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  • 50 Ethiopian- Somali refugees killed after smugglers throw them off boat near Yemen, UN says

    50 refugees killed after smugglers throw them off boat near Yemen, UN says

    Smugglers are believed to have pushed people in the water when a boat belonging to authorities appeared near the coast 

    libya-migrants.jpg Migrants receive life jackets as workers from Proactive Open Arms pull alongside their dinghy about 15 miles north of Sabratha, Libya AP

    The UN migration agency says up to 50 migrants from Somalia and Ethiopia have been "deliberately drowned" when a smuggler forced them into the sea off Yemen's coast. 

    The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said a human trafficker in charge of the boat forced more than 120 migrants into the sea as they approached the coast of Shabwa along the Arabian Sea. 

    Staff from the IOM said they found the shallow graves of 29 of the migrants on a beach in Shabwa during a routine patrol. 

    Medical staff said they provided urgent care for 27 surviving migrants who remained on the beach. while other migrants had already left. The agency said 22 people are still unaccounted for. 

    The average age of the passengers on the boat is believed to have been 16-years-old, according to the UN agency. 

    The smuggler allegedly pushed the migrants into the water when they saw a boat belonging to authorities approaching. 

    The dead had been buried rapidly by those who survived and the IOM said it it working closely with the International Committee of the Red Cross to ensure appropriate care is given for the deceased migrants' remains. 

    Laurent de Boeck, the IOM chief of mission in Yemen, called the incident "shocking and inhumane." 

    "The survivors told our colleagues on the beach that the smuggler pushed them into the sea, when he saw some 'authority types' near the coast. 

    "They also told us that the smuggler has already returned to Somalia to continue his business and pick up more migrants to bring to Yemen on the same route.

    "This is shocking and inhumane. The suffering of migrants on this migration route is enormous. Too many young people pay smugglers with the false hope of a better future,"

    The narrow waters between the Horn of Africa and Yemen have been a popular migration route despite Yemen's ongoing conflict. 

    Since January this year the IOM estimates that around 55,000 migrants left the Horn of Africa to come to Yemen with the aim to try and find better opportunities in the Gulf countries. 

    According to the IOM, more than 30,000 of those migrants are under the age of 18 from Somalia and Ethiopia and a third are estimated to be women. 

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  • NEWS IN BRIEF Latest July 01 2017

    NEWS IN BRIEF Latest July 01 2017

     
     

    Importers approve Ethiopia’s livestock quarantine system

    Experts of major livestock importing Middle East countries have given approval to the Mille International quarantine system, expected to uplift Ethiopia's livestock export.

    According to the Ministry of Livestock and Fishery, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirate experts have assessed and assured the quality of the Quarantine center, located in Afar State. They have also shown full interest to import livestock from the center to their respective countries.

    Livestock Identification, Traceability and Welfare Director at the Ministry, Hadgo Mandefro (PhD) said that even though it is one of the leading countries in terms livestock resources in Africa, Ethiopia has been not been exporting livestock with its full potential due to four major reasons; shortage of fodder, lack of productive livestock species, animal health and market problems.

    The government is exerting efforts to tackle such problems by implementing quarantine and Livestock Identification and Traceability Systems in different pastoral areas based on Sanitary Phytosanitary measurement and other standards of World Trade Organization and World Animal Health Organization.  (The Ethiopian Herald)

    Deadly blast targets police near Kenya-Somalia border

    At least four children and four policemen have been killed in a roadside explosion in southeastern Kenya, near the border with Somalia, according to police.

    Noah Mwivanda, a senior police officer in Lamu County, said Tuesday's blast happened between the towns of Mararani and Kiunga.

    There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

    The deadly incident bore the hallmarks of similar bombings blamed on Somalia's Al-Shabaab armed group, which has previously targeted security forces in the region.

    It increases the death toll from homemade explosives in the past three months to 46, with policemen as the majority of fatalities.

    Al-Shabab has carried out more than 100 attacks on Kenya since 2011.

    It says the attacks are retribution for Kenya sending troops to Somalia to fight them.

    Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta did not immediately comment on the latest explosion.

    On Monday, Kenyatta said if re-elected he would "strengthen the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit by acquiring more specialized vehicles to counter and deter the security threats emerging from terrorist groups". (Al Jazeera)

    WB approves 5-year partnership framework to support Ethiopia dev’t

    The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank endorsed a new five-year Country Partnership Framework (CPF) to support Ethiopia's development aspirations, ENA reported on Thusday.

    The CPF is in line with priorities outlined in the country's second Growth and Transformation Plan, according to a press release issued by WB.

    According to the report, over the past decade, Ethiopia has achieved significant progress in economic, social and human development; poverty rate has declined from 55 percent in 2000 to 34 percent in 2011.

    Real GDP growth has averaged 10.5 percent per year between 2003 and 2015, and life expectancy rose from 52 to 65 years. Ethiopia has also achieved a number of the Millennium Development Goals.

    The CPF strives to assist Ethiopia in forging a more inclusive and sustainable growth path.

     It will help promote structural and economic transformation through increased productivity in both rural and urban areas by focusing on basic education, market accesses and job opportunities for the youth. (ENA)

    Saudi extends amnesty for undocumented migrants by 30 days

    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia yesterday extended the 90-day amnesty for undocumented migrants by additional one month.

    The move came following Ethiopia’s request for the amnesty to be extended, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    It is to be recalled that Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn recently sent a letter to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, requesting him to extend the amnesty.   

    The extension came into effect from last Sunday. The 90-day amnesty expired last Tuesday.

    According to Saudi’s General Directorate of Passports, the amnesty was extended by a month to allow those undocumented migrants who failed to take advantage of the amnesty due to various reasons to return to their respective countries peacefully.

    Of the 111,000 Ethiopians who have secured exit visas to leave Saudi Arabia, only 45,000 of them have so far returned to their homeland, it was noted.

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said that efforts will continue to bring home undocumented Ethiopians from Saudi. (FBC)

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  • CITY ADMIN SEEKS FUNDING FOR MEGA TOURIST DESTINATION PROJECT

    CITY ADMIN SEEKS FUNDING FOR MEGA TOURIST DESTINATION PROJECT Jun, 2017

     
     

    The Addis Ababa City Administration will be looking for loans from international financial institutions for the development of a mega tourist destination at Mount Entoto in the northern part of the city at a cost of 4.8 billion birr.

    The city administration is planning to build a vast tourist recreation center on 4,200 hectares plot in the Entoto forest. At the third general assembly of the Addis Ababa City Tourism Transformation Council held on Tuesday at Getfam Hotel Heyab Gebreamelak (PhD), director of the Entoto Tourist Destination Development Project, said that the huge project has four major packages – recreation center, artifact manufacturing, display and training center, nationalities cultural center and international athletics village. Heyab said that 60 percent of the 4,200 hectares has been degraded adding that a vast afforestation work would be undertaken by planting two million trees.

    The Entoto Tourist Destination Development Project incorporates recreation centers, a vast park, zoo, lodges, restaurants, children’s play grounds, artificial ponds, swimming pools, tennis courts, a golf course, horseback riding and camel caravan yards, museums and cultural center that depicts Ethiopian nationalities houses culture and traditions. A 500 meter building tower that would be a land mark of Addis Ababa will be erected. The tower would have restaurants, observation rooms, coffee and athletics museums. The architecture of the tower reflects the designs of Lalibela, Axum, Fasilides Castle and Harar Jegol wall. An international athletics village is also part of the vast tourist destination development project. According to Heyab, the project would create 14,000 jobs. The total cost of the project is estimated at 4.8 billion birr.
    Heyab said that the project’s feasibility study has been conducted adding that tender specifications have been developed. He hopes to float the tender for the design and construction work in July and plans to commence construction in 2018.

    Mayor of Addis Ababa and chairman of the Addis Ababa City Administration, however, said that his administration would not rush to start construction. “It is a huge project that we would pass for generations. And we need to do it painstakingly as we are developing the tourist center in a forest,” Mayor Diriba Kuma told the council. The Addis Ababa City Tourism Transformation Council, which has 71 members, was established three years ago with the objective of making Addis Ababa a tourism hub by developing and promoting tourist destinations.

    The mayor said that the city administration would organize consultative meetings with city residents, environmentalists, architects and engineers, historians and deliberate on the massive project that would make Addis Ababa a leading tourist destination in Africa. “We drew lessons from countries like China, Korea and France which developed similar projects. We want to invite experts from these countries to share their experiences,” the mayor told the participants.

    Diriba told The Reporter that the city administration would be building major infrastructure like roads, tower, sport and cultural centers. He said the private sector under the supervision of the administration would build hotels, lodges, and many other tourist institutions that would serve tourists. “Through open tenders, investors would develop various service centers based on the designs and specifications provided by the city administration.”

    The source of project financing is an area of concern. Diriba told The Reporter that the World Bank has conducted a feasibility study on the project and confirmed that the project is feasible. “It is a very feasible project. We would present a bankable project proposal to the World Bank, Export-Import (EX-IM) Bank of China and other lending institutions,” the mayor said.

    He said that the city administration has limited financial resources adding that the administration would prepare terms of reference and will invite international financial intuitions to provide expression of interest to finance the project. 

    The Entoto Tourist Destination Project would be undertaken through three phases in five years’ time. The city administration would soon deliberate with hotel associations, tour operators and scholars on the project.

    In the report presented by the Addis Ababa Culture and Tourism Bureau to the Addis Ababa City Tourism Transformation Council, the Bureau indicated that it has rehabilitated the Addis Ababa Museum with 16 million birr secured from the World Bank and three million birr budget from the City Administration. It has also renovated the Arat Kilo Miazia 27 Victory Statue and Sidist Kilo Martyrs Statue at a cost of five million birr. The Bureau plans to refurbish the Emperor Menelik II Statue and Tewodros Square Sebastopol Statue next year.

    The Addis Ababa Culture and Tourism Bureau is building a Children and Youth Theater, a modern Cinema at a cost of 248 million birr and it is in the process of building a new Cinema and Theater Hall at Cinema Ras, an old theater hall in the heart of Mercato.

     

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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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  • US EMBASSY DENIES VISAS FOR ETHIOPIAN BUSINESS PEOPLE TRAVELLING TO ATTEND TRADE SUMMIT

    US EMBASSY DENIES VISAS FOR ETHIOPIAN BUSINESS PEOPLE TRAVELLING TO ATTEND TRADE SUMMIT

     
     

    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.  

    Read more »
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