PowerChina-constructed Mali Gouina hydropower station completed

Alleviating electricity shortages in West Africa

BEIJING, Feb. 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A news report by haiwainet.cn:

On December 3, 2022, the inauguration of the Gouina Hydropower Station, which is owned and managed by the Organization for the Development of the Senegal River (OMVS), financed by the Export-Import Bank of China, and constructed by PowerChina, was held in the Diamou area of the Kayes region.

The inauguration was co-chaired by Colonel Abdoulaye Maïga, Acting Prime Minister of the Republic of Mali. He warmly congratulated the successful completion of the Gouina hydropower station, thanks to the Chinese government and the Chinese Embassy in Mali for their strong support for the power construction in Mali and even West Africa. He also thanked PowerChina for its contribution to the project implementation.

The Gouina Hydropower Station falls along the Senegal River in Mali. The dam is 19 meters high, with a total length of 1317 meters and a storage capacity of 136 million cubic meters. It took 6 years to complete the construction. According to PowerChina, the Gouina Hydropower Station is one of the largest construction projects invested by Chinese companies in Mali.

As a large-scale infrastructure project in the area involved in the “Belt and Road” initiative, once operational, the station is expected to generate about 621 million kilowatt-hours of power. It will form a cascade reservoir and stations with Manantali and Felou hydropower stations, contributing to a continuous and stable power grid covering a large region. The grid will overcome power shortages in Mali and boost local industrial and social and economic development. Besides Mali, the grid will send power to Senegal and Mauritania in West Africa, which will improve local people’s quality of life.

In 2003, the Mali office of PowerChina was officially established, and PowerChina’s first bridge project entered the Mali market. In 2009, PowerChina acquired the Felou Hydropower Station under the framework of OMVS through IOB. Up to now, PowerChina has set up six regional headquarters, 453 branches in more than 120 countries around the world.

‘Whodunit’ Mystery Arises Over Trove of Prehistoric Kenyan Stone Tools

Scientists have a mystery on their hands after the discovery of 330 stone tools about 2.9 million years old at a site in Kenya, along Lake Victoria’s shores, that were used to butcher animals, including hippos, and pound plant material for food.

Which of our prehistoric relatives that were walking the African landscape at the time made them? The chief suspect, researchers said on Thursday in describing the findings, may be a surprise.

The Nyayanga site artifacts represent the oldest-known examples of a type of stone technology, called the Oldowan toolkit, that was revolutionary, enabling our forerunners to process diverse foods and expand their menu. Three tool types were found: hammerstones and stone cores to pound plants, bone and meat, and sharp-edged flakes to cut meat.

To put the age of these tools into perspective, our species Homo sapiens did not appear until roughly 300,000 years ago.

Scientists had long believed Oldowan tools were the purview of species belonging to the genus Homo, a grouping that includes our species and our closest relatives. But no Homo fossils were found at Nyayanga. Instead, two teeth – stout molars – of a genus called Paranthropus were discovered there, an indication this prehistoric cousin of ours may have been the maker.

“The association of these Nyayanga tools with Paranthropus may reopen the case as to who made the oldest Oldowan tools. Perhaps not only Homo, but other kinds of hominins were processing food with Oldowan technology,” said anthropologist Thomas Plummer of Queens College in New York City, lead author of the research published in the journal Science.

The term hominin refers to various species considered human or closely related.

“When our team determined the age of the Nyayanga evidence, the perpetrator of the tools became a ‘whodunit’ in my mind,” said paleoanthropologist and study co-author Rick Potts, director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Human Origins Program. “There are several possibilities. And except for finding fossilized hand bones wrapped around a stone tool, the originator of the early Oldowan tools may be an unknown for a long time.”

The molars represent the oldest-known fossils of Paranthropus, an upright-walker that combined ape-like and human-like traits, possessing adaptations for heavy chewing, including a skull topped with a bony ridge to which strong jaw muscles were attached, like in gorillas.

Other hominins existing at the time included the genus Australopithecus, known for the famous even-older fossil “Lucy.”

“While some species of nonhuman primates produce technologies that assist in foraging, humans are uniquely dependent on technology for survival,” Plummer said.

All later developments in prehistoric technologies were based on Oldowan tools, making their advent a milestone in human evolution, Potts said. Rudimentary stone tools 3.3 million years old from another Kenyan site may have been an Oldowan forerunner or a technological dead-end.

The Nyayanga site today is a gully on Homa Mountain’s western flank along Lake Victoria in southwestern Kenya. When the tools were made, it was woodland and grassland along a stream, teeming with animals.

Until now, the oldest-known Oldowan examples dated to around 2.6 million years ago, in Ethiopia. The species Homo erectus later toted Oldowan technology as far as Georgia and China.

