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  • Ethiopian Berbere accepted by UK, rejected by Germany


    For the first time since banning the product in 2016, Britain allowed two containers of hot pepper from Ethiopia into their country. However samples from three hot pepper exporters were rejected at a Germany laboratory last week.

    Hot pepper powder from Ethiopia was banned by the EU after being found to have unsafe levels of Aflatoxins and ochratoxin A.

    On Thursday May 11 a company run by Ethiopian Diaspora which imports Ethiopian pepper from two local companies was allowed to distribute the product in Britain after laboratory tests determined the hot pepper powder met European Union standards.


    Addisu Alemayehu, spice researcher and secretary general of Ethiopian Spice, Aromatic and Herbs Growers and Processors Association, confirmed that about USD 327,000 worth of pepper was distributed into the market as of Thursday.

    Despite good news however pepper exporters were not so lucky in Germany.

    “Their product sample was rejected by a German laboratory,” an exporter said.

    Aflatoxins and Ochratoxin are a daunting challenge for the Ethiopian hot pepper business, it is the spice Ethiopia exports the most.
    A delegation accompanying Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn during his visit to London, met with representatives of the European Union to talk about the issue. The Ethiopian Embassy in London has been working hard to alleviate the situation by collaborating with importers based in Britain.

    Sources said that the embassy has also facilitated a meeting with EU representatives to talk about the hot pepper issue. Capital was unable to confirm if the discussions were held by the time it went to press.


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  • PM Hailemariam calls on Ethiopians to leave Saudi before amnesty deadline

     Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn called on undocumented Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia to leave the country before the amnesty deadline that ends June 29, 2017.

    In a press conference he gave in China in connection with the approaching Saudi amnesty deadline, the Premier said previously without prior notice thousands of Ethiopian repatriates were deported and the situation was challenging to handle.

    “However, with relentless efforts of the government, we successfully managed the situation."

    "In this Saudi policy to expelled out undocumented citizens to leave their country we have been provided time to facilitate for safe return of our citizens. Therefore, I urged Ethiopian repatriates to use the amnesty period, “he urged.

    The people and the government of Ethiopia are endeavoring to curb human trafficking, he said and adding the effort would be intensified in an organized manner to protect citizens from any rights violation harassment.

    As part of this effort, the government is dealing with Saudi Arabia, the principal labor hiring country for Ethiopia, to reach a final labor exchange agreement. A serious of discussions were held with Saudi officials and consensus was reached to held the repatriation in the way adheres human rights.

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  • The First Engine Factory Opens in Meqelle


    The first engine manufacturing plant in the country is set to be operational in Meqelle, Tigray Regional State, with a 350 million Birr investment from the local military base corporation.

    Named as Mekelle Engine Production Factory, the company is established by one of the 15 subsidiary companies under the Metal & Engineering Corporation (MetEC), the Ethiopian Power Engineering Industry (EPEI).

    Mekelle Engine Production Factory has a production capacity of manufacturing 20,000 engines annually. It produces three types of engines; small, medium and heavy engines used for different purposes including for vehicles, water pumps and power generators. The small engines are for Bajaj, pumps, power generators and walking tractors; medium engines are for buses and trucks, and heavy engines are for construction machinery such as loaders, excavators and graders.

    The construction of the company started in 2015 and was completed last year, and currently, it is piloting production.
    The company was initiated after various questions were raised during the Ethio-Metal and Engineering International Exhibition that was held in 2012, according to Mossa Yimame (Maj.) deputy general manager and marketing and sales head of EPEI.

    During the exhibition, it was commented that importing engines and spare parts is the biggest challenge of companies that are engaged in the metal and engineering industries,” Mossa told Fortune. “This inspired us to establish the factory.”

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  • Koshe victims left hanging dry

    Two months after the garbage hill slide that happened in Koshe Open Garbage Dumpsite in Addis Ababa, the tragedy appears to be far from being over as the survivors of the incident are suffering from unfulfilled promises which were made to rehabilitate them.

    It is almost two months since the accident which claimed the lives of above 130 people occurred. The incident had caused anger and anxiety among the public in general.

    After the tragedy, different institutions, both public and private, individual donors as well as companies have extended their helping hands to the rehabilitation effort. In this respect, an estimated amount of 55 million birr was said to be pledged to rehabilitate the families who were affected by the Koshe tragedy.

    Aside from the money, close to 56 families who lost their beloved ones were said to be relocated to low cost condominium houses around Yeka Abado condominium site.

    Yet again, a group of families, who were told to leave the Koshe surrounding because they were identified as living in a dangerous area, were relocated to a nearby government housing in Koshe, Nifas Silk Sub-City and Kolfe Keranio sib city.

    To the dismay of many families, some of the promises made to them have not been fulfilled to date. For instance, the families who were told to be relocated to condominium houses in different locations are still living in a temporary shelter near Koshe.

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  • 4 Million Phones to Become Ineffective

    Ethiotelecom has a monopoly on telecommunication services in Ethiopia and has agreed to pay 55% compensation to phone owners while 14 Ethiopian phone manufacturers are expected to cover the remaining amount.

    4 million phones already in use in Ethiopia are set to become ineffective, as a side effect of a phone registration policy that will soon be put into effect, according to a recent investigative reporting by a private media agency in Ethiopia.

    The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology led by Debrestion Gebremichael (Ph.D.) has prepared regulations for a phone registration system, purportedly to curb the untaxed inflow of phones into the country, and it is in this connection that millions of phones are becoming defunct.

    The only reason why this controversial plan was not put into action a month ago, according to an April 19th article by the Ethiopian Reporter, is because of a disagreement between the Ethiotelecom and the 14  Ethiopian based manufacturers of phones, the two groups are apparently cost sharing to compensate customers.

     It is not yet clear which type of phones or by what criteria the phones will be rendered unusable in this device based control effort. 

    See Also: Ethiopian Reporter (Amharic) 

    See Also: DireTube Latest News April 21, 2017


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  • Ethiopia Gives Saudi Returnees Duty Free Rights for Personal Goods

    The Ethiopian government is working towards the safe and comfortable return of migrant workers without legal status. (DireTube)

    A new directive in line with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs campaign to alleviate the much publicized difficult plight of Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia is on the horizon. DireTube has received reports that such a directive will grant duty-free privileges to Ethiopian citizens who return to their homeland from Saudi Arabia.

    Although the news is still unraveling the directive, aiming to regularize and encourage the return of Ethiopians some of whom have been given a deadline to leave Saudi Arabia is one that will cover household goods and may include the right to import a vehicle duty-free.

    Other similar directives issued by the Ethiopian government for diplomats, students, and other diaspora subgroups has included the import free of duty of one automobile with no more than 10 seats and household goods. In another instance, targeted towards diplomats living overseas, the sale of household goods and automobile to third parties had been permitted only after a five year period from entry date in Ethiopia. Keep posted on Diretube.com for developments regarding the government directive covering the duty-free privilege for Saudi returnees and the surrounding issues.

    See Also: Ethiopians Living in Saudi Arabia - Import duty & taxes free System

    See Also: Ethiopians In Saudi Face Possible Government Crackdown


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