Chinese Miner to Start Copper Output in Eritrea by Next Year

  • Sichuan Road bought majority stake in project in 2016
  • Mine outside Eritrean capital to produce gold, zinc, silver

By Nizar Manek, 24 August 2018
(Bloomberg) --
A unit of Sichuan Road & Bridge Co. will start producing copper, zinc, gold and silver at a mine in Eritrea by early next year, helping diversify the country’s agrarian economy, a mines ministry official said.
The project will add to two operating mines in the Horn of Africa nation, which is reemerging as an investor destination after a rapprochement with neighboring Ethiopia last month ended two decades of political tensions.
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Ethiopian Electric Power Replaces Chief Executive, Fana Reports

(Bloomberg) --
By Nizar Manek, 23 August 2018
Ethiopian Electric Power Corp., the state-owned company overseeing construction of the country’s multibillion-dollar hydropower dams, replaced its chief executive officer, Fana Broadcasting Corp. reported.
The new CEO will be Abrham Belay, the former deputy director-general of Ethiopia’s Information Network Security Agency, Fana cited EEP’s external relations director as saying. It didn’t give a reason for the replacement of Azeb Asnake, who was appointed CEO five years ago.
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Eritrea Mulls Port as Ethiopia Rapprochement Spurs Investors

  • Harbor could be used to ferry fertilizer exports from new mine
  • Construction of mine may start later this year

By Nizar Manek, 23 August 2018
(Bloomberg) --
Eritrea is considering building a port on its Red Sea coastline to export potash from deposits being developed in the Horn of Africa nation, a mines ministry official said.
Plans for the harbor signal the country’s reemergence as a potential investor destination after its surprise rapprochement with neighboring Ethiopia last month ended two decades of political tensions. The facility could be used to ship potash from Ethiopia and adds to a series of port developments in the strategically located region by nations including Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and the self-declared Republic of Somaliland.
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Years of Abuse in Eastern Ethiopia Need Probe, Rights Group Says

  • Regional police force implicated in killings, torture: HRW
  • Local president deposed this month amid heightened tensions

By Nizar Manek, 20 August 2018
(Bloomberg) --
Ethiopia’s government must commit to a full investigation into years of rights abuses and violations of the laws of war in the eastern Somali region, Human Rights Watch said, after the regional president was deposed.
The Liyu Police force, which was under ex-President Abdi Mohamoud Omar’s control, has enacted an abusive counter-insurgency campaign over the past decade and been implicated in extrajudicial killings, torture and rape, the New York-based rights group said Monday. In a 2008 report, Human Rights Watch accused both Ethiopian security forces and insurgents of war crimes in the region.
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Eritrea Leader to Revisit Ethiopia as Talks Turn to Rebels

  • Trip comes amid plans for Eritrea-based rebels to return home
  • African neighbors officially ended two-decade conflict in July

By Nizar Manek, 17  August 2018
(Bloomberg) --
Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki will make his second trip to Ethiopia since the Horn of Africa nations declared peace in July, amid signs that Ethiopian rebels previously designated as terrorists will return home unarmed to participate in politics.
Plans for Isaias’ visit were relayed by Nigusu Tilahun, the chief of communications for Ethiopia’s Amhara regional state, who didn’t give a date. The announcement comes after Amhara authorities signed a reconciliation agreement with the rebel Amhara Democratic Forces Movement this week in Eritrea, allowing the group to pursue political activities in Ethiopia after they disarm, Nigusu said in a statement.
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Ethiopia Could Sell Airline Hotel, Airports in Investor Hunt

  • Disposals would be ahead of a potential stake sale in carrier
  • New leader Abiy is opening nation up to foreign investors

By Nizar Manek, 25 July 2018
(Bloomberg) --
Ethiopian Airlines Enterprise is emerging as the flag bearer of plans by Africa’s fastest-growing economy to open up to foreign investors after decades as a closed shop.
While new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s ruling politburo has said a minority stake in the continent’s largest carrier could be up for grabs, Chief Executive Officer Tewolde GebreMariam now adds that related assets such as airports and a five-star hotel could also be sold off. That would give investors an opportunity to take ownership in businesses that were nationalized in the 1980s under the former Communist Derg regime.
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Ethio Telecom Names Frehiwot as New Chief, Fana Reports

By Samuel Gebre and Nizar Manek, 18 July 2018
(Bloomberg) --
Ethiopia Telecommunications Corp. has named Firehiwot Tamiru as the new chief executive officer of the monopoly, Fana Broadcasting Corp. said on Facebook.
He replaces Andualem Admassie, who was “relieved of his duties,” Fana said on Twitter, citing a person it didn’t identify. Thirty other employees will also leave the company, it said.
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Ethiopian Airline Makes First Flight to Eritrea This Century

  • National carrier hasn’t made trip since war two decades ago
  • New daily flights show thaw in relations for once-bitter foes

