Seven Days Update, Vol. 21 No. 32
The 46-year-old security attaché for the Ethiopian Embassy, whom authorities charged in connection with the Sep. 29 shooting near the building, has left the country, officials said. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said the attaché, Solomon Tadesse G. Silasse, was charged with assault with intent to kill while armed in connection with a shooting outside the embassy on International Drive NW. Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said Silasse has diplomatic immunity (The Washington Post, Oct. 3).
The European Union human rights sub-committee has criticized the Ethiopian government for violating international law by arresting a British passport holder, Ato Andargachew Tsege. A statement to that effect was released following the sub-committee’s meeting in Brussels. But the Ethiopian government has dismissed the charge. The diplomat explained that Ato Andargachew was arrested while he was on his way from the United Arab Emirates to Eritrea via Sana’a, Yemen. He explained to the sub-committee that it was the Ethiopian government that informed the British government that Ato Andargachew was under arrest in Addis Ababa and was in the government’s safe hands (Reporter, Oct. 1).
15 officials of Gambella Regional State suspected of involvement in the current violent clashes in Mezhenger zone of the region have been arrested. They were arrested following a joint investigation conducted by the national defense forces, the federal police and the regional state security office. Others suspected of involvement in the clashes were also arrested. The Minister of Federal Affairs, Dr. Shiferaw Teklemariam, has been closely monitoring the situation (Reporter, Sep. 28).
Egyptian and Ethiopian foreign ministers, Sameh Shoukry and Tedros Adhanom, respectively, on Sep. 27 agreed to maintain the momentum on the Nile water talks as Shoukry assured Dr Tedros the Egyptian president would make an official visit to Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. Ethiopia is expected to host the fifth annual Joint Ministerial Commission in Addis Ababa on 1 Nov., where ministers will set an action plan regarding the Renaissance Dam, the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said (Dailynewsegypt, Sep. 28).
Indian companies with an aggregate capital of 2bio USD are making preparations to invest in Ethiopia, according to India’s Ambassador to Ethiopia. Ambassador Sanjay Verma said that Indian investors are ready to invest in Ethiopia seizing the favorable investment opportunities created in the country. The reliable peace and fast economic growth in the country have in particular made Ethiopia the most preferred investment destination in Africa for Indian investors, he said. As a result, the number of Indian businesspersons investing in Ethiopia has been growing, the ambassador noted, adding that over 600 Indian companies with 4bio USD have so far invested in the country (ENA, Oct. 2).
Toshiba Corporation has announced that the company has concluded a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) on a comprehensive partnership in geothermal power that will see the parties collaborate in power generation projects and personnel development. The Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), a publicly owned utility, engages in the development of geothermal resources and the construction of power plants. Through the partnership with EEP, Toshiba will draw on its longstanding experience and expertise in geothermal systems to contribute to projects in Ethiopia. More specifically, the company will develop and manufacture major equipment, create operation and management guidelines, cooperate in personnel development, and start a waste heat utilization business (heraldonline.com, Sep. 28)
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced its first hotel investment in Ethiopia, with a loan of $9.5m to Ethiopian company Tsemex Global Enterprise, to develop an international-standard hotel in Addis Ababa. The hotel will create over 300 local jobs, many for women and the youth, while helping meet the growing demand for business infrastructure as Ethiopia's economy expands. Local entrepreneurs who provide food, transport and other general services will also benefit from the hotel. InterContinental Hotels Group will manage the Addis Ababa hotel, applying its global brand and expertise to local staff and suppliers. The hotel will provide 210 rooms, conference facilities, restaurants and meeting venues (StarAfrica, Sep. 30).
Ethiopia has introduced a programme to improve food security that combines scientific knowledge with local know how, as new community-based seed banks and training centers try to help farmers meet their basic needs and increase agricultural output. For many, Ethiopia is still associated with its deadly famine of the 1980s that killed more than 400 000 people. But now the country is one of the top performing economies in Africa, and looking to innovation to help it contribute to Africa's growing status as a food provider.
According to a statement the US Embassy in Addis Ababa, the U.S. Government, through USAID, has invested overall $340,000 in new grain grading tools and instruments and provides technical support to maximize their use as well as links to markets. The new tools and instruments include hand held grain moisture meters, various tools for sample quality testing, and compact scales. As part of the overall support to Farmer Cooperative Unions in the four regions, USAID also provided postharvest handling equipment, including grain cleaners, maize shellers, mobile bag stitching machines and fumigation sheets to 15 FCUs that are participating in the World Food Programme’s P4P program (WIC, Sep. 30).