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  • NEWS IN BRIEF 25 March , 2017

    NEWS IN BRIEF 25 March , 2017


    Ethiopia becomes member of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

    The Board of Governors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has adopted on Wednesday resolutions that approve the membership of Ethiopia and other 12 applicants to join the Bank.

    The announcement would bring the total membership of the bank to 70, the website of AIIB indicated.

    “The interest in joining AIIB from around the world affirms the rapid progress we have made to establish the bank as an international institution," the website quoted  Jin Liqun, President of AIIB as saying.

    “I am very proud that AIIB now has members from almost every continent and we anticipate further applications being considered by our Board of Governors later this year,” he added.

    The 13 prospective members will officially join AIIB once they complete the required domestic processes and deposit the first installment of capital with the bank, it was learnt.

    The shares allocated to the new prospective members come from the bank’s existing pool of unallocated shares. (ENA)

    Gov’t to provide building plots, money for landslide victims’ families

    With a view to rehabilitating families of victims of garbage dump landslide, Addis Ababa city administration is to provide one million birr in cash and a building plot at a household level.

    A landslide on March 11, 2017 at Koshe garbage dump claimed the lives of dozens of Ethiopians.

    Following the accident, governmental and non-governmental organizations, investors and Ethiopians across the nation have been providing supports to back government’s effort to rehabilitate the victims’ families.

    As part of the effort, the city administration decided to grant one million birr and a building plot at a household level following a consultation it conducted with a committee drawn from victims’ families.

    Moreover, they will get money to rent houses until they build their own residential homes.

    Those who had been living at the area by renting house will get houses built under the 10/90 housing schemes in replacement.

    Money raised for families of the victims has so far reached 76 million birr, it was noted. (FBC)

    World Bank announce USD 57 billion of finance to Sub-Saharan African

    The World Bank announced a record 57 billion dollars to finance Sub-Saharan African countries over the next three fiscal years.

    The bulk of the financing 45 billion dollars will come from the International Development Association (IDA).

    The financing for Sub-Saharan Africa also will include an estimated 8 billion USD in private sector investments from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a private sector arm of the Bank Group, and 4 billion dollars in financing from International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, its non-concessional public sector arm.

    Expected IDA outcomes include essential health and nutrition services for up to 400 million people, access to improved water sources for up to 45 million, additional generation capacity for renewable energy.

    While much of the estimated 45 billion dollars in IDA financing will be dedicated to country-specific programs, significant amounts will be available through special “windows” to finance regional initiatives and transformative projects, support refugees and their host communities, and help countries in the aftermath of crises. (ENA)

    Ethiopia launch first agricultural extension strategy

    Ethiopia has launched its first Agricultural Extension strategy as of this week.

    Speaking at a workshop organized for the launching of the strategy for stakeholders, Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources Eyasu Abreha (PhD) said the strategy will create effective and efficient agricultural extension system in the country.

    According to the minister, the strategy will use market-oriented, demand driven and pluralistic practices and methods.

    In this regard, he said, it can play a crucial role to improve agricultural productivity and livelihood of smallholders by developing innovative, systematic and dynamic agricultural services.

    The strategy is meant to be implemented by smallholding farmers, pastoralists and semi-pastoralists across the country, it was indicated.

    Furthermore, the agricultural extension strategy will benefit females and youth.

    The minister stated that the strategy will serve as an umbrella for the agricultural sub-sectors, including crops, livestock and fishery, natural resources management and other cross cutting issues.

    In this respect, research-based agricultural extension service has been provided since 1953 by Haremaya University. (WIC)

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    African trade summit held in the absence of African delegates

    The US Embassy in Addis Ababa denied visas for Ethiopian businesspeople who were travelling to Los Angeles last week to attend the African Global Economic and Development Summit held on March16-18, 2017 in the University of Southern California.

    At least 20 Ethiopian businesspeople, who were invited to attend the three-day annual African trade summit, were all denied entry visas. One of the business people whose visa application was rejected told The Reporter that he has presented an extensive documentation to the embassy’s visa consular affairs section including bank statements and property records. “It is sad that we are unable to attend the trade summit meant to create business opportunities for Ethiopian companies due to visa issues,” he said.      

    Spokesperson of the US Embassy in Addis Ababa, Nick Barnett, said that the embassy cannot comment on individual cases. In an email response to The Reporter, Barnett said: “There have been no new restrictions on visa issuance to Ethiopian citizens. The US government facilitates legitimate travel to the United States in accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act, which applies to all visa applicants, regardless of nationality.”

    According to organizer of the African Global Economic and Development Summit, Mary Flowers, the annual African trade summit typically brings delegations from across Africa to meet with business leaders in the US in an effort to foster partnerships. Ethiopian businesspeople were not the only ones to be denied entry visas.

