Agriculture is the mainstay of our economy as 80 per cent of the population earns its living directly from it. It supplies food to local market and also serve as a means of hard currency earning. However, as a rain-fed one, it is highly vulnerable to extreme weather conditions such as drought and flood. Moreover, the prevalence of pests and herbs highly compromise the amount of yield. For many decades in order to improve productivity researches have been made in conventional methods and improved seeds which can resist drought, pests and herbs have been hybridized and rising productivity was achieved. Nevertheless, the current global warming and climate change and the dwindling of water sources further aggravates the challenges of agriculture. In addition, in such situation, feeding the ever growing population has made the matter worse. Hence to mitigate the problem uninterrupted scientific researches are essential. By now many countries have resorted to the application of biotechnology and could achieve tremendous result in improving agriculture productivity.
Dr. Getachew Belay is working as a biotechnology adviser in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa COMESA. As to him, biotechnology can serve as a positive catalyst of productivity in various sectors such as agriculture, industry, medicine and pharmaceutical. It also helps in protecting the environment. The biotechnology products have been supplied in the world market since 1996 GC and their acceptance is growing all over the world from time to time. As mentioned above, in order to overcome the rising of food price and to feed the growing population, countries resorted to plant transgenic seeds and could withstood the problems with regard to food deficit. The major crops that have been growing in the transgenic form are cotton, maize, cassava and soya bean. Currently all over the world transgenic crops are growing on 188 million hectare of land and 15 million people are engaged in such practice. The world most populous countries such as China and India are known to grow transgenic plants. This way they have succeeded in achieving food security and in meeting their agro-industry demand such as cotton. By now both countries have become the major cotton exporters in the world. According to Getachew, in Africa countries such as Burkina Faso, Egypt and Sudan are known for producing BT cotton (Bacillus thuringiensis).They have enhanced their cotton production and in addition to meeting their local demands, they have become the net exporter of cotton. Before they resorted to the BT cotton production. These countries used to pursue a conventional farming method. But their productivity was insufficient because the traditional cotton seed was eaten by African ball-worm. Protecting the crop from the pest through the spread of insecticide was not fruitful. Rather the insecticide was harmful to the environment. Now BT cotton has become the best option in enhancing cotton productivity. By its nature, BT cotton has the capacity to eat the African ball-worm so that there is no need to spread pesticide on BT cotton. Asked weather the utilization of transgenic plants on agriculture has its own demerit on the environment Getachew said that, there is biosafety laws that countries are required to abide by and most countries including Ethiopia are signatories to the protocol. So far, the utilization of transgenic plants did not brought (bring) any repercussion on the environment and on the biodiversity at large. As to Getachew, had it been harmful to the environment India and China would never have practised transgenic plants.
According to Dr. Endale Gebre, the Director of the the biotechnology department in the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute, improving agricultural productivity in Ethiopia is a long time effort and to do the task, decades back, agricultural research institutions were established. Currently more than 15 institutions are engaged in biotechnology research and some outputs of the researches have been disseminated to pertinent bodies. In addition to these, research institutions in many universities have opened biotechnology departments and thousands of students graduate annually from these universities. Currently, the Debrezeit, Jimma and Melkasa agricultural research institutions are engaged in plant and animal research. They supply their hybridized outputs to farmers and contribute for the enhancement of productivity. Among others, the institutions mainly engage in tissue culture, molecular and microbial biotechnology researches. In its GTP II road map the government eyes at the expansion of textile industries, which need more cotton production. Currently, the nation could not satisfy its cotton demand from local market. Hence, it spends a significant amount of hard currency for cotton importation from abroad. Thus, unless the importation of cotton is substituted the outflow of hard currency further affects the currency reserve of the nation. Therefore, producing better cotton which can be used as an input for the textile industries should be taken as option. Similar to the other countries, the traditional cotton, which is growing here, is highly vulnerable to African ball worm and the yield is insignificant to meet the demand. Taking the problem into consideration, the government is embracing the experimentation of BT cotton in seven agro-ecological zones. The owner of the project is the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute (EARI). Ato Belete Geda is a lawyer at the Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change. As to him, in order to tap the fruit of the biotechnology, Ethiopia relaxed the previous biosafety law in 2015 and after that interested groups have signed agreement with the ministry to import gene and to make research on plant genes. And currently, based on the agreement to improve the cotton production, the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute is experimenting BT cotton for the last one year. The result will be publicized soon.
