Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ethiopia is gearing up to deploy about 2000 strong forces to South Sudan

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s Defence Forces have confirmed that the government of Addis Ababa is amassing forces of 2000 soldiers supported by 4 fighter jets and over 35 tanks are set to be deployed in the war torn South Sudan as early as March next year to provide security and maintain stability around Juba, Paloch Oilfields (Upper Nile State) and Bentiu (Unity State).
Major General Yohannes Woldegiorgis Tesfay, one of the expected generals to be deployed to the war-ravaged South Sudan has told The Upper Nile Times that the forces will act alone and not as part of the Ethiopian troops already deployed there as part of the UNMISS forces.
“No no. This contingent of forces will be deployed as part of IGAD to maintain security in most volatile areas of South Sudan. its not a part of UN forces. We are requested by IGAD to contribute forces just like the other countries in the region. So the government and the army are looking about deploying this forces by March.” – Maj Gen Yohannes said.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

British security guard faces death penalty in Ethiopia after being found guilty of terrorism offences

Ali Adorus claims he was targeted by MI5 over alleged links to Islamic extremism before leaving Britain, and that a 'confession' was was beaten out of him in prison
A British man who claims he was tortured in an Ethiopian prison is facing the death penalty after being found guilty of terrorism offences.

Ali Adorus, a security guard from east London, was subjected to electrocution, hooding and beatings during his 18-month imprisonment in the East African country, according to allegations made against Ethiopia and Britain to the United Nations High Commission.

Before leaving Britain to visit family in Ethiopia in 2012, Mr Adorus had complained that he had been targeted by MI5 and the Metropolitan Police over alleged links to Islamic extremism.

His lawyers also allege that some information contained in a false confession – which he claims was beaten out of him in an Ethiopian prison – could have been provided only by “British intelligence”.

Prosecutor: DNA links two felons to Capitol Hill rape

Left: Wolid Jamal Mohammed & Kirose Embza Hailu.
SEATTLE —The King County prosecutor has charged two men with raping a woman in Capitol Hill in February, after DNA obtained in her rape kit came back matching the men who had previously been convicted of other crimes.

Kirose Embza Hailu, 23, and Wolid Jemal Mohammed, 22, are also accused of what prosecutors call a disturbing pattern of targeting women in Capitol Hill for purses and wallets.

The alleged rape victim told police she had been at R Place with her boyfriend and friends the night of Feb. 21.

They stayed until the establishment closed at 2 a.m., then went to Hot Mamma’s Pizza nearby. Her boyfriend told police at about 2:30 a.m., they realized she was not with them and tried to contact her with no success.

The victim told police she remembers pulling herself along a railing in an alley, when two men approached her and raped her. She added that a homeless man then found her and helped her find her apartment.Her wallet was missing after the incident.She was later taken to Harborview Medical Center for a sexual assault exam.

Arsenal's Gedion Zelalem obtains U.S. citizenship, clears way to join USMNT

Gedion Zelalem is a U.S. citizen.
The German-born midfielder, who played six years of youth soccer in the D.C. area before signing with Arsenal in 2013, was in Washington on Monday to finalize the naturalization process, clearing the way to represent the United States in international competition, the Insider has learned.
Zelalem, 17, must now await FIFA approval, but that is believed to be a perfunctory exercise. Although he will remain eligible for Germany and Ethiopia (his family’s homeland), Zelalem has told friends and American officials that he plans to commit to the U.S. program, multiple sources said. The fact he flew to Washington from London during Arsenal’s normal weekly training routine further revealed his intentions.
Zelalem visited the Passport Agency on 19th Street Northwest, three blocks from the White House, and was recognized by at least two bystanders.
Affiliated with a prominent Premier League club, Zelalem will immediately become one of the top young prospects in the U.S. build-up to the 2016 Olympics and 2018 World Cup. The first realistic opportunity for Jurgen Klinsmann to summon him to the senior national team is in late March, the next official period on the FIFA match calendar, when the Americans play friendlies at Denmark and Switzerland.

Egypt, Ethiopia settle dispute over Nile dam study

The study will aim to assess the social, economic and environmental impact of the $4.8-billion project, a sizeable portion of which has already been completed
World Bulletin / News Desk

 An Ethiopian Water and Energy Ministry official revealed Monday that his country had resolved its differences with Egypt over a study commissioned to assess the likely impact of a multibillion-dollar hydroelectric dam now being built by Ethiopia on the Nile River.

Accordingly, a three-party committee on the dam – made up of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan – will soon resume discussions, Bizuneh Tolcha, head of public relations at the ministry, told The Anadolu Agency.

The project, dubbed the "Grand Renaissance Dam," has strained relations between Ethiopia and Egypt for several months.

One Ethiopian among six drowned in Rustenberg storm

RUSTENBERG - An unidentified woman's body was discovered by police divers on Monday in the North West.

Six people drowned in separate incidents in Rustenburg, provincial police said on Monday.

This came after a weekend of wet and stormy weather. As's weather department reported, a tropical low brought cloudy and wet weather to the Eastern part of the country.

Police divers found all five bodies on Monday morning. During the search an unidentified body of a woman was retrieved from the stream. No woman had been reported missing at local police stations.

Four boys aged between 14 and 15, from the Yizo Yizo informal settlement in Tlhabane, were fishing in the same stream when the water swept them away and they drowned.

