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  • HomeSend, Mastercard aim to transform the $3bn remittance industry in Ethiopia

    Remittance service launched with CBE signals evolution of Ethiopian payment ecosystem

    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – September 21, 2016 – HomeSend and the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) today announced a new remittance service at the US-Africa Business Forum, that will allow more than 100 million Ethiopians to send funds directly to any mobile number in the East African country.

    Launched in 2014, HomeSend is a joint venture of Mastercard, eServGlobal and BICS that enables business to business cross-border and cross-network transfers. Consumers can send money to and from mobile money accounts, payment cards, bank accounts or cash outlets, regardless of their location or that of the recipient. It is free for receivers and is accessible to anyone with a mobile number, and empowers the sender to transfer funds at a low cost through the HomeSend secure network of money transfer operators and banks.

    HomeSend will be available in Ethiopia before the end of the year, says Bekalu Zeleke, President of CBE. “At the CBE, we believe that embracing technology is integral to bringing the best possible service to our customers. HomeSend is an example of how, when working with the right partner, like Mastercard, a financial institution can improve the lives of its customers.”

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  • BBC Refugee crisis: Plan to create 100,000 jobs in Ethiopia

     

    Britain, the European Union and the World Bank have announced a plan to create 100,000 jobs in Ethiopia to help tackle the migrant crisis.

    Two industrial parks will be built in the country at a cost of $500m (£385m).

    Ethiopia, which proposed the plan, will be required to grant employment rights to 30,000 refugees.

    UK Prime Minister Theresa May said the project would be a model for how to support poorer countries housing large numbers of migrants.

    Ethiopia hosts more than 700,000 asylum seekers, mainly from South Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia.

    South Sudan refugees reach one million mark

    The deal, which was announced on Wednesday at the UN summit on refugees in New York, will be funded by loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and grants from the UK and the World Bank.

    As part of the agreement Ethiopia will grant refugees employment rights, which many currently do not have.

    A number of the new positions will be reserved for Ethiopia's growing number of young jobseekers.

     

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  • Ethiotelecom Promises to reduce internet tariffs

     

    The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) is set to reduce internet tariffs.

    “The questions asked by people arising from high Internet service fee are acceptable,” said Dr Debretsion Gebremichael who is the Deputy Prime Minister for Finance and Economic Cluster and Minister for MCIT.

    “As a result, the government will reduce the internet costs after a study in this fiscal year. However, the voicemail tariffs remains unchanged since the costs are minimal compared to other African countries,” he added.

    Dr. Gebremichael assured the nationals of the improvement of the telecommunication services in the country and promised to lay more attention on the services this year.

     Source: www.news.et 
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  • Ethiopian PM Blames Olympic Protest on U.S.-Based Dissenters

     

    When Ethiopian marathoner Feyisa Lilesa held his arms in an “X” as he crossed the finish line for a silver medal last month at the Rio Olympics, he says he was culminating a political protest he’d planned for months.

    But top Ethiopian officials say he was put up to the stunt by U.S.-based opposition groups in order to protest the government’s crackdown on demonstrations and further fuel controversial secessionist movements at home and in neighboring Eritrea.

    Speaking to Foreign Policy in an exclusive interview from the living room of his suite at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Tuesday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said he strongly believes that groups of anti-government Ethiopians based in the United States convinced the athlete to use the Summer Games as a protest venue. He also figures they helped get him from a Rio hotel to Washington, D.C. in time for a televised press conference last week.

    “It’s me who sent him to Rio for the Olympics, and we expected him to come back after winning the medal,” Hailemariam said, specifically naming members of the Oromo Liberation Front as having likely contributed to Feyisa’s protest.

    “This is not the capacity of the man himself. It’s something which has been orchestrated by someone else from outside.”

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