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  • Next Stop for Radisson Blu: Bishoftu

    Lions Group of Companies (LGC) is negotiating with Radisson Blu member Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group to bring Radisson Blu to Bishoftu (Debreziet), making the city the third destination for an international brand hotel outside Addis Abeba.

    Radisson Blu Bishoftu Conference and Wellness Destination will have 150 rooms, three restaurants, three bars and one VIP bar. It will also have six different sized conference halls, where the biggest hall will have a capacity of 1,500 people. The hotel will also contain a swimming pool, and a luxurious wellness and treatment center.

    The local property developer Lions Group of Companies will invest half a billion Birr for the completion of the hotel, which is already in progress. The hotel, which is expected to be operational within two years, is located in the area of the Bishoftu’s crater lakes, Babogaya.

    This is the first time that Lions Group has engaged in the hotel business. Lions Group has been engaged in importing and distributing agricultural and industrial chemicals, family planning contraceptives, engineering and automotive. The company also distributes hybrid seeds.

    Confirming that they are dealing with the Radisson Blu, Samuel Getachew, the hotel’s project manager refrained from giving Fortune any comment about the details of the deal, saying the agreement is confidential.

    But the management deal is expected to be signed within two months as the two parties have now finalized the basic deal, according to sources.

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  • More Africans have access to cell phone service than piped water

    In Africa, less than one in three people have a proper drainage system, half of the population live in areas without paved roads, and only 63% have access to piped water. Yet, 93% of Africans have cell phone service.

    These are among the findings in a recently published report by Afrobarometer, a pan-African, non-partisan research network which explored access to basic services and infrastructure in 35 African countries through about 50,000 face to face interviews.

    "In a lot of communities all over Africa, people can talk on their cell phones, but they can't turn on a light or a water faucet. Never mind flush a toilet. And they may be going hungry," says Winnie Mitullah, lead author of the report.

    "As far as the most basic services that many of us take for granted -- water, sewage, electricity, roads -- an awful lot of people might as well be living in the 19th century," she continues.

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  • World Bank Group announces record $57 Billion for Sub-Saharan Africa

    The World Bank has announced $57 billion in financing for sub-Saharan Africa over the next three fiscal years.

    Of that total, $45 billion will come from the International Development Association, the World Bank fund that provides grants and interest-free loans for the world’s poorest countries.

    The package will also feature an estimated $8 billion in private sector investments from the International Finance Corporation, a private-sector branch of World Bank, and $4 billion will come from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the bank’s unit for middle-income nations, World Bank president Jim Yong Kim said in a statement.

    Germany, which hosted a meeting of the G20 countries Friday and Saturday, said that a partnership called “Compact with Africa” would be a priority of its presidency this year of that club of powerful nations.

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  • DireTube March 23 News Overview


    DireTube's Latest Updates begin with a Sheraton Addis inauguration of Ethiopian Tourism's Amharic brand tagline: Midre Kedemt. Ethiopia's head of state, HaileMariam Desalgn and the Minister of Culture  and Tourism, Hirut W/Mariam (Ph.D.) gave talks at the ceremonial event which launched a native version of the earlier Land of Origin brand nationwide. 

    A leading figure in the history of Ethiopian tourism management and the creator of the decades-long 13 months of Sunshine brand, the iconic Habteselassie Tafese was recognized and awarded medals and a money price of 50,000 birr at the event. 

    In national politics news, one faction of the Blue party political organization is setting up its leadership structure. Yeshiwas Assefa, chairman of the Blue Party told Ethiopian Reporter that the recent controversy regarding a splintering of the Blue Party organization had been settled and that they were proceeding with business as usual. It has been 5 years since the Blue Party was given recognition by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia.  Listen to DireTube Video for more on what Yilkal Getenet and other party leaders have to say about the recent row within their ranks. 

