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Monday, March 17, 2014

ንቅናቄው በቅርቡ ከተቀላቀለው ብሔራዊ ድርጅት ከመድረክ ጋር በጋራ በመሆን በመጪው መጋቢት 20 ታላቅ ህዝባዊ ሰብሰባ በሃዋሳ ከተማ በሲዳማ ባህል ኣደራሽ ኣዘጋጅቷል።


በተመሳሳይ ዜና ባለፈው ቅዳሜ በመድረክ ኣዘጋጅነት በተካሄደው ህዝባዊ ሰብሰባ ላይ የሲዳማ ኣርነት ንቅናቄ በ15 ተወካዮች የተሳተፈ ሲሆን፤ ተወካዮቹ በሲዳማ የባህል ኣልባሳት ኣምረው ዘንጠው ወደ ጉባኤው ኣዳራሽ በገቡበት ወቅት ቤቱ በታላቅ ጭብጭባ ደማቅ ኣቀባበል እንዳደረገላቸው ሪፖርተራችን ጥቻ ወራና ከሃዋሳ ዘግቧል።

Producers from Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia have visited the Colombian estates of producers to discover the social, environmental and aesthetic benefits of growing shade coffee.


BOGOTA — Which is better, Colombian or African coffee? Whatever your preference, both regions are major world producers and have begun to work together to produce coffee that offers much more than enticing flavors and aroma.
This idea exchange began when producers in Rwanda and Burundi explored how they could focus on quality but also on environmental care and long-term sustainability. They wanted to generate additional revenues via tourism and improve the welfare of coffee workers at the same time. 
“The two countries begin to identify these elements as important practices for sustainable landscape management, with numerous environmental and social benefits,” says Paola Agostini, the World Bank’s Africa Regional Coordinator. So it made sense that they wanted to visit South America, where Colombia’s Coffee Axis, or Eje cafetero, became aUNESCO World Heritage site in 2011.
Producer Fabiola Vega, 65, proudly touches the coffee “cherries” starting to mature on her plants, which are covered by the generous shade of other trees that help reduce parasitic infestation and pesticide use, and help her produce top-quality coffee.  
With the help of specialist consultants in sustainable farming, her estate is also home to 35 cows and 600 trees planted every year for reforestation. And revenues from tourists who visit to admire the area’s natural beauty mean more income for coffee growers like her.
Vega tells a group of unusual visitors — coffee growers from Burundi, Rwanda and Ethiopia — about her sustainable methods. “I use the leaf litter as fertilizer,” she says.
Besides their tropical climate and mountainous terrain — and the horrible conflicts they have endured — these countries have something else in common with Colombia: large-scale coffee production. But methods differ on either side of the Atlantic. In Rwanda and Burundi, shade-grown coffee is in its infancy. In Colombia, it is a century-long tradition among many of the 560,000 families producing coffee, even if sun cultivation was encouraged for some years. 
In coffee’s original country, Ethiopia, it is still possible to find it as a woodland crop growing under the shade of trees. In Burundi, half its almost nine million inhabitants depend on coffee, which remains sun-grown. “With climate change, we see that production decreases at times of drought,” says Jumaine Hussein, a World Bank adviser on natural resource management. 