24 Ethiopian migrants drown off Yemen's coast

SANAA – Twenty-four Ethiopians, trying to illegally enter Yemen, on Monday drowned near the port city of Mocha in Yemen's central province of Taizz, the country's Interior Ministry said.

It added on its website that the bodies of the 24 illegal migrants were found off the coast of Mocha.

The ministry said the Ethiopian migrants were on board of a boat that brought them from their country, noting that efforts were still being made to locate survivors and identify the drowned victims.

Ethiopian opposition figure downplays reports of job dismissal

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

December 28, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – An Ethiopian opposition leader on Sunday dismissed reports alleging he has been fired from his job at the government-run Addis Ababa University.

Local media outlets reported that the leader of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, Merara Gudina, who chairs also the coalition of opposition parties MEDREK was fired from his academic professorial position.

The reports indicated that Gudina, an associate professor of political science at Addis Ababa University, was fired for his political views and due to the growing popularity he gained among university students in the build-up of the upcoming general elections.

“I haven’t received any letter of dismissal from the University,” Gudina told Sudan Tribune.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Getting on down to Ethiopia's hip jazz music

Ethiopia's traditional sounds are having a renaissance. Emmanuel Igunza has been to a hip Addis jazz bar to find out more about Tezeta music.

Ethiopia: Booming business, underpaid workers

Low wages have attracted foreign players to the poor African country, but labourers are hoping for better salaries.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Lunch break is over at the Huajian shoe factory and workers assemble in perfectly aligned two-row formations, march, salute, and return back to their work stations.

"Our factory is a bit like a military organisation. The labour here is not highly educated so we have to use a very simple way to communicate and organise them," said Nara Zhou, Huajian's spokeswoman, as she walks through the aisles of the large factory hall.
Red banners with writing in Chinese, Amharic and English hang from the ceiling, bearing lofty slogans such as "China-Africa friendly and harmonious enterprise, to win honour for the country", and "High level of democracy".

They are excerpts of speeches given by the company's president, Zhang Hua Rong, a former military officer who established Huajian's operation in Ethiopia in 2012, Zhou explained.

Within a few years, foreign companies such as Huajian have helped build up Ethiopia's nascent footwear industry from scratch.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

British national killed in Ethiopia

A British national was killed when he was accidentally shot in Ethiopia on Christmas Eve, reports have said.

The 47-year-old male tourist was shot with a rifle in the north-western city of Bahir Dar, AFP quoted a government spokesman as saying.

A suspect has reportedly been arrested. The body has been taken to Addis Ababa for a post-mortem examination.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Calais migrants: 'Get to England or die trying' – video


A Guardian investigation reveals growing numbers of young families inside the migrant camps and lorry-parks of Calais. Migrants describe the great risks they take in hope of getting to the UK. Arrivals in Calais live in appalling conditions in makeshift camps without sanitation or running water. Fifteen migrants have died in the last 12 months and lorries are being targeted by migrants up to 60 miles from Calais

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Ethiopia accuses Eritrea of hijacking helicopter

The Ethiopian Defense Ministry said in a statement that an Ethiopian helicopter – that has disappeared since Friday – was forced to land in neighboring Eritrea

World Bulletin/News Desk

Ethiopia on Monday accused what it described as the "agents" of the regime in Eritrea of hijacking an Ethiopian helicopter.

The Ethiopian Defense Ministry said in a statement that an Ethiopian helicopter – that has disappeared since Friday – was forced to land in neighboring Eritrea.

It said the helicopter was on a training mission when the Ethiopian pilot forced a trainee and a technician on board to head to Eritrea.

 "The agents of the Eritrean regime had carried out the helicopter hijacking," the Ethiopian Defense Ministry added in the statement.

It denounced what it called the "enemies of peace and democracy", probably in reference to the ruling regime in Eritrea.

Ethiopia backs Kenya's contested security law

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and President Uhuru Kenyatta

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has supported the controversial security law signed last week by Kenya's President Uhuru.
"Kenya has taken a proper stand by approving the security law to fight terrorism and safeguard its citizens," said Mr Hailemariam at a press conference in his office in Addis Ababa Monday.
"Kenya has taken a responsible and legally correct position to keep the peace and stability of the country," he said, criticising the international rights groups opposed to the law.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Ethiopian painter still going strong at 87

Renowned Ethiopian painter Lemma Guya has just put the finishing touches on his goat skin-mounted portraits of the 53 African leaders who founded the Organization of African Unity in 1963
ADDIS ABABA – Renowned Ethiopian painter Lemma Guya has just put the finishing touches on his goat skin-mounted portraits of the 53 African leaders who founded the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963.

"I am an African and my Africanness is uniquely rooted in my Ethiopianness," the 87-year-old Guya told The Anadolu Agency from his mansion-turned-gallery in Bishoftu, located some 40km south of Addis Ababa.

"Throughout my career I have shuttled between these two mutually complementary identities," he added. "In my paintings I have tried to depict and narrate our acceptable and unacceptable traditions and lives."

Ethiopian PM backs 'last resort' South Sudan sanctions

Addis Ababa (AFP) - South Sudan's leaders could face punitive sanctions from their neighbours as a "last resort" if peace talks fail to end their year-old civil war, Ethiopia's prime minister said Monday.

The stop-start peace talks, brokered by the east African regional bloc IGAD and held in Addis Ababa, have resulted in several ceasefire deals -- but each has been violated in a matter of hours.

The talks resumed last week but have again paused for Christmas, with mediators now laying the groundwork for a major regional summit on the conflict.

