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  • UNCERTAINTY ENGULFS DANGOTE’S INVESTMENT IN ETHIOPIA

     

     

    The government of the Oromia Regional State does not have any intention to disrupt the investment activities and operations of Dangote Cement, owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, head of the regional communications affairs office and other cabinet members told The Reporter.

    Top officials of the regional government came out to defend their position following a foreign media report alleging Dangote Cement is considering quitting its plant in Ethiopia “over a mining dispute”.

    “Dangote may quit its cement operations in Ethiopia if authorities in the central state of Oromia don’t reverse an order to cement makers to hand over control of some parts of their businesses to local young people,” the US-based media outlet, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

    Addisu Arega, head of the Oromia Communications Affairs office, told The Reporter that all cement factories in the regional state, including Dangote are operating very smoothly.

    According to him, the regional government have discussed thoroughly with all cement factories including Dangote to handover their pumice and sand mining areas to unemployed youths in the region. As per the discussion, all cement factories have agreed to surrender some of their mining interests to play their part in the job creation efforts in the region.

    Dangote Cement is willing to support the job creation endeavors of the Oromia Regional State, Onne Van Ser Wejide, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dangote Cement, based in Lagos, told Bloomberg in March.

    “The Nigerian company is discussing the proposal with Oromia officials and may be willing to sign contract. As long as that it does not involve higher costs and lower quality and the quantity can still be delivered,” he told the news outlet.

    Two months after, however, the company said it may shut its operations in Ethiopia if authorities in the central state of Oromia do not reverse an order to cement makers to hand over control of some parts of their businesses to local young people.

    This time, Dangote’s Executive Director, Edwin Devakumar, also based in Lagos, told Bloomberg that the company will write to the federal government this week to ask it to intervene and will consider shutting the plant in Mugher, about 90 kilometers (56 miles) north of Addis Ababa as a “last option” if this fails.

    All cement factories in the regional state are operating very smoothly and the regional government is not aware of Dangote’s complaints, Addis reiterated to The Reporter.

    According to him, the regional government is open to discuss with Dangote over any of the complaints.

    Transport Bureau head of the region, Takele Uma, who is also member of the Public Private Partnership Council of the region, on this part, told The Reporter that no communiqué was received from Dangote to be discussed by the regional cabinet, thus far. According to him, the Oromia cabinet is willing to discuss and redress the problems if Dangote comes officially.

    “However, we are not prepared to give special treatment to Dangote especially at the expanse of our unemployed youth,” he told The Reporter.

    In spite of Devakumar’s statement to Bloomberg stating that the company will be writing to the federal government to ask it to intervene,    Negeri Lencho, communication affairs minister of the federal government, denounced the news report and assured the local media that his government has not received any formal communiqué from Dangote, so far.

    Negeri was adamant about the incorrectness of the news report, blatantly claiming “the news is false”. “Dangote will not leave Ethiopia or the region,” he said, adding that what has been said is far from the truth.

    Deep Kamara, manager director of Dangote Cement Ethiopia, declined to comment on the controversy saying that he is “not in a position to make any statement”.

    According to The Reporter’s sources in the regional administration, the latest statement from Dangote might also have something to do with the planned investment of the regional administration on a cement plant of its own, Ambo Cement Factory, which will be sharing resources with the three existing factories in Mugher area.

    Dangote Cement started operation in Ethiopia in June 2015 inaugurating its USD 600 million plant an with annual production capacity of 2.5 million tons.  

    Apart from original cement plant, Dangote has invested in PolyPropylene (PP) bag manufacturer in the same locality. It was also about to commence on the construction of a second cement plant when unrest began to unfold in the Oromia region.

    Upon the request of the government, later on, Dangote has also announced its expansion plan to another investment portfolio: sugar industry.

     

    Source- Reporter

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  • Ethiopia requests extension as it fails to meet Saudi deadline for stuck migrants

     

    The Ethiopian government has requested for an extension of the 90-day amnesty for undocumented migrants to leave Saudi Arabia as the deadline expires on Wednesday.

    Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that out of the over 400,000 citizens in the Gulf country, only 45,000 have returned home.

