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  • 20 Easy Ways to Save More Money

    How do you save more? There doesn't seem to be enough money to save anything by the end of the month, does it? Saving money is not easy when you have never done it. But if you manage to form the habit, it will become second nature. Here are 20 tips to use.

    1. Have a spending audit

    For a week, write down everything you spend. Tedious, I know. But for every expense, ask yourself: Did I really need to spend that money? How could I avoid that expense? Did it bring me value? If it doesn't, stop. If it does, let's move on. I used to spend a lot on nights out, until we decided with my friends to gather at someone's place. Half the cost, same fun. It doesn't have to be drastic, or affect your lifestyle. Challenge the spending and find alternative ways to get the same value for less.

    2. Turn saving into a challenge

    One such challenge could be getting rid of one bad spending habit, such as eating lunch out every day. Try bringing lunch to work once a week. Then make it twice a week. Put the savings into a jar or a savings account. Throw all your spare change into a jar at the end of the day, and deposit the savings into your bank account at the end of the month. By making it fun, you will make it easier.

    3. Start slow

    You won't go from zero savings to $1,000 a month the first month. Try saving $5 or $10. Then try saving $5 more the next week. Before you know it, the slow increment led you to saving $50 a month. Which is better than nothing. Keep going until you feel the pinch.

    4. Have a savings goal

    Why do you want to have savings for? Is it for a holiday, for a new car, for a deposit on your house? By having a goal, you will be able to ponder whether it is worth to spend $100 going out tonight, or have one day of fun on your next holiday.

    5. Round it up

    When you spend $54.11 at a restaurant, round it up and save the $0.89. Some apps will do it for you and reroute the excess to savings automatically. Small amounts add up.

    6. Get rid of the waste

    Do you often throw food? Have magazines piling up unread? Clothes you just wore once? All this is money you spent on things you don't need. Get rid of the ones you can (and make money in the process!), and stop buying anything you don't use. Buy half the food you use to, and go through your freezer and cupboards for the rest of the week. Send the difference to savings.

    7. Prioritize

    Pretend there is only money for one thing. Would you rather have HBO or go out once a month? Only keep the one you prefer.

    8. Get a cashback card Or a loyalty membership to your favorite supermarket. Put the savings into... savings.

    9. Get a discount On everything you buy

    Try to get it for less. Look for online coupon codes, cheaper stores, ways to get it for free on Freecycle.

    10. Cut down meat And other expensive items in your groceries, such as cheese or nuts

    You can make a ton of delicious vegetarian dishes, or recipes with just a little meat as a way to add flavor.

    11. Make your own coffee

    Coffee on the go is expensive! Buy a nice thermos for your car, flavorful beans and you're all set for a $0.10 cup.

    12. DIY

    Be it painting the living room, fixing a leak, moving house, try to do things yourself instead of hiring out. There are plenty of online tutorials to help you out.

    13. Master your FOMO

    It is OK to say no to peer pressure. Find cheap and free activities to do with your friends instead of the expensive one they suggest.

    14. Get a roommate

    An easy way to save $500+ on rent, if you don't mind having less privacy. Again, remember why you are doing it and it will be much easier.

    15. Carpool or cycle to work

    Socialize or get free exercise on your way to work, cutting on your commuting expenses.

    16. Reconsider your car (or second car)

    Do you really need a car or two? How often do you use it? How much does it cost in maintenance, fuel, insurance, parking... is it cheaper than using Uber or renting one when you need?

    17. Keep track of your progress

    It is easy to get frustrated when saving money. By keeping track of your progress, you will remain motivated.

    18. Repair broken things

    Try to DIY or have things repaired for a fraction of the price of replacing them.

    19. Look for free entertainment

    Your nearby college, the adult learning center, your church.. may have free or cheap activities for you to enjoy.

    20. Bring your water bottle

    Bring water everywhere you go and avoid buying bottles that are not only expensive but also bad for the environment.

    Saving money is a slow process, but it doesn't have to be painful. With these little tips, you can easily get started and gain momentum to save more and more!

    Source: huffingtonpost.com 

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  • EthiopianAirlines bags record high profit of 6 bln birr

    Africa’s largest and fastest growing airline, Ethiopian Airlines, has made a record high net profit of six billion birr (273 million dollars) in the 2015-2016 fiscal year ending June 2016.

    Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam told The Reporter in an exclusive interview that the airline registered record high operating revenue of 55 billion birr and a net profit of six billion birr. The revenue increased by 10.3 percent while net profit has shown a whopping increase of 70 percent.  In the 2014-2015 fiscal year, the airline made 49.4 billion birr revenue and a net profit of 3.5 billion birr.

    In the 2015-2016 fiscal year Ethiopian transported 7.6 million passengers and 270,000 tons of cargo. “It was a very good year for Ethiopian,” Tewolde said.

    The CEO said that the 2015-2016 was a challenging year for the African airline industry. “Because of the decline in oil price, demand for air travel has decreased. Our revenue from oil exporting countries was less,” he said.  The economies of oil producing countries like Nigeria, Angola, Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Sudan and Egypt were seriously affected by the sudden decline of oil price in the global market.

    Tewolde said the more difficult challenge was the shortage of foreign currency created in those countries particularly in Nigeria, Angola, Sudan and Egypt as a result of the oil price decline.   

    “Right now we have more than 220 million dollars in local currencies in those countries. Mainly, in Nigeria, Angola, and Sudan and we have a small amount in Egypt. We have in total 220 million dollars in local currency trapped there for more than a year. You can imagine what that means on our liquidity, cash flow because more than 70 percent of our expanses are in US dollars. So that has created a very strong challenge for the airline,” Tewolde said. 

    Ethiopian is not the only airline which is unable to remit its sales from these countries. Several other African and foreign carriers are unable to repatriate their funds.  According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), 18 African governments have a total of 1.4 billion US dollars blocked funds. Nigeria has 339 million, Egypt 310 million, Angola 190 million, Sudan 250 million and Algeria 125 million dollars in blocked funds. The new director general and CEO of IATA Alexander de Juniac told The Reporter that IATA is pushing governments to release blocked funds due to the shortage of foreign currency caused by commodity market crash.  “We are pushing governments to organize the repatriation of airlines blocked funds. We are trying to be able to negotiate plans to repatriate funds,” Juniac told The Reporter.

    Junica said that IATA, in collaboration with member airlines, was able to reduce the amount of blocked funds in Nigeria and Egypt. He said IATA is closely working with the governments of Nigeria, Egypt, Angola and Sudan, the four countries which hold the majority of the blocked funds.  The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) is also lobbying with the African governments to release the airlines blocked funds.     

    Tewolde told The Reporter that the recent political unrest in Ethiopia did not that a significant effect on the airline. “We are talking about 2016 and the fiscal year ended in June 2016 and by then we have not felt the impact of the unrest.”

    Tewolde said that since the airline’s 70 percent traffic is transit the impact of the political unrest was minimal. “Of course it had an impact but not that big. Because as you can see our revenue grew, profit grew, because 70-75 percent of our traffic is transit. And I think the effect is on this year than on last year. This year we have seen slight reduction but it is not that big. We have noted a small reduction on our traffic to Ethiopia. But overall I would not say it has affected us very much.”

    The competition coming from non-African carriers particularly that of Turkish and mega Gulf carriers is becoming stronger than ever before. “We have never seen such a fierce competition. We are at a price war. It is very frustrating.”    

    According to Tewolde, despite all the challenges, Ethiopian managed to register a remarkable financial performance in the reported period. He attributed the success to the dedication, hard work and commitment of the airline’s employees and strong strategic and operational leadership by the management team and the board of directors.

    Last December IATA disclosed that African carriers made a loss of 900 million dollars in 2015 and close to 800 million dollars loss in 2016. According to IATA, 2017 is going to be another year of loss for African airlines. IATA‘s latest market forecast indicates that African airlines would lose 800 million US dollars in 2017.

    Zemedeneh Negatu, a leading African aviation transaction adviser, lauded Ethiopian’s financial performance.  “This is a remarkable performance,” Zemedeneh said.

    Zemedeneh, who advised airlines across Africa including RwandAir, Ethiopian Airlines, Virgin Atlantic’s Nigerian Subsidiary, Virgin Nigeria, said that the overall African airline industry is in a bad shape. “The Government of Nigeria this week took over Arik Air (a private airline in Nigeria) because of mounting debt.  South African Airways (SAA) has been making loss for many years now. They have changed CEO and board chairman several times in the past five years. Kenya Airways (KQ) has not made money in the last three years. SAA and KQ would have been out of business by now has it not been for the millions of dollars subside they receive from their governments,” he said.