"If we fail to strike a deal during the coming summit, the IGAD leaders have been saying that there will be strong actions, including sanctions," Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn told reporters.

Ethiopia says ready to boost Somalia troops after SLeone exit

Addis Ababa (AFP) - Ethiopia said Monday it was ready to boost its troop levels in Somalia to replace soldiers from Sierra Leone, which has been forced to withdraw its forces from the mission over Ebola fears.
A contingent of 850 soldiers from Sierra Leone, who were part of the African Union's 22,000-strong AMISOM force, began departing Somalia on the weekend after a 20-month posting in the war-torn country.

AMISOM said the troops would not be replaced from Sierra Leone until the Ebola outbreak in the west African nation, which has the largest number of recorded cases of the virus, was contained.

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said his country could help take their place.

After breakout 2014, Almaz Ayana is ready to amaze in Beijing

The athletics world is accustomed to seeing Ethiopian women winning 5000m or 10,000m titles, but no one from the East African nation of 94million whose last name does not start with a ‘D’ had been able to get to the top of the podium at the Olympic Games, IAAF World Championships, IAAF World Cross Country Championships, or IAAF Continental Cup over the past decade prior to mid-September.
This strange streak ended when Almaz Ayana won the 5000m at the IAAF Continental Cup in Marrakech, Morocco.
In the probable absence of her two illustrious compatriots Tirunesh Dibaba and Meseret Defar, Ayana is now being touted as a potential medal contender at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing next summer.
“Being called the successor to Tirunesh and Meseret does not frighten me,” said the 23-year-old Ayana.
“I grew up listening about Tirunesh and Meseret on the radio. I am proud that people are comparing me with them. My plan is to achieve more than they did and to do so with God’s help.”
Her victory in Marrakech was one of two major titles in the Moroccan city this year. The other came just over a month earlier when she beat another team mate, world indoor 3000m champion Genzebe Dibaba, in a pulsating race to win the African 5000m title.
Understandably, Ayana has fond memories of the picturesque holiday destination, not for its tourist getaways but the serious business of athletics. 
“I would be happy if championships are held there all the time,” she says of Marrakech with a big smile, “It is the city where I have a lot of good memories. The stadium and its track were comfortable for me.”

Sunday, December 21, 2014


December 20, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – The International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) is preparing to open a permanent office at the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa.
National Interpol Head Commander, Girmay Kahsay, on Saturday told Sudan Tribune that Interpol has reached an agreement with the Ethiopian government and the African Union to open the office.

The deal was concluded after Interpol representatives recently held thorough discussions with the concerned parties in Addis Ababa.

When opened, the office in Addis Ababa will be Interpol’s third permanent office after the representative offices at the United Nations in New York and at the European Union in Brussels.

Kahsay said Interpol’s decision to open a permanent office in Addis Ababa was mainly due to the country’s longstanding firm and close collaboration with the organisation.

Somalia: Puntland Security forces capture more than 200 Ethiopian Immigrants

Puntland Security forces have captured over 200 would be immigrants of Ethiopian nationality who were on a voyage to Yemen to seek asylum, officials confirm.

The 206 immigrants, travelling in overcrowded boats, were apprehended off the coast of Marero village, close to Bosaso city, the commercial hub of the semi-autonomous region.

‘’ They are now held in a custody and will be deported back to their home country,’’ said a Police official.

Every year, Tens of thousands of African migrants risk their lives to try and enter Yemen on unseaworthy boats in search for a better life.

There’s been a sharp increase this year in the number of migrants and asylum seekers losing their lives in attempts to get to Yemen, mainly from the Horn of Africa, with more deaths in 2014 than in the last three years combined

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ethiopian capital's metro set for completion in January

  • Metro project backed and to be operated by Chinese firms

  • Ethiopian economy growing at around 9 percent a year

  •  Starting to attract industrial investment from overseas

By Aaron Maasho

ADDIS ABABA, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Ethiopia expects to complete the Chinese-backed construction of a $475 million metro rail system in the capital Addis Ababa next month, the head of the project said.

The project, built by China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) and mostly financed through a loan from China's Exim Bank, is a rarity on a continent plagued by poor transport links.

Beijing is a major partner in Ethiopia's bid to expand its infrastructure, with cumulative investments by Chinese firms reaching well over $1 billion, official figures show.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2014 Census: Ethiopia Again Ranks Among the Worst Jailers of Journalists in the World

New York (TADIAS) – Ethiopia has once again earned the unflattering distinction of being one of the worst jailers of journalists in the world along with Eritrea, Iran, Egypt, Burma and China. The 2014 Census of Imprisoned Journalists released today by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) found that the number of journalists imprisoned in Ethiopia more than doubled since the previous year.

Overall CPJ said it identified 220 incarcerated journalists globally in 2014. “Worldwide, 132 journalists, or 60 percent, were jailed on anti-state charges such as subversion or terrorism,” the report said. “Online journalists accounted for more than half, or 119, of the imprisoned journalists. Eighty three worked in print, 15 in radio, and 14 in television.” The annual census shows “roughly one-third, or 67, of the journalists in jail around the world were freelancers, around the same proportion as in 2013.”

Ethiopian health workers arrive in Liberia to help fight Ebola

Dec 16 (Reuters) - Scores of Ethiopian health workers arrived in Liberia on Tuesday to bolster the response to an Ebola outbreak that the government says it wants to stamp out before Christmas.

