Pastoralist, Agro Pastoralists in Borana Zone Anticipate Better Yields after Draught
Jun 17, 2024 171
Addis Ababa June 17/2024 (ENA) Pastoralists and agro pastoralists in Borana zone of Oromia region are anticipating better harvest from the cultivation of various agricultural products after sustaining drought over the last years. Officials of Oromia region visited various agricultural activities in Yabello and Dirre districts of Borana zone. The officials visited animal ranch that aims to maintaining core Borana breeds, small scale irrigation dams and wheat cluster cultivation activities in the districts. The drought-induced problems due to shortages of rain has hugely affected Borana zone claiming the death of large number of livestock. However, the pastoralist in the stated districts are currently engaged in agriculture and improved livestock production by drawing lesson from the previous difficulties of natural disasters.   The pastoralists and agro pastoralists said alongside of development of livestock they are cultivating wheat, maize, teff and other agricultural activities through the support of regional government. They added that the agricultural activities are in good condition and expecting better yields that would contribute to improve their livelihood. Borana Zone Administrator Abiselam Wariyo said wheat cultivation was not common in the area and now some 128,000 hectares of land have been covered by various crops. He added that the area is currently receiving good rain and many development activities are being underway in all of the 11 districts. Some 65,000 tone of forage have been stored as part of emergency preparedness and the zone has managed to stop receiving forage for animals from other places. According to Head of Oromia Agriculture Bureau, Getu Gemechu who witnessed the development activities in the area, the regional government will exert maximum efforts to ensure the benefits of pastoralist and agro pastoralists in Borana zone and other drylands. It was indicated that construction of water projects with a cost of 3.4 billion Birr are underway in the zone to be utilized for various purposes.
S.Korean Ambassador Pledges to Expedite Implementation of MoUs Signed with Ethiopia
Jun 17, 2024 259
Addis Ababa June 17/2024 (ENA) South Korea‘s ambassador to Ethiopia Jung Kang has reaffirmed his country commitment to further strengthen its development cooperation with Ethiopia. In an exclusive interview with ENA, the Ambassador said Ethiopia and South Korea have strong bilateral cooperation in various spheres. According to him, the historical cooperation of the two countries in politics, economy, and development has now been expanding in other sectors as well. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s visit to South Korea would further consolidate the relationship of two countries, he added. Ethiopia and South Korea signed a 1 billion USD financing framework agreement during Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s visit to the country this month that also included a two day South Korea-Africa Summit held in Seoul. The financing framework agreement signed with Ethiopia targets economic and development projects to be implemented over the next four years. Ethics and anti-corruption commission of Ethiopia and Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission of South Korea have also signed MoU during PM Abiy’s visit. "I was there in Seoul, to assist Prime Minister Abiy’s visit. The Summit was quite successful and meaningful and the courtiers signed two MOUs including financial agreement and the other is a anti- corruption cooperation agreement." The ambassador affirmed his commitment to work closely with the government of Ethiopia in order to expedite the implementation of the agreements. During his term in Ethiopia, efforts will also be exerted to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries focusing on trade and investment, culture and public relations, ambassador Kang underlined. . Development cooperation including urban development, infrastructure, agriculture, energy and education among others will continue as the main focus areas of cooperation between the two countries.  
UN Reaffirms Commitment to Support Ethiopia
Jun 17, 2024 227
Addis Ababa June 17/2024 (ENA) United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President Dennis Francis has reaffirmed the United Nations' commitment to support Ethiopia. The UNGA’s 78th president held discussion with Foreign Affairs Minister Taye Atske-Selasie in Addis Ababa today. Following the meeting, Spokesperson of Foreign Affairs Ministry Nebiyu Tedla told journalists that the two sides have discussed major issues of concern including Ethiopian, regional and global affairs. The Spokesperson added that the United Nations General Assembly President Dennis Francis has reaffirmed the United Nations’ commitment to continue the support to Ethiopia. On his part, Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Minister Taye appreciated the UNGA president's contribution and his leadership in tackling climate change, the multilateral support in technology, capacity building, finance, and sustainable development. The minister called on the United Nations to further deepen this cooperation. The Spokesperson also elaborated that Taye briefed President Francis on Ethiopia's ongoing political and economic reforms. Additionally, the foreign minister stressed the need for reforming the UN system especially with regard to the security architecture and financial establishment. United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President, Dennis Francis on his part acknowledged Ethiopia’s success in resolving its domestic challenges. The president also noted the country’s contribution in regional issues of common concerns. Moreover, the two sides exchanged views on the upcoming UN "Summit of the Future" scheduled for September 2024. Finally the president reaffirmed the United Nations continued commitment to strengthen support to achieve sustainable development and for the betterment of Ethiopia.
