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Ethiopian related and local issues covered on this page.

Ethiopia-Kenya tiff over Madobe re-election bad for security, experts warn

The Esat Africa – The tension between Kenya and Ethiopia over Somalia’s Jubbaland state and its recent election is likely to affect the war against terror in the Horn, experts warn.

With the two countries being frontline states with a sizeable Somalia population and being contributors to the African Union Mission in Somalia – Ethiopia has 4,395 troops in Amisom while Kenya has 3,664 – their seeming failure to co-operate over Jubbaland could give way to a resurgence of the Al-Shabaab terror group.

In Summary

  • The emerging rift between Kenya and Ethiopia over the just concluded Jubbaland election could fuel further clan divisions in the state and could give the militants more ground.

  • Kenya supported the re-election of Sheikh Ahmed Islam Madobe, an old ally in the fight against Al-Shabaab.

  • Ethiopia on the other hand allied itself with Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo, who was pushing for the ouster of Madobe in favour of a person who could co-operate with Mogadishu.


Amisom is preparing for a final withdrawal in 2021, leaving the Somalia National Army in charge and there are fears that the militants could recapture the liberated areas.


Abdiwahab Sheikh Abdisamad, a Horn of Africa expert, says the emerging rift between Kenya and Ethiopia over the just concluded Jubbaland election could fuel further clan divisions in the state and could give the militants more ground.

Kenya supported the re-election of Sheikh Ahmed Islam Madobe, an old ally in the fight against Al-Shabaab.

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Ethiopians battling khat (miraa) addiction

(Africa News) — Ethiopian Yonas Getu Molla started chewing khat while studying architecture to get the energy to stay awake and study late into the night.

But when he and his friends closed their books, their hearts beat faster and they began to search for strong alcohol or cannabis to counteract the effects of khat, similar to those of amphetamines, in order to find sleep.

For Yonas, there is no doubt that the consumption of khat has led him to develop addictions to alcohol and drugs, and has cost him his career, his savings and the respect of his entourage.

Domestic consumption is also rising and particularly affects the student population of this country of more than 100 million inhabitants.

Getting over the addiction

In Mekele, the capital of the regional state of Tigray in northern Ethiopia, a state-of-the-art drug rehab center has helped him to give up all his addictions, including that of khat.

Considered a narcotic in many countries, khat is allowed and very commonly used in Ethiopia and more generally in much of East Africa, where it is perceived more as a cultural activity than a social problem. .

There is no consensus among public health experts on the level of dependency on khat. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers it less addictive than alcohol or tobacco.

Some argue, however, that khat feeds pathologies such as depression.

And regular consumers interviewed by AFP evoke long-term effects: loss of appetite, damaged dentition, lack of sleep, not to mention the significant repercussions on the finances of some households.

In Addis Ababa, a khat consumer spends on average $ 4 per day (€ 3.60), in a country where the annual average income is according to the World Bank of $ 783 (€ 705).

Khat the drug

Clinical psychologist Welday Hagos, director of the Mekele Center – the country’s only drug and alcohol detox facility – considers not only khat as a drug but believes that its use is the gateway to more substances. hard.

According to him, more than 80% of the 500 or so patients he has dealt with since opening the center in 2015 began an addiction to alcohol or drugs by consuming khat.

Weaning khat – also called “miraa” in Kenya or Tanzania – is accompanied by side effects ranging from irritability to nightmares to very sudden changes in appetite, says Welday Hagos.

In the detoxification center he manages, this weaning goes through individual and group therapies, medications if necessary, sports practice, library attendance, “spiritual” sessions, meetings with former addicts … Mobile phones and tablets are banned, visits and contacts with the outside are limited.

Welday Hagos believes that “we are not going in the right direction: we need to increase the knowledge of the people about the consequences of khat consumption.”

It remains legal in Ethiopia, where khat is even the second largest export post behind coffee, especially to Djibouti and Somalia.

Domestic consumption is also rising and particularly affects the student population of this country of more than 100 million inhabitants, says Welday Hagos, referring to several studies on the subject, including one dating from 2018.

Several campaigns launched by civil society groups have failed to obtain the ban, as is the case in Britain or the United States.

‘Little Mogadishu’

Khat has its fervent supporters in Ethiopia, as AFP has recently seen in “Little Mogadishu”, a district of the capital Addis Ababa.

Every afternoon, the drowsy streets come alive with the arrival of a pickup truck filled with khat freshly harvested fagots, directly from the city of Harar (northeast), one of the main production centers of the country.

A group of five young friends, who once bought their khat, installed their plastic stools in a circle on the sidewalk and extolled the virtues of the euphoric plant, sheltered by a parasol .

