Alarm Over Low Uptake Of Credit

Principal Secretary of the State Department for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Susan Mangeni, has decried the low uptake of credit facilities across the country.

Speaking during the dissemination of the Fourth Medium-Term Plan in Busia town on Friday, Mangeni said that the uptake of devolved credit funds was extremely low in Busia County.

‘The Youth Fund has been around for almost 15 years, but if you look at the money which has been disbursed in Busia alone, it is less than Sh100 million,’ she said, adding that a total of Sh15 billion has been disbursed across the country.

Mangeni added that the Uwezo Fund, which has also been in place for around nine years, reflects dismally in Busia, with only Sh90 million disbursed.

She further said that the Hustler fund that has been implemented for the past one and a half years has seen Sh120 million disbursed in Teso South, Sh110 million to Teso North, Sh150 million to Matayos, Sh100 million to Butula, Sh100 million in Funyula, Sh70 million to Nambal
e, and Sh60 million to Bunyala Sub-counties.

‘The repayment rate is, however, good, with Teso South standing at 73 per cent, Teso North at 73 per cent, Matayos at 78 per cent, Funyula at 73 per cent, Nambale at 76 per cent, Butula at 73 per cent and Budalangi at 77 per cent,’ she said.

Mangeni stated that there are about 10,000 Kenyans who borrow at least Sh50,000 daily, and the government plans to ensure that they have access to more funds without providing title deeds because they have a good credit score.

‘We have to rally the residents of Busia to apply for these credit facilities,’ she told the Government Administration officers, adding that the move will help in eradicating poverty and ensuring equitable development across the County.

Mangeni thanked the County government for clearing the Busia-Korinda road, adding that investors will have an easy way of dualling the road to the One Stop Border Post facility.

The Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Youth Affairs, and the Arts, Ababu Namwamba, assured th
e residents that the government is committed to fulfilling all its campaign promises.

Namwamba added that the government had embarked on the construction of the Port Victoria Coastguard facility with a view to enhancing security along Lake Victoria and reducing harassment of Kenyan fishermen by the Ugandan authorities.

‘We will continue to remind people of what the government is doing at the grassroots level and push for more resources,’ he said.

He at the same time reminded government officers to be ambassadors of the Hustler Fund, explaining that it will save the local residents from exploitation by predatory lenders.

Besides, the CS also said that his Ministry has begun training coaches, referees, and technical people under a programme for Busia coaches and referees.

‘We have already given them certificates, and we want more people to come forward and be trained in this programme so that they can be agents of unleashing the sporting talent of our young people,’ Namwamba said.

Namwamba further said th
at his Ministry is keen on nurturing sports among the youth through the Talanta Hela programme.

He stated that the Ministry is targeting to establish three sports academies and an athletics training centre in Busia County.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Nyanza Investment Conference To Unlock Business Potential

Preparations for the inaugural Nyanza International Investment Conference are in top gear, with the organisers confident of securing pacts to unlock the region’s potential.

The conference, slated for June 28-29, targets to showcase investment opportunities in the six counties of Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, and Nyamira with a view to attracting investors from around the world.

Organised by the Nyanza Professionals, the conference aims at securing public private partnerships (PPPs) between investors and the county governments in the region to spur economic growth in the area.

Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary (CS) Eliud Owalo said the conference to be held in Kisumu has the full backing of the government, with President Dr. William Ruto scheduled to officially open and make a key note address.

Cabinet Secretaries (CSs) and Principal Secretaries (PSs) from the various dockets where opportunities for investments have been identified, he said, will also particip
ate in the conference.

Speaking in Kisumu during a breakfast meeting for the event, Owalo lauded the Nyanza professionals for coming up with the initiative, saying it will go a long way in fast-tracking development in the area.

‘Development is all inclusive. It is not a prerogative of the national or county government. You have so many contacts out there which you need to leverage to support the development of this region,’ he said.

The government, he said, will continue to create an enabling environment for the business community and investors to tap into the region’s huge potential.

He pointed out the blue economy, which he said has a lot of potential, with the government already constructing a Sh3 billion aquaculture centre in Kisumu besides modernising fish landing sites along the lake to support the fishing community.

