Facebook Is Opening Its First Office in Africa

Facebook, which has been working to build its user base in Africa through programs like Internet.org and lightweight versions of its app, is opening a new business office in Johannesburg, South Africa, the company’s first permanent office on the continent.

johannesburgThe office will serve as a sales hub, helping Facebook learn about and attract small businesses from the region that may want to advertise to Facebook’s audience, which is growing in the region. Facebook has hired Nunu Ntshingila, chairman of Ogilvy South Africa, to run the new office as the company’s Head of Africa, a new position.

International revenue has always been important for Facebook. More than half of the company’s ad revenue comes from outside the United States and Canada, and has for a number of years.

That percentage is slowly eroding, though, from 56 percent in Q1 2013 to 52 percent last quarter. Facebook is relying more and more on high-priced ads in North America versus other parts of the world. A new office like the one in Africa could help expand on that international business.

Facebook is also hoping to learn more about what kinds of advertising actually work in Africa as a way to lure big brands like Coca-Cola and Virgin Mobile that may want to reach the site’s African user base. The company launched a Creative Accelerator program earlier this year to do just that.

Product head Chris Cox also talked at the Cannes Lions advertising festival last week about Facebook’s plans to build ads that work on feature phones for users who don’t have strong wireless connections.

All of this adds up to a pretty healthy interest in Africa, and Facebook hasn’t been shy about its aspirations. Africa is still very much an emerging market; most of the continent is still without Internet access and those who are online are getting there on mobile devices. For Facebook, a service that’s already amassed 1.4 billion users, Africa provides a region where there’s still plenty of room for growth.

Facebook is experiencing some of that growth now. There are now 120 million Africans who visit Facebook each month, up from 100 million back in September. That’s 20 percent growth in nine months, almost three times the growth rate of Facebook’s total user base.

Facebook has made significant efforts in trying to reach this group of Internet newbies. Internet.org is probably the most well known — and most criticized — example. The initiative offers a free slate of Internet services, including Facebook, to some parts of the world where Internet is not widely available.

Of the 14 countries with Internet.org access, six of them are in Africa.

The new office will not include Internet.org employees, though, at least not right now. Facebook plans to hire 25 employees in its South Africa office, all of them on the business and advertising side of the fence. That number will increase throughout the year.

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Nunu Ntshingila is one of the highest ranking women in advertising and Chairman of South Africa’s largest agency group. She is widely regarded as a leading light in the industry, having worked her way up the ladder from a position as a trainee account manager.

Over the two decades in which she has consolidated her career in the South African advertising industry, Nunu has received several of the industry’s highest honours. In 2003, she was named a finalist in the Businesswoman of the Year Award, in 2004 she again attained finalist status in the Shoprite Checkers/SABC Woman of the Year award, as well as being named Financial Mail’s Advertising Leader of the Year. In 2005, she won the coveted prize of Business Personality of the Year at the Top Women in Business and Government Awards.

In early 2011, Nunu was appointed to the Ogilvy & Mather Board, where she joins 30 of the world’s top advertising and marketing professionals as the unique representative from Africa. In a note that went out to the worldwide Ogilvy network of 450 offices in 120 countries from Shelly Lazarus, Chairman, and Miles Young, Global CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, Nunu was hailed as an outstanding representative of the opportunities Ogilvy sees in Africa: “Nunu is the fearless and charismatic leader of the South African business and she represents the future of Ogilvy & Mather.”

In her many years at Ogilvy, Nunu has overseen the agency’s evolution into a diversified communications group that continues to deliver integrated, effective and award-winning work for South Africa’s biggest and most well-recognised brands, including DSTV, SABMiller, KFC, Cadbury, BP, Volkswagen and Coca-Cola.

Under her leadership, Ogilvy South Africa has grown from strength to strength, not only in terms of income but also new business. Importantly, her steadfast leadership is also one of the primary reasons that the group enjoys some of the most long-term and successful client partnerships in the industry. In 2011, the agency celebrated 50 years with SAB and 32 with Volkswagen.

Perhaps most importantly, however, Nunu has been instrumental in the creation of a pan-African joint venture with WPP’s Scangroup. This deal, more than anything, represents Ntshingila’s confidence in Africa, and her optimism about the future of the continent and the crucial role that South Africa has to play in its growth and development. In all likelihood, it will become the legacy that she leaves not only to O&M, but to the advertising world at large.

