Posts tagged as: ethiopia

Sending Money to Tanzania From UK ‘Most Costly in East Africa’

Photo: Vice-President’s Office/The Citizen

Delegates listen to Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan at the GSMA Mobile 360 Africa Conference in Dar es Salaam.

Dar es Salaam — Sending money to Tanzania is the most expensive in the Eastern and Southern Africa, a London based consultancy organisation, Developing Markets Associates (DMA) June global report shows.

According to new analysis which was presented by Mobile 360 conference in the city, the average cost of sending £120 from the UK to Tanzania is 14 per cent, the highest average cost in the region.

This is when contrasted to other countries in the region like Ethiopia (13 per cent), Zambia (13 per cent), Rwanda (13 per cent), Mozambique (12 per cent), Uganda (9 per cent), and Kenya and Zimbabwe with seven per cent rate have the lowest cost.

The event, hosted by GSMA, who represent 800 mobile network operators across the world, was set to show evidence as to why Tanzania has the highest cost of sending money from the Diaspora.

“More than £44 million is sent each year by more than 38,500 Tanzanians living in the UK. But the cost of sending money is twice as much as sending to neighbouring Kenya or Zimbabwe,” reads part of the report.

The analysis shows that the average cost of sending money to Africa is almost 10 per cent, compared to the global average of just over seven per cent. Yet the UN Sustainable Development Goals say that by 2030 the global average price for remittances should not exceed three per cent of face value, with even the most expensive countries not being more than five per cent.

The report urges international development donors to support a pilot project to enable UK based remittance service providers to access Southern Africa through Sadc’s integrated regional electronic settlement system, through which 95 banks serve 11 countries.

Mr Leon Isaacs, CEO of DMA, was quoted as saying that: “Sending money home is very expensive compared to the relatively low incomes of migrant workers and the small amounts they typically send.

“The real challenges contributing to higher costs of sending money from the UK to Africa are not fixable by new technologies alone. Instead, we need to be focusing on scaling existing technology, creating the regulatory environments for those technologies and on changing consumer behaviour to send money digitally from ‘end-to-end,” he argued.

“It’s more expensive to send money to Africa than elsewhere. But it doesn’t have to be like that. The way we stay in touch, do our shopping, and even find love, have all gone digital. Yet, for the vast majority of people sending money home, they are still doing it the way they have always done it: in cash,” said Juliet Munro, director of Inclusive Finance in a quoted statement at FSD Africa.

Tanzania

Airtel’s Initial Offering Pegged At U.S.$1,1 Million

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Ethiopia: The World Needs Tedros Adhanom As Director General of WHO

“Our world has changed. Today, we face unprecedented health threats – from pandemics, to antibiotic-resistant infections, to climate change. We need a strong and effective World Health Organization to meet these challenges, ” Candidate for WHO Chief Dr.Tedros Adhanom

“A visionary leader, he guided Ethiopia and numerous global health organizations to achieve game-changing results and increase their_impact. An experienced reformer, he transformed Ethiopia’s health system to expand quality care and access to tens of millions of Ethiopians, and helped key global actors like The Global Fund and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership operate with greater efficiency and effectiveness. And, a skilled diplomat, his collaborative, context-specific, and solutions-oriented approach to global health and international relations is respected worldwide.”

As WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros’ vision, collaborative approach and proven effectiveness will help WHO better protect the health of all people.

Ethiopia

States Split On Funding Mechanisms to Bail Out EAC

East African Community (EAC) partner states are divided on the proposed financing mechanisms to bail out the… Read more »

Ethiopia: Import Bills Down to $11.7 Billion

The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) has reported that the country’s expenditure on import of goods reached 11.7 billion dollars in the past three-quarters of the current fiscal year.

The amount is eight percent lower compared to the same period last year. This has been reported at a time when the country is hit by a shortage of foreign currency and a surge in the price of oil in the international market.

Specifically, the amount of foreign currency spent to import oil increased by 29pc due to a significant surge in global price.