    The ministry’s spokesperson, Meles Alem told local media that the number that returned is a small percentage of the 110,000 nationals who were helped to secure exit visas.

    He added that the Ministry has requested for an extension from the Saudi authorities as it awaits a positive response.

    Ethiopia has one of the largest undocumented migrants in Saudi Arabia working as construction and domestic workers.

    Local media reports that a number of them have complained of inability to afford tickets to leave the country.

    The government sent envoys to help facilitate the repatriation via the national airline Ethiopian Airlines.

    Saudi Arabia announced in March the 90-day grace period for undocumented migrants to leave the country or face a prison sentence, fines and then deportation after serving the prison sentence.

    This follows a similar campaign launched in 2013 that saw more than 2.5 million undocumented migrants leave the country.

    The move is part of Saudi’s national campaign to rid the country of the huge number of illegal migrants

     

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  • የእፎይታ ጊዜው ቢጠናቀቅም ዜጎችን የመመለስ ጥረቱ ተጠናክሮ ቀጥሏል

    የእፎይታ ጊዜው ቢጠናቀቅም ዜጎችን የመመለስ ጥረቱ ተጠናክሮ ቀጥሏል

     

    አዲስ አበባ ፣ ሰኔ 22 ፣ 2009 (ኤፍ ቢ ሲ) የሳዑዲ ዓረቢያ መንግስት ኢትዮጵያውያንን ጨምሮ ያለስራ እና የመኖሪያ ፍቃድ የሚኖሩ ዜጎችን ከሃገሪቱ እንዲወጡ የሰጠው የእፎይታ ጊዜ ከተጠናቀቀ ሁለት ቀናት አልፎታል።

    የኢትዮጵያ መንግስትም ዜጎችን ወደ ሃገር ቤት የመመለስ ጥረት አጠናክሮ መቀጠሉን የውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስቴር አስታውቋል።

    ከዚህ ባለፈ ግን መንግስት ከሳዑዲ መንግስት ጋር በዲፕሎማሲው መስመር ግንኙነቱን በማጠናከር፥ የምህረት አዋጅ ጊዜው እንዲራዘም በድጋሚ ጠይቋል።

    በዚህ ሂደት ምናልባትም የሳዑዲ መንግስት ከዚህ በኋላ ዜጎችን በሃይል የሚያስወጣ ከሆነም፥ የኢትዮጵያ መንግስት ዜጎችን ለመቀበል ዝግጅት ማድረጉንም ሚኒስቴሩ ገልጿል።

    በእስካሁኑ ሂደት 111 ሺህ የሚሆኑ ወገኖች ወደ ሃገራቸው ለመመለስ የጉዞ ሰነድ ቢወስዱም የተመለሱት ግን 45 ሺህ ያህል ብቻ ናቸው።

    በትናንትናው እለት 500 ወገኖች የተመለሱ ሲሆን፥ በዛሬው እለትም 630 ተጨማሪ ዜጎች ወደ ሃገራቸው ይገባሉ ተብሎ ይጠበቃል።

    አብዛኛው ዜጎች በመጨረሻ ሰዓት ላይ ለመመለስ በመወሰናቸው በትራንስፖርት ላይ እጥረት በመፈጠሩና የአውሮፕላን ጣቢያዎች መጨናነቅ፥ ዜጎችን ወደ ሃገራቸው ለመመለስ በሚደረገው ጥረት ላይ አሉታዊ ተፅዕኖ ፈጥሯል።

    በረመዳን በዓል ምክንያት በሳዑዲ የእረፍት ጊዜ ለአንድ ሳምንት መራዘሙ፣ የኢሚግሬሽን አገልግሎት በተሟላ ሁኔታ አለመሰጠቱ እንዲሁም በሳዑዲ የመውጫ ቪዛ አገልግሎት ቁጥር አነስተኛ መሆንም፥ ዜጎችን በመመለስ ሂደቱ ላይ እክል ፈጥሯል።

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  • A student gives birth while in the exam

    Worknesh Bekele, a 10th grader at the High School in the compound of Metehara Sugar Factory, had given a birth after she completed Chemistry and Physics national exams, locally called “Matrik” in the morning schedule last week.

