Swartbooi urges ||Kharas inhabitants to register to vote

Landless People’s Movement leader, Bernadus Swartbooi has expressed concern over the low number of eligible voters that have registered so far in the ||Kharas Region.

Swartbooi raised these concerns in an interview with Nampa here on Saturday during the belated independence celebration for the Keetmanshoop Urban Constituency.

‘Generally, voter apathy is a challenge and our voter turnout has been around 60 and 70 per cent which was fair, but we are concerned that this year it seems to be very low. We urge young people and other voters to really go out in the final days and register. People must go register and vote and not just sit and complain,’ he stressed.

The registration process started on 03 June and ends 01 August 2024 and statistics provided by the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) on Friday indicate that about 41 861 people registered in ||Kharas between 03 June and 13 July 2024. The region has about 70 672 eligible voters.

Swartbooi said ECN should consider extending the registration period w
ith one or two weeks to ensure that more people get the opportunity to register.

‘If the numbers are sufficient, let us say we have 60 per cent voter registration turnout then we think ECN must prolong the period and I think it’s important that we allow as much time as possible for people to register. We will also write to the ECN to request why they are not registering prisoners because it’s a concern, why are they discriminating against prison, it’s a major problem and we’ve got to deal with it,’ said Swartbooi.

Speaking during the event, Swartbooi said Central Government should stop behaving as if it is the ‘epicentre government’, adding that the State has three spheres of government – central, regional and local.

‘The central government keeps on taking more and more power and authority but worse, it keeps on taking more and more resources from society, therefore, the central government has over the past 34 years successfully transformed itself into the epicentre of corruption, nepotism and mismanagemen
t,’ he said.

Further Swartbooi went on to say: ‘The central government behaves as though society lives only in its proximity and any resources given to the regional and local authorities it treats like it’s a favour being given to those structures of government.’

Source: The Namibia News Agency

Karibib maiden mayoral fund raises N.dollars 1.2 million

The Karibib Town Council has raised about N.dollars 1.2 million through pledges made during its first ever mayoral fundraising gala dinner held at the town Friday night.

About N.dollars 150 000 was raised from the sale of tables and in addition to the monetary pledges, some in-kind pledges have also been made during the gala dinner.

The mayoral fund was established to utilise donations for the benefit of the town’s community by uplifting vulnerable members.

President Nangolo Mbumba in his speech delivered on his behalf highlighted the importance of this initiative, acknowledging the mayor’s vision and effort in organising such a vital event.

‘Karibib is transitioning from its small, stagnant past into a burgeoning economic hub, and faces growing demands on its infrastructure and services, which is noticeable and therefore commendable,’ he expressed.

Mbumba emphasised the need for timely interventions to improve living conditions amid the town’s rapid growth, driven by the mining sector, strong farming co
mmunity, and urban retail industry.

‘While economic growth is positive and welcome, it often brings increased demands on services such as land, accommodation, education, and employment. Without adequate support, residents may face financial hardship, food insecurity, and lack of housing,’ the Head of State said.

Karibib Mayor Davey van Wyk reflected the community’s shared values and commitment to making a positive difference, while emphasising the critical role of local authorities in disaster response and community support.

‘If there is any disaster that happens, the first people that community members will approach is the elected leadership, however we are faced with limitations, which makes it very difficult for us,’ he expressed.

He added that it was for this reason that the council initiated the mayoral fund, in order to overcome these challenges.

‘This fund will be run by the community and used for uplifting especially the vulnerable people of this town. In order to ensure transparency and accounta
bility, all details will be given to the community members for them to know this money is going to be utilised for the benefit of the community,’ Van Wyk assured.

Moses Pakote, the Executive Director in the Private Office of the President is the fund’s patron.

The Presidency also pledged N.dollars 20 000 to the cause.

Source: The Namibia News Agency

Ethiopia’s Membership in BRICS Would Drive Its Economic Growth, Says UNDP Advisor

Addis Ababa: Ethiopia could successfully capitalize on BRICS membership to drive economic growth and development, a development advisor at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Gedion Jalata told ENA.