According to Belete, other research institutions have also made agreement with the Ministry to conduct research with false banana by applying transgenic method. And in any process the biosafety law of the nation is never compromised. Through the new technology some of the sector's basic problems will be resolved.
BY ABEBE WOLDE GIORGIS
The 8th National Farmers and Agro-pastoralists’ Festival was celebrated colourfully from March 10 to 12, 2017 at the Adama town with the theme: “Accelerating industrial transformation through mechanized agriculture.” In connection with the festival the town was busy for three days because it had hosted different guests who came from all corners of Ethiopia in order to celebrate the much-awaited Festival.
No doubt recognizing and awarding people would motivate them. In cognizance of this fact, the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, every two years, organizes recognition and award giving festivals for successful farmers and other stakeholders . It is believed that exploiting the favourable opportunity of the event fellow farmers and stakeholders would scale up wonderful experiences from the awarded and standard-bearer farmers.
The main objective of such festivals resides in fuelling the passion of all farmers showcasing model farmers that improved their standard of living through enhancing production and productivity. It as well eyes at tapping the backs of stakeholders who play a significant role in taking technologies towards farmers.
In a welcoming speech he made opening the festival, Dr. Eyasu Abrha, Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, noted that the awarded farmers have got recognition, for wining poverty and translating new technologies into practice on their farm plots utilizing agricultural experts advice.
Directly or indirectly, millions of farmers will be motivated to involve in the task of accelerating mechanized agriculture following the footsteps of out shined farmers, as to him.
According to Dr. Eyasu, the registered 8 per cent economic growth of the nation is ascribable to the agricultural sector and he urged stakeholders to bump up industrial inputs there by enhance industrial products and productivity.
Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, who graced the festival with his presence, after giving recognition and award for farmers and others, underlined that the agricultural sector takes the lion's share serving the nation as an engine of economy.
The Premier added that the commercialization cluster has a significant contribution for the registered growth and agriculture should be transformed from traditional farming to mechanized agriculture in order to join the industry zone.
The lower capital boundary by model farmers to get recognition and award was 2.5 million birr. The awards included tractors, water pumps, motor cycles, harvesting machines and other machinery or mechanized gadgets. Not only farmers but successful stakeholders and institutions were also awarded (laptop computers, tablets, flat screen televisions…) .
Generally, 291 farmers, 50 Das, 20 agricultural experts, 11 saving institutions, 11 agricultural research institutions, 17 agricultural researchers, 16 social work associations, 16 woreda administration offices, 16 woreda agriculture and natural resources offices, 25 model kebeles, 15 model farmers training centres/FTC/, 25 model developmental groups 25 model 1 to 5 networks totally, 562 individuals were acknowledged in the festival getting recognition and award.
Out of the 291 awarded farmers 64 were females. There is one female farmer from every nine farmers who made it to the top rows in each main states who got award. This glaring achievement shows the high involvement of female farmers in realizing nation’s agricultural development.
Panel discussions, exhibitions, tours and other events were conducted during the 8th National Farmers and Agro-pastoralists’ Festival. Eastern industry zone, Bishoftu Automotive Industry and vegetable farms in Oromia State of Lome Woreda at Koka
BY BAHIRU SETEGNE
Kofi Annan who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations is Chair of the Africa Progress Panel.
In Côte d’Ivoire, children carry backpacks to school with built-in solar panels. When they get home, they plug the panels into lamps so they can do their homework.
On the other side of the continent, rural households pay as little as 50 cents a day for solar electricity systems that power three lights, five phone-charging connections and a radio.