Farmers in Oromia's West Guji Zone Expanding Cultivation of High-yielding Coffee Varieties
Jun 16, 2024 401
Addis Ababa June 16/2024 (ENA) Farmers in West Guji Zone, Oromia region are expanding the cultivation of higher-yielding coffee varieties, zone Administrator Adula Hirbaye said. A delegation comprising officials from Oronia region visited coffee cultivation and maize developed in a cluster in Abaya Woreda of West Guji Zone. After the visit, West Guji Zone Administrator Adula Hirbaye said coffee is the major cash crop of the Zone, cultivated in six out of its nine woredas. He added that the farmers are replacing the previous coffee plants with the improved coffee varieties after the rigorous training provided to farmers. These new coffee varieties mature for harvest within one year and eight months and have the capacity to yield 12 quintals per hectare, a significant increase compared to older varieties. West Guji Zone contributes a substantial 28 percent of coffee supplies at the national level, according to the administrator. Currently, farmers and semi-pastoralists in almost all districts are fully engaged in producing various crops and vegetables, significantly improving their livelihoods, he noted. A report from Oromia Agriculture Bureau shows that it has been preparing some 2.6 billion coffee nurseries for this year alone as part of the region's major initiative on coffee production. Additionally, the region has prepared 350,000 hectares of land for coffee plantations for this year. With this, the region has set a target of obtaining 12 million quintals of coffee, it was indicated. Oromia region is exerting a maximum effort to transform farmers at investor levels.  
Ethiopia Prioritizes Exploiting Lowland Area Potentials for Irrigation Dev’t, Says MILLs Minister
Jun 16, 2024 440
Addis Ababa June 16/2024 (ENA) Minister of Irrigation and Lowlands (MILLs) Abraham Belay emphasized expansion of irrigation and exploiting the lowland areas of potential that has been put as priority in Ethiopia’s agricultural development. Currently, Ethiopia has embarked on a transformative journey to secure the country’s food sovereignty and achieve self-sufficiency. According to data from the Minister of Irrigation and Lowlands, Ethiopia’s potential for optimizing irrigation remains largely untapped, with less than 10 percent of arable land currently benefiting from such systems. As part of the government’s endeavors to free Ethiopia from aid dependency, it has been reinforcing numerous activities on irrigation development beyond the rainy season. For instance, following the ongoing far-reaching reform programs, the due attention has been given to the cultivation of summer irrigated wheat. This ambitious project has now resulted in transforming Ethiopia from a wheat importer to a self-sufficient producer and exporter, it was pointed out. Recall that a 100-day performance review of this concluding Ethiopian Fiscal Year was conducted in the presence of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Lowland areas development activity which is recently considered as one of the top government’s priorities was thoroughly reviewed during the performance evaluation meeting. Minister of Irrigation and Lowlands (MILLs), Abraham Belay remarked at the conclusion of the 100-day evaluation meeting, he said, adding that irrigation development of the lowland spheres is the most important, since it is among the major focusing areas that have been given in agricultural development plan following the country’s reform. This has been part of the nation’s efforts to put an end to aid dependency in Ethiopia by developing potential natural resources, the minister elaborated. To this effect, Abraham mentioned that irrigation projects that would benefit the society are being carried out in various lowland areas and the projects are instrumental to revolutionize the country’s agricultural landscape. He further underlined that the completion of those irrigation projects on time is also a primary next focus. The minister hoped that the irrigation projects will bring about more potential in increasing the production and productivity of the lowland areas. Considering Ethiopia’s lowlands irrigation development as one of top priorities, the East African nation is working hard to unlock the productivity of lowlands that would significantly contribute to its national food security and economic resilience, it was indicated.    