According to them, khat acts as a painkiller, an antidepressant and allows to ignore hunger; it also has the merit of appeasing the frustrations of the population and reducing men’s sexual appetites, which allows them to remain faithful to their spouse (s); and the one who consumes him at work, they add, can reach a state called “merkana”, a concentration at once intense and joyful, which increases productivity.

The five young friends show little patience when talking about the risks that khat consumption will lead to other addictions.

“People who say that were already alcoholics or were using drugs,” says one of them, Ousman Abdulahi. “When you consume khat, it only strengthens your concentration,” he says.

Still, patients at the Mekele Detox Center believe that their lives have been destroyed by khat.

Mohammed Kelifa, 30, has been absorbed daily for nine years. He spent his nights eating – while talking to women on Facebook. His wife has filed for divorce.

Mohammed is confident that his three-month course of treatment has allowed him to end khat. He is now ready to rebuild his life. “I want to remarry, build a family and again inspire respect.”

“Most people who leave this place are afraid to relapse but I do not have that fear.”


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Eximbank inks $86m EDCF loan agreement for Ethiopia

koreaherald – The Export-Import Bank of Korea said Tuesday it had signed a loan agreement to provide $86 million from the Economic Development Cooperative Fund for Ethiopia’s project involving a university.

The ceremony was attended by Eximbank Chairman Eun Sung-soo and Ethiopia’s State Minister of Finance Admasu Nebebe during Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali’s state visit to Korea.

The EDCF offers long-term low-interest loans to developing countries, set up and managed by the Korean government to promote economic cooperation and exchanges. 

Headquarters of the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Eximbank)

According to Eximbank, the loan will be used to supply some 1,300 types of high-quality equipment to five research centers at Amada Science and Technology University in Ethiopia. It will promote industrialization and development in science and technology in the country.

Eun, who is also the nominee for chairman of the Financial Services Commission, said Ethiopia is the largest beneficiary of the EDCF in Africa, and it will serve as a bridge for Korean companies to advance into the African market.

By Cho Hyee-su (

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FEATURED: Why Ethiopia is in the eyes of most for investment

Joseph Mudingu – The news times

Ethiopia the second most populous country in Africa, with more than one hundred million inhabitants, following Nigeria, is attracting the attentions of the international community in various aspects- political, economic and social dimensions. In this script, the economic aspect, investment in particular is to be dealt.     

Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world recording and maintaining a 9 percent economic growth on the average for the past decade and half years. “Ethiopia’s GDP multiplied tenfold in 25 years, and poverty has been halved, educational enrolment has markedly increased” Prime Minister of Ethiopia Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali, January, 2019, Davos-Switzerland.

The government has been significantly dedicating much of its resources on infrastructural development which has contributed to the growth and attraction of FDI making Ethiopia one of the leading FDI destinations in Africa. As part of the reform process in the country, the government decided to liberalize the economy and privatize state-owned companies like telecommunication, aviation and energy.

Africa’s world-class and Star-Alliance member Ethiopian Airlines connects the country to more than 120 international, more than 61African destinations and provides 54 dedicated cargo destinations. It also flies to over 22 domestic passenger destinations.

For the last two decades, Ethiopia has enjoyed peace in the region being an island of peace in the Horn of Africa’s hot region. It has also made a bold move to end a more than two decades conflict with its immediate neighbor Eritrea.

With the current pace of economic growth, Ethiopia has envisioned to become a middle income country and a green economy by 2025. Various grand projects like the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and other hydroelectricity dams, giant manufacturing industries have been in place and operationalized.

Success begins from proper identification and analysis of the problem at hand. The secret to these successes is correct identification of the momentous challenges that Ethiopia has been facing. High rate of unemployment, shortage of finance/capital were identified as primary challenges for investment. Consequently, the government devised policies and strategies towards addressing these challenges through paying due attention to labor and capital intensive investment areas followed by agricultural sector development which is the main source of employment opportunity for more than 80 per cent of the entire population.   

Leather and leather products (like footwear, bags, jackets), textile and apparel manufacturing, agriculture and agro-processing are among the priority areas of investment in Ethiopia. These areas are naturally labor and capital intensive as Ethiopia lacks capital and has abundant labor force. Ethiopia has abundant hides and skins stocks in Africa and is the tenth-largest in the world. The vast availability of leather gives prospective brands lots of material privileges to work with.

Major opportunities for investment in Ethiopia

Availability of Power

One of the important factors that attract Foreign Direct Investment to Ethiopia is its low power tariffs. The country’s electricity cost is one of the lowest rates in the world. This low power cost is a comparative advantage to the country and the individual investor to help keep the cost of production down.

Ethiopia has a current capacity to generate 4,500MW of electricity, and the potential to produce 45,000MW from hydropower, 10,000MW from geothermal and 1.3 million megawatts from wind power. The completion of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in the coming few years, with its capacity of 6,450MW, will meaningfully change the current production capacity into 10500+MW. This will make the cost of electricity to remain lowest and/or probably to fall tremendously. This turns the prospect of the country to the positive direction creating credible power sustainability.

