Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fleeced: Power Co, Telecom Cry for Justice

One man allegedly digs up fibre cables while his friend keeps watch, in a photo taken by police, according to ethio-telecom. This photo was used at the presentation given by the state owned telecom provider at the justice forum in Hawassa.

(addisfortune)Ethiopian Electric Power Cooperation (EEPCo) and ethio-telecom, which reported losses of 74 and 63 million Br, respectively, due to theft and intentional damages on their infrastructure this year, appealed last week to Ministry of Justice (MoJ) for stringent legal measures on those accused of committing these acts.
The two institutions presented the reported loss they had incurred during the second Joint National Justice Forum held at Haile Resort in Hawassa, 273km from the capital in Southern Regional State, last weekend. They appealed to judges of the Supreme Court as well as Tegene Getaneh, president of the Supreme Court, for a speedy and severe sentencing on those proclaimed guilty of the act of committing these offences.
The loss reported by EEPCo, which has an installed capacity of 2,000MW of electricity, amounted to 7.4pc of its one billion Birr budget for the just ended fiscal year. EEPCo generates 1,842MW electricity from hydropower, 172.3MW from diesel and 7.3MW from geothermal sources. The corporation uses 138 power distribution stations, 136,907km of electric lines carrying different voltages and around 30,000 towers to distribute the power it generates.
All these projects have had some parts, or all, stolen, the corporation reported.
Removal of rails from bridges, cutting and pilfering of fibre optic cables, hewing off the steel bars from the towers, have led to the loss. Out of the 3,352 towers which had bars stolen last year, the most numbering 1,041 were from Gilgel Gibe, which cost around seven million Birr to replace and maintain. Total costs of repairing and maintaining damaged towers came to 27 million Br.

Towers experiencing frequent theft are those at Gilgel Gibe, Bahir Dar and Koka stations, which have 132 kilo volts (KV), 166KV and 230KV transmission lines, respectively.
The other major theft was the diversion of electric power before it goes into the meters installed, effectively reducing the power usage billed.
“Although we charge less than neighbouring countries for power, many of the power thefts are committed by factories,” said Misker Negash, communications head of EEPCo.
EEPCo charges 0.04 dollar cents and 0.004 dollar cents for one kilowatt for residential and commercial purposes, respectively. This is a 125pc and 100pc respective reduction when compared with Kenya’s tariff rate of 0.097 dollar cents and o.oo8 dollar cents, according to the Union of Producers, Transporters and Distributors of Electrical Power in Africa’s (UPDEA) 2009 report.
EEPCo currently has a case against Sheba Steel Mills, which the corporation alleges committed such an act and owes 64 million Br.
An act of theft or intentional destruction of telecommunications or electric power networks is punishable with rigorous imprisonment of five to 20 years if done intentionally, according to the proclamation for the protection of telecommunications and electric power networks. If such an offence is committed negligently, it is punishable with imprisonment of six months to five years. 
However, the EEPCo claims that many people accused of the act are charged based on the 1997 amended criminal code just like a minor crime, according to Abdurahim Mohamed, head of communications of ethio-telecom, which lost 40 million Br due to thefts committed on its network.
Out of this loss, 28 million Br was due to cutting and theft of fibre optic cables. Another 53 million Br was spent on maintaining and repairing these damages.
“Since the damage that occurs doesn’t affect just one institution, the punishment should also be severe,” Abdurahim said. “So far, none of the punishments levied on offenders has been enough of a deterrent.”
The state owned ethio-telecom alone lost 10.6 million Br which it would have gained had data traffic not been interrupted due to cuttings of fibre optic cables. In the past two months, 23 telecom lines were damaged and service disruption had occurred 46 times of which 15 were due to intentional cutting of the optic cables.
It used to be that this frequency of theft would happen in a year, which shows the increase in these intentional acts, according to Abdurahim.
Both institutions appealed to the prosecutors and relevant officials in the MoJ to charge offenders using the more stringent proclamation.

