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  • The world’s most welcoming countries – as voted by you

    Whether it’s a friendly face at check in or a taxi driver who’s full of useful tips, nothing beats getting a warm welcome on your travels – and our interactions with local people have a huge impact on how we view countries as a whole. This month, we asked our Facebook and Twitter followers to share where they’ve found the most hospitable places around the world. Here’s what they said.

    10. Bolivia

    This South American country has been voted among the world’s least friendly tourist destinations in the past – but we’ve always thought Bolivia has been a bit misunderstood. And it looks like our readers agree. As long as you make an effort to learn some key phrases in the local languages, you’ll find out exactly how hospitable Bolivians can be. From the otherworldly Salar de Uyuni to the vast, sapphire-blue Lake Titicaca, the country’s spectacular sights make it worth going the extra mile.

    9. Finland

    Finns are famous for being uncommonly reserved, but that doesn’t mean they’re not a welcoming bunch – all you have to do is join them in the sauna to find out. Sweating it out together has become a national obsession, and you’ll no doubt come away from the experience with plenty of new friends. Once you’ve beaten each other with a bunch of leafy twigs and plunged feet first into a pool just a shade above freezing, you’ll at least have plenty to talk about.

    8. Myanmar

    Cut off from the rest of the world for decades, Myanmar only recently began emerging from its period of isolation – and now is a fascinating time to go. Visit any one of the traditional teahouses to meet the friendly locals, who generally still view tourists as a novelty. In 2016, Myanmar was voted the world’s most generous country in the World Giving Index for the third year running. The index takes into account the kindness to strangers, so you can expect to be warmly received on your travels.

    7. Kenya

    It’s likely that the spindly acacia trees, dusty plains and ochre-hued sunsets that come to mind when you think of Africa belong to Kenya. It hosts a breathtaking range of natural habitats, from the reefs and lagoons of the Indian Ocean to the fertile plains of the Maasai Mara. And its cultural heritage – with more than 40 ethnic groups – is just as rich. It’s common for locals here to speak three languages – their own, Swahili and English – so you’ll find it easy to start up a conversation.

    6. Indonesia

    Home to everything from rumbling volcanoes to orangutan-filled rainforests, and surrounded by some of the best dive sites in the world, Indonesia’s 17,000 tropical islands are extraordinarily diverse. Meanwhile, the people that live here share around 300 ethnicities and many hundreds of languages between them. Locals are outgoing and accustomed to seeing new faces, so you shouldn’t be surprised if a complete stranger introduces themselves.

    5. Japan

    Stepping off the plane and into Japan can feel a bit like strolling onto another planet. There’s everything from ramen vending machines to futuristic capsule hotels to get your head around – and the rules of etiquette can seem just as tricky to navigate. But there’s no need to worry, as Japan is regularly heralded as one of the most welcoming and hospitable countries in the world. That means you don’t have to fret if you’ve accidentally forgotten to switch to toilet slippers or committed a chopstick-related faux pas.

    4. Colombia

    Colombia is widely regarded as one of South America’s rising stars, with the gradual decline of the drug cartels and improving security conditions finally granting access to its charming colonial cities, cloud forests and palm-fringed beaches. Locals here are famous for their hospitality, and you’ll no doubt get to experience this first-hand with a visit to the country’s underrated capital city or thriving Medellín.

    3. Uganda

    Once dubbed “the pearl of Africa” by Winston Churchill, Uganda still has plenty to be proud of, including a healthy population of mountain gorillas, the source of the world’s longest river and the Mountains of the Moon, the continent’s tallest range. Many years of civil strife have largely kept it under the tourist radar, though travellers have begun flocking back in recent times with the fostering of stability. Now, you’ve voted it one of the most welcoming countries on Earth, so it’s the perfect time for a trip.

    2. India

    In big Indian cities such as Delhi and Mumbai, you’re almost guaranteed to meet a new person every minute – and the welcome could initially seem a shade too warm. Everywhere you go, local people may introduce themselves, stare at you, or take photos, and you might even find yourself faced with awkward questions such as “Do you have a boyfriend?” or “How much money do you earn?” All of this is perfectly normal in India, and it’s simply a friendly way of showing interest in a new face.

    1. Ethiopia

    Top of the list sits Ethiopia, a profoundly beautiful East African country with a history that stretches back many thousands of years. It was never colonized, so the tribal customs and hospitable traditions you can see here are largely just as they’ve always been. Take the Ethiopian coffee ceremony: the women of the household meticulously roast, grind and boil the aromatic beans, before presenting three consecutive cups of exceptionally fresh coffee to their guests. The process can last for hours, but it’s considered a real mark of friendship.

    Source: roughguides.com

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  • 5 Ethiopian Multi-Millionaires You Should Know

    A few Ethiopians have built multi-million and billion dollar empires in industries as diverse as agriculture, food, construction, energy and distribution and earned multi-million dollar fortunes to boot. Their names don’t ring with the African public, and you’ve probably never heard about them before, but they are very successful — and very wealthy. Meet 5 Ethiopian entrepreneurs, who own businesses with annual revenues of $50 million or more.

