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Insight into Ethiopia economy and Djibouti’s relevance.

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For a populous nation as Ethiopia on record as Africa’s second biggest only behind Nigeria, imports are as important to its economic growth as are the goods it also exports chief amongst them, coffee.

Ethiopia is, however, landlocked with five neighbours who have access to the sea Sudan, Kenya, Djibouti, Somalia and Eritrea.

As things stand now, Djibouti handles roughly 95 percent of all inbound trade for Ethiopia, a nation of 105 million and an economic power in East Africa.



One of the first significant steps Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took when he assumed the premiership in April 2018 was to acquire stakes in ports in neighbouring countries.

His trips to Kenya and Sudan saw the respective government report of port deals with the Lamu and Port of Sudan respectively. Then came the peace deal with Eritrea in July 2018.

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The normalization of all relations between the two former enemies also brought to the fore the economic impact of the July 9 peace deal which gives Ethiopia access to Eritrean ports.

At the time it questioned how long Djibouti’s ports will be to Ethiopia when especially the Eritrean route becomes active. Many economic watchers said it will take some time for the dependence on Djibouti to ease.

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That reality shot to the fore earlier this week when the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa almost run out of fuel because a road connecting Ethiopia and Djibouti had been blocked – blocked by protesters.

Protesters were demonstrating against violence and a government order for local militias to pull out from disputed areas and be replaced by federal soldiers.

“The region’s leadership, local elders held discussions that resulted in a solution and the end of the blockade,” federal police spokesman Jeylan Abdi told reporters. A witness in the area confirmed the measure.

The resolution means that Addis Ababa’s fuel supply will return to normalcy as would the import and export of essential supplies via the sea route.

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Motherland News

Families Identify Church Collapse Victims in Anguish

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Tears and anguish characterized the atmosphere as the grieving families of 13 worshipers killed in a church collapse arrived at the Richards Bay mortuary to identify the bodies of their loved ones.

The worshipers died when a wall collapsed at the Pentecostal Holiness Church near Empangeni in northern KwaZulu-Natal last Thursday night.

The KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department co-ordinated with various departments including health, home affairs and the police, to assist in speeding up the body identification process.

Six worshippers were from Ulundi, four from eSikhawini and three from Maqwakazi in uMlalazi.

Describing the collapse, Phumelele Simelane from eSikhawini said worshippers had just had their evening meal and were preparing to sleep when the wall caved in.

Simelane was with her 6-year-old son, who is recovering in hospital. She said she came to the mortuary to support congregants whose relatives died.

The Mthembu family, who lost grandmother Thembi Mthabela, 54, and Andiswa Mthembu, 10, in the tragedy were overcome with grief.

“Thembi loved going to church and she always took Andiswa with her. Andiswa was doing Grade 3 at Nyathini Primary School. As a family, we are very traumatised and it is hard for us,” said a relative, who did not wanted to be named.

Buhle Mzila, whose sister Samke, 33, died, said the family had lost a breadwinner.

Samke, who worked at the Ulundi Municipality, was with her 9-year-old daughter during the incident.

Buhle said her niece, who was in hospital, was in a state of shock about her mother’s death.

“Samke loved the church, she always made sure she attended every service. She played a big role in terms of assisting the family. We are still going to feel her absence,” said Buhle.

A sobbing Mbongeni Langa said his mother had died in a “place she loved”.

The memorial service will be held tomorrow

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Motherland News

CAF Sidelines Nigerian Centre Referees for 2019 AFCON

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Out of the Twenty-seven centre referees penciled down for the 2019 African Cup of Nations, countries like Burundi, Mali, Zambia and Sudan are represented on the list, but no Nigerian referee was selected for the big occasions.

However, only one assistant referee from Nigeria named Baba Adel was listed among the twenty-nine assistant referees selected by the African Football Governing Body.

The competition will be held from 21 June to 19 July 2019, as per the decision of the CAF Executive Committee on 20 July 2017.

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