Sunday, November 30, 2014

Human smugglers: Exploiters or pioneers of new underground railroad?

A convoy of vehicles carries illegal migrants left by traffickers in the desert near the border between Sudan and Libya.
Typically described as ruthless, traffickers are perceived by some African refugees in Sudan as freedom facilitators

KHARTOUM, Sudan — American rapper Lil Wayne’s lyrics resounded in the minivan as a group of human smugglers sped through the night in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum.

“We are going to get the people from the store” said Michael, who had just received a call from a driver taking refugees from Shagarab — a refugee camp in Kassala, a state in eastern Sudan — to Khartoum. The next step was to keep the refugees safe and hidden until another driver would take them to Tripoli in Libya.

It was just a normal night for 24-year-old Michael, looking clean cut in smart clothes, with slick hair and smelling of nice aftershave, and his two assistant samsara, the local Arabic term for human smugglers, who work at night and sleep off the long hours — as well as the whiskey, cigarettes and hashish — the next day.

Saturday, November 29, 2014


ADDIS ABABA (AA) – The Ethiopian government and Reykjavik, a joint venture of U.S.-Icelandic geothermal development company, are negotiating on a detailed power purchase agreement to generate geothermal energy, an Ethiopian spokesperson has said.

“The negotiation is expected to be finalized by December 2014,” Bizuneh Tolcha, spokesperson for the Ministry of Water, Energy and Irrigation, told The Anadolu Agency on Saturday.

Reykjavik will generate the geothermal power in Ethiopia’s rift valley region, 200 kilometers south of Addis Ababa and supply the power to the national grid.

Nine charged for spying on Ethiopia’s defence force

Seven Ethiopian and two Eritrean nationals this week were charged with espionage on Ethiopia’s defence force stationed at the Ethio-Eritrean border.

The charge filed at the nineteenth criminal bench of the Federal High Court alleges that the defendants maintained clandestine communications with the Eritrean Intelligence Agency.

The suspects are accused of spying on the current status of Ethiopia’s defence force. Federal prosecutors also accused one of the suspects of prohibited traffic of arms including Kalashnikovs and ammunitions and grenades.

The charge alleges that the suspects have been carrying out the espionage from October 2011 to May 2013.

Ethiopia issues USD 1 billion sovereign bond

Following the decision that was passed by the Government of Ethiopia to dip into the international money market, it announced to investors on Wednesday that it has issued a sovereign bond amounting one billion dollar, sources told The Reporter.

Sources also disclosed that the sovereign bond that Ethiopia offered for the first time is revealed to investors in London, where the team is also scheduled to travel other European cities and the US to make the offer known to investors there. According to sources, the certificates offer six to seven percent interest rates with a maturity date of ten years.

High-level delegation led by Sufian Ahmed, minister of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED), including Teklewold Atnafu, Governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), Fisseha Abera, International Financial Institutions Cooperation Directorate Director at MoFED, Wasihun Abate, Director of Legal Division at MoFED and Mezgebu Ameha, Macro-economy Policy and Management Directorate Director have traveled to Europe for this purpose.

The Great Ethiopia Run is the most incredible experience

Mark Douglas travelled to the heart of Africa to find out how a race envisaged in the North East lives up to every expectation
Haile Gebrselassie has a problem.

You wouldn’t know it from a quick glance at his famous face, which is fixed with the beguiling smile that has accompanied him on a career that has touched heights that no other athlete has managed.

This is a man who broke 23 separate world records, collected two Olympic gold medals and earned four world titles.

He bestrode the track and the streets of famous marathons in Berlin, New York and Chicago and has now carried that success into the world of business, where he is one of the chief drivers of a resurgent Ethiopian economy that is creating millionaires faster than any other country in Africa.

But as he explains over delicious, jet-black coffee strong enough to wipe out the hazy affects of altitude, he can’t answer his phone right now. To prove the point, when his iPhone trills, he takes a quick look and sets it back down on the table in the small office that overlooks one of the busiest roads in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s bustling, frenetic and endearingly chaotic capital city.

Ethiopian boy’s tough journey to America enters toughest chapter in University Place

Nathaniel Healy remembers his parents dying in Ethiopia from a disease he could not pronounce. He recalls selling fruit on the side of the road and using the money to feed himself and his younger brother.

That was a lot to shoulder before his 10th birthday.

After the orphanage sent him to America, Nathaniel and his brother Abel lived in the University Place home of Tim and Jennifer Healy and their biological son, Brendan.

The two Ethiopian boys lived with the Healys for about a year before the adoption was finalized in September 2012, Jennifer said.

“We both had a heart for adoption,” she said. “My husband was adopted, and kids need a family.”

One month after the adoption was complete, Nathaniel got sick.

Teen’s gang rape in Addis Ababa sounds alarm

More than 70 percent of Ethiopian women face physical and sexual violence
Hanna Lalango, 16, died on Nov. 1, from a brutal gang rape after five men kidnapped and held her captive for several days in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Hanna attended a private high school in the city’s Ayer Tena neighborhood.

On Oct. 1, the day of her kidnapping, Hanna, the youngest of six siblings, “complained about not feeling well” before she left for school. "She was a typical young girl ... a timid and respectful child," Hanna’s brother told Blen Sahilu, who first posted the story on Facebook, as part of the online #JusticeForHanna campaign. “She was really nice.”

