Bill to Liberalise Investment Laws Reaches Council of Ministers

The Council of Ministers has received an amendment bill to the nation’s investment law that is expected to open up the economy to foreign capital. Drafted by the Ethiopian Investment Commission, the bill was sent to the Council early this month.

The drafting process took around a year and was undertaken by the Investment Law Revision Task Force, a team of 17 experts. The last time the investment law was revised was in 2014, while it was legislated in 2012. The revision is expected to open up the logistics, financial and aviation sectors.

In the process of amendment, public consultation was held by the Commission to identify gaps in the investment environment and recommend ways of addressing them. A series of closed-door meetings were also held for the government, private players and development partners.

“They genuinely wanted our feedback and insights to craft robust and effective improvements to the investment laws,” said Sam Rosmarin, chief strategy officer at Komari Beverages, who participated in one of these meetings.

The draft will allow public-private partnerships in the areas of manufacturing of military weapons, international airport transport service, import and export, power distribution through the integrated national grid system and postal services with the exception of courier services.

The draft also plans to partly open logistics service provision, air transport services, inland public transport and freight transport to foreign investment. But non-national investors or businesses not based in Ethiopia must form joint ventures with local players and will have to abide by a share capital cap of 75pc.

Non-nationals will also not be able to hold more than 49pc of shares in companies engaged in advertising, audio-visual production, accounting and auditing, and mass media services. They can also now engage in capital goods leasing and management consultation.

The existing investment law will also be expected to allow the involvement of foreign investors in the financial sector, according to sources close to the case. Foreign involvement in the sector has not been allowed ever since the Dergue regime in 1974.

Although the sector was finally opened to local private players in 1994, the government continued to insist that the regulatory capacity of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) was not developed enough to regulate foreign financial firms. In the event of legislation, opening up of the financial sector will signal one of the first significant economic reforms in line with the recommendations of financial institutions such as the World Bank.
Though positive about the idea of opening up the economy for foreign investment, private players believe that there is a long way to go before the investment environment can be smoothened out.


Creating a social accountable and sustainable horticulture business

Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) hosted a one day workshop in “Social Accountability and Sustainability Awareness Creation Workshop in the Horticulture Industry” held on November 21, 2019 at Best Western Plus Hotel, Addis Ababa.
Representatives of EHPEA member farms, key stakeholders of the sector, professionals of CSR, community representatives from major clusters and relevant national authorities were in attendance.

EHPEA Executive Director Mr. Tewodros Zewdie started his opening speech by announcing that the horticulture sector has been the best performer in-terms of export value in this quarter among other sectors. On his presentation “Sustainability and corporate social responsibility in the horticulture industry” he stated the essence of CSR becomes very critical, that the business case of CSR to businesses should be followed by CSR and sustainability management in the export horticulture industry. He also added that there are a number of platforms that EHPEA is involved in both local and international level to ensure sustainability mentioning the association Code of practice developed to promote good agricultural practices with the three major pillars of employment safety, welfare of employees and protection of the environment. The construction of liquid waste (Used water) management system project is also the major intervention area that EHPEA undertaking in its member farms. In addition to this the association initiates and advocate for cluster based CSR projects in the industry.

The workshop was a great platform which helps the participants to understand the importance of CSR in a way actors of the sector to respond and adopt externalities created by their market action, which reaches beyond the interest of the firm and what is required by law. It also created an improved image of the sector within the stakeholders which will contribute to overall social and economic sustainability.

On the workshop different actors of the horticulture sector presented their experience on the implementation of CSR activities as follows;

Bayern Training and Development Center (Bfz) Mr.Torsten Schulthess, Project Manager presented on Experience of Bfz in promoting CSR and Sustainability.

Mrs. Mahlet Shibabaw, Program Manager and Country representative of Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) presented on “Practices and experiences on CSR Implementation in Ethiopia and Challenges in Implementation and the way forward”.

Mr. Sander De Raad, Project Manager of Social Impact Assessment Ethiopian Netherlands Trade for Agricultural Growth (ENTAG) presented the international Perspective of CSR Implementation and way of integration with the Ethiopian Context.

From Ethiopian Investment Commission Commercial Horticulture Sector Directorate, Mr. Mekonnen Solomon, Horticulture Support and After Care Directorate Director presented regarding CSR and Sustainability in the Horticulture Sub-sector.

