** E T H I O P I A **


AAPO - All Amhamra People's Organisation
ALF - Afar Liberation Front
ARDU - Afar Revolutionary Democratic Union
BPLM - Benishangul People's Liberation Movement
CAFPDE - Council of the Alternative Forces for Peace and
Democracy in Ethiopia
COEDF - Coalition of Ethiopian Democratic Forces
CRDA - Christian Relief and Development Association
ECS - Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat
EDC - Ethiopian Democratic Organization Coalition
EDUP - Ethiopian Democratic Unionist Party
EECMY - Eth. Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus
ENDP - Ethiopian National Democratic Party
EPDA - Ethiopian Peoples' Democratic Alliance
EPDM - Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement
EPRDF - Ethiopian People's Rev. Democratic Front
ESDL - Ethiopian Somali Democratic League
ESDM - Ethiopian Somali Democratic Movement
GDU - Gamo Democratic Union
GPDF - Gurage People's Democratic Front
HPDO - Hadia People's Democratic Organisation
IFLO - Islamic Front for the Liberation of Oromia
IGLF - Issa Gurgura Liberation Front
KPC - Kembata People's Congress
OLF - Oromo Liberation Front
ONLF - Ogaden National Liberation Front
OPDO - Oromo People's Democratic Organisation
ORA - Oromo Relief Association
SEPDC - Southern Ethiopian Peoples Democratic Coalition
SPDO - Sidama People's Democratic Organisation
TPLF - Tigray People's Liberation Front
WSLF - Western Somali Liberation Front


(Reuter 5 May 95, by Peter Smerdon)
ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia's opposition parties have announced a boycott of the country's first multi- party general election, assuring victory for the ruling coalition.

The ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which ousted Marxist dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam four years ago, is expected to dominate the new national parliament and regional councils after Sunday's vote.

President Meles Zenawi, the head of the EPRDF, is almost certain to become the new prime minister of an Ethiopia divided into nine ethnically-based federated states with a national parliament.

The restructuring of Ethiopia, giving regions the right to secede if a majority of people vote for it, is a bold political experiment to face up to ethnic divisions that have bedevilled many African states since independence from colonial powers.

The head of an opposition coalition of more than 30 parties on Thursday dismissed Sunday's elections as a sham designed from the start to put back into power the Tigrean victors who finally ousted Mengistu and ended 17-years of harsh rule.

"We don't consider it a democratic election," Beyene Petros, chairman of the opposition Coalition of Alternative Forces for Peace and Democracy in Ethiopia (CAFPDE), told a news conference.

"A democratic election should always have an alternative for the people to choose from. This is an exercise where the same party and its surrogates, given several different names, are seeking a vote of confidence...

"For us to take the slightest part in this would amount to trampling on the democratic ideals of our people," he added.

Beyene leads the Southern Ethiopian People's Democratic Coalition (SEPDC) which in March refused the appeals of Western donors, especially the United States, to join the elections.

Speaking for opposition groups including the main Coalition of Ethiopian Democratic Forces and Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) - both based in exile - Beyene said the polls were an EPRDF farce and more repression of opponents was bound to follow.

Ethiopia, one of the world's poorest countries, has an estimated 55 million people - half below the age of 20...

6 May 95 [RE in English, 4 May 95])
An official of the National Electoral Board [NEB] has said the number of foreign and local election observers to be deployed to the polling stations for next Sunday's [7th May] elections has reached more than 1,000.

Mr Samson Getahun, legal affairs department head of the National Electoral Board, said 884 local and 247 foreign observers are expected to observe Sunday's elections. He said there are also election observers sent by the OAU and the European Economic Community [as heard]. Mr Samson added that observers from America, Britain, France, Norway, Spain, Canada, Austria, Belgium, Russia, the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Greece, Finland, Australia, Germany and Japan have collected observers'identification cards from their respective embassies...

(AC 26 May 95, p.5)
Largely peaceful, well organised and fair, said foreign observers disappointed by the shortage of opposition. The main opposition coalition boycotted the polls; parties which stood complained the playing-field was not level. The deadline for registration was extended by two weeks but numbers were down from 22 million in June's Constituent Assembly elections to about 16 million, partly because of the opposition boycott. In Addis Ababa the delay pushed up registration sharply, from 220,000 on 20 April to 566,000 by electon day. Turnout, as in June 1994, was high.