Colombia produced more than 650 million kilograms of coffee in 2013. And about 40% of the entire cultivation area is under shade. The visit by the African delegation was intended to let them personally witness successful coffee production that respects the environment and helps improve both the landscape and living conditions for the producers.
Visitors could also see how to establish a biological corridor, where trees connect two forests to safeguard regional biodiversity and provide other environmental services. They shared ideas with growers on creating alliances with commercial partners that assure them markets for their products in exchange for meeting quantitative and qualitative production levels. They also experienced eco-tourism on a coffee estate.
As in any exchange, the Colombians also had an opportunity to learn from their African colleagues. Before long, Colombian growers and specialists may well be traveling to check out coffee plantantions somewhere on the African continent. 
http://www.worldcrunch.com/food-travel/africa-looks-to-colombia-for-tips-on-sustainable-coffee/sustainable-coffee-colombia-africa/c6s15253/#.UycbehRdX4U
ዘመናዊ የግብይት ሥርዓት ለመዘርጋት ምሳሌ ይሆናል የተባለውን የኢትዮጵያ ምርት ገበያ በዋና ሥራ አስፈጻሚነት ሲመሩ የቆዩትን ዶ/ር እሌኒ ገብረ መድኅንን ተክተው ሲሠሩ የቆዩት አቶ አንተነህ አሰፋ ከኃላፊነታቸው ለቀቁ፡፡
ምንጮች እንደጠቆሙት አቶ አንተነህ ከኃላፊነት የለቀቁት አሜሪካ ሆነው ባመለከቱት የሥራ መልቀቂያ ደብዳቤ ሲሆን፣ የምርት ገበያው ቦርድ ጥያቄያቸውን ተቀብሎ አፅድቆታል፡፡ 
በቀድሞው ምክትል ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር አቶ አዲሱ ለገሰ ሊቀመንበርነት የሚመራው የኢትዮጵያ ምርት ገበያ ቦርድ የሥራ መልቀቂያውን ተቀብሎ ውሳኔ የሰጠው፣ ሐሙስ መጋቢት 4 ቀን 2006 ዓ.ም. መሆኑን የተገኘው መረጃ ያስረዳል፡፡  
አቶ አንተነህ ሥራቸውን ለመልቀቅ ውሳኔ ላይ ያደረሳቸው የጤና ችግር መሆኑን ምንጮች ጠቁመዋል፡፡ በልብ ሕመም ምክንያት በአገር ውስጥ በሕክምና ላይ እንደነበሩና አነስተኛ ቀዶ ጥገና ተደርጐላቸው እንደነበር ታውቋል፡፡
በዚህ ምክንያት ለከፍተኛ ሕክምና አሜሪካ የሄዱት አቶ አንተነህ፣ ሕክምናውን እዚያው በቅርብ እንዲከታተሉ በመወሰኑ ሥራቸውን ለመልቀቅ እንደተገደዱ እየተነገረ ነው፡፡ ወደ አሜሪካም ሲጓዙ ቤተሰቦቻቸውን ይዘው እንደሆነም ለጉዳዩ ቅርበት ያላቸው ለሪፖርተር አስረድተዋል፡፡ 
በሥራ ገበታቸው ላይ ሳይገኙ ከሁለት ወራት በላይ የቆዩት አቶ አንተነህ፣ ይመለሳሉ ተብሎ በሚጠበቅበት ጊዜ የሥራ መልቀቂያ መላካቸው ያልተጠበቀ ነው ተብሏል፡፡ 
አቶ አንተነህ ዋና ሥራ አስፈጻሚ በመሆን ሙሉ የምርት ገበያውን ኃላፊነት ተረክበው መምራት ከመጀመራቸው ቀደም ብሎ፣ ከነሐሴ 24 ቀን 2004 ዓ.ም. እስከ መስከረም 20 ቀን 2005 ዓ.ም. ድረስ ዕጩ ዋና ሥራ አስፈጻሚ ተብለው ከዶ/ር እሌኒ ጋር በጋራ ሲሠሩ እንደነበር ይታወሳል፡፡ መስከረም 20 ቀን 2005 ዓ.ም. ደግሞ ዶ/ር እሌኒ ኃላፊነቱን ተረክበው ምርት ገበያውን ሲመሩ ነበር፡፡  
የ40 ዓመቱ ጐልማሳ አቶ አንተነህ ወደ ምርት ገበያው ከመምጣታቸው በፊት፣ የአቢሲኒያ ባንክ ምክትል ፕሬዚዳንት በመሆን ሲያገለግሉ ቆይተዋል፡፡ በሥራ ዓለም ከ15 ዓመታት በላይ ልምድ አላቸው፡፡  
ዶ/ር እሌኒ ኃላፊነታቸውን እንደሚለቁ ካስታወቁ በኋላ እርሳቸውን ሊተኩ ይችላሉ ተብለው ከቀረቡት ተወዳዳሪዎች መካከል የተሻለ ውጤት በማምጣት አቶ አንተነህ መመደባቸው ይታወሳል፡፡ ዶ/ር እሌኒም ‹‹በትክክል የሚተካኝ አቶ አንተነህ ነው፤›› በማለት ብቃት ያላቸውና  ለቦታውም የሚመጥኑ መሆናቸውን መስክረውላቸው እንደነበር አይዘነጋም፡፡  
አቶ አንተነህ ለሕክምና ቤተሰቦቻቸውን ይዘው አሜሪካ ሲሄዱ እስኪመለሱ ድረስ የምርት ገበያው የኮምፕሊያንስ ኦፊሰር አቶ ሽመልስ ሀብተ ወልድ በውክልና እየመሩ ነበሩ፡፡
አሁንም አቶ አንተነህን ወክለው እየሠሩ ያሉት አቶ ሽመልስ፣ የአቶ አንተነህን ከኃላፊነት መልቀቅ በተመለከተ ለቀረበላቸው ጥያቄ ምንም ዓይነት አስተያየት እንደማይሰጡ ተናግረዋል፡፡
ምንጭ፦http://www.ethiopianreporter.com/index.php/news/itemlist/user/55-%E1%8B%B3%E1%8B%8A%E1%89%B5%E1%89%B3%E1%8B%AC
Ethiopia’s Growing Debt Appetite and Eurobond

