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Ethiopia, a rising star of African tourism

This article was originally published in the 5th issue (October 2016) of The Ethiopian Messenger, the quarterly magazine of the Embassy of Ethiopia in Brussels

A stable and peaceful democracy since 1991, Ethiopia is a federal state whose progressive economic policies are reflected in its annual growth rate of about 10%. The Ethiopian lifestyle, with its unique musical and linguistic heritage and cuisine, combined with an ancient coffee culture and a thriving artisanal scene combined with its colorful annual festivals make the country an unmissable stopover for culture-hungry visitors. Add to this the rare species in the magnificent Simien and Bale Mountains, the spectacular volcanic landscapes of the Danakil Depression, and a wealth of fauna and flora unique in the world, and it is no wonder that Ethiopia has become the most attractive and popular emergent tourist destination in Africa.

A unique cultural heritage

With its 3,000 years of civilization and unique cultural heritage, Ethiopia is one of the most fascinating countries in the world. Proof of this is its tally of nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites – more than any other in Africa: Ethiopia is home to the ancient city of Harar, the world’s fourth-holiest Islamic city, the mediaeval rock-hewn churches of Lalibela and Gheralta, thousands year old architectural relics, the magnificent 17th century castles of Gondar, and the oldest human remains on the planet and the birth place of coffee.

Lalibela church. © Ethiopian tourism Organization

Spectacular nature

With its spectacular scenery, rich biodiversity and numerous protected areas, Ethiopia is a paradise for nature lovers, renowned for its large number of endemic animal and plant species. Although lions, elephants, giraffes and other typical safari animals are present in Ethiopia, the country derives its fame from its unique species such as the Ethiopian wolf (the rarest dog in the world), the Walia Ibex (the only indigenous goat in Africa) and the peaceful Gelada baboon, also called bleeding-heart monkey.

With its lush forests, inland seas and mountain peaks, Ethiopia is a land of breathtaking scenery and rich biodiversity. Sometimes perceived as a dry and arid country in the West, Ethiopia has a wealth of lakes, rivers and aquatic habitats, ranging from Lake Tana, the main source of the Blue Nile, to the magnificent crater lakes around Bishoftu, only 50 km from Addis Ababa. Ethiopia often mentioned as a water tower of Africa for its rivers and lakes. Ethiopia’s scenic centerpiece is a mountainous central plateau, the largest and most fertile in East Africa that covers half of its surface area, and supports the vast majority of its population. The Simien Mountains National Park in Northern Ethiopia is an exotic setting with endemic wildlife and spectacular views on a landscape shaped by nature. The natural beauties of this region have always filled visitors with a life time amusement.

Bird watching

With a total of 860 species recorded, Ethiopia is considered by experts as one of the main ornithological destinations of Africa. The main attraction of Ethiopia for bird lovers is the presence of 18 endemic species. These include the spectacular Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco, peculiar Stresemann’s Bush Crow and melodious Abyssinian catbird. The Nechisar nightjar, considered the world’s rarest bird, is unique to Ethiopia where it was first observed in 2009.

Bale Mountains National Park was recently listed as one of the continent’s top five birding hotspots by the African Birding Club. In addition to endemic species, the Rift Valley lakes south of Addis Ababa are renowned for their prolific aquatic birdlife: flocks of tens of thousands of flamingos, bobbling flotillas of pouch-beaked pelicans, and a profusion of ducks, rallids, weavers and waders. In the highlands of northern Ethiopia, the mighty lammergeyer is regularly observed flying above the Simien Mountains displaying its 2-metre wingspan.

The best time for bird watching is from September to March when local species are joined by migrating birds. However, given that the most sought-after species at national and regional level reside throughout the year, there is no bad time for bird watchers visiting Ethiopia.

Visit the coffee plantations

The forests that surround the highlands of Western Ethiopia are the land of origin of coffee, which is still abundantly cultivated today. In the heart of its lush tropical forests, Arabica coffee also grows in its wild form. Many Coffee Forest Tours offer visitors the opportunity to discover the tropical rainforests that cover the highlands of Western Ethiopia, birthplace of coffee.

