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    EEP awards GERD’s pre-commissioning contract to CGGC

    The Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) and CGGC on Monday signed a contract agreement that enables the latter to execute the pre-commissioning activities of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) at a cost of USD 40.1 million.

    CEO of EEP Abrham Belay (PhD) and Representative of China Gezhouba Group Co., Ltd (CGGC) Ethiopia, Wang signed the agreement in Addis Ababa.

    Abrham on the occasion stated the agreement would have a significant contribution to pick up the pace of the dam.

    CGGC is expected to work aggressively in partnership with other companies in order to complete the project as per schedule, the CEO indicated.

    Representative of CGGC Wang promised that his company will cooperate with other companies to finalize the project on time and with the required quality.

    In a related development, the EEP has awarded a balance of plant contract to Voith Hydro Shanghai, which includes the electrical, mechanical, and various civil/structural works required to complete the construction of the generating station and spillways of GERD. (FBC)

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    Ethiopians traveling to Middle East to undergo language training

    Ethiopians who will travel to Middle East countries in search of employment are to undergo language training.

    Berhanu Abera, Overseas Employment Director General at the Ministry of Labor, told FBC on Wednesday that the training is a new direction set by the government to reduce the language burden on Ethiopian domestic workers.

    He said all domestic workers are required to take language course in Ethiopia before they travel to hiring counties, in addition to vocational training, he said.

    Ethiopia has recently concluded the signing of bilateral labor agreements with UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and Kuwait to ensure the protection of the rights of Ethiopian nationals.

    The government of Ethiopia had banned its citizens from employment as domestic workers in the Middle East countries to protect them from abusive employers. (FBC)

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    ADB starts electricity cooperative feasibility studies in Ethiopia, Nigeria

    The African Development Bank (ADB) has kicked off a feasibility study to explore the potential of electricity cooperative business models in Nigeria and Ethiopia.

    According to a press release sent to ENA on Thursday, the effort is part of the Bank’s goal of achieving universal electricity access across Africa by 2025.

    Currently, power shortages diminish the region’s GDP growth by 2 to 4 percent per year, holding back job creation and poverty reduction efforts.

    According to the Bank, the study funded by the South-South Cooperation Trust Fund, will be conducted by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) over three months.

    NRECA will consider regulatory, legal, technical and socio-economic factors that impact the creation of electric cooperatives in the two nations, it was learnt.

    The bank announced the electricity cooperatives are tax-exempt businesses set up and owned by the consumers who benefit from the services provided in generation, transmission and/or distribution.

    Where successful, they also improve rural electrification, while creating sustainable businesses. (ENA)

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    Ethiopia bags USD 1.4 bln tourism revenue in second half of 2018

    Ethiopia’s Minister of Culture has disclosed that the country grossed $1.4 billion US dollars from tourism revenue, state-affiliated FBC reported on Wednesday.

    The report said the figure was in respect of the second half of 2018 (July – December, 2018). The figure, however, fell short of the government’s projected target.

    The plan was to secure 2.7 billion US dollars but the country managed to attain 53% of its target by earning 1.4 billion US dollars, Minister Hirut Kassa is told the media.

    In terms of figures, about 380,376 foreign tourists visited Ethiopia’s tourist attraction sites in the said period.

    Ethiopia’s tourism had suffered the effect of anti-government protests that affected the industry after multiple state of emergencies were declared to quell the 2015 – 2018 protests.

    Under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia in 2018 opened up to entry especially by Africans. A visa-free regime plus issuance of e-visas have been identified as key boosters to the sector in the coming years. (FBC)

     

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    Horn in Brief

    EU launches road project in Eritrea

    Neven Mimica, EU commissioner for international cooperation and development, on Wednesday visited Eritrea, launching an initial USD 22.69 million project for road connections between the Ethiopian border and Eritrean ports

    During his visit, Commissioner Mimica met President Isaias to explore ways for the EU and Eritrea to step up political relations and dialogue on matters of concern to both sides.

    He noted, “The EU is committed to supporting Eritrea and Ethiopia in delivering their historic peace agreement, which ended twenty years of conflict. This will boost trade, consolidate stability and have clear benefits for the citizens of both countries through the creation of sustainable growth and jobs.”

    The new project will be financed through the EU Trust Fund for Africa and through the United Nation’s Office for Project Services. It will rehabilitate road connections between the Ethiopian border and Eritrean ports to boost trade and create jobs.

    This is the first phase of broader support to Eritrea, which is planned to scale up later this year. (African Review)

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    Kenya says Somalia misleading world in offshore oil row

    Kenya said on Thursday Somalia is misleading prospective investors by offering to sell four offshore oil blocks in an area that is subject to court proceedings in an ownership dispute between the two countries.

    The horn-of-Africa country had earlier denied the allegations. It said while maps it presented at a conference in London last week included territory that Somalia claims, its government won’t take any unilateral action on the area pending a ruling on the matter it took to the United Nations International Court of Justice in 2014.

    The presentations had “critical dates and schedule for the process” to be concluded in September, Kenya Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Monica Juma told reporters Thursday in the capital, Nairobi. “The federal government of Somalia is deliberately misleading the world,” she said.

    Kenya expects a court hearing on the matter by end of the year, according to Juma.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta earlier on Thursday led a cabinet meeting that agreed on steps to resolve the dispute and protect its territory. (Bloomberg)

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    Sudan, U.S. discuss resumption of banking transactions

    Sudanese Prime Minister Mutaz Musa and a visiting U.S. delegation on Wednesday on Wednesday discussed the resumption of banking transactions between the two countries.

    The visiting delegation is led by the Special Assistant to the U.S. President and Senior Director for Africa at the National Security Council (NSC), Cyril Sartor.

    Following the meeting, Sudan’s State Foreign Minister Osama Faisal told reporters the two sides discussed the trajectory of the Sudanese-U.S. dialogue, saying the delegation expressed its country’s keenness to move forward with the dialogue.

    He added the Prime Minister has briefed the delegation on the economic and political situation in Sudan as well as the government’s vision to overcome the challenges facing the country.

    According to Faisal, the meeting also discussed ways to resume banking transactions between the two countries as was agreed in the phase one of the dialogue.

    Us announced that the delegation came to Sudan “to discuss U.S.-Sudan relations, including concerns about the frequent use of force by the Sudanese government’s security forces to quell recent demonstrations”. (Sudan Tribune)

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    Recruitment of new soldiers threatens South Sudan’s peace

    South Sudan’s rival armed groups are forcefully recruiting civilians, including child soldiers, violating a fragile peace deal signed five months ago, reports said on Thursday.

    Citing officials, AP says the evidence from numerous accounts that opposing sides are adding fighters to their ranks is a worrying sign that threatens the country’s peace.

    In Yambio, near the border with Congo, all sides met recently to try to resolve their differences and strengthen the peace agreement. However, the meeting quickly turned tense as the government and opposition accused each other of recruiting new fighters, including child soldiers. The meeting highlighted the need for all fighters to be integrated into a single, unified national army, said observers.

    The reports of new recruitment come from all sides.

    In Twic state 1,200 men were forced into the government army, according to a letter sent from community leaders to the governor in January and seen by The Associated Press. (AP)

     

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