Some 170 Companies Engaged in Ethiopia’s Mining Sector
Nov 27, 2023 466
Addis Ababa, November 27/2023 (ENA) The Ministry of Mines disclosed that a total of 170 companies are currently engaged in the exploration and development of mineral resources in Ethiopia. State Minister of Mines, Million Mathewos told ENA that following the government’s reform over the past few years, there is growing interest of foreign companies engaging in the mines sector across the country. According to him, Ethiopia with 1.1 million square kilometers area, has advantageous geography and geological conditions and unique mixtures of various minerals even in the same place. Beneath the fertile lands and vibrant landscapes of Ethiopia lies a treasure trove of untapped mineral wealth, a vast reserve of resources waiting to be unearthed and harnessed for the nation's economic prosperity, it was learned. “To date, over 100 companies are actively engaged in mineral exploration across the country, while about 70 others are actively developing different mining projects transcending the exploration stage in minerals like gold, gas, iron, geothermal and others. This is huge,” Million pointed out. Stating that the exploration stage could take three weeks up to fifteen years, he noted many companies engaged in the exploration and development stages are expected to transform to the construction stage and more investors will be attracted in the coming few years. He stated that the government has identified the mining sector as a major pillar of the country’s development and has been promoting the sector in different parts of the world. “We have vast untapped mineral resources,” the state minister underscored, adding that “some of them are already explored and many of them are yet to be explored.” He added: “the minerals we identified so far are able to transform us from the level we are now to an elevated economic growth becoming big source of capital, input to agriculture and industry.” As Ethiopia's mining sector continues to gain momentum, the country is poised to transform its untapped mineral wealth into a catalyst for economic growth and sustainable development. The government has given high priority to the mining sector by considering it as one of the critical economic sectors of the country and is taking several reform measures.   In order to realizing this national aspiration, Ethiopia has been preparing a national mines policy to sustainably harness the untapped potential of the sector. The policy aims to attract domestic and foreign investment by creating a transparent and predictable regulatory environment, promoting sustainable mining practices, and enhancing local community engagement. The Second Annual Mining and Technology Expo was also inaugurated last week by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed with the main objective to promoting the sector by bringing stakeholders and experts in the sector together to discuss challenges and opportunities.   The expo 5 days featured presentations, panel discussions, and networking events aimed at fostering collaboration and advancing the mining industry in Ethiopia.  
Appropriate Institutions Fundamental To Exploit Ethiopia’s Minerals Resources, Says Professor Alemayehu
Nov 27, 2023 343
Addis Ababa, November 27/2023(ENA)-Viable institutions with correct incentives structure are relevant to exploit Ethiopia’s mineral resources, according to Professor Alemayehu Geda. As part of the 2nd Annual Mining and Technology Expo opened by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed last week, a panel discussion was held today with the objective of promoting the sector. It is to be recalled that the government of Ethiopia has given high priority to the mining sector, which had not been given priority until recent time. The mining sector has been considered as one of the critical economic sectors of the country as part of reform measures over the last five years. To this end, the country has also developed a national mining policy to sustainably harness its vast and untapped mineral resources. Professor Alemayehu Geda at Department of Economics, Addis Ababa University, told ENA that there is a huge potential of mineral resources, but we cannot use it up to now. Prof.Alemayehu underscored “the fundamental is institutions. Do we have appropriate institutions that allow from exploration to exports? Do we have a correct incentives structure within these institutions? That will allow us to explore that potential," he said. He pointed out that as it stands now, our export of minerals is like about 12 percent of the total wealth and is very small. And this could double if we correct all the weaknesses we have in the sector African Minerals and Geosciences Centre (AMGC) Director-General Ibrahim Shaddad on his part elaborated the mining sector is not only the large-scale mining; there are also intermediate scale mining as well as small scale and the traditional mining. He added that the center focuses on giving support to the low scale mining as well as the traditional mining. He suggested the Ministry of Mines to dedicate a specialized mining bank for funding the mining activities of small scale miners and intermediate miners. “The center is ready to support in establishment of Ethiopian national center of excellence regarding geoscience and mining. We would like to make it a refine version from the regional center based in Dar es Salaam,Tanzania which is part of Ethiopian asset. We are ready to also provide whatever Ethiopia needs in analysis, consultancy and training,” he said. This is a sort of empowerment for our youth and our women in home-based manufacturing and business, he said, adding that each of our member states particularly Ethiopia might be exporting ceramic worth millions of US dollars annually. The center is mandated to contribute in the development of mineral resource, Ibrahim said, adding that he is quite pleased from the value addition in gemstone in Ethiopia.      
