Thursday, July 25, 2024

Ethiopian adds Gatwick flights, freighters on the horizon

Ethiopian Airlines will expand its UK network by adding Gatwick Airport to its destination, starting from November 21, with a possibility of adding potential freighter flights.

The airline will operate three weekly flights between Addis Ababa and Gatwick using Airbus A350-900 aircraft, providing around 12 tons of cargo capacity per flight. This new route will complement Ethiopian Airlines’ existing services at Heathrow and Manchester, making Gatwick its third destination in the UK.

The early morning arrival at Gatwick allows for same-day connections, offering opportunities for various cargo KSh ipments. The airline’s cargo division sees potential for growth in the UK market and is considering the addition of freighter flights in the future.

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Ethiopian Airlines has made investments in its home hub, including obtaining IATA CEIV Pharma certification and opening a new e-commerce and courier facility.

The addition of Gatwick provides an alternative to Heathrow, allowing for better optimization of cargo capacity. The airline aims to utilize its extensive network and hub capabilities to serve the UK import market effectively.

(Air Cargo news)

Ethiopian inventor awarded for refugee employment App

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Eden Tadesse, an Ethiopian app inventor, has been awarded a prestigious prize by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for her groundbreaking application, Invicta.

The digital app aims to connect refugees with potential employers. Eden’s efforts have earned her the Goalkeepers Global Goals Award. The award ceremony, held in New York, was attended by dignitaries such as Kenyan President William Ruto, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and Bill and Melinda Gates.

Invicta has successfully assisted 2,500 refugees in securing employment, primarily in Africa and the Middle East. Additionally, the app has enabled 7,000 refugees to continue their education by providing online courses.

Apart from the honor, Eden was awarded a prize of USD 20,000. The Goalkeepers Initiative, led by Blessing Omakwu, aims to recognize and showcase individuals making significant contributions to progress, aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


UNSC, AUPS discuss financing of AU peacekeeping operations

The United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) held their annual meeting in Addis Ababa to address the financing of AU peacekeeping operations in Africa.

During the meeting, AU Peace and Security Commissioner Bankole Adeoye emphasized the need for predictable and sustainable funding for these operations. African countries have been advocating for compulsory contributions from UN member states to support AU peacekeeping efforts.

Negotiations on a draft resolution regarding financing have been ongoing since 2018, with progress being slow due to disagreements within the AU. The AU has faced challenges in financing its peace operations since the establishment of the “African Peace and Security Architecture” in 2002, relying heavily on external partners such as the European Union.

The discussions also touched upon security situations in Sudan, the Sahel region, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Concerns were raised by some UN Security Council members regarding the types of operations eligible for financing and issues of criminal liability.

The UN and AU aim to strengthen collaboration and find sustainable funding solutions to address peace and security challenges in Africa.


Ethiopian Airlines eyes 5th freedom Accra flights to Canada, Ghana

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Ethiopian Airlines has expressed interest in operating fifth-freedom long-haul flights from Accra, Ghana to Toronto and Montréal in Canada, pending approvals from the relevant aviation authorities.

Lemma Yadecha, the airline’s Chief Commercial Officer, confirmed their intent during a visit to Accra.

Ethiopian Airlines is currently awaiting authorization from Canadian authorities to acquire more slots for flights to Canada, aiming to connect the western part of Africa with Canadian destinations.

Fifth-freedom rights would allow Ethiopian Airlines to transport passengers and cargo from Ethiopia to Ghana and then continue on to Canada. Currently, Ethiopian Airlines operates four weekly fifth-freedom flights via Dublin to Toronto.

With high demand for direct West Africa-Canada routes, the airline plans to increase capacity and potentially operate via West Africa. Lemma mentioned the intention to operate via West Africa but did not specify the country, as it requires discussions and authorization from relevant authorities.

Ethiopian Airlines also operates long-haul fifth-freedom flights to various destinations, including the United States and Asia, via stopovers in different cities.