The Kenya Kwanza administration, he said, was focused on the completion of all stalled road projects in the area to create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive.

Nyanza Pro
fessionals Caucus Chairman Japh Olende said the team has developed a catalogue profiling top investment opportunities and projects for each of the six counties.

The projects, he said, cut across all the sectors, including, health, agriculture, tourism, mining, the blue economy, water and irrigation, infrastructure, and information and communication technology (ICT).

Olende, who signed a memorandum of understanding with the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) on hosting the event, urged local investors and the business community to register for the two-day conference in large numbers to make it a success.

He said that besides the panel discussions, there will also be exhibitions to showcase various projects and innovations.

KNCCI National Director Ken Onditi said the Chamber will rally its members to attend the conference and actively engage in the discourse.

The conference, he said, will be an opportunity for the business community to network and take up opportunities targeting a wide
r market.

‘We have had two investment conferences, one in Kisumu and another in Kakamega. However, this one is unique because it captures a wider market with four counties,’ he said.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Ethiopian Startup Awards Launched in Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa: The Ethiopian Startup Awards has been launched today with the objective to encourage innovative entrepreneurs in the country.

The Award Program was co-hosted by the Ministry of Labor and Skills, Global Startup Awards, and the Ministry of Innovation and Technology.

The launching ceremony was held in the presence of senior government officials including Deputy Prime Minister Temesgen Tiruneh and Minister of Labor and Skills Muferihat Kamil.

Speaking on occasion, Deputy Prime Minister Temesgen mentioned about the activities being carried out by the government of Ethiopia to boost Startups to help the country become influential in terms of innovation and technology.

He said attention has been given for the start uppers which are vital for development of other economic sectors.

Furthermore, he mentioned about the month long National Startup event launched by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed recently that attracted over 300 start uppers.

The even had created a platform to exchange knowledge, training, a
nd panel discussion, he underscored.

Acknowledging the positive impacts of innovation and technology, he indicated that those technologically advanced nations are influential in all fields. Ethiopia is aware of this and it has been intensifying reform to further stimulate the sector.

Winners of the Ethiopian Startup Awards are expected participate in a competition that will be held at African level next year in Ethiopia. Continental winners will also be part of the international award competition that is scheduled to take place in Istanbul, Turkeye.

Appreciating the private companies and stakeholders for their unreserved support for the start uppers, he called on to continue their enhanced support.

Temesgen also indicated that the government of Ethiopia has embarked on massive development activities in order to transform the country to a better chapter citing the surplus irrigated wheat production, green development revolution and other infrastructure.

Ministry of Labor and Skills, Muferihat Kamil on her
part said the star up initiative have been demonstrating the capacities of Ethiopian youths in innovations.

The attention given for innovation and creativity has create an opportunity for start uppers to be encouraged as several start uppers are engaging in the business activities, she added.

Start ups have been given the utmost attention in the 10 year development plan of the country, she indicated, mentioning the proclamations enacted to promote the sector.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Ethiopia’s Renewable Energy Serves Neighboring Countries

Addis Ababa: Minister of Water and Energy Habtamu Itefa has stressed the need to strengthen international partnerships and the participation of the private sector in Ethiopia’s renewable energy development which will serve neighboring countries as well.

The Accelerated Partnership for Renewables in Africa (APRA) country consultation workshop for Ethiopia was held in Addis Ababa today.

Comprising a consortium of African governments and stakeholders, including Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Namibia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe, with support from Denmark, Germany, UAE, and the US, APRA is spearheading efforts to expedite the deployment of renewables-based energy systems.

Addressing the workshop Habtamu said that the main objective of the meeting is to ensure comprehensive consultations towards determining the common implementation strategy and action plan that will support accelerate Ethiopia’s energy transition.

Ethiopia has significant renewable energy potential with hydropower estimated at 45 gigawatts wh
ile wind and geothermal have a combined potential capacity of 15 gigawatts, he revealed.

The country has taken the initiative to build the biggest hydropower dam in Africa with a capacity of 5.1 gigawatts will not only serve the country but also the neighboring countries, the minister affirmed.