The 87 doctors and nurses will join an African Union (AU) mission against the worst Ebola outbreak on record, which has killed more than 6,800 people in Liberia and neighbouring Sierra Leone and Guinea.

They will join more than 175 Nigerian medics deployed to Liberia and Sierra Leone earlier this month.

"The aim of the AU is to support the government on the progress so far made. We want to expand on it, to make sure that the community also supports it," said Major-General Julius Oketta, who head's the AU Ebola mission.

Fight about money led to strangulation death

HIGH POINT —An Ethiopian refugee will spend at least 12 years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday in the 2013 strangulation death of his wife during a fight about money.

Arab Mohamed Ali, 35, was charged in February 2013 with the first-degree murder of 23-year-old Safaya Dadacha.

He struck a deal Tuesday with the High Point District Attorney’s Office and pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree murder, receiving a sentence between 12 and nearly 15-and-a-half years imprisonment with credit for time served.

High Point police responded the afternoon of Feb. 18, 2013, to 2113 Wingate Place in reference to a domestic violence call, prosecutor Christon Halkiotis said during the Tuesday proceedings. Ali called 911, she said.

Officers found Ali and the two children he had with Dadacha, ages 5 and 2, outside the residence. Dadacha was discovered on the floor inside, unresponsive, her head covered by a green cloth.

Halkiotis said police asked Ali if the woman was asleep.

Ethiopia: Ericsson snatches more than half of China's ZTE telecom deal

Swedish telecommunications group Ericsson has agreed to takeover more than half of China's ZTE Corporation's project in Ethiopia.
Ericsson on Tuesday signed a framework agreement with Ethio Telecom, Ethiopia's sole telecommunications services provider.
The new deal will allow Ericsson to take over a sizable portion of a telecommunications expansion project awarded to ZTE in the country's bid to increase mobile-phone network capacity to 50 million subscribers in 2015.
The East African country now has over 25 million mobile subscribers.
"The new deal allows the Swedish Company to take over four circles from the total six circles of the project previously given to ZTE," said Abdurahim Ahmed, the Ethio Telecom spokesperson.
Ethio Telcom awarded the new deal to Ericsson after a row over contractual terms with ZTE, according to media reports.

Ethiopia to Expand Energy, Industry With Eurobond Funds

ADDIS ABABA—Ethiopia plans to expand industry, sugar factories and power production using proceeds from its oversubscribed debut Eurobond that raised $1 billion, the finance minister said on Tuesday.

Ethiopia is the latest African state to receive a strong response on its first foray into the international debt markets. Investors have been eyeing Africa's sturdy growth rates and Ethiopia's economy is now expanding by about 9 percent a year.

“This amount will be spent on industry zones planned for construction across the country soon. They will attract investment and generate foreign currency,” Finance Minister Sufian Ahmed told reporters.

Offering cheap labor and power supply, as well as improving transport and other infrastructure, Ethiopia aims to be a hub for textiles and other industries by attracting investors who are moving some manufacturing plants from China and other Asian markets, where costs are rising.

Gang rape spurs calls for reform in Ethiopia

Lalango Hayesso and Tirfe Welde Senbet, Hanna's parents, mourn beside her photograph [Jacey Fortin/Al Jazeera]
Al Jazeera
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Inside a gated home on the western outskirts of Ethiopia's capital, a picture of Hanna Lalango is framed in a wreath of flowers just beginning to wilt around the edges.

The 16-year-old girl died on November 1, about a month after she entered a public mini-bus and was gang-raped by the strangers on board.

Hanna's story is strikingly similar to a tragedy that took place in India two years ago, when another young woman boarded a bus, was raped by the passengers, and died from her injuries. That incident spawned a mass movement calling for an end to violence against women and impunity for perpetrators, making international headlines and sparking protests across the world's most populous democracy.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Ethiopia grabs first ClimDev Special Fund grant

African Development Bank Group
Ethiopia has sealed a US $1.1 million deal with the newly launched ClimDev-Africa Special Fund (CDSF), to strengthen its climate information and early warning systems for climate resilience development and adaptation – becoming the first African country to benefit from the Fund.

A project document circulated in Lima, Peru, on the side lines of the 20th Session of global climate negotiations (COP 20), states that the Ethiopian project will enhance the building of national capacities in climate monitoring, data analysis, interpretation, forecasting and dissemination to foster the use of climate services in decision-making.

It is the second phase of an ongoing exercise in the upgrading and expansion of climate monitoring and data rescue activities to strengthen the provision of hydro-meteorological and climate services for climate resilience development in Ethiopia. It follows an initial project that was launched through assistance from United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s Climate Policy Centre in 2013 (ECA/ACPC).

Year of conflict in South Sudan has stolen future of a generation of children – UNICEF

Children in South Sudan. Photo: UNMISS/Ilya Medvedev
UNICEF), which warned today that the future of an entire generation of the country’s children was being “stolen” by the year-long conflict.
12 December 2014 – The scale of the crisis facing children in South Sudan is “staggering” according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (
Since violence erupted in December 2013, almost 750,000 children have been internally displaced, with 320,000 more living as refugees. UNICEF says that approximately 400,000 children were missing school, 12,000 reported as being used by armed forces and groups, and children were subject to violence, malnutrition and disease.
“Monday [15 December] will mark the first anniversary of the return to conflict in South Sudan. The world’s newest country, which began with so much promise three years ago still faces only a fragile peace,” UNICEF spokesperson Sarah Crowe told reporters today in Geneva, and one year after the conflict began, children are still under daily threat.
Echoing that concern from on the ground, Jonathan Veitch, UNICEF Representative in South Sudan, said: “The future of South Sudan’s children – and of the country itself – is being grossly undermined by the ongoing fighting…we will continue our enormous relief operation targeting hundreds of thousands of children, but what they need more than anything, is peace.”