With 7,600 km2, the Kafa Biosphere Reserve is the largest and most accessible of three UNESCO protected reserves in the highlands of Ethiopia. It is also an important reservoir of the genetic diversity of coffee, as many varieties of beans still grow in the region. The tropical rain forests of Western Ethiopia also harbor the production of many other sustainable forest products, including forest cardamom, forest pepper and honey.

The new international coffee museum is currently under construction in Bonga, a pleasant forest-lined town in the heart of the Kafa Biosphere Reserve. The Bonga Tourist Office now offers guided day and night tours of several sites associated with the Kafa Reserve. These visits include the discovery of God’s Bridge, a stunning natural rock formation, and the Mother Coffee Tree, which is the world’s oldest living plant of its type. Other important coffee- producing regions include Harar, Jimma, Yirga Chafe and the Lake Tana Basin. The Bebeka and Tepi Coffee Estates, respectively the largest and second-largest in the country, are good places to learn about coffee production, and to ramble through dense montane forests alive with birdlife.

The rapid development of the tourism sector has enabled Ethiopia to win the coveted title of the world’s best tourism destination by the European Trade and Tourism Council in 2015. Referring the nomination, the Daily Mail on its July 2015 edition published an article titled “forget the sunny Spain, enchanting Thailand and romance of France: Ethiopia is named World best tourism destination”. With its incomparable cultural and historical richness, breathtaking nature and unique fauna, the country is assuming a position of must see touristic destination. Ethiopia is now working to become one of Africa’s top five tourist destinations by 2020. Visitors will undoubtedly come in growing numbers to enjoy the security that reigns in Ethiopia and the hospitality of its inhabitants. Indeed, Ethiopia is the Land of Origins and the prospect of visiting it is similar to visiting one’s own ancestors’ country. This is boldly the perception of renowned personalities. In his biography, Nelson Mandela said that “Ethiopia always has a special place in my imagination and the prospect of visiting Ethiopia attracted me more strongly than a trip to France, England, and America combined. I felt I would be visiting my own genesis, unearthing the roots of what made me an African.”

Mesmerized by the unique churches of Lalibela, the Portuguese priest Francisco Álvares in the 15th century said “I weary of writing more about these buildings, because it seems to me that I shall not be believed if I write more…I swear by God, in Whose power I am, that all I have written is the truth”. Dear reader, now is your perfect time to visit Ethiopia and write your own personal impressions.

© Ethiopian Tourism Organization

Source of the article: The Ethiopian Messenger / http://www.ethiopianembassy.be/en/embassy/magazine/

Insuring long-lasting peace and stability through far-reaching reforms

This article was originally published in the 5th issue (October 2016) of The Ethiopian Messenger, the quarterly magazine of the Embassy of Ethiopia in Brussels.

After unprecedented and violent protests in the last couple of months, a state of emergency was declared on 8 October 2016 and effectively restored peace. To go further, authorities are currently engaged in a series of far-reaching reforms aiming at correcting shortcomings, and addressing the grievances of the Ethiopian people.

Ethiopia has seen unprecedented violent protests in the last couple of months. These protests have led to the destruction of hard-won investments, loss of life and it has created sense of insecurity among Ethiopians and foreigners. Since the declaration on 8 October 2016 of a state of emergency to avoid additional loss of life and destruction of property, calm has returned in Ethiopia and many of the restrictions have already been lifted. Although the state of emergency was effective in restoring peace, the Ethiopian government does not intend to stop there. Authorities are currently engaged in a series of far-reaching reforms aiming at correcting any existing shortcomings, addressing the grievances of the Ethiopian people and ultimately, launching the second renewal of the coalition governing party.