Across Africa, these and many other ingenious solutions are helping to meet the continent’s huge energy needs much faster than conventional means.
That speed is critical. Africa’s energy needs are not only huge, they are also urgent. Day after day, the continent’s lack of modern energy is holding back economic growth, job creation, sustainable agriculture, health and education.
The challenge for governments, their development partners and the private sector is how to electrify millions of African households, remote communities and small-scale entrepreneurs as quickly as possible. To meet that challenge, countries need to consider every available option, including off-grid household systems and mini-grids as well as the national grid.
It’s a huge task. But we know it can be done – because it’s happening already, as we show in Lights, Power, Action: Electrifying Africa, a new report released this month by the Africa Progress Panel, which I chair.
Many countries have set ambitious targets for increasing energy access or for advancing other elements of the energy transition. Governments are amending electricity laws and improving regulatory frameworks, clearing a path for investors. Independent power producers are increasing the involvement of the private sector and showing how to scale up renewable power generation capacity.
On-grid solutions will always form the base of energy supply in Africa. But African countries grappling with limited financial resources, weak energy planning and rapid economic growth each need to choose the mix of energy technologies that will increase access fastest while offering the best value for money.
New technologies and systems offer promising ways to close Africa’s energy gap more quickly than would be possible by relying on grid connections alone. Off-grid solar power and mini-grids have vast potential to advance access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Off-grid solar products can act as rungs on an “energy ladder”, providing a range of energy services to households and enterprises with different energy needs and incomes. Families can take advantage of innovative pay-as-you-go schemes, often using mobile phones, to move from solar lighting to small systems that power several household appliances.
Community services such as schools and health clinics can also be powered using off-grid solar energy, which can also improve the productivity of farms and small companies. Technological innovation means that mini-grids can also offer sustainable permanent alternatives to connecting to the grid, especially as reliable and affordable products come on-stream that are attractive to small and medium-sized enterprises operating far from the national grid.
Off-grid and mini-grid power has a crucial role to play in meeting the three great energy challenges that African governments face: providing all their citizens with access to secure and affordable energy; building the energy infrastructure needed to drive inclusive growth and create jobs; and limiting carbon emissions.
To make that happen, African governments need to support the development of an enabling environment through which companies can enter energy generation, transmission and distribution markets, climb the value chain, and build the investment partnerships that can drive growth and create jobs.
To tap the potential of new energy technologies, African governments need all the support they can get. Bilateral and multilateral donors have pledged billions of dollars to Africa’s energy transition, but little of that money is moving yet. Donors need to realize that Africa’s energy imperative is urgent.
As well as opening up the continent to the radical possibilities of off-grid and mini-grid technology, African governments have a vital task to undertake, one that goes to the heart of the continent’s energy problems: fixing national energy grids that are unreliable and financially fragile.
Many energy utilities suffer from mismanagement and inefficiency. A lack of accountability and transparency nurtures corruption. These are serious and persistent problems, yet they are solvable, as many countries are demonstrating. Governments are showing leadership. But they need support to put in place the integrated plans and policies that can scale up Africa’s energy transition.
On-grid and off-grid, we have the technologies that Africa needs to bring energy to everyone. Let’s get to work.
BY KOFI ANNAN
The country’s economic landscape has taken shape and is now among the fastest-growing in the world and has registered a double digit growth for the last ten years. The political and social stability, rapid economic growth, favourable climate and fertile soils, abundant labour force, competitive incentive packages and access to wide market are some of the reasons that are contributing to growth of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
The experience of other countries have witnessed that the contribution of FDI towards job creation is vital. Recipients of FDI often gain employee training in the course of operating the new businesses, contributing to human capital development in the host country. What is more, it allows the transfer of technology—particularly in the form of new varieties of capital inputs—that cannot be achieved through financial investments or trade in goods and services. FDI has also a great role to promote competition in the domestic input market.