The Ethiopian government has significantly increased its borrowing in recent years. Debt-to- GDP ratio has reached an all time high of 35 percent and continues to grow. Lately, the country has also been shifting slowly from concessional loans to market based loans. The Ethiopian Ministry of Finance & Economic Development (MOFED) data shows that, since the beginning of the 2008 world financial crisis through 2013, Ethiopia’s external debt has grown by 156 percent from USD 4.35 billion to USD 11.17 billion. The total public outstanding debt was at USD 16.11 billion, excluding domestic lending to State Owned Enterprises. During the same period, IMF was estimating Ethiopia’s GDP at Birr 877.5 Billion (USD 46 billion).
At the moment, Ethiopia has a government guaranteed soft loan program with a rate below 2 percent, a grace period of up to 10 years, and longer duration loans with multilateral development banks, The World Bank loans maturing in 40 years and the African Development Bank loans maturing in 50 years. Both institutions require a service charge of 0.75 percents.
Looking at the current debt structure, Ethiopia has also borrowed at low rates from non-Paris Club lenders, particularly China and India. But most of the loans with China are floating or adjustable rates ranging between LIBOR 6 month +1.5 basis points to LIBOR 6month + 3 basis points, with a grace period of up to 6 years and maturity of 15 years. Ethiopia was able to get this low rate due to captive funding from the likes of Huawei and ZTE. Huawei and ZTE have been lending to Ethio-Telecom making this government owned company solely dependent on Chinese telecommunication equipment providers.
Lately, MOFED has initiated discussions with credit rating agencies with the intention of tapping into the sovereign debt market in search of financing for large investment projects. Ethiopia has not yet issued sovereign debt but is in the process of getting a sovereign rating. One of the renowned credit rating agencies, Moody’s, has visited Ethiopia and met with various stakeholders. This process will enable Ethiopia to be part of the list of countries whose financial standing and credit worthiness is known and thus has the opportunity to gain access to sovereign bonds.
The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, has recently announced that the government has hired the boutique French investment bank Lazard Ltd. as an advisory service to help facilitate the country’s credit rating in order to issue a sovereign bond. Most likely the underwriters will be a consortium of French banks. Credit rating is a mechanism that provides access to the international debt market. But in the end, it all boils down to the perception of the country’s ability to pay its debt. Until now, Ethiopia had no plan to get a credit rating and so far is unable to issue debt instruments on the international capital market. There is a strong indication that Ethiopia is headed towards borrowing at market rate. As reported on Bloomberg news,” the country has plans to issue not only Eurobonds but other bonds as well.”
Eurobond is a foreign currency denominated bond, usually in USD, EUR or JPY. According to Deutsche Bank AG, fourteen sub-Saharan African countries, namely Senegal, Zambia, Gabon, Nigeria, Namibia, Tanzania, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Mozambique, Ghana, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Seychelles and Namibia have issued Eurobond. The average sub-Saharan Eurobond is paying an approximate yield of 6.9 percent, but this low rate will not remain low forever. The main reason for the recent growth in Africa’s sovereign borrowing is due to low yields in Europe and US sovereign bonds resulting in a strong demand from investors to look at emerging market bonds, such as those in Africa. The 2008 global financial crisis and global economy has also made grants harder to come by and donor funds usually come with attached conditions such as good governance.