Immediate measures

The series of political measures started with the establishment of an independent inquiry commission to assess the cause of loss of life in the wave of unrest that started in the two regional states of Oromia and Amhara in November 2015. Details regarding the people arrested under the state of emergency have been made public. More than 2500 persons have been released after a brief detention. These actions proved effective, and in less than two months since the declaration of the state of emergency, many measures had already been eased, including the lifting of travel restriction for diplomats and limitations on mobile data service.

New cabinet swearing in on Tuesday 1st of November 2016

There are several encouraging signs that the government is taking heed of protesters’ demands. At the end of October 2016, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn conducted a major cabinet reshuffle, changing 21 of 30 ministerial posts, including bringing in 15 new appointees. The new cabinet is less political and more technical: all the new appointees are technocrats who do not belong to any political party, and will take over important portfolios including trade, health, water and electricity, farming and the environment. Many heralded the move, arguing that the selection of technocrats without party affiliation is a positive signal showing the government is serious about delivering changes and the sign of a new openness. The cabinet is also one of Ethiopia’s most ethnically diverse and includes nine newcomers from the Oromiya region. But these changes are only the first step of a deeper and broader reforms. The EPRDF government is well aware that a sustainable calm – and the country’s political direction – will depend largely on their next move.

Further reforms

Ethiopia is much different compared to what it was 25 years ago. The double-digit economic growth registered in the country for the last thirteen years has spiked expectations and created a richer, more educated society demanding more from the government. In consequence, the key reform programs that will be carried out by the government consist of three major categories: shared and equitable economic growth, expansion of the democratic space and economic restructuring.

On the economic front, even though the progress in investment, social policy and education are acknowledged, dissatisfaction remains, particularly in urban unemployed youths and rural areas where sizable part of the people where not satisfied with the good governance issues when it comes to land appropriation for investment. From the country’s population, an estimated 100 million, over 20 million are unemployed. And this is an area the government has attached due consideration, even if the economy has been creating 1.6 million jobs a year. Significant portion of the population did not fully benefit from the development projects, especially the youth who were the spearhead of protest and who are making demands that are socio- economic rather than political. As the youth aged between 15 and 30 make up 50 percent of the population, the government is working harder than ever to provide job opportunities more by allocating funds worth billions of birr. For youth employment, a “Revolving Youth Fund” funded to the tune of 500 million dollars – some 4 percent of the annual budget – has already been approved. All this is part of a largely endogenous strategy of industrialization, focused on Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) on the edge of the rural areas, while foreign investment in “Industrial Parks” is also prioritized.

The government has promised a long list of further reforms to solve the root causes of the protests, like fighting corruption, reforming the electoral system so that the voices of those who are not represented can also be heard in the Parliament. The proposals seek to offer a more representative electoral system and will be spearheaded by the Prime minister. Touching upon reforming the electoral system, the Premier said that « we felt that the coming parliament should also accommodate those who are not represented ». Electoral law will also be reformed to introduce an element of proportional representation into the majority rule. Regarding the opening the democratic space, Prime Minister Hailemariam noted the government thoroughly understood the importance of enhancing civic participation, strengthening democratic institutions, particularly on pertinent organs like Human Rights Commission, the Ombudsman, Office of the Federal Auditor General, Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

Towards a renewal of the EPRDF

The first renewal gave clarity in defining democratic developmental state in Ethiopia. Unlike other developmental states, Ethiopia’s democratic developmental state is based on the idea that development alone cannot manage the diversity of the country. Democracy was given prominence and democratization was set in motion. Several efforts have been deployed. However, the result was far from adequate. Therefore, it goes without saying that work on consolidation of democracy is ought to take enough focus and attention. The two pillars of strengthening democratic institutions and building the culture of democracy are of paramount importance and significance.

Democratic developmental program and the resultant policies and strategies are still relevant and valid and this is still an opportunity for EPRDF-led government. As reiterated by EPRDF, the efficient and effective delivery is a matter of life and death and ought to be an overarching concern of the recently declared deep renewal. What is holding Ethiopia back from fully delivering the provisions of the home-grown policies and strategies? Without, « ifs and buts », EPRDF should find an adequate answer to this burning issue. Merit- and competence-based human resource is a key ingredient in the effective discharge of good governance and service delivery. For any progressive government, this is unavoidable. Merit and competence is not in contradiction with fair and just representation.