For months now, Ethiopia has officially become the newest member of the BRICS group of nations, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa among other new members.

According to Gedion, this historic achievement is set to unlock a myriad of advantages for Ethiopia particularly, in facilitating its import and export activities without the constant reliance on some foreign currency, a longstanding challenge for the country.

One of the primary advantages of BRICS membership is the establishment of the New Development Bank, the idea of using local currencies for trade with the group of countries in this bloc.

This could help Ethiopia in terms of diversifying currencies for its export and also import trade endeavors, Gedion explained.

He further stated that it is beneficial for Ethiopia
as it could give the ability to conduct trade and transactions using non-dollar currencies, Gedion said, adding that will greatly ease the financial constraints the country has faced for years.

For the advisor, the move opens up new avenues for growth and collaboration.

”… BRICS is opening the New Development Bank, which means it is coming up with a new currency. So this could help Ethiopia in terms of its export and also import”

Gedion highlighted that Ethiopia’s membership in BRICS is a testament to its growing global influence and importance.

‘Being accepted as a BRICS member is a remarkable achievement that underscores Ethiopia’s standing as a key player in global economics and diplomacy. This will strengthen Ethiopia’s negotiating power and allow it to forge closer ties with other emerging economies, to the benefit of its people,’ he revealed.

Furthermore, Gedion emphasized the opportunity for Ethiopia to learn from the development experiences of other BRICS members, particularly China.

‘China ma
naged to lift over 700 million people out of poverty in less than 30 years. This can be, I think, a good lesson for African countries,’ he said.

”I think, so many benefits as members of the BRICS country. As you know, collaboration between these countries is enhancing trade, as well as investment and development assistance. Coming from BRICS countries to BRICS countries will be a priority than other countries.’

Gedion also highlighted the significance of the partnership between Ethiopia and China, noting that it has been growing ever stronger.

Sharing his view on infrastructure development, Gedion believes that Ethiopia can greatly benefit from the expertise of BRICS countries.

‘We can learn a lot from China, as well as soft infrastructure like education, health, and other sectors of the economy,’ he stated.

As Ethiopia embarks on this new chapter as a BRICS member, the country is poised to reap significant rewards that will strengthen its economy, enhance its global influence, and improve the lives of
its citizens.

Moreover, Ethiopia’s membership in this emerging bloc is being considered as a historic development that marks a crucial step in the East African nation’s journey towards sustainable development and prosperity.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

IPDC Earns over Two Billion Birr Revenue in Last Fiscal Year

Addis Ababa: Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC) stated that it has obtained more than 2.1 billion Birr in revenue during the just ended 2023/24 Ethiopian fiscal year.

The revenue was earned from the rental of production sheds, service land offered to investors, from the apartments used for housing and the rental of buildings and various investor-oriented ways of earning income.

It was also revealed that, profit of more than 282 million birr was earned from the income collected in the previous fiscal year, according to the corporation.

The industrial parks, Dire Dawa Free Trade Zone, the service of industrial projects as well as various ways of generating additional income have contributed at every level to make the corporation’s income and profit performance effective.

The corporation is currently evaluating the performance of the 2016 fiscal year in Hawassa City, it was indicated.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Ethio-Italy Investment and Business Forum Held in Milan City

Addis Ababa: A two-day Ethio-Italy Investment and Business Forum that focused on deepening investment and business partnerships between Ethiopia and Italy was conducted in Milan city.

The Investment and Business Forum was organized by the Ethiopian Embassy in Italy which held in Milan, Italy from 18th to 19th July 2024.

During the Forum, Deputy Commissioner Dagato Kumbe featured the vast investment potential and various investment opportunities that Ethiopia offers to Italian investors.

He also presented the improved investment policy and climate of the country, the investment incentives as well as trade and other new sectors recently opened for foreign investors in detail.

On the sideline of the Forum, B2B engagement between Ethiopian and Italian investors was also conducted, according to the Ethiopian Investment Commission.

