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  • Ethiopian plans $3bln deal for Airbus A350s

    Ethiopian Airlines plans to buy 10 of Airbus SE’s newest A350 wide-body jets in a transaction worth more than 3 billion US dollars at advertised prices, according to people familiar with the plan.

    The deal is set to be announced this week at the Paris Air Show, according to the people, who asked not to be named as the order negotiations are private. Ethiopian will take the mid-sized A350-900 version of the plane, which has a list price of 311 million US dollars, according to one person.

    Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest carrier already has an order for 12 -900 variants, though it has also been looking at the stretched -1000, as well as Boeing Co.’s rival 777-8, Chief Executive Officer Tewolde Gebremariam said last year.

    Ethiopian Airlines wants more wide-body aircraft to help extend a hub-based business model that relies on transferring lucrative inter-continental travelers via its home base in Addis Ababa to and from destinations across Africa.

    According to Bloomberg, the airline didn’t respond to repeated calls and emails seeking comment. A spokesman for Airbus said it doesn’t comment on discussions with customers.

    Ethiopian is separately weighing an order for Bombardier Inc.’s Q400 turboprop and C Series single-aisle jet against models from Embraer SA, it said in May.

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  • Kifiya Financial signed an agreement to work with Mastercard to launch first international remit

    Mastercard and digital service provider Kifiya have partnered to introduce a simple, secure and convenient digital solution that will ultimately allow citizens to pay for all bills in one location in Ethiopia. The partnership will impact millions of Ethiopian citizens living abroad, as well as those living in the East African country.

    The digital solution, accessible on computer and mobile devices, will further streamline the experience of paying for bills by letting citizens both within and outside the country’s borders make immediate digital payments – a major benefit for citizens of Ethiopia, which has one of the continent’s highest proportions of citizens living outside the country.

    According to the World Bank, inbound remittance flow to Sub-Saharan Africa reached USD $36bn in 2015. As one the highest receiving countries in Africa, next to Nigeria, Ethiopia’s remittance flow is estimated to be between USD $3 and $5bn annually; of which, close to USD $2bn comes through informal channels. A recent study commissioned by Kifiya in the United States showed that the majority of African Diasporas living across the world would like to contribute to pay for household expenditure for their loved ones back home.

    This service offers a convenient, affordable, secure, simple, and digitally driven solution that enables families and friends abroad to pay for bills using their debit cards, credit cards, mobile wallets, or directly from their bank account from anywhere in the world.

    The roll-out of the solution will comprise multiple phases, with Mastercard and Kifiya’s strategic partnership specifically focusing on the first phase involving utility payments. It will enable Ethiopian diasporas to pay for the utility bills of friends, family and relatives facilitated by Mastercard’s secure international payment processing capability, Mastercard Gateway Services.

    Kifiya and Mastercard will as part of phase two then move to include micro insurance payments, educational expenses, and international airtime to the platform. Once the Mastercard payment gateway is facilitated the local recipient will receive a text confirmation from Kifiya integrated payment platform and can pick up a hardcopy receipt at any of the Lehulu centres across the country and other agent locations.

    “We are excited about launching a modern and global remit to pay platform. We are equally excited in launching the service in partnership with Mastercard with their aim of digitally including 100 million people by 2020 in Africa. We believe that such a service is the first of its kind and hopefully will create a new class of remittance solutions,” said Munir Duri, CEO of Kifiya Financial Technology.

    Duri goes on to add, “It is a great step for an Ethiopian company to start the journey of providing digital payment services throughout Africa and that our collaboration begins with Mastercard is key.”

    “There are currently approximately three million Ethiopians living outside of the country that assist family members back home to pay bills, which current money transfer services fail to adequately address because they are expensive and there is a lack of control as money is not directly paid towards the service provider in question,” says Chris Bwakira, Vice President and Area Business East, East Africa at Mastercard. “With this solution, family members living overseas will now be able to pay bills directly, with the peace of mind that comes from knowing the money is being used where intended.”

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  • Ethiopia: Government officials, businesspersons appear in court for alleged corruption

     

    Some 34 senior government officials, businesspersons and brokers who were detained last Tuesday on suspicion of corruption, appeared in court.

    The charges were read out to them at the second criminal bench of the federal high court today. They are suspected of embezzling over 2 billion birr.

    The suspects requested the court to grant them bail.

    Police also asked the court for 14 days to collect additional evidences and the bail be denied to them, claiming that the suspects could hide documents if they are given bail.

    The court granted the 14 days to police and adjourned the hearing for August 9, 2017.

    Below is list of the suspects:

    1.  Engineer Fekade Haile -           (Former Manager of Addis Ababa Roads Authority)

    2.  Engineer Ahmedin Buser-        (Addis Ababa Roads Authority)

    3.  Engineer Wasihun Shiferaw -  (Addis Ababa Roads Authority

    4.  Minash Levie –                    (Owner and Manager of Tihdar Construction Company)

    5.  Abdo Mohamed –                (Ethiopian Roads Authority)

    6.  Bekele Nigusie -                  (Ethiopian Roads Authority)

    7.  Glaso Bure -                      (Ethiopian Roads Authority)

    8.  Yeneneh Asefa -                 (Ethiopian Roads Authority)

    9.  Assefa Baraki -                  (Ethiopian Roads Authority)

    10.  Gebreanania Tsadik -         (Ethiopian Roads Authority)

    11.  Bekele Balcha -                 (Ethiopian Roads Authority)

    12.  Abebe Tesfaye -               (Ethiopian Sugar Corporation)

    13.  Bililegn Tassew             (Ethiopian Sugar Corporation)

    14.  Endalkachew Girma       (Ethiopian Sugar Corporation)

    15.  Senait Worku               (Ethiopian Sugar Corporation)

    16.  Ayalew Kebede             (Ethiopian Sugar Corporation)

    17.  Belete Zelelew              (Ethiopian Sugar Corporation)

    18.  Salem Kebede              (Ethiopian Sugar Corporation)

    19.  Mesfin Melkamu          (Ethiopian Sugar Corporation)

    20. Mr Gi Yon                 (Manager of Chinese GGIEC contractor)

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