Africans Urged to Invest Among themselves, Explore Investment Opportunities in Continent
Nov 27, 2023 279
Addis Ababa, November 27/2023(ENA)-The Embassy of Angola in Ethiopia has organized lecture on the "Foreign Investment Opportunities in Angola in connection with commemorative of 48th independence of Angola. Speaking at the occasion, Angola’s Ambassador Miguel César Domingos Bembe said this is good opportunity to promote the efforts and commitment of Angola government in relation to the process of economic diversification and attract foreign direct investment. Angola is a country blessed with numerous potentialities in its strategic location, enterprising and resilient young, maritime and mineral resources, among other he added. To explore and take advantage of its internal potential, Angola wants to count on the participation of foreign investment, in order to attract not only capital and technology to our country, he said, adding but also to contribute to job creation, growth and economic diversification, as well as the improvement of the quality of life of our population. To this end, the Angolan Government has been intensifying its commitment to energy infrastructure and trade support, the construction and rehabilitation of roads, railways, airports and orts that aim to accelerate inter and intra regional, continental, international connection. Representative of the Angolan Private Investment and Export Promotion Agency Dr. Bruno Baptista briefed the participants about investment opportunity in Angola. The participants stressed need for Africans to invest among themselves and by exploring investment opportunities in the continent. Ethiopian Dr. Dawit Abrha, Partner of the Grace Medical Center, in Luanda Angola briefed about investment opportunity health sector in Angola. Ethiopia and Angola have built multilevel ties since the beginning of the liberation struggle for Angola’s independence.  
PM Abiy Says Ethiopia’s Pathway to Prosperity Follows Multi-Sectoral Growth Approach
Nov 27, 2023 322
Addis Ababa, November 27/2023 (ENA) Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said Ethiopia’s pathway to prosperity follows a multi-sectoral growth approach to enable equitable development, underscoring the importance of the private sector as the engine of growth. The premier made the remark at the opening of the 20th General Conference (GC.20) of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Vienna, Austria today. "we are an entrepreneurial state that recognizes the private sector as the engine of growth and aims to harness our demographic dividend for productivity,” Abiy said. Industrial policies are the most viable strategies for accelerating Africa’s economic growth, the premier stated, noting that “Our convening here today offers an opportunity to visit our shared commitment to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development.” According to him, Africa is endowed with abundant natural resources including critical minerals and dynamic youth population which are essential for industrial productivity and transformation of the economy. And yet, he said poverty remains to be among the most serious challenges, which entail placing Africa at the center of the global industrialization agenda. “History has shown us that industrialization can lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty across the world. The manufacturing sector in particular has emerged as the driver of prosperity providing employment and fostering innovation in both developed and developing countries.” The premier stated that over the past two decades, the world of industry has been in constant state of change due to digital transformation and evolving geopolitical landscape and the need for a green industrialization because of climate change. Abiy further said, Ethiopia, since 2018, has embarked upon reforms rooted in a deep understanding of the nation’s potentials, challenges and opportunities to expand its economy and accelerate poverty reduction. “Our vision is to fully unlock Ethiopia’s untapped potential in various sectors and to drive this growth through able institutions and highly skilled labor. Our pathway to prosperity follows a multi -sector growth approach to enable equitable development,’the premier said. “We have been making deliberate policy shifts aimed at boosting productivity in all sectors and creating conducive investment and business environments. Our Homegrown Economic Reform Agenda introduced macro -financial, structural and sectoral reforms aimed at liberalizing key economic sectors such as telecom and banking, fostering private sector investment, enhancing external competitiveness, and productive capabilities,” Abiy elaborated. He further stated that Ethiopia has strengthened its adaptive industrial policymaking by establishing a free economic zone in order to be more agile in the face of a changing world. “We have been investing extensively in multi-sectoral growth sources under the homegrown economic reform pillars of agriculture, industry, tourism, ICT and mining.” These investments, according the premier, have translated into noteworthy achievements, including increased agricultural productivity, the emergence of a growing mining sector, robust momentum in the digital economy and notable flagship destination initiatives in the tourism sector. The production of strategic commodities like wheat, coffee and avocado, alongside promising measures for substituting edible oil and rice production are pivotal for food-sufficiency, he added. “Over the past five years, we have managed to raise our total farm area from 15.3 million hectares to 22 .9 million hectares, with vast amount of land for crop production still available for cultivation as we continue expanding on our potential in the agricultural sector.’’ Prime Minister Abiy further elaborated that the digital economy is making substantial progress driven by the implementation of foundational elements such as a digital ID and payment systems with the establishment of the Ethiopian Artificial Intelligence Institute that focuses on research and development of solutions in our priority sectors. The five day conference emphasizes on how inclusive and sustainable industrial development can support sustainable supply chains, limit the climate breakdown and contribute to ending hunger. The General Conference is the highest policymaking organ of United Nations Industrial Organization (UNIDO).    
