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Export revenue increases by USD 115.6 million

Exports in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2020, compared to in the previous fiscal year, export revenue increased by USD 115.6 million or 16 percent and a total of USD 838.6 million was earned, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI).

The mining sector has achieved 300 percent of the plan earningUSD 205 million. The industrial sector earned 95 percent and USD 94 million, while agricultural products earned USD 541 respectively, said MoTI on Tuesday.

It is stated that the export products contract registration and implementation of export contracts aremajor contributions to the improvement of export trade.

Establishing a responsible and accountable contract registration system for export contracts, to prevent improper storage of a product,has made commodity trading more compatible with the global market and leading to improved prices for commodities.(The Ethiopian Herald)

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Labor Confederation demands government expedite minimum wage limit

Confederation of Ethiopian Labor Union on Wednesday welcomed the government’s move to establish a Wage Board, a regulatory body that would set minimum wage per job.

According to The Ethiopian Herald, the need for minimum wage ceiling has been a long time coming, where workers make less than USD two per day.

Talking to The Ethiopian Herald, Measho Berihu, Communication Director of CELU said that currently the labor market has been misused and a large number of workers are receiving unfair payments.

“Thus the amount of salary paid for laborers is not enough to meet their basic needs,” he said adding “Workers are also migrating to other countries in search of better lives and payments facing challenges along migration routes and host countries.”

The confederation is working closely with MoLSA to effectuate the Wage Board, he said. (The Ethiopian Herald)

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Raxio to build Ethiopia’s first private data center in Addis

The Raxio Group (Raxio) has acquired land inthe ICT Park, on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, to build Ethiopia’s first private state-of-the-art certified Tier III collocation data center.

According to Capacity Media, the site, purchased through Raxio’s fully owned subsidiary in Ethiopia, Raxio Data Centre, is set to be commissioned in the third quarter of 2021.

Once completed, Raxio Ethiopia will offer its customers an optimized environment for their IT equipment’s in a state of the art, modular facility, fully equipped with leading technology, security, AC/DC power compatibility and redundancy.

“Following the holistic reform that our nation is undergoing, new mobile operators are expected to be licensed soon; as a result, our internet usage is projected to rapidly grow,” Industrial Parks Development Corporation CEO, SandokanDebebe said.

He added that “it is our belief that Raxio Ethiopia will play a paramount role in strengthening and developing the country’s digital infrastructure capabilities.”

Raxio was established in 2018 by a US investment firm, the Roha Group, to build the foundation of adigital economy in Africa. (ENA)

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Ethiopian authorities ban protests as “illegal and unnecessary”

Ethiopian authorities have banned peaceful protests against ethnically motivated killings which were due to take place on 28 October, in a direct violation offreedom of expression and peaceful assembly, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.

The National Amhara Movement (NAMA), an opposition political party, had called for protests following the killing of people from the Amhara ethnic groupin recent months. Officials of NAMA were, on October 27 prevented by the police from accessing their party’s office in Addis Ababa, and from traveling to the various locations where the protests were set to take place in the Amhara regional state. 

The spokesperson of the Amhara Regional government, GizachewMuluneh, on October 26 described the protests as “illegal and unnecessary” and warned that regional security forces would be deployed, and that there was a possibility of violence if protests went ahead.  

There has been a surge of deadly ethnic violence targeting Amharas in various parts of the country, including in Benishangul, Oromia and SNNPR.(Amnesty International)

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Horn in Brief

US focused on disrupting finances for Somalia’s al-Shabab

The United States strongly backed efforts to disrupt the illegal financing methods used by Somalia’s al-Shabab extremist group, which according to U.N. experts has raised more than the USD 21 million, spent last year on fighters, weapons and intelligence.

U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft told the Security Council on Wednesday that the Trump administration is committed to partnering with other countries and using U.N. sanctions to counter al-Shabab’s “financing of terrorism” and the threat from homemade bombs the group has been making.

The United States also remains focused on limiting the ability of al-Shabab to conduct attacks against civilians, she said.

