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#GERD facts: The Commencement of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Project

  • Lifting its population out of poverty is a question of survival for Ethiopia. A nation of one hundred ten million people must use its endowments of its people, its geography and its natural resources mainly water, to achieve its development objectives. The Nile is the major water resource, for Ethiopia constituting about 70% of annual surface water. For Ethiopia accessing and utilizing its water resources is not a matter of choice, but an imperative of continued existence.


  • Ethiopia is constructing the GERD, based on the internationally accepted principle of equitable and reasonable utilization of shared water resources and causing of no significant harm for purposes of alleviation of poverty and attainment of socio-economic development through the generation of sustainable energy and also to promote regional integration through power trade. The GERD offers a unique and timely opportunity for cooperation among African countries.

ILO Global Summit on COVID-19 and the World of Work – Building a better future of work

The International Labour Organization is holding a virtual Global Summit to address the impact of COVID-19 on the world of work.

H.E. Ms. Sahle-Work Zewde took part in the summit and emphasized the importance of multilateralism and international cooperation in her statement on #COVID19 and the world of work.

You can follow the virtual summit here:

Source: ILO

Ethiopia among Forbes’ post-Covid ‘Rising Stars in Travel’

Report says: Out of the 54 nations that make up Africa, one could make the argument that Ethiopia has the most fascinating historic background

ETHIOPIA HAS been included among Forbes ‘Rising Stars in Travel‘, which feature seven countries that have potential to become major tourist destinations in a post-Covid world. The other countries listed were Slovenia, Tunisia, Iran, Myanmar (Burma), Georgia and The Phiippines.

“As the global tourism industry struggles in the midst of this unprecedented downturn, many nations around the world are preparing for a boom in international visitors once travel is more feasible – for some countries, this could be their first opportunity to establish themselves as a prominent regional force for tourism,” travel writer Jared Ranahan said.

Visitors to this unique country will find a truly diverse scope of natural beauty – the western edges of Ethiopia are home to lush rainforest, which quickly gives way to the towering peaks of the Ethiopian Highlands as one ventures east.

“While the following countries have yet to become world-class destinations, the ingredients are all there – pristine natural beauty, historic ruins, and fascinating cultural experiences can be encountered in abundance across all seven of these highly underrated nations.”

For Ethiopia, the report said: “Out of the 54 nations that make up Africa, one could make the argument that Ethiopia has the most fascinating historic background – it was the second civilization on earth to adopt Christianity, the only African nation to defeat a European power in battle and resist colonialism during the Scramble for Africa, and it’s believed that our earliest human ancestors first came from this fertile region.”


“Visitors to this unique country will find a truly diverse scope of natural beauty – the western edges of Ethiopia are home to lush rainforest, which quickly gives way to the towering peaks of the Ethiopian Highlands as one ventures east.

SIGHT TO BEHOLD: The report put the African nation ahead of six others

“If the rich history and spectacular natural sites don’t propel this nation to stardom, the national cuisine surely will – eating injera by hand is a cultural experience that everybody should take part in at least once in their life.”

In related news, Tourism Ethiopia said it has started spraying disinfectant on major tourist sites as part of efforts to slowly reopen tourist sites for visitors and contain the spread of Covid-19.

“The more we deter the spread of the virus on tourist sites, the more we are ready to welcome visitors sooner,” the tourism body said.


Blue Nile

#GERD facts: The Nile River

  • The Nile draws its water from three long rivers – the White Nile, Blue Nile, and the Atbara, which flows from North-West Ethiopia to the Nile in East Sudan. The longest river in the world, the Nile stretches 6,650 kilometers and passes through eleven countries: Burundi, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
  • Ethiopia contributes over 85% to the Nile water.
  • The volume of the Nile’s annual flow is 84 billion cubic meters. These Nile Basin nations have a combined population of roughly over 500 million people and is expected to double in the next twenty-five years.
  • To date, there is no international legal regime that governs the utilization of the river among the Nile basin countries.
  • After more than thirteen years of negotiation, among the Nile basin riparian states, The Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA), a treaty that outlines principles, rights, and obligations for cooperative management and development of the Nile Basin water resources, was signed by all riparian states except Egypt and Sudan. Among these, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda have ratified it. With two more additional ratifications, it would be the first and only binding legal regime on the Nile river.

African Development Fund approves $165 million grant for national COVID-19 emergency response

The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF) on 3 July approved a grant of $165.08 million to support Ethiopia’s response to the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including helping to ease fiscal pressures on the economy.

The grant, awarded from the country’s ADF-15 Performance-Based Allocation, will help bolster Ethiopia’s COVID-19 National Emergency Response Plan (NERP).  The NERP outlines a reliable, multi-sector approach to tackling the pandemic. It aims to expand social protection coverage for the most vulnerable, enhance capacity to contain the virus outbreak, and address macro-fiscal imbalances as well as cushioning the effects of the crisis on the private sector.

This Bank’s support will especially help local businesses and vulnerable households, particularly the urban poor,” said Abdul Kamara, the Bank’s Country manager for Ethiopia. “The program will increase the number of COVID-19 testing laboratories, train 45,000 healthcare workers in COVID-19 response, and aid in rolling out a risk-communication and community engagement strategy to raise awareness on transmission and prevention.”

The country’s health system remains weak, with only three hospital beds per 10,000 persons. The package will assist in refurbishing 300 isolation centers, 34 treatment centers and 100 quarantine centers.

The program will also support the government to offset unplanned expenditures deployed to stabilize the economy under the NERP, and funds will be apportioned to protect small businesses in the formal and informal economy in order to preserve approximately 26,000 jobs.