Fairtrade Africa (FTA) Mr. Kassahun Belay, Program Coordinator: Dignity For All (D4A) – Finnish-funded Impact Programme|, presented sustainability footprint and Impact of Fair Trade to the Horticulture Sector and   success stories Challenges and opportunities of road to sustainability.

Mr. Yosef Mengistu, ESA Quality Manager and Technical Adviser in Ethiopian Standard Agency ISO 26000: presented Social Responsibility Guideline brief and its relevance in the Horticulture Industry.

Mr. Benjamin Goepferich, Regional Director Production Africa. Presented on the Practices and Experiences of CSR implementation at Dummen Orange Red Fox Ethiopia plc/ Dummen Orange.

After the presentations the participants reflected ideas and questions and discussed at length. Mr. Tewodros concluded the workshop stressing on the way forward by calling all stakeholders to strengthen their engagement on CSR activities, the government support to properly map supportive procedural policies and stakeholders to be involved on cluster based CSR activities to get a holistic advantage.

Liquid Waste Water Treatment for better environment

Olij Roses Ethiopia Plc.

Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) is working towards ensuring a sustainable and environment friendly production in the horticulture sector. Among its key the intervention areas, constructing a wetland in its member farm is one of the tool to safeguard the sustainability and environmental issues. Among the farms who are implementing the project, Olij Roses Ethiopia PLC is one of the leading farms to construct the wetlands system. Currently the farm finalize all the necessary constructions and let the system to run in order to treat the used waste water.   As the farm use more water for production they construct bigger treatment plant which helps to filter the water before it discharge to the environment and irrigation purposes. The final discharged water will be used for irrigating different fruits like, Papaye, banana and other.

Ethiopian Cutting PLC

Ethiopian Cutting PLC (Syngenta) is also one of the beneficiary farms from the wetland project. The farm finalized the construction of its Wetland and the system will start to purify water by the end of November.

As the farm used water discharge volume is high, they have built a huge facility to reuse the treated used water for irrigating gardening and different fruit plants with in the compound.

UNCATEGORIZED World Export Development Forum Opens in Ethiopia

The World Export Development Forum (WEDF) was opened in Addis Ababa today under the theme “Trade and Invest in One Africa.”

Co-hosted by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Ethiopian Ministry of Trade and Industry, the forum was officially opened in the presence of high ranking government officials including President Sahle-Work Zewde.

The event attracted business leaders, policymakers, entrepreneurs, trade development officials, representatives of international organizations, trade and investment promotion agencies and business associations across the world.

The Forum is timed to contribute to Africa Industrialization Week, intended to help business make the most of the newly ratified African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement with a special focus on the role of women and youth and to address international business competitiveness issues and profile international investment in Ethiopia and beyond.

During the event, a business-to-business matchmaking platform that aims to create new business deals in agribusiness was also organized in partnership with the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations.


A Good Start for Enhancing Public Private Partnership for Creating Sustainable Horticulture in Ethiopia

A technical committee established drawn from EHPEA and Oromia Environment Forest and Climate Change Authority (OEFCCA) staff, following the experience sharing visit to Kenya waste management technology specifically on the management of Lake Naivasha water shade management and clearance of liquid and solid waste to renewable energy.

On a meeting held at the OEFCA office, chaired by H.E Dr. Negere Lencho, Head of OEFCCA, participants presented the best practices of Kenya Horticulture Sector and learning experiences that can be applied or consider in the Ethiopian Horticulture Sector.  Hence, the participants agreed to establish a joint collaboration and partnership towards the environmental protection and sustainable horticulture industry among all concerned stakeholders, mainly OEFCCA, EHPEA, the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission and community representatives.

The new established technical committee took an assignment to develop an Action Plan for the future area of collaboration and partnership initiatives.  The participants expressed that the experience sharing visit program had inspired them to make the horticulture industry more sustainable and initiate joint collaboration and coordination among the major actors in the horticulture Industry.

The Technical Committee expected to prepare the Action Plan and ToR for future action, in the next ten days and submit OEFCC Office.