PM Abiy Calls for Inclusive, Sustainable Industrialization
Nov 27, 2023 198
Addis Ababa, November 27/2023 (ENA) E Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed called for inclusive and sustainable industrialization, highlighting Ethiopia’s journey in the past five years of making policy shifts, investing in multi-sector growth sources. As a guest of honor during UNIDO’s 20th General Conference((GC.20.), which has kicked off today in Vienna, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has delivered keynote remarks.   He called for inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, "sharing Ethiopia’s journey in the past five years of making policy shifts, investing in multi-sector growth sources, focus on green growth and clean energy, as well emphasis being made in social development." The conference emphasized on how inclusive and sustainable industrial development can support sustainable supply chains, limit the climate breakdown and contribute to ending hunger. The General Conference is the highest policymaking organ of United Nations Industrial Organization (UNIDO). Under the overarching theme “Fair Globalization: Innovative Solutions for the Industry of Tomorrow”, the GC.20 will reflect these transformative developments and aims to forge new pathways to sustainability, digital inclusivity and economic resilience. The conference serves as a unique platform to take stock of progress made towards the achievement of inclusive and sustainable industrial development. Moreover, it provides an opportunity for member states to provide strategic guidance on the future of our Organization, while also offering a forum for knowledge sharing and the fostering of industrial cooperation.  
Ethiopia Prepares Policy to Harness the Potential of Mineral Resources    
Nov 26, 2023 762
Addis Ababa, November 26/2023 (ENA): Ethiopia has prepared a national mining policy to sustainably harness its vast and untapped mineral resources. The policy aims to attract domestic and foreign investment by creating a transparent and predictable regulatory environment, promoting sustainable mining practices, and enhancing local community engagement, as indicated. The government of Ethiopia has given high priority to the mining sector, which lacked the priority it deserves, by considering it as one of the critical economic sectors of the country and is taking several reform measures. As part of these measures, the Second Annual Mining and Technology Expo was inaugurated last Friday by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed with the main objective of promoting the sector by bringing stakeholders and experts in the sector together to discuss challenges and opportunities. The expo featured presentations, panel discussions, and networking events aimed at fostering collaboration and advancing the mining industry in Ethiopia.   During a panel discussion held today, State Minister of Mines, Million Matheos told ENA that Ethiopia owns enormous explored and unexplored potential of mineral resources. To harness this potential, the ministry has developed a comprehensive policy framework, which is under discussion in the parliament for approval, to create a conducive environment for investment, streamline regulatory processes, and promote sustainable mining practices, he stated. Key highlights of the policy include attracting domestic and foreign investment, promoting sustainable mining practices, and enhancing local community engagement, it was learned. “We developed a new mine policy of international standard with support from global partners and by benchmarking the experiences of other countries. The policy will make our country more competitive. Especially foreign investors need predictable policies, and this policy will create favorable conditions for them,” Million said. Stating that Ethiopia's vast mineral resources hold immense potential to transform the country's economy, Million noted that the policy, upon implementation, will create predictability and transparency in the sector.  