The Deputy Commissioner along with other delegate members conducted a site visit to Italian companies, and he invited Italian investors to make a per-investment visit to Ethiopia an
d explore more about the investment potential of the country.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

IPDC Attracts More than 500 Million US Dollars Investment Capital in 2023/24 FY

Addis Ababa: Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC) disclosed that it attracted more than 500 million dollars in capital investments during the previous Ethiopian fiscal year.

Similarly, the corporation revealed that more than 237 million USD worth of import substitute products were supplied to the domestic market in the last fiscal year.

The Corporation which is currently evaluating the performance of the 2023/24 fiscal year in Hawassa City, stated that local and international investors were allowed to invest in the stated period.

According to its social media page, IPDC added that both local and international investors were made to enter contractual agreements with the corporation.

Additionally International and local investment promotion activities, coordination activities carried out with the stakeholders as well as the country’s economic reforms have a positive role for the effectiveness of the investment attraction.

International and local companies that have signed contracts with the cor
poration in the last fiscal year are in the process of pre-operation, machine installation, staff training and some have completed the pre-operational work and started the production process.

On the occasion, the corporation also revealed that more than 237 million USD of import substituting products were offered to the domestic market during the past fiscal year.

And since the establishment of the corporation, it has been possible to produce import substituting products worth more than 606 million US dollars.

In the stated fiscal year, among the import substituting products produced by the industrial parks, it was pointed out that barley malt for breweries and construction materials took the highest share.

On the other hand, it was also mentioned in the performance review that in the last fiscal year, market linkages were created by providing inputs worth more than 124 million US dollars to manufacturers in industrial parks.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Ethiopia Targets Illicit Wealth with New Asset Recovery Bill

Addis Ababa: The Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission announced that the asset recovery bill will enhance its capacity to effectively combat corruption.

Individuals and groups engage in various criminal activities, including corruption, to amass wealth, it stated, adding that these financially motivated crimes encompass corruption, human trafficking, arms trafficking, drug trafficking, counterfeiting, illegal remittances, tax evasion, and smuggling.

While these criminal activities yield substantial profits for perpetrators, they inflict severe damage on the country’s social, political, and economic progress.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Gezahegne Gashaw, Lead Executive Officer of Emergency Corruption Prevention at the Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, noted that the previous legal framework for recovering illicit assets overlooked the public sector beyond government employees.

He emphasized that the commission has been actively engaged in identifying, freezing, seizing, managi
ng, and ultimately confiscating assets derived from criminal activities.

However, the absence of a comprehensive and independent law for recovering corruptly obtained wealth has hindered anti-corruption efforts, he added.

Gezahegn noted that Ethiopia is a signatory to both the Anti-Corruption Convention and the African Anti-Corruption Convention and the central focus of these conventions is the recovery of stolen assets.

He asserted that the enactment and implementation of the asset recovery bill addresses previous legal shortcomings and facilitates compliance with these conventions; and further explained that the draft bill applies to all citizens, excluding government employees, in cases involving unexplained wealth.

‘Individuals who accumulate or possess wealth illicitly will face legal consequences. Such assets are considered public property subject to seizure. Previous anti-corruption laws primarily targeted government officials with unexplained wealth. However, the new bill expands this scope to al
l citizens acquiring assets through illegal means,’ he added.

He also noted that the draft decree is expected to deter corruption by incentivizing citizens to maintain transparent financial records.

Gezahegn highlighted Rwanda as a successful model in recovering stolen assets and strengthening anti-corruption efforts.

Citing Rwanda, he emphasized that ‘asset recovery involves not only reclaiming stolen funds but also confiscating existing illicit wealth. This demonstrates that corruption is not a profitable venture. Such comprehensive approaches significantly enhance anti-corruption initiatives’.

Justice Minister Gideon Timotios explained that the current legal framework is inadequate for effectively holding individuals or groups accountable for various crimes, including corruption.

He highlighted the absence of a legal mechanism to question the source of wealth for non-government officials. The asset recovery bill aims to address this legal loophole.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency