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  • Controlling Nile waters: Egypt wants lion’s share

    The meeting of ministers on the council for water affairs from the 11 member states that share the River Nile waters concluded Thursday at Protea Hotel in Entebbe just like it had started, with the Egyptians sticking to their guns and demanding  to have a seal of approval for every mooted project on the Nile.

    It had been hoped that following a series of discussions, the Egyptians would duck and let the Cooperative Framework Agreement signed in 2010 dictate proceedings on how the waters can be shared.

    But after yet another meeting that involved ministers from all member states except South Sudan, the Egyptians still said the treaty was “unfair” and called for “more dialogue” to accelerate fair use of the Nile waters.

    The Second Deputy Prime Minister Kirunda Kivejinja (2nd-R) launching the Nile Basin Initiative Atlas, with Executive Director John Nyaoro (R), Tanzanian Minister of Water and NBI outgoing Chairman Jerson Lwenge (2nd-L) and incoming chairman Sam Cheptoris (L). (Credit: Kennedy Oryema)

    Egyptian water minister Mohamed Abdelaty said “we need to understand that Egypt relies on the Nile water for 95% of its water resources” and that “at the same time, Egypt is a desert”.

    “We are not against other countries building dams [on the Nile]. But we want to give advice on how best this dam can be constructed to keep the waters’ natural flow,” he said.

    “We don’t have any other water resource in Egypt. Egyptians are recycling drainage water several times. So you have to understand our position. If there is no River Nile, there is no Egypt.”

    But the Egyptian minister said they are “open minded” and willing to discuss a way forward if member states are willing to be “flexible” and understand where their (Egyptians’) stand comes from.

    Entitled the Cooperative Framework Agreement, the 2010 treaty joins countries – Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo – that are seeking what they consider a more equitable share of the river’s waters.

    Egypt and Sudan are still mulling over the framework’s provisions. But Sudan seems to be leaning towards the nine (that have already signed), leaving Egypt as the only country opposing the move.

    Under the treaty, any of the Nile Basin nations may use the waters of the River Nile without seeking approval from the Egyptians.

    In 2015, foreign ministers of Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia had to first sit on a roundtable and reach an agreement on the use of the waters before construction of Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam could be okayed.

    Uganda’s water and environment minister Sam Cheptoris, who assumed the Nile Basin Initiative chair from his Tanzanian counterpart at the meeting, called for stronger cooperation between the countries to fight climate change as well as degradation.

    He said the countries need to “work together” amidst the threat of climate change and to devise means that can sustainably use the Nile without ‘killing’ it.

    Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Affairs Kirunda Kivejinja, representing Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, said the ministers have to devise policies that will improve livelihoods of people and eradicate poverty in the communities that share the waters.

    “Uganda will continue to adhere to the international law on the use of shared water resources,” he said.

    The minister of water and irrigation for Tanzania Eng. Gerson Lwenge, who at the same time was the outgoing chair, expressed concern over increase in water scarcity as years come and go.

    The meeting discussed challenges of inadequate funding. It said some member states were not remitting their $137000 contributions in time, calling on them to clear their arrears.

    It also discussed the challenge of poverty in the region, saying 10 of the 11 countries still belong to the least developed

    Source: New Vision 


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  • Lottery Draw for Condominium Houses to Be Held

    Lottery draw is going to be held by the end of the current month to handover about 40,000 condominium houses which are built in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

    Commenting on the issue Diriba Kuma, Mayor of Addis Ababa, said the lottery draw was for 39,000 houses built under 20/80 housing scheme and 1,290 houses built under 40/60 housing scheme.

    The condominiums built under the 20/80 housing scheme are found, among others, at Bole Arabessa, Bole Ayat and Kilinto. On the other hand, the condominiums built under 40/60 housing scheme are located at areas commonly known as Sengater and Crown.

    According to the Mayor, currently the houses are more than 95 percent complete and the remaining minor works would be finalized soon.

    Source: Fana Broadcasting Corporate


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  • The White House Office of the Vice President to visit Ethiopia

    Dr. Jill Biden to Travel to Africa Dr. Jill Biden will travel to Ethiopia, Malawi and Niger from July 15 – July 23, 2016 where she, along with Catherine Russell, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, will engage government and civil society partners on issues related to economic empowerment and educational opportunity for women and girls.