Neglected Mining Sector Among Critical Economic Sectors of Ethiopia at Present: Mines Minister
Nov 25, 2023 385
Addis Ababa, November 25, 2023 (ENA):The mining sector, which lacked the priority it deserves, has now become one of the critical economic sectors of Ethiopia, Mines Minister Habtamu Tegegn told ENA. Ethiopia is, therefore, working towards exploiting its untapped mineral resources, he added. As part of the effort, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed opened yesterday the Second Annual Mining and Technology Expo along with high-level government officials. The five-day expo aims at promoting the sector by attracting investors in mining and technology providers and is believed to showcase Ethiopia's mining potential and stimulate investment in the sector. Following the opening of a conference which is part of the expo today, the minster said the meeting with stakeholders targeted to create the opportunity to know the potential of Ethiopia’s mining sector and its mineral resources. Scholars, international companies engaged in research and exploration of minerals, government officials, and regional state officials attended the mining conference. Up until recently, the sector has not been given the priority it deserves, Habtamu noted, adding that it has now become one of the critical economic sectors given huge priority by the government. For the minister, identifying and knowing the nation’s resources properly is still a challenge. “Identifying and knowing our resources properly is still a challenge…. We don’t know the nation’s resources properly. There is a challenge both in knowing and exploiting the resources.” He further explained that the nation still has a lot of work to do to properly benefit from the sector. We have to use plenty of technologies, giant investors across the globe have to come and invest with us. Regarding the challenges facing the sector, he said the first step was changing the perception towards the sector, even at the government level. Now the sector is given the proper attention it deserves. According to him, the country is not far from exploiting and utilizing its resources. Mining is a non-renewable resource that needs proper management, monitoring and controlling mechanisms of illegal actors, Habtamu said, adding that accountability should therefore be in place. “This is non-renewable resource. We have to utilize it with utmost care and knowledge. The challenge we are witnessing recently is contraband, illegal trade and non-licensed actors. So such programs are key in creating awareness as a nation.” In his opening remarks yesterday, PM Abiy Ahmed noted that the annual mining and technology expo clearly depicts that Ethiopia is endowed with gold, precious stones, and other minerals. The PM urged researchers, business-persons, and other actors to engage in the development of Ethiopia’s mineral resources in such a manner as to accelerate the nation’s overall economy.      
Foreign Companies Desirous of Increasing Imports of Pulses, Oilseeds from Ethiopia
Nov 25, 2023 497
Addis Ababa,November 25/2023(ENA)-Lured to Ethiopia’s big potential of pulses and oilseeds, foreign companies said that they have big interest to increase their imports of pulses and oilseeds and expand the sector. Senior Trader at UK based TORQ Commodities Ltd, Anna Maria, who participated the 12th International Conference on Pulses and Oilseeds recently held in Addis Ababa told ENA that her company is mainly importing agricultural products, especially sesame soybean from East Africa.   She added that Ethiopia is definitely a very important supplier of sesame and soyabean and pulses no less than coffee. “Definitely Ethiopia is one of the biggest producers particularly sesame ... just purely for export. For sure, Ethiopia is a very important supplier of this product.” She explained that she has been importing from Ethiopia for many years, of course the last few years has not been not easy; but “we are hoping this season we can restart again... in a big way.” Managing Director at Dhamia Trading Company, based in Karachi, Pakistan, Muhammad Farad on his part said we are importing multiple pulses and oilseeds mostly from Ethiopia and from the east Africa region, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.   “It is a big potential and yearly we are importing more than thousands of tons from Ethiopia and here is a perfect quality, supply is perfect and everything is good. Here is a good opportunity and we are also planning to open the company here in the future,” he said. If the government supports us, he said, “we will move to here and we will open the company to export from here to the global world.” Director at Global Pulses Confederation (GPC), Rao Ali Akbar, on his part said we have members from all over the world, embracing more than 500 companies as members.   The GPC is based in Dubai and licensed by the Dubai Multi Commodity Centre (DMCC) and it represents all segments of the pulse industry value chain from growers, researchers, logistics suppliers, traders, exporters and importers as well as government bodies, multilateral organizations, processors, canners and consumers. He said he was here to recruit more members for the association so that they could get sustainable growth from the platform we are providing. He noted that the platform provides database about the demand and supply of the crops and also about the pulses industry, based which they can take decisions and can grow their business. “We are here to recruit more members from this industry specially from Ethiopia. I would say a lot of potential members are here and it will definitely improve the Ethiopian market in reaching the right audience,” he added. The pulse industry is doing a brilliant job in terms of export and helping the economy of Ethiopia, he said. Account Manager of Chinese Company, FAMSUN Integrated Solution Provider, Walton on his part said his company is a leading global machinery manufacturer and project service provider in the whole supply chain of agro-business.   ”We want to broaden our market in Ethiopia because we set Ethiopia as a point country. Because we think there are a big potential in Ethiopia. Ethiopia has brought a big change, ” he said. The government of Ethiopia has devised a strategic plan to accelerate the growth of export levels of pulses and oilseeds over the next 10 years.The country's income records reveal that the trade of pulses and oilseeds ranks second in agricultural export earnings, right after coffee.    
