Ethiopian Industrial parks Corporation says efforts are progressing smoothly in realizing the vision to become a leading builder and manager of industrial parks in the continent by 2025.
Corporation Chief Executive Officer Sisay Gemechu told Amharic Daily Addis Zemen that the number of IPs to be operated by the government is expected to reach 20, which are at varying stages of progress currently. He added together with 5 industrial parks owned by the private sector, the country will have 25 parks in the stated period.
He said currently four of the government run industrial parks namely Hawassa, Bole Lemi, Kombolcha and Mekele IP as well as 1 of the privately owned IP have gone operational.
Out of the government operated parks Hawassa IndustrialPark (HIP) has received 18 investors, Bole Lemi 10, Mekelle and Kombolcha 3 each. Those who were launched earlier are already occupied while the recent ones are also progressing smoothly as the investors are installing machines and training staff.
An investor who enters in to an IP has to spend a natural span of time to launch actual operation which on average ranges between 6 month and a year.
The government has created favorable conditions for local investors to join HIP and some are on their way to enter the park. But investors from developed countries take the lead as they possess better experience, finance and technology. Most of the time international companies take the lead at the beginning of manufacturing sector development in developing countries.
The country's industrial development strategy also prioritizes capacity building of local investors. Domestic companies can later embark up production after building capacity on the job by working with foreigners. Employees also can establish their own enterprises through time. The Corporation is implementing the government’s plan which mainly attempts to replicate international best practices. But at the beginning the global experience shows that foreigners are likely to outnumber them.
Industry parks have simplified the process of accessing land, electricity, telephone, loan and other services.
Concerning jobs created Sisay elaborated that HIP has created 12,000 jobs, Bole Lemi 13,000. When the parks start operation in full swing they are likely to increase the jobs opportunities. For example Hawassa IP is expected to create over 60,000 jobs which is likely to climb to 80,000 up on operating in two shifts.
Factories in Bole Lemi have reached 50% of the total job opportunities they are set to create. Industrial parks create jobs in two ways: during their construction and up on going operational. During their construction the parks have created between 1,000 and 5,000 jobs.
Since the country's manufacturing sector is export oriented the corporation prefers to build such state of the art industrial parks as they determine the acceptance of the produces in the target markets like Europe and America. Compared with shades the parks are also safer for employees. They are also intended to serve domestic market.
Since the corporation is a public enterprises it hires the factories in the parks equally for both domestic and foreign investors while the latter are entitled to special benefits from Ethiopian Investment Commission.
He said it is too early to figure out the economic impacts of the parks now as they are just at adventitious level and the change could be clearly visible when the parks start operation in full swing. But the goals set are now found at an encouraging level.
He elaborated the revenue from textile sector currently stands at 150 million USD, but when HIP goes fully operational it is expected to generate over 1 billion birr. He further noted that HIP at this stage has enabled the country join worlds list of textile and apparel producing countries.
BY ZEKARIAS WOLDEMRIAM
The Central Committee of the Tigrai People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has wound up 35-days long deep renewal conference Wednesday.
According to a resolution issued at the conclusion of the conference, the central committee has evaluated its organizational strategy in a way that could address the growing public demand. The Party underlined a number of serious concerns in ensuring development, democratization and bringing about economic and social structural changes at state and federal level. It has reviewed about the fundamental issues of good governance within the federal democratic system. The Party has been undertaking structural transformational process to change the political and economic set up in the nation and taking corrective actions in the leadership and the way forward.
The party has long experience of settling internal and external challenges since the beginning of the armed struggle. Similarly, it has concluded its conference sacking three Executive Committee members through the long ingrained organizational culture of self-criticism. Hence the party has emerged victorious and trustworthy that enjoys active participation and support of the general public for its strategies. Thus, it is clear that the Party has been achieving remarkable success in the fight against oppression, poverty and backwardness, the resolution noted.
TPLF and the people of Tigrai together with the other sisterly parties and the people of Ethiopia have paid sacrifices to establish the new Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The story of Ethiopia's unparalleled development and democracy has begun to be seen in all spheres.
However, recently the Party’s endeavor to speed up the current development and democratization process has faced huge blow as it failed to properly respond to public grievances. Particularly in the past few years, the leadership has been dragging its leg in solving these problems which infuriated the public and led to other cycles of chaos. This was also clearly observed as an obstacle to efforts of ensuring the continuity of Meles’ Legacy.
In the last few weeks, the CC has stressed that the only way to get out of the obstacles is to act in deep, intense, and review the leadership. It carefully examined its trials and restructured itself in a way that would enable it to return to the right path to satisfy the needs of the public.
During the deep renewal conference the CC has admitted that it has failed to respond to the repeated quests of the people.
Furthermore, it has been shown that the leadership lacks unanimity in policies and practices. The principle of leadership has been degraded and officials are obsessed on taking advantage of the service of the people rather than serving. The leadership has become a self-serving ambassador rather than a successor of a successful revolutionary party which is transforming a nation.
The Party is well aware that the youth, academia, women as well as professional associations and organizations, are reluctant to participate in the continued influence of the Party. This also has a great impact on the people's trust towards the Party.
According to the resolution the leadership's allegiance to the public has been eroded that it inclines to be served than to serve the people. The weakness in the leadership has stymied enormous changes and even undoing some success. It is also widely observed that the leadership has been lax in leading and coordinating all development agents. It is well understood that the leadership has and squandered the opportunities to make the public the owner of changes though compromising the contribution of women, youth and scholars in initiating changes.