In 2012, Nunu takes on the role as Chairman of the Ogilvy Group in South Africa, succeeded by Abey Mokgwatsane as CEO.

Nunu is widely regarded for her knowledge and experience as well as her level-headed business savvy. She is, however, equally well-renowned for her gentle and compassionate nature, and her natural empathy has won her the hearts and admiration of staff and colleagues alike. It is this rare combination of business understanding and creative innovation that has earned her seats on a variety of company boards, including Transnet.

source: http://www.recode.net

President Obama will visit Ethiopia in late July!

US President Barack Obama will in late July become the first sitting American leader to visit Ethiopia and the headquarters of the African Union, the White House said Friday.

OBAMAObama’s trip to Addis Ababa will come directly after an already announced trip to Kenya, his  first as president to his father’s homeland, press secretary Josh Earnest announced.

Obama will meet both the Ethiopian government and AU leaders, for talks on how to “accelerate economic growth, strengthen democratic institutions and improve security.”

The election of the United States’ first black president — and the first with an African parent — raised high hopes on the continent, but Obama has been a cautious friend.

In August last year, the White House hosted a huge Washington summit of African leaders and the upcoming July trip is intended to build on progress towards closer economic ties.

A presidential visit to Kenya had been put on ice while President Uhuru Kenyatta faced charges of crimes against humanity for his role in 2007-2008 post-election violence.

The International Criminal Court has since suspended that prosecution, citing a lack of evidence and Kenya’s failure to cooperate.

Human rights groups have questioned the visit to Kenya, but are also asking why Obama is visiting Ethiopia so soon after a contested election.

The White House stressed that it frequently addresses issues of democracy and political rights with countries in the region.

“We regularly, both in public and in private, communicate our concerns about some of the issues,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said.

“I don’t think that is going to stop because of this visit.”

Ethiopia and Kenya have both been on the frontline of the fight against Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-allied militia Shebab, and have been important security partners to Washington.

Shebab units have been hunted by African Union troops and US drones inside Somalia — but have outflanked the Kenyan contingent in Somalia to mount a string of gruesome cross-border raids.

In April last year the group attacked a university in Garissa, Kenya killing 148 people — most of them students.

source: yahoo.com

Ethiopian Purchases Six Additional B-787 Aircraft from Boeing

The decision to purchase the equipment was based on the airlines ongoing fleet modernization strategy to operate state-of-the-art and technologically advanced aircraft. The aircraft will begin to arrive at Ethiopian from mid-2016 onwards.

B787Ethiopia was the second country in the world and first in Africa to own and operate the game changing aviation wonder, Boeing 787 Dreamliner, in 2012. Currently, Ethiopian operates 13 Dreamliner aircraft maintaining its leadership position by operating the largest Dreamliner fleet in Africa.

Mr. Tewolde Gebremariam, Ethiopian Airlines CEO said; “In line with our Vision 2025 strategic road map and our fleet modernization and expansion project, we will keep investing in the latest technology aircrafts which are widely appreciated by our customers.” He added “This new addition to our fleet will not only benefit Ethiopian because of its unmatched operating costs, but will also help us to enhance the overall travel experience of our travellers. The Boeing 787 aircraft has already earned appreciation of our customers and we will continue with our fleet modernization program with our customer’s preferences in mind.”

The continued investments in fleet modernization, human resources development and information systems has positioned Ethiopian at the forefront of modern aviation in Africa, registering profits for the last consecutive years of the  implementation of Vision 2025.

The 787 is a family of technologically advanced, super-efficient airplanes with new passenger-pleasing features. In addition to bringing big-jet ranges to midsize airplanes, the 787 will provide Ethiopian with unmatched fuel efficiency and environmental performance, using 20 percent less fuel and with 20 percent fewer emissions than the airplanes it replaces.

“The 787 is a perfect fit in capacity and economy for Ethiopian’s medium to long haul routes,” said Ray Conner, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.  “The order will enable the airline to realize greater efficiencies, improved performance and enhanced passenger comfort, and we look forward to continuing our strong relationship with the airline which goes back to its first order in 1960.”

Ethiopian Airlines is the first African operator of the 787. Ethiopian Airlines currently operates an all-Boeing fleet of 737, 757, 767, 777, and 787 airplanes in passenger service, and has 757, MD11, 777 and a 737-400F airplane in cargo operations.

