As part of advancing regional economic integration, the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea signed an agreement to establish joint special economic zones.
 
“The two countries will develop Joint Investment Projects, including the establishment of Joint Special Economic Zones,” twitted Yemane G. Meskel, Eritrean Minister of Information.
 
The agreement is signed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday by Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia, according to Mr. Yemane. The signing of the agreement was attended by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and King Salman of Saudi Arabia.
 
The agreement has followed the Joint Declaration on Peace and Friendship the two countries have signed on July 9, 2018 in Asmara. Labeled, ‘Agreement on Peace, Friendship and Comprehensive Cooperation between Ethiopia and Eritrea,’ the deal signed in Saudi involves comprehensive cooperation in the political, security, defense, economic, trade, investment, cultural and social fields on the basis of complementarity and synergy.
 
The two countries will implement the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission decision, while combating terrorism, trafficking in people, arms and drugs in accordance with international covenants and conventions, according to the agreement.
 
Appreciating the peace deal between the two East African countries, King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia has awarded President Isaias and Prime Minister Abiy Saudi Arabia’s highest medal.
 
The Red Sea
In a related development President Isaias has also talked with King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia about enhancement of bilateral cooperation and vital issues of development and security of the Red Sea maritime route.
 
Djibouti – Eritrea
After several years of border conflict, the leaders of Djibouti and Eritrea have met in Saudi Arabia. In a meeting in Jeddah, President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea and President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti agreed to open a new chapter of cooperation & good neighborliness between the two sisterly countries, according to Mr. Yemane.
 
Business Insider
China has agreed to restructure some of Ethiopia’s loans, including a loan for a four billion dollars railway linking its capital Addis Ababa with neighbouring Djibouti, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Thursday.
 
“`During our stay, we had the opportunity to enact limited restructuring of some of our loans.
 
“In particular, the loan for the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway which was meant to be paid over 10 years has now been extended to 30 years.
 
“Its maturity period has also been extended,” Ahmed told newsmen in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, upon return from a summit in China.
 
President Xi Jinping announced 60 billion dollars in aid and loans for Africa on Monday while hosting more than 40 of the continent’s leaders in Beijing, saying that the money came with no expectation of anything in return.
 
Beijing pushed back on criticism that it was shackling poorer countries with heavy debt burdens they will struggle to pay back, portraying the Chinese government as a magnanimous one motivated only to share its experience of rapid industrialization.
 
“China’s investment in Africa does not come with any political conditions attached and will neither interfere in internal politics nor make demands that people feel are difficult to fulfill,” Xi said during a keynote address to the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation on Monday.
 
Zi said the money will be focused on infrastructure to help speed African countries’ development, not on “vanity projects.”
 
The package outlined by Xi also includes medical aid, environmental protection, agricultural training and assistance, and government scholarships and vocational training for more than 100,000 young Africans.
 
At the last forum, held in Johannesburg three years ago, Xi also pledged $60 billion in investment.
 
He said Monday that this money had already been granted or earmarked, so the latest announcement represented a second round of 60 billion dollars.
 
The program is part of Xi’s broader Belt and Road Initiative, an ambitious $120-billion-plus project that aims to link 65 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa — together accounting for almost two-thirds of the world’s population — through infrastructure projects and trade.
 
At a time when President Trump is engaged in trade fights with the United States’ neighbors and allies, the Chinese leader seems to relish the opportunity to appear as a popular international statesman and champion of the liberal economic order.
 
For two days in a row, every headline on the front page of the state-run People’s Daily started with the words “Xi Jinping,” as the president met with the leaders of Angola, Gabon, Mauritius, Senegal and elsewhere.
 
He also hosted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has been charged by the International Criminal Court with war crimes and crimes against humanity.
 
Analysts have raised concerns about African countries, many of which are subject to the whims of commodity markets, not being able to repay Chinese loans.
 
The three countries most vulnerable because of large debts owed to China are Djibouti, Congo and Zambia, say academics at the China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University.
 
Zambia, which has a gross domestic product of 19.5 billion dollars, according to the World Bank, had taken about 6.4 billion dollars in loans from China, the researchers wrote in a briefing paper last month.
 
But Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who chairs the African Union, said that rather than viewing the investment as a “debt trap,” other countries should be asking why they’re not giving Africa as much assistance as China.
 
“We have benefited a lot from China’s support in our social and economic programs, and that has continued to strengthen the partnership between China and Rwanda,” Kagame told the People’s Daily.
A foremost African airline, Ethiopian Airlines, has signed an agreement with Zambia’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to invest in the newly established Zambia’s national carrier, Zambia Airways.
The latest development, which would see Zambia Airways take to the skies, came after East African nation had stayed for 24 years without a flag carrier.
 