It is evident that the world's media agreed up on the fact that Ethiopia is becoming one of the leading economies in the world. In a country like Ethiopia that aspires to achieve economic development the role FDI is beyond question. This is specially true to realize the vision of achieving middle income countries. The country is rapidly becoming one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies and is now drawing the attention of international investors.
Using the available man power and conducive investment policies, several investors are investing their money and knowledge in Ethiopia. Due to this reason, the FDI is increasing. Within the past years, Ethiopia has risen from the lowest place on the list of African foreign direct investment recipients to the highest position and the number of projects in the country have increased dramatically.
The key priority areas for investment in Ethiopia are agro-processing industry, textile and apparel industries, sugar and related industries, chemical industry, pharmaceuticals industry and metal and engineering industries. The establishment of industrial parks that focus on the production of textiles, leather, garments, pharmaceuticals, agro-processing and equipment manufacturing plays considerable role in supporting the endeavor.
Ethiopia has given special attention to investment. This special attention to the sector has enabled foreign investors to look into the country. This is witnessed within the ten past years in which the FDI of the country has increased dramatically.
Several opportunities that were created for investors became the stimulants for international investors to spend their money, skills and knowledge in the country. The installation of railway, road infrastructure, telecommunication service, electricity power, industrial park development projects and others are some of the factors that speed up investment.
According to Ethiopian Investment Commission, in the first Growth Transformation Plan (GTP-I) the country has generated 1.2 billion USD from FDI. This figure has increased at the end of the five year and has increased into 2.2 billion USD.
What is more, in the first year of GTP II the figure has increased into three billion USD. For the last budget year, this figure has also shown a positive increase. Despite all the internal challenges such as drought, security issues and decrease in export, the figure has showed an increase. This is a good witness that the country is really a suitable destination for investment.
Despite the attempts of anti-peace elements to jeopardize the economic progress of the country, the investment growth is at a remarkable pace. This is mainly resulted from the government's commitment to address the public issues immediately. Sources are still indicating that the investment flow into the country are still growing. This is a good indication that the nation is built upon a solid democratic and peaceful foundation that encourages and protects the interests of investors.
Because of the State of Emergency and other measures the government is able to prevent any more anti-developmental activities. This has supported and sustained the investment flow into the country.
The government is providing incentives that encourage investors. And this incentives are attracting investors from every corner of the world. Our recent experience has witnessed that the investment sector is one of the most important engine for country's economic development. It is crystal clear that the role of the investment sector to further boost the economic growth of the country is beyond measure. The sector has a multifaceted benefit to the growing economy of the nation.
Despite the recent unrest in the country, the nation has managed to attract FDI with a combined capital of 1.2 billion USD during the first half year of the current fiscal year, with a slight reduction compared to the same period in the previous year.
In a country like Ethiopia that aspires to advance its economy through agriculture, the investment sector can be considered as an insurance. In this regard, using the already registered achievements as input, the government is expected to further encourage investors. In this regard, the roles of the diaspora and the media are vital in promoting nation's untapped potential in the area.
BY LEULSEGED WORKU
The implementation of the Small and Micro Enterprises (MSEs) strategy has helped the initiation and development of thousands of small businesses by young and enthusiastic entrepreneurs. Among those ambitious entrepreneurs, Aster and Frehiwot, both college graduates, may best characterize young entrepreneurs across the country, who are striving to create jobs and alleviate poverty. They had gone through bumpy and mazy roads to pursue their own businesses rather than searching for jobs. Though their engagement in handicrafts making and artisanship needs great skill and talent, the occupations are considered as drudgery with least payment by the society.
Both established embroidery and costume production enterprise using semi-traditional weaving machine around Shiromeda in Gulele Sub-city of Addis Ababa. They started operation two years ago, by contributing 10,000 birr each to make up 20 per cent of the 100,000 birr loan they secured from a local credit and saving institution. After many ups and downs to secure loan and shades to start their business, they managed to put their enterprise into operation a few months ago, with outdated weaving machines and supply of hand-woven thread.
