Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Ethiopian Minister praises China’s contributions to economic progress

The Chinese companies in Ethiopia are making major contributions to the country’s economic development, according to Ethiopian Finance Minister Ahmed Shide.

The Chinese government and companies have undertaken many infrastructure projects that are crucial to Ethiopia’s progress, the minister said Wednesday at the 2023 Corporate Social Responsibility Forum: Chinese Enterprise in Ethiopia.

“The Chinese companies work in Ethiopia in a responsible way that contributes to the country’s development. It is much appreciated,” he said.

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Aklilu Tadesse, CEO of Ethiopia’s Industrial Parks Development Corporation, said at the forum that China’s involvement has fueled Ethiopia’s aim to become Africa’s manufacturing hub.

In addition to building most of Ethiopia’s industrial parks, Chinese firms provide the majority of investment within the parks, Tadesse said.

“Implementing high-quality development requires stable jobs, better livelihoods, cultural progress and a healthy ecosystem, none of which can happen without real corporate social responsibility actions,” Ambassador Zhao Zhiyuan said.

(People Daily Online)

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Ethiopian Airlines resumes flights to Medina with Boeing 737

Ethiopian Airlines will resume flights to Medina, Saudi Arabia starting August 2. Medina will be the airline’s fourth destination and 12th in the Middle East.

Regular flights to the Umrah pilgrimage site of Medina launched in 2017 but stopped in mid-2020 due to the pandemic. Boeing 737-800s typically served the route, though several aircraft types were used.

The short notice from sale to launch is unusual. But the routing maximizes two-way connectivity across Ethiopian’s expanding Addis Ababa hub, important for Medina travelers.

In 2019, Ethiopian offered 50,100 seats for Medina flights, estimated to be 88 percent full. Just over half were point-to-point travelers; the rest transited in Addis Ababa.

(Simple Flying)

Doctors Without Borders calls for resumption of food aid

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has called for the immediate resumption of food aid to Ethiopia, warning of “alarmingly high” malnutrition rates.

The UN’s World Food Programme and USAID suspended food assistance to Africa’s second most populous nation in June, citing the widespread diversion of aid supplies.

MSF said over 20 million people rely on food assistance in Ethiopia and malnutrition rates among vulnerable groups are “alarmingly high,” even before the aid suspension.

“The suspension is alarming because it comes after an extended period of sporadic and irregular food distributions, as the humanitarian situation across the country is already dire,” said MSF Ethiopia director Cara Brooks.

“People are grappling with the worst drought in four decades, economic hardship and recurring violence.”

This week, the UN agency OCHA reported a sharp increase in severe malnutrition in Tigray, where a two-year war between federal forces and Tigray rebels ended in November.

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(Malay Mail)

Chapa, Telegram partner to advance digital payments

Payment solutions provider Chapa has partnered with Telegram, one of the world’s most popular messengers, to empower businesses in Ethiopia through digital payments.

With over 500 million users globally, Telegram has emerged as a trusted platform in Ethiopia, surpassing Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and others. Hundreds of thousands of businesses sell products through Telegram channels and groups.

Chapa’s integration with Telegram’s bot ecosystem allows merchants to accept payments without users leaving the app. Customers can make payments via mobile money, bank transfer or debit/credit cards instantly, enhancing convenience.

The partnership brings a new level of ease and efficiency to the world of e-commerce, benefiting both businesses and consumers.

By allowing merchants on Telegram to seamlessly accept digital payments, the collaboration aims to advance financial inclusion and transform digital payments in Ethiopia.

(The Guardian)

Kenya Faces 79% Gap in climate change financing needs

Kenya is facing a 79 percent gap between its climate change financing needs and available funds as global warming effects worsen in developing nations.

The African Centre for Technology Studies’ (ACTS) Climate Change Program lead Joel Onyango says the situation could deteriorate further without financing to adapt to climate impacts.

Widespread poverty, recurrent droughts and floods, coupled with inequitable land distribution, overdependence on rain-fed agriculture and limited coping mechanisms, all combine to increase people’s vulnerability, according to Onyango.

Many Kenyans have little resilience against climate impacts, he added. They rely on natural resources for livelihoods and have limited reserves and poor housing.

“The most affected sectors are agriculture – especially those relying on rain-fed irrigation. Kenya must continue implementing strategies that contribute to mitigation and adaptation to protect citizens and the economy,” Onyango said.

(The Star)

Kenya Secures $500 ml syndicated loan for development projects

Kenya has secured a USD 500 million (Sh70.4 billion) syndicated loan to fund development projects.

A syndicated loan is offered by a group of lenders called syndicate who work together to provide funds to a single borrower.

The three-year and five- year, Sh70.4 billion Syndicated Medium Term Loan facility is less than the USD 600 million (Sh84.5 billion) initially sought.

The lead arrangers of the syndicated loan were Citi Bank in London, Rand Merchant Bank, Standard Bank of South Africa Limited and Standard Chartered Bank.

Africa Export-Import Bank joined as Bookrunner and Mandated Lead Arranger, allocating its subscriptions to the longer-term tranche.

The syndicated loan consists of a three-year bullet payment tranche and a five-year amortizing tranche.

(The Star)

Obongi projects worth Sh3.6 bln near completion

Three infrastructure projects worth 3.6 billion shillings are nearing completion in Obongi district under the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development Program (USMID-AF).

The projects include a 1.7 billion shilling market at Palorinya Sub-County, a 938 million shilling resource center at Itula, and a 966 million shilling resource center at Palorinya.

According to district engineer Ivan Onapa, construction of the two resource centers is complete and awaiting commissioning while the market is now 80% finished.

“We were allocated 5.4 billion shillings under USMID and we have spent 3.6 billion on these three projects. Given our performance, we hope to get the remaining balance,” he said.

The market will include lockups, stores, restaurants, office space, a clinic and breastfeeding area for mothers.

The resource centers will be equipped with computers, internet access, a library and sports facilities to provide a conducive environment for traders, youth and skills development to generate revenue.

(Daily Monitor)

Kenya’s imports from Tanzania hit 3-year low

Kenya’s imports from Tanzania dropped to the lowest level in three years in the first quarter of 2023 partly due to renewed trade tensions.

Imports from Tanzania fell for the second straight quarter to Sh7.8 billion shillings, the lowest since the second quarter of 2020 when COVID-19 restrictions reduced imports to Sh5.21 billion shillings.

Tanzania is Kenya’s third largest source of imports in Africa after fellow East African Community members Uganda and South Africa.

Kenya’s imports from Tanzania, which had hit a historic Sh19.08 billion in the third quarter of 2021, have fallen for two consecutive quarters from Sh16.6 billion in the third quarter of last year to Sh9.9 billion in the fourth quarter.

The decline comes despite trade deals between former Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Samia Suluhu of Tanzania aimed at easing tensions.

(Daily Monitor)

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