Seven Days Update, Vol. 21 No. 38

von Redakteur

Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia have agreed to construct a multipurpose dam and a hydro power station on River Dawa in Mandera County in order to harness and promote sustainable use of the resource. The three countries also proposed the construction of a bridge to link Kenya and Ethiopia on the river, which will promote cross-border movement across the seasonal river. The three countries’ representatives who met in Nairobi during a three- day meeting organized by IGAD also called for cooperation in the management and sustainable use of River Dawa. During the meeting, which ended on Thursday, the three countries formed a technical team which will conduct a feasibility study of the proposed projects and share its findings. The process will be steered by IGAD. River Dawa is a seasonal river which flows cumulatively for nine months, and traverses through the three countries (Standard Digital, Nov. 14).

The construction of the highway linking Ethiopia with Kenya is expected to be completed by the end of the year 2015. Ukur Yattani, Governor of Marsabit County, commented on the matter saying the 505 km road, which stretches from Isi­olo-Marsabit-Moyale, is currently 60% over and that work is well in progress. “Construction is ongoing. The project is said to consume U.S. $ 517m and it is financed by the African Development Bank, the European Union and the Kenya Gov­ernment (Africa Review, Nov. 13).

UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards said in a press briefing on 14 Nov. 2014 in Geneva that during the first ten months of 2014, the number of asylum-seekers in Europe from Eritrea has nearly tripled. In Ethiopia and Sudan,  neigh­boring Eritrea, the number of Eritrean refugees has also increased sharply. So far this year, nearly 37,000 Eritreans have sought refuge in Europe, compared to almost 13,000 during the same period last year. Most asylum requests have been lodged in Sweden, Germany, and Switzerland, with the vast majority of the Eritreans having arrived by boat across the Mediterranean. Our office in Italy reports that 22% of the people arriving by boat are Eritrean, a total of nearly 34,000 people this year. This makes Eritreans the second largest group to arrive in Italy by boat, after Syrians (Africa Review, Nov. 13).

ASCOM Mining Plc is holding talks with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Mines to secure a large scale gold mining license. ASCOM is a multinational mining company and it has been involved in exploring for gold in western Ethiopia. Since 2009, it has been working in Benishangul Gumuz State, Assosa Zone, Sherkole Woreda, Shungu and Nazali localities since 2009. The firm has made a discovery of large amounts of primary gold in the license area covering 268.17 km² of land in a mountain commonly known as Dish Mountain. Once the current negotiations were concluded, the company will be given a large scale gold mining license (The Reporter, Nov. 12).

The Embassy of the Republic of China in Ethiopia has said that Ethio-Chinese trade and investment relations have risen to 2.1 bln USD. The Deputy Head of Mission, Qin Jian, emphasized that the two countries’ relationship in trade and  investment has shown a growing trajectory. The two countries have been cooperating in manufacture, poverty alleviation, development and economic transportation (WIC, Nov.11).

More than 100 Chinese companies are participating in an expo dubbed 2014 (Africa) China Commodities, Technology & Services Expo displaying Chinese products in  Addis Ababa. The Expo has been organized by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce to enhance business cooperation between China, Ethiopia, and other African nations (Xinhua, Nov 11).