Nation to raise 60 mln Birr from SMS fund-raising program

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Addis Ababa, 2 September 2014 (WIC) - The National Council for the Coordination of Public Participation on the Construction of the Grand Dam said it expects to raise 60 million Birr for the construction of the dam through the new SMS fund-raising program launched yesterday.

Media and Communication Director at the Council, Fikadu Ketema said the fund-raising program will last for six months. The program costs 2-3 Birr per text.

Private companies and individuals have donated various materials including cars and apartments valued at 15 million Birr to be presented as prizes for SMS winners.

In addition to the material award, scholarships for undergraduate and postgraduate programs are also included in the prize.

The Council has got cars, apartments, TV, laptops, refrigerators, bicycles and mobile phones, among others, in donation for this program which is aimed at reaching the low income society and increases their participation.

The Council introduced the new fund-raising program to reach low income citizens who don't have capacity to buy bonds.

The participation of the public in supporting the construction of the dam is 'more than expected', the Director said.

The government has set target to raise 15 to 20 percent of the cost from the public. The public has contributed 23 percent of the 34 billion Birr spent so far in the dam, Fikadu added.

The government has decided to cover the total cost of the dam, which around 80 billion Birr, using local resources.

Over 35 percent of the construction of the dam which was launched three years ago, has so far finalized and it is expected to be finalized in 2017. (ENA)