    Belayneh Kindie

    Source: Agricultural Commodities

    Belayneh Kindie Import And Export (BKIEA), the eponymous company Belayneh founded and runs, is the largest agricultural commodities trading company in Ethiopia. He founded the company in 2005 to primarily export oil seeds and subsequently expanded into other commodities such as sesame seeds and nuts. Its commodities trading business has revenues of a little over $60 million in 2016. The company also has a thriving transportation business that boasts a fleet of more than 100 dry & fuel cargo trucks. BKIEA also owns hotels in Ethiopia and a port handling service company.

     

    Tewodros Ashenafi

    Source: Oil

    Ashenafi is the chairman and co-owner of Ambo Mineral Water, Ethiopia’s bestselling naturally-carbonated bottled mineral water, along with beverage giant SABMiller. He is also the founder and CEO of oil exploration firm SouthWest Energy, one the largest oil and gas acreage holders in East Africa. SouthWest has a leading acreage position in the Jijiga Basin, Ethiopia’s largest proven hydrocarbon-bearing sedimentary basin, covering an area of approximately 350,000 km2 and in the eastern region of Ethiopia bordering Somaliland.

     

    Buzuayehu T. Bizenu

    Source: Diversified

    Bizenu is the chairman and controlling shareholder of East African Holding, a leading industrial conglomerate in Ethiopia that operates in a variety of sectors such as manufacturing of Fast Moving Consumer Goods, tea processing, printing and packaging, transport, real estate, cement production and coal mining.

    Ato Ketema Kebede

    Source: Diversified

    Kebede is the founder of KK PLC, an Ethiopian company that manufactures blankets primarily to export across Africa and North America. The company also owns an acrylic yarn dyeing plant, and is also engaged in the import and distribution of heavy-duty machineries and equipment for mining, construction, road making and quarrying. The company is also one of the largest exporters of Ethiopian coffee, cereals and spices.

     Akiko Seyoum Ambaye

    Source: Construction

    Akiko Ambaye, one of Ethiopia’s most prominent female business leaders, is the founder of Orchid Business Group (OBG), an Ethiopian construction company engaged in road construction, the supply of construction materials, rental services of construction machinery and haulage.

    Source: forbes

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  • UK issues travel alert over internet access in Ethiopia

    The United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on Tuesday issued a travel advice to its citizens with respect to Ethiopia, according to Africa News.
     
    According to the alert, despite the restoration of internet after a 10-day blackout during the conduct of national examinations, there was a likelihood that service could be cut without notice.
     
    A summary of the alert read as follows: ‘internet service have now been restored, however, internet and other mobile data services can be restricted without notice, hampering the British Embassy’s ability to assist you; you should have alternative communications plans in place when traveling in Ethiopia.’‘
     
    The alert also maintained a series of places that nationals should not travel to as contained in previous alerts, places the FCO advised against all travel to, included: predominantly all border towns except the Djibouti border and a part of the Somali border. All areas with 10 km of the border with Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan were to be completely avoided.
     
    ‘‘The Ethiopia-Eritrea border remains closed. Several security incidents have taken place along the border. The risks of cross-border tensions remains,’‘ the statement added.
     
    They further cautioned that protests could break out ‘with little warning and could turn violent,’ hence the need for nationals to remain vigilant. The Horn of Africa nation in 2016 experienced spreading anti-government protests largely in the Oromo and Amhara regions.
    Source: Africa News

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  • Ethiopian to Inaugurate New Cargo Terminal

    The Ethiopian Airlines is going to inaugurate a new cargo terminal on the sideline of the second ICAO Global Air Cargo Development Forum to be hosted by the airline this month.

    The inauguration of its state of the art Cargo Terminal-II, will position the national flag carrier at the top in the continent in terms of cargo service.

    Group CEO Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebremariam said “The new Cargo Terminal-II combined with our existing Terminal-I will give us a total tonnage capacity of around one million per annum which is the largest in the continent of Africa.”

    Covering a total area of 150,000 m2, the new Cargo Terminal includes dry and perishable cargo terminals, fully automated elevating transport vehicle, among others.

    It is also fitted with different climate chambers for storage and handling of temperature sensitive products such as fresh agricultural products and pharmaceuticals.

    “Infrastructure development being one of the four pillars of our fast, profitable and sustainable growth strategic roadmap, Vision 2025, we have been making massive investments in infrastructure projects to modernize and expand our cargo facilities at a total cost of USD 150 million” Tewolde said.

    Upon completion of the second phase, which adds 600, 000 tones annual uplift capacity, Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services will have one of the world’s largest cargo terminals - a capability equivalent to cargo terminals in Amsterdam Schiphol, Singapore Changi, or Hong Kong, the CEO said.

    This investment along with the eight modern freighters will create adequate air cargo transporting capacity for the fast growing export and import demand of the continent.

    Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services operates eight freighters to 39 global freighter destinations in Africa, the Gulf, Middle East, Asia and Europe with an average daily uplift capacity of 650 tons on top of the belly hold capacity of 150 tons to over 95 destinations globally.

    It was recalled that the Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services has recently won ‘Cargo Airline Award for Network Development” at Brussels; ‘African Cargo Airline of the Year’ among others.

    Source: ENA

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