Sunday, December 14, 2014

VIDEO: Well-dressed suspect robs Ethiopian business owner outside Northwest DC bank

WASHINGTON -A man dressed in a suit attacked and robbed a local business owner and it was all caught on camera.

"It was terrible, it's horrifying,” said Abraham Haptemaran.

He was pepper-sprayed and robbed in less than six seconds.

“It was painful, all over my face, my neck,” he said.

Haptemaran was on his way in to a PNC bank in the Chevy Chase area of D.C. on Connecticut Avenue.

"He just came from inside the door and then he just sprayed and grabbed,” said Haptemaran.

Out the bank door came this unsuspecting thief wearing glasses, dressed in a suit and with an overcoat.

"When he pepper-sprayed my face, I just saw a little bit at the beginning, then after that, I was just fading because I couldn't see,” the victim said.
The well-dressed bandit then pushed Haptemaran to the ground and struggled with his victim until he finally got away with a bag full of cash. It was a large amount of money from a day's work at Haptemaran's 7-Eleven store.

Ethiopia Habtemariam: Women In Music 2014

New York (TADIAS) – Billboard magazine has named Ethiopia Habtemariam, President of Motown Records and Head of Universal Music Group’s urban music division, as one of the 2014 top women in music. Ethiopia was among the leaders honored at the Billboard Women in Music luncheon held at Cipriani Wall Street on Friday, Dec. 12th in New York. The honorees included Beyonce, Aretha Franklin, Taylor Swift, Iggy Azalea, Jessie J and Ariana Grande.
Billboard states: “The luncheon was a celebration of the music industry’s most successful women, from pop stars to major record label executives, who all appear on Billboard’s annual Women in Music power list.”

Ethiopia-Egypt talks on Nile dam stumble

Ethiopian says the dam project is meant to generate badly-need energy. But the project has strained Ethiopia's relations with downstream Egypt, which fears the project will reduce its water share
World Bulletin/News Desk
Consultations among experts of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt aimed at determining the impact of Ethiopia's $4.8 billion dam project on the Nile's upper reaches halted amid differences between Egypt and Ethiopia, an official said Sunday.
The Tripartite National Committee (TNC) – a 12-member experts’ panel responsible of facilitating implementation of recommendations of the International Panel of Experts concerning Ethiopia’s hydroelectric dam project – had so far held two working sessions in Addis Ababa and Cairo.
"The third session was supposed to be held in Khartoum on December 4-6, but could not be held due to disagreements," Bizuneh Tolcha, a senior official with the Ethiopian Ministry of Water, Energy and Irrigation, told The Anadolu Agency.

Ethiopia’s rapid growth: Miracle or mirage?

By William Gumede
Ethiopia, like many of Africa’s new growing economies, began achieving high growth rates from a low base, writes William Gumede.

Thirty years ago, in 1984, Ethiopia was plunged into a terrifying famine, with hundreds of thousands starving to death and the economy in freefall.

For aboutt 10 years, the country has notched up double-digit economic growth rates. The average annual rate in the past 10 years has been 10.9 percent, according to figures from the African Development Bank.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Merck donates 13 million Praziquantel tablets to fight schistosomiasis in Ethiopia

Merck, a leading company for innovative and top-quality, high-tech products in the pharmaceutical, chemical and life science sectors, today announced that Ethiopia will receive around 13 million praziquantel tablets in 2015. Merck supports the World Health Organization (WHO) to fight the parasitic worm disease schistosomiasis in Africa. Praziquantel is the most effective treatment for schistosomiasis.

According to WHO, Ethiopia is one of the most endemic countries for schistosomiasis in the world. It is estimated that around 22 million people, which is more than 20% of the entire population, requires treatment. Since the start of the program around 1.4 million patients, primarily children, have been treated. “We have committed to continuing our efforts in Africa, in cooperation with WHO, until schistosomiasis is eliminated. In order to fulfill this commitment, we will donate 100 million praziquantel tablets to African countries in 2015. Ethiopia will be one of the main beneficiaries of this donation”, said Frank Gotthardt, Head of Public Affairs at Merck and responsible for the Merck Praziquantel Donation Program.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Ethiopia among Governments increase Internet censorship, surveillance-Berners Lee

LONDON, Dec 11 (Reuters) - The inventor of the Worldwide Web said on Thursday access to the internet should be regarded as a basic human right and criticised growing censorship by governments and commercial manipulation.
The World Wide Web Foundation created by Tim Berners-Lee said some 38 percent of states denied free internet use to citizens.
Laws preventing bulk mass surveillance were weak or non-existent in more than 84 percent of countries, up from 63 percent in 2013, it said. Moderate or extensive censorship was seen in 38 percent of countries, up from 32 percent in 2013.
"It's time to recognise the Internet as a basic human right," he said in a statement.
"That means guaranteeing affordable access for all, ensuring Internet packets are delivered without commercial or political discrimination, and protecting the privacy and freedom of Web users regardless of where they live."

