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Commission, IFC sign agreement to reform customs, trade logistics

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, on Wednesday signed a cooperation agreement with the Ethiopian Customs Commission (ECC) to provide advisory support aimed at supporting the ECC’s efforts to reform the trade logistics landscape of Ethiopia.

The cooperation agreement was signed today at ECC’s office between Dahlia Khalifa, Senior Manager at IFC and Debele Kabeta, Commissioner of ECC.

The agreement provides a framework for advisory support to be implemented in a three-year program in partnership with ECC as well as other public and private sector stakeholders, according to a joint press release issued by IFC and ECC.

The time and costs related to import-export are one of the major impediments to Ethiopia’s economic growth, where bureaucratic hurdles, inefficient regulatory framework, and poor coordination between government agencies have been affecting the efficiency of cross-border trade.

IFC, through its Investment Climate Facility, has been working with the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA), ECC’s predecessor, since 2013 to improve the country’s investment climate. (FBC)

Meteorology agency forecasts normal, above normal rainfall

Normal and above normal distribution of rainfall will occur in most parts of the country while below normal rain will be registered in some parts of the country, according to the National Meteorology Agency forecast.

The first two months of Belg season of this year revealed that the volume and distribution of rainfall had been normal and but diminished in some parts of the country beginning early March.

South and South East, Central and North Eastern parts of the country had normal and above normal distribution and volume of rainfall last February, National Meteorology Agency Weather Forecasting Expert Tamru Kebede said.

According to him, North East and South Eastern parts of the country got better distribution of rainfall in the first week of March. “The distribution of the rainfall has extended to the eastern part of the country.”

Referring to the distribution of rainfall for the second week of March, Tamru noted that “the rainfall partly decreased in the Eastern, Central and half of southern highland areas.

MoR secures 306 bln birr

Ministry of Revenues (MoR) on Thursday said it has collected about 306 billion birr during the last one year through the reform it introduced on human resources and procedures.

Some 1.3 billion birr worth illegal import and export items as well as currencies of different countries have been seized at customs checkpoints. 

Discussion about the achievements and challenges employees of the ministry and Customs Commission faced during the past 365 days was held today.

Some 1032 employees of the institutions took part in the discussion.

During the discussion, Revenues Minister Adanech Abebie said there were many complaints from the public on the customs and revenues in the past years.

Unfair taxation and exemption of tax that undermines competition have been among the grievances raised repeatedly by customers, she recalled.

Besides, restructuring of the institutions was made to address problems associated with customs and revenues.

The ministry has also modernized the system, improved procedures and reviewed laws and regulations, the minister noted.  (ENA)

First Field Office Bordering Ethiopia, Kenya Opened to Improve Peace, Security

The first field office bordering Ethiopia and Kenya was opened yesterday in Moyale city, southern Ethiopia, to address the drivers of conflict and instability, irregular migration and displacement in these cross-border areas.

In a press statement it sent, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) stated that Moyale’s field office will cover the geographical areas of Borana zone in Ethiopia and Marsabit County in Kenya.

The field team will be working hand in hand with the local governments, communities, civil society, and private sector to provide cross-border technical support to enable the implementation of livelihoods, peace building, and capacity building activities that will sustain peace and harmony on these border areas, it added.

The office will accommodate the field teams working for cross-border cooperation between Ethiopia and Kenya for conflict prevention and peace building in the Marsabit – Moyale Cluster, and support for effective cooperation and coordination of cross-border Initiatives in Southwest Ethiopia – Northwest Kenya, Marsabit – Borana and Dawa, and Kenya – Somalia – Ethiopia (SECCCI),” the release explained.  (ENA)