Remittances Up 88%

More than half of export earnings
(Capital Reports) Globalization and increasing migration has led to a dramatic increase in the amount of remittances to Ethiopia. This fiscal year showed an 87.6 percent surge from last year as over one billion dollars flowed into the country from abroad. In the 2009/10 fiscal year Ethiopians working in other countries contributed nearly 790 million dollars to the nation’s economy. That figure increased in the just concluded fiscal year to nearly 1.5 billion dollars.“Remittances are a prominent feature of most emerging countries.For most developing nations, including Ethiopia, private transfers are an important source of foreign exchange alongside goods and services.Ethiopian citizens and foreign nationals of Ethiopian origin living and working abroad have been transferring more and more money recently; almost 38 percent more every year for the past five years. Ethiopian Diaspora have forked over 1.48 billion dollars and increase of 87.6 percent from the 789.5 million they shot into the economy the previous fiscal year,” reads a written but officially unsigned response of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) to Capital’s written queries forwarded to the financial sector regulator soon after the fiscal year ended.“The government took drastic measures last fiscal year to realign the exchange rate which had been eroded by high inflation during 2008 and 2009. The premium between the official and black market exchange rate, therefore, narrowed down to less than one percent. This encouraged the Diaspora community to send more money back home through official channels, particularly through banks,” reads the letter. The government of Ethiopia depreciated the purchasing power of the birr against a basket of major foreign currencies on average by 20 percent almost a year ago. “Money transfer agents such as Western Union, Money Gram, Money Express and the like have been encouraged to expand their service coverage across all regions of the country so that Ethiopian Diaspora can easily send money back home to their families and relatives,” adds the letter. Remittances have gone up dramatically when the international transfer policy was reformed and other regulations were changed to make it easier for money to flow into the country. The slow recovery and continued expansion of the global economy and the increasing number of Ethiopian Diaspora has contributed to the growth of individual transfers into Ethiopia over the past five years, the letter explains. Capital asked about the existing high amount of foreign reserve and the current, galloping, 39.2 percent inflation. “Even though the growth of money supply was not the primary cause of inflation last year, it exacerbated the problem. When the NBE has more foreign exchange there is more money supply in the reserve (base money). When the central bank conducts foreign exchange, it has to pay domestic currency in return. Doing this increases reserve money which ultimately translates to money supply because it multiplies. If money supply is already near target, the additional injection through foreign exchange reserve makes it become bloated. The relationship is not direct.”The World Bank (WB) disagrees, arguing that Ethiopia’s inflation comes mainly from an excess supply of money. The government has raked in 2.7 billion dollars from exports alone, this past fiscal year. This plus the remittances raises the total amount of foreign currency in to the country well over four billion dollars. Of course, there is also unaccounted foreign currency that comes in with visitors. “We are encouraged by the inflow of remittances into Ethiopia. This shows that the policy of the government has been effective. NBE will do more to encourage money transfers from abroad with policies and incentives based on research and examples of other countries with high remittance rates,” concludes the letter.