Cut marks on hippopotamus rib and shin bones at Nyayanga were the oldest-known examples of butchering a very large animal – called megafauna. The researchers think the hippos were scavenged, not hunted. The tools also were used for cracking open antelope bones to obtain marrow and pounding hard and soft plant material.

Fire was not harnessed until much later, meaning food was eaten raw. The researchers suspect the tools were used to pound meat to make it like “hippo tartare.”

“Megafauna provide a super abundance of food,” Plummer said. “A hippopotamus is a big leather sack full of good things to eat.”

Source: Voice of America

Eight Companies to Start work in Bulbula Integrated Agro Industrial Park With 1.7 Bil Birr Combined Capital

Addis Ababa Some eight local and foreign companies with a combined capital of 1.7 billion Birr have signed agreement with Oromia Industrial Park Development Corporation (OIPDC) to invest in Bulbula Integrated Agro Industrial Park.

In addition, two other investors, who are interested to invest in the industrial park, have also signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the corporation.

The agreement signing ceremony took place on Thursday in the presence of government officials and investors in Addis Ababa.

Speaking at the occasion, Oromia Industrial Park Development Corporation CEO Senait Mabre said the government has been investing huge amount of money on infrastructure with a view to bring change in the country by involving investors in various sectors.

Accordingly, several investors are currently showing interest to engage in the industrial parks developed by the government.

According to the CEO, the regional government is being providing all the necessary supports to help the investors become successful.

The companies that have signed the agreement are expected to enter the industrial park and start operations, she added.

These companies are involved in tomato processing, avocado oil production, animal fodder and dairy products to supply their products to domestic and foreign markets.

The companies are also believed to play significant role in terms of import substitution, particularly in food related product items and improve the nation’s foreign currency earnings.

The Park, built on 271 hectares of land in Western Oromia, has been fully equipped with the necessary infrastructures and facilities to accommodate 135 investors.

The East African nation has been developing Integrated Agro-Industrial Parks (IAIP) with a view to speed up its structural transformation into an industry-led economy.

OIPDC Deputy Board Chairperson Sisay Gemechu on his part said that the main objective of the park is to add value to raw export products and supply them to the domestic and foreign markets.

He pointed out that it will contribute to solving the widespread unemployment problem from the point of view of job opportunities, and it has also great importance in terms of encouraging the farmers.

He also stated that 6 rural transformation centers that are operated by local farmers to supply raw materials vital to the industrial park.

It is to be recalled that the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has inaugurated Bulbula Integrated Agro Industrial in 2021.

Circled by Lake Zeway, Abyata, and Lengano, it’s situated near to train transport, expressway, Addis Ababa City, and Mojo Dry Port.

Source: Ethiopia News Agency

Ambassador Muktar Kedir Presents Letter of Credentials to President of Namibia

Addis Ababa Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ethiopia to the Republic of Namibia, Muktar Kedir Abdu has presented his letter of credentials to Hage G. Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia.

On the occasion, Ambassador Muktar noted that the diplomatic relations between Ethiopia and Namibia is a historical one, recalling the solidarity shown by the people and Government of Ethiopia to the Namibian people during their fight for Independence.

The two countries established formal diplomatic relationship when Namibia opened its Embassy in Addis Ababa in 1990, the Embassy of Ethiopia in Pretoria is accredited to Namibia.

The Ambassador emphasized that the diplomatic relations and cooperation between Ethiopia and Namibia is based on solid foundations of African brotherhood and the spirit of Pan–Africanism.

Muktar pledged to work for the strengthening of the relations between Ethiopia and the Republic of Namibia during his tenure.

Source: Ethiopia News Agency

Energy Supply Vital to Accelerate Economic Integration, AfCFTA Implementation

Addis Ababa Ensuring the supply of energy among countries is pivotal for steadfast economic integration and accelerated implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), according to experts.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Kenya Renewable Energy Association (KEREA) CEO Andrew Amadi energy, specifically electricity is the most important determinant of economic growth.

There is no country in the world that has become rich without electricity, he said, and added that countries need to move towards using energy for production and value addition.

There is no meaningful development that can happen without the use of electricity, Amadi stated, and noted “I think the integration of electricity is very timely because it will level the availability across countries.”

“So if we connected for example; we have connected Kenya to Ethiopia, if we connect Kenya to Tanzania, then from Tanzania to Rwanda; you can be able to supply electricity from the hydro in Ethiopia to Rwanda and turn down the generators they are using to generate electricity. That is the importance of integration,” the CEO elaborated.