On the other hand, in the past nine months, export of goods amounted to two billion dollars. This causes a trade deficit of 9.7 billion dollars. In Ethiopia, exports can only finance 17pc of the imported amount.

The contribution of exports to GDP is insignificant. Between 2010 and 2015, export contribution to GDP averaged 13pc, exhibiting a decline of two percent annually.

Comparing with neighbouring countries, export contribution to GDP in Kenya and Uganda is 20pc and 19pc, respectively.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia Congratulates New French President

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn congratulated Emmanuel Macron on being elected the 25th President of France. Read more »

Ethiopia: Agricultural Input Market Crucial for Improving Production, Productivity

By Alazar Shiferaw

The Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) said the success of Farmer Service Center (FSC) is not only a solution in inputs distribution but also key indicator for the success of public private partnership in agriculture transformation.

Speaking at Bako Farm Service Center inaugural ceremony Friday, ATA Production and Productivity Senior Director Dereje Biruk said that building an efficient agricultural input market is crucial for the success of the GTP II agenda as it gives farmers access to high quality seeds, fertilizer, plant protection products, tools and equipment,veterinary services and supplies.

According to him, expanding such services has a crucial role in improving small holder farmers’ production and productivity.

Dereje noted on the occasion that the Bako Farm Service Center is the first of the 20 centers to be opened through Feed For the Future Ethiopia Commercial Farm services project. ” It is also one of the seven centers in Oromia State .”

For her part , the center owner Alemitu Hordofa said: ” We know that farmers have many needs that have never been fully satisfied .Besides , improper handling of agro – chemical is a long -standing threat among the farming Community.”

At the event, USAID Representative to Ethiopia Stephen Morin said: “Meeting Ethiopia’s comprehensive and ambitious of development agenda requires recognition of the critical importance of agriculture in the economy.”

According to him, access to quality agricultural supplies at affordable prices at the right time of the season is a significant challenge here in Ethiopia .

Therefore, an effective supply system is critical to a healthy and growing agriculture sector, he noted. ” An efficient system means farmers have access to high quality seeds fertilizer, plant protection products , tools and equipment , veterinary services and supplies among others.”

Bako FSC intends to improve the lives of over 40 thousand small holder farmers in Bako and neighboring weredas.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia Congratulates New French President

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn congratulated Emmanuel Macron on being elected the 25th President of France. Read more »

Uhuru Gets Seat At the Table in What Pundits Say Is Rise of New World Order

RESOURCE: Reviving The ‘Silk Road’ – Inside StoryBy Olive Burrows

Beijing, China — The Round Table came into existence in the time of the legendary King Arthur; the idea behind it being that when he and his knights sat around it, they would sit as equals; there being no ‘head’ of the table.

It’s one such round-table meeting that President Uhuru Kenyatta took part in on Monday morning before he was scheduled to hold bilateral talks with his host President Xi Jinping of China and the nation’s Premier, Li Keqiang.

President Kenyatta is one of only two African leaders invited to take a seat at the table of 30 which includes Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan; the other African leader being Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

The leaders are gathered in Beijing, China for the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, four years since its inception.

The brainchild of President Xi, the initiative is aimed at reviving the historical silk road and maritime routes through Africa, Asia and Europe through a collaborative effort based on, “mutual respect and driven by a common endeavour to pursue prosperity,” President Xi encapsulated at the opening of the forum on Sunday.

In the acknowledgement that, “financial bottleneck is a key challenge to realising connectivity,” President Xi announced an increase in his government’s contribution to the building of the necessary infrastructure with Kenya looking to secure funding for the dualling of the Northern and Eastern bypasses.

