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    Brewery giants Meta Abo and Heineken came to the spotlight over the week as the former accused the latter of unfair trade practices and disrupting its operations in the Ethiopian market.

    The suit, filed with the tribunal of the Ethiopian Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Authority, alleges that Heineken intentionally hoarded bottles and crates in order to sabotage Meta’s competitiveness.

    The case was originally filed at the tribunal last week.

    According to the suit, Meta argued that Heineken was engaged in hoarding activity in such lucrative markets as Addis Ababa and the Southern Regional State. The hoarding also took place in Hawassa, Yirga Cheffe, Kibre Mengest and Sheko towns.

    Heineken has been engaged in hoarding of Meta bottles and crates between October 2016 and April 2017, reads the suit filed by Meta.

    Further, it is stated in the suit that Meta suffered a loss to the tune of nine million birr and lost its competitiveness in the affected areas.

    In its suit, Meta demanded that Heineken desist from its acts of sabotage, and further demanded compensation as well as legal costs.

    In order to back its argument, Meta listed 20 people as its witnesses that would provide evidence of hoarding perpetrated by the defendant. Moreover, Meta requested that a reference be made to an earlier ruling in the Southern Nation, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State whereby Heineken was found guilty of unfair trade practices.

    The two global giants, viz. UK-based Diageo (owner of Meta) and Heineken entered the Ethiopian market following the privatization of state-owned breweries.

    In this process, Heineken acquired Bedele and Harar breweries for a total of USD 163.4 million.

    During the same year, Diageo purchased Meta for USD 225 million. In that very bidding process, along with Diageo, Heineken, SAB Miller and South West in a joint venture (JV), and Dashen Brewery in a JV with Duet, a London-based equity firm, had made an offer of USD 188 million, 190 million, and 171.5 million, respectively.

    Currently, there are around seven breweries in Ethiopia with an annual production capacity of 12 million hectoliters.

    Heineken has a production capacity of four million hectoliters owning varieties like Walia Lager, Bedele SpecialBedeleHarrarBucklerSofi MaltHeineken and recently Walia Radler.

    On the other hand, the Meta Abo brand subsumes such beer varieties as Meta, Azmera, Guinness as well as non-alcoholic Malta.

    According to industry analysts, BGI Ethiopia dominates the market with 38 percent. Heineken Ethiopia and Diageo follow with 30 and 15 percent shares respectively.

    Heineken is expected to present its defense to the tribunal on July 27, 2017.

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    blueMoon, Ethiopia’s first youth agribusiness incubator was host to a high profile delegation from the European Investment Bank. The brainchild of Eleni Gerbe-Medhin (PhD), the enterprise has been a hub for youth entrepreneurship and engagement.

    “Enabling Ethiopia’s young entrepreneurs to share business experience and transform ideas into commercial success is crucial for sustainable economic growth in the years ahead,” vice president of the bank, Pim van Ballekom said. “Agriculture focused firms supported by blueMoon are already proving innovative solutions to challenges faced by farmers across the country.”

    The visit coincided with the announcement of USD 76 million to the Ethiopian Development bank and an audience with Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn.

    Heldana Tekese, blueMoon’s incubation program lead explained some of the pioneering initiatives of the group including a 4-month program that helped construct four incubated businesses. Included are the Efoyta Pellets, an energy saving enterprise, the Gebeya net, a connection mechanism for farmers and buyers, the Nature4Nature, a company that is on a drive to become a noted producer of integrated bio-organic fertilizer pesticides and NU Exchange, one that is aiming to be a hub for agricultural products and the distribution of vital information.

    “Hosting the EIB delegation was a privilege for blueMoon”, Eleni, who is currently out of the country, said in a statement. “Discussions with four young agribusiness teams allow Ethiopian entrepreneurs to highlight this country’s ambition and innovation that will contribute to job creation in the years ahead.”

    There was no announced funding for blueMoon, according to Heldana. The Reporter reached out to Christophe Litt, the representative of the European Investment Bank in Ethiopia and the African Union and he also confirmed there was no funding announced at this time.

    “We would wait for them to set a venture capital fund and then may take a participation in such a fund through the so called Boost Africa Program,” he said. “Technical assistance could also be provided for the setting up of this fund.”