Young Ethiopian Writers Win Burt Award for African Literature

August 30, 2011, Addis Ababa ( - The Burt Award of African Literature was presented on August 27th 2011 to three finalists in the first competition of its kind to be held in Ethiopia. The ceremony was held in the main hall of the Ministry of Education and was attended by His Excellency Ato Fuad Ibrahim State Minister for Education, Ms. Meaghan Byers 1st Secretary for Development for the Embassy of Canada, and Ms. Ann Speak representing the Burt family.
Ato Tesfaye Dubale, Director for CODE Ethiopia, who partnered with the Burt Award to launch the competition for Ethiopian authors in May of 2010, explained that the contest was held for original novels for young people, between the ages of fifteen and eighteen, written in the English language. He explained that the competition was a part of the efforts exerted by CODE Ethiopia to encourage literacy by increasing access to books across the country.
Ato Tesfaye mentioned some of the work that has already been accomplished by CODE to distribute books to various high schools, universities and community reading rooms in partnership with many donor organizations across the world. He expressed the hope that the culturally relevant English language books written by Ethiopian authors will encourage a generation of readers and authors in this country.
According to M.s Speak this dream is shared by Mr. Bill Burt, the private philanthropist who sponsors this Award. As a representative of the Burt family, Ms Speak spoke of the passion for books that inspired Mr. Bill Burt to sponsor this award in two other African countries and now in Ethiopia. She said that Mr. Burt wanted his legacy to be a generation of young people inspired to read and with an access to books. She also mentioned his desire to encourage authors and his hope that the prize money would allow that recipients the opportunity to pursue their craft.
The first place prize of 12 thousand Canadian Dollars was won by Ato Solomon Hailemariam for his novel ‘The Young Crusader’. ‘The Young Crusader’ addresses the passion for justice and the desire for love of young Admasu. According to Associate Professor Zerihun Asfaw, Department of Ethiopian Literature and Folklore, “it is a work that employs a good mix of dialogue, narration and description to record the challenges faced by the protagonist while attempting to be a self-sufficient individual”.
The second place prize was awarded to Ato Gebeyehu Ayele, a giant in Ethiopian Literature, for ‘Escape’ and ‘The Letters’ by Meron Tekleberhan received third place. The second Burt Award will be launched soon in Ethiopia.

Ethiopian fruit company’s vision is more than a quick buck

africaJUICE workers sort passion fruit at the beginning of the production line.
It proved difficult to pin down Irish businessman David O’Halloran for a telephonic interview before he left for Ethiopia the next day. “I am just back from travelling and off to Ethiopia again tomorrow so will be unavailable for ten days. Can we try and discuss this during the week after next?” he wrote in an email earlier in the day. With the determination of a journalist with a fast-approaching deadline, I, however, managed to speak to him later that evening.
The reason for O’Halloran’s trip to Ethiopiawas to visit his company BusinessMinds’ passion fruit venture, called africaJUICE, about 150 km to the south-east of the capital Addis Ababa.
Before starting the Ethiopia project in 2007, BusinessMinds only advised companies on sustainable business development. O’Halloran and his partners – all of whom have considerable experience of working in Africa – however, felt the need to get involved in their own projects. “Advisory work has its place, but you don’t get the same excitement as you do when you are developing your own business,” says O’Halloran.
africaJUICE was started as a result of global supply problems in passion fruit production. O’Halloran says that globally passion fruit suffers from boom-bust cycles. Most growers are not involved in the processing. When prices for passion fruit go too low because of over-planting, growers simply stop planting, which causes a shortage of supply and prices to rise again. “Imagine if you are a fruit juice manufacturer and you don’t know whether your passion fruit concentrate is going to cost US$3,000 a ton or $14,000 a ton. You are going to be reluctant to commit to passion fruit as part of your blends,” explains O’Halloran.
africaJUICE rehabilitated and expanded an existing fruit farm in Ethiopia and constructed a new processing facility that enables the company to supply fruit juice to Europe, the Middle East as well as in the growing local market.
“We want to move away from this boom-bust cycle by being involved in the growing as well as the processing of fruit. We are one of the few players in the world that can enter into long-term supply agreements with the main traders, blenders of juice and finished product manufacturers.”
Socially responsible to be profitable
The traditional African investment mindset is that you have to make your money very quickly to reduce risks such as land expropriation, a famine outbreak or even war. O’Halloran dismisses this approach as short-sighted. “If you have that attitude you are missing out on the fact that you could be making merely slightly smaller amounts of money for a much longer period of time.”
It is for this reason that the company has a strong focus on building a long-term sustainable business that looks after local communities and the environment. “The idea behind this is that sustainable development is not a zero-sum game, as is sometimes thought, whereby any money spent on the environment or the community is money deducted from the shareholder returns. A more complete sustainable approach will lead to better social, environmental and financial returns over the long term,” says O’Halloran.
At africaJUICE the local community is an equity shareholder in the project. “This is a little bit different than allocating a share of your profits to the community, in that once you’ve allocated the equity to the community, you can’t take it back.” An outgrower scheme, which gives smallholder farmers the opportunity to sell their produce to the processing facility, has also been established.
africaJUICE’s environmental strategy involves everything from using locally available building materials to creating a favourable natural habitat for bees.
O’Halloran explains that not taking care of the environment and local population will eventually have a negative financial impact on a business. “If I pollute the water it is going to affect the communities living further downstream. If I arrive at my facility one day and the community has destroyed my land or blocked my entrance because of the social or environmental impact of my farm, then I also lose out on profits. A simplistic example but eventually all these things come back to bite you.”
Doing business in Ethiopia
O’Halloran notes that from a technical point of view, Ethiopia has a good growing environment. One of the key advantages of the Upper Awash valley is that it can produce fruit all year round. “It is the right altitude and right latitude to grow this particular crop.”
He is also generally positive about Ethiopia’s business environment. “We have benefitted a lot from the interest that the Ethiopian government has to attract investment from credible investors. They’ve streamlined processes to establish a business. You get attention from key ministers who tell you what you need to do to set up a company. They’ve also explained the investment incentives available.”
The country, which plays host to next year’s World Economic Forum on Africa, is, however, not without its challenges. africaJUICE has to deal with various supply chain issues, for both imports and exports. “You have to accept the longer lead times required to get things organised. Just to get containers, for instance, or to get bookings on boats, take longer than if you are used to work in Europe.”
Finding and retaining good management staff can also be problematic. “There is quite a lot of churn in the marketplace for good people. It is hard to find a good person, and when you do it is easy for them to move on to the next opportunity,” explains O’Halloran
He says that although investors can expect higher returns in Africa than in other places, those returns also come with greater risk. “There are many more people looking at Africa now than there has ever been. However, there are still risks when investing in Africa, and you have to accept that if you are going to invest here, but the challenge, return potential and ability to have a sustainable long-term positive impact all make it more than worthwhile.”

