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    Ethiopia to send delegation to 2nd Belt and Road Forum

    Ethiopia is to send a high level government delegation to attend the 2nd Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation that will be held in Beijing in April, an Ethiopian official said on Thursday.

    Speaking to Xinhua, Nebiat Getachew, Spokesperson at Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), said Ethiopia and China already enjoy multifaceted ties, expected to be further strengthened at the meeting in April.

    “In January, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed held talks with visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi,” he said.

    “Earlier this month, Ethiopian Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu held talks with visiting Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong. Both meetings show the high regard Ethiopia and China have to their bilateral relationship,” Getachew told Xinhua.

    “Ethiopia is a strong partner of China in the African continent. Ethiopia’s expected attendance at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is a further testament to the strong bilateral ties,” said Getachew.

    The Belt and Road Initiative was Launched in 2013. (Xinhua)

    Road connectivity between Ethiopia, Kenya elevates trade by 400 percent: AfDB

    President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Akinwumi Adesina on Thursday revealed that road connectivity among neighboring Ethiopia and Kenya has helped to elevate trade by 400 percent between the two countries.

    Adesina, who noted AfDB’s financial support to Ethiopia’s transport, energy as well as industrial parks development, said the road connecting Ethiopia to Kenya’s port city Mombasa was funded by the Bank and has been vital in uplifting trade ties.

    “That road alone has allowed trade between Ethiopia and Kenya to rise by 400 percent and that has also provided Ethiopia with an access to port,” Adesina said while speaking to Ethiopia’s state-run news agency.

    The Ethiopia-Kenya road project linking the two East African countries, which has been operational since 2016, is considered as a major instrument for economic integration among the two countries as well as the African continent.

    The corridor mainly consists of a 504-km road linking the Kenyan towns of Merille and Turbi, and an additional 391-km stretch running through Ethiopia side. (AfDB)

    Forex-short Zimbabwe fails to pay USD 18 mln Ethiopian debt

    Ethiopian Airlines is failing to repatriate funds amounting to USD 18 million from Zimbabwe due to the shortage of foreign currency in the country.

    President Emmerson Mnangagwa was quoted in a local newspaper admitting that Ethiopian Airlines is failing to access its funds from the country.

    He was speaking from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia where he led talks with the local airline aimed at rescuing struggling Air Zimbabwe.

    “It is true, they touched on that and that it is worth about USD 18 million which is stuck in Zimbabwe, but that was not so much of an issue because they believe that if they establish a partnership with Air Zimbabwe, they will be able to get that money without any problems and in a very short space of time,” he said.

    According to his spokesman, Mnangagwa promised to ensure that finance minister Mthuli Ncube helps address the debt problem.

    Zimbabwe has for years struggled with foreign currency shortage, which has seen, companies failing to make foreign payments. (New Zimbabwe)

    Ethiopia eyes tripling coffee output in fiveyears

    Ethiopia, Africa’s biggest coffee producer, is introducing production and marketing reforms that could as much as triple its output in five years.

    The country is replacing old trees and cutting existing ones to allow new stems to sprout as aging trees become less productive.

    That could help boost output to between 1.2 million tons and 1.8 million tons by 2024, up from an estimated 600,000 tons in the recent harvest, Bloomberg quoted the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority as saying.

    Old trees account for about 60 percent of the 1 million hectares (2.5 million acres) of trees in production, while another 1.5 million hectares aren’t yet yielding beans, according to the authority.

    New trees in the country, where smallholders account for almost all output, take about three to four years to start producing.

    The government, non-governmental organizations and research centers are helping to implement the changes, Adugna Debela, director general of the authority, said Thursday in an interview in the Rwandan capital, Kigali. (FBC)

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