    During their travel, Dr. Biden and Ambassador Russell will also highlight partnerships on global health and food security to reduce hunger and lift people out of poverty. Additional details about the trip are forthcoming.

    During her visit, Dr. Biden will attend a Girls Can Code graduation ceremony and will visit projects run by female students at the newly established American Center. 

    DireTube News 

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  • Ethiopia blocked social media for everyone because it’s “a distraction for students”

    After university entrance exams were cancelled because the questions were posted online, Ethiopia’s government has responded by blocking access to social media. The ban applies to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Viber.

    Despite perceived ulterior motives, authorities insist the government has the students’ best interests at heart. “It’s a temporary measure until Wednesday,” Getachew Reda, a government spokesman, said. “Social media have proven to be a distraction for students.”

    But most Ethiopians will view that claim dubiously given Ethiopia’s overt caution with internet communications in general. In 2012, a clampdown restricted voice over internet protocol (VoIP) calls. With users facing a 15 year jail term, the clampdown included making “unauthorized calls” on Skype. The country also has a history of blocking “opposition and human rights blogs.”


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  • Mati Multiplex goes National

    Mati Multiplex, the first state-of-the-art cinema house in the country, has launched a plan to expand nationwide with branches across six major regional towns while Bahir Dar becomes the first town outside Addis Ababa to have 3D Cinema facility.   

    Although Mekele, the seat of the Tigray Regional State, is the first regional town to host the first branch of the Cinema chain a year ago with 35mm movie screening cinema facility, another regional town Bahr Dar has taken the lead in hosting the 3D Cinema infrastructure outside of Addis Ababa.   

    Marketing head of Matti Multiplex, Yidnekachew Firew, told The Reporter that the company has begun screening movies in 35mm screen last month in Bahir Dar before it made the decision to move the 3D screening facility.

    He also said that 3D screening will be launched next month with a grand opening ceremony to kick-start Mati Cinema in the lakeside town.

    According to Yidnekachew, the company has leased the famous Mulualem Cultural Center in Bahr Dar for one year to screen its movies with possible extension on the contract.

    In addition to Bahir Dar and Mekele, the company has also finalized preparations to open more branches in Adama, Hawassa, Dire Dawa and Gonder, all major towns across Ethiopia.

    The company also noted that the four branches are expected to be operational in the coming months with an estimated budget of 15 to 25 million birr.

    In a related news, Sino Cinema, the sole private Cinema House in Gonder, 747 Km North of Addis Ababa, is struggling to stay afloat due to the shortage of up to date local and international films. The company also said that Addis Ababa-based filmmakers are reluctant to supply films for screening in Gonder, one of the historical towns in Northern Ethiopia.

    Sino Cinema house also revealed that the arrival of Kana TV, a Dubai-based TV stations airing dubbed Amharic content to audiences across Ethiopia, has compounded the problem it has been facing.

    Manager of Sino Cinema, Yetimgeta Sisay, told The Reporter that although the cinema houses is well equipped with modern sound devices, screens and the capacity to accommodate over 130 people at a time, it is struggling to convince filmmakers and secure regular flow of up to date films to the viewership in Gonder.

    Yetimgeta also hinted to The Reporter that owner of the Cinema is in discussion with Mati Multiplex for possible leasing of cinema hall to the latter. On the other hand, Yidnekachew also confirmed the talks but if the deal goes through Mati Multiplex would be housed in Sino Cinema in Gonder.

    Source: The Reporter





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  • Morocco desirous to bolster ties with Ethiopia

    Morocco said it is desirous to bolster the bilateral relationship with Ethiopia. Morocco's Foreign Minister Salah Eddine Mezouar is in Addis Ababa to deliver a message from King Mohamed VI calling for an enhanced cooperation.

    While receiving the message, Hailemariam told the Foreign Minister that his government is also keen to boost the ties.

    The Premier stated that Ethiopia has been working to bolster the relationship with Morocco, saying opening of its Embassy in Rabat is one move for a stronger relation.

    Moroccan Foreign Minister Salah Eddine Mezouar for his part said his country recognizes the need to cooperate with Ethiopia.

    The two countries have agreed to work in a number of areas during the visit by the Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom back in 2014.

    The diplomatic ties between the two countries re-established in 1997, when Morocco re-opened its embassy in Addis Ababa.

     Source: ENA 

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