Wednesday, May 29, 2013

■ ETHIOPIA: Brazil, Ethiopia sign a revised BASA.

EthiopiaBrazil and Ethiopia have signed a revised Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) following a visit by Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff, to Ethiopia where she attended the recently ended African Union 50th Anniversary celebrations. Four cooperation agreements covering agriculture, air transport, science & technology and education were signed on Friday May 24 after President Rousseff and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam held talks on bilateral cooperation in the areas of mining and investment financing.

Ethiopian A350
Ethiopian A350 (Airbus)
With the pending launch of flights from Addis Ababa to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo via Lome, Togo due in early July, the agreement takes on added significance, especially since Ethiopian had to postpone its original launch date from December 2012 to now owing to poor slot allocations from Brazil's National Civil Aviation Agency (Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil - ANAC).

In addition, the new BASA will also pave the way legally for the launch of much-speculated Maputo - Sao Paulo flights which Ethiopian CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam, says is a real possibility given that the Mozambican government has given them the greenlight.

Brazil's interest in Ethiopia is set to expand following the recent announcement that Ethiopia is in talks over a potential USD1billion loan from the Brazilian Development Bank to build a section of a railway that will be extended to connect to neighboring South Sudan. Another Brazilian outfit, Andrade Gutierrez Participacoes SA, already has a similar contract to build a line running from Addis Ababa to Jimma about 439 kilometers (273 miles) to the southwest.