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Ethiopian House of Reps Approves Danish Loan for 100-MW Assela Wind Project1 minute read

The loan was approved unanimously by the House of Peoples’ Representatives, and includes a five-year grace period.

Bernard Akede

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The Ethiopian parliament has approved a loan agreement

The Ethiopian parliament has approved a loan agreement between the country’s finance ministry and Danish lender Danske Bank A/S (CPH:DANSKE). The loan which was agreed upon last week, is aimed at financing the 100-MW Assela wind farm project.

The loan which is to be repaid in 20 years, is for EUR 117.3 million (USD 136.5m). According to the parliament’s website, the loan was approved unanimously by the House of Peoples’ Representatives, and includes a five-year grace period.

The Danske Bank loan is supported by the government of Denmark through the country’s ministry of foreign affairs’ development assistance Danida.

With the funds made available, the Assela project is now advancing towards the construction phase.

Wind turbine maker Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA (BME:SGRE) have been saddled with the responsibility of building the wind farm. The farm is expected to be located near the town of Iteya in the Oromia regional state, some 150 kilometres (93.2 miles) south of Addis Ababa.

The Danish embassy in Addis Ababa said once operations at the farm commence, the 29-turbine wind farm is expected to generate some 330,000 kWh annually and supply electricity to more than three million people.

In a statement provided by the Danish embassy, Seleshi Bekele, the Ethiopian minister of water, irrigation and energy, said “I am pleased to see the agreement to develop the Assela I Wind Farm, which will diversify the Ethiopian renewable energy mix, has been passed by the Parliament. I am grateful to the Danish government’s generosity to provide grant and concessional finance.”

East Africa Business News

Uganda Establishes First Free Zone at Entebbe Airport

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The government of Uganda through the Uganda Free Zone Authority (UFZA) has finalised plans to establish the first public free zone at Entebbe International Airport. The free zone is projected to boost export-oriented investment in the country.

The project will be implemented by the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) on a five acre piece of land acquired from the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) at the Entebbe International Airport premises.

Under the arrangement, the project targets sectors which include food processing, mineral processing, warehousing, storage and simple assembly, where all operators in the public free zone will process their products for onward export through Entebbe International Airport.

The development of the Public Free Zone projected to cost UGX 48billion will, on completion house seven production units and trade houses such as offices of the Uganda Free Zones Authority, Uganda Revenue Authority, and other government offices to promote enterprise. The Government of Uganda (GoU) has already awarded UGX 12.5 Billion for the first phase of the project.

Speaking at the site handover event, Hez Kimoomi Alinda, the Uganda Free Zones Authority Executive Director, said the project is expected to contribute cargo volumes, create hundreds of direct jobs and significantly improve Uganda’s exports.

“On completion, the project will support increased production quality assurance and value addition to commodities that are widely produced by the masses to improve household incomes, create employment and eliminate poverty as well as improve the value of Uganda’s exports,” he said.

Alinda was speaking while handing over the site for the construction of the Entebbe International Airport Free Zone at which he said they had acquired five acres from the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority for the development and contracted National Enterprise Corporation, the commercial arm of the UPDF for the construction.

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Somali Petroleum Authority Appoints Independent Directors

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The Somali Petroleum Authority (SPA) has announced the appointment of six Independent Directors to its Board, each representing a Member State and one Independent Director representing the Federal Government – following the approval of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers.

The announcement follows the appointment of Ibrahim Hussein as Chairman and Chief Executive of the SPA, representing the Federal Government, and is in line with the provisions of the Petroleum Law.

The Board will oversee all the SPA’s activities to ensure that it develops a sustainable and competitive industry in the interests of all Somali people, in keeping with its mandate.

The newly appointed Board Members to the SPA are Asha Osman Ahmed, Vice Chair and Board Member representing Banadir Regional Authority;
Ibrahim Ahmed Layte, Board Member representing Hirshabelle State;
Abdulkadir Aden Mohamud, Board Member representing Galmudug State;
Ibrahim Abdulkadir Mohamed, Board Member representing South West State; Ahmed Haji Abdi, Board Member representing Jubaland State;
Abdihafid Ali Dirir, Board Member representing Somaliland State; and
Mahad Mohamed Sh. Hassan, Board member representing the Federal Government.

There are nine positions on the Board of the SPA representing seven Members States and two representing the Federal Government. The Board focuses on the SPA’s long-term objectives and priorities to be one of the world’s leading petroleum authorities, promoting the development of a sustainable oil and gas industry. Specifically, the Board will ensure that the regulatory and fiscal regime being developed will apply the principles of equality, openness, accountability, transparency and non-discrimination in the interests of all the Somali people. The Board is committed to upholding the highest standards of health and safety for people in all activities relating to the exploration of petroleum in Somalia, as well as maintaining world-class environmental standards. Moreover, the Board will work to maintain sound risk management, internal control systems and reviews on the efficacy of these annually.

In June 2019, The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources announced details of the Petroleum Ownership Management and Revenue Sharing Agreement between the Federal Government and its Member States, which delivers by far the highest percentage of potential revenues from the industry to non-Federal institutions of any comparable agreement. The structure of the Board, with seven of its nine members representing the Member States, will underpin the SPA’s commitment to develop the petroleum industry in the interests of all the Somali people.

Commenting on the appointment Ibrahim Hussein, Chairman and Chief Executive, said: “We are very excited to welcome new colleagues onto the Board of the newly established SPA, as together we work to develop the country’s petroleum industry. The structure of our Board will ensure that all the Member States are able to help shape the development of the industry in the interests of the whole country. The SPA is committed to rigorous standards of corporate governance in order to achieve our goal of attracting international investment to maximize the economic recovery of the country’s oil and gas reserves. This will enable Member States to significantly increase investment in education, transport, agriculture and healthcare infrastructure.”

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Tanzania Deploys Helicopters, Planes To Fight Fire On Africa’s Tallest Mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro

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As the fire raging on Africa’s tallest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, enters its fifth day, the Tanzanian government have said more helicopters and planes will be deployed to help fight the blaze.

The deployment, which starts today, will hope to combat the fire, which officials in the East African country say firemen and volunteers are “struggling” to contain.

According to Tourism Minister Hamisi Kigwangalla, efforts to extinguish the flames have been hampered by the presence of strong winds and acres of shrubs and dry grass.

“The task is bigger and harder than we thought,” tweeted Mr Kigwangalla.

More than 500 volunteers, including students and residents, have been up fighting the blaze on Africa’s tallest mountain.

Strong winds on Sunday helped fanned the fire, but the winds have since died down. So far, no injuries or deaths have been reported and no property has been damaged.

Although the cause of the fires is unknown, the National Parks Authority said there were indications that it could have been caused by people who were cooking at a resting area on the mountain.

Every year, some 50,000 tourists climb Kilimanjaro, which rises to 5,895 metres (nearly 20,000 feet) above sea level.

The fire started at the Whona area, a rest centre for climbers using Mandara and Horombo, two of the several routes up the mountain, Shelutete said in a statement posted on Twitter.

TANAPA was taking all precautions necessary to ensure the safety of visitors and their equipment, Shelutete said.

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