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  • Ethiopia saves 2.6 billion birr form fertilizer purchase

    • Moroccan company to supply 70 percent of the fertilizer demand

    The Ethiopian Agricultural Business Corporation on Thursday announced that it saved 2.6 billion birr from fertilizer purchase for the 2017 harvest year.

    Briefing local reporters in his office CEO of Ethiopian Agricultural Business Corporation, Kefyalew Berhnau, said that the corporation, which was established a year ago amalgamating five state enterprises, has purchased 936,430,000 tons of fertilizer at a cost of 290 million dollars (6.4 billion birr). Compared to last year’s purchase the corporation saved 119 million dollars (2.6 billion birr). Kefyalew said the cost reduction was achieved by making amendments on the procurement procedure, increasing efficiency in procurement, bank procedures (letter of credit process) and bidding process.

    Kefyalew said previously the government used to buy different fertilizers through agents. However, the Ethiopian Agricultural Business Corporation amended the bid document and allowed fertilizer manufacturers to directly participate in the bid. “This has enabled us to get better or lower prices. We also floated the tender early. We hired transporters through open bid that haul the fertilizer from ports to different parts of the country. So, by allowing producers to participate in the bid and increasing our efficiency we managed to save 119 million dollars. The fuel price decline has also contributed to the cost reduction,” Kefyalew said.

    According to Kefylaew farmers would get the fertilizer with lower prices this year. “Farmers would have 250-300 birr discount per quintal of fertilizer. This is a big amount,” he said.

    Kefyalew pointed out the need to cut down the long supply chain in the fertilizer market to secure the products at lower prices.

    Eighty five percent of the Ethiopian 100 million population depend on farming. Last year the Ethiopian government purchased 852,400,000 tons of fertilizer valued at 385 million dollars. The price does not include transportation, bank and insurance costs.

    This year the Ethiopian Agricultural Business Corporation would buy a total of 1.2 million tons of fertilizer at a cost of 400 million dollars (nine billion birr). The fertilizer demand is on average growing at a rate of 20 percent. Out of the total 1.2 million tons of fertilizer required this year 935,430 tons has been already purchased through an open international tender.

    Urea (350,000 tons), NPs (193,000 tons), NPS Boron (338,000 tons) and NPS Zinc and Boron (54,430 tons) were purchased. The remaining amount will also be purchased once the corporation opened letter of credits.

    Kefyalew told The Reporter that the Moroccan fertilizer giant, OCP, would supply 70 percent of the country’s fertilizer demand. The remaining 30 percent is bought from various international fertilizer producers.

    Global leader in the phosphate industry, OCP Group, has partnered with the Ethiopian government aiming to build a 2.5-billion-dollar fertilizer plant in the eastern part of Ethiopia, near Dire Dawa town. Stretched on 100 acres of land, the plant would have an annual production capacity of 2.6 million tons of fertilizer.   

    Kefyalew said that at the moment two vessels are unloading fertilizer at the Port of Djibouti and the third Vessel carrying fertilizer will soon arrive in Djibouti. He said due to the congestion at Djibouti port the government of Ethiopia is looking at alternative ports. “We are looking at Port Berbera of Somaliland and Port Sudan. Particularly Port Sudan is viable to import fertilizer to the northern part of our country,” Kefyalew said.

    As part of this effort a vessel carrying 50,000 tons of fertilizer will arrive at Port Sudan in the coming few days.

    Kefyalew said that the country would continue importing fertilizer until it builds its own fertilizer plants. “The government is looking at various options. One of the options is attracting foreign fertilizer giants who have interest in investing in partnerships or by themselves. There is also an initiative to build fertilizer factories locally by the government,” Kefyalew said.

     The Ethiopian Chemicals Corporation is tasked with building five fertilizer plants. However, Kefyalew said the main contractor, the Ethiopian Metals and Engineering Corporation, did not advance the project as planned.

    Source:Ethiopian Reporter

     

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  • University of Toronto launches class on ancient Ethiopian language( Ge’ez) with a donation from The Weeknd

    The university is now one of the only places in the world where students can learn Ge’ez.

    Tens of thousands of ancient Ethiopian manuscripts – maybe more – have collected dust for over a century because they are written in what is now a rarely studied language, Ge’ez. 

    But a new course at the University of Toronto is teaching a new generation of students to understand the ancient Semitic language so that one day they can access this long-lost trove of knowledge. 

    This week, Professor Robert Holmstedt of the department of Near and Middle Eastern civilizations welcomed 25 students and members of Toronto’s Ethiopian community to the first day of an introductory course on Ge’ez, which like Latin, is only used in religious services, in this case for the Ethiopian Orthodox and Catholic churches.