Netherlands is sharing advanced Experience with Ethiopia, Says Ambassador
Nov 24, 2023 586
Addis Ababa, November 24, 2023 (ENA): The Government of the Netherlands is working in collaboration with the Government of Ethiopia in various fields, including horticulture and dairy development, Ambassador Henk Jan Bakker said. In an exclusive interview with ENA, Netherlands Ambassador to Ethiopia Bakker said his country, which is a world champion in agriculture, is keen to share its experience and extend financial and technological support. The Netherlands is a very small country but the second largest agricultural product exporter in the world, known for implementing advanced technology in the sector. The ambassador said that even if the country can’t move that technology one by one to countries like Ethiopia, it can share its advanced experience in terms of technology, management, and other important aspects toward the development of agriculture. Citing some of the results in this respect, Ambassador Bakker used milk production as an example. The farmers who have participated in our dairy program so far have increased milk production by an average of 5 liters per day per cow, which is a significant change in their income, he said. He further said that farmer field schools (FFSs) where farmers are trained to improve the way they farm have been set up so as to improve their yields, and the schools have reached 100,000 farmers in Ethiopia. "We are working to expand these," he revealed. Though there is enormous potential in Ethiopia for diary production, the sector is still very small as compared to the population, the ambassador noted. "We look at both smallholder farmers and also commercial farmers to expand their businesses to produce much more milk and many vegetables so that Ethiopians can address their demand." This week, the Government of the Netherlands concluded over 70 million Euro in agreements in horticulture and dairy development. Besides, the government of the Netherlands is providing support in the health, water, and law enforcement sectors, among others, he stated. Apart from our development cooperation, we are also economically very big player, Ambassador Bakker noted, adding that almost 100 Netherlands companies are active in Ethiopia, many of them engaged in floriculture.    
AfCFTA Provides Huge Market to Ethiopia’s Leather Industry
Nov 24, 2023 401
Addis Ababa, November 24/2023 (ENA) The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) provides huge market to Ethiopia’s leather industry considering the country’s enormous potential in the sector, according to the United Nations Economic Commission of Africa (UNECA). ECA’s African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC), the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (ECCSA), and the Ethiopian Leather Industries Association (ELIA) co-organized the first workshop on “the Ethiopian Leather Industry and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA): Opportunities and Challenges” in Addis Ababa. The workshop aimed to bring all stakeholders together to discuss the opportunities the AfCFTA presents to the Ethiopian leather industry, appreciate the challenges facing it, and offer a platform for resolving the challenges. It also explored options on how best to position the Ethiopian leather industry to take advantage of the AfCFTA. Ethiopia is home to the largest livestock population in Africa that guarantees plentiful supply of raw materials for its leather industry, according to ECA. There are also many businesses operating across different segments of the industry in Ethiopia, both foreign and domestic. The industry has enormous potential to, among others, boost export revenues, create more job opportunities, support women economic empowerment, and contribute to Ethiopia’s overall development, it added. “That Ethiopia is also a State Party to the AfCFTA means that its leather products have access to a large and growing market of over 1.4 billion people, increasingly free of duties and other barriers.” . Considering Ethiopia’s potential comparative advantage in the leather industry and the opportunities that the AfCFTA presents to its economy, ECA took the initiative to organize the workshop in collaboration with representatives of the Ethiopian private sector in general (ECCSA) and the leather industry in particular (ELIA). The workshop is a part of ATPC’s pilot project to work directly with the representatives of the private sector to support the AfCFTA Agreement’s successful implementation. Opening the workshop, Director of ECA’s Regional Integration and Trade Division, Stephen Karingi, observed that “Ethiopia’s resource endowment, combined with a rich history of producing and supplying processed leather products, gives it a potential competitive advantage to become a successful player on the African single market that will emerge from AfCFTA implementation.” Representing Ethiopia’s Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration, Lead Executive for International and Regional Trade Integration at the Ministry, Tages Mulugeta, on his part, remarked that “AfCFTA opens a new era of trade governance in Africa, and it must be viewed as an opportunity to implement necessary structural reforms” and emphasized the significant potential that Ethiopia has in the leather industry. Over 40 participants attended the workshop, representing relevant Ethiopian Government agencies, the private sector as well as international organizations including FAO, UNCTAD, and UNIDO and regional stakeholders.  