Results were as expected. EPRDF parties and leaders did exceptionally well. In Region Two (Tigray) the Tigray People's Liberation Front took all seats for the regional council and Federal Assembly. President Meles Zenawi, the EPRDF Chairman (who will become executive prime minister when the federal assembly meets) took 27,772 votes in Adua, against a teacher who got 131 votes. The Amhara National Democratic Movement of Tamrat Layne (the transitional government's Premier) swept the board in Region Three (Amhara), with Tamrat himself getting 37,431 votes in his South Gondar constituency. The third main EPRDF party, the Oromo People's Democratic Organisation, had a similar landslide; turnout was said to be over 95 per cent in many Oromo areas.

In Addis Ababa, two of the 23 federal seats went to independents, one an outspoken critic of the EPRDF, Major Adamse Zeleke; the EPRDF took the rest. In the regional council elections, all 92 seats went to the EPRDF, despite the capital's reputation as a centre of opposition. Of the 280 candidates, 71 were independent, 84 were from the opposition Ethiopian National Democratic Party. Observers had expected a few ENDP victories to `demonstrate the point of democratic competition', as one diplomat put it. Most losing candidates publicly welcomed the results but one member of the transitional government's Council of Representatives, Meshesha Birru, who lost in Addis Ababa, complained of intimidation of ENDP members. Other leading figures in the Council of Representatives also failed to get seats, inlcuding its Vice- Chairman, Fekadu Gedamu, and Secretary, Tesfaye Habiso...

(SWB 30 May 95 [RE in Amharic, 27 May 95])
Excerpts from recorded news conference, broadcast by Ethiopian radio on 27th May, given by President Meles Zenawi to mark the fourth anniversary of the seizure of power by the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, EPRDF


[Meles] ... According to what was said earlier, it was only the EPRDF who contested the elections. However, we tried our level best to ensure that the opposition forces took part in the elections. We had several rounds of talks with the opposition forces abroad in the presence of foreign mediators. Some of them said they were ready to take part in talks but, in the end, they backed out. But the rest, right from the start, said they were not willing to take part in the elections. You can take a horse to water, but I do not think that you can force it to drink. The forum was open to all. Those who wanted to take part in the forum did so, but you cannot force those who refuse to take part in the forum, and if you try to persuade them it will be undemocratic. Therefore, those who refused to take part in the process might perhaps change their minds and try again next time, so I cannot say much.

However, the recent elections were not contested by the EPRDF alone. There were independent candidates and they were strong contenders and in some areas they even won... Besides, there were also political parties who contested the elections, and some were successful. Therefore, we cannot say that there was no opposition at all. The widely known opposition forces abroad did not contest the elections. The government tried its best. And the government cannot do anything when they refuse to take part in the process of their own volition and by their own decision...

Regarding the transition of power, the procedures for handing over power to the new government are clearly stated in the constitution. First, elections for federal parliamentary seats should take place in all regions. Elections for the regional councils should also take place in all regions. After the conclusion of the federal and regional council elections, the two councils will then elect the head of state and the prime minister of the country. Then the new government can be formed. That is when the handing over of power can take place. With the delay and postponement of elections in some regions, we can assume that the process of handing over power may be delayed as well...

The EPRDF will have a majority in the next parliament. But, out of the nine regions in Ethiopia, five are under [the control of] other organizations or parties. So, in practical terms, it is very difficult to say that, in the next five years, the country will be governed by one party. Federal government will be in the hands of the EPRDF, which will also govern in areas it won, including Addis Ababa, but the rest of the country will not be under the EPRDF's administration in the next five years...

(Reuter 15 May 95)
ADDIS ABABA - The Organization of African Unity (OAU) said on Monday that landmark elections held in Ethiopia a week ago, which were largely boycotted by opposition parties, were free and fair...

(SWB 1 Jun 95 [RE in Amharic, 30 May 95])
The elections for the parliamentary and regional councils in Regions Two, Five and 13 have been set for 11th Sene 1987 [Ethiopian calendar: equivalent to 18th June 1995]. The Ethiopian National Electoral Board set the date for the elections in those regions during an extraordinary meeting today after ascertaining that the neutral election officials it had deployed had started their work...

(Reuter 5 Jun 95)
ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia said it would allow the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) party to register for elections to be held in the ethnic Somali region on June 18, state radio reported on Monday.

The National Electoral Board instructed polling officials to allow ONLF candidates to register to run in polls for both the national parliament and regional assembly.

The move follows an extraordinary congress of the ONLF last month at which the party dissolved its entire central committee and set up a new body, accusing exiled members of warlike attitudes.

The ONLF has in the past clashed with national troops from the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF)-led government...