Returnees arrive in Akobo

Over 2,000 people from Sudan and Ethiopia have arrived in Akobo County, Jonglei state, in South Sudan, bringing the total number of returnees in the state to 40,000. The returnees are fleeing conflict between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF).

Many of the returnees are facing severe hunger as they have exhausted their resources and are in urgent need of assistance. The Jonglei State information minister, Elizabeth Jock, has appealed to humanitarian organizations and the national government in Juba to provide immediate aid to the returnees.

The returnees are currently residing in church and school compounds, which are already overcrowded. The lack of proper facilities and resources is affecting the education of children, who have to study under trees and face weather challenges.

The health situation is dire, with a KSh ortage of medicines and a high prevalence of diseases, especially among women and children.

The Akobo County Commissioner, who was recently appointed, has not yet arrived at the county headquarters.

(Sudans Post)

Vaccine manufacturing capacity requires strengthening, assessment shows

A recent assessment conducted by the Africa CDC, CHAI, and PATH has highlighted the need to bolster vaccine manufacturing capacity in Africa.

The study indicates that while the continent has a substantial capacity for form/fill/finish processes, local production of antigens is currently insufficient to meet regional targets. The report underscores the importance of the Partnerships for African Vaccine Manufacturing (PAVM) initiative, which aims to achieve 60 percent local vaccine production by 2040.

It also emphasizes the need for technology transfers from non-African manufacturers to support Africa’s manufacturing capabilities. The assessment recommends that African vaccine manufacturers focus on vaccines with strong market potential and enhance their business planning.

Moving forward, the Africa CDC is collaborating with African Union Member States to procure African-made vaccines and prioritize activities aligned with the PAVM 2040 goal. CHAI is working with key stakeholders to develop market- shaping interventions, while PATH is developing a supply chain simulation to estimate future manufacturing site conditions.

(Africa CDC)

EAC, EU develop joint roadmap to foster digital transformation

The East African Community (EAC) and the European Union (EU) have launched the first EU-EAC Regional Conference on Digital Transformation in AruKSh a, Tanzania.

The two-day conference aims to foster a human-centric digital transformation in East Africa for regional integration. Key stakeholders from the EAC region and European partners came together to assess the current state of digital transformation and explore opportunities.

The strategy aims to mobilize EUR 300 billion in investment to boost smart, clean, and secure links in digital, energy, and transport sectors and to strengthen health, education, and research systems across the world.

The significance of the conference is underlined by the simultaneous launch of the Digital Economy Package by the EU Commissioner for International PartnerKSh ips, highlighting the EU’s commitment to digital transformation in East Africa.

The EAC Secretary General emphasized the goal of creating a regional digital market for digital trade, while the EU Ambassador to Tanzania highlighted Team Europe’s dedication to supporting the region’s digital transformation.

(APO Group)

Imports drop 14% on weak shilling, softens purchasing power

Kenyan imports fell by nearly 14 percent in the first eight months of the year due to the weakening shilling.

The local currency depreciated by 17 percent against the dollar, making imports more costly as they are primarily financed with dollars bought in the local market. This depreciation has also contributed to the high inflation witnessed this year.

Kenya’s recent trade data, released by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), reveals a 13.8 percent decline in imports during the period compared to the corresponding period in 2022.

The total value of imports decreased from USD 13.28 billion (KSh 1.97 trillion) to USD 11.45 billion (KSh 1.7 trillion). Except for food and live animals, all broad product categories experienced lower imports.

The largest decline was observed in manufactured goods, which decreased by 27.3 percent to USD 1.81 billion (KSh 269 billion).

The weakened Shilling also affected manufacturers importing raw materials, leading to price adjustments. However, the expected boost to exports due to the weaker currency was not significant, with total export earnings falling by 2.2 percent to USD 4.92 billion (KSh 731 billion).

Various sectors, including tea, coffee, horticulture, beverages and tobacco, cooking oils, and apparel, experienced declines in export earnings.

(Business Daily)

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