Ethiopia's Potential Mineral Resources Foundation to Prosperity: PM Abiy
Nov 24, 2023 632
Addis Ababa, November 24/2023 (ENA) Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the potential mineral resources of Ethiopia are the foundation to its path of prosperity. The premier made the remark while opening the Second Annual Mining and Technology Expo in Addis Ababa today. According to him, Ethiopia, unlike other African countries, is a country endowed with immense mineral resources. Mineral resources are instrumental in not only strengthening the country’s import substitution efforts but also supporting agriculture, industry and other development sectors, he stated. The sector is also a major source of foreign currency. The expo clearly depicts that Ethiopia is endowed with gold, precious stones, and other minerals with different names, he noted. The PM urged researchers, business-persons, and other actors to engage in the development of Ethiopia’s mineral resources in such a manner as to accelerate the nation’s overall economy. The expo plays critical role in properly understanding, developing and utilizing the sector adequately, and building foundation to the path of prosperity, he said. The Mining and Technology Expo is believed to showcase Ethiopia's mining potential and stimulate investment in the sector. Mining is one of the five priorities of the government in its Homegrown Economic Reform Agenda. It is, therefore, necessary to promote the sector and benefit the country. The five-day expo aims at promoting the sector by attracting investors in mining and technology providers. At opening of the expo organized by Ministry of Mines were National Intelligence and Security Service Director-General Temesgen Tiruneh, House of Federation Speaker Agegnehu Teshager, Chief Regional Administrators, and senior government officials.    
French Companies Exploring Investment Opportunities In Ethiopia
Nov 24, 2023 373
Addis Ababa, November 24/2023 (ENA): Some 22 French companies from various sectors are in Ethiopia to explore and identify investment opportunities in the country. A delegation from MEDEF, the international branch of France's primary business federation, is conducting a working visit to Ethiopia. The visit is part of France's ongoing efforts to strengthen its economic presence in eastern and Horn of Africa. The delegation includes 22 French companies from sectors such as logistics, infrastructure, telecommunications, healthcare, culture, and education. Philip Labonne, president of Africa Global Logistics, a French company, told a journalist that the visiting companies have held productive meetings with several authorities and business leaders in Ethiopia. “It was really a wonderful day. We have seen very interesting prospects, and I think all the people who are with me understand there is room for business for French companies to grow in this country,” the president added. He affirmed that there are great opportunities to engage in various investment sectors in Ethiopia.   Moreover, he elaborated that we want to work with the African Union to help its efforts to accelerate the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area. CS Group’s Initiative, known for its critical system solutions, announced on the occasion that it is completing the delivery of a counter-drone system to be used at the Addis Ababa Bole Airport. The counter-drone system is the first-ever airport based counter- drone system in Sub-Saharan Africa, it was learned. This installation is a significant step in enhancing airport security and demonstrates the application of French technology in defense and security. The delegation also expected to meet President Sahle-Work Zewde today.    
