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Ethiopia signs US 731 million dollar potash mining deal

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia has signed a 731 million U.S. dollar potash mining agreement with Norwegian firm Yara International as the east African country stives to be food self-sufficient, an Ethiopian official said on Wednesday.

Potash minerals are important ingredients for the production of fertilizers that especially beneficial to boosting yields of fruit, vegetable and coffee crops.

Ethiopian Minister of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas Motuam Mekasa said the project will help Ethiopia be self-sufficient in meeting its fertilizer needs and earn much needed foreign currency from fertilizer exports.

The potash mining project is expected to cover an area of 54.7 square km in Ethiopia’s northeastern Afar regional state.

Construciton of the project, expected to start within the next two months, will need four years before commissioning, the minister said.

The project will have an annual production capacity of approximately 600,000 tons, according to Yara.



Ethiopia eyes new policy to eradicate malnutrition, stunting by 2030

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia on Wednesday announced a plan to put forward its first-ever National Food and Nutrition Policy to fulfill the country’s ambition to end malnutrition and stunting by 2030.

The policy, which envisages complimentary feeding for children under five as part of the national nutrition strategy that has been under implementation since 2008, will be effective after two months, said Birara Melesse, the Ethiopian health ministry’s nutrition case team leader.

The National Food and Nutrition Policy primarily focuses on reducing malnutrition, stunting and other nutrition-related problems among children and mothers in the east African country, Melesse said.

According to the 2017 Humanitarian Requirements Document for Ethiopia, issued in January, an estimated 303,000 children require treatment for severe acute malnutrition and about 2.7 million children and pregnant and lactating women need treatment for moderate to acute malnutrition.

By implementing the National Food and Nutrition Policy, the health ministry expects to provide clear solutions to the policy gap that has been witnessed in the area.

“This policy envisages a legal framework, in which the rights of children are fully respected with a provision of adequate nutritional nourishment which will enable them to attain normal growth,” Melesse said.

The government also expects the new policy to help in coordinating bodies that are engaged in the implementation of the food strategy and program, in particular to effectively coordinate efforts of non-governmental organizations that are engaged in the promotion of nutrition down to the lowest administrative levels.

According to an analysis of Ethiopia’s nutrition sector form 2000 to 2015, which was jointly issued by the Ethiopian government, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Ethiopia experienced rapid, sustained improvement in under-nutrition during the 15 years.

However, the analysis report also pointed out that “malnutrition among children and women remains an urgent concern, requiring greater multi-sectoral efforts.”

The Ethiopian Demographic Health Survey said the country managed to reduce child malnutrition from 58 percent in 2000 to 38 percent in 2016.


AU urges stronger Africa-Norway cooperation on blue economy

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) has called for stronger cooperation between Africa and Norway in such sectors such as the blue economy.

AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat made the remarks while meeting visiting Crown Prince Haakon Magnus and Princess Mette-Marit of Norway at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

At the meeting late Tuesday, Faki called for stronger cooperation and private sector investment in emerging economic sectors such as the blue economy, of which Norway is a global leader.

Africa has more than 30 coastal and island member states that could greatly benefit by harnessing opportunities presented by the blue economy, the AU chief said.

Speaking at a gathering after talks with senior AU officials, the Crown Prince Haakon Magnus said the blue economy is one area on which Norway is keen to further cooperation with Africa.

“When it comes to the oceans, our global commons, we are all neighbors,” he said. “For Norway, sustainable use of the oceans and marine resources is the very foundation of our prosperity and well-being.”

“With a rapidly growing global population, we will increasingly rely on the world’s oceans for food, employment opportunities, energy, minerals, and transport routes,” he said.



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