By Nizar Manek, 18 July 2018
(Bloomberg) --
Ethiopia’s national carrier is making its first regular passenger flight to neighboring Eritrea since a war two decades ago, underlining a surprise rapprochement between the former foes who have vowed to rebuild economic links.
The Ethiopian Airlines Group flight left the capital, Addis Ababa, on Wednesday morning, heading for Eritrea’s main city, Asmara. It’s the first flight in what will be a daily service by Africa’s biggest airline, which Ethiopia’s ruling politburo is opening to foreign investment, part of a wind of change sweeping the fast-growing economy since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office in April.
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Ethiopia Confirms Airline Plans to Buy 20% of Eritrean Carrier

By Nizar Manek, 17 July 2018
(Bloomberg) --
Ethiopia said its state-owned airline will buy a 20 percent stake in a carrier in neighboring Eritrea after flights resume between the now-friendly nations later this week. 
A stake in Eritrean Airlines would be a “logical step,” Ethiopian Airlines Group Chief Executive Officer Tewolde GebreMariamsaid in an interview published Monday. The move was confirmed by Ethiopia’s government communications office on its Facebook page Tuesday. 
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Ethiopian Shelves Plane Deals, Maps Out Privatization Plan

  • 100-seater requirement on hold as demand favors bigger jets
  • Hotel, logistics arms ripe for outside investment, CEO says

By Nizar Manek, 16 July 2018
Ethiopian Airlines Group has shelved plans to establish a fleet of smaller jetliners as gains in demand suggest that the routes where they’d be deployed would be better served using larger planes.
Africa’s biggest airline had been looking at Bombardier Inc.’s C Series aircraft -- since taken over by Airbus SE and renamed the A220 -- together with Embraer SA’s E195. An order, which had been mooted as likely at this week’s Farnborough air show, is now off the agenda, Chief Executive Officer Tewolde GebreMariam said in an interview.
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​​Ethiopian, Eritrean Leaders Vow to Safeguard Peace Treaty

By Nizar Manek
(Bloomberg) --
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said he would take action against those who may seek to block a peace declaration with Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki, as Ethiopia’s army awaits instructions on troop withdrawals from border areas.
Isaias said both nations would work together to safeguard the newfound peace that’s ended nearly two decades of frosty relations between the neighboring nations, state-run Ethiopian News Agency reported Sunday, citing speeches the night before.
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Eritrea's President to Visit Ethiopia as Relations Rebound

  • Visit will mirror Ethiopian premier’s recent historic trip
  • Once bitter Horn of Africa foes declared end to war this week

By Nizar Manek, 13 July 2018
(Bloomberg) --
Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki will make an historic visit to Ethiopia on Saturday, days after the once-bitter foes declared peace and agreed to reestablish economic links.
Isaias’s visit will mirror Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s groundbreaking trip to neighboring Eritrea last weekend. The two countries -- at odds since a 1998-2000 border war that claimed as many as 100,000 lives -- sealed a swathe of agreements, restoring diplomatic relations, flights and telecommunications, as well as allowing Ethiopia’s use of Red Sea ports.
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From the edge of war to the bridge of love

Africa Confidential Vol 59 No 14 | 12 July 2018
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has topped off weeks of revolutionary change by triumphantly making peace with Eritrea
The Ethiopian leader's previously inconceivable trip to Asmara on a mission of reconciliation on 8 July has reshaped regional geopolitics and crowned Abiy Ahmed's premiership with a hugely popular prize – peace with Eritrea and normalisation of relations. Nearly two decades of tense stand-off melted away when Abiy flew in to Asmara to a tumultuous welcome and a warm embrace from Eritrea's gruff dictator, Issayas Afewerki. They signed a joint declaration of peace and promised to implement the Algiers peace agreement signed in 2000. That deal ended a blood-drenched border war but never lifted the spectre of another outbreak of fighting and failed to restore normal relations between the former allies.
It was a coup de théâtre typical of Abiy's style. In a speech to Issayas and assembled dignitaries, he said: 'There is no border between Eritrea and Ethiopia because the border has been demolished and replaced with a bridge of love.' It was all 'wine and roses' during a 'fairy-tale visit', said an excited regional diplomat.
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Once Bitter Foes, Ethiopia and Eritrea Promise `Bridge of Love'

  • Horn of African nations resume full diplomatic relations
  • Ethiopian leader made unprecedented trip to Eritrea on Sunday

By Nizar Manek and Samuel Gebre, 9 July 2018
(Bloomberg) --
Ethiopia and Eritrea made a declaration of peace and agreed to reestablish economic links after an unprecedented summit between the Horn of Africa nations’ leaders ended decades of enmity.
In an historic visit to neighboring Eritrea, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sealed a swathe of agreements with President Isaias Afwerki, restoring diplomatic relations, flights and telecommunications, as well as securing Ethiopia’s use of Red Sea ports. Foreign observers described it as a boost for regional stability, and there were signs that United Nations sanctions, imposed on Eritrea in 2009, may be lifted.
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