Ethiopia rated as “Strong Aviation” in Africa

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has rated Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority as a strong aviation in Africa, reports said on Wednesday.According to ICAO’s team first auditing report, Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority scored 68 percent, which is above the world average 60. That would make Ethiopia one of the five countries with strong aviation in Africa.

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The authority scored 78 percent in ICAO’s audit that comprises of eight critical elements, including civil aviation rule, customer reception, institutional structure and manpower, it was indicated.

The auditing was conducted on Ethiopian Airlines, Ethiopian Airports Enterprise, National Meteorology Agency and operators engaged in private aviation industry.

Ethiopian Airlines is growing fast and stretching its wings to every part of the world and ICAO’s inspection result is very vital for the airline to extend its popularity, Director-General of the Authority Wossenyeleh Hunegnaw said.

ICAO, a UN body that monitors the global aviation industry, inspects the regulatory body of the aviation sector in countries and the certification process and the air navigation service.

Ethiopia is one of the founding members of ICAO which was established in 1944 under the Chicago Convention.

Signature : APA

Africa tracks: construction of key Djibouti-Ethiopia rail line to finish

dailymail.co.uk The leaders of Djibouti and Ethiopia will oversee the completion of a railway linking their two capitals on Thursday, with the ambition that the link might eventually extend across the continent to West Africa.

article-doc-2s8rb-6Z9DOeOG3HSK2-833_634x431Chinese constructed light rail trains are pictured at the Kality Depot in Addis Ababa on April 3, 2015 ©Zacharias Abubeker (AFP/File)

Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will attend the ceremonial laying of the last track in the 752-kilometre (481-mile) railway, financed and built by China, linking the port capital of Djibouti with landlocked Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

The first scheduled train is expected to use the desert line in October, reducing transport time between the capitals to less than 10 hours, rather than the two days it currently takes for heavy goods vehicles using a congested mountain road.

“Some 1,500 trucks use the road every day between Djibouti and Ethiopia. In five years, this figure will rise to 8,000,” said Abubaker Hadi, chairman of Djibouti’s Port Authority. “This is not possible, this is why we need the railway.”

With a capacity of 3,500 tonnes — seven times the capacity of the old line at its peak — the new electrified line will mainly be used for transporting goods to Africa’s second-most populous nation.

Ethiopia’s economy is growing fast, with almost 90 percent of its imports going through Djibouti. Both countries benefit from economic integration, with Ethiopia gaining access to the sea and Djibouti gaining access to Ethiopia’s emerging market of 95 million people.

“Ethiopia is an important country for us,” said Djibouti’s Transport Minister Ahmed Moussa Hassan. “It is the main customer for our logistics facilities and this new railway line will strengthen trade.”

The new line is in fact the resurrection of an old one, built in 1917 by the Franco-Ethiopian Railway Company, but decades later it fell into disrepair and only worked erratically. Trains would regularly derail and it could take as long as five days to make the journey between the two capital cities.

Some abandoned parts of the old line are still visible in Addis Ababa and in central Djibouti.

– Djibouti’s ambitions –

Another new line linking Djibouti and the northern Ethiopian town of Mekele is also due to be built, but this is not the extent of the project’s ambition.

Hadi says the railway is a step towards a trans-continental line reaching all the way to the Gulf of Guinea, in West Africa.

“We are already the gateway to Ethiopia. We intend to continue this railway line to South Sudan, the Central African Republic (CAR) and Cameroon to connect the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean,” said Hadi.

Djibouti, the smallest state in the Horn of Africa, is embarking on large infrastructure projects, building six new ports and two airports in the hope of becoming the commercial hub of East Africa.

“Infrastructure is coming very late to Africa. It is impossible for a truck to cross the continent. To transport goods from the east coast to the west coast of Africa, it is necessary to circle the continent by boat,” Hadi said of a sea voyage that can take more than three weeks.

A trans-Africa railway is feasible “in seven or eight years,” he said, as long as conflicts in South Sudan and CAR come to an end.

Liu Xiaoyan, commercial director of the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, who is in charge of the Djibouti-Addis line, said his company is ready to continue the work.