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President Xi got the round-table ball rolling by stating that “roads don’t build themselves and prosperity doesn’t happen on its own.”President Xi has therefore called on world leaders to unite in the effort to confront the challenges of our time which include climate change.Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway has been hailed as a shining example of what is being realised through the Belt and Road initiative and President Xi has been invited to grace its launch in two weeks’ time.The forum has been viewed by some as the ushering in a new world order given the ‘America First’ policy adopted by US President Donald Trump which sends the message that the superpower will be taking a back seat where world affairs are concerned.The message sent out by the world leaders who attended the Belt and Road Forum, to the contrary, was one that espoused open trade as opposed to protectionism.A message endorsed by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, IMF head Christine Lagarde and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim who were also present for the summit.”Total trade between China and other Belt and Road countries in 2014-2016 has exceeded US$3 trillion, and China’s investment in these countries has surpassed US$50 billion. Chinese companies have set up 56 economic cooperation zones in over 20 countries, generating some US$1.1 billion of tax revenue and 180,000 jobs for them,” President Xi testified at the forum on Sunday.Kenya’s Africa Economic Zones Limited and Chinese firm Goudagong New South Limited had on the same day reached a US$2 billion agreement on a 1,767 acre industrial park in Eldoret.More on ThisWhat Kenya Hopes to Gain From China Belt and Road Forum

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia is in visibly high spirits as he looks out at the Beijing skyline and says,… Read more »

Jamal Takes First Stride for Uganda Goalkeepers

Photo: Eddie Chicco/Daily Monitor

Goalkeeper Jamal will be between the sticks when rivals Al Hilal take on Al-Merrikh tonight.

By Ismail Dhakaba Kigongo

Kampala — Denis Onyango did elevate Ugandan football and the endangered species that goalkeepers are when he won the Caf African Player of the Year (based in Africa).

That award, received in Nigeria back in January, was the icing on Mamelodi Sundowns’ cake after winning their first Caf Champions League title last year. Now, one of Onyango’s Uganda Cranes understudies Salim Jamal, will take first strike as the group stage of the 2017 Caf Champions League kicks off tonight.

Jamal’s Al Merrikh face fellow Sudanese side Al-Hilal Omdurman in the group A opener away at the Al-Hilal stadium in the capital Khartoum.

This group also has 2007 African champions Etoile du Sahel and Mozambican novices Clube Ferroviário da Beira.

Al Merrikh’s best performance in the Africa’s premier club competition came in 2015 when they reached the semifinals, losing to eventual winners TP Mazembe.

Jamal was part of that run and must be hoping for an improvement before Onyango and his mates start their title defence against Ethiopia’s St. George.

Robert Odongkara, the other of the three Uganda Cranes’ goalkeepers at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, is likely to feature for St. George. He shares a locker room with midfielder Yasser Mugerwa. After the goalkeeping trio have made their ‘saves’, Uganda league champions KCCA will make their group stage debut tomorrow.

KCCA face Moroccan side FUS Rabat in Caf Confederation Cup group opener. They are here because of the exploits of another Ugandan goalkeeper in Benjamin Ochan.

The KCCA custodian saved two penalties and converted the winner to lift his team past Egypt’s El Masry to qualify for the group stage for the first time.

Uganda

Over 1000 to Lose Their Houses Along Kampala-Entebbe Road

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Uganda: Drought Lifts Power Exports to Kenya By 300%

Photo: GE

Bujagali Hydropower plant in Uganda (file photo).

By Neville Otuki

Kampala — Uganda’s electricity exports to Kenya grew 300 per cent in the four months to April as drought cut the neighbouring country’s local generation of hydro-electric power by 347 million kilowatt hours.

Kenya imported 92.3 million kilowatt hours (kWh) from Uganda in the four months compared to 13.66 million units in the same period last year – marking a 302 per cent growth, according to official data.

This is a departure from last year when Kenya cut by half electricity imports from Uganda following the injection of the additional 280 megawatts geothermal power to the national grid a year earlier.

But the drought, which follows low rainfall during the October and November rainy season, has left at least 1.3 million people in need of food aid and driven down water levels in dams.

Around 910 million kWh of the energy supplied to the Kenyan grid came from hydropower in the four months, down from 1.25 billion units in the same period last year. The supply shortfall was plugged by increased intake of imports and expensive diesel-fired electricity.