Ethiopia, along with the rest of Africa, is feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is threatening to reverse recent economic gains. Apart from existing food security issues heightened by COVID-19, the agricultural sector is facing complex and multiple shocks, including the desert locust invasion and climate risks, which pose a threat to productive farmers.

On 8 April, Ethiopia’s parliament declared a state of emergency, and national elections, which were scheduled for 29 August, were postponed.

Ethiopia’s robust economic growth, averaging around 10% annually from 2004/05, is expected to slump as a result of the adverse impact of COVID-1. The country’s 2020 GDP growth has been revised downwards from initial projections of 7.2% to between 2.6% and 3.1%.

The pandemic is also expected to negatively impact the private sector, especially in the construction, exports, and tourism and travel sub-sectors. Ethiopia’s tourism sector accounts for about 9.4% of GDP and employs some 2.2 million people. COVID-19 is expected to further reduce inflows, constraining the importation of raw materials.

The proposed program is aligned with the Bank Group’s Ten-Year Strategy 2013-2022, in particular, the High 5 priority “Improve the quality of life of the people of Africa”, and Pillar II of the Ethiopia Country Strategy Paper 2016-2020, “Promoting Economic Governance”. The NERP is being supported in partnership with several development institutions such as the World Bank, the IMF, and the Korean Exim Bank.

As of 1 July 2020, Ethiopia had recorded close to 6,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 2,430 recoveries and 103 deaths.

Source: AfDB

Ethiopia: Land of origins and a new tourism hotspot

Discover the article wrote by Travel Tomorrow Eu on Ethiopia being the “new hotspot for tourism”. After being named the world’s best tourism destination by the European Council on Tourism and Trade in 2015, Ethiopia continues to attract more tourists (750,000 in the last nine months alone). “Incredible wildlife, remarkable culture and peoples, delicious food, pleasant weather, and seven UNESCO World Heritage sites” are among its attractions. Read the article here : 

Public Consultation Held on the 10-Year Perspective Dev’t Plan

Planning and Development Commission conducted a consultation with the public on the 10-year perspective development plan document.

The draft plan is aimed at reaching the annual national economic growth of the country to more than 10 percent for the coming years.

Planning and Development Commissioner, Fitsum Assefa said the consecutive participatory public consultation from the outset of the plan’s drafting is to ensure it is in the best interest of every Ethiopian.

Short and medium-term plans will be set, she said, adding that the 10-year plan is pivotal in bringing about remarkable change in inflation, poverty reduction and most of all ascertaining the country’s prosperity.

The plan envisages lifting the annual per capital to 8.2 percent and lower poverty from 19 to 7 percent.

Prioritizing agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, and mining, the perspective plan will be able to create 1.3 new jobs annually, and securing 100 percent energy and clean water needs, it was indicated.

Participant of the consultation, Fantu Farris from the International Finance Corporation said the plan, by assessing the realities on the ground and giving equitable value to sectors, considers the economy as an ecosystem.

This, she pointed out will maintain the interdisciplinary value of the sectors and contribution to the entire economic growth.

“However, it needs to utilize the existing private sector and entrepreneurs while bringing about new and capable ones in order to enhance their involvement and contribution in realizing the targeted goals,” Fantu stated.

Private firms gain only less than 20 percent loan from financial institutions, she mentioned, and stressed: “this has to be improved as technology and finance are imperatively determinant in boosting the involvement of capable private sector in the economy.”

Ethiopia Cup Of Excellence Auction Breaks Records

The 2020 Ethiopia Cup of Excellence (COE) auction has broken records, with total sales of 1,348,690 US Dollars topping the previous record of 830,245 US Dollars from El Salvador in 2011.

The El Salvador auction had 42 lots for sale, while the COE Ethiopia auction included only 28, achieving a record-high average price of 28 US Dollars per pound.

The top-scoring coffee in the 2020 COE Ethiopia competition sold at 185.10 US Dollars per pound or 407 US Dollars per kilogram. The Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE) says this is the highest price ever recorded for an Ethiopian coffee.

Half of the lot was purchased by Maruyama Coffee Co from Japan and its buying group, consisting of Saza Coffee, Cometeer, Goodboybob Coffee, Difference Coffee, and Harrods. The other half of the lot was purchased by Sarutahiko Coffee Inc from Japan.

Its producer, Nigusie Gemeda of Sidama, was stunned to see the price paid for his coffee.

“I have been a coffee farmer for a long time, but I am just learning the value of our coffee. I am so happy with the result. Never could I have imagined coffee would have sold with such price. Now I know there is a reason for coffee to be called the green gold,” he says.

The 168 registered buyers from 33 countries bid 4137 times for more than five hours to secure the sought-after winning coffees.

The second-from-the-top coffees coming from Rumudamo Coffee in Sidama, had a total of 902 bids, another record number in the competition history.

“It’s a powerful lesson and beyond what we could have had imagined. We sell our coffee for less than a dollar at times and it’s been discouraging for growers.

Now we see there is a market we can tap into if we can guarantee the quality,” says Ato Bogale Woledehana, General Manager of Rumudamo Coffee.

The United States Company Coffee at Intelligentsia won out in the competitive bid, paying a price of US$108 per pound.

“Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee and widely considered to be the producer of the most delicious coffees in the world, yet many of its farmers are among the poorest. This auction sends a message of hope that not only validates the investments – and associated risks – in quality but also serves as a reminder that the quality movement is here to stay” said Geoff Watts, Vice President of Coffee at Intelligentsia.

Source: FBC