The agreement was contained in a joint statement issued on Monday by the Group Chief Executive Officer of IDC, Mateyo Kaluba, and the Group Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, Telwolde Gebremariam, after the two parties signed the agreement in Lusaka, Zambian capital.
 
According to the statement, the national airline project of Zambia would be funded with an initial investment of $30 million with IDC – Zambian government – holding 55 percent equity, while Ethiopian Airlines would hold 45 percent share of the investment in the new venture.
 
“Obviously as we operate the airline, we will facilitate the financing necessary for its growth. It is expected that the new airline will operate 12 aircraft and carry over 1.9 million passengers by 2028,” the statement read.
 
The airline will initially operate routes across Africa, before extending its network to Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
 
Ethiopian Airlines noted the investment in Zambia Airways is consistent with its Vision 2025 Multiple Hubs Strategy in Africa.
 
“As an indigenous and truly Pan-African airline, we believe that African carriers will only get their fair share of the aviation industry and the African market through partnerships with other African carriers,” it said.
 
The Ethiopian national carrier, the only consistently profitable carrier in Africa serving about 70 global cities and 60 across Africa from its hub in Addis Ababa with a fleet of over 100 aircraft, plans to set up four airlines on the continent this year.
 
Presently, the air company which already owns stakes in carriers in Malawi and Togo, is ranked the largest carrier in African continent by revenue and profit, according to the International Air Transport Association.
 
Last week, the airline said it was one of the airlines being considered to partner with the Federal Government of Nigeria on the country’s newly launched flag carrier, Nigeria Air.
 
Nigeria is planning to set up a new national carrier about fifteen years after the old Nigeria Airways ceased operations in the country.
 
In July, the Nigerian government officially unveiled the name and logo of the country’s new carrier at the Farnborough International Public Airshow in London, United Kingdom.
 
According to the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, the new national airline would be private sector-led and driven through Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, with the government owning not more than five percent equity and zero interference.
 
 
Source: NAN
Ethiopian Airlines says it has signed a shareholding agreement with Zambia’s main development agency to relaunch the southern African country’s flag carrier at an initial cost of $30 million.
 
A joint statement with Zambia’s state-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in Lusaka said that under the plan, Zambia Airways, being revived more than two decades after it was shut down, would operate 12 planes by 2028.
 
The Ethiopian state-owned carrier has outpaced regional competitors Kenya Airways and South African Airways to become Africa’s largest airline by revenue and profit, and has been buying shares in other African airlines to gain a competitive advantage over rivals such as those in the Gulf.
 
Ethiopian Airlines said it would own 45 per cent of the revamped Zambian airline, while Zambia would own 55 per cent.
 
“The initial investment as we start up the national carrier will be $30 million. Obviously, as we operate the airline, we will facilitate the financing necessary to support its growth,” it said.
 
Ethiopian Airlines had earlier said in January that it had signed an agreement with the Zambian government to relaunch Zambia Airways.
 
“Zambia Airways will launch local and regional routes this year, while intercontinental routes, including Europe, the Middle East and Asia, will be added in the near future,” the joint statement stated.
 
It would be recalled that the state-owned Zambia Airways went into liquidation in 1994, while the privately-owned Zambian Airways then emerged as the country’s main carrier with flights to other major hubs in southern Africa, but it suspended operations in 2009.
 
 
NAN

The Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebremariam, said his company is the frontrunner to set up and manage Nigeria’s new national carrier, Nigeria Air.

Gebremariam made this known on Friday at a news conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city.

He said his airline belongs to a small group of investors interested in establishing the national carrier.

“We are among a small group with an interest in establishing a national carrier (in Nigeria)… we do not know the results (of the tender), though we are frontrunners,” Gebremariam told Reuters at the event.

Recall that the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had, last month, unveiled the new national at the Farnborough International Public Airshow in London, United Kingdom.

“It is a business, not a social service. Government will not be involved in running it or deciding who runs it. The investors will have full responsibility for this

“Though, you need that initial government financial to make it take off, but what is important is that the national carrier will be entirely private sector controlled.

“There will be zero government interference. But if that happens, it invalidates the certificate (Outline Business Case Certificate of Compliance for the establishment of the airline) and the entire process,” he said.

In July, Gebremariam had disclosed that the Ethiopian Airlines was interested in the Nigerian project.

Ethiopian Airlines, the only consistently profitable carrier in Africa, serves about 70 global cities and 60 across Africa from its hub in Addis Ababa with a fleet of over 100 aircraft.

The air company already owns stakes in carriers in Malawi and Togo and is seeking to establish holdings in Zambia, Chad, Mozambique, Guinea and Eritrea while helping to manage existing operators in Equatorial Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Presently, the airline is ranked the largest carrier in African continent by revenue and profit, according to the International Air Transport Association.