Kenya has a direct electricity transmission line connecting with Uganda via Tororo, enabling bulk power imports.

Besides Uganda, Kenya also imports power from Ethiopia to feed the neighbouring Moyale town, which is not linked to the national electricity grid.

Kenya bought 870,000 units of power from Ethiopia in the first quarter, up from 740,000 units in a similar period last year. Official data shows that Kenya’s electricity exports to Uganda fell 95 per cent to 740,000 units in the four months, reversing a trend where the exports have been rising.

Uganda has been exporting electricity to Kenya under an agreement signed during colonial times but renegotiated at Uganda’s insistence in 1997.

Uganda

South Sudan Conflict Hits Uganda’s Economy

Uganda’s economy is being pushed to the wall following the renewed conflict in South Sudan that is currently sending… Read more »

Millers Say No Unga Price Relief Until July

Photo: The Nation

Farmers weigh maize at a National Cereals and Produce Board depot in Elburgon, Molo. Millers say they are running out of stock (file photo).

By Gerald Andae

Maize flour (unga) prices are unlikely to come down until July when the stock of grain available locally is expected to meet the country’s needs, millers said, setting up consumers for two and half more months of pain at the shop.

Industry lobby, the Cereal Millers Association (CMA), said in a statement that the steep rise in the staple’s prices is the result of a severe scarcity that is unlikely to be resolved until enough imported stocks land in the country.

The CMA said the consignment of maize expected to land in Mombasa today is not sufficient to stop ongoing price inflation.

“Since in the initial weeks of the import programme some millers will have access to imported maize and others will not, the CMA does not expect maize flour prices to stabilise until adequate imported grain stocks are distributed across all the mills,” said the statement.

“This is expected to be in late June or early July. When this happens, prices are expected to settle at the Sh125-135 per two kilo packet range.”

A two-kilogramme packet of flour is currently retailing at an average of Sh150, up from Sh90 last November. Millers reckon that most of them will continue to purchase maize at the prevailing high market rates until there is sufficient supplies.

“These prices (market price) are significantly higher than the cost of the recently released government maize,” The CMA said.

The first consignment of Mexican maize is expected to land in Kenya at a price of between Sh3,500 and Sh4,400 per 90kg bag.

Pricing of the maize depends on volumes purchased and timing of the purchase, the millers said in a response to the food rage that has seen some commentators blame them for artificially causing the price inflation by hoarding the maize.

The millers said that the worsening scarcity of grains has continued to pile pressure on maize, which is now retailing at between Sh4,300 and Sh4,500 per 90kg bag.

“Some millers are unable to produce enough maize flour to meet customer demand — they either do not have access to adequate grain or are unable to compete with the prevailing market prices,” the statement said.

The millers said the inflow of Ethiopian maize, which was expected to ease the shortage, slowed down in the past week having brought to the market limited quantities that are priced at between Sh4,200 and Sh4,400 per 90kg bag.

Kenya is among the East African countries that signed a deal with Ethiopia to buy grain worth Sh5.5 billion, to help ease the acute shortage.

Kenya

USAID Suspends Funding to Ministry of Health Departments

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Liberia: Health Minister Links Outbreak in Sinoe County to Meningitis

Monrovia — The 13 mysterious deaths that recently occurred in Sinoe and Montserrado Counties have been linked to Meningitis, the Ministry of Health has revealed.

The disclosure, which was made by Health Minister Bernice Dahn Monday runs contrary to a Friday disclosure by the World Health Organization that the deaths were a result of a probable cause of food poisoning.

While laboratory test was ongoing in the United States and Europe, WHO spokesman, Tarik Jaserevic, according to a U.K. newspaper, The Guardian, told reporters that their “findings are indicative of a point source of infection,” he added, explaining that the leading theory being investigated was “food, drink or water poisoning.”

The fact that the cases appeared tied to one funeral further suggested that an isolated poisoning was to blame.