Ethiopia Can Balance Electric Power Interconnection of Region: APRA Secretariat Head
Jun 15, 2024 422
Addis Ababa, June 15/2024(ENA)- Ethiopia can play a role of balance for the region by ensuring electric power system interconnection with neighboring countries, Accelerated Partnership for Renewables in Africa (APRA) Secretariat Head Safiatou Alzouma said. Ethiopia has a significant renewable energy potential with hydropower estimated at 45 gigawatts, while wind and geothermal have a combined potential capacity of 15 gigawatts. In an exclusive interview with ENA, the secretariat head said APRA recognizes the importance of aligning the national priorities and frameworks of African countries ensuring that initiatives are not only relevant but also sustainable in the long-term. APRA engagement, therefore, includes country consultations as well as the development of national action plans encompassing all necessary interventions essential to expedite the nations’ journey towards ambitious renewable energy development and green growth. Ethiopia is a country endowed with tremendous renewable energy resources, be it hydro, wind, geothermal, solar and biomass, among others. Citing Ethiopia as one of the 7 countries of APRA that includes Kenya, Ghana, Namibia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe, Alzouma commended the cooperation of the secretariat with all pertinent stakeholders in Ethiopia using holistic and inclusive approach. “What we are promoting through APRA for its all member countries, including Ethiopia, is really the coordination on mobilizing finance, engaging the private sector, building the skills and sustainable development of renewable energy,” she said. Highlighting that there is a huge commitment from Ethiopia in the renewable energy sector, the head pointed out that Ethiopia is immensely endowed with huge renewable energy potential, mainly hydro. “Ethiopia is very endowed with huge renewable energy potential, mainly hydro. If you look at the power mix of the country, it is over 90 percent of hydro. So, Ethiopia can play a big role, a role of balance for the region,” Alzouma noted. For her, the good thing is that Ethiopia has already created interconnection with neighboring countries like Kenya and Djibouti. The good thing is that you have already been implementing interconnection with your neighboring countries like Kenya, Djibouti. So, through Ethiopia, they will really balance the intermittence of renewable energy base power that will come from other countries. The Ministry of Water and Energy recently revealed that Ethiopia has been playing a leading role in creating energy ties with neighboring countries as the country is successfully supplying energy to its neighboring countries of Sudan, Djibouti and Kenya.    
DPM Inaugurates Government Purchased Air Tractors  
Jun 15, 2024 273
Addis Ababa, June 15/2024(ENA) Deputy Prime Minister Temesgen Tiruneh has inaugurated 5 air tractors purchased by the government to mitigate the risk of locusts and other infestations in agricultural activities. The Government of Ethiopia has expended 850 million Birr and bought the 5 air tractors, the most efficient means of pest control in Africa, to be used for disaster mitigation efforts. Deputy Prime Minister Temesgen Tiruneh said on the occasion that the country has been trying to control various natural disasters, including swarm locust, wild fire and the red-billed quelea birds through traditional mechanisms as the nation lacks technological capability. These disasters have been predicament to the country’s efforts to reduce crop damages in addition to their risk on human health, he added. According to him, Ethiopia has been expending 13 billion Birr annually to control swarms of locust and other disasters by renting aircraft to spray chemicals and other preventive mechanisms. Rented and borrowed aircraft from other countries have also been used to control the wild fire encountered around Semien Mountains and Bale National Park. The government has, therefore, purchased 5 air tractors which are now on duty to address this challenge, the deputy premier said. The air tractors will be deployed for multi-purpose duties, including controlling desert locust, predatory raptor and spraying anti-weed and anti-pesticide chemicals, prevention of prairie fire, sowing seeds and other agricultural activities. The air tractors are capable of spraying 12 hectares of land per minute and the private airline National Airways will manage the administration of the airplanes, it was learned. Apart from providing domestic services, the air tractors will be rented out to foreign countries to generate additional foreign currency for the country. Recall that Prime Minister Abiy said Ethiopia will develop own capacity for disaster mitigation and spraying of chemicals that include owning planes. Agriculture Minister Girma Amente, government officials, and the leadership of the National Airways attended the official inauguration ceremony.  