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    A renowned local charity said on Wednesday that it would carry on with its usual operations all over the country except for its school in Addis Ababa, which had already been handed over to third parties by the federal Charity and Civil Society Agency (CCSA).

    The Reporter ran a news story last week that CCSA had issued a notice for the transfer of the renowned local charity’s KG to grade 8 school in the Aba Koran neighborhood of Addis Ababa.

    However, Abebech Gobena Orphanage and Charity Limat Mahber (AGOHELMA) on Wednesday furnished The Reporter with an update that the charity was still in charge of its operation in the country except for the afore-mentioned school in the capital.

    According to Kassahun Kana, deputy head of public relations with CCSA, the organization was unable to cover expenses like teachers’ salaries, triggering the decision of transferring the school.

    “Owing to budgetary shortfalls, we are unable to pay our teachers; and we had asked the government to at least pay our teachers’ salaries. If the government were ok with that, we would have liked to continue managing our schools under the organization,” he told The Reporter.

    Yitbarek Tekalegn, the head of public relations with CCSA, on his part, said that the charity would continue delivering its service whether its founder is alive or not. He added that since the charity had been transformed into an association, it would continue delivering its services as long as donors keep on funding it. The association’s activities are currently overseen by a board.

    Currently, the association undertakes various projects across the country, including children welfare (institutional, foster and reunification), supplementary feeding and nutrition demonstration, improving schools, women’s empowerment through training, child-centered community-based development and SmartUp youth innovative.

    According to information obtained from the association, all projects benefit more than 21,000 needy children. Besides, many women, youths and community members are beneficiaries of services delivered by the association. In general, about 350,000 people directly or indirectly derive benefit from the association.

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    Wins SKYTRAX Award

    Ethiopian Airlines stunned the aviation industry this week by placing a record number of passenger and cargo aircraft from leading global manufactures at the Paris Airshow, a renowned aviation exhibition held every two years in Le Bourget Airport, Paris, France.

    The largest African carrier placed a total of 27 aircraft orders from Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier with a total value of 4.8 billion dollars at least prices. On June 20 Ethiopian announced that it placed an order for 10 additional Airbus A350-900 aircraft, enabling further development to its fast expanding long-haul route network. The ten A350-900, Airbus newest jetliners are valued at three billion dollars at least prices.

    Last June, Ethiopian Airlines became the first African carrier to operate the A350 when it took delivery of the first of 12 aircraft in order. Today the carrier operates a fleet of four A350s, two of which are on lease. A joint statement issued by Ethiopian and Airbus stated that the order tops-up the carrier's fleet, enabling it to pursue its growth strategy and objectives over the coming years.

    Ethiopian Airlines' A350-900s are configured in a two-class layout seating 30 passengers in Business Class and 313 in Economy Class. “The spacious, quiet interior and mood lighting in the cabin contribute to superior levels of passenger comfort and well-being,” the statement said. 

    The 71 year old carrier has been operating Boeing fleet on its long haul routes. For the first time, it placed orders for Airbus aircraft in 2009 at the Dubai Airshow. Ethiopian did not disappoint its six decades partner and Airbus’ arch rival, Boeing at the Paris Airshow.   

    On June 21, the airline announced an order for 10 additional B737 MAX 8 airplanes. Ethiopian had placed firm orders for 20 B737 MAX in 2014. The 10 B737 MAX options being exercised were part of a deal signed in September 2014, completing the largest ever order for the B737 MAX in Africa. The ten B737-8 orders are valued at one billion dollars. Ethiopian now has firm orders for 30 B737 MAX 8s.

    The airline has also announced a commitment to purchase two 777 Freighters at the 2017 Paris Airshow, valued at 651.4 million at list prices. Ethiopian Cargo is one of the seven business units under Ethiopian Airlines Group. Ethiopian Cargo which operates six B777 and two B757 freighter aircraft is the largest cargo operator in Africa. It will inaugurate a new state-of-the-art cargo terminal built at a cost of 150 million dollars next week on the sidelines of the ICAO Cargo Development Forum, which will be held in Addis Ababa.

