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  • Ethiopia in Lonely Planet's Top Ten Best in Travel 2017 List

    Where should you go next? Lonely Planet’s experts select the most amazing places to go and things to do in the year ahead.

    10. Ethiopia

    With its own calendar (where else can you get 13 months of sunshine?), timekeeping, script, language, cuisine, church and coffee, Ethiopia is as exotic as countries come. And whether you’re trekking through the Simien Mountains to witness wildlife that roams nowhere else on Earth, climbing to a church carved into a remote cliff face in Tigray or boating across the serene waters of Lake Tana to visit an age-old monastery, you’ll be overwhelmed by the beauty of the landscape. In 2017 new airline links will make the country more accessible than ever, so be one of the first to hop on board.

    9. Myanmar

    Change has been a long time coming in the nation also known as Burma, but the election of the first civilian government in half a century has all eyes on the future. No one is pretending that all Myanmar’s problems have gone away, but things are moving in the right direction, and Southeast Asia’s most secretive country is poised to receive an influx of travellers. Visiting comes with challenges, but the reward is a window onto a vanishing Asia, where the difficulties of travel are part of the appeal, and where life moves to the timeless rhythm of chanting monks and monastery bells.

    8. Oman

    Oman has been the ace in Arabia’s pack for a while, but with more flights than ever before and high-end hotels popping up all over the place, the sultanate looks ready to raise its game yet again. Luxury accommodation, including the award-winning duo of Six Senses on the Musandam Peninsula and Alila in the Hajar Mountains, has long had a foothold here, but glitzy properties from Anantara, Kempinski and other high-end names are also slated to open soon. The burst of construction doesn’t stop there, though – the US$120-million Majarat Oman, a futuristic theme park for families, is set to debut in 2017.

    See the complete list here!

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  • Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway officially completed


    The completion of the Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway, a new 752km track linking Ethiopia’s capital with the Port of Djibouti (pictured), was officially marked today (Tuesday) at a ceremony at Nagad Railway Station in Djibouti.

    In the presence of Djibouti’s President, His Excellency Ismail Omar Guelleh, and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn, and senior officials from across the region, the new railway – linking Djibouti to Ethiopia – was officially inaugurated.

     

    The new railway can reach speeds of 160 km/h for passenger trains and 120 km/h for cargo trains. It will cut cargo journey times between the Port of Djibouti and Addis Ababa from three days by road to just 12 hours. Trial services for the new $4.2 billion railway began in October 2016, with regular services transporting goods and passengers expected to begin early this year.

    The railway is a major milestone for trade in the region. Currently, more than 90% of Ethiopia’s trade passes through Djibouti, accounting for 70% of the overall activity at Djibouti’s ports. With Africa’s GDP predicted to double by 2035, and the population expected to reach 2.5 billion over the next 30 years, the continent is in need of major new infrastructure links.

     

    In addition to building links with Djibouti’s port facilities, the railway will support the development of Djibouti’s International Free Trade Zone (DIFTZ), which will help spur the nation’s manufacturing industry and provide employment opportunities for its citizens. The railway project has been coupled with a US$15 billion expansion programme to improve Djibouti’s port facilities, and build new highways and airports in the country.

     

    Aboubaker Omar Hadi, Chairman of the Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority (DPFZA), said: “This railway marks a new dawn for Africa’s integration into the global economy. From today, millions more Africans are now linked to Djibouti’s world-class port facilities. Connecting Africa, Asia and Europe, Djibouti is at the heart of the world’s trade routes, and we are proud to play a vital role in developing the region and wider continent.”

     

    The railway was previously inaugurated from Ethiopia’s side on 5th October 2016. With journeys now also possible from Djibouti, the new railway represents the next step in plans for a 2000km long track that will also connect Djibouti and Ethiopia to South Sudan. The vision is that this could one day evolve into a Trans-African railway crossing the continent from the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, a journey which by sea currently takes eight weeks.

    Source: dpfza.gov.dj

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  • Sudan donates two buses to Addis Ababa University


    January 2, 2017 (ADDIS ABABA) - The Sudanese government has donated two buses to the state-owned Addis Ababa University.

    The country’s oldest institution, in a statement, said the donations followed a pledge made by the Sudanese president in July.

    Speaking at the handover occasion in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, Sudan’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Jamal el-Sheikh Ahmed, said the donation symbolizes the gift of cooperation and long standing relations between the two neighbouring countries.

    Ahmed said Ethiopia and Sudan have historic and cordial relations based on mutual interest, vowing to work on cultural exchanges between students of Khartoum and Addis Ababa universities.

    The university’s president, Prof. Admasu Tsegaye expressed gratitude for the donation, saying the two buses would ease the transport problems faced during field trips to industries and the business firms.

    He said the university was committed to further bolster cooperation with Khartoum University and other higher institutions within Sudan.

    Each of the two buses, Sudan Tribune has learnt, was valued at up to $50,000.

    President Omer Hassan al-Bashir pledged the donation when he received the "African Dignity Champions award" during the African dignity forum held at Addis Ababa University’s Nelson Mandela hall.

    The Sudanese leader was honoured with the accolade in recognition for his contributions towards adopting principles that reject modern slavery and foreign interventions in African affairs.

    Also recognized at the occasion was Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn for pushing for an African solution to its problems.

    The forum is a partnership between the United Nations University of Peace, Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural organizations, the Addis Ababa University’s Peace and Conflict Studies Institute and the Sudanese Peace and Human Rights Center.

    Source: ST

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  • VILALTA completes mall in Ethiopia with perforated envelope

     
    located in addis ababa, ethiopia, the ‘lideta mercato’ brings a contemporary expression to the rapidly growing city. the vast carved volume connects two parallel streets that create the boundary of the plot. this diagonal connection creates a shortcut for pedestrians and places focus on the entrances of the building.


    The striking envelope of the building takes into consideration of the local climate conditions and place. the façade acts as a protection from the harsh sun, controlling the natural light and ventilation into the internal spaces. using a lightweight concrete prefab system, the perforated skin references a traditional ethiopian fractal pattern commonly found in local fabrics. the passive ventilation system and controlled natural lightening created between the building’s layers and the interior atrium enables the interior space to be airy with a balanced illumination. Images © gonzalo guajardo


    The façade pattern was taken from local ethiopian fabrics

    Click here to see more picture

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