August 13, 2014

Premier’s Office Reversed MIDROC’s Land Ownership Cancellation

Filed under: Midroc — ethiopiantimes @ 6:45 pm
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Experts from Addis Ababa City Administration have been investigating the status of lands issued for MIDROC years ago for investment purpose. Plots of land besides Wabi Shebele Hotel in the Ledeta Sub City and the one around Beshale Hotel in the Yeka Sub City are those that are given to MIDROC and have been left without any construction for years.

Based on these, the experts had recommended for the land ownership licenses issued for MIDROC in these two locations to be cancelled. And hence, the licenses for both these locations are cancelled at the respective sub cities. Objecting the decision, MIDROC had filed its complaints on the case to the Prime Minister’s office and the Premier’s office has ordered the Addis Ababa City’s administration office to reverse the decision. 


The team of experts has also investigated the cases of 109 plots issued to investors that are left without any construction for years; among which it recommended license cancellation to 59 of them.
According to the Reporter, finally, after much delay, the city administration’s cabinet is preparing to decide on the land ownership cancellation recommendations this week.


July 8, 2014

The Asians at the Labor market in Ethiopia

Filed under: Midroc — ethiopiantimes @ 12:02 pm
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In a country where 80 percent of jobs for youth are within the informal sector, as the formal sector has not been a dynamic engine for growth, creating more jobs should be the first among the many government priority lists. Unfortunately, the opposite has been happening in Ethiopia, and many believe that the MIDROC Ethiopia Project Office (MEPO) plan will be another factor negatively affecting the labour market–creating further job insecurity in an already weak economy. Recent studies by the World Bank estimate urban unemployment rates at around 21 percent based on the population age 10+. The rates vary in different urban setups. In Addis Ababa, for instance, the unemployment rate is 24 percent. This rate is even higher for woman, at 34 percent.

On a week day before three year, the street along De Gaulle Square, Piassa, was crowded with people. In the center stood five Chinese men, the crowd was amazed by what they saw and heard. The Chinese men were neither tourists nor artists, but street traders attempting to sell used items. In broken English, they called the prices aloud, “Thirty Beeer, Twenty Beeeer!” for used umbrellas, raincoats and many other household items. The scene clearly was a tragedy staged in a public place. Only few hundred meters away, police were busy disbanding and arresting local vendors selling second-hand goods and low-quality materials produced in China.
However, as if the economy was in short supply of unskilled labour, government officials did not respond to this market development. Interpreting their silence and indifference as a good opportunity, many more Chinese people began to engage in other service sectors as vendors, chefs, waitresses and technicians. In Ethiopia today, Chinese laborers some of who are allegedly prisoners–increasingly fill these and many other occupations.

Another story with a similar undertone came to the fore before two year.  According to the weekly English newspaper, The Reporter, the MIDROC Ethiopia Project Office (MEPO) is planning to recruit approximately 5000 Filipino workers to their construction sites in Ethiopia.

These Filipinos are day labourers, with no special skills that might qualify them above their local rivals. As common to construction work, the majority of the workforce is unskilled. One of the very reasons that governments and policymakers encourage the expansion of this sector is because it can create short term, decent-paying job opportunities for the mass of unskilled force in the market.
Considering the government’s proclamation of an increase in technical and vocational schools throughout the country, the labour market of the nation should certainly be capable of providing any amount of unskilled or even semi-skilled day labourers
However, the trend stands contrary to this claim of semi-skilled labour force creation. Due to the unchecked high population growth rate and a very low job creation capacity, a more unskilled generation is, in fact, entering the market.

In a country where 80 percent of jobs for youth are within the informal sector, as the formal sector has not been a dynamic engine for growth, creating more jobs should be the first among the many government priority lists. Unfortunately, the opposite has been happening in Ethiopia, and many believe that the MEPO plan will be another factor negatively affecting the labour market–creating further job insecurity in an already weak economy.

Recent studies by the World Bank estimate urban unemployment rates at around 21 percent, based on the population age 10+. The rates vary in different urban setups. In Addis Ababa, for instance, the unemployment rate is 24 percent. This rate is even higher for woman, at 34 percent.

In general, excluding the disguised unemployed in the rural area, unemployment in Ethiopia seems to be an urban phenomenon. Particularly, the high growth rate of youth entering the labour market makes the unemployment situation worse. According to research, reducing unemployment in the country today is very difficult as a result of new developments. A rising skill profile of the urban work force, changes in the educational composition of employment (which includes both those who completed Grade Four and those who graduated from Technical and Vocational Education Training schools), an increased level of urban labour supply due to high internal migration and many more characteristics of the labour market present significant obstacles to reducing unemployment.
Despite many constraints on enhancing employment, economists have been advising the government to focus on industries that are highly labour-intensive. Such industries, such as agro-processing, are assumed to help the economy by providing employment to the unskilled and semi-skilled work force both in urban and rural areas.