The Security Council was focusing on the panel of experts whose latest report stressed the continuing impact of al-Shabab’s operations not only in Somalia but in neighboring Kenya.

Al-Qaidalinked al-Shabab remains the most active and resilient extremist group in Africa, controlling parts of southern and central Somalia and often targeting checkpoints and other high-profile areas in the capital, Mogadishu. (AP)

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Four Killed in South Sudan-Uganda Border Skirmish

Two South Sudanese soldiers and two Ugandan soldiers have been killed in a clash near the countries’ border, a South Sudanese army spokesman said. 

Major General LulRuaiKoang, spokesman for the South Sudan People’s Defense Force, saida mechanized, heavily armed unit of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces made what he called a “major incursion” on Tuesday into South Sudanese territory. 

“That unit launched a surprise attack on our defensive border post at Pogee, in Magwi County, in Eastern Equatoria state. Our forces were engaged in a gunbattle that got four killed – two from our side and two from the side of the UPDF,” Koang told VOA’s South Sudan in Focus.

Koang said the Ugandan forces also captured a South Sudanese soldier.

Speaking by phone to South Sudan in Focus from Uganda’s Lwengo district on Wednesday, Ugandan deputy defense spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel DeoAkiiki acknowledged that UPDF soldiers had killed two people, but insisted the incident occurred inside Uganda and that the two deceased could not be identified. (VoA)

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Kenya to lay fiber optics cable to South Sudan

The Kenyan government announced it will lay 630km of fiber opticscable between the towns of Eldoret to Nadapal, to deliver high-speed internet services and increase trade in east Africa.

Governor of Turkana county JosphatNanok said in a tweet, residents in the counties of Turkana, West Pokot, Trans Nzoia, UasinGishu, will be connected to the internet with the construction of the cable.

“Apart from improving communication, the network will support investments and improve service delivery by the government,” said Nanok.

Kenya ICT Authority CEO Katherine Getao said the project hassupport from the ICT ministry, and it is under the Eastern Africa Regional Transport Trade and Development Facilitation project, which aims to boost connectivity in east Africa and ramp-up trade between Kenya and South Sudan.“What we are doing is the backbone, it is like the highway and then with other partners we shall do the last mile where we shall connect individual institutions,” added Getao. The project will cost USD 275 million. (NTV)

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Somaliland now wants UN to respect its sovereignty

Somaliland wants the United Nations to deal with the country as an independent nation from Somalia, East African Business Weeks reported on Thursday.

According to the report, the internationally unrecognized country has taken a swipe at the UN for disrespecting its sovereignty and working with Somalia to micromanage affairs in their country.

As a result, Somaliland has suspended all humanitarian engagements and other activities of the United Nations in the country.

Somaliland President Muse BihiAbdi accused the United Nations of taking orders from the Somali government and engaging in regional politics.

Bihi said UN envoy to Somalia James Swan does not represent Somaliland, but has welcomed anyone who “respectfully” wanted to work with them.

The president said that it is necessary for his administration to identify the needs in Somaliland and plan the projects to be implemented by the said organizations or else they do not want the support.

Somaliland’s impasse with the UN stems from an agreement signed between the organization and Somalia a fortnight ago.(EABW News)

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Sudan-South Sudan aims for USD 3blnin trade

Sudan and South Sudan have laid the foundation stone for afree trade zone in the area of Mokhaleef in El Jebelein locality in White Nile state on Tuesday, in a move designed to promote border trade between the two countries. Inthe same ceremony, the Kosti and El Jebelein free zones were inaugurated, as well as the resumption ofriver traffic between the two countries.

It is hoped that the volume of annual trade exchange between the two countries in the near future will reach USD 3 billion.

During the inauguration ceremony, Sudan’s Defence Minister Maj. Gen Yasin Ibrahim saidthe joint Sudanese-South Sudanese political security mechanism decided to open 10 border crossings between the two countries.

Finance Minister Heba Mohamed said that “The free trade zones, the foundation stone of which has been laid now, will provide many job opportunities for the residents of the region, and achieve great returns for the state treasury”. (SUNA)

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