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  • Ethiopia announces plans to issue Eurobond - VIDEO

    Investors in the Emerging markets have exhibited an unquenchable appetite for the Bonds Market, after the success of Kenya's debut Eurobond, other economies like Tanzania and Ethiopia have announced plans for their respective bonds, Ayalenesh Tafese from Rand Merchant Bank joins CNBC Africa to discuss Ethiopia's Eurobond plans and prospects for investors and the country.

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  • Fastest Growing African Shoe-Brand 'SoleRebels' Launches Flagship Store In Silicon Valley

    Named one of the 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa in 2011 by FORBES, celebrated Ethiopian entrepreneur, Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu launched her first US offering at the beginning of this month; a flagship store of her eco-friendly shoe brand, SoleRebels, in Silicon Valley, California. The Ethiopian shoe brand’s first international retail space is located at Westfield Valley Fair Mall in San Jose, California, an upscale indoor shopping mall in Silicon Valley.

    The SoleRebels founder & Chief Executive Officer said in a statement, “I am totally vibed to open our first US soleRebels store in Silicon Valley. We have waited a while to open our first US store because we wanted to find the perfect place to open our first US location.” Alemu described her company’s new store location in the Bay Area as “a place that epitomized the creativity, innovation, craziness, disruption and the overall WALK NAKED ethos that soleRebels is all about. Silicon Valley is the epicenter of all these things and so it’s the perfect place to launch our US retail store business and I imagine there are quite a few folks in and around Silicon Valley who can’t wait to be able to ‘walk naked.’”

    Alemu’s innovative SoleRebels line is one of the world’s fastest growing African shoe brands and the new Silicon Valley store location is the company’s latest global retail store rollout. Other SoleRebels store locations include the flagship store in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Barcelona, Spain; Nyon, Switzerland; Vienna, Austria; Kaohsiung City, Pingtung City, TaiChung, Taiwan; Singapore and Japan bringing a total of 18 SoleRebels branded stand alone retail stores that have been opened globally. The company projects 50 stand alone SoleRebels retail stores across the U.S. by 2018 and 500 worldwide by 2022.

    While Alemu did not disclose her company revenues, I followed up with her regarding her projection that estimated revenues from Sole Rebels retail operations would hit the USD $10 million mark by 2016; “​we hope to EXCEED that by end fiscal 2016!” Alemu said. ​She also added that “the US has always been a great market for soleRebels via our webshop and via our retail partners. We are excited about our branded stand-alone stores. SoleRebels fans love to dive into the brand experience and our stand-alone stores allow them to do just that.”

    Founded in 2004 by Alemu in her community of Zenabwork, Ethiopia, SoleRebels is the first and only WFTO Fair Trade-certified footwear company. It is also the fastest growing consumer brand from Africa and the first African consumer brand to ever open stand alone branded retail stores around the globe.

    The Silicon Valley store launch continues the historic push that SoleRebels is making as the very first African consumer brand to ever open its own stand-alone branded retail location in the US.

    Source: FORBES

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  • Boom times for Ethiopia's coffee shops

    As coffee plants originate from the east African nation - where they first grew wild before cultivation started in the country more than 1,000 years ago - it is perhaps unsurprising that Ethiopians take coffee drinking very seriously.

    So much so that Ethiopia has a ceremonial method of making coffee at home that continues to this day.

    The ceremony sees raw beans roasted over hot coals, with each person in attendance being invited to savour the smell of the fumes. The beans are then ground with a wooden pestle and mortar before finally being brewed - twice - in a clay boiling pot called a jebena.

    While the resulting coffee is inevitably delicious, the whole process can take more than an hour. And a growing number of Ethiopians say they no longer have the time.

    And so, as Ethiopia's economy continues to expand strongly, more people - led by young professionals in the capital Addis Ababa - are instead buying pre-roasted beans, or visiting coffee shops to have their favourite drink made for them.

    It means boom times for the country's independent coffee roasters and cafes, who have seen their numbers rise and some are even looking to expand overseas.

    Surviving Communism

    The family-run Tomoca coffee shop, perhaps the best-known in Addis, lures in customers with the smell of freshly roasted coffee drifting from its chimney.

    Located off one of the city's main shopping streets, it has been open since 1953 when it was just one of a handful of firms in Ethiopia roasting coffee.

    While business was slow but steady for Tomoca during its first 20 years, times were tough when Ethiopia was ruled by a Communist dictatorship from 1974 to 1991. For those 17 years just staying in business as a private company was the priority.

    Since 1991 though, the firm has made up for lost time, particularly in the last couple of years, benefiting from a rapidly expanding Ethiopian economy, which grew by 9% in 2012 and 10.4% in 2013.

    Read more at the BBC

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  • Made in Ethiopia: The leather gloves keeping the world warm and stylish

    The steady hum of sewing machines fills the air inside a large glovemaking factory on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, the bustling Ethiopian capital. Patches of leather move through an array of working stations as busy laborers work feverishly to meet the company's export quota: 5,000 gloves a day.

    The operation belongs to Pittards, a UK-based company whose trading partnership with Ethiopia dates back to the early 1900s.

    Here, hardy, durable cow hide is made into work gloves. These are ideal for builders and gardeners, and are mainly exported to the U.S.

    And then there are the stylish designs -- created from a different type of animal skin, these are made to keep fingers warm in Tokyo, Paris and Rome.

    "The fashion glove is made of sheep skin which is unique to Ethiopia," explains Tsedenia Mekbib, general manager at Pittards Products Manufacturing. "The durability, the stretch ability and the strength makes it popular for gloving leather specifically. That has been the one strength of Ethiopia and the leather sector."

    Sophisticated designs with decorative touches may be the hallmark of this type of glove, but they must also be practical. Ethiopia's climate makes this animal skin effective at withstanding the winter chill -- an essential selling point.

    Read more at CNN

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  • Boeing delivers 10th B787-8 Dreamliner to Ethiopian Airlines

    The delivery of Ethiopian’s 10th B787-8 Dreamliner, now flying under registration ET-ARF, MSN 34752, which arrived in Addis Ababa on 02nd of October, has brought the overall number of such aircraft on the ET fleet to now 10. The newest plane now carrying Ethiopia’s flag into the world, is configured with 24 business class and 246 economy class seats and powered by two GEnx-1B engines.

    Ethiopian was the African launch customer for Boeing, building on a decades long close partnership, and while affected like all other launch customers by the teething problems the aircraft had in particular with the new technology Lithium Ion batteries, is now able to cash in on the experience by flying planes which save some 20 percent fuel burn compared to older jets on the fleet.

    Intent to remain Africa’ number one airline in terms of fleet, destinations and passengers carried has Ethiopian rolled out a number of new international destinations of late, in Europe and Asia and only last week resumed services, albeit not with the B787 but the smaller B737-800NG, to the Seychelles.

    Notable does Ethiopian of late also hold 5th freedom traffic rights out of Entebbe to Juba / South Sudan, a destination also served nonstop out of Addis Ababa.

    Happy landings to the aircraft, the crews on board and the passengers for ET’s latest acquisition.

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