Then after, their enterprise has been reorganized by incorporating eight other youngsters to venture into their weaving and costume production business. Contributing 10,000 birr individually to start their business, the group managed to secure over 300,000 birr credit from same credit institution. Their enterprise is looking for new market opportunities and is assessing possible ways that could help them to turn out profitability.
They said their products have started to attract many foreign and local consumers and face no marketing problem. However, they said they are faced up with supply crunch as their machines are outdated. The prospect of their enterprise is promising, according to them, so far as they keep producing quality material.
The government has been committed to expanding small and medium enterprises. It has been continuously encouraging individuals for self-employment and development through private ownership, particularly through participation of the youth. Even though some skeptics are mistakenly criticizing the government and its heavy-handed role in the economy, it has been playing pivotal role in executing mega projects, including GERD and the establishment of industrial parks, which can employ thousands of unemployed citizens. Above all, the government encourages the youth to establish their own enterprise and participate in poverty alleviation and development endeavours.
The government is discharging its responsibility to shake up development through the participation of citizens. It has chosen to take the initiative and fill the gaps of development activities which have not been covered by private investors. Likewise, the government is proud of and takes full responsibility for the emergence of several industrial parks and various job opportunities.
MSEs are among the poverty alleviation strategies fully initiated and incubated by the government’s own policies and strategies. The MSEs strategy is geared towards enhancing awareness of people about self-employment and running small businesses, job creation, increasing incomes and contributing to the poverty alleviation and overall economic transformation of the country.
The promotion of micro and small enterprises has been a centrepiece of the Ethiopian government’s strategy to alleviate urban unemployment among the youth since 2004. Since then, the government has adopted twin strategies of creating a business environment conducive to start and operate MSEs while at the same time actively triggering the establishment of new MSEs.
The strategy ushered in an era of booming small enterprises in Ethiopia, targeted to lift millions out of abominable poverty and improving incomes at household level, particularly changing the lives of poor citizens and generating supplementary incomes to them. To this end, thousands of enterprises have been organized in rural and urban areas.
The strategy requires participant individuals to organize themselves at least in fives (for the sake of convenience to give loans, training and technical assistance) and form enterprises in job-creating of sectors of their choice. It enables to access loans from credit facilities at local micro-finance institutions, without rigid collateral requirement. In this regard, the government has gone a long way to provide shades, offer basic technical and managerial skill trainings and create market linkages with its vast projects.
According to the Federal MSEs Agency, as much as 700,000 new enterprises were created by the government’s support program during the first Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP I). Most importantly, best experiences have been gained during that time.
GTP II aims to create 2.1 million additional jobs and 160,000 extra enterprises in various urban centres across Ethiopia. The Agency says it has assisted to create 56,000 new enterprises which created 940,000 jobs so far.
Indeed, creating and nurturing MSEs is one strategy of poverty alleviation to which so much hope and resources have went into. Both the federal and regional states have been pouring billions of birr to strengthen MSEs. The efforts has resulted in the booming of MSEs and considerable improvement in the livelihood of millions.
Strengthening MSEs and cooperatives has been witnessing inclusive focus being given by the government to the rural and urban poor as well. MSEs in rural and urban areas are considered as potential contributors to poverty alleviation and transformation of the national economy. The government has attached prime significance to small enterprises to thoroughly transform the technical and production capacity of the manufacturing sector through time.
According to research conducted on large dataset collected from 13 major cities by Ethiopian Development and Research Institute (EDRI), consistent with the government’s strategy, MSEs productivity levels are largely comparable by enterprise type but differ widely by gender and levels of education of the entrepreneurs.
EDRI growth calculation also indicates that while growth rates of self-initiated enterprises are higher, it is conditional on positive rates of growth; the likelihood of transition into larger size category appears to be larger among cooperatives. The research also suggests that the government should provide more customized support system that responds to the unique sets of binding constraints faced by MSEs.