These developments should be seen in the light of the country’s long history. 25 years ago, EPRDF made the ambitious bet to transform a 3,000-year governance system into a totally different one by building a federal democratic state based on culture and diversity while facing huge challenges such as poverty and a less literate population. Recent experiences have shown that the country is moving in the right direction, but it has not yet come up with inclusive engagement.

Now that the disorders in the country have calmed down, Ethiopian authorities are looking for a long-term solution to the grievances of the population. This year’s unrests took place as the coalition was about to start an extensive process of reflection about its accomplishments and shortcomings since 2001, when the leadership of the ruling party, facing several challenges, engaged in a rethinking of its ideological commitments and strategies. In the wake of the 2001 renewal, the government had moved quickly to modernize, professionalize and bureaucratize the state, announcing new emphasis on capacity building, education and urban development. Today, once again, the first goal for the Front will be to internalize the problems, their causes and device resolve accordingly. This will be an ongoing process, with the first specific deadline in June 2017, to report back on the internal changes within the party and examine a document currently in preparation, on what the EPRDF should become in the next ten years. There is a general sense of having embarked upon a period of reflection and change whose outcome will become clear in the upcoming months.

Source: The Ethiopian Messenger, January 2017

5th issue of The Ethiopian Messenger

Despite difficulties, Ethiopia is working to face its challenges, ensure its development and deepen the mutually-beneficial partnerships with its international partners.

Recent developments described and analyzed in this magazine underline these endeavors. First about the country’s internal issues: after two decades of fast economic growth and development, the government launched a set of political and economical reforms to satisfy the demands of the people. Secondly, Ethiopia and its African partners are working closer than ever with the European Union to tackle the issue of forced migration, but also to ensure refugees hosted in Ethiopia have future perspectives through jobs and education.

Furthermore, Ethiopia is increasingly recognized as a destination for investments bringing jobs to the population and economic development for all. Real progress in infrastructure development is supporting these investments: in the current magazine, you can read an article about the advancement of the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, as well as about the official inauguration of the Gilgel Gibe III hydroelectric dam which doubled Ethiopia’s electric production.
As always, we also offer you a few insights and pictures about the touristic opportunities of Ethiopia − a country you would not regret visiting.

We wish you a pleasant reading, and we would be very happy to receive your feedback or contribution for our next issue.

Ethiopia’s untapped natural resources

This article was originally published in the 4th issue (October 2016) of The Ethiopian Messenger, the quarterly magazine of the Embassy of Ethiopia in Brussels.

While home to one of the highest deposits of natural gas in Africa, Ethiopia did not take full advantage of this natural resource yet. But the government recently set the strategic goal of increasing the exploitation of this formidable mineral resources potential and turn the sector into a backbone of the country’s industry by 2020-2023

A new beginning for Oil and Natural gas exploitation in Ethiopia

Logo of the Ethiopian Petroleum Supply Enterprise

Ethiopia is home to one of the highest deposits of natural gas in Africa. Some parts of the country’s geological structure resemble the oil and gas fields of the Middle East, particularly in the Ogaden basin. However, despite the commercially viable volumes of gas present in the country’s soil, Ethiopian regimes before 1991 have been unable to put together an arrangement to extract the gas, in part due to the consecutive regimes changes the country experienced. In 1972, natural gas fields were discovered by an American company, Tenneco, which was expelled in 1977 by the Derg. Following this expulsion, a former USSR company, Soviet Petroleum Exploration Expedition (SPEE), started exploring Ethiopia’s gas fields, but the company’s contractual agreement was also terminated in 1994 after the fall of the military regime. As a consequence, most of the country’s potential in oil and gas is still untouched.

