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  • Ethiopian Airlines to Acquire Boeing 777-200s

    Ethiopian Airlines to Acquire Boeing 777-200s

     Ethiopian Airlines is expanding its air cargo fleet with the acquisition of four new Boeing 777-200 LR Freighter aircraft. 

    The purchase will occur under a pre-delivery payment loan financing agreement with the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank). Delivery is scheduled to begin in fall 2014.  
    Ethiopian operates the largest cargo fleet in Africa, currently using six dedicated freighter aircraft to 24 destinations in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.  Tewolde Gebremariam, chief executive of Ethiopian Airlines, said the new aircraft will help support the carrier's newly established cargo hub in Lome, Togo with its partner airline ASKY Airlines.  
    "We are phasing in the latest technology cargo aircraft with the aim of supporting Ethiopia's exports and the booming trade between Africa and the rest of the world. The B777-200 LR Freighters have proven capabilities that are ideal for the transport of perishables," said Gebremariam.

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  • As Americans embrace Ethio­pian cuisine, its farmers grow more teff

    By Published: July 30, 2012

    It’s almost midnight, but Zelalem Injera, an Ethio­pian bread factory housed in a cavelike Northeast Washington warehouse, is wide awake. As its 30-foot-long injera machine hums, Ethio­pian American businessman Kassahun Maru, 61, proudly explains that it cranks out 1,000 of the fermented Frisbee-shaped discs every hour for the region’s growing number of ethnic grocery stores, health food boutiques and Ethio­pian restaurants.

    Injera — the Ethio­pian staple food that doubles as cutlery — is made from teff, a tiny grain ubiquitous in the Horn of Africa and until recently almost unknown elsewhere. But the teff that Zelalem Injera uses is grown in America. The 25-pound sacks stacked along the wall read “Maskal Teff: An Ancient African Grain. Made in Idaho.” Once solely grown in the rugged Ethiopian highlands, teff is popping up in the windswept fields of the American heartland.

    Waves of immigrants come to this country seeking a taste of home, but in doing so they change our tastes, too. Increasingly, cuisine can be a sort of international connective tissue, with people who may never travel to, say, India, now able to choose from five brands of naan in the ethnic foods aisle at Wegmans. The demand for teff has created a ripple effect that reaches from Addis Ababa to Boise to D.C.

    When the first waves of Ethiopians began arriving in Washington after the 1974 Marxist coup, they had so few of the necessary supplies at hand that they made injera with Aunt Jemima pancake batter. “It tasted funny,” recalls Getachew Zewdie, 47, the owner of Dukem, one of U Street’s first Ethio­pian restaurants.

    “There was just so much demand for real injera,” Zewdie says, standing amid sizzling skillets and bubbling vats of pungent yellow lentils and strips of meat tibs drizzled in rosemary sprigs and garlic. While injera is imported every day on Ethio­pian Airlines, it’s not as popular as the freshly made kind. The region’s injera industry — it’s baked at more than 50 locations in and around Washington — earns about $12 million a year with an estimated 4,000 packs sold per day, Maru estimates. Today, Zewdie buys his injera from Maru, and Maru buys his teff from the Teff Company in Caldwell, Idaho.

    A growing market

    A combination of factors has spurred the growth of the U.S. teff market. One is scarcity: The Ethiopian government routinely bans its export to protect prices from rising inside the country during lean seasons. Another is a shift in American dietary habits. The rise in Ethio­pian immigrants and the concomitant rise in the popularity of Ethio­pian food have increased demand, as has the surge in vegetarianism (a two-ounce serving of teff has as much protein as an extra-large egg). Yet another is the increased awareness of gluten allergies; gluten-free teff is a welcome alternative to wheat.

    “It is a great crop,” says Don Miller, a plant breeder who works with teff at a seed research facility in West Salem, Wis. “And its uses are expanding all the time.”

    A native of Texas, Miller, 60, sports a mustache and wears an array of turquoise rings. He has a PhD in agronomy and studies the use of teff as forage for horses and other animals. He received USDA grants in 2009 to 2010 to promote the Afric­an grain. “Maybe the Ethiopians like the taste a little more than I do,” he concedes, “but, you know, I really like it as a gluten-free chocolate cake.”

    Teff — which looks like wispy green wheat — is also being grown in Nevada, California and Texas, Miller says ­. “It’s just a really exciting time for teff.”


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  • Khartoum To Host Sudan-Ethiopia Investment Forum On May 10

    Sudanese capital Khartoum is due to host the Sudanese-Ethiopian Investment Forum this Saturday.

    The two-day forum is organized by Sudan's National Investment Agency in collaboration with the Ethiopian embassy in Khartoum.

    Higher Council for Investment State Minister Ali Tawer said in statement here Sunday that the forum would provide a strong boost for the progress of economic, social and cultural relations between the two countries.

    It also reflected Sudan's keenness to activate investments between the two countries, he added, noting that the forum's agenda would focus on achievement in the investment field through a review of various working papers on joint opportunities for trade and investment, banking transactions and the activation of bilateral and regional agreements.
    Tawer also revealed that meetings of the Sudanese-Ethiopian Ministerial Committee will be convened between May 24 and 28 in Addis Ababa, where a Sudanese trade and investment exhibition will be held.

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  • Will Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam dry the Nile in Egypt?

    Ethiopia is pressing ahead with construction of a major new dam on the River Nile, despite stiff opposition from Egypt. BBC correspondents in both countries report from both sides of an increasingly bitter water dispute.

    Emmanuel Igunza, Ethiopia

    A vast section of northern Ethiopia has been turned into a giant building site.

    Construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (known as Gerd) is now about 30% complete.

    The whole project spans an area of 1,800 sq km (695 sq miles).

    Once completed, in three years, it will be Africa's largest hydropower dam, standing some 170m (558ft) tall.

    At a cost of $4.7bn (£2.9bn) it will also be hugely expensive - mostly funded by Ethiopian bonds and taxpayers.

    The dam is located in the Benishangul region, a vast, arid land on the border with Sudan, some 900km north-west of the capital Addis Ababa,

    Temperatures here can get as high as 48C (118F). Most of the vegetation that existed on the dam site has been cleared to make way for the construction, and the area is now extremely dusty.

    In May last year, the builders achieved their first milestone when they diverted the course of the Blue Nile. 

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