Furthermore, Amadi pointed out that availability of energy supply will reduce huge capital investment on building electricity generation infrastructure.

Speaking of AfCFTA implementation, he stressed the need to remove any barriers that hamper easy facilitation of intra-trade in Africa.

According to him, there is huge market that could be exploited for the benefit of the region if all agree to work in harmony together.

“If the barriers are less, if we harmonize customs and tariffs and if we all agree and say we want to grow this then we instantly create a big market in east Africa. East African community, we are talking 380 million people if you add Ethiopia we are at 500 million people market. If that market can allow goods and services, people move freely then we do not need to export to western markets. We can be able to supply our local markets and grow our economies trading on what each country or region has got capacity to produce and exploit,” the CEO noted.

Association of Power Utilities of Africa (APUA) Director-General, Abel Didier Tella said on his part there will be no meaningful development unless countries invest on energy.

The energy issue in Africa should be considered as priority sector, he said, and added that governments have to put maximum effort in developing energy sector.

“When investors come to Africa; they see Africa as a place where you can come and take raw material. Now they have to change their views; they have to see Africa as a place where mining development support energy development, where we transform our raw materials before export, where we transform our raw materials and manufacture to create jobs and empower the youth with skill to work in factories,” Tella explained.

The Director-General underscored “transforming products through value addition is the only way to exit from poverty in energy.”

Ethiopia has been working to strengthen its hydropower generation to export electric power to neighboring countries with a view to expedite regional economic integration and secure foreign currency.

The demand for electric power by neighboring countries is increasing from time to time; the government has been intensifying efforts to expand infrastructures vital to addressing this need.

Ethiopia has already been exporting electric power to Sudan, Djibouti and Kenya while agreement is underway with South Soudan.

Source: Ethiopia News Agency

Nationwide Watershed Dev’t Intensified by Engaging 13 Mil People on Daily Basis: Agriculture Ministry

Addis Ababa Community based watershed development activities are being intensified by engaging more than 13 million people on daily basis across the nation with a view to help ensure food security by preventing soil erosion and increase agricultural productivity, Ministry of Agriculture said.

The government of Ethiopia has been undertaking measures aimed at ensuring food security and enhance agricultural export trade by fighting the impacts of climate challenge through various development strategies.

The ongoing nationwide community based watershed development activities are part of the government’s strategy to help ensure food security by mitigating soil erosion and land degradation which are some of the causes of poor agricultural productivity that affects the lives of farmers and the national economy in Ethiopia.

According to Ministry of Agriculture, the strategy being implemented over the past years has been bearing fruits in terms of improving the overall agricultural productivity.

Hence, the nation has now intensified the effort in various parts of the country by engaging some 13 million people every day on average.

The program could have forced the nation to spend huge amount of money if implemented without the massive participation of the community.

The watershed development activities are being underway since last January and will continue until the middle of March, 2023 targeting to cover a total of 2.5 million hectares of land, Yosef Assefa, Watershed Management Desk Head at Ministry of Agriculture told ENA.

According to him, the plan is to develop some 20,000 drainage basins across the nation prominently in Oromia, Amhara, South Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ as well as in Sidama regions.

Yosef further elaborated the watershed development program has been helping the country in increasing crop productivity by mitigating soil degradation and enhancing underground water.

He further quoted the farmers witnessing that ‘’following the watershed activities, productivity has been increased which is part of the nation’s aspiration of achieving food self-sufficient.”

A drainage basin is an area of land where water from rain or snow melt drains downhill into a body of water such as a river, lake, wetland or ocean.

The nationwide watershed program being carried out in Ethiopia is an integral part of the green legacy initiative which the country has been undertaking aggressively in the last four consecutive years by plating 25 billion tree seedlings.

Source: Ethiopia News Agency

USAID, Partners Donate Medical Teaching Materials to 29 Medical Schools in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and its partners have donated various medical teaching materials to 29 medical schools in Ethiopia.

Minister of Health, Lia Taddese and Jonathan Rose, USAID Mission Health Director, have handed over the materials to the representatives of the medical schools.

The donation that costs 300,000 USD is believed to provide positive contribution to help the efforts being carried out to produce better professionals in medicine as it scales up the student’s theoretical knowledge with practical applications.

Health Minister, Lia Taddesse said during the occasion that the government of Ethiopia has given priority to producing quality medical professionals in a bid to successfully attain the Sustainable Development Goals noting that the donation would contribute to strengthening the effort in this regard.

USAID Mission Health Director for his part stated that USAID is committed to help the capacity building activities being underway in Ethiopia in the health sector.

USAID with its partners has been carrying out 5 projects that aim at supporting Ethiopia’s health sector.

Source: Ethiopia News Agency