Hanna reportedly left school around 4 p.m. local time and got on a taxi that already had a couple of passengers. It is unclear at what point Hanna knew she was being kidnapped. But the culprits allegedly threatened the teen with knife and took her to one of the suspect's house. Reports vary but Hanna’s father told the local media she was raped for at least five days.

Friday, November 28, 2014

A long and winding path to the law for one Minneapolis immigration attorney

Abdinasir Abdulahi
Abdinasir Abdulahi is now an established immigration attorney, with his Minneapolis law firm, Abdinasir M. Abdulahi, LLC, having become a destination for thousands of East African immigrant clients throughout Minnesota and other states.

“People feel comfortable coming to me with questions that they wouldn’t necessarily bring up to other lawyers,” he said. “That’s because they don’t know the legal system, and they need someone they can relate to, someone they can trust.”

Abdinasir Abdulahi is now an established immigration attorney, with his Minneapolis law firm, Abdinasir M. Abdulahi, LLC, having become a destination for thousands of East African immigrant clients throughout Minnesota and other states.
“People feel comfortable coming to me with questions that they wouldn’t necessarily bring up to other lawyers,” he said. “That’s because they don’t know the legal system, and they need someone they can relate to, someone they can trust.”

Over the past four years, Abdulahi has earned the trust of many Minnesotans from East Africa through his various legal services. But his path to that success was anything but easy.
A reluctant lawyer

CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup Cancelled

The 2014 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup has been called off after none of the 12 member countries expressed interest in hosting the tournament on short notice.

The annual regional event was scheduled to be hosted in Ethiopia from November 24-December 9 but Cecafa announced last month that the hosts had withdrawn following domestic and international engagements.

The Ethiopia Football Federation (EFF) expressed concern about their national team's involvement in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations group stage qualifiers and their domestic football league.

Sources close to Cecafa confirmed that the 38th edition of the regional tournament will not go on as expected despite Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye's earlier statement that Sudan had showed interest in hosting the competition.

The World's Poorest Nations Still Can't Dig Themselves Out Of Poverty Despite Strong Economic Growth

Geneva (AFP) - The planet's poorest nations like Ethiopia, Malawi and Angola have failed to cash in on strong economic growth due to a lack of structural reforms and left them wallowing in poverty, the UN warned.

In its annual report on the world's least developed countries, or LDCs, the UN Conference on Trade and Development said that booming economic growth in the 48 nations on its list was having only minor impacts on living standards and the fight against widespread poverty.

"The LDC paradox arises from the failure of LDC economies to achieve structural changes despite having grown vigorously as a result of strong export prices and rising aid flows", UNCTAD said.

The 48 countries, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa, had jointly seen their economies grow 5.6 percent in 2013 -- far above the 1.2-percent growth seen in developed countries.

IOM to bring Ethiopian returnees from Tanzania

The International Organization for Migration Special Liaison Office in Ethiopia (IOM Ethiopia Office) in collaboration with the Ethiopian ministry of Foreign Affairs will receive 253 Ethiopian returnees from Tanzania on Friday 28 November 2014.

The irregular migrants, who were released from Tanzanian prisons last week, were staying at temporary stations provided by IOM Tanzania until their pre-departure medical screening and travel documents were finalized.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ethiopia Seeks Tech Companies to Share Chinese Mobile Contract

Ethiopia will give other companies parts of a telecommunications project it awarded to ZTE Corp. (000063) after a contract dispute with the state-owned Chinese company, Communications and Information Technology Minister Debretsion Gebremichael said.

The government has held talks with Helsinki-based Nokia Oyj (NOK1V) and Ericsson AB of Sweden about them taking over segments of the contract, which seeks to double mobile-phone network capacity in the Horn of African country and expand 3G coverage nationwide by June, Debretsion said.

there is only coffee


there is only coffee from The Perennial Plate on Vimeo.
Unlike most coffee growing regions of the world, in Ethiopia the folks who grow the coffee, also drink the product. Long considered the birthplace of the beverage, Ethiopia produces some of the best. This little film is a love song to coffee, the grueling work that goes into producing it and the importance of small farms and cooperation in that process.

As number of South Sudanese refugees grows, UN relief official urges support to Ethiopia

25 November 2014 – Following the end of a four-day mission to Ethiopia, a senior United Nations relief official has called for continued international attention to the plight of South Sudanese refugees, warning that the number of refugees could rise substantially if fighting in South Sudan persists.
In a press release issued today by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Ms. Kyung-wha Kang, noted that nearly 194,000 South Sudanese refugees – 90 per cent of them women and children – have arrived in Ethiopia since the conflict in South Sudan began this past December.
“Without a political solution, and with more fighting and major food security challenges in South Sudan, that number could rise to 350,000 by the end of the first quarter of 2015,” she warned.
On Saturday, Ms. Kang travelled to the Gambella region in western Ethiopia, where she met refugees from South Sudan in Tierkidi camp. Ethiopia currently hosts more than 600,000 refugees, the largest refugee population in Africa.

