains and floods for a fourth consecutive year, and the threat of worse to come as the climate crisis accelerates.

Two-thirds of the country is currently experiencing flooding. Over 900,000 people have been directly impacted as waters have swept away homes and livestock, forced thousands to flee, and inundated large swathes of farmland, worsening an already dire food emergency. Boreholes and latrines have been submerged, contaminating water sources and risking outbreaks of diseases.

In Unity State, the capital, Bentiu, has become an island surrounded by floodwaters. All roads in and out are impassable and only boats and the airstrip serve as lifelines for humanitarian aid to reach 460,000 people already displaced by a mix of both flooding and conflict.

Camps for internally displaced are below the current water level, protected from floodwaters only by dikes – large, compacted mounds of earth – erected by the United Nations, the government, and the inhabitants themselves.

People are working around the clock with pumps, buckets, excavators, and heavy machinery to keep the water at bay and prevent the dikes from collapsing.


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