    More tragic killing in Gambella. A young farm manager and son of an investor in the Gambella region's  Dima woreda was shot 4 times and passed away on the scene on Monday, March 20, 2017. He was going to town from his farm to recruit laborers when unknown assailants appeared from a bush and shot him dead. "I have reported the case to the police, and I am going to Nekemt with my son's body," said the heartbroken father, Etafa Mekonnen. Investors in Gambella have voiced concern about the lack of security in Gambella, especially near the South Sudan region. The Region's Communication head has said he knows of the killing but does not have additional information.

    See Also: Sendek News About Murder of Investor's Son in Gambella (Amharic)

    11-year sentence for government procurement officer sentenced in theft of 15 Trucks full of Rebars.  Recent media covered the 40/60 condominium theft of 6.4 million birr worth of rebars and the group of suspects including government officials and businessmen. Tesfalgn Bekele has admitted guilt and an 11-year-old sentence and a 7000 birr fine, while his co-defendants have pleaded not guilty and prosecutors are presenting evidence against them. The theft took place in Lafto Kifle Ketema Woreda 6. Rebars are estimated to be above 6.4 million birr. 6 diameter - 55 rolls and 8 diameter - 73 rolls were taken in 15 trucks. The stolen goods were then hidden first in one of the defendant's warehouse and then a Mojo warehouse and finally in Chid Terra. 


    Ethiopia has been voted 119th out of 155 countries in the World Happiness Index. 
    Norway came out on top while Ethiopia is close to the bottom. Last year it Denmark was the leading country. Perhaps the judges of the Happiness Index have considered Ethiopia's year of unprecedented unrest and popular protest in their rating. 

    See Also: World Happiness Report 2017 (CNN) 

     David Rockefeller passed away of heart failure. This member of the iconic Rockefeller name was the head of Chase Manhattan group and is reputed to have donated over $2 billion to charity in his lifetime. That being said he was also the brunt of many unsubstantiated conspiracy theories some more palatable than others throughout his long lifetime. Rockefeller formed so many high profile relationships with diplomats and world leaders as the leader of the huge bank conglomerate that he was reputed to have had his own foreign policy. He was awarded the French Legion of Honor for his services in military intelligence during World War II. 

    See Also: Billionaire philanthropist David Rockefeller Dies at 101

    See DireTube Video: Diretube Latest News March 23, 2017


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  • Man creates Nigerian doll for his niece and it now outsells BARBIE

    In 2007, Taofick Okoya, created a doll that Nigerian girls could identify with
    43-year-old based his Queens of Africa dolls on country's biggest tribes
    They cost roughly £4.50 and aim to promote strong feminine ideal

    A man who couldn't find a black doll in the shops as a gift for his niece decided to take matters into his own hands.

    In 2007, Taofick Okoya, 43, created his own doll that Nigerian girls could identify with by recreating their skin colour and style - and it is now so successful that it is outselling Barbie.

    The doll, which is called Queens of Africa, comes with traditional outfits and accessories and costs around £4.50.

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  • Ethiopia- Al Amoudi drops to 159th in Forbes billionaires’ List

    Ethiopia born Mohammed Al Amoudi drops to 159th in the latest Forbes list of the world’s richest people. Forbes estimates Al Amoudi’s wealth at $8.1 Billion, nearly half of his net worth in 2014 when his net worth was estimated at an all-time high of $15.3 Billion.

    A son of a Saudi father and an Ethiopian mother, Al Amoudi has accumulated a portfolio of construction, agriculture, and energy companies across Sweden, Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia. He made his initial fortune in construction in Saudi Arabia.

    One of his most valuable assets is oil refiner Preem, which bills itself as the largest fuel company in Sweden. In Ethiopia he has invested in agriculture, cement production and gold mining. His firm Saudi Star Agricultural Development has cultivated thousands of acres of land for fruits, vegetables, cereals, coffee, tea, flowers and rice fields for customers in Ethiopia and abroad.

    According to Forbes, the number of billionaires jumped 13% to 2,043 from 1,810 last year. Among the top 10 richest people in the world, 8 out of 10 are Americans.

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