    Deputy Commander Aschalew Alemu, Public Relations Head of the Eastern Oromia Zone Police was quoted by ENA as saying, “the student gave birth to a baby daughter at Merti Hospital in the afternoon”.

    Worknesh can be described as “strong” and “amazing” as she completed a Biology exam after giving a birth.

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  • Do you know that?

    Ethiopian Timnit Gebru, a PhD student at the Stanford University, has praised for her role in advancing the research on artificial intelligence.

     

    As a teenager, Timnit Gebru left Ethiopia for the United States. She thrived in her new country, where she enrolled at Stanford University for a bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD in Electrical Engineering, landed a prestigious engineering job at Apple, and co-founded a startup.

     

    Studying computer vision under Dr. Fei-Fei Li, Gebru authored several notable papers in her research area of mining large scale datasets for sociological insights. Her recent work using machine learning methods to extrapolate census data from Google Street View images was lauded by The Economist.

     

    Gebru actively works to boost diversity and inclusion in the field of AI. After noticing she was the only black woman at a major AI conference, she co-founded the social community Black In AI to drive connection and participation in AI research.

    Gebru also returned to Ethiopia to co-teach AddisCoder, a programming bootcamp, to a diverse range of young students and help them win admission to Ivy League universities.

     

    Since AI affects all aspects of society, even being used to manipulate elections and identify criminals, Gebru cautions that “AI researchers should not be silent regarding the repercussions of their work.” Only when technology creators tend to inclusion will the exponential benefits of artificial intelligence positively impact all.

     

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  • Have you ever heard of Ethio-American vocalist Kenna Zemedkun?

    Kenna Zemedkun, known professionally as simply Kenna, is an Ethiopian-born American musician. His track "Say Goodbye To Love" was nominated for Best Urban/Alternative Performance in the 2009 Grammy Awards.

     

    Kenna is the eldest son of an Ethiopian family that immigrated to Cincinnati, Ohio. He was later raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia, attending school with friends and eventual career-long collaborators Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams. 

     

    Kenna began to express an interest in music upon receiving a copy of U2's The Joshua Tree. That album inspired Kenna to teach himself piano while studying singers like Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, as well as groups like The Cure and Duran Duran.


    Breaking into the music scene at such a young age and at an interesting time in pop history, Kenna met some of music’s biggest names including Whitney Houston, Babyface, Blackstreet, Teddy Riley and Michael Jackson. He went on to create his own sound that has yet to be categorized and filed under any mainstream genre.


    Career


    New Sacred Cow


    With the release of his first single in 2001, "Hell Bent", Kenna gained moderate popularity and an underground following of fans who eagerly awaited the release of his debut album, New Sacred Cow. After many delays and swapping of record labels, the album was finally released under the Sony imprint Flawless in 2003. A subsequent North American tour was launched in the Summer of 2003 with Depeche Mode front man Dave Gahan.


    The album, which was co-produced by Chad Hugo of The Neptunes, contained elements of electronica, synth pop, post rock, and house music. Two singles, "Sunday After You" and "Freetime" followed the release of the album; the music video of the latter, along with "Hell Bent", appeared sporadically on MTV2. "Freetime" reached #19 on the U.S. Dance charts.


    In Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink, which is about the way people judge and make decisions in their lives, a portion of one chapter focuses on the stops and starts and difficulties that Kenna experienced in getting his music accepted by the general public, despite the tremendous reception and enthusiasm that music executives, other musicians and a small, loyal fan base had when they heard his music.

     

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  • Donkey abattoir still in business despite ban

    Despite a ban from the Bishoftu City Administration, Shandong Dong, the first donkey slaughterhouse in Ethiopia, is carrying on with the business until the stock of donkeys it has already purchased have been slaughtered. Their stock should be complete sometime in the next week.

    In a letter issued on April 16, 2017, the administration banned the Chinese company from carrying on with its operations, saying that it was offensive to the people who are living around the plant. The ban comes three weeks after public outrage exploded on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

    “We cannot compromise when the community is demanding its closure,” said Dereje Jira, head of Bishoftu City Administration Mayor’s Office. “One of the important points in our deep reform is avoiding negligence of the people’s demands.”