Ethiopia Hopes to Set World Record for HIV Tests

 Ethiopia is attempting to set a world record for the number of HIV tests carried out in one day.

The country's health officials said Tuesday they hope to break the record this coming weekend in honor of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1. The previous record for number of HIV tests carried out in one day occurred in Argentina in November 2012, when 1,380 people were tested. Ethiopian officials hope to carry out 2,000 tests.

The Ministry of Health said the tests would occur in the country's Gambella region, where 6.5 percent of residents have HIV or AIDS.

Dr. Warren Naamara, who is with UNAIDS, said some 800,000 Ethiopian have been infected with HIV since the outbreak of the disease in the 1980s. A quarter of those infected were children.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ethiopia Plans Debut Dollar-Bond Joining Ghana, Kenya

Ethiopia, Africa’s fastest-growing economy, plans to sell its first foreign-currency bond to fund electricity, railway and sugar-industry projects.
Ethiopia picked Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co. for fixed-income investor meetings in Europe and the U.S. beginning tomorrow, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.
African issuers, including Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Senegal and Ivory Coast, have issued international bonds this year as they seek to benefit from investor-appetite for higher returns before the Federal Reserve raises interest rates as soon as next year. The yield on Kenyan dollar bonds due June 2024 were at 5.91 percent today, down from 6.88 percent when it was sold in June.

Ethiopian maid leaps to her death in south Lebanon

BEIRUT: An Ethiopian maid was killed Monday after jumping off the balcony of her employer's house in south Lebanon in an apparent suicide, media reports said.

A graphic image showing the picture of the young woman was circulated on social media in the aftermath of the alleged suicide in the southern village of Zrarieh.

The circumstances of the maid’s death were vague. Future TV said woman was 20 years old, and that she jumped from the second floor of the building.

Numerous local and international organizations have established projects to try to protect migrant workers in Lebanon who face widespread abuse lack basic rights, according to human rights organizations.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Lebanese man arrested for kidnapping, raping Ethiopian woman

BEIRUT: The Internal Security Forces arrested Sunday a Lebanese man who raped an Ethiopian woman after kidnapping her from the area of Dawra near Beirut, a statement said Monday.

The suspect, 31, identified by his initials M.A., abducted the Ethiopian woman Sunday after impersonating a security official.

He told the woman she was being detained for not carrying legal documents, and transported her to the northern town of Chekka where he raped her, and took naked pictures and videos of her.

The suspect also made her call her friends to send prepaid mobile credit valued at $250 to his mobile phone in return for deleting the videos.

The suspect admitted to the crime, the statement said.

Edris hopes to strike gold twice in China in 2015

It may be a bit premature to say that Muktar Edris is the next great Ethiopian distance runner, but the 20-year-old is already faster over 5000m than Kenenisa Bekele and Haile Gebrselassie were at that age.
Edris emerged on the international stage in July 2012, becoming the latest in a long line of Ethiopian winners of the world junior 5000m title, joining the likes of Fita Bayissa (1990), Gebrselassie (1992), Assefa Mezgebu (1996), Million Wolde (1998), Tariku Bekele (2006) and Abraham Cherkos (2008), all of whom went on to win medals at senior global championships.
“Haile has always been my idol,” said Edris, the fifth born in a family of eight children. “He inspired me not only for his physical ability but also for his mental strength. Like many other young Ethiopian runners, I try to follow his example.
“I started running at the age of 12 at the primary school in my native village. I used to run one or sometimes two laps of the backyard of my school. There I was spotted by Hilma Berta, who still coaches me. After one year I moved to Addis Ababa to start running with the national team.”
Edris, who hails from Silte in southern Ethiopia, first represented his country at the 2011 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Punta Umbria where he finished seventh in the junior race and contributed to the team silver medal.

Secretary-General Appoints Major General Birhanu Jula Gelalcha of Ethiopia Force Commander of UN Interim Security Force for Abyei

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Major General Birhanu Jula Gelalcha of Ethiopia as Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).

The new Force Commander succeeds Lieutenant General Yohannes Gebremeskel Tesfamariam of Ethiopia, who completed his assignment as Force Commander and Head of Mission on 19 June 2014.  The Secretary-General is grateful to Lieutenant General Tesfamariam for his dedication and effective leadership of UNISFA.  He also conveys his appreciation to Major General Halefom Moges for his service as UNISFA’s Acting Head of Mission.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Haile Gebrselassie: From athletics to the boardroom

Haile Gebrselassie is the most famous man in Ethiopia. The double Olympic gold medallist and five-time world champion over 10,000m had a glittering athletics career and is now a successful and busy entrepreneur.

 So when you manage to get an interview with him, you don't want to be late. Imagine our dismay then as we arrived at the Alem Building, affectionately named after Gebrselassie's wife, to be told that a power cut meant the lifts were not working and we had to lug our cameras and equipment up eight flights of stairs to the top of the complex.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Can farming in Ethiopia be successfully commercialized?

There may be a property and infrastructure boom in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, but more than 70% of Ethiopians still live in rural areas - farming grain and livestock.

The government, with the help of international donors, is trying improve the country's farming sector, to boost production and put more farms onto a commercial footing - but there is still some way to go.