For Ethiopia, obtaining a credit rating and issuing Eurobonds will create greater transparency and encourage sound public debt management policies. Moreover, as the current Growth Transformation Plan (GTP) 2010-2015 nears its end, Ethiopian authorities should re-focus their energy on establishing both primary and secondary markets for government and private debt issuance, where bonds are traded.
Two of the reasons luring African countries to explore the Eurobond market as an alternative source of financing with cheaper funding costs are inflation and fluctuating exchange rates in African countries. Inflation and fluctuating currencies make it more expensive to issue local bonds in the local markets. However, the story in Ethiopia is different in that the country does not have a well-developed primary market. In the absence of capital markets, domestic bonds were not adjusting for inflation, and investors (bond holders) were not getting the true market value.”
Furthermore, African countries that are reliant on commodities export to finance debt with Eurobond will be faced with difficulties to meet their debt obligations. Ethiopia is no different, for example, if there is a significant drop in the price of coffee on the international market, the Birr will as a result depreciates against major currencies and the cost of repaying debt will be higher. Regardless, it seems authorities in Ethiopia are determined to get additional funding by issuing sovereign bond.
Over time, foreign currency denominated bonds issued by African countries will not continue to be less costly. Especially when we take into consideration the ongoing development where the US Federal Reserve is tapering its long term asset purchase program which will set the US interest rate to rise, emerging market investors will be flocking back to the US market to capture higher returns. In order to attract investors African countries will have to issue their bonds at higher coupon rates, which also means authorities in Ethiopia and elsewhere in Africa will pay higher borrowing costs.
Moreover, in 2013 Ethiopian central government’s total domestic outstanding debt was at USD 4.9 billion, of which USD 634 million was issued as government bonds. The total domestic debt consists of Treasury Bill USD 1.37 billion at 59 percent and Direct Advance (MOFED overdraft from Central Bank) USD 2.9 USD billion, at 27 percent of the total domestic debt outstanding.
The current economic policy in Ethiopia is government led and policy makers should take into account that the growing public debt borrowing will not cause a “crowding out effect” on private sector funding. The government of Ethiopia is borrowing 31 percent of its debt locally. Unless there is a strong commitment by the government of Ethiopia to reform its financial sector, such as updating its commercial code and securities laws, it is less likely that the recently issued agency debt instruments, the Millennium Bond and the Diaspora Bond, will be successful.
Indeed, there is a strong case for establishing a domestic debt market in Ethiopia. Good examples are the low subscription of the agency bonds, EEPCO Millennium Corporate Bond Rate (Face Value 100, fixed interest rate between 4-5 percent and maturing between 5-10 years), and the Renaissance-Dam Bond ( Face Value USD 50, adjustable rate between LIBOR+125 basis point to LIBOR +200 basis point, maturing between 5-8 years).
Bloomberg news, quoting Berket Simon, the former Minister of Information of Ethiopia, reported “Birr 5 billion has been raised from the public by selling bonds.”Birr 5 billion translates to USD 263 million which is a small fraction of the USD 4.5 billion estimated funding needed to build the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