    The shutdown, however, is not stopping Shandong Dong or donkey wholesalers, whose businesses have also suffered.

    We cannot cease immediately,” said Lio Zhaohua, country director of Shandong. “We are supposed to complete at least what we have in stock.”
    “This is a joke,” said Lio. “Any investment should get notice before a shutdown.

    Shandong first come to Ethiopia five years ago secured a license from the Ethiopian Investment Commission. Its original plan was to buy donkey skins from Ethiopian market.

    The Commission, however, suggested the company open its slaughterhouse instead, saying that they would not find anyone suppliers for donkey skin. With an initial capital of 62.6 million Birr, Shandong started to build a donkey abattoir.

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  • Tewodros apologizes for comments on Teddy Afro

    We could say that there was no one like Journalist Tewodros Tsegaye, who have been a source of infinite critics, even insults on the social media after he forwarded an opinion about Teddy Afro’s new “Ethiopia” single and its album poster, which posted on social media.

    Facebookers were seriously condemned following the comments of the journalist and posted that: “comments on Teddy Afro album forwarded on Tewodros show were not totally expert wise views, it lacks professionalism”.

    Tewodros hosted varieties of critics and insults from facebookers and pages. He formally replied to a bulky of comments. “We are in favor of promoting and protecting the good images of Ethiopia”. “Therefore, we have forwarded our opinion towards the singer in that sense, not in any other negative implications,” he added.

    The “Reyot Show” Producer and Presenter, Tewodros also stressed on the “importance of having a multitude of ideas and opinions and the supremacy of logical ideas”.
    He opined: “We were trying to present a positive and constructive critics to create musicians and other personalities with a better cabability in our country”.

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  • Bahrain agency offers “Ethiopian maid” as a prize

    A recruitment agency in Bahrain sparked outrage by offering an “Ethiopian maid” as a prize.

    The Bahraini recruitment agency ran the advertisement on the social networking site, Instagram, according to reports on multiple Arabic news outlets. An “Ethiopian maid” is the prize for the winner of the contest to be held in the Ramadan, the fasting season of Muslims, said the advertisement.

    The announcement provoked condemnation among some Bahraini Twitter users, according to Bahraini media reports. 

    Source: HornAffairs.com 

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  • Ethiopian housekeeper in 'murder escape' debunks 'fake' suicide story

    An Ethiopian housekeeper who was filmed begging for help as she hung from the seventh floor of an apartment complex while her Kuwaiti employer stood-by and filmed her, has spoken out about her ordeal and debunked media claims that she had tried to kill herself.

    The domestic worker spoke to Ethiopian media for the first time since a video went viral showing her cling to a window ledge before losing her grip and dropping seven floors, escaping without major injury.

    "I am fine, thank God, I am fine," she said in a video as she lay in a hospital bed after the fall, suffering from a broken arm and bleeding from her ear and nose.

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  • Donkey slaughter house opens in Bishoftu

    Ethiopia is to export donkey's meat, following the start of operations at a slaughterhouse in Bishoftu (Debrezeit) town, 48Km east of Addis Abeba. Shandong Dong, a donkey slaughterhouse, has just opened after 80 million Birr, according to media reports.

    The company will export the meat to Vietnam and the skins of the donkeys to China, which will be used to manufacture medicines.
    The factory was torched down by protesters in Bishoftu/Debre Zeit town a few months ago.

    Another donkey abattoir is being constructed by Chinese investors in Assela, Arsi, Oromo region of Ethiopia, the newspaper added.
    China has turned its face to Africa for its donkey demand, which is attributed to the increased demand of donkey’s in China, especially for its skin, according to media reports.

    In Niger, some 80,000 donkeys have been exported to China in 2016, compared with 27,000 in 2015. In Burkina Faso, donkey traders sold 18,000 animals to international buyers in the first quarter of 2016, up from just 1,000 for the same period last year.

    In Kenya, a donkey abattoir opened in April last year in Naivasha to cater for the burgeoning Chinese market.

    But this thriving export market is not without considerable drawbacks for local people. In Niger, the price of donkeys has risen from 34 to 147 USD, a huge rise for farmers and merchants who need to buy donkeys to maintain their livelihoods. Officials are also worried that the demand for exports will decimate local donkey populations. In response, the government has banned donkey exports.