The central committee evaluated that the weakness in the leadership beside posing challenges in the implementation and progress of GTP and SDGs, has forced the public to lose trust in the party. Though there remains no doubt on the feasibility of our rural and urban development policies and strategies, the failure to bring structural change has forced the public to cast credible doubt on the implementations.
The poor performances witnessed in rural agricultural transformation, urban and small enterprise development and manufacturing sector is also partially attributable to the lack of good leadership.
The CC conducted criticism and self-criticism after thoroughly evaluating the problem and holding itself accountable to it. Though the CC is fully responsible for the problem, the most serious challenges stem form its executive committee. The criticism aims solely at identifying the capacity of the members in implementing the party's strategies and missions rather than taking actions on the individuals. The process was fully transparent and participatory. Finally mutual agreement was reached among the entire leaders on the drawn conclusion.
After the deep criticism, consensus was also reached on wiping out lack of common stance and attitude on the strategies of the party followed by leadership reshuffling.
The CC indicated that TPLF is a product and leader of the Tigray people struggle. Its strength stems from its allegiance to the people. TPLF has lasted for decades by passing through different challenges along the way. And it has been solving them together with the members and the general public. The party clearly understands your patience in spite of the leadership’s weakness in addressing the grievances.
The party would strive to address grievances and regain public trust believing that the leadership should be strong, loyal and committed to make its gatherings participatory and sustain the registered success.
The party's conference would allow the participation of the entire members, youth, women, scholars and the general public and focus on selected public agenda. The party has also urged everyone to stand by the party and remain vibrant in struggling for your benefits.
Recognizing the fact that scholars and developmental investors of the state were not able to play crucial role on the issues of the state and their nation the party has vowed to exert maximum effort in order to address their requests and ensure their participation and benefits at any hierarchy. A system that ensures their role or ownership in every study and research as well as developmental aspects will be put in place, the resolution indicated.
The CC in its resolution also reiterated that youth and women of the state play significant role in the developmental and political progress of the state and pledged to give due attention for their participatory role and benefits, organize forums or platforms where your voices could wisely be heard.
Dear allied parties of EPDF, even though our party has been playing positive roles in the national effort to building good governance, developmental and democratic system, there also has been negative impacts. Leadership weaknesses have been degrading the spirit of alliance that we sustained for more than decades based on principle and struggle. It also faded our successful ideological and practical unity and led our alliance to be shattered in suspicion and disagreements.
Instead of using our full potential in the successful implementation of our neat policies for fair benefit of the people, we have been escape goats for the enemies of the nation’s democratic system. Of course, TPLF, has its own weakness that contributed to such failure.
There is also a new reality that we are losing our strength to tackle enemies from within and outside who are gathered to over throw the Federal system. The capacity of different parties that have been standing for common developmental goals is weakening.
Even though leaders of the member parties of EPDF have to take the accountability for the problems, the assessment of the central committee of TPLF has realized that its leaders played their own significant role for the weakening revolutionary and democratic unity.
However, the party is committed to follow directions that would avoid suspicion and maintain relationship with ally parties based on mutual principles and struggle.
Dear farmers, labour force, and developmental investors of Ethiopia, TPLF and the people of Tigray together with the people throughout the country has been suffering from several regimes and paying a lot to bring justice and equality. Therefore, it will continue its effort in protecting the fruits of the federal democratic system and a prosperous Ethiopia that has achieved its renascence.
The party will work closely with all the peoples throughout the country in order to tackle any internal and external attacks. It is also committed to play crucial role for the peaceful resolution of current issues in different places of the country and to address developmental, democratic and good governance demands of the people. It will keep its constructive roles in development and democracy and craft its directions consulting with the people.
TPLF calls up on you to strengthen your democratic unity and intensify your struggle against enemies who intend to provoke conflicts between nations.
BY HAFTU GEBREGZIABHER, DESTA GEBREHIWOT, HENOK TIBEBU
Ethiopia is one of the countries singled out for tourist destination. When tourists pay visit to the country, aside from feasting their eyes on the scenery and greenery of the country they visit its historic spots. Yet, the absence of a map which clearly shows such places is creating an encumbrance. The fact that the maps do not include newly built service giving institutions, how distant resorts and pensions are and unavailability of the required information are provoking complaints of tourists.
According to tourist guides,who are approached by Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA)Journalists, the maps beg for improvement as they are not explicit about details regarding tourist destinations. Manager of the Balageru Tour Agency, Theshome Ayele said “The Maps are informative. But the ones printed abroad are better than the ones printed here. Also, the ones printed in Addis are relatively better than the ones printed in states. He also said the lengths put in kilometer are not exact and the maps include shut down fuel stations. The thing is seen creating discomfort on tourists who voice complaints. The maps need to be redone in an analogous fashion with the ones that come from abroad. Restaurants, pensions,airports and banks,among others,have to be exactly specified. Eyob Kashaye is administrator of Atse Yohannes Musem in Mekele town. He seconds Teshome regarding the aforementioned issues. He said there are touristic spots not yet included in master plans. Maps must be all inclusive. They need be revised. Under the Ethiopian Tourism Agency, senior expert of digital marketing Henok Birhanu a map is one of the backpacks tourists need. There is a map jointly prepared by The Ethiopian Mapping Agency (EMA)and the Culture and Tourism Ministry. The map has to be inclusive of newly built,service- giving institutions. Tardiness in the preparation of the maps is creating complaints. We go to the touristic spots to gather information and update data. “Apart from information obtained from pertinent bodies, we try to harness mobile applications. We are trying to update the information released using mobile applications. The maps are jointly prepared by Ethiopian Mapping Authority,Culture and Tourism Ministry and local States. States have the autonomy to prepare their own maps,” he said.