Hawassa Industrial park, developed at $300 million USD was inaugurated in 2016.

Extensive Industrial Parks Development

Extensive development of industrial parks in Ethiopia has completely changed the investment environment of the country. The model has been for the Ethiopian government to construct well-serviced industrial parks which house the prospect of numerous leather and leather products, and textile manufacturing partnership factories.

Hawassa Industrial park, developed at $300 million USD and inaugurated in 2016, is one of the biggest industrial park in the country and has been described as the Ethiopian government’s “flagship” industrial park. It has started production at relatively small scale late 2016, with the first exports in mid-2017. Currently, Mekelle, Kombolcha and Bole Lemi are also operational industrial parks. Seven more industrial parks are also under-construction.

Ethiopia uses loans for the construction of grand projects that can change the economic trajectory of the country from mainly agricultural economy to industry led economy. Last year, Ethiopia’s inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has been increased to over $3.7 billion USD and is one of the vibrant countries in Africa in attracting the highest FDI inflow.

Addressing unemployment among the youth population is crucial to Ethiopia. Hawassa, Kombolcha, Bole Lemi, Mekele and Adama industrial parks collectively, have currently created jobs for over 70,000 Ethiopians, and 103 million USD has been generated from the exports of the Industrial parks during the 2011 E.C (2018/19) fiscal year. 

As part of its efforts to make the country a light manufacturing hub in Africa by 2025, Ethiopia is working to create favorable atmosphere and systems that enable to do business in the country.

Short travel time and access to the sea outlet

Ethiopia has been investing its resources on infrastructure such as the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway. The Addis Ababa-Djibouti rail line – 756km, which cuts the journey time for goods from Ethiopia (Land linked not Land locked) to the Djibouti port from days by road to 10 hours or less. Several other railway lines that connect all major corridors in Ethiopia are under construction.

Ethiopia’s restoring peace and reopening of diplomatic relations with Eritrea creates the potential for expanded logistics operations via the Eritrean ports of Assab and Massawa. These ports are short distance from Mekelle and Kombolcha Industrial parks with close to 450 kms which entail shortest hours to travel. This is another incentive for investors to eye the untapped investment opportunity in Ethiopia.

Trainable labour

Human resource is the most crucial asset for any business. Successful performance in investment, by and large depend upon the quality of human resources it engages, the extent of knowledge through training and education they have received. Ethiopia has a growing young, trainable and disciplined labor force. The 50 plus universities and over 1,300 Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Institutes intake around one and half million student population, whom, after completion could join the labour force. This is also another huge offer Ethiopia provides for potential investors.

Tax Holiday for Investors and Developers

Among the many incentives being provided to investors in Ethiopia is income tax holiday for investors in the Industrial Parks and for Industrial Parks developers. An income tax holiday up to 8-10 years and duty free of importing construction machineries and equipment as well as provision of land lease at a very competitive price up to 60 to 80 years for both investors and developers.

Investors are not required to travel from one office to another. One-Stop-Shop service is in place. Provision of necessary infrastructures including dedicated power substations is available for the developers. For investors, Industrial Parks are ready made-coming machineries-plug in and run which is easy way to produce. 

Very recently, with the aim of providing efficient, effective and reliable investment services for investors regardless of geographical locations, an online service platform, where investors can remotely apply for new investment permit including expansion permits and business licenses, has launched.         

Together with the new reform agenda, the legal and Institutional framework towards Foreign Direct Investment is changing the ease of doing business in Ethiopia. Therefore, Ethiopia invites all investors to utilize the untapped investment opportunities. Beautiful landscape, extreme wonders of the world which are found in Ethiopia are considered tips for those who travel to the Land of Origins-Ethiopia for investment.   

Ethiopian Man Jailed Over Bomb Scare Joke In Kenya Airways Plane

An Ethiopian man has been sentenced to four months in prison for joking about a bomb in Kenya Airways flight.

Appearing before Magistrate Christine Njagi, Chifraye Bekele was accused of threatening the safety of other passengers with his joke, which also led to the cancellation of the Johannesburg-bound flight.

Additionally, his joke led to a three-hour shutdown of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

In her ruling, Magistrate Njagi found his guilty of “imperiling the safety of aircraft and persons on board.”

Bekele is claimed to have mentioned to a flight attendant who was closing an overhead locker: “Why are you scared? You think it’s a bomb?”

Consequently, after consulting with her colleagues, the captain opted to have the plane undergo a thorough search.

All passengers had to disembark, resulting in the cancellation of the flight. Bekele was then sentenced to four months in jail or pay a fine of Ksh100,000.

He is stated to have failed to raise the amount, hence remains in prison.

kdrtv – Source

Wilma NjeriPublished