Youth in Horticulture- FSSA School Vegetable Gardening Project Initiative

Youth in Horticulture is an inclusive school gardening project which is initiated by the social entrepreneur Mr. Eskender Mulugeta which was encompassed through Farm Secure Schools Africa (FSSA). FSSA is a Social Enterprise that believes African schools could be breadbasket by promoting school gardening and agricultural teachings to ensure nutrition and food security.

The initiative targeted to promote school gardening as a source of homegrown school meals as well as livelihood for the participating parents throughout the country. FSSA provides support to schools and parents in setting up the school gardens. FSSA follows the strategy to build the local capacity of the stakeholder to take over the sustainable management of the gardens. FSSA is convinced that the provision of training to local capacity builders about sustainable agricultural practices is essential for cascading the knowledge about farming, raising awareness for the environment and reaching food security.

Furthermore, the idea is that the school gardens serve as a teaching tool and that the vegetables grown there are used to supplement the school feeding programs with nutritious food. At the same time, participating parents can keep the surplus for them or sell it on the local markets diversifying their income. Currently, FSSA has supported the establishment and sustainable management of seven school gardens, located in Addis Ababa and Oromia Region, Ethiopia.

U.S. Avocado Imports Jump from all Latin American Origins

The U.S. saw significant increases in Hass avocado imports from all Latin American origins through September this year, USDA data shows. Over the nine-month period, total imports from the region rose by 20% year-on-year from US$1.7bn to US$2bn.

The growth came amid the lowest California avocado crop in a decade, which created a supply gap for overseas producers.
Mexico was responsible for much of the import uptick this year, with volumes rising from US$1.52bn to US$1.8bn.

But there were also substantial increases in percentage terms from Peru, Chile, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia.

Imports from Peru – the next biggest origin – rose by 24% from US$168m to US$208m. That figure is more than triple imported from Peru in 2016, and also comes amid a 15% reduction in total exports this season.

Chilean supplies in the U.S. rose by 61% from US$17m to US$27m this year through September. This increase came despite the Chilean avocado indsutry also forecasting lower total supplies year-on-year for the 2019-20 season.

Meanwhile, the U.S. imported five-times more Hass avocados from the Dominican Republic. Imports rose from a mere US$485,000 to US$2.4m. And imports from Colombia rose eight-fold from US$393,000 to US$3.2m. Colombia scored U.S. market access in August 2017 under a restrictive export protocol, which was eased slightly earlier this year. It is expected to increase avocado shipments to the U.S. significantly over the next few years.

Biological method developed to extend shelf life

A team of scientists recently developed a new approach to prolonging shelf life. They say the biological procedure could serve as an alternative to chemical-based methods.

Researchers from the Institute of Environmental Biotechnology at TU Graz teamed up with the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology to develop this natural method.

What they found was that a process called hot water treatment, or HWT, combined with a biological agent decreased storage rot and reduced harmful fungi.

It works by engaging the fruit’s natural defences through a “heat shock”. The addition of the bio-agent caused a stir in the microbiology world because it was found have a stronger impact on fungus than HWT alone.

While the team only tested the ecological method on apples and sugar beets, it could apply to many kinds of produce.

They say it has sweeping implications for minimizing food loss in increasingly environmentally-conscious markets.

How the biological method works

In the experiment, scientists infected apples with elements that cause decay.

Then, they gave the fruit a hot water bath. This included treatment with a biologically based agent. As a result, the process killed, or reduced in size, post-harvest pathogens.

Fruit treated with this method was 20% more resistant than fruit that was only treated with hot water.

The bio-agent would therefore significantly minimize food losses, said the researchers.

“This combined approach is a sustainable and ecologically sound way to reduce apple blight. On the basis of this method, we can optimize apple storage together with industrial project partners,” explained Gabriele Berg, head of the institute.

Related developments

Apart from focusing on methodology, the team specifically looked into the microbiome of apples and crop protection for sugar beets.

In one study, they wanted to understand how HWT impacts the microorganisms in apples. They found that the microbiome of an organic apple differs greatly from that of a conventional apple.

The team also investigated crop protection for sugar beets by looking at the fruit’s sugar levels. Conclusions revealed that there is a way to identify if sugar beets are susceptible to rot even before they are harvested.

This development could save millions of sugar beets, according to the team. It could also decrease economic losses.