Meanwhile, as part of the effort to level wider job opportunities to the youth, the government is poised to embark up on a program of mass job creation and entrepreneur incubation. The government has allocated 10 billion birr revolving fund which will be administered by state governments and the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE).
The news of big money allocation has so far increased enthusiasm of the youth in urban areas and different corners of the country. According to budgetary statement publicized by the Agency, 3.4, 2.6 and 1.8 billion birr will be earmarked to Oromia, Amhara and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples states respectively. The fund will be loaned to the youth for the purpose of establishing enterprises that enable to devise job creation and productivity.
Although the details are on the process of being made clear, the project-based financing facility is expected to make breakthrough improvement to allay frustration over unemployment in urban areas. Nevertheless, the challenges of the previous MSEs support programme would be reduced eyed at making the new financing facility effective and bringing meaningful stride on employment and poverty alleviation.
Regarding enterprise development and enhancement of domestic productivity, the nation has planned in the GTP-II to promote 62, 500 MSEs from micro to small level and to upgrade 10,000 enterprises to medium level operators. Besides, entrepreneurship excellence centres will be established in 35 universities and MSEs participants would be offered trainings related to boosting productivity, work culture and skills.
Regarding assistance of the government and facilitation, over 2200 qualified one-stop shopping centres which include provision of working space, credit, and training and market linkages would be established (about 1,500 of them had been established across the country so far, according to the Agency). These centres would be instrumental in boosting productivity of enterprises and facilitating development of the manufacturing centre. In this regard, 9,000 hectares of developed land will be provided. In addition, some 15,000 shades and 600 buildings will be organized for this purpose.
Despite the numerous problems, according to the Agency, MSEs have enabled to provide desperately needed jobs to thousands of citizens. In fact, problems related to quality and productivity of MSEs is palpable. And, hence, ongoing efforts are being exerted to iron out their problems and enhance quality and quantity of their produce. To this end, tremendous activities are being undertaken to provide ample finance, training and injection of new skills and creation of reliable market link.
The government believes that MSEs are instrumental in creating job opportunities and improving the income and livelihoods of millions of poverty-stricken families. Accordingly, as ever, unreserved effort will be exerted to strengthen MSEs and help them employ as much young generation as possible and produce quality product very much needed at the local and global market.
Aster and Frehiwot said they managed to payback their creditors and they are striving to further add in more values to their products. They said things may not become bed of roses at the beginning. Young entrepreneurs should courageously and patiently try to withstand challenges and become productive and profitable in the long run.
BY FEKADU W.
Amongst countries in Africa, Ethiopia has come up with dynamic women model farmers. Also many Ethiopian women have been positioned in ministerial leadership post across key government sectors. However, it is also true that a significant segment of women in our country live below the poverty line and they have not yet benefited from the promising economic growth as they should.
Moreover, in Ethiopia, women had taken part in freedom struggles waged and they did fight shoulder to shoulder with men. Women have also increased their participation in top-line careers. Ethiopia's economic planning process for women has developed a purely economic approach, where women would benefit from the development-oriented phase and the plank of empowerment that seeks to promote gender equality.
Most importantly, women also play an important role in agriculture operations which the nation is undertaking 80 per cent of farm work and provide huge contribution in food production and economic growth.
Currently, the major milestone in agricultural development is not left for men alone. Decisive is also women's role at the grass roots level throughout the country, which translates into for about 20 million households.
Recently, the nation had colourfully marked the 8th National Farmers and Semi-pastoralists Day at Adama town. Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn handed over awards for over 570 farmers and semi-pastoralists for transforming themselves into agricultural investors, securing a capital of over 1.5 million birr, creating jobs for women and youths. The prizes includes medals, trophies, tractors and saving bonds worth birr 3,000 each.
Among the awardees, 60 of them were women. They used improved seeds and practice of_ modern farming techniques. Indeed, they were properly implementing the supports from agricultural extension workers to unleash the potential of technologies for better productivity. Women created millions from agricultural activities and ensuring prosperous living conditions for themselves and their families.
