The song that helped Okinawa heal after WWII gets an Ethiopian remake
They combine saxophones and sousaphones, accordions and electric violins. Part Ethiopian pop and jazz, part American funk, part Eastern European brass ensemble, Debo Band is about as eclectic as musical fusion groups get.
DBL Group to set up $100m garment factory in Ethiopia
DBL Group, a leading apparel exporter, is investing $100 million to set up a garment factory in Ethiopia, encouraged by duty benefits for exports from the African nation to US markets, a top official of the company said yesterday.
“The new factory will go into production in February next year. We expect to employ 3,500 workers. Of them, 150 will be employed as executives -- all from Bangladesh,” the official said.
The integrated textile and garment factory to be built in the Tigray region of Ethiopia will add immense value to the Ethiopian economy and strengthen exports, according to news agency Bernama.
“We are going to Ethiopia as this African nation enjoys zero-duty benefits from the United States on exports. The benefits will continue for a long time as Ethiopia is a member of the least developed countries,” the official said.
The US government last year renewed the African Growth and Opportunity Act or AGOA for the African LDCs for the next 10 years to provide zero duty benefits on export.
Bangladesh, despite being an LDC, does not enjoy a duty benefit from the US as the American government suspended its generalised system of preferences in June 2013. Garment products were not included under the GSP scheme to the US market when it used to enjoy the GSP.
For construction of the factory in Ethiopia, DBL obtained $15 million in loans from the Swedish government's development fund Swedfund at an interest rate of 6 percent and $55 million from the Ethiopian Development Bank at nearly 7 percent.
The Ethiopian project is a debt-funded venture of DBL and is not a joint venture.
“We aim to export to the US and European, African and Middle Eastern countries from Ethiopia.”
DBL obtained permission for overseas investment from the central bank.
“DBL is a platinum-rated apparel supplier to Swedish retail giant H&M. Our main target is to supply to H&M,” the official said.
On the availability of a workforce in Ethiopia, the official said there may be a shortage of skilled workers initially, but after a few years, the number of skilled workers will increase due to training imparted by companies and the government.
“I hope the group would be able to bring back a substantial amount of foreign currency from its Ethiopian operations.”
DBL has already employed 30 Bangladeshis in construction work for the Ethiopian project, he said.
Currently, DBL, which produces items from yarn to garments, employed 22,600 workers in different factories in Bangladesh.
The group is expecting shipment of apparel worth $340 million by the end of the current fiscal year, which was about $320 million last fiscal year.
Bangladesh is the second largest apparel supplier worldwide after China. It exported apparel worth $26 billion last fiscal year.
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — South Korea's President Park Geun-hye has arrived in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Wednesday night to start her three-nation visit to Africa.
Park is also slated to visit Kenya and Uganda to hold bilateral talks.
In Ethiopia, Park is expected to meet Ethiopian leaders on Thursday and on Friday to deliver a speech at the African Union, the first for a South Korean leader.
Agreements in air service, elimination of double taxation, health, security, environment and transport are expected to be signed during Park's stay in Ethiopia, said an Ethiopian official.
"Korean health and supplementary food projects will also be inaugurated in her presence. In addition, a business-to-business forum is expected to take place in the capital city to connect Ethiopian investors with their South Korean counterparts," said Tewolde Mulugeta, spokesman for the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry.
Ethiopia and South Korea have a longstanding friendship. The African nation sent soldiers to fight in the Korean War in the early 1950s as part of an American-led United Nations force. More than 1,000 Ethiopian troops fought the North Korean army and more than 100 were killed in action.
Since then South Korea has supported Ethiopia in many development projects and the South Korean government and other philanthropic organizations have assisted hundreds of relatives of Ethiopian soldiers who fought in the Korean War.
This week marks 25 years since Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in a conflict which lasted three decades. Rights groups criticise the East African nation for its lack of democracy, media freedom and its policy of forced conscription, which can last for many years. But the Eritrean government has organised huge celebrations.
Long rows of rusting tanks and other military vehicles, which were captured from Ethiopian forces, fill a field outside the capital. Eritrean rebels were fighting a far more powerful and better equipped army.
In 1998, fighting resumed between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Thousands were killed on both sides during the two-year border conflict, which remains unresolved.
Eritrea is opening up, albeit slowly. It is making more friends, especially in the Arab world. And there is increased foreign investment, especially in the mining sector.
Operation Solomon: Airlifting 14,000 Jews out of Ethiopia
In 1991, Ethiopia was coming to the end of a long civil war and the government was close to being toppled.
Israel was concerned for the ancient community of Ethiopian Jews and did a deal with the tottering regime to airlift thousands of people out of the country.
The Israelis were given less than two days to carry out Operation Solomon. During that window, they flew more than 14,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel - one of them was Daniel Nadawo, who was 11 at the time.
He spoke to Witness about that day.
Witness: The stories of our times told by the people who were there.
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