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    Grand Imam says Ethiopia’s Christian king protected early Muslims

    “Without Abyssinia [modern day Ethiopia] and its Christian king who protected [the first Muslims], Islam would have been destroyed in its cradle,” Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, said.

    Speaking at the German Parliament, Sheikh Al-Tayeb said “Christianity was the first to provide sanctuary for Islam,” and “without it, the religion would have been eradicated at its inception.”

    The Sheikh was referring to the early companions of Prophet Muhammad, who fled Mecca to Ethiopia after facing persecution and torture for their Islamic faith at the hands of the prophet’s enemies.

    According to the news report, the Grand Imam also called for unity to defeat terrorism and extremism, while urging interreligious peace during his Tuesday address to the German parliament.

    Sheikh Al-Tayeb told the Bundestag that Islam has never justified “terrorist crimes,” stressing that Muslims have suffered the largest losses in what he described as a “deadly epidemic.”

    “Real openness between religions and its believers is essential for the East and West to combat intercontinental terrorism.” (ENA)

    Nekemte-Bure road to be built at a cost of 5.7 bln birr

    The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) this week has signed a new contract agreement with three international contractors that would enable the latter to upgrade, manage and repair the Nekemte-Bure road at a cost of some 5.7 billion birr, according to Fana Broadcasting Corporation.

    According to the signed agreement, the contractors will upgrade the 257km gravel road to asphalt concrete, and at then manage and repair the road after construction is finalized.

    The contract agreement, which spans for a total of 8 years is expected to reach upgrading stage in three years time where as the final five years will be for management and rehabilitation of the road. The agreement was signed with a Spanish contractor and two Indian contractors.

    Director General of the Ethiopian Roads Authority, Araya Girmay, and representatives of the three contractors signed the contract for the road to be built with the stated amount of budget by a loan secured from the World Bank. (FBC).

    Ethiopia, China conclude MoU for Adama Industrial Park

    A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the governments of Ethiopia and China to start the construction of Adama Equipment Manufacturing Industrial Park.

    According to FBC, the MoU was signed when Arkebe Equbay (PhD), Special Adviser to the Prime Minister, visited Hunan Province in China leading a delegation team.

    Xu Xiangping, Director General of Hunan Province’s Commercial Department, on the Chinese side signed the MoU while Fitsum Arega, Commissioner of Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC), inked the agreement on Ethiopian government’s behalf.

    During its visit, the Ethiopian delegation team held meetings with Vice Governor of Hunan Province, Cai Zhenong. In the meeting, they discussed on ways of commencing the construction of the park as soon as possible.

    The industrial park is expected to rest on 4.12 square kilometers and the construction is going to be carried out in two phases. The first phase will develop 1.19 square kilometers of land at a cost of some USD 300 million. (FBC)

    Bureau collects over 15 billion birr revenue

    The Addis Ababa City Administration Finance and Economic Development Bureau announced that it has collected 15.4 billion birr in revenue in the past seven months of this Ethiopian budget year.

    Head of the bureau, Foano Fola, told Walta Information Center that the bureau achieved 87 percent of its plan of collecting 17.7 billion birr in the period.

    Compared to last year, the bureau’s performance hiked by 24 percent by collecting additional 2.9 billion birr revenue, he said.

    According to the head, out of the total revenue, the overwhelming majority, close to12.9 billion birr, came from tax revenue. Decomposing the tax revenue, 8.7 billion birr was collected from direct tax while the remaining 4.1 billion birr was generated from indirect tax.

    Foano told Walta that the bureau planned to collect 14.15 billion birr from tax revenue in the period under consideration. It achieved 91 percent of its plan. That is 22 percent growth compared to last year same period performance, he said. (WIC)

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