In fact, women also created an important avenue to better allow the Ethiopian agriculture contribute to growth. Their role is immense in strengthening diversification of rural activities to commercial crop production, modern livestock production, fishery, and agriculture-based sideline activities such as rural enterprises.
Another option for transforming agriculture is shifting smallholder farmers from producing staple food to industrial raw materials. This mode leads to increased product supply of raw materials for agro-processing and manufacturing industries. However, given the age-old farming tradition of smallholders, a plan of shifting may be achieved in the short to medium run.
Market allows households to increase their incomes by producing crops which provide the highest returns to land and labour, and then use the cash to buy household consumption items, rather than be constrained to produce the various goods that the household needs to consume.
Apart from restructuring the traditional subsistence agriculture, and producing quality raw materials for industries, it is crucial to raise the awareness of women for commercializing their products at local and foreign trades.
To look over instances from the 2015 report of the Ethiopian Economics Association, value-added in the sector grew at an average rate of 6.6 per cent in the period between 2010/11 and 201/14. The year 2013/14 also marks even a further deceleration in the performance of the sector as value-added grew at a rate of 5.4 per cent. Even this rate can be considered robust for a sector dominated by smallholders operating for subsistence.
While the rate of growth in the agriculture sector has been considered to be significantly high so far, its role in the transformation process can be fast challenged unless activities in the sector are diversified.
Crop production has still dominated growth in the agriculture sector. The crop sub-sector accounted for 86.4 per cent of the growth in the total value added in the sector in this fiscal year 2013/14.
In this regard, women have to shift to the production of industrial raw materials to dramatically change their ways of life into an empowered and progressive one.
Thus, the government and other stakeholders must empower women in such economic activities through various means, providing farmlands, loan, and facilitating the provision of agricultural inputs and technologies.
Empowering women is the most effective tool for development as well as for poverty reduction. Women who are educated and have been given a chance, have proved that they excel in their professions and careers. Educated and enlightened women can look after families better, make societies compassionate and make nations forward-looking.
Women must also be motivated to fight discrimination in every aspects. They should work aggressively for their own empowerment. One important step in this direction is taking them aboard in development efforts from a very early age so as to make them morally and economically strong. Their is a need to to build-up their self confidence to face the challenges of life.
• Association awards flag-carrier
British Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs State Secretary Boris Johnson lauded Ethiopian’s fast growth during his visit to the largest and most modern Ethiopian Aviation Academy and state-of-the-art flight simulators at Ethiopian Headquarter Thursday.
The Foreign Secretary said: “Ethiopian Airlines is one of the fastest growing airlines in the world and I am proud to say that the UK is working with Ethiopian Airlines.”
“I am also delighted to see the partnership developing in action as Ethiopian is enjoying the
Rolls Royce engines and the wings of the A350. My visit to Ethiopia is quite instrumental in boosting the existing partnership between the UK and Ethiopia,” he added.
Meanwhile, Meki Batu farmers association applauded Ethiopian airlines support on creating business opportunities for farmers association in Oromia state.
Representing a total of 8,300 farmers in 150 unions, Board chairperson of the union awarded Ethiopian Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam.
Tewelde for his part said that Ethiopian has been supporting the union with technical advice, market development, production quality, process improvement as well as sourcing of equipment to enhance productivity.
“Moreover, this business set up has enabled us to serve our customers with fresh and organic food on board our flight and way forward we shall synergize with the farmers association in fostering market integration while ensuring delivery quality as well as export oriented products,” he added
Ethiopian currently flies to major cities in Europe; London, Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt,
Madrid, Milan, Paris, Rome, Stockholm and Vienna. Oslo will also be joining Ethiopian ever expanding network as of March 26, 2017.
BY FASICA BERHANE
Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu said the long-standing strategic relationship between Ethiopia and UK is growing year in, year out with the unfolding of emerging issues such as migration and terrorism.
The minister Thursday received UK Secretary of State Boris Johnson, who paid a working visit to Ethiopia, at his office.
