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Ethiopia sets ready 1,400-km trans-
mission lines for Africa’s largest dam

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) said Thursday that more than 1,400 km of high-voltage power transmission lines and distribution stations are ready to complement Ethiopia’s under-construction Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD).

The construction of GERD, which the Ethiopian government recently said had reached a 60-percent completion rate, will be regarded Africa’s largest dam with a total volume of over 74,000 million cubic meters and a construction cost of close to 4.7 billion U.S. dollars.

Speaking to Xinhua, Misikir Negash, Ethiopian Electric Power Public Relations Director, said that the transmission lines, with a capacity of 500 kV, are ready all the way from the project site and waiting for the completion of the east African country’s flagship project.

According to Negash, the 500-kV power transmission line and distribution stations, are built with a financial cost of over 28 billion Ethiopian birr (close to 1.2 billion dollars).

Negash further indicated that the capacity to build high-power transmission lines to complement power generation projects is vital for the country which is on its drive towards industrialization.

Negash also stressed that the construction of the high-voltage power transmission lines and distribution stations will enable a swift use of the imminent electric power resource that is expected to be obtained from Ethiopian government’s major power generation project.

Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam project is under construction in Ethiopia’s Benishangul-Gumuz regional state on the Blue Nile River, located some 40 km east of Ethiopia’s neighboring country Sudan.



Ethiopia’s waste-to-energy plant to be commissioned in December

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The 50-megawatt (MW) Reppie Waste to Energy facility, which Ethiopia claims to be the first of its kind in Africa, will be commissioned in December.

Speaking to Xinhua on Thursday, Bizuneh Tolcha with the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy (MoWIE) said the facility in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa is 94.3-percent complete as of July.

The project is being built on Ethiopia’s largest landfill commonly called “Koshe” (meaning dirty in Ethiopia’s official working language Amharic), lying on 5.3 hectares of land.

The landfill in recent years has struggled to dispose of the city’s increasing waste. Opened five decades ago when Addis Ababa was a small city, it is currently the main landfill for the city of 4 million plus population.

“The project will cost 118.5 million U.S. dollars to complete. It is to be fully covered by Ethiopia’s government and when complete will process 350,000 tonnes of solid waste annually,” said Tolcha.

He further said Reppie once commissioned will stop 46,494 tonnes of methane gas emission annually, helping achieve Ethiopia’s Climate Resilient Green Economy strategy (CRGE).

CRGE envisaged Ethiopia achieving zero net carbon emission by 2025 while moving it from a developing nation to an environmentally friendly middle-income economy.

The project is being jointly constructed by British firm Cambridge Industries Limited and China National Electrical Engineering Company.

Ethiopia plans to increase energy production capacity from the current 4,200 MW to about 17,300 MW by 2020 from hydro, wind, geothermal, solar and biomass sources.

Ethiopia hopes the series of energy projects it is currently undertaking will meet the demands of its fast growing economy and a rising population estimated to stand around 100 million currently.


Ethiopian president calls for renaissance in New Year message

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome on Friday called on Ethiopians to ensure the country’s renaissance during a New Year message delivered to the nation.

The president made the remark while announcing the launch of 10-day events to usher in the upcoming Ethiopian New Year, which starts on September 11, 2017.

The events include Love Day, Mothers’ and Children’s Day, Elders’ Day, Peace Day, Reading Day, Green Development Day, Respect Day, National Feelings Day, Unity Day and Ethiopia Day.

President Teshome said the various events will be used to highlight the East African nation’s significant gains in the socio-economic and political sectors over the past decade.

However, he admitted poverty, unemployment and El Nino-induced drought were some of the challenges that the nation faced in the past and will continue to face in the New Year.

Ethiopia has a unique calendar deriving from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church traditions whereby the country counts its annual year seven to eight years behind the internationally used Gregorian calendar. Based on this, the Ethiopian New Year that falls on September 11, 2017 will be 2010.


Young Ethiopian innovators dream big

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- During a forum on youth innovation and creativity, which was held Tuesday in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, three young innovators, all aged 17, came to the podium and spoke to the audience that they aspire to put Ethiopia on the map of “technology countries”.

As they spoke at the forum, they showcased some 30 inventions, which won applause and admire of the participants at the UN Conference Center in Addis Ababa.

The three young men, namely Nur Jemal, Anwar Wudu, and Fikir Legesse, who are from Kombolcha, Wollo, in the Amhara Regional State of the East African country, told Xinhua that they aspire to make Ethiopia known for its technological innovations.

The “Kombolcha Trio” has invented robots for various purposes, censors of different types, solar water pump, FM broadcaster, mobile application, and a helmet with a fan, among others.

The self-taught innovators said that they started it at early ages by looking around to identify challenges facing the local community, and look for the solutions, for which they browse internet to learn what have already been carried out in the rest of the world.

They said they have taught themselves on the internet, to have created the gadgets with resources at minimum costs.

“We have had different inventions, for example water pump, FM broadcaster, and others. We are going to participate, first, in the competition here in the country in November, and then in the robotics competition to be held in the United States next April, and we will go there representing our country,” said Nur Jemal, a grade 9 student, while speaking to Xinhua.

Ethiopia, one of the fastest economies of the world, has been implementing its five-year growth and transformation plan (GTP), heading to achieve a middle income status by 2025, with due attention to industrialization and manufacturing sector. 

And the country has been taking various measures and implementing strategic programs in industrial and manufacturing development endeavor, attaching great importance to science and technology.

With a view of encouraging and promoting scientific and technological innovations in the country, the Ministry of Science and Technology organizes the annual competition to recognize and award outstanding achievements and contributions in the area.

Stating that young innovators need more space and resources to innovate and harness their potential to provide local solutions to the challenges facing the world, the United Nations has hailed the creativity and energy of the young innovators.

Speaking at the forum, Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie, UNDP Resident Representative in Ethiopia, said the UN development system recognizes innovation as a gateway for engaging the youth and harnessing their potential.

She noted that the UN is working in earnest to unleash the potential of the youth to take the lead at local, national, and global levels as change-makers.

Eleni Gabre-Madhin is a CEO and founder of BlueMoon, which is Ethiopia’s first youth agribusiness incubator and seed investing platform, with which the three self-taught young innovators are now working on some projects.

Stating that there are thousands of such innovators in Ethiopia, Gabre-Madhin told Xinhua that support is necessary to help them realize their full potential and contribute to Ethiopia’s future.

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