After Roses, Bangalore Firm to Grow Foodcrops in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, Aug 31 (IANS): After making Ethiopia among the top sources globally for cut roses, a Bangalore-based company now plans to plant over 20,000 hectares of land there, almost a fifth the area of Pune, with crops like rice, maize and soybeans.
"This is part of 100,000 hectares leased from the government in 2009," said Ramakrishna Karuturi, founder and managing director of Karuturi Global, which has invested nearly $150 million in this east African nation at the horn of this vast continent.
He said the company has also planted a variety of crops like rice, maize and sugarcane in other parts of the country, apart from setting up a host of rose farms, which made Karuturi a showpiece of foreign investment for the Ethiopian government.
"Going forward, we believe that the agriculture business will play a key part in the growth of the company, thus enabling us to build and sustain higher profit margins while further consolidating our presence in the African markets."
Karuturi said the 20,000 hectares of plantation will come up in Oromia state, which stretches from the west to the southern border in the shape of an arc, and the Gambella region in the west.
He said produce from other plantations were expected soon. "We are expecting a harvest of maize and rice on 10,000 hectares by September. We are also planting palm oil trees on 5,000 hectares. In five years, we plan to increase this area to 20,000 hectares."
He explained that when the production of palm plantations peak, the company expected to extract 100,000 tonnes of palm oil. "This will meet the entire demand for palm oil in Ethiopia. Currently the country imports 90,000 tonnes every year."
This apart, the company has also planted sugarcane on 15,000 hectares of land in Gambella. The project began in December 2010 and the company hopes to eventually increase the area to 20,000 hectares.
Karuturi, which also has a 10-hectare farm near the new international airport here, made an entry into Ethiopia in 2004 through a 100-percent subsidiary named Ethiopian Meadows Plc. With a unit in Kenya, the group is the largest exporter of cut roses in the world.
It began in Ethiopia with an initial investment of $5 million, planted 100 hectares of land and employed 200 people. Now it has over 5,000 people, with an investment of $150 million. The group hopes the new projects will add another 20,000 people to its rolls.
After the initial foray, Karuturi leased another farm at Wolisso, some 90 km from here, and employed over 3,000 local workers. The company also has two flower farms in Holeta in Oromia. These farms produce roses for the European market, mainly Germany.

