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  • Experience Sharing on Development Response to Displacement Impact Projects Concludes

    Refuges impact response experience sharing has been held among Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zambia through Development response to displacement impacts project (DRDIP). Ethiopia hosts the experience sharing in Axum, Tigray region. The experience sharing program was commencing since 3 June 2019.

    Ministry of Agriculture extension director, General Mr. Germame Garuma addressed a warm Ethiopian welcome for Nigerian and Zambia delegates as opening the program officially. The director general on his opening speech said Ethiopia hosts the largest population of refuges in the horn of Africa next to Uganda because of droughts, conflicts, political crises and civil wars from neighboring countries of Somalia, Eritea and South Sudan.

    According to him, currently more than 9 hundred thousand refugees are distributed across the Ethiopia. The horn of Africa collectively hosts more than 9.5 million displaced people, Mr. Germame Garuma added.

    DRDIP Coordinator Mr. Nigatu Bogale said in his part the project has been performing remarkable achievements with in short period of time.
    An explanation was offered about Ethiopia Culture, language, heritage and political situation by the World Bank Ethiopia delegate.

    Implementation reports and best practices on refuges impact response were presented by the three countries and discussed upon.
    DRDIP works found around Axum including farmers’ and semi-pastoralist training center (FTC) were visited. (Ministry of Agriculture)

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  • Ethiopia expected to export a record-high 240,000 metric tons of coffee in 2019/20

    Ethiopia, Africa’s top coffee producer, is expected to export a record-high 240,000 metric tons of coffee in 2019/20, the U.S. Department of Agriculture attache in Addis Ababa said, as yields improve and the area dedicated to coffee farming increase.

    Production of coffee is expected to rise to 7.35 million tonnes in 2019/20, an 1.4% increase from the 2018/19 season, a USDA report quoted by Reuters noted.

    Exports account for just over half of overall production, and are forecast to grow 0.5% in 2019/20 from the previous year to reach 4 million 60-kg bags. Coffee is Ethiopia’s most important export.

    While supplies are greater this year thanks to higher yields due to better rains and the reduced prevalence of disease, the USDA’s forecasted yield of 0.82 tonnes per hectare comes in well below the government’s target of 1.1 tonnes per hectare, the report noted.

    Meanwhile, domestic demand in Africa’s top coffee consumer is expected to remain robust, with the USDA expecting Ethiopian consumption to rise by 2.4% in 2019/20 compared to 2018/19.

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  • See China’s Newly Unveiled Maglev Train

    A new high-speed transportation system is taking shape in China.

     

    On Thursday, state-owned China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) unveiled a prototype for a new high-speed magnetic-levitation — better known as “maglev” — train that could dramatically cut travel times in the nation.

    “The prototype has already achieved static levitation and is in ideal condition,” CRCC Qingdao’s deputy chief engineer Ding Sansan said at a news conference, according to a report by China Daily. “We are building an experimental center and a trial production center for high-speed maglev trains and expect to put them into operation in the second half of the year.”

    Instead of using wheels and a track, a maglev train floats on a magnetically powered cushion of air. This reduces friction and allows the craft to reach incredibly fast speeds, like the 430 kilometers per hour (267 miles per hour) top speed of a maglev already in operation in Shanghai.

    This new design would be able to far exceed the speed of that maglev, reaching a top speed of 600 kilometers per hour (372 miles per hour). Ding used a theoretical journey between Beijing and Shanghai to show how this could dramatically decrease travel times.

    “It takes about four-and-a-half hours by plane including preparation time for the journey; about five-and-a-half hours by high-speed rail, and [would] only [take] about three-and-a-half hours by maglev,” he said, according to a South China Morning Post report.

    [China Daily]

     

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  • Ethiopia needs minimum wage law to protect workers – Investment chief

    (Africa News) — Head of Ethiopia’s state-run investment body says it is time the government settles on a minimum wage among others to protect the interests of workers.

    Ethiopian Investment Commission, EIC, Abebe Abebayehu added that his outfit was currently working with the relevant ministry and other agencies in efforts to achieve that goal.

    His comments come in the wake of a recent report that said garment workers in Ethiopia’s industrial parks are the least paid in the world. Whiles speaking to the general issue of jobs and remuneration, Abebayehu said government had identified loopholes it needed to fix.

    I think how low can this wage be is the question that should be asked. How can we ensure that while providing competitive labour force we are also ensuring the wellbeing of workers… and also ensuring a decent standard of living for our workers?

    He was speaking to a private channel, Business Safari TV during the European Union – Ethiopia Business Forum that took place between 14 – 15 May, 2019 in Brussels, Belgium.

    “Currently the industrial parks alone have created around 80, 000 jobs. Now, how do we make sure that these jobs are decent and provide a decent way of living for the workers?

    “We do not believe we have addressed certain types of issues that need to be tackled towards improving the living conditions of the workers.”

    Directly addressing the report he said: “The salary that the report indicated does not take into account a number of other benefits that the investors provide. But still as the basic salary we need to work as a government towards setting a minimum salary that can provide the workers a decent way of living.

    “But I think how low can this wage be is the question that should be asked. How can we ensure that while providing competitive labour force we are also ensuring the wellbeing of workers… and also ensuring a decent standard of living for our workers?”

    In mid-May this year, the privately-owned Capital Ethiopia news portal reported that the government had started talks to harmonize a national minimum wage. The draft proclamation was to set a Commission that will work on the wage, the report said citing Kassahun Follo, president of Confederation of Ethiopian Trade union, CETU.

    A minimum wage is the lowest wage that an employer is allowed to pay; determined by contract or by law. Most African countries have it in place save for the likes of Ethiopia despite being Africa’s second most populous nation. The three biggest economies in Africa – Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt – have in the last few months increased the threshold.

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  • Abiy hosts ‘the most expensive dinner’ in Ethiopia

    (BBC) — Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed hosted 200 business people and representatives from several organisations for a Sunday dinner dubbed “the most expensive in the country”.

    Guests had to pay $173,000 (£136,000) to dine at the palace of a former emperor of the country, Menelik.

    The event was held to help reach a $1.1bn fundraising target to pay for the regeneration of an area in the capital, Addis Ababa.

    Beautifying Sheger Project, as it is called, involves cleaning the rivers and building recreational parks in the capital.

    State linked-Fana news site, tweeted pictures of the table setup , alongside models showing what the project would look like when complete.

    Since coming to office Mr Abiy has been praised for his reformist agenda, which included normalising ties with bitter foe, Eritrea.

    His critics, however, say that he has failed to deal with ethnic conflicts within the country which have displaced more than 2 million people.

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