For Habtamu, Ethiopia fully supports the APRA initiative and recognizes the potential it holds to drive a resilient and inclusive green growth in Africa through renewables.

‘We believe that three APRA areas of mobilizing finance, activating technical assistance, and capacity building and engaging the private sector will be especially important to transform Ethiopia’s energy sector in line with our priorities.’

Noting that international partnerships will help ensure the country receives effective support mechanisms, he said the government’s initiatives on policies such as the Private-Public Partnership is one of the many measures undertaking to enhance the private sector participation.

Head of APRA Secretariat Safi
atou Alzouma said APRA recognizes the importance of aligning the national priorities and frameworks of African countries ensuring that initiatives are not only relevant but also sustainable in the long-term.

APRA engagement includes country consultations, as well as the development of national action plans encompassing all necessary interventions essential to expedite the nations’ journey towards ambitious renewable energy development and green grow, she stated.

Today’s gathering will set the stage for APRA’s intervention in Ethiopia, she affirmed.

‘Ethiopia is endowed with huge renewable energy potential mainly hydro. If you look at the power mix of the country, it is over 90 percent of hydro. So Ethiopia can play a big role, a role of balance for the region,’ she noted.

Ethiopia is successfully supplying energy to its neighboring countries of Sudan, Djibouti and Kenya.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Efforts to Modernize Air Traffic Management, Regulatory System Contributing to Airline’s Success: NISS

Addis Ababa: The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) said efforts being carried out to modernize air traffic management system and strengthen regulatory frameworks are contributing to the airline’s success.

Ethiopian Civil Aviation International Security Audit began in Addis Ababa today.

The international audit is underway for the first time under the coordination of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in partnership with the International Civil Aviation Organization.

The opening of the audit was attended by senior government officials from NISS, Information Network Security Administration (INSA), Immigration and Citizenship Service, Ministry of Transport and Logistics, and Civil Aviation Authority among others.

On the occasion, Deputy General Director of NISS, Sisay Tola stated that one of the reasons that has made the Ethiopian Airlines the pride of Africa beyond Ethiopia is that its high priority given to render safe aviation services.

Ethiopia prioritizes sustainable g
rowth while upholding the highest standard of aviation security, Sisay indicated.

According to him, the government of Ethiopia is investing in infrastructures, cutting edge technologies and manpower trainings to detect and deter potential threats.

He said modernization efforts in air traffic management system and strengthening regulatory frameworks continue to be the airline’s success.

Ethiopian takes in its role as a leading institution in the aviation sector within Africa and maintains a close partnership with international civil aviation organization for decade, he added.

Aviation Security Sector Director at NISS, Asrat Kejela said Ethiopia has proven track records of hosting and successfully completed audits conducted by various international reputable organizations including America, France, UK, and Canada among other with great achievements.

These audits serve as a testament to Ethiopia’s unwavering commitment to transparency, accountability, and adherences to the global aviation security standards
, the director noted.

The audit will be conducted over the coming ten days at the Addis Ababa International Airport and other airports in the country.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Ethiopia Earns 1 Billion USD from Coffee Export in Ten months

Addis Ababa: Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority (ECTA) disclosed that coffee exports have brought 1 Billion USD to the country in revenue in ten months of the current fiscal year.

General Director of the Authority Adugna Debela told ENA Ethiopia’s coffee export is increasing every year.

About 210,000 tons of coffee has been exported to the global market over the past ten months, he added.

This shows significant increment compared to the same period of last year, it was indicated.

Noting the nation has exported coffee to more than 50 countries he said, adding that efforts are being made to expand the destination countries for Ethiopian coffee.

On other hand, coffee promotion work is being done by organizing coffee fairs and other activities in different countries.

‘In terms of finding new global markets, we participated in a lot of exhibitions. We have been encouraging our suppliers and exporters to participate in exhibitions held in different countries. Currently, China, South Korea, Sudan, and the Unit
ed Arab Emirates have started to take high production of Ethiopian coffee,’ he said.

Moreover, the General Director noted a modern system has been put in place to avoid illegal activities related to coffee trade and to increase the foreign trade performance of the sector.