(AC 14 Apr 95, p.3)
Some of Ethiopia's regions have changed during the last year. There are now ten regions instead of the previous 14. The regions and their capitals are the following:

Region 1--Tigray; capital, Mekelle.

Region 2--Afar; capital, Asaita.

Region 3--Amhara; capital, Bahir Dar.

Region 4--Oromo; capital, Addis Ababa.

Region 5--Somali; capital, Jijiga.

Region 6--Benshagul; capital, Asosa.

Region 10--Southern Ethiopia People's Administration; capital, Awasa.

Region 12--Gambela; capital, Gambela.

Region 13--Harar; capital, Harar.

Region 14--Addis Ababa.

The `Bantu' areas that constituted Regions 7-11 (Gurage/Hadiya/Kembata; Sidama; Wolaita; Omo; Keffa) now form Region 10. Harar is a small city state of some 40,000 people. Addis Ababa is a separate region and the federal capital but is also the capital of Oromo. The Agau areas are now included in Amhara.

(ION 3 Jun 95, p.5)
A vehicle escorted by government military and carrying a team from the Western Gode Water Works Project is reported to have been attacked by rebels in Ogaden Region (Region Five, Somali) two weeks ago. One employee, Shek Ahmed, was reported wounded but government troops apparently killed one attacker. Eyewitness accounts reaching Addis Ababa from Gode say that local civil servants feel so insecure that some are considering abandoning their jobs and returning to Addis even if this means their being unemployed.

(ION 3 Jun 95, p.2)
The Afar Democratic Movement founded in Addis Ababa in February by Ahmed Mohamed Ahaw, a son of the Sultan of Biru in the north-western Danakil region, has changed the whole political landscape in Ethiopia's region Two (Afar) and on into Afar regions of Eritrea.

Three Afar movements of different importance have co-existed on the Eritrean-Ethiopian border since the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) took power in Addis Ababa in 1991. The most important, Afar Liberation Front headed by the ageing sultan Ali Mirah, collaborated with Ethiopia's central regime while still keeping some independence. But today ALF is split by dissension between the sultan and his son Anfareh (ION No. 670) and again between Anfareh and his brothers. EPRDF had favoured the emergence of a second movement, Afar People's Democratic Organization, originally called Afar Democratic Union and set up in Tigre during the l990s. Afar Democratic Union had decided at a Mekele congress in February 1992 to rename itself Afar People's Democratic Organisation and to become a component part of EPRDF, but it never really caught on in the Afar region. The third piece of the jigsaw, Afar Revolutionary Democratic Union headed by Mahamooda Gaas, seems to be better established on Eritrean territory and is calling for autonomy of the Danakil region from the Asmara government (ION No. 498).

The missing piece is the survivors of Ugugumo (for Revolution), an extreme-left Afar Group which initially entertained a tumultuous relationship with the Ethiopian revolution of l974 before becoming the "pilot fish" of the autonomous Afar region set up in l987 under the administrative reforms of former head of state Mengistu Haile Mariam. This current of political thought "vanished" following the collapse of the Mengistu regime but has now resurfaced in modified form through Afar Democratic Movement...


(Reuter 23 May 95, by Tsegaye Tadesse)
ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia's chief prosecutor appealed on Tuesday to the Central High Court to uphold charges of genocide and murder against former members of the Marxist junta which took power in the 1974 revolution.

The court reconvened after a two-month break to allow prosecutor Girma Wakjira to prepare arguments against the 33 defence lawyers representing the 47 "dergue" members on trial.

Twenty-two of the defendants are being tried in absentia, including Mengistu Haile Mariam, the dictator who was ousted by guerrilla forces in May 1991 and now lives in exile in Zimbabwe.

The court adjourned again until October 10, saying it needed time to study a 46-page document presented by the prosecutor which rejects objections by the defence against the charges. The trial started last December...

(AI April 95, AFR 25/06/95)
The Ethiopian authorities are prosecuting officials of the former government for gross human rights violations, but the Transitional Government has not acted with equal determination against abuses by its own forces...

The Transitional Government took on the crucial task of bringing to justice officials of the former government responsible for gross human rights violations. The trials have started after long delays and will continue for some years. If they are fair and do not result in executions - which are themselves violations of human rights - they will send a message to all perpetrators of human rights violations that they cannot expect impunity and will be held accountable for their actions.