He noted the maps are also useful to investors and local tourists. Hence, they have to be regularly updated.
According to Sensing and GIS Director of EMA Meberate Samuel,the maps show the over all picture of the country. As many infrastructural facilities are coming into play, the maps are meant to be revised every half a decade. But as the task requires an exorbitant cost it is hard to fix a regular revising time. Though there is a clicking with states sometimes maps depicting discordant information could be produced.
She noted as much as possible her agency works towards maps, depicting accurate information and added “I think the maps currently in use are satisfactory!”
By A Staff Reporter
Ethiopia and Ethiopians are known not only for making their doors open to anyone who come to them seeking asylum but also for their warm welcoming and generous hospitality. This is not just for the sake of promoting them. This is what their history, since the ancient times, testifies. Moreover, what they are doing in this regard these days are amongst the living testimonies. They are taking lots of new initiatives, right at this moment, to have another exemplary feature beyond what they are identified by pertaining to this.
The people and the government of Ethiopia in collaboration with the United Nations Higher Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) have launched a comprehensive refugee response framework (CRRF) on the 28th of November 2017 here in Hilton Hotel-Addis Ababa-Ethiopia in the presence of representatives of a wide range of stakeholders, including refugees, government line ministries, diplomatic missions, humanitarian and development organizations as well as UN agencies who all voiced support to the initiative and expressed readiness to help Ethiopia and the UNHCR.
As could be known in the launching ceremony, Ethiopia has taken the initiative to effectively pave the way for the implementation of the nine pledges it made at the leaders’ summit on refugees in September 2016 in New York to improve the lives of nearly one million refugees living in Ethiopia largely from Somalia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Yemen, Sudan among other nationals in all aspects.
Having expressed in his opening speech that Ethiopia is one of the 193 UN member states that adopted the New York declaration in September 2016 and pledged to undertake a number of policy measures to transform the lives of refugees, Ato Solomon Tesfaye, state minister at the office of the Prime Minister, said that forced displacement has now reached to a level of unprecedented with over 65 million people who are now uprooted by the rising violence, insecurity and persecution around the world. As to him, by the end of 2016, there were 5.6 million refugees as asylum seekers in the horn of Africa. Ethiopia is the country in the region where exemplary levels of solidarity are demonstrated towards those who are forcibly displaced, he noted. “My country throughout its history has welcomed for those who fled their homes as a result of natural and manmade catastrophes. Ethiopia currently hosts one of the largest numbers of refugees in the world, with close to a million refugee population,” Tesfaye reiterated.
According to him, Ethiopia has actively participated and supported the application of the CRRF and with the consultations and coordination at all levels with the UNHCR and the international community at large, it has come in February 2017 to the decision of becoming one of the first countries to initiate the rollout of the comprehensive refugee response framework.
The policy commitment made at the leaders’ summit, as per the State Minister, is in line with the comprehensive refugee frame work and with the second growth and transformation plan of the government as well as with the United Nation’s development assistance framework. As a result of the policy shift of the Ethiopian government towards refugees in general, the current refugees response management in the country is based on a mix of three policies encampment, out of camp and local integration policies. Having called up on the international community for its renewed firm commitment to maximize its support for the realization of the nine pledges,
“The government of Ethiopia, while maintaining its doors open to refugees, envisages to gradually put an end to the encampment policy in the next ten years and progressively advance the out of camp and local integration options,” he marked.
The government of Ethiopia believes that the very generous commitment of the Ethiopian government can secure the inclusion of refugees in the national development systems in addition to the New York declaration of leave no one behind promise of the agenda 2030. Ethiopia supports the ongoing efforts that are being lead at the international level to improve and transform the lives of refugees through the creation of strong linkage among the three interrelated areas- humanitarian assistance, development interventions and peace building initiatives. Tesfaye noted that the government of Ethiopia and its partners has been doing very amazing works which can even be showcase to the rest of the world in relation to the CRRF rollout. “This includes, but not limited to, finalization of the roadmap, amendment of the refugee legislation, enrollment of education with 70% growth at a primary school, 10,000 hectares of irrigable and cultivated land and ongoing construction of irrigations infrastructure that enables both the refugees and the host communities to start production of crops and benefit on equal bases, continuing the preparatory works for the jobs to be created and local integration, official commencement of civil registration of refugees, establishment of clearly defined government structure of the CRRF together with the stream committee.
Having thanked to the Ethiopian government for launching the comprehensive refugee response frame work, Mr. Daniel Endres, UNHCR’s Director of the CRRF task team in Geneva, on his part expressed that this is a great milestone for UNHCR’s history. Ethiopia has made the important 9 pledges that truly transform its policy with refugees which is really unprecedented matter. These 9 pledges have become symbolic for many other countries and what is important is of course not to just have these pledges but to practically applying them, he notified. “And we have already seen as mentioned today the transformation of the civil registration system in Ethiopia. Refugees are now being registered at birth, divorce and can have a legal status and secondly education has also been granted, so we have the very concrete, tangible out come with in already. Today you will see what enormous steps Ethiopia has undertaken in developing the roadmap in establishing structures in inviting the key players in this to move forward together, so this is really a moment to celebrate an important beginning and we would really like to thank Ethiopia for having done such an important move. Ethiopia has been also recognized at the recent AU symposium for its transformation and it has inspired many other AU member states in following its footprints. So with this, we are really most grateful for this important transformation we will obviously be very committed from UNHCR side to accompany and be part of this process,” he mentioned.