    All African businesses invited by Mary Flowers to attend the trade summit were denied entry visas by the respective US embassies. According Mary Flowers, the annual African trade summit had no African attendees this year after at least 60 people were denied visas.

    More than 200 delegates attend the annual trade summit. But this year, every single African citizen who requested a visa was rejected, according to the organizers.

    Flowers said roughly 60 to 100 people from at least a dozen nations were denied entry to the summit, which went on as planned with a much smaller group last Thursday through Saturday.

    Rejected participants at the trade summit came from, among others, Nigeria, Cameroon, Angola, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ghana, and South Africa.

    Ethiopian Chambers of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (ECCSA) said it did not receive any formal complaints from members of the business community regarding the said visa denials. Debebe Abebe, communications and public relations director with ECCSA, told The Reporter that the chamber was not invited to attend the African Global Economic and Development Summit. Debebe said the chamber closely works with the US Embassy in screening businesses who wish to attend trade and investment forum and exhibitions. “The embassy has its own visa application and screening procedures and we respect that. When the business community asks us for support letters for visa applications we thoroughly investigate if the delegated person is really representing the company before we write the accreditation letter,” Debebe said.

    He said it was ridiculous to hold an African trade summit in the absence of African business people. “That means African voices are not heard. We urge trade and investment forum organizers to invite chambers of commerce who are the true representatives of business communities.”

    Mary Flowers, which has been organizing the African Global Economic and Development Summit since 2013, said the summit is designed to bring Africa to America’s doorstep for investments and trade. “The long-term impact of the visa denials is a lack of new trade links and business partnerships between US entrepreneurs and African nations,” Flowers added. 

    Some are now questioning whether the denials to the Los Angeles event could be tied to the anti-immigration policies of Donald Trump.  

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  • Ethiopian Airlines Plane Heading To China Makes Emergency Landing in Pakistan

    Ethiopian Airlines Plane Heading To China Makes Emergency Landing in Pakistan

    LAHORE: An Ethiopian Airlines made an emergency landing in Lahore, Pakistan on Saturday after two passengers got into a fight during the flight.

    According to latest media report, the aircraft that was carrying 300 passengers took off from Addis Ababa and was supposed to land in Beijing when two passengers came into blows with each other.

    The Boeing 777 then made its emergency landing in Lahore where the Airport Security Forces (ASF) immediately arrested the two passengers. They were also given immediate medical attention due to the bruises in their body.

    The airplane will soon take off for Beijing after approvals, Dawn reported.

    Earlier this year, a Shaheen International airplane also made an emergency landing at the same airport when one of its engines caught fire.

    Source: Becorder


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  • Andargachew Tsege is approaching his 1,000th day on death row | Boris Johnson ‘should not leave Ethiopia’ without freeing condemned man, rights group says

    Andargachew Tsege is approaching his 1,000th day on death row | Boris Johnson ‘should not leave Ethiopia’ without freeing condemned man, rights group says

    by Jon Sharman

    Boris Johnson has visited Ethiopia as a father-of-three from London nears his 1,000th day on death row there, following his kidnapping by Ethiopian security forces.

    Andargachew Tsege, known as Andy, has been a vocal critic of the Ethiopian government. He was granted political asylum in the UK in 1979 and has lived in Britain ever since, though he continued to advocate for democratic reform in his home country.

    He was abducted in June 2014 while en route to Eritrea, and in July 2015 moved to the infamous Kality prison outside Addis Abiba, dubbed “Ethiopia’s gulag”. A death sentenced had been imposed on him in 2009, in his absence.

    The rights group Reprieve, which has been representing Mr Tsege and his family, said on Thursday the Foreign Secretary “should not leave Ethiopia without Andy Tsege beside him on the plane”.

    Mr Johnson was due to discuss regional security and prosperity on his visit, a Government announcement said.

    Reprieve’s Maya Foa said: “Andy has endured 1000 days on death row for daring to criticise the Ethiopian Government, which kidnapped him in an international airport and rendered him to the country’s gulag.

    “A failure to seek Andy’s return home would send a dangerous message that the UK is willing to tolerate the abuse of its citizens overseas, with no consequence for the Governments responsible.”

    In an open letter to campaigners last August, Mr Johnson said: “I am aware of the suggestion that the UK Government should directly call for Mr Tsege’s release.

    “As my predecessor has previously stated, Britain does not interfere in the legal systems of other countries by challenging convictions, any more than we would accept interference in our judicial system.

    “We do, however, lobby strongly and consistently against the application of the death penalty, and against the carrying out of such sentences when they are imposed.


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