However, the transitional period has also seen many new abuses of human rights. Thousands of opponents of the Transitional Government were detained without charge or trial between 1992 and 1994. The majority have now been released but there are still hundreds of political detainees. Some political prisoners have possibly been given unfair trials; as more detainees are being brought to court this is of growing concern. Some detainees are prisoners of conscience, including journalists and members of non-violent opposition parties.

Dozens of government opponents have "disappeared". People have been held in secret detention centres, and torture has been inflicted on suspected members of opposition groups. A number of defenceless civilians have been shot dead by the security forces. Abuses have also been committed by armed opposition groups.

The Transitional Government has not been consistent in its approach to accountability for human rights abuses. It has not done enough to stop and prevent human rights violations, especially in the context of the Oromo Liberation Front's continuing armed opposition. The international community too has paid insufficient attention to continuing reports of violations. The important message of the trials of former officials will be undermined unless decisive action is taken to stop human rights violations perpetrated by those in power now...

This summarizes a 58-page document (23,360 words), Ethiopia: Accountability past and present: human rights in transition (AI Index: AFR 25/06/95), issued by Amnesty International in April 1995. Anyone wanting further details or to take action on this issue should consult the full document.

/HAB/ For more information, contact Amnesty International, International Secretariat, 1 Easton Street, London WC1X 8DJ, UK or send an email to Ray Mitchell (

A report entitled "Democracy, Rule of Law and Human Rights in Ethiopia - Rhetoric and Practice", has been produced by the Ethiopian Human Rights Council. The report aims to outline the state of human rights in Ethiopia since Imperial times.

In a strongly worded letter, the Swiss Ambassador who had funded the project distances the Government of Switzerland from the findings and criticises the report because it fails to "let the facts speak for themselves without portraying them as sinister machinations of an entire political structure." He also states "the EHRCO may not question a government's good or bad faith but only judge it factually by its legislation ... and by its mode of implementation of any such law. Any attempt to generally disqualify a government whose activities you are determined to monitor, will only disqualify your organisation as what you want it to be: a non-partisan, factual and constructively critical watch-post".

The EHRCO held a press conference subsequent to the letter's publication where it announced that it would respond to the criticism in writing.


/HAB/ For Ethiopian--Eritrean relations, see p. 9.

(SWB 12 Apr 95 [RE in Amharic, 10 Apr 95])
The Ethiopian charge d'affaires in Somalia has been kidnapped from his Mogadishu home. The Ethiopian government has called for the immediate release of the diplomat. According to the Foreign Ministry, the diplomat was kidnapped and taken to an unknown destination by members of Sulayman clan, who had the contraband goods they were trying to bring into Ethiopia intercepted by border patrols around Negele [town in southern Ethiopia] recently...

/HAB/ A ransom of USD 120,000 was demanded by the kidnappers, but on May 1, Mr. Yamani was released, reportedly without any ransom having been paid. Elders, intellectuals and members of the Somali National Alliance obtained the release.

ETHIOPIA, SUDAN END TALKS ON NILE WATERS AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES (SWB 22 Apr 95 [Sudan TV, Omdurman, in Arabic 20 Apr 95]) Talks between Sudan and Ethiopia on the issue of the Nile waters and environmental protection ended this afternoon at the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources conference hall.

It is worth recalling that the talks lasted a week. A final statement was signed focusing on technical cooperation in hydrological studies, the equitable distribution of the Nile waters, protection of wildlife and forests and the River Nile catchment areas in Ethiopian territory...

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING SIGNED WITH SUDAN (SWB 6 May 95 [Suna news agency, Khartoum, in Arabic 3 May 95]) [No dateline as received]: Sudan and Ethiopia yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding which provides for the strengthening of relations between the two countries, the consolidation of bilateral cooperation and the implementation of the agreements concluded between the two sides at [various] times.

Mr Abd al-Wahhab Ahmad Hamzah, minister of state at the finance ministry, signed on behalf of the Sudanese side and Mr Abdullah al-Basha [as received: listed as Adiala Basha], Ethiopian [vice] minister of trade and finance [signed on behalf of Ethiopia]...

As for Mr Abdullah al-Basha, the Ethiopian [vice] minister of trade, he said his country was keen to strengthen and develop relations with Sudan and to overcome all obstacles hampering the implementation of previous agreements.

(Reuter 15 May 95)
ADDIS ABABA - Rwandan President Pasteur Bizimungu arrived in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Monday for talks with Ethiopian President Meles Zenawi, the state Ethiopia News Agency (ENA) reported.

Ethiopia is among the few African countries with troops serving as a peacekeeping force under the United Nations in Rwanda.

