Residents of Various Cities Participate in Road Race to Reaffirm Their Support for GERD

Addis Ababa: Inhabitants of various cities in Oromia region have today participated in a road running to reaffirm their support for the successful completion of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

A five-kilometer road race has come at a time when the 13th year laying of the foundation of the renaissance dam will be commemorated at the end of this month under the theme: 'Together We Made It Possible.'

The construction of Grand Renaissance Dam has reached 95 percent, the Office of National Coordination for the Construction of the Dam disclosed.

The dam with its 13th year laying of the foundation is being celebrated in various events including road race, panel discussion, fundraising campaigns and other activities.

Today, thousands of residents in five towns of Oromia region have participated in a road running to display their support for the dam, it was learned.

Speaking to ENA, the participants of the race said they have also contributed a lot in terms of financial support through bond purchases and gifts since the beginning of the dam construction.

The construction of the GERD which commenced in 2011 is now near completion, it was indicated.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Over 74,000 Second Generation Diaspora Visit Ethiopia in First Round: Diaspora Service

Addis Ababa: More than 74,000 second-generation of Ethiopian Diaspora have visited their ancestral homeland in the first phase alone, according to the Ethiopian Diaspora Service. It is worth recalling that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed initiated this homecoming program to reconnect the Second-generation Ethiopian Diaspora with their origin and inspire them in order to contribute to the development of the country. Ethiopian Diaspora Service Community Development Acting Director, Nebyu Solomon told ENA that the second generation of Ethiopian Diaspora has been invited to come in three-rounds from 30th December 2023 to the end of September 2024. According to the acting director, the first-phase homecoming under the motto "Connect to Your Culture" was carried out from 30th December to 8th February 2024. In the first-round more than 74,000 second-generation Ethiopian Diaspora have come to their homeland, adding that it is a satisfactory turn out and was imperative to offer informative events about Ethiopian history as well as culture. Nebyu highlighted that the first-round homecoming program was successful, stating, second-generation Diaspora members have demonstrated their enthusiasm, and many expressed satisfaction with their experience. He further indicated that those Diaspora members have pledged to play a role in Ethiopia's development endeavors. The second-generation Ethiopian Diaspora members have also visited various tourism cities of the country and the ongoing development projects in the country, he indicated. And the second-round homecoming under the motto 'Connect to Your History' has been already launched and will last till 8th May 2024, Nebyu stated. In this phase, opportunities will be facilitated to the Diaspora members in order to visit heritage sites including the newly built Adwa Victory Memorial museum. Nebyu underscored that the visit will help them to properly realize Ethiopia's role in Pan-Africanism, stating 'we hope to inspire them to carry this legacy forward.' Source: Ethiopian News Ag ency

Separatists impose ‘no farming Mondays’ in Meme, Ndian

An armed group fighting for the independence of the Anglophone regions, known as the Ribbons of Ambazonia, a separatist faction based in Meme and Ndian Divisions of the South West Region, has said they have banned Monday(s) farming activities across the two divisions. The group said that self-style general Millepede and Johnny Mad Dog recently placed the ban as a sign of respect for Monday's ghost town, which was instituted on January 9, 2017, by the outlawed Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium. Locals have been quick to criticize the ban, insinuating, that most separatist fighters are armed bandits. Others were quick to point out that, separatist have placed the ban, to enable them to carry out their criminal activities. To them, separatists intend to steal cocoa from locals, as prizes for the cash crop keeps skyrocketing. They also questioned why the ban is only coming when cocoa prices have gone up. Some farmers in Nake Bongwana were sent back home last Monday when they tried going to their f arms. A kilogram of Cocoa now sells for a minimum of 4,000 FCFA in the South West Region. Source: Cameroon News Agency

SAHIF secures $38Million (R700Million): Aims to recapitalize business by settling funds, existing facilities with AIIM and Old mutual hybrids Equity

The SA Housing and Infrastructure Fund (SAHIF), the largest black private investor in South Africa's optical fibre industry, has embarked on an ambitious international drive to raise capital to accelerate the expansion of high-speed internet access throughout the country. SAHIF CEO Rali Mampeule said the company aimed to secure up to $225 million around (R4,1Billion) in investments from both domestic and international sources, including pension funds, development finance institutions (DFIs), and limited partners (LPs).SAHIF through one of its subsidiary has secured $38 Million around (R700 Million) funding to recapitalize its business by settling the fund's existing facilities with AIIM and Old Mutual Hybrids Equity. 'This successful capital raise has provided SAHIF with a robust investment platform to fast-track ongoing high-speed fibre internet access projects, particularly through its investments in MFN as an independent institutional shareholder not funded by its co- shareholder anymore ,' said Mampeule . 'We want this initiative to pave the way for equitable access to high-speed internet, drive economic growth, and nurture innovation within previously underserved communities.' In June 2021, SAHIF, together with Old Mutual's African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) and STOA, a foreign investment vehicle that is based in France, acquired the 25.8% interest in MetroFibre Networx held by Sanlam Private Equity, African Rainbow Capital and a minority shareholder, the transaction made the three(3) entities to be the 80% majority shareholders of MFN. MetroFibre was launched in 2010 and operated as a provider of fibre-to-the-business. It owns and manages its core network, a globally compliant Carrier Ethernet 2.0 open-access network and has expanded its service offering to residential and corporate customers. SAHIF's capital raise comes on the back of the announcement in 2022 by MetroFibre that it had successfully finalised a R5 billion debt finance package from Standard Bank to support its continued fibr eoptic data network rollout across SA. This funding would help it to increase its reach by 500,000 households by 2025. Mampeule emphasised the significance of this capital infusion, stating, 'We started knocking on doors in Davos, Switzerland, earlier this year, and we are currently in talks with several local and international pension funds, DFIs, and LPs. These engagements have been very fruitful, and we believe the capital secured will create a valuable investment platform from which SAHIF will scale its current investments.' He said that in addition to its focus on digital infrastructure, SAHIF's capital injection would expedite the delivery of affordable housing and facilitate strategic investments within the financial services sector. These initiatives would encompass innovative home loan products and the leveraging of cutting-edge technologies aligned with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and Shelter Tech, both within South Africa and across Sub-Saharan Africa. Furthermore, SAHIF has adopted a n eco-friendly business approach, prioritising environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investments. Recognising the critical role of renewable energy in diversifying its asset portfolio and driving sustainable growth, the organisation has assembled a team of seasoned renewable energy investment professionals. This dedicated team will spearhead SAHIF's expansion into the renewable energy value chain, ensuring a comprehensive ESG investment strategy within the utilities businesses in the African continent. About SAHIF SAHIF is accelerating the delivery of serviced land to South Africans. SAHIF acquires vacant and unused land near the centres of towns and cities for conversion into zoned and serviced stands to enhance the speedy delivery of serviced stands to middle and low-income earning households to build their own homes close to places of work, education, healthcare, public transport and other amenities while investing in digital connectivity around the country. Since 2019 SAHIF has delivered 68 000 l and housing opportunities to South African families and, in the process, created thousands of job and entrepreneurial opportunities. A new era of expansion of this model by SAHIF, which involves making serviced land available, has proven to be highly successful in South Africa. Now, this model has been launched to the rest of the African continent through the newly established subsidiary fund called African Housing and Infrastructure Fund (AHIF). Source: Cameroon News Agency