 

Source: The Ripples

In Africa's battle for the skies, an east African carrier is stepping up its game in an effort to dominate the market. The state-owned Ethiopian Airlines, Africa's largest carrier by number of passengers, according to FlightGlobal, has taken stakes in a raft of carriers across Africa and opened routes to new destinations, like Manchester, UK.
 
The expansion is part of the airline's 2025 Vision to become the leading aviation group in Africa, and increase the share of the market occupied by African airlines.
 
"Twenty percent of the market is carried by African airlines and 80% of the market is carried by non-African airlines," said Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. "The market share has been declining for the last 20 years."
 
Taking off
 
Ethiopian Airlines is looking to fend off competition from South African Airways, the largest carrier by number of flights, according to FlightGlobal, EgyptAir, Royal Air Maroc and Kenya Airways.
 
Tewolde told CNN that Ethiopian Airlines are expanding into West Africa with Togolese airline ASKY Airlines. They're also doing business with Air Cote d'Ivoire, Congo Airways and have taken management of CEIBA International in Equatorial Guinea.
 
The airline has ambitious plans; Ethiopia is working with the Zambian government to relaunch their national carrier with a 45% stake, it also plans to establish a wholly-owned airline in Mozambique and has signed a contract to start an airline in Guinea. Ethiopian has also taken stakes in a Chadian airline.
"Typically, they're taking a minority stake or around 50%. They tend to go into these joint ventures with local partners," said Oliver Clark, senior reporter at FlightGlobal.
 
New routes
 
Ethiopian Airlines is launching new routes from Addis Ababa to Jakarta, Chicago and Geneva in the coming months. The airline is looking to make the Ethiopian capital a transport hub, connecting other African countries without long-haul capacity with continents around the world.
"It's trying to feed traffic from other African countries through Addis to then give them the connectivity to travel on to other continents, US, Europe and Asia in particular," Clark said.
 
In 2015, Africa accounted for only 3% of air passenger traffic, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization. The growth of African airlines worldwide will seek to expand the number of travelers.
 
South: CNN

As Ethiopia strives to become the manufacturing hub of Africa, more and more Chinese companies are showing an interest in investing in the east African country.

The latest Chinese company that will soon establish a presence in Ethiopia is the Wuxi No. 1 Cotton Mill, which is part of the Guolian Development Group and one of the largest textile manufacturers in China, according to the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC).

The company has signed an investment agreement with the Ethiopian government to establish an integrated textile industry in Ethiopia's second largest city Dire Dawa, some 446 km east of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.

According to the EIC, Chinese companies, with close to 379 projects that were either operational or under implementation in 2012-2017 period, are on top of Ethiopia's investment landscape, both in number and financial capital. Among these companies, 279 were operational in Ethiopia with projects that worth over 13.16 billion Ethiopian birr (over $572 million) during the reported period, while the remaining 100 are under implementation.

In terms of employment creation, Chinese companies have created more than 28,300 jobs in various sectors in Ethiopia during the reported period, of which over 19,000 were created in Ethiopia's manufacturing as it is the leading sector in attracting companies from China.

In a statement sent to Xinhua, the EIC indicated that the Wuxi No. 1 Cotton Mill and the Guolian Development Group will bring state-of-the art manufacturing technology, knowhow and excellence accumulated over a span of 100 years to Ethiopia.

Noting that the company currently has a weaving capacity of 26,000 tons of yarns and 30 million meters of gray fabrics yearly, the EIC expects Wuxi No. 1 Cotton Investment Company to play a big role in Ethiopia's ambition in putting its export industry in the map.

As part of the investment agreement, which was signed in Wuxi city in China on Nov 2 between the EIC and officials of the company, the Wuxi No. 1 Cotton Mill has agreed to invest in a large scale and integrated fabric mill and spinning plant in Dire Dawa, targeting the export market.

The Ethiopian government also envisages that high profile companies, such as Wuxi No.1 Cotton Mill which is said to be known for supplying leading global brands where 75 percent of its products are mainly exported to Europe, America, Japan, and Southeast Asia, will help push Ethiopia to be the leading player in Africa's apparel and textile manufacturing sector.

Abebe Abebayehu, Deputy Commissioner of the EIC, believes the arrival of such investors in the country will help Ethiopia realize its target.

"This investment would contribute immensely to our government's vision to build a sustainable, vertically integrated and export-oriented, apparel and textile manufacturing hub in Ethiopia. Indeed, our vision is to make Ethiopia the leading manufacturing hub in Africa," the statement quoted Abebayehu as saying.

According to the EIC, in addition to creating direct employment opportunities and boosting Ethiopia's foreign exchange reserves through exports, this investment is expected to create significant backward and forward linkages in the country's fast growing textile and garment industry.

In a bid to create better market opportunities for large scale cotton production in the country, the project plans to purchase raw materials such as cotton from local sources, it was noted.

 

- Xinhua News

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