Seven Days Update, Vol. 21 No. 25

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The tripartite dialogue between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan over the construction of multibillion Ethiopian dam will resume on 25 August 2014 in Khartoum, the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy said. Cross Border Rivers Affairs Director at the Ministry,Fekahmed Negash, told that the tripartite committee will discuss for two days ways of implementing the recommendations made by the international experts group, established to conduct an impact assessment on the dam. The dialogue is expected to discuss ways of conducting joint assessment about the impact of the dam on the downstream countries, if there is any doubt, he said. The assessment made by the experts depicted that the dam would not cause crisis on downstream countries, and made some recommendations to the three countries to work together on some issues, he said. In addition to the experts group, assessments made by the Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office, International Water Management Institute and World Bank showed that the dam would not affect the volume of the water flow to Egypt and Sudan, Fekahmed said. The firmness of the Ethiopian government, the understanding that the dam would not affect the country and the recommendations of the experts group contributed to the new Egyptian leadership’s decision to consider the resumption of the dialogue, according to the director (ENA, Aug. 13) .

The defense ministers of Ethiopia and Sudan announced that the two nations will establish a joint military under the same command. During the 11th Defense Ministerial meeting of the two countries in Addis Ababa, it was stated that the two countries could heighten their economic cooperation by ensuring peace and security along their border. Ethiopia’s Defense Minister Siraj Fegessa said that the joint force will be set up fully until September. His Sudanese counterpart, Abdurrahman Mohamed Hussein, said for his part that the formation of the joint force would strengthen the previous cooperation on peace and security between the neighboring nations. Ethiopia and Sudan share over 800 km of border (WIC, Aug. 13).

The Ministry of Mines said that over 500m USD was earned from gold and precious minerals during the last fiscal year. The ministry’s Communications Director, Bacha Fuji, told that 514.5m USD was obtained from gold, tantalum, opal and platinum. About 194m USD was obtained from gold mining and the remaining from traditional mines organized under micro and small scale enterprises, he added. Though the price of gold has been fluctuating in the global market, the foreign currency earned from gold and precious minerals has in general shown significant growth, he said. Bacha attributed the revenue increase to price increases by the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) for gold from traditional miners and expanded gold collecting branches. The increased quality and volume of minerals, and the scientific information provided by the Ethiopian Geological Survey and made available to the traditional micro and smallscale miners also helped increase the revenue. The export destinations for the minerals were 28 countries, of which the major ones were China, India, Germany and USA. On the other hand, the ministry issued licenses to 62 companies for exploration and survey. Bacha said the ministry which had planned to increase the capital of companies engaged in various explorations to 15bio birr has succeeded in exceeding the plan by 3bio birr (ENA, Aug. 11).

AMEC Americas, an engineering and project management company, was appointed by Allana Potash to carry out frontend engineering design (Feed) as well as work on the one-million-tonne-ayear muriate of potash (MoP) Danakil project in Ethiopia. The agreement between the two firms will be concluded after the preparatory work gets underway in anticipation of the completion of project financing. The work AMEC will be undertaking is expected to take six months and it is going to do it from its office in Saskatchewan, Canada. A number of facilities will be included in the study phase of the project (Mining Weekly, Aug. 14).  

The construction of the 475m USD Addis Ababa Light Rail Project is well in progress and will be completed on schedule, the Ethiopian Railway Corporation said. 77% of the construction of the system has so far been completed, according to Dereje Tefera, Communication and Public Relations Head of the Corporation. The Addis Ababa Light Rail system will have a total of 39 stations -- underground, on surface and on bridges. The construction of the light rail system will be completed in January, Dereje said. The railway is expected to ease transport shortage in the city (ENA, Aug. 11) .

Huawei and Eltel concluded a major contract in Ethiopia. The agreement is for the installation of Optical Ground Wire (OPGW) covering 1, 600 km on the existing power transmission lines. The project which is expected to be finalized by the end of 2015, is going to witness Ethiopia’s first ever live line condition installation. The areas that the project will be carried out are located in Central, Southern, South Western and Western parts of the country. The entire project is part of Ethiopia’s National Grid Development and Improvement Project. As Eltel concludes its task, the nation will be equipped with a high quality backbone for 3rd party users and enhance the utility’s internal communication capabilities. Eltel has a decade old experience with delivering electrification projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Ethiopia (Telecompaper, Aug. 14).