Oromia Region Provides Artificial Insemination for Over 1 Million Cattle to Boost Productivity
Jun 15, 2024 271
Addis Ababa, June 15/2024(ENA) Oromia regional state disclosed that over one million cattle across the region have received artificial insemination service during the current fiscal year with a view to boosting dairy productivity. Artificial Insemination is vital instrument to boost dairy productivity and reduces risk of disease transmission. Oromia agriculture bureau head Getu Gemechu and zonal administrator of Guji zone along with other officials visited various agriculture activities being underway in Uraga woreda of Guji zone. The delegation has visited livestock development efforts in the area. On the occasion, the Bureau Head, Getu Gemechu revealed that over one million cattle across the region have received artificial insemination service during the current fiscal year. The region has planned to provide artificial insemination for 1.5 million cattle and managed to provide service for over one million and 600, 000, according the Head. Through this service over 325 thousand calves released for pastoralists with the aims to increase production and productivity. According to Getu, the region is showing progress in all agricultural activities through various initiatives. Zonal administrator of Guji Zone Negash Bulala on his part said the zone is undertaking mixed farming practices and improving animal breed with a view to improve the livelihood of the community in the area. He said attention is given to the development by focusing on productivity and health through protective measures including vaccination. The zonal administration has been exerting efforts to promote agricultural productivity, Negash added. Farmers in the area told the media that they are benefitting from the development initiatives aimed at enhancing productivity. On the occasion, members of the delegation planted tree seedlings in Uraga woreda of Guji zone as part of this year's green legacy initiative. It was indicated on the occasion that over one hundred million trees will be planted in the zone and preparation has been finalized.
Ethiopia Building Robust Macroeconomy
Jun 15, 2024 229
Addis Ababa,June15/2024(ENA)- The achievements being registered in Ethiopia’s overall development demonstrate the country’s endeavor to build its macro economy on a solid foundation, Government Communication Service revealed. State Minister of Government Communication Services, Selamawit Kasa delivered a press briefing on current affairs in Ethiopia today. The State Minister indicated that Ethiopia has become the 5th largest economy in Africa. Ethiopia has registered promising economic growth over the last ten months of the fiscal year which demonstrates the country’s successful endeavors to build its macroeconomy on strong foundation. Agriculture, industry, mining, service sector and digital economy have contributed to the growth attained this year, the State Minister added. She noted that 506 million quintals have been produced over the previous meher season and remarked that the amount of agricultural production secured exceeds the amount attained over the same period of the previous year. The State Minister added that 106 million quintals of wheat has been produced by irrigation during the dry seasons and remarked that Ethiopia is working to ensuring food self-sufficiency over time. Selamawit further noted that encouraging results have also been achieved in the horticulture sector over the current fiscal year. Public discussions on ways and means of pulling Ethiopia from dependency have also been conducted across the country, she elaborated. The State Minister added that the market share of the manufacturing sector in the national economy is 39 percent and stated that a substantial amount of import substitution has been achieved over the fiscal year. She noted that considerable amount of success has been achieved in the production of electric cables and wires, transformers, coal and production of malt and uniforms for security has been successfully produced locally and substituted foreign imports on these commodities. In addition, with regard to the industrial sector, 41 printing enterprises have been identified to print books in the country, the State Minister said. A considerable number of tourists have also paid visits to the Ethiopia boosting the tourism industry in the country. Promising results have been attained in the digital economy sector, debt payments and savings, she further remarked. The State Minister indicated that 5 billion birr worth of digital saving has been made while 4.6 million citizens have been able to get digital ID cards. She further added that various efforts have been made during the fiscal year to reduce the rate of inflation, unemployment and shortfalls on service delivery. Selamawit called upon all citizens to participate on summer voluntary services planned for this season.  