The BBC's Lerato Mbele reports from the Ethiopian town of Wonji, just south Addis Ababa, for Africa Business Report.

UNICEF Ethiopia Appoints young rap star Abelone Melese as its New National Ambassador

20 November 2014, Addis Ababa: Today, UNICEF Ethiopia appointed young rap star Abelone Melese, a citizen of Norway with Ethiopian origin, as its new National Ambassador at a signing ceremony held in its premises. The event was attended by Patrizia DiGiovanni, Acting UNICEF Representative to Ethiopia, Mrs. Tove Stub, Minister Counsellor/Deputy Head of Mission, Royal Norwegian Embassy, members of the media and UNICEF staff.

Abelone, after visiting Ethiopia several times, was driven by compassion and the zest to help mothers and children by using her music to convey positive messages. She participated in a project called 10,000 happy birthdays which was a fundraising activity to help mothers in Malawi and Ethiopia. At a fundraising concert organized for this project, Abelone performed a rap song in Amharic and English on the situation of African mothers-a song she composed especially for this concert and which has left a big impression and fans.

Monaco press points – Genzebe Dibaba

Genzebe Dibaba
Genzebe Dibaba is aiming for 5000m honours in 2015, the 23-year-old Ethiopian revealed ahead of the 2014 World Athletics Gala in Monaco where she is one of three athletes short-listed for the women’s Athlete of the Year award, which will be announced on Friday (21).
Dibaba set the world alight during the 2014 indoor season when she smashed the 1500m and 3000m world indoor records and set a world best at two miles, all within 15 days, before going on to claim the world indoor 3000m title in the Polish city of Sopot.
She added a victory over 3000m at the IAAF Continental Cup in Marrakech in September and is now preparing for 2015 when she aims to break the world indoor 5000m record at the XL Galan in Stockholm and take the gold at the same distance at next summer’s IAAF World Championships Beijing.
“This year was the best year for me,” said Dibaba, who is short-listed for the award along with shot putter Valerie Adams and sprinter Dafne Schippers.
“The indoor season was the best of my career so far when I broke three world records.
“Now I have two goals for the 2015 indoor season. I am preparing myself to break the 5000m world indoor record in Stockholm and then run the mile in Birmingham.
“But my main goal this year is not more records, but only to win the gold medal at the World Championships where I will run 5000m.”

Ethiopian Airlines’ Sales Hit by Ebola Fears

Ethiopian Airlines has been hit by Ebola fears even though its main hub in Addis Ababa is several hours flight time from the virus-affected region in West Africa. Reuters
Carrier Is Losing Around $8 Million a Month in Sales As Travelers Cut Back on Trips

ANTWERP, Belgium—Ethiopian Airlines is losing around $8 million a month in sales as travelers cut back on African trips as concern about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa affects far-afield airlines, the carrier’s chief executive said.

“The Ebola scare has caused weakness in demand,” Tewolde Gebremariam said in an interview Thursday. Ethiopian Airlines has been hit even though the airline’s main hub in Addis Ababa is several hours flight time from the Ebola-affected region in West Africa.

Flights across much of the continent have been affected by the regional outbreak, Mr. Gebremariam said. “This is a major concern for African airlines,” he said.

Ethiopian Man fatally run over by vehicle

The pedestrian, a 61-year-old man, may have been struck twice on Hwy. 252.
Authorities on Wednesday released the identity of the man who was fatally run over by one and possibly two vehicles that fled from a Brooklyn Park intersection.
Meshu B. Lamu, 61, of Brooklyn Park, was struck about 6:50 p.m. Tuesday in a southbound lane of Hwy. 252 near 73rd Avenue N., according to the State Patrol. He died at the scene.
“He walked that route a lot,” patrol Lt. Eric Roeske said of Lamu, who lived about three blocks northeast of where he was killed.
Lamu was walking west and crossing Hwy. 252 against a red light when he was struck, Roeske said. He was hit well after sunset and was wearing dark clothing, further diminishing his visability, the lieutenant added.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Right Place, Wrong Reasons: Discovering a Rare Sound Recording from Eritrea

At times, stories behind archival collections can be as important as the collections themselves. You've heard of being in the right place at the right time? This is a story of being in the right place at the right time, for the wrong reasons.

In the late 1960s, Jack Kramer, now a retired journalist, donated his papers to the Hoover Institution Archives. The papers include letters between Jack Kramer and Osman Saleh Sabbe, Mohamud Dinai, Kidane Kiflu, and Woldeab Woldemariam, well-known personalities in the political landscape of Eritrea’s independence movement, as well as a rare sound recording, which is the focus of this post.

The story begins in London, England, over a £5 bet. The time was the 1960s, a decade Kramer called “a storm that seemed to rage forever.”1 Kramer bet £5 that he would arrive before his friend in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, overland.

Gondar: The Camelot of Africa

When pre-twentieth century Africa is studied in schools it is the slave trade, its awful consequences and the later colonial Scramble for Africa of the nineteenth century which tend to attract the focus of both teachers and students.

Often overlooked is the only country which successfully resisted European incursion and retained its own sovereignty: perhaps its late twentieth century tragedies of famine and attendant local and civil wars do little to persuade the casual historian to look further in to its past.