EHPEA Realized a Country Pavilion at IFTF Expo

EHPEA represents member farms at IFTF expo happening at time of this news write-up in Vijfhuizen, Holland, from November 6 to 8, 2019. EHPEA realized a 60m2 country pavilion for the first time which creates a better platform for co-exhibitor farms; namely Afri Flowers PLC, ZK Flower PLC, Desa Plants PLC & Tinaw Business S.C. The co-exhibiting farms display different varieties of flowers; like Standard Roses, Spray Rose, Gypsophilia and Cuttings of Ornamental Plants.

Besides, EHPEA promotes investment opportunities in the nation so as to further build the image of the country and introducing the brand of its member farms and their produce.

On the expo the new Ethiopian Ambassador to the Netherlands, Mr. Million Samuel visited EHPEA country pavilion and encouraged the growers who were taking part at the expo.

2019 IFTF Co-exhibitors profile:-  

Afri Flower PLC, established in 2014 located its farm at Holeta 22 km from Addis Ababa; which is a perfect combination of altitude and climate an ideal place to grow high quality, long lasting, beautiful flowers. A select group of very qualified Ecuadorian flower technicians, together with the valued local workers, in total 475 employees have created a perfect team committed to providing customers with the highest quality products and service. ​The farm growing a stunning array of Tea Roses, Spray Roses and a variety of summer flowers such as the world three best Gypso varieties from Danziger: Xlence, Galaxy & Million Star with different colors and sizes for export to Middle East, Asia and Europe.

ZK Flower PLC, engaged in Rose flower export business since its establishment in 2008 G.C. located 50KM East of Addis Ababa Debrezei/Bishoftu.  Currently the farm exports over 10 varieties of high-quality roses to Holland, growing its export from 14-16 stems in 2018, projected to export 18 -20million stem in 2020 G.C under the production area of 16.5 ha. It also creates job opportunity for 500 people whom 80 percent of them are women.

Tinaw Business S.C, incorporated locally and established in 2006 G.CP producing cut roses for export market on its 32 ha farm that comprises of 16 varieties that includes Belle Rose, Labelle, Marie –Claire, Mariyo, Heidi, Count Down, Bisou, Athena, Burgundy, Out Law, Tacazzi, MoonWalk, Upper Class, New Orleans, Glow and Patz, with the average length of 40 to 70cm and produces over 30million stems of flowers per year for International market. . The farm is located in an altitude of 1970m South West of Addis Ababa with a land of  The company has directly employed 800 people and support a large sizeable community in the nearby localities by providing clean water as well as participating in construction of rural roads.

Desa Plants PLC, is a Belgian company established in 2007 producing cuttings of ornamental plants located in Ejersa, 83km from Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. The company started with 4 hectares of greenhouses in 2008 and in the meantime has expanded to 20 hectares of greenhouses. Also the assortment of ornamental plant cuttings has widely expanded. Next to a wide assortment of pelargonium cuttings, Desa Plants exports cuttings of dipladenia, poinsettia, bedding plants, herbs and perennials all over the world.

Desa Plants produces about 60 million cuttings of ornamental plants and pot plants per year exporting mainly to the European and Northern American market. The company now employs 650 people and is managed by a team of motivated Belgian and Ethiopian professionals committed to produce and export top quality cuttings with respect for people and environment.

Experience Sharing Program on Kenya Waste Management Technology Organized

EHPEA in collaboration with Bayern Training & Development Center (bfz gGmbH) organized an experience sharing program which incorporates a team of delegates from EHPEA and Oromia regional state representatives.

The team visited to Kenya waste management technology specifically on the management of Lake Naivasha water shade management and clearance of liquid and solid waste to renewable energy.

The visit program comprises of a visit to JKUAT University, Florensis Kenya, Gorge farm energy park, Lake Naivasha, crop nut laboratory, OSP, Lake Naivasha water shade management (PPP) and subati horticulture.

Practical experience on management of waste and renewable energy was composed for further incorporation to Ethiopian context. The bilateral coordination will further augmented to farms in Ethiopian to uphold sustainability.

Contact Info

Location : Micky Leyland Avenue on the Road to Atlas Hotel, NB Business Center; 6th floor; Room # 603

Phone : +251 11 6636750

P.O.Box: 22241 Code 1000


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