Amid government denials, Eritreans flee harsh drought

Families collect water from Oxfam-installed tap stands at Hiloweyn refugee camp near Dolo Ado in southern Ethiopia in this August 2011 handout photo. 

SHIRE, Ethiopia - In Ethiopia's Endabaguna refugee camp, rows of gaunt Eritreans clad in rubber sandals give vent to their exasperation after days of trekking and dodging soldiers in an attempt to escape failed crops, hunger and an autocratic government.

Over 12 million people across the Horn of Africa are struggling from the region's worst drought in decades, but secretive Eritrea is the only country to deny it has been affected by the crisis.

"This year I farmed, but there was lack of rain. I don't know what's going to happen, only God knows," said Mehreteab, a refugee.

He escaped from the army, risking death or jail if caught crossing the heavily militarized border, leaving his wife and three children behind.

"There is no food and no grain in the home," he said. "I don't have any idea what's going to happen to them."

Camps in northern Ethiopia receive about 900 refugees every month from Eritrea, one of the region's most isolated countries.

A former colony of Italy and then part of Ethiopia, Eritrea fought a 30-year war with Ethiopia and only gained independence in 1991.

A subsequent border conflict with Ethiopia from 1998-2000 still simmers. Former rebel leader Issaias Afewoki, who has been in power since 1991 without elections, has cracked down on all dissidents and severely restricted press and religious freedom.

The majority of those arriving in the Ethiopian camps are young men escaping conscription, which forces men above 16 to serve in the military for decades on minimal pay.

The UN recently called for tighter economic sanctions after releasing a report linking Eritrea to a failed bomb plot at the African Union.

According to satellite imagery from the weather monitoring group FEWSNET, rainfall in parts of Eritrea this year has been "below average" - less than 10 per cent of normal levels in some areas.

Aid workers admit it is nearly impossible to know just how gravely the Eritrea is affected because access to information is so limited in the country where the only media is state-run.

"It's been a black hole for us, we don't know what's going on there," said Matthew Conway, spokesman for the UN humanitarian co-ordination office in Nairobi. "But that's not to say it's not happening."

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has said she is "deeply concerned" that Eritrea is facing extreme hunger, and urged the government to allow humanitarian access.

"The people of Eritrea who most likely are suffering the very same food shortages that we're seeing throughout the region are being left to starve," Susan Rice told reporters in New York.

And much like other countries in the region, such as Ethiopia and Kenya, Eritrea is vulnerable to increased food prices, exacerbating the crisis.

According to the UN agriculture agency, global food prices jumped 33 per cent in the last year.

"High international prices affected every country in the world, so from that you can assume Eritrea is affected," said Shukri Ahmed, an economist at the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Fiercely self-reliant Eritrea stopped sending market information to FAO about three years ago, Ahmed said, so it is impossible to know how much food prices have risen in the country.

"Unfortunately, we don't have any information on the ground," he told AFP by phone from Rome.

Over half of Eritrea's food is imported, the FAO estimate, leaving it vulnerable to market fluctuations for staples such as sorghum and maize.

Eritrean refugee Berhane, 35, said the cost of food has surged in recent years, though wages have remained the same.

Intermittent work as a labourer earned him about $5 per day. But the cost of grain is about $3 per kilo and a sheep is about $170, more than he could make in a month, he told AFP.

"How is someone with no money or daily work supposed to buy this?" he asked. "It is too expensive."

Facing steep food costs, he relied on a small plot of land to feed his family. But the rains were two months late this year and his harvest failed.

"The government doesn't do anything. Nothing. There are no rations," he told AFP.

The Eritrean authorities deny the country is facing food scarcity.

"This nonsense about a 'hidden famine' in Eritrea is utterly false," the Eritrea's information ministry said in an online statement last week.

Instead, Asmara claims last year's harvest was the best in a decade, while state run media heap praise on government-run food security programs.