This is why, in order to increase its foreign currency earnings, the government of Ethiopia set the strategic goal of increasing the exploitation of its formidable mineral resources potential ten-fold by 2023 and turn the sector into a backbone of the industry by 2020-2023. The strategies to reach this objective include delivering basic geological data to the civil and business sectors, attracting private investors in the development of the mining sector and issuing licenses to those engaged in mineral and petroleum operations. In addition, the development of mineral and geological energy resources of Ethiopia has to take place in an environmentally friendly manner and in collaboration with different stakeholders to regulate the market.

In addition, the Ethiopian government established in 2012 the Ethiopian Petroleum Development Enterprise that will engage in developing the gas fields in partnership with private companies.

Exploration and pipeline constructions

Several firms have already acquired licenses to explore more than 40 blocks throughout Ethiopia in the past four years, the vast majority of them in the south-eastern Somali Region. The country is planning to start producing and exporting natural gas from untapped reserves in the Calub and Hilala fields in its southeast region by next year. Studies reveal the Calub and Hilala fields have deposits of 4.7 trillion cubic feet of gas and 13.6 million barrels of associated liquids, both discovered in the 1970s but not yet exploited. According to Ethiopian Mines Minister Tolossa Shagi, the country expects to make an excess of 1 billion USD in annual foreign exchange earnings from gas exports thanks to these 4.7 trillion cubic feet natural gas reserves.

The company POLY-GCL Petroleum Group Holdings Ltd, a joint venture between the state-owned China POLY Group Corporation and the privately owned Hong Kong-based Golden Concord Group, has finished drilling two appraisal wells and will soon know the actual size of gas deposits in the south-eastern Somali Region. POLY-GCL plans to drill five wells in Ethiopia’s southeast, including three wildcat exploration wells. The project involves developing the fields and building a 700 km pipeline to transport up to 12 million cubic meters of gas from the Ethiopian hinterland to the coast of neighboring Djibouti, where it will build a 3 Metric Tonnes Per Annum (mtpa) liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant and export terminal. Initial construction is expected to take three years to complete. The plant’s capacity could eventually be extended to 10 mtpa. POLY-GCL estimates the cost of this construction at 4 billion USD and initially expected to start LNG production by mid-to-late 2018 at 3 million tons a year at first, rising to 10 million tons later. Another vast natural gas reserve recently found in Arbaminch could transform Ethiopia into a major natural gas producer.

In a recent remark, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said the nation would be ready to join the global natural gas market after two years. The Premier said that his administration is undertaking projects meant to sell the resource domestically and export it. This is a substantial step for Ethiopia. In fact, since the beginning of the millennium, the country has been building a diversified economy by improving productivity in the agricultural sector and supporting the rise of agro-processing, light manufacturing and infrastructure development. Additional foreign currency earned through natural resources could reveal itself to be an important support in the country’s endeavors to reach the status of middle-income country by 2025.

Ethiopian tourism destinations vigorously promoted in the Netherlands

The Embassy of Ethiopia in Brussels organized an Ethiopian roadshow on the 10th of January 2017 at the major tourism fair Vakantiebeurs in Utrecht (The Netherlands) in collaboration with the Ethiopian Tourism Organization and Ethiopian Airlines’ Benelux office. The roadshow included a press conference for tour operators, journalists and the business community.

The Ethiopian stand was inaugurated by H.E. Teshome Toga, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Benelux, Baltic countries and EU and by Mr. Jemal Kidir, Deputy CEO of the Ethiopian Tourism Organization. During the press conference that followed, H.E. Teshome Toga said the Government of Ethiopia has re-organized the tourism sector based on the Ethiopian tourism policy. A new tourism brand called “Land of Origins” was also established. This new brand and tourism policy will support the promotion of the Ethiopian tourism sector and contribute to the economic and social development of the country.

The Ambassador also briefed the participants on the current situation of Ethiopia. In the wake of last year’s unrests, the flow of tourism had temporarily decreased. However, after the state of emergency entered into force on the 8th of October 2016, the inflow of tourists increased again. Moreover, the FDI and international and regional engagements of the country were fully maintained. This is the sign that Ethiopia is peaceful and that the situation is convenient for tourism. Accordingly, the Embassy has organized this tourism roadshow with the Ethiopian Tourism Organization, an institution mandated to promote the Ethiopian tourism industry, and with the Benelux office of Ethiopian Airlines.