Finland Aims to Deepen Partnership with Ethiopia Across Multiple Sectors
Jun 15, 2024 178
Addis Ababa, June 15/2024(ENA)- Finland is looking to enhance its longstanding relationship with Ethiopia by boosting cooperation across development, business, trade, and other key areas, according to the country's Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Ville Tavio. Speaking to ENA , Minister Tavio highlighted Finland's 65 years of diplomatic ties with Ethiopia and its position as the largest Finnish development partner in Africa. He expressed satisfaction with the progress achieved so far through Finnish-backed projects related to water management, education, weather forecasting, and digitalization. "We have good reasons to continue our cooperation with Ethiopia," Minister Tavio stated. "We are always looking for new possibilities and to facilitate more public-private partnerships where Finnish companies and solutions can be part of our joint efforts." The Finnish minister pointed to Finland's support for initiatives like the EthioChicken poultry farming program through funding as an example of engaging the private sector. He emphasized Finland's strength in clean technologies for agriculture, forestry and water management as potential areas for future collaboration. Beyond development, Finland is keen to increase trade and investment flows between the two countries. Minister Tavio welcomed Ethiopia's efforts to open its economy further to international commerce, stating "We are supporting increasing trade in Ethiopia, and I look forward to more Finnish companies participating here." He cited Finnish telecoms giant Nokia's role in boosting internet connectivity as one existing business success story, adding "We will hopefully keep increasing that connectivity." The Finnish government also aims to assist Ethiopia's economic development by supporting vocational training and education initiatives to build a more skilled labor force. "Increasing education in Ethiopia is vital so you have the skilled workers these industries need," Minister Tavio explained. While humanitarian aid remains a priority, with Finland recently pledging 5 million euros, the long-term focus is on catalyzing private investment for sustainable economic growth according to the minister. "When you are doing the rebuilding, in the long run you will need to leverage private funding." Minister Tavio expressed support for Ethiopia's political reform process as well, endorsing initiatives like the National Dialogue. "We are very much supporting these national dialogues, and we have a long history as a peace-mediating country," he stated. With the European Union gearing up to invest over 100 billion euros across Africa in the coming years, Minister Tavio said he hopes more of that capital will flow to Ethiopia if conditions are conducive for businesses. Overall, the minister's comments signaled Finland's commitment to being a key partner for Ethiopia across the development, economic and political spheres in the years ahead.
Ethiopian Airlines Linking Air Transport, Tourism Sectors: CEO
Jun 15, 2024 179
Addis Ababa, June 15/2024(ENA)- Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mesfin Tasew outlines plans to integrate air transport and tourism in Ethiopia. Recall that Office of the Prime Minister ceremoniously transferred the projects to the Amhara, Oromia and South West Region and conducted a signing ceremony for the management and operation agreement of the 'Dine for Ethiopia' lodges, by Ethiopian Airlines, operating under its renowned Skylight Hotel brand, on May 2, 2024. Following this, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO, Mesfin Tasew told ENA that the airline has signed agreements with relevant entities to implement the decision of managing the lodges developed by the government across the country. For instance, Ethiopian Airlines and Southwest Ethiopian People's Region Chief Administrator Negash Wagesho concluded a contract to manage the Elephant Paw Lodge and Halala Kela Resort in Chebera Churchura, it was learned. For the time being, the airline, through Skylight Hotel will start managing one lodge, Mesfin pointed out. The CEO further stated that allowing Ethiopian Airlines owned Skylight Hotel to manage the projects has created an opportunity to connect air transport and tourism, particularly hospitality more closely. This partnership marks a significant step forward for both entities, with Mesfin emphasizing Ethiopian Airlines' long-standing dedication to promoting Ethiopian tourism alongside its core air transport services. The airline's commitment extends beyond air travel, as evidenced by the establishment and success of the 5-star Ethiopian Skylight Hotel, he said. Air transport and hospitality are intertwined sectors and the airline has been working hard to further strengthen the link between air transport and the tourism sector in Ethiopia, he noted. Ethiopian Airlines' diversification extends far beyond air travel. The company boasts a robust portfolio that includes passenger and cargo transport, hospitality services through Skylight Hotel, its own aviation university, and comprehensive aircraft maintenance services. This multi-faceted approach positions Ethiopian Airlines as a key player in propelling Ethiopia's tourism industry forward. Entrusting their operation and management to the country’s national flag carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, promises not only enhanced service but also an avenue for international tourism promotion. The 'Dine for Ethiopia' initiative, championed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, aimed to bolster tourism, a cornerstone of the national homegrown economic reform program.    