But refugee Gebrielxavier, 25, said this is not true. He left Eritrea last November because his crop failed, he could not find work and his family went hungry.

"We couldn't live. We were famished," he said. "And the government? It did nothing."

He is now running a cafÈ in the refugee camp, where he earns less than $2 a day and relies on UN food rations, but says he is still better off.

"I got my freedom," he said.

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ኤርትራ በዲፕሎማቷ ላይ የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት ዛቻ ፈጽሟል አለች

‹‹በድርጊታቸው ማፈር የነበረባቸው እነሱ ናቸው›› የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት

(ሪፖርተር)ኤርትራ ባለፈው ሳምንት በአዲስ አበባ በተካሄደው የምሥራቅ አፍሪካ የልማት በይነ መንግሥታት (ኢጋድ) ስብሰባ ወቅት፣ በዲፕሎማቷ ላይ በኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት ዛቻና ማስፈራሪያ ተፈጸመበት ስትል ወነጀለች፡፡ የኢትየጵያ መንግሥት በበኩሉ በዲፕሎማቱ ላይ የተፈጸመ አንዳችም ነገር አለመኖሩን በመግለጽ፣ ‹‹በድርጊታቸው ማፈር ነበረባቸው›› ብሏል፡፡

የኤርትራ በውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስቴር ከትናንት በስቲያ ባወጣው መግለጫ፣ የአፍሪካ ኅብረት ልዑክ አባል ሆኖ በአዲስ አበባ በሚገኘውና በኢጋድ ስብሰባ ላይ ለመሳተፍ በተገኘው ዲፕሎማቷ ላይ፣ በኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት የፀጥታ ኃይሎች የዲፕሎማቲክ ሕግን የጣሰ ዛቻና ማስፈራሪያ እንደተፈጸመበት አሳውቋል፡፡

‹‹ኤርትራ ወደ ኢጋድ ለመመለስ ምንም ዓይነት ተጨማሪ አካሄድ አይጠበቅባትም፤›› የሚለው የኤርትራ የውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስቴር መግለጫ፣ የኤርትራ ጉዳይ ከአዲሷ ደቡብ ሱዳን ወደ ድርጅቱ የመቀላቀል ሒደት ጋር መነፃፀሩ፣ የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት በኤርትራዊው ዲፕሎማት ላይ የፈጸመውን አሳፋሪ ድርጊት ለመሸፋፈን የተደረገ ሻጥር ነው ብሎታል፡፡

የኤርትራ መንግሥት ቀደም ሲል ወደ ኢጋድ መመለሱን ያሳወቀ መሆኑን በማስታወቅ፣ ከዚያ ቀን ጀምሮ ኤርትራ የድርጅቱ አባል መሆኗን ያመለከተ ሲሆን፣ ‹‹ኤርትራ ወደ ኢጋድ እንድትመለስ የኢትዮጵያን ፈቃደኝነት መጠየቅ አያስፈልግም፤ የኢጋድ ቻርተርም ምንም ዓይነት አካሄድ አይጠይቅም፤›› ይላል፡፡

ስብሰባው የተካሄደባት ኢትዮጵያ በኤርትራ ዲፕሎማት ላይ የፈጸመችው ሕገወጥ ድርጊት አሳፋሪ ነው ያለው የኤርትራ መንግሥት፣ የድርጅቱ አባል አገሮችም ለተፈጸመው ጥፋት ኢትዮጵያን ሊጠይቁ ይገባል ሲል ያሳስባል፡፡

‹‹እነዚህ ሰዎች በውሸት ላይ ውሸት እያቀነባበሩ ከሚኖሩ በፈጸሙት አሳፋሪ ድርጊት ማፈር በተገባቸው ነበር፤›› በማለት ለሪፖርተር የገለጹት የውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስትር ቃል አቀባይ አምባሳደር ዲና ሙፍቲ ናቸው፡፡ ኢጋድ በመግለጫውም በዋና ፀሐፊውም በኩል የኤርትራን ድርጊት ኮንኗል ብለዋል፡፡