Yet Ethiopia’s history stretches back thousands of years: it was the second ever nation, after Armenia, to adopt Christianity as its state religion, around 324 AD. During the fifteenth century it initiated contact with Europe (not, as many would assume, the other way around) with diplomatic messages sent to King Henry V of England and emissaries sent to Spain.  Then, in the early seventeenth century the city of Gondar was founded: it would eventually become known as the Camelot of Africa. Its complex of imperial palaces and associated buildings stand to this day.

Read More and check out beautiful pictures of Gonder

St. George’s Church, Ethiopia

St. George’s church (by George Steinmetz)
Hewn out of solid rock, the extraordinary church of St. George (Bet Giorgis), Ethiopia, represents one of the wonders of the ancient world. Dating from the late 12th or early 13th century AD, the construction of the church is ascribed to King Gebre Mesqel Lalibela, one of the last kings of the Zagwe dynasty. It is located near town of Lalibela, which is situated roughly 640 km north of the country’s capital, Addis Ababa. This town contains a remarkable collection of monolithic, rock-cut churches. Eleven in total, these buildings were erected in and around the year 1200 and are a testament to the skills of Ethiopia’s medieval stone masons.

Airlines eyes African aviation liberalisation in 2015

ANTWERP Belgium (Reuters) - Ethiopian Airlines hopes a decision to open up intra-African aviation routes will be fully implemented in 2015, the airline's chief executive said on Thursday.

Many African states adopted the Yamoussoukro Decision in 1999 to open up intra-African aviation routes but so far the decision has not been implemented by governments, meaning air travel between countries in Africa largely remains restricted.

"The hubs that we see today in South Africa, Kenya, and Abuja are not developing as well as they should because inter-Africa traffic is still restricted," Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, told the CAPA World Aviation Summit in Antwerp.

Autopsy rules missing Ethiopian woman drowned in accidental death

The missing Wylie woman found inside her minivan at the bottom of a pond last week drowned in what the medical examiner’s office has ruled as an accidental death.
The Collin County medical examiner’s office released the results on Monday in the death of Almaz Gebremedhin, 42.
Gebremedhin was last seen just before 5:30 a.m. Oct. 2 headed to work at the Garnet Hill Rehabilitation and Skilled Care nursing home. She was reported missing later that day. 
Her body was found Nov. 9 inside her Chevy Venture by a team from Illinois that specializes in underwater searches. The husband-and-wife team used side-image sonar equipment to locate the van submerged in Muddy Creek Farms along McMillen Road. The pond is located along Gebremedhin’s usual route to work.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

CBS report: 135,000 Ethiopians living in Israel at end of 2013

The report also stated that in 2013, 1355 new immigrants arrived from Ethiopia, nearly a 50% reduction in aliya from the previous year.

At the end of 2013 the Ethiopian population in Israel stood at some 135.5 thousand people - 85.9 thousand who were born in Ethiopia and 49.6 thousand who were born in Israel to Ethiopian fathers, according to a report released by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday.

According to the report, the majority of the Ethiopian population lives in two central localities - 38% in the Center and 24% in the South.  Among the major cities, Netanya maintains the largest Ethiopian community comprising some 10.9 thousand people, followed by Rishon LeZion with some 7.4 thousand and BeerSheba with 7.1 thousand people.  Some 5.9 thousand Ethiopians live in Jerusalem while only 2.3 thousand live in Tel Aviv.

The findings also indicated that the Ethiopian population was a relatively young one, with 29% comprising of children up to the age of 14 while only 6% of the population were over 65, compared to 12% of Jewish and "other" populations in Israel.

Ethiopia says China's ZTE could lose part of $800 mln in row over terms

Nov 18 (Reuters) - Ethiopia has told Chinese telecoms firm ZTE Corp it risked losing part of its deal worth $800 million to expand the nation's network because of differences over costs of upgrading existing systems, an Ethiopian minister and executive said.

The deal last year with monopoly state-run operator Ethio Telecom was part of a $1.6 billion package, split between ZTE and another Chinese firm Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.

The African nation of more than 90 million people wants to double mobile subscribers to 50 million in 2015 and expand its 3G service. The overall contract includes a plan for Huawei roll out a high-speed 4G network in Addis Ababa.

"We have contractual issues unresolved," Communications and Technology Minister Debretsion Gebremichael told Reuters. "Swapping existing technology with no additional costs is one."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

GEDION ZELALEM among The 50 best footballers under 18 of Goal

GEDION ZELALEM (1997, ARSENAL) – The Germany youth international spent seven years in the United States prior to arriving in England with Arsenal. The 17-year-old has already been given his debut by Arsene Wenger, coming on as a substitute in their FA Cup clash with Coventry in 2013-14 and is seen as someone with a bright future in the Gunners midfield.

Check The 50 best footballers under 18 of Goal

Malawi police intercept 100 Ethiopians in Karonga district

Star Africa 
Police in Malawi’s Karonga near the border with Tanzania have intercepted 100 illegal Ethiopian migrants who entered the country without authorised documents, a spokesperson said Tuesday.Karonga police spokesperson Enock Livason said the Ethiopian migrants were arrested together with five Malawians who had facilitated their illegal entry.