    With this course, U of T becomes one of the only places in the world where students can learn the fundamentals of Ge'ez. The program came about through several significant donations, including from The Weeknd, the Ethiopian community and the Faculty of Arts & Science.

    Department chair Professor Tim Harrison has said that he hopes, with continued support, U of T will eventually add more courses and be positioned to launch the first Ethiopian studies program in North America.

    Since the subject is so rarely taught, Holmstedt had to invent course materials and revise one of the only Ge’ez textbooks in English, the 40-year-old Introduction to Classical Ethiopic: Ge'ez by Thomas O. Lambdin. Ge’ez is a window into an ancient culture and offers insights into other Semitic languages, he said.

    “I like giving students access to things that 99.5 per cent of the world doesn’t have access to,” he said. “It’s part of advancing our knowledge and the pursuit of truth. This is the very nature of the university. We can’t leave this behind.” 

    Michael Gervers, a history professor at U of T Scarborough, helped launch the course with a $50,000 donation and a call to Toronto's Ethiopian community to contribute.

    The call was answered and the donation matched by none other than Toronto native and Grammy-award winning artist Abel Tesfaye, a.k.a. The Weeknd.

    The campaign for the language course has a $200,000 goal and has received support from the Faculty of Arts & Science and the Bikila Awards organization, a local Ethiopian community group named after Olympic marathoner Adebe Bikila. 

    Read more at: www.utoronto.ca

     

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  • Sustaining the Nile

    The Nile River System is the lynchpin that holds the North-Eastern part of Africa together for many years. But, this relationship has not always been smooth; rather it oscillated between cooperation and hostilities. Nevertheless, recent concerns regarding the Nile are of a different kind. Recent studies indicate quantity and quality of the Nile is decreasing due to climate change and population pressure. While imbalance between the current investments on water, land, and energy, and their sustainability has increased the complexity of the Nile issue even further, writes Solomon Goshu.

    Will the hydro-political landscape in the Nile Basin be affected by investment projects in land for food, biofuel and cash-crops production undertaken mainly in upstream countries, but also Sudan? Will this trend impact effective cooperation and joint management of the River Nile? How may it affect trans-boundary water interaction in the region? What role could there be for regional bodies?

    Read more at: Ethiopian Reporter

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  • Definition of Entrepreneur

    Definitions by different scholars, sources and their views is described below for your reference.

    Entrepreneur is one who assumes the risk and management of business. Webster dictionary

    Entrepreneur is a person bearing risks of profits (loss) in fixed price contract with the government. The 17th century concept.

    Entrepreneur is a person bearing risks is different from one supplying capital. Richard Cantillon, 1725.

    Entrepreneur is a person bearing risks, planning, supervising, organizing and owning. Beaudeau, 1797.

    Entrepreneur is separated profits of an entrepreneur from profits of capital. Jean Baptiste Say, 1803.

    Entrepreneur is distinguished between those who supplied funds and received interest and those who received profit from managerial capabilities. Francis Walker, 1876.

    Entrepreneur is an innovator and develops untried technology. Joseph Schumpeter, 1934.

    Entrepreneur is an economic man who tries to maximize his profits by innovations. Haggen, 1958.

    Entrepreneur is an energetic moderate risk taker. David McClelland, 1961.

    Entrepreneur maximizes opportunities through systematic innovations. Peter Drucker, 1964.

    Entrepreneur takes initiative, organizes some socio-economic mechanisms, and accepts risk of failure. Albert Shapero, 1775.

    Entrepreneur seen differently by economists, psychologist, business person and politicians. Karl Vesper, 1980.

    Intrapreneur is an entrepreneur with an already established organization. Gifford Pinchot, 1983.

    Entrepreneur is the process of creating something different with value by devoting the necessary time and effort, assuming the accompanying financial, psychological, and social risks and receiving the results- rewards of monetary and personal satisfaction. Robert Hisrich, 1985.

    Entrepreneur is a person starting a new company who takes on the risks associated with starting the enterprise, which may require venture capital to cover start-up costs. Indigo Dictionary of Business, 2002.

    Entrepreneur is an individual who undertakes (from the French entreprendre to undertake) to supply a good or service to the market for profit. Entrepreneurs will usually invest their own capital in a business and take on the risks associated with the investment. The view of capitalist is that the initiative of entrepreneurs creates a society’s wealth and that governments should therefore establish conditions in which their activities are encouraged. Oxford Dictionary of Business, 2002.

     

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