News

Big China in Little Djibouti

Chinese People’s Liberation Army personnel attending the opening ceremony of China’s new military base in Djibouti on August 1, 2017. (Getty) by Thomas J. Shattuck* In early May, Djibouti, a small African country located at the critical juncture between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, made headlines for a surprising reason: the United States demarched the People’s Republic of China...

United Arab Emirates gives Ethiopia $1 billion lifeline to ease foreign exchange crisis

CNBC 18 June 2018 Ethiopia’s foreign exchange shortage is due in part to its spending big on infrastructure projects. The current total left in the East African country’s coffers is equivalent to less than one month’s worth of imports, Reuters reported. Landlocked Ethiopia is keen to shore up its international trade infrastructure; for example, taking a stake in the Port of Djibouti in May. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is to deposit $1 billion in Ethiopia’s central bank to ease the latter’s foreign exchange shortage. The sum is part of a total of a $3...

Remarks on America’s Economic Revival Share

U.S. Department of State 18 June 2018 SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you. Thanks, Gerry, and thanks to the Detroit Economic Club for hosting me. It’s great to be with you. The whole Twitter thing up there makes me really nervous. (Laughter.) And to be – to have my name mentioned in the same sentence with folks like Rusk and Kissinger and Shultz, I find it odd and humbling and truly driving me every...

Make infrastructure a priority in Africa by taking bold steps

BUSINESS DAILY 17 June 2018 A strong, if not pervasive, theme on infrastructure in Africa is one of minimal existence, or lack of infrastructure. Reference is often made to the age and decay of infrastructure. For example, it is highlighted that many railway lines in Africa were built over a century ago. This theme of ‘lack’ is reinforced regularly in various fora. This generalised portrayal...

Somalia, Ethiopia to jointly invest in four seaports on the Red Sea

euronews 16 June 2018 Somalia and Ethiopia announced they were jointly investing in four seaports to attract foreign investment to their two countries, the latest move in a tussle for access to ports along one of the world’s most strategic waterways. After Somalia’s president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo hosted Ethiopia’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed for a meeting at the presidential palace in Mogadishu, the two leaders issued a joint statement of pledges to cooperate on everything from the development of infrastructure including roads linking the two countries to expanding visa services to...

Regional news

Ethiopia to allow privatisation of Ethiopian Airlines, telecoms

African Business 6 June 2018 Ethiopia will open its national carrier Ethiopian Airlines and state-owned telecom company to investors for the first time by selling minority stakes in the two firms. The move is part of a wider effort by Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to reform East Africa’s fastest growing economy, which is dominated by the state. Ahmed, in power since March 2018, has already reduced the role of Ethiopia’s powerful military in construction and similar projects, and lifted a state of emergency introduced after anti-government protests threatened to engulf the nation. The...

Ethiopia-Eritrea reconciliation project meets resistance from border communities

africanews 13 June 2018 The decision by Ethiopia’s ruling coalition to resolver a border dispute with Eritrea has met stiff resistance from members of Badme town which was the epicenter of the war that killed tens of thousands on both sides. The 36 member executive committee of Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) announced on Tuesday that it would accept the December 2000 Algiers Agreement that was signed to restore peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea. But for many of Badme’s 15,000 residents, most of whom are veterans of the 1998-2000 conflict, the decision by premier...

Senate Tasks Gov’t to Put Acquired Port Land to Use

KT Press 11 June 2018 Rwandan Senate has given government up to six months to come up with a clear action plan and follow up on how to put to productivity port land the country acquired in Djibouti, Kenya and Tanzania. This task will see three ministries and the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) convene to draft a plan on how Rwanda can profitably use 83.3 hectares of land. “We have resolved that in not more than six months we get a progress report on the agreement on Djibouti port and six months for government to give clear plan of how they will put the land  in Kenya and Tanzania to good...

When Peace is a Problem

New York Times 8 June 2018 If nature abhors a vacuum, politics abhors a military standoff, especially between two nations in one of the poorest, most volatile and most strategically sensitive regions of the world. And so there was much excitement when the government of Ethiopia announced on Tuesday that it would fully accept the ruling of an international tribunal in the country’s boundary dispute...

Horn of Africa reeling from Cyclone Sagar

Business Ghana 23 May 2018 20,000 people were affected by flooding in Djibouti, more than 10,000 people were displaced in Somaliland, and homes and fishing boats were destroyed in Puntland. “This cyclone left a trail of destruction when it hit Puntland and Somaliland. The storm then continued to Djibouti, where it caused major flooding, not least in Djibouti city. This is the biggest storm to hit the region in years,” said Nigel Tricks, Regional Director for the Norwegian Refugee Council. The storm fist struck Somalia on Friday with damaging winds and heavy rains in Puntland. Farmers...