Sustainable, Harmonized Land Policies Needed in Acceleration of AfCFTA
Nov 24, 2023 281
Addis Ababa ,November 24/2023(ENA)- African countries should promote sustainable land governance in the acceleration of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), agreed panelists during a panel session at the ongoing 2023 Conference on Land Policy in Africa. The 5th edition of the Conference on Land Policy in Africa (CLPA) is underway in Addis Ababa under the theme: “Promoting Sustainable Land Governance in Africa for Accelerating Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA). Panelists during a panel session at the conference urged African countries to promote sustainable land governance with a view to accelerating the implementation of AfCFTA). Director of the Regional Integration and Trade Division at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Stephen Karingi, said if fully implemented, the AfCFTA will boost intra-African trade by around 34.6 percent in 2045 equivalent to a gain of 204.3 billion USD. According to estimates by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), this will bring substantial benefits to agrifood, services, industry and energy/mining sectors. “Issues of land play an important part in this equation, because manufacturing and value addition will require raw materials to be produced on land; investments in value added sectors will also need access to land,” said Karingi in the panel session, themed Land Governance, Regional Integration and Intra-Africa Trade: Opportunities and Challenges. Without land resources, we cannot optimize the AfCFTA; success will require harmonizing land laws across boundaries, Karingi added. He further stated that the flip side of the coin in the drive to increase trade and expand on requisite infrastructure is the question of sustainability. Karingi stressed the need to approach the nexus between land resources and the AfCFTA with a sustainability lens and said that a preliminary study by the ECA indicates that the AfCFTA if fully implemented will considerably increase African trade without adding significant pressure on climate change. Pursuing existing National Determined Contributions (NDCs) or establishing an African carbon market on top of the AfCFTA reforms would substantially reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. “Although there is a tradeoff between reducing GHG emissions and spurring economic benefits, establishing an African Carbon market is particularly effective at reducing GHG emissions, while largely preserving foreseen economic benefit from the AfCFTA,” said Karingi. Head of Capacity Building and Technical Assistance in the AfCFTA Secretariat, Tsotetsi Makong said Africa receives about 3.5 percent of the foreign direct investment (FDI). The connection between FDI and access to land, part of which lies in the hands of customary custodians and traditional leaders needs a regulatory framework. “Most of these investments are in the extractives and commodities sector. The AfCFTA protocol on investment should foster intra African investment, which we are now calling African Direct Investments (ADI), so that Africans can freely invest on the continent and ensure that their investments are protected,” said Makong. The success of the investment protocol under the AfCFTA will depend on countries’ domestic laws and the alignment of such laws with the AfCFTA. “There are guidelines on land reforms that need to be turned into regulations within the domestic systems. Policy coherence has to be at the heart of what we do. This can be achieved by engaging everyone, including women and youth at the grassroots level,” said Makong. Eileen Wakesho, Director, Community Land Protection at Namati, Kenya said the focus on AfCFTA is mainly on the movement of goods, services and people and the economic benefits to be accrued, however the biggest challenge is that access to land in Africa is not equal. Understanding the impact of the AfCFTA to customary rights and land acquisitions and learning from traditional authorities, including asking key questions such as does the AfCFTA require more land acquisition and whose land will be acquired? Experts from government, academia, research, traditional authorities and other non-state actors, as well as the private sector, and development partners are participating at the four day conference that kicked of last Tuesday.
Gov't Registers Better Performance in Controlling Budget Deficit, Debt Payment Restructuring
Nov 23, 2023 499
Addis Ababa November 23/2023 (ENA) The Government of Ethiopia has registered better achievements in controlling budget deficit and debt payment restructuring during the past three months of the Ethiopian fiscal year. The Council of Ministers has been conducting a meeting to review the first quarter year performance in the presence of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Finance Minister Ahmed Shide stated that better achievements have also been registered in key macro-economic indicators. According to him, Ethiopia has signed cooperation agreements with several development partners to work together in various development activities. The agreements signed with partners are instrumental in accelerating the development programs being carried out by the government to benefit the people and the country, the minister added. Regarding debt suspension, the country has reached an agreement with the Government of China. With regard to the annual budget subsidies earmarked to regional states, they have been fully disbursed during the first quarter. Ahmed further stated that the government has been working to properly control the budget deficit through treasury bills and market to fill the deficit instead of taking loans from the National Bank. This would play a big role in easing inflation by controlling the money circulation in the market, he pointed out. Planning and Development Minister, Fitsum Assefa said on her part that several measures have been taken to enable the people benefit from the macroeconomic achievements registered over the past years.   The government has been taking steps to ease the burden of inflation on citizens with low income by exempting taxes on basic consumer goods, she stated. In this regard, Fitsum pointed out that the government has forgone 15 billion Birr it annually obtains from taxation for over the past three years in order to subsidize low income citizens.              
Ethiopian News Agency