It was not clear how long Bizimungu planned to stay in Ethiopia or what the subject of talks with Meles would be.


(SWB 10 Apr 95 [Voice of Israel external service, Jerusalem, in English 8 Apr 95]) Israel is refusing to give tourist visas to Ethiopian pilgrims after it emerged that hundreds of them did not go back to their country.

The problem has intensified on the eve of Easter when, normally, large numbers of Ethiopian pilgrims arrive. The issue is leading to a crisis between the Israeli and Ethiopian governments. The Ethiopians claim Israel is preventing freedom of worship and access to the holy places in Jerusalem. Interior Minister Baram and Deputy Foreign Minister Beilin are dealing with the problem.

(Reuter 4 May 95)
MOSCOW - Russian Defence Minister Pavel Grachev said on Thursday his ministry should be given the right to sell arms, saying potential buyers were being put off by the current weapons sales system, Interfax news agency said.

Grachev told a government meeting that long-standing foreign clients such as Ethiopia were starting to turn away from Russian arms producers because they had no idea who to order from and who would deliver the weapons.

"The fault lies with the excessive bureaucratic system set up to trade weapons," the agency quoted Grachev as saying...

Russia exported arms and military equipment worth around $1.7 billion in 1994, compared with an average $14 billion a year before the former Soviet Union collapsed in late 1991...

(ION 13 May 95, p.8)
Norway's first ambassador to Ethiopia to be based in Addis Ababa presented his Letters of Credence to head of state Meles Zenawi at the end of April. Zenawi has called on Norwegian businessmen to invest in Ethiopia's mining sector but ambassador Holmsen has indicated that Norwegian aid will be directed mainly at "promoting a culture of democracy, health matters and family planning, and the management of water resources."...


(NN/africa.horn 9 Apr 95 [NNS])
As part of the national commemoration of the famine a decade ago, IAG [InterAfrica Group] with the Economic Commission for Africa and the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission organised a meeting of Ethiopian and international experts to look at past experiences and discuss possible future strategies for dealing with famine...

Papers presented at the conference are available from NNS as follows: Keynote Address, Prime Minister Tamrat Leyne; Reflections on the 1984-85 famine, Dr Solomon Inquai (for REST); Post famine challenges and the role of the international community, Reginald Herbold Green (Institute of Development Studies, UK); Better late than never, Oxfam's experience in working in famine situations, Odhiambo Anacleti (OXFAM UK); Do we see famine as it is? The experience of people living in TPLF controlled areas during the 1985 famine, Barbara Hendrie (University College, London); Food Security and Response to Famine: the role of the International Community, Melaku Ayelew (RRC); Humanitarianism Unbound (basis for speech), Alex de Waal (African Rights), Causes and Nature of Famine, Berhane Gizaw (former RRC).

/HAB/ Also available from NNS is the "Addis Ababa Statement on Famine in Ethiopia: Learning from the Past to Prepare for the Future", 18 March 1995. For more information contact NNS Co- ordinator, IAG, PO Box 1631, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Tel (+251) 1-518790; Fax (+251) 1-510064; Email: (

(Scotsman via RBB 1 May 95, by William Chisholm) Two farms in the Borders have provided practical lambing experience for an Ethiopian doctor who is involved in his country's fight against famine.

Dr Kassaye Hadgu, who is studying tropical veterinary medicine in Edinburgh, will use the knowledge he gained on the East Nisbet and Dolphinston farms, near Jedburgh, to enhance Ethiopia's dairy goat development project.

The farmers Bob Wager and Sandy Scott are members of Scotland's only branch of Friends of Farm Africa, which was set up in the Borders two years ago by Martin and Ruth Johnson, of Rutherford, Kelso.

The Borders support group has more than 100 members drawn from the farming community and the professions...

The dairy goat development project has so far allowed 1,000 very poor women in Ethiopia to keep dairy goats to produce milk for the family and provide milk and surplus animals for sale.

Dr Kassaye told The Scotsman yesterday: "There has been a drought in my country this year, but the women who have goats were able to remain at home and survive.

"Normally they would have fled to the towns, creating additional problems for the food aid agencies."...

Mr Johnson has visited Ethiopia, where he assisted with food and agricultural research management. He believes that the four Farm Africa projects involving forestry regeneration, dairy goats, a farmers' research scheme and development of sustainable systems, hold the key to the country's future well- being...

(Reuter 20 May 95)
ADDIS ABABA - A senior Swedish official on Saturday said his country is drawing up a special programme to assist agriculture in northern Ethiopia...