There are several reasons for the meager Ethiopian government bonds subscription. (i) The double digit inflation rate at the time the bonds were issued gave bond holders a negative return on their investment. Agency bond holders in Ethiopia are unable to realize the true market value of their investments in government bonds and could only redeem the full amount at maturity; (ii) Economic and political risk considerations should have been addressed. Dilip Ratha World Bank Lead Economist and an expert on Migration and Remittance, was once quoted on Diaspora Bond and political risk considerations stating; “The Diaspora purchase bonds as long as they believe they have influence on policies”. ( iii) The inadequate bond subscription should have been avoided by establishing a well organized market similar to the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange Board for both primary and secondary bond markets, for domestic borrowing by the public and private sector, before venturing out to issue government bonds in the primary market.
Experts on Ethiopian economy stated, “the primary capital market in Ethiopia is characterized by low yield, markets are entirely dominated by state owned enterprises and there is a lack of competition. Therefore, under the current condition it is difficult to think of a secondary market.”
MOFED had a total projected expenditure of Birr 690 billion (USD 36 billion), 80 percent allocated to capital expenditure of which only 27 percent, or Birr 150 billion, was earmarked for road construction during the 2010-15 GTP.
Ethiopian policy makers should not only focus on the foreign currency needed for capital expenditure, but should rethink the country’s ownership and banking laws as well.
National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) is showing some positive signs like the current move toward establishing a centralized credit bureau system for individual borrowers which could also extend for institutional borrowers through the formation of debt markets.
Ways to achieve sound public debt management and encourage the public sector include: (i) having no restriction on private corporations and financial intuitions from issuing debt financing in the local market; (ii) making sure that banking directives and regulations are predictable and not arbitrary, giving confidence to the private sector to participate in economic development of the country; (iii) making sure that NBE regulators are working in consultation with the banking industry and private sector at large; (v) and finally, while it is a positive sign that policy makers are aggressively looking to obtain credit rating to raise debt capital, they should also continue to strengthen the NBE’s capabilities.
In conclusion, in order to engage the private sector and retail investor (small investor) in the economic development of the country, Ethiopian policy makers need to establish a properly functioning primary and secondary market for debt issuance. There should be a regulated primary market for initial public offering of newly formed share companies. The current privatization program should jump start the financial intermediary functions of brokers and dealers, enabling the retail investor to participate in the acquisition of government owned public enterprises as a share company. But without a policy change and properly functioning primary market the privatization program will only benefit the highest bidder and not promote wealth distribution across the board.
The writer: is a graduate student in finance at Johns Hopkins University and could be reached at Ethiopia.capitalmarkets@gmail.com
References:
Ethiopia Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Source for Borrowing Cost: Public Sector Debt Statistical Bulletin
FDRE: Growth Transformation Plan (GTP) 2010-2015. Volume 1 Main Text
Note:
National Bank of Ethiopia USD/Birr exchange rate of 18.8598 on October 10/13/2013 was used.
LIBOR is the (London Inter Bank Borrowing Rate) is an index for floating rating or adjustable rate.
Source@http://nazret.com/blog/index.php/2014/03/15/ethiopia-s-growing-debt-appetite
Photo@http://elmartyhawassa.blogspot.com/2012/06/home.html
በሃዋሳ ከተማ እና በሌሎች የደቡብ ኣከባቢዎች የሙያ ብቃት ማረጋገጫ ማስረጃ ኣጭበርባሪዎች መበራከታቸው ተሰማ፤ ሲዳማን ጨምሮ በደቡብ ክልል በግማሽ ኣመት ውስጥ የሙያ ማረጋገጫ ፈተና ከወሰዱት19 862 ሙያተኞች መካከል ግማሾቹ ወድቀዋል።