“These entrants used two different vehicles belonging and driven by Malawians who escaped and abandoned the cars after seeing the police but were later arrested,” he said.

He said the police managed to intercept the group after communities around Ipyana and Mwenelondo areas tipped them on the strange faces who were moving around.

Livason urged the communities to continue providing information to the police when they come across movement of such people.

Prostitution for $2 in Ethiopia

Prostitution in Ethiopia has increased massively in the last years. In the capital Addis Ababa, around 130,000 girls support themselves by selling their bodies. Most of the girls are under eighteen, many as young as fourteen. The youngest girls hardly earn enough money to buy their own food, whilst the experienced prostitutes make about two US dollars a night. Condoms, although free in many places, are rarely used. The men prefer to choose the youngest girls since they believe they are HIV free. This keeps lowering the age of those becoming HIV infected.

I went to Ethiopia to work as a volunteer for disabled children. Whilst there, I met this girls and  started spending many days and nights following them. Since many girls don’t have a home they take naps in between pleasing their customers and their days are spent at a hairdressing salon, drinking coffee and sharing their food.
Read More 

Professor to lecture on African refugees of Eritrea

Forced military service or exile: this is a decision many citizens of Eritrea face.

This Wednesday, Nov. 19, Associate Professor of anthropology Tricia Hepner will present on one of the biggest refugee producers in Africa: Eritrea. The small African nation is notorious for its brutal treatment of enlisted soldiers, many of whom are destined to serve in the country's military for their entire lives as part of an economic development campaign. To avoid this fate, citizens tend to leave the country in droves and seek asylum in nearby Israel.

"Warsay-yika'alo" or forced conscription, has created an environment of marginalization for the nation's citizens. Originally designed by the dictator to improve the small country's economy, it involved six months of military training and one year of service for all men and women between the ages 18 and 45. A two-year war with Ethiopia, however, caused political unrest in the region and the mass arrests of many dissidents. As a result, the limit on military service was removed, forcing Eritreans to serve indefinitely.

Malawi target Ethiopia in Addis Ababa

Super Sport

 Ethiopia are set to host the high flying Malawi team for the final game of Group B’s 2015 CAF Afcon Qualifiers on Wednesday.

Kick-off is at 7:00pm.

Nicknamed the Walias, Ethiopia have lost their previous encounter at the hands of Algeria last Saturday, and occupy position four with one win and four losses.

The Southern African side, known in the continent as the Flames, are flying high after defeating Mali by 2-0 last Saturday. They’re now at position three with two wins and three losses. A win will take them to nine points and their qualification will depend on how Mali and Algeria play.

Robert Ng’ambi, Esau Kanyenda and Josephy Kamwendo are all expected to inspire the Flames against Ethiopia and reignite their chances to reach Equatorial Guinea.

Monday, November 17, 2014

6,200 Eritreans cross into Ethiopia in 37 days: UNHCR

According to a UNHCR report last July, there are a total of 629,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Ethiopia.
World Bulletin/News Desk
Over 6,200 Eritreans have crossed into Ethiopia over the past 37 days, an official with the UN refugee agency said Monday.
"More than 5,000 Eritrean asylum seekers crossed into the Ethiopian territory in October alone," spokesperson for the UNHCR office in Ethiopia Kisut Gebregziabher told Anadolu Agency.
"In the first week of November, more than 1,200 Eritreans have arrived in Ethiopia," he added.
Among those who managed to cross into Ethiopia, he said, were some 78 children.
According to a UNHCR report last July, there are a total of 629,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Ethiopia.

60 illegal Ethiopian immigrants fined $40 in Zimbabwe

SIXTY Ethiopian nationals who recently entered the country illegally as they fled political uncertainty in their homeland were last Friday fined $40 each or face a four-day jail term for contravening Zimbabwe’s immigration laws.

Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe heard that the East Africans sneaked into the country through Nyamapanda Border Post on October 21 this year.

“In assessing sentence, I took into consideration that the accused are first offenders who have pleaded guilty. The accused would be handed to the immigration department for deportation,” Mahwe said.

The Ethiopians said in mitigation they were penniless as they were in the country as refugees after running away from their troubled nation.

Moroccan and Ethiopian athletes win İstanbul Marathon

Moroccan athlete Hafid Chani won the 36th edition of the Vodafone İstanbul Marathon on Sunday -- a race that attracted the participation of tens of thousands of runners, both local and foreign.

Chani ran 42 kilometers in 2.11.53, while Ethiopian runner Gebo Burka came second with 2.12.23, and Kenyan Michael Kiprop came third with 2.12.39.

In the women's category, Ethiopian athlete Amane Goebna came first with 2.30.38, while another Ethiopian runner Salomie Getnet came second with 2.28.47, and Ukrainian Olena Burkovska came in with with 2.31.32.

Speaking after the finish, Chani said he was very happy to have won the race, while second-placed runner Burka said that towards the end of the race he had experienced trouble due to an injury to his leg.