    “By contrast Ethiopian Airlines has grown rapidly with a very strong balance sheet. They are acquiring state-of-the-art aircraft like Dreamliners and Airbus A350, the first in Africa. They have a very young fleet of 82 aircraft with an average age of five years operating to more than 90 international destinations. It continues to be a pioneer,” he said.

    Zemedeneh said Ethiopian is a well managed airline. “It has a capable and focused management with a clear vision, more importantly capable of executing its vision.”

    He went on to say that Ethiopian has a solid management and dedicated staff that can deliver. He also attributed the success of the airline to the management independence the government granted. “The government does not intervene in the day-to-day operations of the airline. Though the airline is wholly owned by the state, it is purely run commercially. It is managed as an independent business entity.”

    He also said that Ethiopian is benefiting from its strong operation to Asia, which was launched many years ago a head of many other international airlines. He mentioned that Ethiopian is one of the only two airlines from Sub-Saharan Africa allowed by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly to the United States. 

    Source: The Ethiopian Reporter

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  • Bole International Airport expansion takes shape

    The Addis Ababa Bole International Airport passenger terminal expansion project is 40 percent completed.

    The Ethiopian Airports Enterprise (EAE) launched the expansion project in January 2015. The project includes the expansion of Terminal 1 and 2 and the construction of a new VIP Terminal.  The expansion project aimed at building a new terminal with a floor area of 74,000sqm. The existing terminal has a floor area of 30,000sqm. The new terminal will have three floors—arrival, departure and ground floor. The expansion of Terminal 2 is being undertaken on the left and right side of the existing Terminal 2. On the right side Terminal 2 will be expanded and connected to Terminal 1 (old terminal) where regional and domestic flight passengers are hosted. The VIP saloon is also located in Terminal 1.

    The new modern VIP Terminal will be built on the far right side of Terminal 2 or next to Terminal 1. A bridge and modern car parking is also part of the giant expansion project under way at a cost of 345 million dollars, a loan funneled by the Export Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank of China).

     

    The new terminal is designed by a renowned Singapore architectural firm CGP while the Chinese construction firm, CCCC, is the contractor. ADPI, a French company, is the consultant of the project.

    The existing main terminal, which was inaugurated in 2003, has a designed capacity of handling 6 million passengers per year. Due to the increasing passenger traffic the terminal is now handling 8.5 million passengers and the airport is congested in peak hours. When the expansion project is completed the airport can handle 22 million passengers, yearly.

    Hailu Lemu, chief engineer of the project, told The Reporter that 40 percent of the expansion project is completed as of December 11. Hailu said 98 percent of the concrete work is completed and the steel structure work is being undertaken. “Forty percent of the steel structure work is completed. We will soon launch the curtain wall work and then start the electro mechanical work,” Hailu said.

    Hailu said that various airport specialized equipment like baggage handling system, fire fighting system, boarding bridges and access control system are being manufactured and assembled in the UK and China. “After completing the curtain wall and roofing work we will start the electro mechanical work,” Hailu told The Reporter.

    The terminal will have a large shopping area, café and restaurants, business class lounges, IT center and offices.

    The expansion project is scheduled for completion for January 2018. Tsegaye Gebreab, deputy head of the expansion project office, told The Reporter that the passenger terminal expansion work is being undertaken in accordance with international airport construction standards. “The terminal can withstand earthquakes and fire accidents to a certain degree. The quality of all the construction materials is inspected. For instance, the building blocks are fire rated in China,” Tsegaye said.

    Wondim Teklu, communication director with EAE, told The Reporter that when completed the terminal will be able to comfortably handle the growing passenger traffic for ten years. Wondim believes that the expansion project will make the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport one of the leading airports in Africa. The passenger traffic is growing at a rate of 22 percent on average. The domestic passenger traffic alone is growing by 22 percent, yearly. “This is directly related to the country’s fast economic growth. The expansion project would augment the growth of the national airline,” Wondim said.

    Currently, EAE is undertaking five airport development projects in the regional towns. The enterprise would soon inaugurate Semera, Jinka, Shire, and Robe airport projects.  “The private airlines engaged in general aviation sector can also benefit from the ongoing airport development projects in the country,” Wondim said.

