Ethiopia and USAID Initiate Fleet Management System to Enhance Trade with Djibouti

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – In a significant move to bolster Ethiopia-Djibouti trade, Ethiopia, in collaboration with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has introduced an integrated fleet management system (iFMS). The initiative, led by SmartWatch Solutions Ltd and under the supervision of the Ethiopian Ministry of Transport and Logistics, aims to optimize fleet operations along the critical Ethio-Djibouti corridor. The project, which was developed at a cost of $550,000, is part of a broader effort to enhance the efficiency of trade logistics between the two countries.

According to Ethiopian News Agency, the iFMS project is a key component of a larger strategy, supported by a $2 million grant from USAID to TradeMark Africa (TMA) in 2023. This strategy focuses on improving food security by enhancing agricultural trade along the Ethio-Djibouti corridor. The integrated fleet management system is designed to provide real-time visibility of freight traffic, offering a comprehensive view of transport corridor operations and enabling targeted interventions to alleviate bottlenecks.

During the launch ceremony, Ethiopia’s State Minister of Transport and Logistics, Bareo Hassen, highlighted the importance of fleet management for the logistics sector’s efficiency. “The project represents a significant investment in our future, bringing numerous benefits to our organization, the transport and logistics community, and the country’s trade logistics,” Hassen stated.

Amber Lily Kenny, Director of the Office of Economic Growth and Resilience at USAID Ethiopia, echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the system’s role in enabling efficient tracking and freight management through data-driven coordination and supervision of trucks. “This effort is expected to increase the availability of food, fertilizer, and other related goods across key markets in Ethiopia, improving the lives of Ethiopian brothers and sisters in the country,” Kenny added. She reaffirmed USAID’s commitment to supporting food security in Ethiopia and expressed optimism that the fleet management initiative would contribute significantly to these efforts.

Nicholas Ogoma, CEO of SmartWatch Solutions, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration with the government and stakeholders to ensure the project’s completion within less than seven months. The Ethio-Djibouti corridor, which accounts for over 95 percent of Ethiopia’s import-export trade and involves the operation of approximately 15,000 trucks, with an additional 3,500 trucks required during peak seasons, is set to benefit immensely from the implementation of this system.

Development Bank of Ethiopia Allocates $40.5 Million to Boost Off-grid Solar Energy

ADDIS ABABA – The Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) has allocated 40.5 million USD to support the expansion of off-grid solar energy in rural areas, as part of the Access to Distributed Electricity and Lighting in Ethiopia (ADELE) project.

According to Ethiopian News Agency, Project Design and Appraisal Team Manager at DBE, the funds will be used for importing, distributing, and installing off-grid solar systems and productive use equipment in rural and deep rural zones. The initiative aims to enhance off-grid solar penetration and is underpinned by a broader 500 million USD contribution from the World Bank towards the ADELE project, which is set to conclude in 2027.

Desalegn highlighted that approximately 750,000 households, or roughly 3.75 million individuals, will benefit from improved access to solar energy. DBE Vice President Getachew Wakie emphasized the critical role of financial institutions in ensuring the successful execution of the project. He noted that ADELE seeks to broaden access to reliable electricity for households, social institutions, and enterprises across Ethiopia. Gosaye Mengistie, an advisor to the Ministry of Water and Energy, mentioned the government’s commitment to the National Electrification Program (NEP), which aims for universal electricity access. Efforts are currently focused on enhancing reliable power supply to both households and social institutions. The DBE, Ministry of Water and Energy, and Ethiopia Electric Utility are the primary agencies responsible for implementing the ADELE project.

Ethiopia and Finland Strengthen Ties with 9.5 Million Euro Land Administration Grant

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia and Finland have signed a grant agreement worth 9.5 million Euros to support the third phase of the Responsible and Innovative Land Administration (REILA-III) project.

According to Ethiopian News Agency, the agreement was inked by Semereta Sewasew, State Minister of Finance, and Finland’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Sinikka Antila. The grant aims to enhance land tenure security, provide incentives, and disseminate knowledge among smallholder farmers to promote investment in climate-smart agriculture. This initiative is expected to lay the foundation for improved livelihoods, income generation, and climate resilience over the long term.

Building on the successes of its preceding phases, REILA-III is designed to strengthen the sustainability of the National Rural Land Administration and Information System, improve land governance, and encourage the adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices. Finland’s financial contribution to the project, including previous phases since 2011, exceeds 21 million Euros. This collaboration underscores the continued partnership between Ethiopia and Finland in promoting sustainable development and climate resilience through innovative land administration strategies.

Ethiopia Surpasses $1 Billion in Electricity Exports

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Ethiopia has achieved a significant milestone by earning over $1 billion from the export of electric power to neighboring countries within an 18-month period, up until the end of the 2015 Ethiopian fiscal year. This achievement marks a critical step in the country’s emergence as a regional energy hub. Water and Energy Minister Habtamu Etefa, in an exclusive interview with the Ethiopian News Agency, highlighted the performance as evidence of Ethiopia’s growing influence in regional energy integration.

According to Ethiopian News Agency, the success can be attributed to the increasing demand for Ethiopian electricity, with annual consumption by importing countries growing by 15 percent. “We are successfully supplying energy to Sudan, Djibouti, and Kenya,” he stated, praising the Ethiopia-Kenya power grid interconnection as a key factor in enabling further exports potentially as far as South Africa through the East African Power Pool. Ethiopia’s reliance on hydropower, which accounts for 93 percent of its electricity, positions it as a leader in providing clean, affordable energy.

Additionally, Habtamu noted significant domestic achievements, including the connection of 4.5 million customers to the electric grid within the last six months. Despite these advances, he acknowledged challenges in reaching the scattered population, with only 52 percent currently having access to electricity. The government is actively pursuing off-grid solutions, such as solar, wind, biogas, and geothermal energy, to address these gaps, particularly in Oromia and the Somali regions.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Reaffirms Commitment to Tigray’s Stability and Development

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has declared a steadfast dedication to the stability and progress of the Tigray region. During a significant meeting in the capital with community representatives from Tigray, Prime Minister Abiy emphasized the government’s unwavering commitment. The discussion centered on pivotal issues affecting the region and underscored the collaborative effort towards achieving stability and development.

According to Ethiopian News Agency, Prime Minister Abiy remarked, “Our commitment to the stability and development of the Tigray region remains unwavering, and our engagement today further supports our shared objective.” This dialogue is part of a broader series of engagements with representatives from various Ethiopian regions, highlighting the government’s inclusive approach to national development and stability.