While addressing at the Great Rift Valley Energy Summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, H.E. Mr. Alemayehu Tegenu, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy said “Africa needs to open up to bring in the benefits of accelerated development to its people through availing sustainable energy supply”. Ethiopia is blessed with massive renewable energy wealth with estimated hydro power at 45,000 MV, estimated geothermal energy at 10,000 MV and wind potential at 1.3 million MW. With an enhanced investment in the green energy sector, government has pioneered the construction of power plants with a total estimated generation capacity of 8000MW. The grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is one such project with a generation capacity of 6000MW. Wind power is another renewable energy developing at a faster pace. Ashegoda and Adama 1 are two ongoing projects with targets to set up more wind plants with the motive to boost the country’s renewable energy generation capacity.
“The project was in line with the Bank’s Higher Education, Science and Technology strategy and the State of Eritrea’s prioritization in these sectors. It will contribute to foster inclusive economic growth”, said AfDB Vice President Kamal El Kheshen during a signing ceremony with the Director General of Eritrean Treasury Department, in Tunis where the AfDB is located temporarily.
The key outcome of this project will be an increase in the supply of quality middle level technicians needed by the Eritrean economy. It will support the provision of quality intermediate level technical and vocational training skills needed in the manufacturing and other sectors to foster economic growth and reduce poverty. Specifically, the project will mainstream entrepreneurship while institutionalizing studies to measure the external efficiency of training systems.
In addition to the 50,000 students targeted by the project, other beneficiaries will include instructors, adults living near the technical institutions who will have access to training or retraining in selected modules in various trades.
To date, the African Development Bank has already financed two education projects in Eritrea for a total amount of USD 50.47 million.
Ethiopia and China signed agreement for construction of the first phase of Ethiopia-Djibouti railway project. General Manager of Ethiopian Railway Corporation and Vice President of China Railway Group (CREC) signed the agreement.
CREC, the world’s major railway contractor is expected to complete the construction within three and half years.
After the signing ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn told ERTA that railway construction is among top priorities of the Ethiopian government.
The project took 8 months of feasibility study by a joint cooperation of Ethiopian, Russian and Chinese experts.
The total cost of about 1,193,000,000 USD would be covered by long term loan from the Chinese government and an internal budget of the Ethiopian Government.
According to the five-year national Growth and Transformation Plan unveiled a year ago, Ethiopia envisages constructing 2,395 kilometres of railway line, of which 1,807 kilometres is expected to be completed by the end of the plan period.
Regarding speculations by certain critics that things may not go as per schedule, Hailemariam, who is also board chairman of the Ethiopian Railway Corporation, said they are baseless.
The new railway network is planned to have at least 8 main routes that extend to all points of the compass. It would link no less than 49 urban centres by 2015 where railway stations are to be established.
“The 777-200LR has been a fantastic airplane for Ethiopian Airlines,” Tewolde Gebremariam, Ethiopian Airlines chief executive said in a news release. “This additional airplane will let us take full advantage of the performance and economics of this great airplane.”
The 777-200LR carries more passengers and more revenue cargo farther than any other jetliner and is capable of connecting virtually any two cities in the world nonstop, Boeing said on its website.
“Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines have been partners for more than 65 years and we’ve seen the airline grow to become a leader in African aviation and beyond,” said Van Rex Gallard, vice president of Sales for Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The airline continues to invest in its fleet to grow the airline, increase profitability and provide the best products in the sky for their valued customers.”
Ethiopian Airlines was the first African airline to operate the 777-200LR, the first to order the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with an order for 10 and the first to order the 777 Freighter.
The airline currently operates an all-Boeing fleet of 737, 757, 767 and 777 airplanes in passenger service and a 757, MD11 and 747 in cargo operations.
The Ethiopian carrier is one of Africa’s largest carriers, competing with South African Airways and Kenyan Airways.
A limited number of African carriers are allowed to fly into the European Union and United States over “safety” concerns.
It is expected that the new order by Ethiopian Airlines will some how simmer the safety matters that keep denting Africa’s airline industry.