However, food poisoning has also been ruled out. According to Minister Dahn, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) tested specimens from four patients for 29 different diseases, noting that the tests for 28 of the diseases proved negative, while the Meningitis test proved positive.

Meningitis, according to the CDC, is an inflammation (swelling) of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. A bacterial or viral infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord usually causes the swelling. However, injuries, cancer, certain drugs, and other types of infections also can cause meningitis.

It remains unclear how the disease spread to several persons in the same location at the same time as most of the deceased were not closely related.

According to healthline.com, “most of the bacteria that cause this form of infection are spread through close personal contact, such as coughing, sneezing, and kissing. Throat secretions from an infected person (for example, phlegm or saliva) contain bacteria. When you cough or sneeze, the bacteria travel through the air.

But most of the germs that can lead to bacterial meningitis are relatively non-contagious. In fact, the bacteria that cause meningitis are less contagious than the viruses that cause the cold or flu.”

The symptoms are, however, similar to that which was observed prior to the death of victims in Sinoe County.

Dr. Dahn during Monday’s press conference said a total of 27 cases and 10 deaths have been reported from Sinoe County, while Montserrado County recorded two cases and two deaths, and Grand Bassa County reported two cases and one death.

“Liberia has never experienced Meningitis before,” Dahn said, noting that Meningitis normally affects countries that are hot and have a long dry season; such as Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Ethiopia and other sub-Sahara countries which usually experience Meningitis every two years or sometimes annually.

A meningitis outbreak has killed 489 people in Nigeria this year, according to the World Health Organization. The country’s Center for Disease Control reported 4,637 suspected cases.

According to the WHO, even when the disease is diagnosed early and adequate treatment begins, 5% to 10% of patients die, typically within 24 to 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.

Common symptoms include stiff neck, high fever, sensitivity to light, confusion, headaches and vomiting.

Nigeria is one of the 26 countries within the extensive region of sub-Saharan Africa known as the “meningitis belt,” where large epidemics occur.

The outbreaks peak in the dry season in certain states due to the low humidity and dusty conditions and usually end as the rainy season approaches, the head of the country disease control said.

Nigeria records some of the highest incidences of the disease on the continent.

UN Course On Peacekeeping Starts in Rwanda

Photo: The New Times

Participants in the UNPOC course, in a group photo.

The second United Nations Police Officers Course (UNPOC) started on Monday at the Peacekeeping Training Centre in Gishari, Rwamagana District where 45 participants from seven African countries will get a clear and same understanding on peace building activities to improve their operational capabilities.

Participants in the two-week course are from Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Comoros, Sudan, Somali and Ethiopia.

Speaking at the official opening of the course, the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) in charge of Administration and Personnel, Juvenal Marizamunda said that Rwanda National Police (RNP) is “committed to continue contributing to global peace and securities.

“The changing nature of conflicts and challenges faced by peacekeepers in discharging their duties requires adequate skills, knowledge and attitudes in mission areas,” the DIGP said.

He said that peacekeeping training is regarded as a rewarding investment that enables future peacekeepers to effectively and efficiently perform in increasingly complex environment.

DIGP Marizamunda also commended the existing cooperation particularly with EASF manifested by selecting the centre to facilitate the training.

Commissioner of Police (CP) Vianney Nshimiyimana, the Commandant of Police Training School (PTS), which houses the Peacekeeping Training Centre, said that the course is aimed at preparing more standby police officers for deployment under the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF).

“They will be familiarised with UN systems, policies and values, mission structures functions and operating environment,” said CP Nshimiyimana.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dinah Kyasimire, the head of the Police component at EASF said the training will increase the readiness in number of officers ready to serve in peace support operations in the region and beyond.

She commended the role of Norway Government for their support in building capacity and capabilities of EASF.

ACP Cary Mariam from Norway and special advisor to EASF, said that security sector reform is considered very important aspect to serve the people, protect them and ensure they get justice, which in the same way reduces conflicts.

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