However, in a country in which the politician’s daily rhetoric plays a dominant role over the expert’s advice, it is not uncommon to see such oddities in everyday life. The intension to recruit 5000 Filipinos is one indicator. The irony is beyond comprehension. Anyone who walks along the road to Gerji can see thousands of unemployed Ethiopians lining up outside the gates of a construction company or site where only three daily labourers are needed.  Thousands of youngsters in Wolayita continue to wait by the side of the main road for someone who may or may not come to take them for a job of any kind.

Bringing these 5000 Filipinos into the work force does not only affect the unemployed competing for the same opportunities. It will also affect those who have been working under the MEPO on different construction sites, as the construction industry is very sensitive to marginal labour increases and seasons. Casual workers might be evicted from their positions and forced to face the challenges of the ever-rising cost of living. As these terminated labourers would then increase the general pressure on the labour market in the entire construction industry, sector wage rates may be reduced. This, in turn, will surely affect thousands of labourers and their families.
The government has not yet issued a statement on the issue, and so it remains unclear how they intend to deal with it. Yet we can rest assured that a news story will inevitably be released from the state media: “5000 Filipinos significantly contribute towards the success of the Growth and Transformation Plan.

Guest Writer

March 22, 2014

Egyptian company discovers largest gold reserve in Ethiopia

Filed under: Gold — ethiopiantimes @ 7:41 pm
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Ethiopian GoldAddis Ababa, Ethiopia – An Egyptian company, Ascom Precious Metals Mining, has discovered what is said to be the largest gold ore reserve ever discovery in the history of gold exploration in Ethiopia.

The discovery is made in the Benishangul Gumuz Regional State, in south- west Ethiopia. Ascom has been prospecting for gold and base metals in the Benishangul region since 2010. Two weeks ago Ascom made a presentation to senior officials of the Ministry of Mines about the new discovery.

Tolossa Shagi Moti, Minister of Mines, told The Reporter that the ministry was happy with the discovery. “This is the largest gold discovery ever made in the country,” Tolossa said.

According to Tolossa, Ascom Mining will conduct a feasibility study and will start developing the mine. “We hope that the company will conduct the feasibility study and start production after one year,” the minister said. Tolossa said that the ministry will grant large-scale gold mining license to Ascom Mining after the company conducts the feasibility study.  The ministry declined to disclose the reserve of gold ore discovered.

“We have been talking about 30 or 40 tons of gold discoveries so far. What Ascom discovered is much more than that,” Tolossa said. Ascom is expected to announce the discovery in the coming few weeks.

Gold has become Ethiopia’s major foreign currency earner next to coffee. The country earns more than 600 million dollars from mineral exports and gold contributes 90 percent of the earning. To date, MIDROC Gold is the only company engaged in large-scale mining. MIDROC annually exports four tons of gold, mainly to Switzerland. MIDROC Gold has discovered a new gold reserve in the Sakaro locality.

November 4, 2013

Addis Ababa Road Authority takes over MIDROC’s 270mln Birr road project

Filed under: Uncategorized — ethiopiantimes @ 6:28 pm
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AARA takes over MIDROC’s 270mln Birr road project

Addis Ababa Road Authority takes over MIDROC’s 270mln Birr road project. This project was snatched from MIDROC Ethiopia Construction, after it failed to execute the work on schedule.

The contract that was signed between MIDROC and Addis Ababa’s Road Authority was for the construction of the 8.3 Kilometers long road that stretches from Gurd Shola area of the city, through Yeka, Summit and The Yeka – Bole road. Though the project that was started six years ago, on 2000 E.C, was planned to be completed two years later on 2002 E.C; the project has not yet been completed now, three years later.

Addis Ababa’s road Authority had issued persistent warning letters to MIDROC. Even though the Authority had decided to terminate the project years ago, it was only now that it has resolved to snatch the road project off from MIDROC.

October 30, 2012

Al Amoudi’s Company refuses to pay 200 million Br after acquiring around 80,000tns of coal it had imported

Filed under: Al Amoudi,Midroc — ethiopiantimes @ 11:50 am
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The warehouse that Derba cement stores the coal that it bought from the enterprise.

The Ethiopian Petroleum Enterprise (EPE) is threatening to sue Derba MIDROC cement factory, a new entrant into the industry alleging that it has not paid around 200 million Br after acquiring around 80,000tns of coal it had imported, sources disclosed to Fortune .

The enterprise, which also imports petroleum for nation, claims that its working capital is tied up and hence is eying the court as an alternative means of getting its money back.

The enterprise has been delegated by the Ethiopian government to import coal since December 2011 when the government, decided to replace the Heavy Furnace Oil (HFO), a source of energy that cement factories use to burn the clinker to coal aiming at reducing their production cost and hence make them competitive.