Mr. Jemal Kidir, Deputy CEO of the Ethiopian Tourism Organization on his part said the government has taken the political decision of re-organizing the tourism sector with better capacity to develop the tourism industry. It is allocating significant budgets to develop the tourism infrastructure and attractions of the country. Mr. Jemal Kidir also mentioned the natural, cultural and historic attractions of the country, which already counts 28 tangible and intangible heritage sites. He invited the participants to visit Ethiopia, the origin of human kind, and requested them to convey the message to other potential visitors.

Mr. Bisrat Tedla, Ethiopian Airlines Manager for Benelux countries, and Mr. Dejan Petrovic, Ethiopian Airlines Sales and Marketing Manager for the Netherlands, further informed the participants about the airlines in general: 93 international destinations, among which above 12 destinations are in Europe and North America. In addition, the airline is flying to more than 20 local destinations. He also mentioned that Ethiopian Airlines is the largest and fastest-growing national carrier in Africa. Taking this opportunity, he invited the participants to fly Ethiopian, and assured them the airline is ready to serve them.

Tourists and tour operators which have recently visited Ethiopia confirmed that the country is peaceful, convenient for tourism and has numerous tourism destinations and attractions. They invited the participants to visit the country independently or in group. The press conference was concluded by a Q&A and a business networking session between the Ethiopian delegation and participants.

The Utrecht tourism fair, open from the 10th to the 15th of January 2017, is one of the largest tourism event in the Benelux with about 1,000 exhibitors and more than 120,000 expected visitors. Ethiopian coffee ceremony, national cuisine and folkloric music presented during the event inspired many exhibitors and visitors. Thus, the Ethiopian tourism roadshow at the fair was effective to promote Ethiopia’s image to the Benelux communities and could contribute to increase the inflow of tourists to the country.

Click here to see all the pictures of the Facebook page of our Embassy

Source: Embassy of Ethiopia, Brussels

Ethiopia joins the esteemed list of Lonely Planet in tourist destinations for 2017

Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide-book publisher, named Ethiopia among the top ten 2017 world tourist destinations.

The travel publisher added a vivid depiction of the country’s breathtaking attractions and advised tourists to trek in the Semien Mountains “to watch wildlife that roams nowhere else on Earth”, climb to a church carved into a remote cliff face in Tigray or boat across “the serene waters of Lake Tana to visit an age-old monastery.”

Ethiopia was the only African nation to make it through the esteemed list and join Canada, Colombia, Finland, Dominica, Nepal, Bermuda, Mongolia, Oman and Myanmar.

Ethiopia, the home of ancient African civilizations, the origin of human kind, and the land of literatures which passed the trail of the millenniums, the house of people with untapped and well-off cultural experiences is no surprise to be found on such lists much of the time.

Source: MFA Ethiopia

Ethiopian Tourism Destinations. © Embassy of Ethiopia in Brussels. Pictures: Ethiopian Tourism Organization.

Africa Business Forum to be Held in Addis Ababa

The fifth edition of the Africa Business Forum will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on March 1, 2017. This will be the second time the event would hold in Ethiopia, under the Patronage of Sheikh Mohammed Al Amoudi, one of the largest investors in Africa, Forbes ranked billionaire and Ethiopia’s biggest employer.

Prior to the conference, the Africa Business Forum’s B2B Investment Meeting will be held on the 25th January 2017 at the Dubai World Trade Center Tower, to welcome potential investors to Africa.

Since its creation in 2014, the forum has become one of the most important bi-annual gatherings in Africa and the Middle East.

A statement from the organisers stressed that the Africa Business Forum presents an invaluable opportunity for investors to connect with clients from across industries and from around the world.