“We want to show off Chinese technology to everyone, especially to Africa,” he said, adding that it was also an opportunity to strengthen China’s trade ties with Africa and its presence on the continent.

article-doc-2s8rb-6Z9DOsy0QHSK2-462_634x434A view due west from the Meskel Square station of the Addis Ababa light rail on April 3, 2015. ©Zacharias Abubeker (AFP)

source: dailymail.co.uk

የዳንጎቴ ሲሚንቶ ፋብሪካ ተመረቀ። Dangote Group inaugurated East Africa’s biggest cement factory

የዳንጎቴ ሲሚንቶ ፋብሪካ ተመረቀ።

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በኦሮሚያ ክልል ምዕራብ ሸዋ ዞን አዳአበርጋ ወረዳ የተቋቋመው የዳንጎቴ ሲሚንቶ ፋብሪካ ዛሬ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ኃይለማርያም ደሳለኝ በተገኙበት የምረቃ ሥነ-ሥርዓቱ ተካሂዳል። ፋብሪካው በዓመት 2 ነጥብ 5 ሚሊዮን ቶን ሲሚንቶ የማምረት አቅም አለው።

ይህም ቀደም ሲል የነበረውን 5 ነጥብ 4 ሚሊዮን ቶን የአገሪቱ ዓመታዊ የማምረት አቅም ወደ 8 ሚሊዮን ቶን ያሳድገዋል። ከአገሪቱ የምጣኔ ኃብት ዕድገት ጋር ተያይዞ እየተመነደገ ያለውን የሲሚንቶ ፍላጎት ለማሟላትም የሚረዳ ነው።

ለ2 ሺህ ዜጎች ቀጥተኛ ለሌሎች 3 ሺህ ደግሞ ተዘዋዋሪ የሥራ ዕድል የሚፈጥረው ፋብሪካው ዘመናዊ ቴክኖሎጂ የሚጠቀም በመሆኑ በአካባቢው ላይ የሚያደርሰው ጉዳት እንደሌለ ተገልጿል።

የአፍሪካ ቁጥር አንድ ባለጸጋ የሆኑት ናይጄሪያዊው አሊኮ ዳንጎቴ ከመንግሥት ምንም ዓይነት የገንዘብ ድጋፍ ሳይጠይቁ ነው በ480 ሚሊዮን የአሜሪካ ዶላር ፋብሪካውን የገነቡት። በተጨማሪም ዳንጎቴ ግሩፕ ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ በፖታሽ ማዕድን ምርት ዘርፍ ለመሰማራት ፍላጎት እንዳለው ለማወቅ ተችሏል።

አሊኮ ዳንጎቴ ባለፉት አስራ ሁለት ወራት በሴኔጋል፣ ካሜሩን፣ ደቡብ አፍሪካና ዛምቢያ የሲሚንቶ ፋብሪካዎችን አቋቁመዋል።

ሀበሻ ሲሚንቶና ኢትዮ ሲሜንትም በቅርቡ ወደ ማምረት ሥራ ይሸጋገራሉ ተብሎ ይጠበቃል።

Nigeria’s Dangote Group on Thursday opened a $500 million cement plant in Ethiopia, one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies where a construction boom has fulled a shortage of cement

Dangote Cement, owned by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, is seeking to expand its interests and develop cement plants across Africa to reach annual production of 62 million tonnes by 2017, up from 42 million last year.

The new plant is in the western Ethiopian district of Mugher at a site some 85 kilometres from the capital Addis Ababa, which is surrounded by green pastures but is quickly becoming one of the country’s main industrial hubs.

The plant will initially produce 2.5 million tonnes a year in a country whose population of 90 million only consumes around 70 kilogrammes of cement per capita annually and the company said it plans to further expand its output.

Dangote-Ethiopia

Nigeria’s annual per capita consumption is 127 kilogrammes.

“We are going to double this plant,” Aliko Dangote said in a speech, adding a reliable power supply was one of the attractions that lured the investment to Ethiopia.

The Horn of Africa country’s economy is expected to grow byt 10.5 percent in 2015/16, fulled by its rising service and agriculture sectors, as well as the construction of large-scale infrastructure projects such as dams.

But Addis Ababa’s development push has fulled shortages and manufacturers have been unable to meet demand.