As per Danniel, a year ago, the world came together at the general assembly in the realization that conflicts were ever growing and so were the number of refugees and it was impossible to deal with the refugees in the way which have done so far with mainly humanitarian assistance alone, so it was agreed that the multi sectoral approach should engage many more actors and together find the key objectives for the refugees. The first one that is already mentioned of the four was how can the international community ease the pressure on the host countries, support the host countries better, realizing that 86% of the refugees live in low and middle income countries who barely grant support for refugees. The second objective equally important is- self reliance for refugees, make refugees opportunities rather than burdens, enable them to learn, to work, to participate in the society, and an active contributing member of the society. The third one is mainly resettlement that is the objective the concerned organs are struggling with right now and the fourth and most important objective is to tackle the root causes of displacement such as war, conflict; famine so that refugees can go home in safety and dignity, said Daniel.
Daniel told The Ethiopian Herald that in many situations refugees have no right to work and are consequently confined to camps that of course make them weak and their energies and capacities are not contributing, they stay idle and this is not good for human beings. And in New York the world has recognized that we all together have to change that. “And Ethiopia has taken the leadership role in making that move, so today, in this launch we see Ethiopia is opening up its own doors to refugees into its society and that is of course the most important transformation we have seen in the history of the world since the second world war,” he asserted.
Having expressed her appreciation to the government and people of Ethiopia for being generous and welcoming, Bethelehem Tesfatsion, an Eritrean refugee, stated representing nearly 20,000 refugees in the metropolis that the protection, hospitality and freedom the refugees are enjoying are remarkable. Nothing can be compared with secured and safe life, she accentuated. “Sadly, at this moment, five to ten fellow victims in Libya will be dead, rapped, sold, burned or organ trafficked. it is human tragedy, only heaven knows how many did not survive and went unaccounted for, they are there roaring for their security, independence, safety and basic human right. but in this case Ethiopia has showed its portion in minimizing such incidents and providing peace,” she reiterated. Bethlehem told this reporter that these refugees are living with remittances that they get from outside from their families or someone else in some ways, so it was very hard to live because the living condition over here is quite expensive and the refugees cannot compete to resist the locals to live with their standard. “But, today, the CRRF seems to have a solution in one package and that is really a progress. The launching of the CRRF marks a milestone in changing the notion of just being refugee to active prolific driving forces and we are very grateful and this will leave Ethiopia to be the best place to become a refugee, I am a living testimony to the hospitality of this blessed people,” she said.
Meanwhile, MS. Ahunna Eziakona-Onochie, UN resident coordinator in Ethiopia said on her closing speech that the world is not free until the brothers and sisters confined to refugee camps who were condemned to lives of misery and insecurity become free. As to her, the secretary general of the UN has deepened freedom into three pillars namely; freedom from what which is essentially what it refers to as development, freedom from fear which relates to peace and security and freedom to live in dignity. According to her, all free freedoms have largely eluded many refugees. Freedom of movement is fundamental to the essence of humanity. And it is an issue with regard to protracted refugee situations in countries with limited natural resources; “But today, Ethiopia, with its nine practical pledges has proofed to the world that generosity and hospitality perhaps have little to do with wealth, but more with its heart. I hope the world is watching and listening and I hope that mentions will do the right thing to reward this gesture of extraordinary humanity by accepting their share of the resource birth burden involved in giving refugees a better chance in life,” she noticed. By embracing these comprehensive frameworks, Ethiopia rejects the notion of refugees as a problem, and embracing them as partners, she furthered. She indicated that Ethiopia has been helping refugees to survive, now, it want to help them to thrive, by offering them access to quality education, decent work, peace in their surroundings and in their home country. The CRRF promises all of these and “I really want to thank the people and government of Ethiopia for this extraordinary demonstration of compassionate leadership at a time when a world is experiencing a significant deficit in our shared humanity,” she underscored.
On the other hand, Fitsum Arega, commissioner, Ethiopian investment commission expressed to this reporter that the Ethiopian investment commission is selected as project implementing unit to facilitate the establishment of three industrial parks- in Alage, Mekele and Diredawa. As to him, these three places are selected based on the pre feasibility assessments conducted. The Ethiopian government has also be given recognition to receive in terms of grant and soft loan nearly 600,000,000 (six hundred million) USD to build these industrial parks. He mentioned, “But, the only condition which we, as government, happily accepting it is to employ up to 30% of the refugee communities in these parks. As this is based on a win-win policy of the government, as we receive this sum of money, it will help us to advance our employment for the rest 70% of which will be for local community or Ethiopians.”