ከቅርብ ጊዜ ወዲህ በተለይ ከቴክኒክ እና ሙያ ተቋማት ስልጥነው የምወጡ ሙያቸኞች የሙያ ማረጋገጫ ፈተና እንድወስዱ መገደዳቸውን ተከትሎ የሙያ ማረጋገጫውን ፈተና ውጤት የሚያጭበረብሩ ሙያተኞች ቁጥር መበራከቱ እየተነገረ ነው።

የወራንቻ ኢንፎርሜሽን ኔትዎርክ ሰሞኑን ከሃዋሳ እንደዘጋበው፤ ሲዳማን ጨምሮ በደቡብ ክልል ባለፉት ስድስት ወራት 19 862 ሙያተኞች የብቃት ማረጋገጫ ፈተና የወሰዱ ሲሆኑ ፈተናውን ያለፉት ግማሾቹ ብቻ ናቸው ።

የወኢኔት ሪፖርተሮች ያናገሯቸው እና ስማቸው እንድጠቀስ ያልፈለጉ በደቡብ ክልል የሙያ ብቃት ምዘናና ማረጋገጫ ማዕከል የምሰጠውን ፈተና የወሰዱ ተፈታኞች እንደተናገሩ፤ በማዕከሉ የምሰጠው የሙያ ብቃት ምዘና ከባድ መሆኑን በየተቋማቱ ያለውን የሙያ ትምህርት ጥራት ከግምት ውስጥ ያላስገባ ነው።

እንደኣስተያየት ስጪዎቱ ከሆነ፤ መንግስት በምዘና ፈተና ላይ ብቻ ትኩረት ከመሰጠት ወደየሙያ ተቋማቱ የምገቡ ሰልጣኞች በኣግባቡ የምገባውን ትምህርት እና የሙያ ክሎት እንድይዙ የሚያደርግ የትምህርት ስርዓት መዘርጋት ኣለበት ብለዋል።

ኣክለውም በየየሙያ ተቋማቱ ያለው የትምህርት ስርዓት ጥራት የሌለው መሆኑን ገልጸው፤ የሙያ ማረጋገጫ ከምወስዱት ከግማሽ በላይ የምሆኑት ምዘናውን ማለፈ ኣለመቻል ለትምህርቱ ጥራት ማነስ ማሳያ ነው ብለዋል ።

እንደ ሪፖርተሮቻችን ዘገባ ከሆነ፤የሙያ ምዘናው ፈተናው ከባድ ከመሆኑ ጋር ተያይዞ በርካታ ተፈታኞች ሀሰተኛ የሙያ ማረጋገጫ ማስረጃዎችን እንድያቀርቡ ተገደዋል። 

በክልሉ ባለፉት ስድስት ወራት ብቻ ከተለያዩ ሴክተሮች ትክክለኛ የሙያ ብቃት ማረጋገጫ ማስረጃ መሆኑ ይጣራልኝ ተብሎ ከቀረቡ 1 ሺህ 770 ማስረጃዎች መካከል 312 ማስረጃዎች ተመሳስሎ የተሰሩ ሀሰተኛ የሙያ ብቃት ማስረጃ መሆኑንሰሞኑን የመንግስት መገናኛ ብዘሃን ዘግበዋል።

በተለይ በሃዋሳ ከተማ በህገ-ወጥ መንገድ የሙያ ብቃት ማረጋገጫ የሚሰጡ ተቋማት መበራከታቸው የተገጸ ሲሆን፤ ማዕከሉ ከክልሉ ፖሊስ ኮሚሽን ጋር በመቀናጀት በሃዋሳ ከተማ ባደረገው አሰሳ ሀሰተኛ የሙያ ብቃት ማስረጃ ይዘው የተገኙ  ዘጠኝ  ግለሰቦች መያዙንና በሌሎች ከተሞችም ስራው ተጠናክሮ መቀጠሉን ተል፡፡