The two sides discussed bilateral and regional as well as global issues of mutual concern and trust, according to ministry of foreign affairs.
For his part, Foreign Secretary Johnson outlined the potential for a deeper partnership on prosperity and regional security, a statement sent from the British Embassy in Ethiopia noted.
The Foreign Secretary who also held discussion with Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn offered his condolences to the Ethiopian people on the tragic loss of life at a landfill site in Addis Ababa.
The discussions covered the breadth of the Ethio-UK relationship. The Foreign Secretary told the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister that there was much the two countries agreed on and great potential to deepen the relations further.
He hoped that progress could be made on the issues important to both countries so that potential could be realized, according to the statement.
Following the meetings, Johnson said: “Together the UK and Ethiopia can work to make the region stronger, from combating the devastating drought to enhancing security for people in neighboring Somalia. I’m delighted that I will be seeing Prime Minister Hailemariam in a few weeks in London for the London Somalia Conference.”
BY TEDROS KASSA
President Dr. Mulatu Teshome said Ethiopia would avail labor force, land and other infrastructural provisions to Turkish investors aiming to create ample jobs for citizens.
Receiving Turkish delegation earlier in the week, the president lauded Turkish investors already engaged in textile and garment sub-sector contributing to technology and skill transfer apart from creating jobs.
Dr. Mulatu exhorted the delegation to seize the opportunity of investing in ceramic production citing the high demand in the country's booming construction.
He also highlighted the incentives applicable to industrial parks which included, but not limited to, one-stop government services, supply of electricity and water as well as sewerage systems.
Turkey Ambassador to Ethiopia Fatih Ulusoy for his part expressed Turkish investors' interest to involve in the production of renewable energy, construction materials,among others. He further said though trade volume between the two countries has risen to 440 million USD, a large number of efforts should yet be done to reach it up to one billion USD.
Mentioning as Turkish companies are the biggest source of employment in Ethiopia, he unveiled his country's target to elevate Turkish FDI to 2.5 billion USD.
BY ABEBE WOLDE GIORGIS
Arkebe Oqubay, Special Adviser to Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalgne
A vast importation of input and machinery particularly for the manufacturing sector amid the fast economic growth of the country has created a scarcity in foreign currency reserve, said Arkebe Oqubay, Special Adviser to Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalgne .
In his recent interview with Bloomberg ,he also underscored that the scarcity in foreign currency reserve is a common and short term problem to occur during the early stages of fast economic growth.
According to Arkebe, the current focus of Ethiopia is on export performance which is going to generate a remarkably big revenue. He cited one of the largest industrial parks currently developed which is expected to generate about a billion USD in foreign currency that could relieve the problem.
Moreover, he said Ethiopia has focused on improving the lives of the people, agriculture, food which have resulted in GDP growth at an average rate of 11 % for the last 13 years. “Now we are working to transform the economy from Agriculture led to manufacturing”, added Arkebe.
Asked about the ongoing deep reform, the Special Advisor replied: “In the deep reform, we have basically focused on good governance, and accelerating the momentum of the economic growth, since the issue of good governance and economic growth are inseparable.” He also added that, the government has now come up with new packages on how to attract new investment particularly in manufacturing as the country aims to create millions of jobs for the youth.
Bloomberg also questions the membership request of Ethiopia to Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Accordingly, Arkebe said: “Ethiopia is a country which has invested well in infrastructure in fact we spend about 50 % of our federal budget on infrastructural development. Thus, we use multiple sources from, multilateral international organizations, bilateral sources and commercial platforms”.
The main focus for the nation from infrastructural point of view is energy, railways, highways, and airways. The GERD is under construction which will be commissioned within two years, few weeks back Gibe III is inaugurated which generates 2000 MW built with an expense of two billion dollars which makes it one of the top three hydro-power plant in Africa at the moment. Energy and transport are key to make Ethiopia a manufacturing hub, as explained by Arkebe Oqubay.
BY HOMA MULISA