Bo Goransson, director-general of the Swedish International Development Authority (SIDA), told reporters he had seen first hand what was needed in the northern Wollo region on a five- day trip.

He said liberal economic policies introduced by the government of leader Meles Zenawi had resulted "in a marked improvement of the overall economy of the country".

Sweden has given $1.1 billion to Ethiopia since 1966, aiding health, education and emergency funding for successive governments...

"Ethiopia's new development strategy which makes agricultural development the vehicle for industrialisation is sound," he said...

(DHA Situation Report DHAGVA - 95/0249, 7 Jun 95)
1. Intense rainfall of early May flooded Shabelle River, causing extensive damage in Kelafo, Mustahil, Ferfer, and Burukur of Gode Zone in Ethiopia's Region 5.

2. Floods killed 27 and affected 93,875 in 168 villages. Serious damage to roads and bridges was reported. Many villages were cut-off for many days.

3. Flood water has receded by now, and emergency phase is generally considered to have passed...


(ION 22 Apr 95, p.6)
A conference of international fund donors was held in Addis Ababa recently in the presence of Ethiopian external economic cooperation minister Abdulmejid Hussein to whip up more credit lines needed to modernize the capital's international airport. Opening the meeting, the minister warned that the airport installations were "deteriorated to such an extent that without urgent remedial work, operational security will be jeopardized and international standards violated". Air traffic handled more than quadrupled between 1982 and 1993, and runways are posing "very serious problems" for flight security due to inadequate original design and to soil structure...

The total cost of the Ethiopian government's airport rehabilitation project runs into US$216.81 million, with $52.15 million of expenditures in local currency taken care of by the government. The balance of $164.66 million in financing is not covered as assistance that fund donors announced at the meeting amounted to just under one-half of the amount needed [sic] ($80.5 million, in the form of long-term, low-interest loans)...

(AED 24 Apr 95)
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has so far committed resources amounting to approximately $1,273.46 million to carry out 55 development projects in the country, says acting vice-minister of external economic co-operation Ato Brook Debebe.

Implementation of Bank-financed projects had been slow, he said, due to low disbursement ratio. Implementing agencies, he said, were often unfamiliar with the AfDB's disbursement and procurement procedures. As of 31 December, $655.31 million had been disbursed, approximately 51 per cent of the total commitment. 21 projects have so far been completed, he said.

(AED 24 Apr 95)
A telecommunications project is to get a SEK200 credit from Sweden, the largest credit of its kind ever given to a telecommunications project in Africa.

The World Bank, through the African Development Bank, and the European Investment Bank are the main financiers of the country's $250 million Seventh Telecommunications Development Programme. $80 million has been found locally and Sweden and Italy are also contributing to a lesser extent.

Swedish giant Ericsson is expected to win the contract, according to Scandinavia's Development Today, since the firm supplied almost all the country's modern switching equipment under Telecom 6 in 1985. A spokesman for Ericsson, however, said that discussions had been going on for more than a year, but the contract was "far from being landed."

(SWB 9 May 95 [REE in English, 1 May 95])
An agreement has been signed between the Ministry of Mines and Energy and Golden Star Resources Ltd [GSRL] of Canada for the latter to conduct a preliminary study on the quantity of gold in Dul area of Asosa zone [western Ethiopia] and its economic significance. The agreement was signed by Mr Izz al-Din Ali, minister of mines and energy, and Mr David Afanol [phonetic] president of GSRL.

According to the agreement the study is scheduled to commence in 45 days and last for three years at a cost of 10.7m dollars...

(Reuter 8 May 95, by Peter Smerdon)
ADDIS ABABA - Economic growth in Ethiopia, recovering from 17 years of Marxism and civil war, dropped last year to 1.3 percent because of drought but is expected to rise to 5.6 percent this year, its finance minister said on Monday.

Alemayehu Daba told Reuters Gross Domestic Product growth in the 1992/93 July-June fiscal year reached about seven percent but was hit by last year's drought because Ethiopia relies on agriculture for 50 percent of its GDP.

He said reforms since the fall of dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991 helped public entreprises to operate at 70 percent of capacity in 1992/93 compared with between 10 and 30 percent in 1991...

"Our major aim for the future is to encourage agriculture in all its activities. If agricultural productivity rises then the whole economy will improve because it is dependent on agriculture," he added...

Ethiopia's foreign debt now stood at $4.4 billion owed to international agencies and bilateral creditors plus 3 billion roubles owed to Russia for military hardware bought by Mengistu.