Panel Discusses Challenges, Opportunities for Private Agricultural Investors  
Jun 14, 2024 277
Addis Ababa June 14/2024 (ENA) A panel discussion on challenges and opportunities for private investors in the agriculture sector was held today. Stakeholders and officials from federal and regional governments took part in the panel discussion jointly organized by the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) and Ministry of Agriculture. Speaking on the occasion, Agriculture Minister Girma Amente said the ministry is committed to addressing the challenges investors face in the sector.   According to him, private investors need to engage with full capacity to contribute their share to the effort of ensuring food self-sufficiency. DBE President Yohannes Ayalew stated that the bank has been offering loans with 7 percent interest as it gives special attention to the agriculture sector.   The previous loan interest was 11.5 percent, it was learned. The president also revealed that the bank has extended 5 billion Birr in lease for agricultural mechanization works to the private sector during the last 1l months of the current Ethiopian fiscal year. The measures taken to modernize the sector and to expand investment opportunities during the last few years have registered impressive achievements, he added. In her presentation, Agriculture State Minister Sofia Kassa stressed the need for engaging the private sector that has been widely involved in the agricultural sector.   Because of their booming contribution in productivity, they can also create a platform for technology and knowledge transfer among the local smallholding farmers, create huge job opportunity, import substitution, and enhance foreign trade, the state minister elaborated. Therefore, to encourage investors to engage in the sector various efforts allowing duty free agricultural machineries, financial access, especially form the Development Bank of Ethiopia, as well as amending legal frameworks are crucial. Sofia pointed out the inability of investors to develop fully the land they receive, low technological inputs and utilization, among others.    
Council of Ministers Refers Draft Bills to House for Endorsement  
Jun 14, 2024 301
Addis Ababa, June 14/2024(ENA) The Council of Ministers has referred 5 draft bills for endorsement to the House of People's Representatives (HPR) today, according to the Office of the Prime Minister.     The council, in its 35th regular session, first discussed the draft bill that provided for an agreement entered between the Federal Government of Ethiopia and the International Development Association regarding an additional loan of 207,200,000 USD to be used for improving the implementation capacity of the second round urban potable water, sanitation and hygiene projects.The interest free loan with 0.75% is payable in 38 years with a grace period of 6 years. Ensuring that the loan scheme is in line with the country’s loan administration policy, the council unanimously refer the draft proclamation to the House of People's Representatives (HPR) for final approval. Next, the council discussed a draft proclamation on property tax.The draft proclamation is intended to ensure equity on wealth distribution among urban dwellers, to improve the quality and modernization of public services, improving budget expenses to be incurred for urban infrastructure facilities. The draft proclamation, referred to the HPR, is expected to be implemented nationwide while regional administrations are authorized to levy their own reasonable amount of property tax based on the objective realities in their respective regions. The council then discussed a draft plan on reforms and increasing the capital of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia. The draft proposals to improve the quality of the bank's assets and enable it to implement its contribution to the growth and development of the economy in a sustainable manner by increasing its capital in a safe manner have been submitted to the council. These include enhancing the bank's administrative efficiency, structured financial statements in a robust and acceptable manner and improving the provision of government financing to help increase the bank's capital. The council discussed the plan and unanimously decided to move forward. The other draft proclamation the council deliberated on was a draft amendment for bill on the National Bank of Ethiopia. The council recalled that the proclamation enforced over the last 16 years had shortfalls with regard to enabling development actors, promotion of the prosperity of the nation, and with regard to internationally recognized experiences from international counterparts and principles, changes that were introduced in global financial systems, fiscal and banking policies, internal and international financial reforms, technology and geo-political changes in terms of result based financial achievements as well as the role of the bank in price stabilization had all justified the need for