The enterprise thus made a deal with the large-scale factories such as Mossobo, Derba and National Cement factories owned respectively by the Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT), Mohammed Hussien Ali-Al-Amoudi(sheikh) and East Africa Industrial Group as a major shareholder.

Accordingly, based on their reported demand, the EPE inked multimillion dollars contract with Hyton Inc, an international coal supplier company for the supply of 600,000tns of steam coal for these factories in December 2011.

Out of these, Derba which has the capacity to producing 2.5 million tonnes of cement on annual basis has the highest demand and takes the largest share, which is estimated at 50,000tns on a monthly basis.

The EPE so far has imported and distributed 144,000tns of coal to the three factories. However, all did not pay on time. Mossobo and National Cement also owe the enterprise 52 million Br and 30 million Br, respectively, according to sources at the Ministry of Industry (MoI).

Nonetheless, Derba did not effect any payment so far while it has been taking the coal from the enterprise that made it eying the court as alternative to get its money back, according to these sources.

This had drawn the attention of the MoI, which called three cement factories, and the enterprise for a meeting led by Tadesse Haile, state minister for MOI, last week.

Tadesse told Fortune that a consensus has been reached between the factories and the enterprise. “Since the coal is imported to reduce the costs of the factories, they should share a loss in case there is any.”

July 23, 2012

Commercial Bank Of Ethiopia provides 942 million birr loan to Al Amoudi The billionair of a food aid country to build 5 star hotel

Filed under: Al Amoudi — ethiopiantimes @ 11:19 am
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The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) has approved a 942 million birr loan to MIDROC Ethiopia Project Office MEPO, a company owned by the Saudi billionaire Sheik Mohammed Al-Amoudi, for the construction of a five-star hotel and a paper plant. The Board of Directors of CBE, chaired by Bereket Simon, approved the loan two weeks ago.

Reliable sources close to The Reporter disclosed that CBE will disburse 850 million for the Grand African Union Hotel which is located off Roosevelt Street, while the rest, 92 million birr, is for the construction of MIDROC’s Maya PP bag factory.

The CBE approved the project loans by holding the two properties as collateral.

Originally, around 80 sq.m of land that the hotel will be built on was granted to the AU by Addis Ababa City Administration in 2006. However, later on, following the bid floated by AU for the construction of the hotel, MIDROC submitted an extraordinary proposal that pledges to cover the full cost of the construction of the hotel if AU is willing to transfer the title deed of the plot of land to it.

Subsequently, AU cancelled the public bid and accepted the proposal which enabled the city administration to transfer the title deed of the plot to MICROC.

Last year the city administration granted MIDROC some 17,000 sq.m of land. Following that, MIDROC also requested additional land for security and parking.

Currently the construction of the Grand Hotel is under way and it was also learnt that the loan has already been disbursed for the company.

The other beneficiary project from the CBE loan is Maya PP bag factory under the management of Haile Asegide’s Derba MIDROC.

The objective of the PP bag factory is to provide plastic bag packaging for the packing of cement and rice produces of Derba MIDROC and Saudi Star Agriculture Development, respectively.

The plastic bag factory is located in the Derba areas of the Oromia region which plans to be sited on 13 hectare of land. The factory aims at producing some 80 millions of bags a year.

MIDROC is one of the biggest customers of CBE which has over 547 branches across the country. Currently, it is the second biggest creditor of CBE, next to government’s road project

March 26, 2012

The sell out of Ethiopia to Al-Amoudi by Zenawi and his tribal gang

The Privatization and Public Enterprises Supervisory Agency, Ethiopia cancelled the proposal to sell Awash Winery due to unsatisfactory bids.

The agency had cancelled four previous tenders for the winery for similar reasons.

The sole bid for the winery was an offer of 201 million birr received from the partnership between Mulugeta Kiros and Tigist Demeke. PPESA declined the offer as being lower than the minimum it had expected.

It is to be remembered that MIDROC Ethiopia and affiliated companies, Horizon Plantation Ethiopia, National Mining Corporation and Saudi Star Agricultural Development, proffered the highest bids for five of the eight companies put forward for auction by the Ethiopian Privatization and Public Enterprises Supervisory Agency.

The group offered more than 1.3 billion birr for the five companies.

The highest offer of 860 million birr was placed by MIDROC Ethiopia for Upper Awash Agro industry, the largest agro industry in the country claim sources.

Horizon Plantation offered 228.2 million birr for Coffee and 35.1 million birr for Gojeb plantations respectively. The company will pay 141 million up front and the rest over the next two years should PPESA approve the offer.

Saudi Star offered 90 million birr for Ababo Plantation and the National Mining Corporation offered 110 million birr for the Ethiopian Marble Enterprise.

Source: The Reporter

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