U.S, Japan, Belgium, Germany and Saudi Arabia are the countries that import and consume Ethiopian coffee in large quantities.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Ethio-Djibouti Railways, Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Sign Partnership Agreement

Addis Ababa: Ethio-Djibouti Railways Share Company signed partnership agreement with Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics.

Ethio-Djibouti Railways Share Company CEO Abdi Zenebe and CEO of the Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics, Beriso Amelo signed the agreement today.

The agreement aims at enhancing the partnership of the two companies in areas of national interest.

Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics CEO, Beriso Amelo said on the occasion that the agreement would help to support the national economy by enhancing collaboration between the two companies and noted the volume of goods being transported by train has been steadily increasing.

He further indicated that the agreement will be instrumental in providing efficient services by addressing potential challenges that might encounter during shipments of goods and sustainably responding to customer demands.

Ethio-Djibouti Railways Share Company CEO Abdi Zenebe for his part said the agreement will help to expedite the logistics sector by creating coordinated work
system among the two companies.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Ethiopia Working to Expand Legal Overseas Employments to Europe, Asia

Addis Ababa: Efforts are being carried out to expand legal overseas employments to Europe and Asia in addition to the Middle East, Minister of Labor and Skills (MoLS) Muferihat Kamil revealed.

Approached by ENA in connection to overseas employment, Muferihat noted that better payment and employer relationship is being created by protecting the right, dignity and safety of citizens through legal agreements with respective countries.

Stating that activities are being carried out to expand legal overseas employments to Europe and Asia in addition to the Middle East, the minister said 304,000 citizens have been able to secure overseas employments in ten months in countries that have legal agreements with Ethiopia.

Ethiopian embassies in respective countries are providing close support for Ethiopians, she said, adding activities are also being underway to further strengthen people-to-people relations with the countries.

Stressing the need to take utmost cautions for citizens from the illegal traffickers, she s
aid that strict survivance is in place on entities involved in such illegal activities..

Muferihat urged citizens to tip and report legal instances to the ministry and law enforcement agencies.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Jordan and Qatar are currently providing legal employments; while Memorandum of Understanding was recently signed with Beirut and Kuwait to begin employment agreement, it was learned.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Ethiopia, South Korea Sign 1 Billion USD Financing Framework Agreement

Addis Ababa: Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol have signed a 1 billion US dollars financing framework agreement today.

The financing framework agreement targets projects to be implemented over the next four years, according to the Office of the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was warmly received by President Yoon Suk Yeol at the South Korean presidential office earlier today.

During the occasion, the two leaders held bilateral discussions and signed a 1 billion USD financing framework agreement for projects to be implemented over the next four years, it was indicated.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Nation Producing Textile, Apparel in Large Scales by Utilizing Local Raw Materials

Addis Ababa: Readymade Textile and Apparel are being manufactured at large scales in Ethiopia by utilizing local raw materials, Manufacturing Industry Development Institute revealed.

The 12th International Research Conference on Cotton, Textile and Apparel Value Chain in Africa (CTA-2024) held at the Ethiopian Institute of Textile and Fashion Technology (EiTEX) in Bahir Dar University.

The two-day conference featured insightful discussions, presentations of research outputs by esteemed presenters, and commentary from specialists within the field of study.

Deputy Director General of Manufacturing Industry Development Institute, Sileshi Lema said on the occasion that the national movement being carried out under the theme ‘Made in Ethiopia’ has enhanced the domestic capacity of the industry sector.

Ethiopia has been importing textile and apparel products from abroad by spending a minimum of one billion USD annually over the past years, Sileshi said however, he indicated that currently the country is produci
ng textile and apparel in large scales to substitute imports.

Scientific Director at the Ethiopian Institute of Textile and Fashion Technology (EiTEX) of Bahir Dar University, professor Tamerat Tesfaye on his part said the Institute is discharge its role by providing training to produce qualified professionals and skilled manpower in the field.

Among the graduate of the Institute, 25.6 percent have already established their own business and provided job opportunities for others, he added.

“The textile Apparel industry plays a pivotal role in supporting livelihoods through job creation, driving economic growth and fostering cultural experiences across the African continent,”

Source: Ethiopian News Agency