introducing measures to improve in the operational system of the bank. The council finally approved the amended draft bill and referred it to the HPR for endorsement. Next, the council discussed a draft bill on operation of banks. Considering major changes in the global economy, marked developments in technology, organizational and operational changes and changes in government policies and directives and considering the fact that the country has barred foreign banks from participating in the national financial system and with due consideration to the new policy issued on allowing foreign banks to operate in the country and the resultant need for issuing an operational system and administering the registering and certification of foreign banks to operate in the country, a bill is required to address the above. With some input, the council referred the proclamation to the HPR. Finally, the council discussed a draft bill on environmental impact assessment. Prior to the implementation of development programs, there should be an assessment on the possible impacts of the projects on physical and social environments to effectively forecast their negative impacts and resolve them on time. The imperative of coming up with a bill that provides for an integrated approach to the assessment of the impacts, therefore, becomes a necessity. The council debate on the draft bill and referred it to the House of People's Representatives for endorsement.                                            
Endeavors to Boost Tourism Contribution to Ethiopia’s Economy Bearing Fruit
Jun 14, 2024 242
Addis Ababa, June 14/2024(ENA)-Tourism Minister Nasisie Chali said the activities underway to boost the contribution of the tourism sector to the national economy has been bringing about results. Recall that a 100-day performance review of this concluding Ethiopian Fiscal Year was conducted in the presence of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Tourism Minister Nasisie noted that tourism was one of the thoroughly reviewed sectors during the performance evaluation meeting. The minister pointed out that the tourism sector was among the issues extensively discussed during the meeting. The activities carried out in promoting tourism flow, increasing the number of domestic visitors, and expanding destinations and renovating existing ones have contributed to the attraction of tourists, she said. In the work done to expanding conference tourism, the holding of international meetings in health, education, manufacturing and other sectors has been facilitating in the past ten months. According to the minister, many projects like Dine for the Nation have become operational and initiatives like Dine for Generation have been carried out to accelerate the development of the sector. She disclosed that standard for tourist destinations in the country are prepared and readied for implementation. Nasisie added that this will make the existing tourist destinations suitable and meet the market. The ministry has succeeded in increasing the number of local and foreign tourists in the last ten months, it was learned. The minister reaffirmed the commitment of the ministry to consolidating the ongoing activities in order to bolster the contribution of the tourism sector to the economy by providing convenient, safe and reliable transportation as well as accommodation services.    
Digital Fleet Management System for Trucks on Addis Ababa-Djibouti Corridor Launched
Jun 14, 2024 148
Addis Ababa, June 14/2024(ENA)- A digital vehicle fleet management system for trucks on Addis Ababa Djibouti corridor has been launched today that would be crucial to transform the movement of goods between Djibouti and Ethiopia. The government of Djibouti, through the Ministry of Infrastructure and Equipment, the Djibouti Ports Corridor Road (DPCR), and the Delegation of the European Union in Djibouti and IGAD launched the system, it was indicated. The digital fleet management system is said crucial to transform the movement of goods between Djibouti and Ethiopia. This system will directly impact the efficiency of goods transported along the corridor routes. This is the first practical step of a strategic partnership between the EU and the Republic of Djibouti: the EU’s support for the Horn of Africa initiative strategy, in collaboration with the governments of the Republic of Djibouti and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The EU has committed 32 million Euros to a programme dedicated to the “Promotion of Regional Economic Integration in the Horn of Africa through the Development of the Djibouti Corridor,” implemented by the French Development Agency (AFD) and TradeMark Africa (TMA). The programme aims to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of one of Africa’s busiest economic corridors while promoting inclusive trade. The objective is to contribute to a 10 percent reduction in trade costs, a 15 percent decrease in exchange time, and a 30 percent reduction in customs clearance times at certain