Cement producers in the country can produce more than 12 million tonnes each year, but industry analysts say demand in Ethiopia will rise to 17 million tonnes by next year. (Editing by David Holmes)

EY – Africa attractiveness survey 2015

Welcome to the 5th edition of our annual Africa attractiveness survey. This milestone is an opportunity to pause and reflect on how Africa’s attractiveness has evolved.
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Our mission, from the outlet, has been to provide factual substance to the “Africa rising” narrative. Over the past five years, we helped tell new stories of economic growth and opportunity, democratic progress and human development. However, in telling these stories, we have also not shied away from the challenges that remain if we are going to unlock Africa’s vast human and economic potential.

So where is Africa in its journey? EY’s 2015 Africa attractiveness survey explores.

In 2014, Ethiopia emerged as the 8th-largest recipient of FDI projects in Africa, up from 14th position in 2013. FDI in Ethiopia is atypical: though the 32 projects launched there last year accounted for only 4.4% of the African total, and involved relatively small sums, they provided an astonishing 18.5% of FDI jobs in Africa. The inflow reflects the combined attractions of Africa’s second-largest population, numbering 94 million, and an affordable workforce. Of the 32 projects Ethiopia attracted during the year, 14 involved CPR, targeting a population of which nearly two-thirds are aged 25 or under.
FDI project numbers fall, but capital investment and jobs surge

Geopolitical tensions and weak economic growth led to a 3.1% decline in greenfield FDI projects worldwide in 2014. FDI projects in Africa fell 8.4%, but remained well above pre-2008 levels. However, capital investment into the continent surged to US$128b, up 136%. And FDI created 188,400 new African jobs, a 68% increase. Spurred by a handful of megadeals, the average investment increased to US$174.5m per project, from US$67.8m in 2013. Africa’s share of global capital investment and job creation hit an all-time high in 2014.

Only Asia-Pacific attracted more FDI funds than Africa last year. Africa attracted more FDI funding than North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Western Europe, which historically draw signifi cantly higher FDI flows than Africa.

North Africa rebounds, but FDI in Sub-Saharan Africa shows contrasting trends

Political uncertainty following the Arab Spring in 2011 is beginning to fade, and North Africa is becoming more attractive as an investment destination. FDI investors returned enthusiastically to Egypt and Morocco. Project numbers in SSA reached their lowest point since 2010, however. Within SSA, some economies — including South Africa, Angola, Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya — received fewer FDI projects. But Ethiopia and Mozambique attracted growing inflows of projects.

Traditional investors regain interest

Western Europe and intra-African investors remain the largest sources of FDI into the continent, though 2014 saw traditional investors, including those from North America and the Middle East, refocus attention on Africa. Investors from the US, France, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Portugal and China were particularly active during the year.

Opportunities abound in infrastructure, consumer-facing and agricultural sectors

Two trends defi ning Africa’s future growth path include rising urbanization and a growing middle class. In line with these trends, FDI data reveals strong inflows into real estate, hospitality and construction (RHC) in 2014: it emerged as the fourth-most attractive sector. Threeconsumer-facing sectors —telecommunications, media and technology (TMT); financial services; and consumer products and retail (CPR) again attracted the largest share of investor activity. Respondents to our survey are also excited about prospects in the relatively underexploited agricultural sector.

Marginal slip in investors’ perceptions Of Africa

This year’s survey reveals that investor perceptions of Africa reached their lowest level since 2011. When asked about Africa’s attractiveness over the past year, only 53% of the respondents said it had improved, down from 60% in 2014. There was also a slight drop in confidence about the continent’s future investment attractiveness. As Africa’s perceived attractiveness declined, it ceased to be seen as the world’s second-most attractive region (after North America and joint-second place with Asia) and fell to fourth place, behind Oceania and a resurgent North America. Political risk factors, such as instability and corruption, remain the main barriers that discourage investment in Africa.

Five priorities for inclusive and sustainable growth

EY believes that Africa now has the potential to bring about a future that would have been unimaginable a generation ago. But to realize this potential, African leaders will have to drive the structural transformation necessary to achieve the goals of inclusive and sustainable growth. Here, we highlight the five priorities for action which we believe will be most critical to a successful African future.

Ethiopia, now Africa’s fastest-growing economy, has slowly been opening up to foreign investment in manufacturing and retail. However, telecommunications and financial services remain the preserve of state-owned enterprises. Ethiopia’s Government is seeking foreign investment to finance ambitious infrastructure projects, including its planned Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Nile.

source: http://www.ey.com

@EY_Africa