As could be understood, Expansion of the out of camp policy 10% of the current total refugee population, increase of enrollment in primary, secondary and tertiary education to all qualified refugees without discrimination and within the available resources, provision of work permits to refugees and to those with permanent residence ID, within the bounds of the domestic law, provision of work permits to refugees in the areas permitted for foreign workers, by giving priority to qualified refugees, making available irrigable land to allow 100,000 people (amongst them refugees and local communities) to engage in crop production, building industrial parks where a percentage of jobs will be committed to refugees, provision of other benefits such as issuance of birth certificates to refugee children born in Ethiopia, possibly of opening bank accounts and obtaining driving licenses, enhance the provision of basic and essential social services and allowing for local integration for those protracted refugees who have lived for 20 years or more in Ethiopia are the elements incorporated in the nine pledges of the Ethiopian government:
BY SHUHSAY ADANE
A recent survey by Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (ECCSA) has revealed that many business community claim their activities are stranded by various problems including land policy, Utilities like electricity, water and telecommunication, good governance and synergy among government offices, credit policy and facilities and availability of skilled labor in different technical and business areas are the challenging problems respectively according to the new findings.
According to the survey a noticeable shift has occurred in priority issues in comparison with the 2014 national business agenda. Whereas tax was the prime agenda then, it is land policy that emerged as a number one issue this time.
President of Ethiopian Chambers of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (ECCSA) Engineer Melaku Ezezaw said on the opening occasion of the second business agenda validation workshop that the survey is an important tool to galvanize the private sector and enable it to play its potential role in employment and wealth creation, inform the government on the areas that need priority action as identified directly by the businesses and to increase the awareness of the business community on public policies that affect them and at the same time allowing them to present their concerns to government officials in a unified voice, the president said.
Access to electricity, in particular was seen as the biggest bottleneck than water and telecommunication and heavily affecting business operation and competitiveness of business community across the country.
The survey indicated that nearly 69% of the respondents are not satisfied with services of the public institutions, about 64% are not happy about how services are being coordinated among various government organizations and the credit policy and facility rated as poor.
The survey shows land policy, regulation and administration as top priority challenge for private business electricity, water and telecommunication, good governance, coordination among various government offices, credit policy and facilities and others respectively are challenging problems government to support private business sector performance.
Land policy, regulation and administration, credit policy and facilities, availability of skilled labor in different technical and business areas, trade policies and regulations and coordination among different government offices are considered as the biggest problem areas for small and medium enterprises. The same issues are also found out to be challenges posed against women entrepreneurs.
Problems of small and medium enterprises and Women entrepreneurs have shown no big difference from the mainstream businesses implying they can be addressed by same set of solution with previous survey of 2014 National Business Agenda.
ECCSA Secretary General Endalkachaw Sime, on his part said that the association has signed various agreements with government representing the private business sector to work together. The declaration works on challenges of private sector agenda to get solution discussing with government on problems of private business sector.
He mentioned that in last two years, the association has exhausted more than ten studied problems and more than one hundred selected national business agenda challenges or problems bench marking the experiences of other countries in solving business difficulties.
The general secretariat indicated that presumptive tax issues resurfaced in recent days however appeared to be a reverse move on the past gains of survey. Tax is reemerging as a burning agenda now because of the new presumptive tax assessments creating agitation and delay in business operation and there is acute shortage of foreign currency hampering importers in particular.
Secretariat added that the research validation document helps the private sector creating conducive business climate.
He emphasized that the research document or survey dictates and directs the communication of government and private sector on private business sector problems for the coming two years. The document indicates that the government approving commonly declared issues on the existing policies to welfare the business sector.
Guta Legesse, from Addis Ababa University argues that currently land is not considered as top business sector problem as many researches indicated. It is better the study to include all sectors and regions and regional variation could bring better result, he said.
Sebelewongel Soressa Botanic Garden owner and participant suggested that the private sector needs to invest on new projects with various resources as an asset to create more job opportunities and to be beneficiary from strange business sectors.
Activity to promote non-traditional exports and exports of services along with noted to attract fresh financing from abroad will be anticipate assisting country's economy development, she noted.
Despite the reverse, it appears that there is hope for prospering of the private sector however, the government has to effectively and sustainably address the important issues of the business community through an invigorated public private dialogue (PPD) platform and give more space for operations of the sector through policy accommodation and creation of level playing field in the supply of land, power, good governance, presumptive tax and for-ex as top most priority items for current National Business Agenda (NBA).
With respect to land existence of a clear and acceptable investment land use plans, accountable and transparent land allocation procedures, strict inspection of investment progress after land acquisition by the investor, affordable and secured lease terms for small and medium scale businesses are identified as the best solutions for current land usage problems.
With respect to utilities the government should exert utmost effort to alleviate the problems especially that of electricity, through improving the working procedures and efficiency of the service provided, concerning good governance establishing decision making procedures that ensure objectivity, accountability, professionalism and independence in the civil service by creating business friendly system in government service provision and automation of services to enable decentralization of service provision at all levels.
Putting anti-corruption agenda on public forums at all levels, conducting of high level inspection on misconduct of rules and regulations with commensurate incentives and penalties and also it needs commitment to addressing the acutely low level of services.
BY TSEGAYE TILAHUN
Exhibition or trade fair serves as entry point to attract investors propping up Ethiopia’s interest of creating more job opportunity and facilitating the agenda of technological transformation in manufacturing sector says Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association (ECCSA).
ECCSA Corporate Communication Director Debebe Abebe says the association utilizes various platforms to promote investment and trade in Ethiopia. Organizing trade fairs and international bazaars especially encouraging the promotion of Ethiopia’s product, supporting the expansion of foreign investment and organizing international trade fair in joint venture or individually are some of plat forms to expand trade and foreign investment.
ECCSA has been preparing Ethio-international trade fair and bazaar for ten consecutive years. Number of participants’ is also increasing year by year, products widely promoted, technological and knowledge transfer acquired, and joint venture between local and foreign investors created, he added.