    Burkina Faso implemented similar regulations last year. In Ouagadougou, the situation was reportedly discussed twice in cabinet meetings before ban on donkey’s meat was announced.

    In South Africa, meanwhile, the surge in demand has led to a rise in cruelty towards, and theft of, donkeys. In a statement released this month the National Council of Societies for the Protection of Animals (NSPCA) said it was “horrified to confirm that donkeys are the latest victims of the trade in animal parts ‘for medicinal purposes’ to the far east. Donkeys are being rounded up, stolen, then transported and brutally slaughtered for their skins.”

     

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  • Ethiopia extends State of Emergency

    Ethiopian House of Peoples' Representatives has extended Ethiopia's state of emergency for additional four months.

    The House has made the decision to bring about lasting peace in the country.

    Ethiopia has declared the six months state of emergency last October following the unrest that happend in some parts of the country.

    (EBC; March 30, 2017)

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  • Death toll reaches 65 in Ethiopia landfill collapse

    The death toll has reached 65 from the collapse of a mountain of trash at a massive garbage dump on the outskirts of Ethiopia's capital, according to media reports.

     

    It was not clear what caused Saturday night's collapse, though residents have said the dumping of trash had resumed there in recent months after protests at a newer landfill site.

     

    Weeping mourners clutching photos of the dead lined the narrow roads around the Koshe landfill as police tried to block people from entering, while rescue and recovery work continued. Most of the dead are women and children.

     

    The landfill has been a dumping ground for the capital's garbage for more than 50 years. Smaller collapses have occurred at Koshe — or "dirty" in the local Amharic language — in the past two years but only two or three people were killed, residents said.

     

    Addis Ababa's mayor has vowed to relocate those living at the landfill, which officials say receives close to 300,000 tons of waste collected each year from the capital.

     Source: https://www.diretube.com/articles/death-toll-reaches-62-in-ethiopia-landfill-collapse_14594.html

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  • Landslide at Addis Ababa’s major rubbish dump leaves 46 dead; Premier extends condolences

    Morethan 46 people have reportedly been found dead after a catastrophic landslide at a vast rubbish dump located in the South -West outskirts of Addis Ababa, authorities said on Sunday.

    Diriba Kuma, mayor of the Addis Ababa city, told journalists that about 46 people found dead and several people who had been rescued are receiving medical treatment.

    Many people at the site had been scavenging items to make a living while others live at the landfill because of cheap rental houses mostly built of mud.

    A number of makeshift homes surrounding the landfill are said to have been completely buried by waste.

    PM Hailemariam Desalegn extended his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives by the catastrophic landslide.

    In his condolence message, aired on the state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), the premier expressed his government’s commitment to help the families of victims at a deadly incident.

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  • New Teddy Afro’s single videoing in Debremarkos

    A video clip for “Seblewengel”, one of the songs on Teddy Afro’s new album, is videoing in Debremarkos Gojjam. Teddy Afro will not however be a video shot on the clip, according to reports.

    Seblewengel song has written based on Haddis Alemayehu’s character of “Fikir Eskemekabir” or “Love Until Death” long novel, according to one of the music composers.

    Meanwhile, according to media reports, the upcoming album also consists melodies about Ertale (volcano area in the Afar region) and Baro River of Gambella. Teddy Afro’s “Ethiopia” album debut will have 12 songs.

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  • U.S Embassy in Addis Ababa issued a statement about some of the news that were circulating in social media

    We have seen questions on Facebook about a quota system for Ethiopian visa applicants.

    Last week, the President of the United States initiated a review of national security procedures which applies to visitors and potential immigrants from seven countries. Ethiopia is not among those seven countries and Ethiopian citizens are not addressed nor affected by the President’s executive order.

    The U.S. Government remains committed to facilitating legitimate travel for international visitors. In fact, in 2016, the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa issued more than 18,000 non-immigrant visas, with the majority to Ethiopian applicants.

    For more information on the recent Executive Order or on the application process for U.S. visas: 

    No automatic alt text available.

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