Ethiopian Opposition Activists Bailed After Poll-Protest Arrests

Ethiopian authorities released on bail about 80 activists, including the head of an opposition group, arrested while protesting for fair campaigning in 2015 elections, a Blue Party spokesman said.
Security forces made arrests on Dec. 5 when members of the Blue Party and eight other opposition groups took to the streets of the capital, Addis Ababa, to call for greater freedom to hold meetings and rallies, Yonatan Tesfaye Regassa, the party’s head of public relations, said by phone.
Organization leader Yilkal Getnet was among those freed, while four other opposition members are still detained, possibly because they refused to co-operate with investigators, according to Yonatan. Investigations into the activists continue, he said.
Ethiopia is gearing up for parliamentary elections in May while rights groups including Amnesty International and donors such as the U.S. accuse its government of using legislation to criminalize legitimate dissent by political activists.
Communications Minister Redwan Hussien and Communications State Minister Shimeles Kemal didn’t answer a call each to their mobile phones today seeking comment.
Ethiopia’s constitution says everyone has the right to hold peaceful public protests. For “public convenience” the authorities may proscribe the location, route or timing of the demonstrations, it says.

‘Difret’ May Raise Profile of Ethiopia’s Filmmakers During Oscar Race

Only one film from sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) has ever won an Academy Award for foreign-language film. That is “Black and White in Color” back in 1976, directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, a French production flying under the flag of the Ivory Coast. Before this year, this vast region of 900 million people had only ever submitted nine films, and Annaud remains the only nominee.
So could 2014 see a breakthrough for authentically African cinema at the Oscars? For the first time, there are two entries, and both are real contenders: “Timbuktu” by Abderrahmane Sissako from Mauritania, which premiered to glowing reviews at Cannes, and “Difret” by Ethiopia’s Zeresenay Berhane Mehari, which won audience awards at Sundance and Berlin.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ethiopia says Ericsson to take part of telecom deal after ZTE row

Dec 11 (Reuters) - Swedish telecom group Ericsson is set to sign a contract with Ethiopia to expand telecom infrastructure, taking a slice of an $800 million contract from Chinese firm ZTE Corp because of a row over terms, a senior official told Reuters on Thursday.
ZTE Corp's deal with state-run operator Ethio Telecom was signed in 2013. The other half of the overall a $1.6 billion package to help double mobile subscribers was shared with another Chinese firm, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.
But Ethiopian and ZTE differed over the cost of upgrading an existing network. Ethiopian officials said the firms were expected to carry out the upgrade at no extra charge, while ZTE said it would cost an additional $150 million to $200 million.
Ethiopian officials had said Nokia and Ericsson could take some work if agreement was not reached.
Ethio Telecom Chief Executive Andualem Admassie told Reuters that discussions with Ericsson were nearing completion.

Kidnapped, raped and left for dead: who will protect Ethiopia's girls?

A social media campaign was started in Ethiopia after 16-year-old Hanna Lalango died after being sexually attacked on the streets. Photograph: Rediet Wegayehu/PR
One day in early October, Hanna Lalango, 16, did not return from school to her home in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, at the usual time. Her father Lalongo Hayesso was worried about his youngest daughter.
“We waited for her at her usual time … but we had to wait for 11 days to hear that she had been abandoned on the street. She was incapacitated and couldn’t even get up,” said Hayesso. His daughter had been abducted, gang-raped and left for dead. Hanna wasn’t was not able to get to hospital until 12 days after her attack, where she was treated for traumatic gynaecological fistula and other injuries. She died on 1 November.
Sexual violence against women in Ethiopia is relatively common. Research from 2012 found that “rape is undoubtedly one of the rampant crimes in Ethiopia”, and linked its prevalence to male chauvinist culture, legal loopholes, the inefficiency of different agencies in the criminal justice system, and “a deep-seated culture of silence”. In October 2011, an Ethiopian Airlines flight attendant named Aberash Hailay lost her eyesight after her ex-husband, Fisseha, stabbed her in both eyes with a sharp knife. And there’s the story of Frehiwot Tadesse, a mother of two, who was shot several times by her ex-husband in a broad daylight in Addis. Since the first reported case involving Kamilat Mehdi and her ex-boyfriend, acid attacks against women have also shown registered a disturbing increase.

Touching documentary Out of 30 adopted Ethiopians, 9 of them are homeless in Seattle


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ethiopian official denies dam-related financial woes

Ethiopian official has denied claims that a multibillion dollar deal is facing financial problems and has said that the project will not encounter any such problems until its finalised.
World Bulletin/News Desk

 An Ethiopian official on Wednesday denied claims that a multibillion-dollar hydroelectric dam currently being constructed on the Nile River was facing financial problems.
"The project has never encountered any financial limitation," Fekadu Ketema, spokesman for the Office of the National Council for the Coordination of Public Participation on the Construction of the GrandEthiopian Renaissance Dam, told The Anadolu Agency.
"We can reaffirm that the project will never encounter financial constraint to the end," said Ketema.
Ethiopian authorities say the $6.4-billion dam project is meant to generate badly-need energy.
But the project has strained Ethiopia's relations with downstream Egypt, which fears the project will reduce its traditional share of Nile water.

U.S. Embassy Ethiopia Security Message

Press Release
The U.S. Embassy informs U.S. citizens that political rallies or demonstrations may occur without significant notice throughout Ethiopia, particularly in the lead up to Ethiopian national elections in May 2015. Such rallies and demonstrations may be organized by any party or group and can occur in any open space throughout the country. In Addis Ababa, applications for permits to conduct rallies are often requested for Meskel Square or Bel Air Field. Please remember that even public rallies or demonstrations intended to be peaceful have the potential to turn confrontational and escalate into violence. You should, therefore, stay alert and avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.