Bezginawork Woldesellie, Trade Fair and Event Management Directorate Director with ECCSA said that Trade Fairs and Exhibitions are contributing their role in promoting business opportunities in the country.
“Trade fair supports tourism industry like charter flights, conference tourism and other sectors to generate foreign currency. The trade fair, bazaar or event, business to business forum and industrial park tour indirectly generate foreign currency.”
Every year, Chambers of commerce and sectoral associations organize trade fair or bazaars under the theme “Buy Ethiopian”. It promotes nations products and services and displays inputs of products. It also contributes for the industrial sector development by encouraging Ethiopian manufacturers to focus on the manufacturing sector, Bezginawork emphasized.
The director says as an international event we invite 15% of foreign technology sector or manufacturing companies to participate on trade fair to assist the transformation of local technology or manufacturing sector.
She mentioned that Ethiopian companies organize one or two events in their sector to search market for their products and services. Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association (AACCSA) and other chamber members promote trade to promote partnership, but ECCSA mainly promotes industrialization than trade.
According to the director, apart from promoting or organizing trade fair in the nation, festivals like Easter, New Year and other expo produces favorable foreign currency.
Most of the time 20-40 Ethiopian companies engage in three or four events in foreign exhibition or trade fair annually. However, in business forums many Ethiopian companies take part 20-30 events every year, she added.
She indicated that the participation of Ethiopian companies is still very low and needs to grow up especially in the manufacturing sector which is at an infant stage.
Access to information, companies’ vision to expand network, little incentives for forming joint ventures, their ambition and drive are causes for less involvement in bazaars and exhibitions.
“The objective of foreign companies coming to Ethiopia is to deliver and sell their products and services targeting Ethiopia’s population of 100 million people. They need buyers or consumers for their products and services; depending on their interest we also promote Ethiopia's interest.”
She insisted that producing services and products in Ethiopia reduce the cost of extended environment, labor, port, airplane, operating expense, can produce with less cost and the company gets huge buyer by Ethiopian power with exhibition price.
She further added that government allows tax holiday for few years, duty free import, facility supply, foreign currency provision and affordable rate of land lease for investors.
ECCSA is promoting and attracting companies which can create high job opportunities in manufacturing sector in Ethiopia.
“It is a means of attracting the investors. We want investors to participate in manufacturing sector to transform technology and investment to assist the development.”
She mentioned that companies from various country’s are discussing the impact assessment to invest in Ethiopia. For instance 100 companies from Oman are discussing with Ethiopian government to engage in huge investment projects.
Sector industry, tourism conference and facilities must develop in Ethiopia to facilitate investment. Sector industry development is a cash paw for foreign currency it generates currency all over the world, she further added.
Ethiopia with presence of one hundred embassies must avail facilities to carry such opportunities. Ethiopian companies should accomplish country’s primary objective in addition to aiming to get money and they must fulfill international standards and keep regulations to participate at any event.
The director pointed out that there is a need to raise awareness about advantages of promotion, business as usual style of management, limited capacity of organizations to perform in their full capacity.
BY TSEGAYE TILAHUN
In most countries, it is becoming common to hear daily violence, shortage of basic needs, governmental oppression through rent seeking, lack of democracy and inequality before the law. Among the many main reasons, leaders’ lack of emotional intelligence seems balances the rest.
Emotional intelligence, EQ-the emotional intelligence quotient, is an active ingredient in great leadership. Unlike IQ, the intelligence quotient, EQ cannot be summarized in number. IQ is not a guarantee in the effectiveness of leadership as there are some who couldn't communicate, seemed arrogant, or irritate everyone. Such intelligence is not needed for peace, development and democracy.
EQ is the set of verbal and non-verbal abilities that enable a person to generate, recognize, express, understand, and evaluate own and others’ emotions in order to guide thinking and action that successfully cope with leadership demands and pressures.
EQ comprises the ability to monitor, recognize, perceive, reason about, assess, understand and manage one’s own and others emotions to use them to guide actions, solve problems, enhance thought and promote growth. It is also important for comprehending, regulating, sympathizing and integrating emotions into cognitions. This impacts intuition, integrity and motivation of oneself and others. It also includes communication and relationship skills as it impacts the perception and recognition of emotions.
A leader, who has high EQ, recognizes and understands emotions, and uses it to guide one’s thinking and actions. It helps to monitor and use emotions to enhance emotional and intellectual growth. Emotions are communicable. Powerful people can spread theirs to others. So, it's very vital for leaders to manage and control emotions.
Even though a higher IQ manager is important, the one who controls emotions and understands what matters to followers influences and motivates people. He knows what's important and communicates excellently. Emotional stability makes leaders flexible and creative, liked and respected by followers when challenged.
Therefore, leadership effectiveness isn't only about intelligence. Leaders are expected to be knowledgeable. Emotion, the state of feeling that conveys information about relationships, also plays a strong role in the achievements of peace, development and democratic values.
Likewise, appropriate displays and recognition of the emotional displays of others are essential for successful functioning and leadership. Thus, EQ competencies are based on the smooth operation of the dialogue between neurons in the emotional center and the prefrontal cortex. Consequently, leadership with high EQ interweaves intellect and emotions.