የኤርትራው ዲፕሎማት የኢጋድን ስብሰባ ለመበጥበጥ ቢሞክርም፣ በዲፕሎማቱ ላይ ምንም ዓይነት የቃልም ሆነ የአካል ጥቃት ሳይፈጸምበት በአግባቡ በሸራተን አዲስ የፀጥታ ሠራተኞች እንዲወጣ መደረጉን አክለው ተናግረዋል፡፡ እንደ አምባሳደሩ ገለጻ፣ ይህንን የኤርትራ መንግሥት አሳፋሪ ድርጊት ኢጋድ ያወገዘው ሲሆን፣ የኤርትራ መንግሥት ግን አሁንም ሌላ ውሸት እየጨመረ ይገኛል፡፡

የኤርትራ መንግሥትን በመወከል ባለፈው ረቡዕ በሸራተን አዲስ በተካሄደው የኢጋድ ስብሰባ ላይ ‹‹ካልተሳተፍኩ›› በማለት ቢንያም በርሄ የተባለ የኤርትራ ዲፕሎማት ስብሰባውን ማወኩን መዘገባችን የሚታወስ ነው፡፡ በወቅቱ የኤርትራ መንግሥት እንዳለው በሸራተን አዲስ የኢትዮጵያ ፀጥታ ኃይሎች ዛቻም ሆነ ማስፈራሪያ ካለመፈጸማቸውም በላይ፣ በኢጋድ ዋና ፀሐፊና በተለያዩ ዲፕሎማቶች ለቢኒያም የተነገረው የኤርትራ የኢጋድ አባልነት አለመፅደቁን ነበር፡፡ ግለሰቡ ከስብሰባው ለመውጣት ፈቃደኛ ባለመሆኑ በመጨረሻ ተሰብሳቢዎች አዳራሹን እንዲለቁ ከተደረገ በኋላ በሆቴሉ የፀጥታ ሠራተኞች ታጅቦ ከስብሰባ መውጣቱም ተዘግቧል፡፡ ኢጋድም ድርጊቱን ካወገዘ በኋላ ስብሰባው ለ30 ደቂቃዎች ያህል ዘግይቶ እንዲቀጥል ተደርጓል፡፡

World’s Population to hit 7 billion in the coming days

By Christoph Sator
In all probability, the birth will take place in China or India, the two countries with more than a billion inhabitants
 Ethiopia's Population expected to be 174 million in 2050
BERLIN: In the days ahead, a baby will be born who will take the global population above 7 billion for the first time, and in all probability that birth will take place in China or India, the two countries with more than a billion inhabitants.
No one is sure. There may already be 7 billion passengers on spaceship earth, as no statistician would be prepared to say exactly when this event of largely symbolic significance takes place.
The United Nations has fixed Oct 31 as the date of the fateful birth, but events have so often proved demographers wrong in the past that the expectation is that it will be sooner rather than later.
The rate of population growth has soared over the course of recorded history: When Jesus was born, there are thought to have been around 300 million people on earth.
The billion mark was reached only after 1800. As many as a billion have been added in the 11 years of the 21st century alone, and predictions on future population growth are now treated with the same caution and scepticism as long-range weather forecasts.
David Bloom of the Harvard School of Public Health says that the multitude of unpredictable factors means that taking a global view is problematic.
“Among them are infectious diseases, war, scientific progress, political change and our capacity for global cooperation,” he says.
High birth rates

The general expectation is, however, that population growth will tail off, with UN predictions for 2050 ranging from 8.0 to 10.5 billion.
What is clear is that the proportions will shift between the continents, driven by high birth rates in Asia and Africa. Soon India, with 1.2 billion currently, will take the lead from China, with 1.3 billion, as the world’s most populous nation.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country today with 162 million, will see its population increase to almost 750 million by the middle of the century.
Another example: highly industrialised Germany and developing Ethiopia each have a little more than 80 million people. In another 40 years, there will probably be 174 million Ethiopians, while
Germany’s population will decline to 72 million.
And the industrialised world is ageing rapidly.
This also means that relations of political power will change. Countries like China, India and Brazil,

with its 193 million people, are already growing in political influence.
This has led European leaders, like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to warn that “in a world of 7 billion people, we 500 million Europeans will have to stick together,” or European prosperity and
values will both go down the drain.
Struggle for resources