Somali Ostrich and 360 Other Newly Discovered Birds Added to List of Threatened Species

Did you know there are two species of ostrich? Don’t worry if this is news to you—scientists didn’t know that for sure either until this year, when the Somali ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes) of Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti and Kenya was declared a separate species from the common ostrich (S. camelus). Previously considered a subspecies, the Somali ostrich has now been added—along with 360 other newly discovered bird species—to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. The Red List update come from an assessment of the world’s birds of prey, seabirds, water birds, owls and similar species (collectively known as nonpasserine birds, because all other birds come from the order Passeriformes) by the conservation organization BirdLife International.
The Somali ostrich and the other 360 new species were effectively hidden in plain sight for decades. Because they were not recognized as species until now, no one had ever assessed their conservation risks. And they are definitely at risk: According to BirdLife, 25 percent of these newly recognized species are considered threatened and have been added to the Red List under its vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered categories. That’s compared with just 13 percent of all bird species that have been identified as being at similar risk.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

38 killed in bus crash in eastern Ethiopia

The accident took place in Legebenti locality when an Isuzu bus heading for Adama city from Awash town in the eastern part of Ethiopia collided with a Sino truck
World Bulletin/News Desk
Thirty-eight people were killed in a deadly road accident in eastern Ethiopia on Saturday.
The accident took place in Legebenti locality when an Isuzu bus heading for Adama city from Awash town in the eastern part of Ethiopia collided with a Sino truck heading for Djibouti in the early hours of Saturday.
Police commander Bizuneh Godana expected the death toll to increase.
"There are many who sustained serious injuries," he told Anadolu Agency.
The vehicles were moving in opposite directions just near the Metehara bend when the bus veered in an attempt to save a camel and crushed into the truck.

Algeria record fifth straight win v Ethiopia

Algeria made it five wins from five in their 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifying campaign with their 3-1 victory over Ethiopia at the Stade Mustapha Tchaker in Blida on Saturday evening.

Goals from Sofiane Feghouli, Riyad Mahrez and Yacine Brahimi moved Algeria up to 15 points, the only team to have won all their games thus far.

Algeria head coach Christian Gourcuff made two changes to the side that beat Malawi last time out, with Med Lamine Zemmamouche and Saphir Taider replacing Rais M’Bolhi and Nabil Bentaleb respectively, while Bidvest Wits and Ethiopia striker Getaneh Kebede missed the game through suspension.

The hosts put Ethiopia under immense pressure in the opening 10 minutes of the encounter, with Rafik Halliche notably heading just wide.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Ethiopia face Algeria without key player

Ethiopia will face Algeria on Saturday in a 2015 Afcon qualifier without one of their inspirational stars Saladin Said. Kick-off is at 9:00pm (CAT).

The injured player, who joined Egyptian giants Al Ahly early this year, and South African based professional Getaneh Kabede, who scored one of the goals in the 3-2 win over Mali, will also miss the game due to suspension.

In their first meeting Algeria stopped Ethiopia 2-1 in Addis Ababa, but Coach Jeronimo Mariano Barreto thinks they can also collect maximum points away.

After falling to Uganda 3-0 in an international build-up on Sunday, Barreto said it was a good wake-up call for his team. “The loss to Uganda will motivate us to push even harder against Algeria,” added the coach who has been under pressure for registering un-convincing results.

“We know Algeria is a very strong team, but we are determined to give our best and get a good result,” Barreto told after their loss to Uganda on Sunday in an International friendly.

Mohamed al-Amoudi Plans to Double Sales From Ethiopia Coffee

Horizon Plantations Ethiopia Plc, majority-owned by Saudi billionaire Mohamed al-Amoudi, plans to almost double annual revenue at coffee projects within three years as part of a $500 million agricultural investment program.
The company will spend $25 million to train workers, improve roads and replace washing units at the Limmu and Bebeka coffee plantations, which together have over 18,000 hectares (44,479 acres) under coffee, General Operations Director Kemal Mohammed said in a Sept. 17 interview in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.
The development is part of a five-year investment program in al-Amoudi’s agriculture projects, which also include Upper Awash Agro-Industry Enterprise, the country’s largest orange grower with 1,200 hectares of citrus, and the 10,000-hectare Saudi Star Agricultural Development rice farm, he said.
“We are sure because of the initiatives we have now, because of the inputs and techniques we’re applying, the productivity will increase to the maximum at the end of the five years,” Kemal said about the coffee plantations.
Ethiopia, Africa’s biggest coffee producer, may see earnings from shipments of Arabica coffee rise 25 percent to about $900 million in 2014-2015 as prices rise because of shortage caused by a drought in Brazil, an exporters’ association said last month. Horizon bought the two coffee farms for 1.6 billion birr ($80 million) last year from the Ethiopian government, which is seeking investment in projects that process agricultural products.

In Ethiopia’s Capital, a Resurgent Jazz Scene

Mulatu Astatke, seen as the father of Ethio-jazz, performs at African Jazz Village, which opened in late 2013.

The New York Times

 On a recent Sunday evening, a stylish audience in their 20s packed Mama’s Kitchen, a wood-and-glass lounge on the fourth floor of an otherwise closed shopping center near the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital. They were there to hear an adventurous young pianist, Samuel Yirga, as he careened between free jazz, études, R&B and the popular local style known as Ethio-jazz, a bewitching genre that fuses jazz with traditional Ethiopian music.