Thus, the biological basis for emotional intelligence emphasizes the strength of emotions and the need for intellect to analyze those emotions, particularly in situations where they're not appropriate. This balancing of emotions with intelligence is important for everyone, students, teachers, parents, employees, managers to executives and political leaders. And it's vitally important for all political leaders in a multicultural country because EQ is fundamental to interactions with others.
Similarly, emotionally intelligent leader takes into account how things get done, not just the results. While "The end justifies the means." is a nice quote, it's possible to achieve good results and still produce failures through rude or divisive means which is a major threat to democratic unity, peace and development.
In fact, emotions and social skills are as important to leaders’ success as facts, figures, and processes. It is critical to be cognitively able to handle the complexity of leadership. But after reaching that threshold of "knowledgeable enough," intellect makes little difference. When people have basically equivalent education and technical competencies, it's their EQ competencies that account for success.
Also, strong EQ is good predictor of leadership success. It contributes to success by helping the leader know how to motivate followers and citizens. With EQ, leaders manage emotions to obtain the results needed. They do this by appealing to both reason and emotions, instead of trying to convince someone by facts alone. Regardless of their IQ, training or experience, leaders with high EQ are often top performers.
Additionally, high EQ leaders benefit their nation and generation. They create a motivating, optimistic atmosphere. Mood often sets the tone for the organization, and they are tuned in to people's feelings and can move them in a positive direction. EQ helps them to create positive climate that enhances productivity and adaptability. It helps people feel a mutual level of comfort, sharing ideas, learning from each other, and making collaborative decisions. If leaders don’t pay attention to motives, behaviors, interactions, and other elements of EQ, they could alienate their workforce and decrease motivation.
Moreover, EQ is a good predictor of success. It creates a positive climate that augments productivity and adaptability. Leaders with high levels of EQ are top performers. They enhance motivation and create a positive atmosphere by demonstrating understandings of their employees and citizens. They also create an atmosphere of mutual trust, respect, and cooperation by understanding and responding appropriately and positively to the emotions.
Besides, outstanding leadership requires a combination of self-mastery and social intelligence, which includes perception and skills. Leaders have to accurately read their emotions as it is a basic aspect of EQ and helps guide decision making processes. It underlies all other processing of emotional information. And own emotions include beliefs and core values, preferences, goals, strengths, weaknesses and intuition. They also have to be self-confident that comes from an accurate sense of one’s worth and abilities to be a better decision maker.
Likewise, leaders have to manage themselves to recognize emotions and control to master. Self-management allows them to keep negative feelings and disruptive impulses under control, deal with stress, and channel positive and negative emotions productively. Furthermore, a leader needs to look also at the social perception to recognize the emotions of others and identify with their viewpoints. It includes empathizing and reading the big picture. Awareness of social surroundings can be built through empathizing, which is sensing and taking an interest in other people's emotions and perceptions. It allows him to understand others' core values and points of view while remaining independent. And reading the big picture facilitates an understanding of relationship networks, trends, and the politics of larger groups and organizations. A high-level view allows him to see the reality of things, not just how he would like them to be.
Moreover, leaders have to be socially skilled, which is at the intersection of the social and the skills competency areas. Facilitating is the fundamental competency in this. If they are competent in this, they are able to identify how to meet the needs of others, and to meet those needs. They also influence citizens and inspire or motivate them through their actions and words, and lead through the use of tactics of persuasion.
As well, they develop others to boost their abilities through the use of feedback, mentoring, and guidance. They also cultivate relationships to allow citizens to confront and resolve disruptive or divisive emotions or issues. They genuinely express feelings to build rapport and maintain equitable and respectful relationships. As well, they cooperate skills to allow citizens get people to cooperate in an equitable way. In this way, they can progress toward mutual goals.
In conclusion, EQ is a powerful force. But when manipulated for personal gains, the same force that has helped build a nation can be the one that completely destroys it. Political leadership in many countries is taken over by selfish and corrupt leaders that deviously try to push their own agendas forward. They are aware of the power of EQ and yield it through rhetoric and strategies that produce division instead of unity, and chaos instead of peace.
Also, emotionally unintelligent leaders corrupt the machinery of political institutions, ignite the fires of religious intolerance, motivate violence and connect with equally deceitful allies to increase their strength to bully. Most often these leaders operate from within a nation and use popular media, cultural and religious programs to poison minds and destroy the moral fabric of a nation.
But emotionally intelligent leaders are epithetical, honesty and humble. They accurately understand and expertly manage their own emotions. They are able to effortlessly empathize with and motivate people. These leaders are particularly known for their extraordinary social skills.
At last, to change poverty, dispute and undemocratic system from theatre to literature, political leaders and every human need to be emotionally intelligent like our fore fighters. They pulled all stops to inspire their people to break free from the tightening and agonizingly painful grip. They made extreme sacrifices, undertook radical solutions, and shamelessly wore their hearts on their sleeves-all for peaceful, developed and democratic Ethiopia. Our leaders must interweave intellect and emotions, enhance motivation and create a positive atmosphere, mutual trust, manage themselves, have social perception and socially skilled.
BY DIRRIBA TESHOME
Ethiopia is striving to boost its manufacturing sector by introducing technologically sophisticated industrial parks , and allowing the active participation of expatriates there. The citizens of foreign countries are highly required as our country lacks well trained professionals who can operate the advanced machinery and equipment in the new industrial parks as well as manage the operation as well as the entire successful activities of the industrial development.
It is beyond doubt that up until local investors or their employees successfully take over the country need to welcome as many foreigners as the sector needs who are well versed in them.
