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  • Ethiopia’s friend Dr. Richard Pankhrust passed away

     

    Historian  and Ethiopia’s long standing friend Dr. Phunkrust passed away, according to reports.

    The doyen of historians and scholars of Ethiopia, Dr. Pankhurst was one of Ethiopia’s greatest friends during his long and productive life, and his scholarship and understanding for Ethiopia will be sorely missed.

    The son of Sylvia Pankhurst, a staunch supporter of Ethiopia’s struggle against Italy in the 1930s, Dr. Pankhurst came to Ethiopia in 1956 and devoted his life to Ethiopian studies, writing over 20 books and editing many more on aspects of Ethiopia’s history, culture and economics. He was the founding Director of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies and a leading figure in the Friends of Ethiopia. He was also instrumental in the successful campaign to get the Axum Stelae, re-erected in 2008, back from Italy to Ethiopia, for which he was given an award of recognition by president Mulatu Teshome. He was also awarded an OBE by the British Government for his services to Ethiopian studies.

     

     

     

     

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  • India had the most bomb blasts in the world in 2016, says report

    India witnessed the maximum bombings in the world last year, even more than war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a report.

    There were 406 such incidents, which include IED and ordnance explosive blasts, in the country. Iraq came second with almost half the number at 221, the report by the National Bomb Data Centre (NBDC) said though it did not mention the casualties.

    NBDC functions as the nodal post-blasts investigation department under country’s federal contingency force NSG. The report did sound a word of caution on the global data saying the centre obtained these figures from “open source”.

    Neighbouring Pakistan witnessed a total of 161 incidents during 2016 followed by Afghanistan where 132 bombings were recorded, 92 in Turkey, 71 in Thailand, 63 in South Africa, 56 in Syria, Egypt 42 and 29 in Bangladesh among others.

    “This does not reflect the exact number and details of the incident,” the National Security Guard’s NBDC said in its annual compilation of such incidents called ‘Bombshell’.

    Out of the total 406 incidents reported during this period in India, 337 were triggered using Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) while the rest 69 occurred using ordnance explosives like grenades or ammunition shells.

     

    The report delved deeper and analysed that the maximum of IED blasts in a week in India, at 63, occurred on Thursdays, followed by 50 on Wednesdays and so on.

    March proved to be most deadliest in India with a maximum of 42 incidents being recorded in this month in 2016 followed by 36 in April.

    “The data... has been obtained from police records available from time to time. This does not reflect the exact number and details of the incident,” the report added .

    The NBDC report, published last week, also reported that Jammu and Kashmir saw an over 121% rise in blast and IED related incidents after the killing of militant Burhan Wani in the Valley in July last year.

    While 14 IED bombing incidents were reported in J&K in 2015, the numbers went up to 31 last year.

    “Jammu and Kashmir saw an increase in blast incidents and casualties particularly after the death of Burhan Wani,” the report said.

     

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  • Foreign Investment in Ethiopia Slumps After Business Attacks

     

    FDI dropped 20% to $1.2 billion in six months through December
    Foreign companies receive financial compensation for damages
    Foreign direct investment in Ethiopia dropped by a fifth in the first half of the country’s fiscal year after violent anti-government protests in which foreign-owned businesses were targeted.

    The country attracted $1.2 billion in the six months through the end of December, compared with $1.5 billion in the same period a year earlier, Fitsum Arega, commissioner of the Ethiopian Investment Commission, said in a phone interview Monday from the capital, Addis Ababa. He said the government may miss its annual target of $3.5 billion, with $3.2 billion more likely to be attainable.

    The government of Ethiopia declared a state of emergency in October to deal with unrest accompanying protests by ethnic Oromo and Amhara communities that began in late 2015 over the alleged dispossession of their land, political marginalization and state repression. Businesses including those owned by Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote and Dutch fruit processors were attacked during the unrest. The security forces killed at least 600 demonstrators, according to the Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia.

    Ethiopia, one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, is expected to expand 7.5 percent this year, compared with an average of 9.1 percent over the past five years, according to the International Monetary Fund. Opponents of the government argue that Ethiopia’s economic gains haven’t been matched by increased political freedoms since the ruling party cracked down on the opposition in 2005, after losses in that year’s elections.
    The government is paying out damages to foreign and domestic companies deemed affected by the unrest, with 100 million birr ($4.4 million) already disbursed and “more in progress,” Fitsum said. Claims were received from at least 20 domestic companies. At least two foreign businesses were successful in making claims from insurance companies, while the government is also providing tax relief to operations that sustained damages during the violence, he said.
    While no foreign investors canceled planned projects, they have taken a “wait-and-see attitude” to the country, Fitsum said.

    “We already have big investors in the pipeline,” Fitsum said. “There are also big textile-manufacturing companies we can expect to have in the coming six months,” he said, referring to Ethiopia’s Hawasa Industrial Park that opened in July and which the government says is the largest in Africa.

    Companies investing in Hawasa Industrial Park are from countries including China, India, Belgium, Spain, France, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, Fitsum said.

    Total foreign direct investment in Ethiopia in the 2015-16 fiscal year was $2.2 billion, according to an EIC statement published on the website of FANA, the ruling-party affiliated broadcaster.

    Yields on Ethiopia’s $1 billion of Eurobonds due 2024 hit a record 9.66 percent at the peak of the unrest in January last year, and have since recovered to 7.35 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The notes have returned 5 percent this year, compared with an average 2.5 percent for the Bloomberg USD Emerging Market Sovereign Bond Index.

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  • us Embassy in Addis Ababa issued a statement about some of the news that were circulating in social media

    Image result for us Embassy in Addis Ababa

    We have seen questions on Facebook about a quota system for Ethiopian visa applicants.

    Last week, the President of the United States initiated a review of national security procedures which applies to visitors and potential immigrants from seven countries. Ethiopia is not among those seven countries and Ethiopian citizens are not addressed nor affected by the President’s executive order.

    The U.S. Government remains committed to facilitating legitimate travel for international visitors. In fact, in 2016, the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa issued more than 18,000 non-immigrant visas, with the majority to Ethiopian applicants.

    For more information on the recent Executive Order or on the application process for U.S. visas:https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en.html 

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