    Ethiopian has also placed firm orders for five Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft from the Canadian multinational aerospace and transportation company with a total value of 162 million dollars. Ethiopian has been operating Bombardier Q400s since 2009 on domestic and regional routes. The airline currently has 19 Q400s and the new order would boost its Q400 fleet to 24.

    Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said that operating the youngest fleet in the industry with modern and comfortable customer features in cabin is one of the four pillars in the airline’s 15-year strategic road map – Vision 2025. Tewolde said the new orders are one component of the fast, sustainable and profitable growth strategy.

    Ethiopian Airlines has a young fleet of 86 aircraft including B787 Dreamliner, B777, B737, A350 and Q400 aircraft serving 95 international destinations. By 2025 the airline plans to boost its fleet number to 150.

    Paris Airshow seems to be a successful venue for Ethiopian Airlines. In addition to the massive aircraft orders, the national flag carrier has received a prestigious award from SKYTRAX, a respected global air transport rating organization. Ethiopian won SKYTRAX World Airline Award for The Best Airlines in Africa on June 20, 2017 at the Paris Airshow.

    SKYTRAX conducts the world’s largest annual airline passenger satisfaction survey where customers make their own personal choices as to which airline they consider to be the best.


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    Week 27 of the Ethiopian Premier League is to be staged across the country this weekend. St. George will travel to Jimma to play against Jimma Aba Bunna while Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, who are hoping to avoid relegation, will host Sidama Coffee at Addis Ababa Stadium. In another fixture, Ethiopia Coffee will face Electric on Sunday at the national stadium.

    With the season coming to an end, unlike previous seasons, it has become difficult to predict who will be crowned champions. However, last week’s EPL matches were close to unveil title winner. The Horsemen’s impressive run continued with a 1-0 win over Hawassa. The lone goal came in the 16th minute from Saladin Said. The Horsemen managed to secure all three points are three points clear from second placed Sidama Coffee having a game in hand against Fasil City.

    Though Hawassa City were dominant in ball possession, they were not able to find the back of the net. After three consecutive losses, Hawassa City are placed 9th with 31 points. The Horsemen will travel to the south-west to face Jimma Aba Bunna. A win for both sides is crucial as St. George will strengthen their lead while Jimma will be on track to avoid relegation. In last week’s match between Jimma and Ethiopia Coffee ended in a goalless at Addis Ababa Stadium. Jimma are placed 13th with 28 points.

    St. George the remaining matches are against Electric (H), Addis Ababa City (H), Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (H) and Fasil City (H). Based on the remaining fixtures, the tie against Jimma will be the last away match of this season for St. George.

    Elsewhere, Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) will host second placed Sidama Coffee at Addis Ababa Stadium. Last week, title chasers Sidama Coffee beat Addis Ababa City on home ground. Haile Eshetu of Addis Ababa City opened the score sheet on the 18th minute. But, Sidama found the back of the net twice on the 37th and 55th minutes with both goals coming from Laki Sani. Addis Giday’s 61st minute killed the Addis Ababa City’s hope of staying in the top flight. Sidama victory enabled them to move second with 46 points. Addis Ababa City are still dangling in relegation zone with 19 points.

    In other EPL fixtures, Dedebit will take on Fasil City, while Ethiopia Coffee will play againt Electric. Fifth placed Adama City will travel south to play against Arba Minch City.

    St. George lead the table with 49 points with a game in hand. Sidama Coffee follow with 46 points. Dedebit are third with 45 points while Ethiopia Coffee are fourth 43 points. Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, with 24 points and Addis Ababa City with 19 points, are placed 15th and 16th at the bottom of the table.

    Week 27 EPL fixtures

    Saturday 06/05/2017

    14:30 Defense vs. Dire Dawa City

    16:30 Commercial Bank of Ethiopia vs. Sidama Coffee

    Sunday 07/05/2017

    15:00 Dedebit vs. Fasil City

    15:00 Arba Minch City vs. Adama City

    15:00 Jimma Aba Bunna vs. St. George

    15:00 Hawasa City vs. Woldia City

    16:30 Electric vs. Ethiopia Coffee

    Monday 08/05/2017

    16:30 Addis Ababa City vs. Woliata Dicha 

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