Therefore we should also put in place conducive environment which allows them smoothly operate in the country. The need to create conducive atmosphere for foreigners pertains not only those who visit the country in connection with the development of industrial parks, but also the large number of those who are operating a lot of other businesses that are crucial for the rapid development of the country.
In a recent meeting between foreigners , Ethiopian Investment commission and relevant stakeholders, the foreign investors have stipulated the fact that the hustles they face are among the major challenges they face during their activities in the country. The problems that surround the issuance of visa for foreign investors and foreign business community as they expressed include absence of e-visa service and shortage of the duration of visa issued.
The problems that emanate from these shortcoming are that the business community would have to spend a lot of time waiting in lines for issuance of visa, and unnecessary frequent travels to and from there countries of origin for renewal of visa.
While understanding the reasons for strict process of issuance of visa, it is also important to make all the necessary revisions and improvements on the requirements so as to enable the country move on equal pace with the rest of the world as well as the needs of the time.
According to information obtained from the Immigration and nationality affairs office it has made some improvements in its procedure of issuance of visa. The improvements include issuance of e-visa for tourists , which is later extended to participants of conferences. The office says it took the measures after proving the success of the pilot level implementation of the e-visa on the two categories. It has also given indication that the service would be further extended to the remaining 10 categories of visa including business.
Just like tourists and conference participants business travellers and investors also play huge role in the overall socio-economic development of the country. Compared with the significance of the role of tourists and conference participants investors also play even more significant role for the benefit of the country.
Hence, as per its pledge the office and relevant authorities need to work strenuously and take action soon to enable the business travellers and investors whose contribution is highly valued at home.
The Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) and Boortmalt Malting Company have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and land lease recently for the construction of a malting factory in Debre Berhan Industrial Park (DBIP).
According to a Press Release EIC sent to The Ethiopian Herald Boortmalt that aims to build a 60 metric ton, world-class malting plant on 15 hectares of land being the first anchor investment in the DBIP.
Signed at the EIC office by Fitsum Arega, Commissioner of EIC, and Mr. Yvan Schaepman, CEO of Boortmalt, the agreement is a result of the collaborative effort between the EIC, Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), and Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (MoNAR) to arrange and facilitate the granting of land permits for nucleus farms, a malting plant, and satellite silos.
The ATA and EIC collaborated to develop several business cases identifying and encouraging investment in agro-processing, such as this greenfield opportunity in barley malting. Opportunities include contract farming opportunities for crops such as malt barley, which have the potential to impact the livelihoods of 20,000 – 40,000 smallholder farmers nationwide. The commercialization of smallholder farmers is instrumental to Ethiopia’s aim of eradicating poverty and achieving middle income status by 2025.
“This signing marks an important milestone for all parties, and particularly the ATA as our first conversion of a major international investment,” stated Ato Mirafe Gebriel Marcos, Senior Director of Agri-business and Markets at the ATA, “We have worked diligently over the last few years to bring this into fruition, and the result will be the construction of a state-of-the art facility with environmental sustainability at its core.”
In 2016, Boortmalt expressed interest in investing in expanding local malting capacity by signing a preliminary MoU. Its presence in Ethiopia represents a reliable and substantive buyer that can strengthen the barley value chain by creating linkages with farmers, cooperatives and aggregators in key areas. Currently, the national malt barley demand far exceeds supply, with Assela Malt Factory being the primary supplier of malt. With the advent of numerous breweries in recent years, Ethiopia has been fulfilling nearly 50% of breweries’ needs with imported malt.
Boortmalt’s entry into the market means that Ethiopia can satisfy its domestic demand and begin exporting malt barley within five years. The initiative also offers numerous other benefits, such as incentivizing smallholders by creating direct and sustainable market opportunities that link them with agro-processing industries. It will also demonstrate the economic viability of investing in Ethiopia and attracting more foreign direct investment.
BY ZEKARIAS WOLDEMARIAM
Culture and Tourism Office of Axum town has expressed plans to garner tourist revenue from pilgrims to the annual feast of make Saint Mary of Zion.
Office Head Gebremedhin Fitsum told The Ethiopian Herald that the feast of Saint Mary of Zion has huge religious, historical and touristic significance with a huge developmental potential if properly promoted.
‘‘Axum has special place in the history of Ethiopia. It is quite difficult to talk about the history of Ethiopia without mentioning the civilization of the Axumite Kingdom,’’ he said, adding ‘‘Christianity was introduced in the 4th century AD during King Ezana. The St. Mary of Zion Church is believed to have kept the Arc of the Covenant.’’
According to him, more than 450,000 pilgrims attended in the colorful annual feast which was celebrated Thursday and the number of pilgrims has show huge increment compared with the figure of the previous years.
He added that three committees from public, business people and administration were formed to undertake warm reception, to arrange accommodation and to ensure peace and security.
‘‘The preparation was started one month ago. The three committees have done great job. The reception committee had the mandate of welcoming guests and providing necessary hospitality,’’ Gebremedhin hailed, adding that there were youth volunteers who are committed to welcome their guests in an hospitable manner and have erected 15 tents in the streets to serve food and drinks for those who have not relatives in the city.
Gebremedhin admitted that actions would also be taken against those who raise room prices on the advent of the annual feast.
Clergymen perform street show of ritual ceremony to commemorate Saint Yared, a legendary Ethiopian who composed the ritual hymn of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the 5th Century AD, the Head pointed out.
BY TSEGAY HAGOS