Mr. Yirga’s fingers flew across the keyboard, and the crowd nodded their heads reverently even through deep forays into dissonance. The musician’s intricate arrangements for his band featured psychedelic guitar lines and funky drumming, but the focus remained on the piano melody, which Mr. Yirga accentuated with the kind of ornaments and leaps characteristic of Ethiopian music.

“I think we Ethiopians love our own thing more than other things,” the dreadlocked 29-year-old, who has signed with Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records label, said before the concert. “We respect and love other cultures, but we love our own music, our own food, dance and clothes the most.”

Mama’s Kitchen is one of several venues featuring different jazz styles — from swing to acoustic, instrumental to free jazz — that have sprung up in the Ethiopian capital in recent years. The resurgent music scene is far from the only change occurring in this frenetic city of nearly four million.

Bulldozers have created canyons between the palm trees planted on busy boulevards to make way for a light rail system, set to debut in 2015. Domed Orthodox churches and tiny stalls with tin roofs and painted signs are interspersed with brand-new skyscrapers, glass-fronted malls and the spaceship-like complex that houses the headquarters of the African Union. During rush hour, visitors can spend a lot of time listening to Ethiopian pop in the Soviet-era blue Lada sedans that serve as taxis.

ZTE at Risk of Losing Ethiopia Telecom Contract

The Wall Street Journal

Ethiopia Already Giving Pieces of ZTE’s Business to Huawei Amid Pricing Concerns

The Ethiopian government has warned ZTE Corp. that it may cancel a huge contract it awarded to the Chinese telecommunications firm last year, amid concern about the prices ZTE is proposing to charge for its equipment, people familiar with the negotiations say.

Ethio Telecom, Ethiopia’s government-controlled, monopoly telecommunications operator, has been in contact with Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson and Nokia Corp. as possible replacements for ZTE, these people said. But Ethio Telecom has already started to award parts of ZTE’s contract to its Chinese rival, Huawei Technologies Co., an indication that the entire contract may be awarded to Huawei, said a person familiar with the moves.

The contract in question, worth around $800 million, is to provide mobile-phone base stations and other equipment to upgrade and expand Ethiopia’s mobile network.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Addis Getachew

ADDIS ABABA (AA) – The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) has said it would provide assistance to various institutions in Ethiopia in the areas of science and engineering.

The assertion came at a meeting between visiting NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom at the conclusion of the U.S. official’s weeklong visit to Ethiopia.

“Most of the discussion was about collaboration between NASA and various institutions here in Ethiopia, particularly in the science arena,” Bolden told reporters following the closed-door meeting with Adhanom.

“We talked about assisting in the operation of two new telescopes at Entoto Hills, the northern suburb of capital Addis Ababa, where the Ethiopian Space Science Observatory is located,” he said.

The talks also touched on the possibility of NASA providing scholarships to Ethiopian students, he added.

Bolden did not, however, specify the duration of the proposed scholarships, the number of Ethiopian students who would benefit from them, or when they would become available.

Scholarships would be granted, Bolden said, through NASA’s recently-instituted international internships program.

“The continent of Africa does not have a lot of observatories,” he said.

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Ethiopia Court Requests Detailed Terror Charges Against Bloggers

An Ethiopian court asked prosecutors to amend charges so they specify the acts of terrorism that 10 bloggers and journalists are alleged to have been plotting, a defense lawyer said.

The order was made today at the Federal High Court in the capital, Addis Ababa, where nine out of the 10 accused are standing trial for collaborating with a U.S.-based opposition group, Ginbot 7, which is classified as a terrorist organization by Ethiopia’s government.

The charges “simply say these suspects organized themselves and designed terrorism without mentioning what kind of terrorism did they plot as defined under Article 3” of a 2009 anti-terrorism law, Ameha Mekonnen, the defense lawyer, said today in an interview in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopian player arrested ahead of AFCON qualifier against Algeria

The Ethiopian national football team player Ramkel Lok Dong has been arrested by police on charges of assault and damage of property.

The team is preparing for its next Afcon qualifier against Algeria.

He was apprehended from Intercontinental Hotel Addis Ababa where the team members were staying.

Police have been looking for the suspect for assault and damage on properties caused on the night of 27th of October, 2014.

The police have apprehended the team’s captain, after it learnt the identity of the suspect.

Ethiopian Football Federation has confirmed the arrest while trying to bail him out for the upcoming match.

H&M says seeks to ensure cotton does not come from disputed land

(Reuters) - Hennes & Mauritz (HMb.ST), the world's second-biggest fashion retailer, said on Tuesday that it made every effort to ensure its cotton did not come from appropriated land but could not provide an absolute guarantee.

Swedish TV4 said H&M was using cotton from areas in Ethiopia that are vulnerable to land grabbing -- the buying or leasing of land in developing countries, often by foreign companies, without the consent of affected local communities.
"According to (TV4's) investigation, cotton used for the production of H&M's clothes in Ethiopia comes from areas subject to land grabbing," TV4 said in an emailed statement.
H&M said it did not accept such practices.
It began small-scale buying of clothes from suppliers in Ethiopia in 2013, its first sourcing from an African country.
Its operations are widely seen as part of the Ethiopian government's plans to build up a garment production industry.
"H&M does not accept appropriation of land, so-called land-grabbing," the company said in a statement.