The sheer weight of numbers means increasing pressure on land, food and energy sources, and there are increasing fears of a struggle for resources. Many believe that there will be wars between
neighbouring countries over water.
The environmental organisation WWF estimates that three planets will be needed by 2050 if we do not change our habits.
“In the next 40 years we will have to produce the same amount of food as over the last 8,000 years,” the WWF’s Jason Clay believes. He notes that far too much is still thrown away in the industrialised world.
The optimists note that there have been repeated apocalyptic warnings of impending doom resulting from population growth, although they have not yet been realised.
In fact, technical and medical achievements have often led to a more positive outcome than that feared – not only as a result of the Pill and condom, but also through agricultural improvements.
And even the current population mark being passed takes on a new perspective when compared with the number of people the earth has played host to over the course of human history.
It is estimated that since Homo sapiens first appeared, there have been more than 100 billion of our kind – against which the current 7 billion should be set.

Burned Gadhafi Family Ethiopian Nanny Gets Care

An Ethiopian nanny who worked at Hannibal Gadhafi’s home told CNN that she had been burned multiple times by his wife, the former Lebanese model, Aline Skaf (Left). Photo ©

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff
New York (TADIAS) — CNN recently reported on a horrifying incident of torture at a beachfront mansion in western Tripoli, where Hannibal Gadhafi – one of Moammar Gadhafi’s sons – and his wife Aline, had resided in luxury, all the while mistreating their domestic-staff with violence.
The cable news channel interviewed one of the workers, Shwygar Mullah of Ethiopia, who was employed as a nanny at Hannibal Gadhafi’s home. She told CNN that she had been burned with scalding water multiple times by Hannibal’s wife, Aline.
According to CNN, Shwygar reports Aline’s wrath as follows: ” ‘She took me to a bathroom. She tied my hands behind my back, and tied my feet. She taped my mouth, and she started pouring the boiling water on my head like this,’ she said, imitating the vessel of scalding hot water being poured over her head.”
“When she did all this to me, for three days, she wouldn’t let me sleep,” she said. “I stood outside in the cold, with no food. She would say to staff, ‘If anyone gives her food, I’ll do the same to you.’ I had no water — nothing.”

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mixed emotions for Ethiopians in Daegu

Photo | AFP Ethiopia’s Ibrahim Jeilan leads the pack in the men’s 10,000 metres final at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Daegu on August 28, 2011. Jeilan won gold. 
The Daily Nation
Ethiopians wept tears of sorrow and then joy as the 10,000 metres pendulum swung ferociously from the depths of a falling champion to the heights of a brand new star.

On a night when Kenya again failed to strike gold in the men’s 10,000m final at the World Championships, Japan’s Honda Motor Company rolled yet another speed machine off its production line as Ibrahim Jeilan sped past a battling Mo Farar (Britain) to win a badly needed gold medal.

The victory came in a race that probably saw the beginning of the end of Kenenisa Bekele’s memorable era, the multiple world and Olympic champion, like ex-champion Meseret Defar the day before, pulling out of the race at the 6,000m mark injured.

“My legs refused to move. The pain in my leg and hip was too much, but I’m happy the title remained in Ethiopia,” said Bekele, double champion two years ago in Berlin, graceful in defeat.

Kenya’s trio of Paul Tanui, Martin Irungu Mathathi and Peter Kirui all fell by the wayside as Ethiopia also took the bronze through Deriba Merga in Day Two action highlighted by world prints record holder Usain Bolt’s 100m finals false start debacle.

Jeilan, the 2006 World Youth 10,000m champion and World Cross Country Championships junior race winner in Edinburg, produced a late kick from 150 metres to go, to win in 27 minutes 13.81 seconds.