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  • Dangote plans portfolio expansion in Ethiopia beyond cement

    The richest man in Africa, Aliko Dangote, is contemplating to invest in the Sugar industry in Ethiopia.

    The Ethiopian government has invited the Nigerian business tycoon to invest in the sugar manufacturing sector. Dangote Industries has built the biggest cement factory in East Africa in Ethiopia that started production in June 2015.

    Deep Kamara, managing director Dangote Industries Ethiopia, told The Reporter that in a recent discussion between Prime Minister Hailemaraim Dessalegn and Aliko Dangote investment in the sugar sector was a point of discussion. “While they were discussing the yield of sugar and the capacity Ethiopia is building Mr. Dangote took up a position that he would like to see the opportunity to invest in the sugar capabilities in Ethiopia. It is still in the conceptual stage I should say,” Kamara said. 

    The Ethiopian government through the state-owned the Ethiopian Sugar Corporation is making hefty investments on sugar industries development. Aiming to become one of the top ten sugar producing countries in the world by 2023, ESC is building ten sugar factories in different parts of the country. The ambitious plan aims at boosting annual production capacity from the existing 300,000 metric tons to a staggering four million.

    However, the government is facing budget constraint to finance the completion of the ongoing construction of the sugar factories. In addition to looking for loans, the government is trying to attract foreign companies to partner with ESC.

    Kamara said Dangote expressed his interest to invest in the Sugar sector. “Within the group we have capability for sugar manufacturing.” However, he said it is yet to be decided whether to buy stake in the existing sugar factories or set up an independent sugar manufacturing plant. “Both options are open for discussion but as I said the discussion is at an early stage and the details have to be worked out,” Kamara said.

    Kamara said that Dangote is very optimistic about Ethiopia and wants to continue investing in Ethiopia.  

    Dangote has set up a cement factory in Ethiopia at a cost of 600 million dollars. The factory, which has an annual production capacity of 2.5 million tons of cement, began running in June 2015. The factory lies on 134 hectares plot of land in West Shoa Zone, Adaberga Wereda, near Muger town, 85 km west of Addis Ababa and employs 1,500 workers.

    “Dangote Cement is well established in Ethiopia and it is doing very well. We are one of the market leaders in the Ethiopian cement market. We have customer acceptance based on product quality and service.  We could have done better unfortunately due to some circumstances the trend has not really gone to where we have expected it to be. Going forward things are improving and we will be doing much better,” Kamara said.

    Dangote Cement is currently building a third silo and PP Bag manufacturing plant. The PP Bag manufacturing plant, which is being constructed at a cost of 19 million dollars, will have an annual production capacity of 120 million cement bags. 

    “We are building a PP Bag factory almost double the capacity of our requirement. Not only for us but we would like to export and service the local market with our PP Bag capability,” Kamara said.

    It will take six to eight months to complete the construction of the third silo. The factory also hopes to finalize the PP Bag manufacturing plant by July this year.

    Dangote Cement has a plan to build a second cement manufacturing plant. “It is not immediately on the chart because we have not yet reached our full capacity. We are looking at some technological improvements which would help us enhance our capability by 15-20 percent to optimize our cost. Once that is done we will look at the second line.”

    The road to investment in Ethiopia has not been a bed of roses. There are obstacles hindering the progress of Dangote’s investment in Ethiopia.  Some equipment and machineries of Dangote Cement have been vandalized during the recent political unrest.  “We have some challenges but we are on the right track. We hope to achieve the planned capacity and export to other countries.”

    Kamara said that fluctuation in electric power supply and shortage of foreign currency are some of the challenges facing his company. Particularly, unavailability of foreign currency has become a critical challenge.  

    According to Kamara, his company is not able to procure spare parts. “Our plant is not new anymore. It has been a year and a half since it started running and it now needs parts for regular maintenance. It has been close to eight month since we requested forex.”

    Spare parts for cement industry are not manufactured in Ethiopia. And it is not readily available on the shelves in the international market. Orders have to be placed for production. It takes three to six months to get delivered.

    “This has affected our productivity to some extent. We are in the critical zone. That is a major constraint we have at the moment and we are expecting help from the government,” Kamara said.

    According to him, his company needs 10-15 million dollars for the procurement of spare parts to service the cement manufacturing plant.

    Source:TheReporter

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