“An opportunity to maximise market share by building connections with African customers and partners. The conference will host distinguished panelists and speakers, including ambassadors, high government officials, business leaders, investors and CEOs,” it added.

Keynote speakers and conference panelists include: Fitsum Arega – Director General of the Ethiopian Investment Commission – Ethiopia Government; Belachew Fikre – Deputy Commissioner – Ethiopian Investment Commission – Ethiopia Government; Yohannes Tilahun – Former CEO to General Electric (Ethiopia) and Adviser to the commissioner at Ethiopian Investment Commission; Zemedeneh Negatu Country Managing Partner for EY (Ernest & Young) Ethiopia, and among “The Top 15 CEOs of Africa to watch in 2015ˮ by the London-based African Business magazine.

Others include Johnny Muteba – CEO, Pan African Chamber of Commerce; Craig Bridgman – Former Global Head of Investment Banking for Clarkson Capital Markets, currently Executive Chairman of East Africa Oil Field Services and Founder of Adamantine Energy and who sits on a number of advisory boards; Seyoum Bereded – CEO Consopia Consulting Services and President of the ICT Association of Ethiopia, among others.

“We are very excited about the level of enthusiasm we have received from speakers, sponsors and attendees for this unique conference,” the founder and Chairman of Africa Business Forum, Rashed Ahmed said.

“We look forward to bringing together the many business leaders and offering international companies considerable opportunities to enter and become successful in one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The 5th Africa Business Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is an incredible convening center for global stakeholders and an opportunity to share perspectives on the issues facing global business and beyond,” Ahmed added.

Source: http://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2017/01/10/africa-business-forum-holds-in-addis-ababa/

Cooperation programme to be launched between Belgian Flemish Universities & Bahir Dar University

An Institutional University Cooperation (IUC) programme funded by the Flemish Inter-university Council -University Cooperation for Development (VLIR-UOS) has been approved between Bahir Dar University (BDU) in Ethiopia and the five Flemish Universities coordinated by Ghent University.

To achieve its overall academic objective, the IUC will be engaged in joint implementation of research projects on Land Resilience, Hydro(geo)logy, Post-harvest and food processing, Aquatic ecology and waterborne diseases, and Socio-economic development. A Transversal Institutional Strengthening Project (TISP) is included.

The overall development objective is to contribute to the Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy in Northwest Ethiopia through research geared towards the solution of bottlenecks related to environment, water, food security, health and economical and social development. The study areas of the IUC programme are the Tana and Beles basins in Ethiopia.

The official launching workshop of the IUC will be held from 16-20 January 2017, with the participation of Prof. Dr. Freddy Mortier (vice-rector of Ghent University), Prof. Dr. Guido Van Huylenbroeck (Academic Director for International relations), and Prof. Dr. Jan Nyssen (coordinator of BDU-IUC). They will be hosted by Dr. Baylie Damte (president of Bahir Dar University), Dr. Enyew Adgo and Dr. Firew Tegegne (coorndinator and manager of the BDU-IUC programme at BDU).

Learn more: http://geoweb.ugent.be/article/58748b7ec5d12c04ba866de8

“Ongoing deep reform to be effective through public participation”: Premier

While issuing a press conference on current affairs on Monday (January 09), Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn noted, “Ongoing deep reform of the government will be effective through public participation.” Prime Minister Hailemariam said the reform program has created fertile ground to committed leaderships at various posts.

The Premier said an investigation bureau was established under the auspices of the Ethiopian Federal Police to fight against corruption and to hold accountable those involved in corruption and rent seeking. The bureau was also tasked to make public the wealth of government officials. He also indicated that an institution called “Democratic Center” was established in order to allow the public to give tips on corrupt leaderships.

According to the Premier, a tough investigation will be held on leaderships who were singled out as corrupt by the public, adding the government will take the necessary measure if it is supported with evidence.

The Premier further said that on the basis of the inputs gained from the reform program conducted so far, arrests were made on suspicion of corruption and rent seeking. Prime Minister Hailemariam also made remarks on other regional and continental issues.

Source: MFA Ethiopia