The U.S. Embassy reminds U.S. citizens of the on-going threat of terrorist attacks in Ethiopia. U.S. citizens are reminded and encouraged to maintain heightened personal security awareness. Be especially vigilant in areas that are potential targets for attacks, particularly areas where U.S. and western citizens congregate, including restaurants, hotels, bars, places of worship, supermarkets, and shopping malls. Al-Shabaab may have plans for a potential attack targeting Westerners and the Ethiopian government, particularly in Jijiga and Dolo Odo in the Somali Region of Ethiopia, and Addis Ababa. Attacks may occur without warning.

Ethiopian who stabbed sleeping child beheaded in Saudi

An Ethiopian woman who stabbed a small Saudi girl 30 times in her sleep was beheaded by the sword Tuesday in the conservative Muslim kingdom, the interior ministry said.

Khadija bint Mohammed Isa was executed in Hafar al-Batin, northeast Saudi Arabia, it said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

She had "killed three-year-old child Aljazi bint Mohammed bin Fahd al Harbi... by stabbing her 30 times while she slept in her parents' room," the ministry said.
The suspect fled but was later captured and convicted, it said.

Local media said Isa was a maid, although SPA did not clarify her employment status or say what led to the killing.

Eurobonds and potash will boost Ethiopia and Africa’s food security

Investor Intel 
Ethiopia issued a dollar based bond to fund its development goals focused on increasing agricultural production, power generation and transportation infrastructure including the 6,000 megawatt Millennium Dam hydroelectricity project on a Nile river tributary. Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan will be handling the sale of the ten year bond (yielding 6.75%). Ethiopia has been Africa’s fastest growing economy for the past few years; it follows in the lead of other African countries that have issue similar bonds (Eurobonds) recently, including Kenya, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Ghana. Ethiopia’s bond issue reflects both the scope of its development ambitions – needing to raise at least USD$ 50 billion before the end of the decade to complete its development targets – and foreign investors’ growing interest in the country and Africa in particular. The Millennium Dam is seen as crucial to boosting agriculture in Ethiopia as well as some of its neighbors such as South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda. Indeed, Ethiopia has taken full responsibility for funding the Millennium Dam in order to establish greater control over the flow of the Nile waters and its power will allow Ethiopia to become a regional hydro-electricity hub.

It was exactly 30 years ago when the world learned of a terrible famine in Ethiopia, which also included present day Eritrea at the time prompting worldwide relief campaigns punctuated by songs like ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’ and ‘We are the World’. Much has changed today: Ethiopia is home to the third largest agricultural industry on the African continent and it is on track to achieve food security. Despite the huge challenge of expanding agriculture in a country that was not long ago on the brink of famine to ‘Africa’s bread basket’ is a huge challenge but thanks to farming method innovations and research, the country will, in the very near future, achieve food security. But Ethiopia’s ambitions reflect the wider agricultural growth phenomenon that has been occurring throughout Africa, which have been fueling the enthusiasm of local populations and private investors alike. With increasing urbanization and an exponential growth of the middle class, the African food market just waiting to grow and is expected to triple by 2030 according to a study by the World Bank in 2013. There is also a growing food deficit between demand and regional supply, which has contributed to interest in agriculture. Ethiopia and Africa will gains benefits in development and wealth creation along with agricultural best practices, better yield per hectare, and more intense trade links to developed countries. Recently a US private equity fund (KKR & Co) has made its first investment in Ethiopia.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Conversations with African Poets & Writers -Maaza Mengiste


Will Eurobonds Boost Ethiopian Food Security?

Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan will handle the sale of a 10-year, dollar-based Ethiopian bond yielding 6.75 percent to fund increased agricultural production, power generation and transportation infrastructure, InvestorIntel reports.

Agriculture investments in Africa increased by 137 percent in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013, thanks in part to improved political risk and easier transactions, according to international law firm, Freshfields,

Ethiopia has been Africa’s fastest growing economy for the past few years, according to InvestorIntel. It follows the lead of other African countries that issued similar bonds (Eurobonds) recently, including Kenya, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Ghana.

Ethiopia’s bond issue reflects both growing interest of foreign investors in the country and Africa, and the scope of its development ambitions, according to the report. The country needs to raise at least $50 billion USD before the end of the decade to complete its development targets.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Saudi border guards kill Ethiopian smugglers

RIYADH: Guards on Saudi Arabia's southern border with Yemen have killed two Ethiopians trying to smuggle drugs and alcohol into the kingdom, the official SPA news agency reported.

The agency said late Saturday that another three smugglers were wounded and four police were slightly hurt in a firefight.

Citing a spokesman for Saudi security forces, it said the incident in a mountainous area of Asir province came after the smugglers opened fire on border guards trying to arrest them.

The Saudi authorities often announce the seizure of drugs in a country where people convicted of smuggling narcotics are beheaded by the sword.

70 Ethiopian migrants drown in shipwreck off Yemen coast

Ethiopian migrants sleep out in the open near a transit centre where they wait to be repatriated, in the western Yemeni town of Haradh, on the border with Saudi Arabia. (File photo: Reuters)
 AFP, Sanaa
Monday, 8 December 2014

Seventy Ethiopian migrants have drowned after their boat sank near the entrance to the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen, the Yemeni Interior Ministry said.

The boat capsized in bad weather off the port city of al-Makha, near the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb, the ministry said in a statement posted on its website Sunday. It did not clarify when the boat sank.