border crossing points. The EU-supported programme will also increase exports in targeted sub-sectors by 15 percent and enable a 15 percent growth in income for targeted vulnerable groups, especially women, in trade. The initiative with the Djibouti Port Corridor Road (DPCR) Fleet Management System – a digital vehicle fleet management system, is the first to be launched in Djibouti under this programme. The aim of this digital system is to extend the network of vehicle transmission terminals operating on the corridor using RFID (radio frequency identification) technology. It will secure revenues by extending the network to strategic intersections, including border points, and beyond PK51. It will enable comprehensive control of vehicle routes and transit times. At the ceremony, Djibouti’s Minister of Infrastructure and Equipment, Mr. Hassan Houmed, highlighted the anticipated benefits in terms of reduced truck turnaround times and the optimization that the system offers to the logistics and transport sector. “This fleet management system aligns perfectly with the Djibouti government’s Vision 2035, which aspires to bring the logistics and transport sector into the digital age. By integrating advanced RFID technology, we will be able to track goods trucks in real-time on the Djibouti-Ethiopia corridor, thereby optimizing logistics operations and reducing port wait times,” he commented. Djibouti Minister of Trade and Tourism, Mohamed Warsama Dirieh said, “Driving forward the agenda of regional economic integration in the Horn of Africa through the strategic development of the Djibouti Corridor is paramount. This collaborative effort marks a significant step towards a more integrated and prosperous regional economy.” The President of the Ports & Free Zones Authority, Aboubaker Omar Hadi, stated: “This project is of utmost importance for our ports and free zones, as it represents a significant advancement in our port community interconnection strategy. By integrating RFID technology, we will enhance the competitiveness of our trade corridor and improve the efficiency of goods transport.”
Deputy PM Underlines Greatest Possible Efforts on Ethiopia’s Journey of Prosperity
Jun 14, 2024 174
Addis Ababa, June 14/2024(ENA)- Deputy Prime Minister Temesgen Tiruneh underlined the need for intensifying maximum efforts in the spirit of timelessness to achieve Ethiopia's journey of prosperity. The 2023/24 Ethiopian fiscal year performance of the macro-economy and other major sectors as well as the focus areas of the upcoming 2024/25 fiscal year are being discussed. The evaluation meeting was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Temesgen Tiruneh, Head of the Democratic System Building Center, Adem Farah Minister of Planning and Development Fitsum Asefa, and other senior government officials.   Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Prime Minister Temesgen said, 7.9 percent economic growth is expected at the end of the Ethiopian Fiscal Year (EFY), as the performance recorded in the last 10 months show the possibility. “The government has embarked on massive development activities with a great vision that Ethiopia should prosper,” the Deputy Prime Minister underscored. Ethiopia has immense comparative advantages and many favorable conditions to achieve its prosperity ambition, he elaborated. High yield was obtained from summer irrigation, he said, adding that rice and cultivation, crop cultivation in general gave abundant harvest. Ethiopia has also obtained tangible results from the Green Legacy Initiative, a massive tree seedling campaign being executed across the country to mitigate climate-induced impacts. Temesgen further highlighted other successes like the ''Bounty of the Basket'' (Ye Lemat Tirufat) initiative to have a balanced diet and change the public’s nutrition as well as a nationwide, “Let Ethiopia Produce” movement. Given those indicators, Ethiopia is on the right track to become one of the leading economies in the African continent. Ethiopia has been ranked the 5th among African countries with largest economies with a GDP worth 205.1 billion USD this year. And, its GDP makes Ethiopia the 57th largest economy in the world, according to the IMF. Acknowledging Ethiopia’s untapped natural resources and productive workforce, the Deputy Prime Minister called on leadership of the country to to make the greatest possible contributions to realize the aspiration of prosperity. In order to achieve the country's plan, Temesgen stressed the need for increasing productivity, reinforcing reform activities, implementing civil service reform in all institutions and consolidating peace. The Minister of Planning and Development, Fitsum Asefa, who presented the main economic performance report for the 10 months of 2023/24, stated that there are results indicating to achieve the planned overall economic growth in the fiscal year. According to her, better performances have been achieved in agriculture, industry and service sector.      
Ethiopian News Agency