"All those who were on board died," the statement said, adding that all were from Ethiopia.

Thousands of people fleeing troubled countries in the Horn of Africa try to reach Yemen every year in the hope of making their way on to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

On May 31, 60 migrants from Ethiopia and Somalia along with two Yemeni crew members drowned in the worst such tragedy off the coast of Yemen this year, according to the UNHCR.

In the past five years, more than 500,000 people -- mostly Eritreans, Ethiopians and Somalis -- have reached Yemen via the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea following treacherous journeys on vessels that are often overloaded.

Friday, December 5, 2014

UC Berkeley freshman Selam Sekuar dies at 19

Selam Sekuar, a UC Berkeley freshman and international student from Ethiopia, was fatally struck by a train at the Downtown Berkeley BART Station on Nov. 25. She was 19.

Known for her warm personality and dedication to her studies, Sekuar was a MasterCard Foundation Scholar. The program provides financial and academic support for successful students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, particularly those from sub-Saharan Africa. Studying in the College of Letters and Science, she aspired to pursue architecture and public health.

Sekuar was the scholar program’s first student from Ethiopia. To her peers within the Center for African Studies, which works closely with the scholar program, Sekuar had an infectious passion for a wide range of academic interests, from physics to premed studies.

Honey Wine Co. founder hopes to help Ethiopian farmers

The Honey Wine Co. in San Francisco was started by Ayele Solomon, a native of Ethiopia. Part of his motivation is to help create a market for farmers in Ethiopia and stop deforestation.
In Ethiopia, where a honey wine called t’ej is a traditional drink, hollow beehives are hung in trees to attract bees. They produce only a few pounds of poor quality honey per year — while “modern” frame beehives invented in 1852, produce up to 10 times more honey.
The people in the Kafa region of Ethiopia live on a few dollars a day due to outdated farming practices such as these traditional hives. Meanwhile, their low incomes are forcing them to cut down the important Kafa rainforest — where coffee originated — for planting crops and to make charcoal from the wood. Ironically, fewer tree flowers means less honey.
After a visit to the Kafa forest in 2008, Solomon decided to make honey wine in California and use the sales to finance modern beekeeping and beehive conversions and earn families five times more household income while saving their forest and reducing carbon emissions.
With partners, he is working on a much larger project to conserve 600,000 acres in Kafa, share forest carbon revenues with communities and convert thousands of beehives to modern ones. Solomon plans to source rare honeys from Kafa forest to make ultra-premium varieties of Bee d’Vine in the future.
At present, Solomon’s Bee d’Vine brand is made in a winery in southern Napa County from local honey by renowned winemaker Wayne Donaldson.

Insurance for Ethiopian herders aims to combat drought, conflict

YABELO, Ethiopia, Dec 5 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - N omadic livestock herders in Ethiopia have received their first payout from an insurance scheme that tracks poor pasture conditions with satellite technology.
Ethiopia has difficulty drawing full advantage from its livestock resources - the largest in Africa - because of the unreliability of pasture and water caused by persistent drought.
The new insurance scheme, known as index-based livestock insurance, aims to reduce losses, support pastoral communities, and lower the risk of conflict sparked by pastoralists migrating into agricultural areas in search of forage or water.
Coverage has been sold since July 2012 in southern Ethiopia's Borena zone by Oromia Insurance Company (OIC), with technical assistance from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), U.S.-based Cornell University, and Mercy Corps, an international development organisation. Just over 500 pastoralists took up coverage initially.

Ethiopia disavows Sudanese opposition meeting

World Bulletin/News Desk

The Ethiopian government on Friday disavowed a recent meeting of the Sudanese opposition, which called for the overthrow of the Sudanese regime.

Leaders of opposition parties and armed groups held a meeting in Addis Ababa on Wednesday, during which they signed a declaration calling for the overthrow of the Sudanese government.

"The Ethiopian government does not recognize the meeting or the declaration," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Dina Mufti told The Anadolu Agency on Friday.

"The parties are not called to Addis Ababa by the Ethiopian government at all," he said.

"What we know is that the parties were called by the African Union to hold peace talks with the Sudanese government – no more," he added.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ethiopia to complete debut dollar bond sale

Market Watch
Ethiopia is set to wrap up its debut dollar bond sale on Thursday, capping off a record year for frontier market debt issuance.

The 10-year bond will price to yield 6.625% and will raise $1 billion, according to one of the banks working on the deal. Investors said demand for the bond had reached around $2 billion.

The deal is another landmark sale for Africa, having seen a bumper $2 billion debut issue from Kenya in June—one of the largest ever first-time sales from the region.

“We’re running out of new names that can issue,” said Kevin Daly, a fund manager at Aberdeen Asset Management in London, adding that Ethiopia is the poorest country that has issued international bonds.

Offers to study Ethiopia's dam expected mid-December

Ahram Online
Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia were expected to consider international firm offers to conduct studies on the Grand Renaissance Dam Thursday, but several firms requested an extension
The period for receiving offers from international firms to conduct studies on the impact of Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam has been extended to mid-December.

Advisor to Egypt's irrigation minister, Alaa Yassin, told Al-Ahram Arabic news website Wednesday that some firms — originally expected to make their offers late November — requested an extension.

Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia had selected seven international firms in October to prepare technical and financial offers in order to choose one to conduct studies on Ethiopia's dam.

The firms were from Germany, Switzerland, France, Holland and Australia.