Viral hepatitis result in a potentially life-threatening inflammation of the liver, which is characterized by complications of liver disease. Specifically, hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) viruses alone cause chronic viral hepatitis which is a major global health problem responsible for 57_per cent of liver cirrhosis and 75_per cent of primary liver cancer cases, respectively.
A 2013 WHO report indicates that more than 240 and 150 million populations were affected by chronic liver disease due to HBV and HCV respectively. Africa has been the second largest number of chronic HBV reports next to Asia. A recent report still estimates that about 2.2 billion people globally have evidence of past or present infection with the viruses. And about 500 million of these are chronically infected- a figure more than ten times those affected by HIV and AIDS.
Besides, chronic viral hepatitis takes the lives of around 1.3 million people from chronic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) per annum. It is then evident that the death toll from viral hepatitis is fairly analogous with the 1.5 million deaths from HIV and AIDS and 1.2 million deaths from either tuberculosis or malaria annually.
WHO also reported that unlike HIV, which primarily occurred in low-income countries, 58 percent of hepatitis deaths occurred in upper-middle-income countries and high-income countries. For example, in absolute numbers, East Asia and south Asia have the greatest number of hepatitis deaths with 52 per cent of the total number of deaths.
Notwithstanding its high prevalence and highly infectious nature as well as significant burdens of disease including huge rate of mortality and morbidity worldwide, viral hepatitis has not been given the attention it deserves by the international community.
In Ethiopia, several investigations on the prevalence and magnitude of HBV indicate that there is an average of 2.3 per cent decline annually. According to data from HealthGrove, the annual mortality rate per 100,000 people from hepatitis B in Ethiopia has decreased by 52.8% since 1990. This is due to successful interventions against hepatitis B virus (HBV).
According to Consultant internist and gastroenterologist hepathologist, assistant Prof. of Medicine, Addis Ababa University and Director of Endoscopy Center at Black Lion Hospital Dr. Amir Sultan told The Ethiopian Herald that Ethiopia has been adopting and employing a WHO recommended Global intervention approach to prevent transmission.
The expansion of the healthcare system particularly in rural areas for delivery, antenatal care and pregnancy services has had a huge impact on the prevention effort.
In addition, Ministry of Health organized a national task force and developed strategic documents and treatment guidelines following the global move and determinations. Although there is an important number of infection among the total population, the intervention through promoting the universal precaution resulted in success.
Dr. Amir explains that the enduring viral hepatitis in Ethiopia are caused by virus hepatitis B and C, with estimated prevalence of about eight and one percent of the entire population respectively. The nature of the virus significantly contributed to the prevalence. The high infection rate is due to the fact that Hepatitis B virus is almost hundred times more infectious and stronger than HIV.
The overall mode of transmission mirrors that of HIV. Nevertheless, a number of studies by different universities including those from Addis Ababa University traced that the commonest mode of transmission in Ethiopia is through early horizontal transmission (among children aged 1 to 5 years as they engage in household activities), followed by sexual transmission. This pattern of transmission is different from that in most parts of the world. In Asia, the commonest way is from mother to child during birth, where as in the west it is intravenous drug use and sexual intercourse.
Realizing the commonest ways of infection, the government focused on minimizing the acquisition of the virus in addition to offering available treatments to those patients who developed the complication. This basically targets children who are vulnerable to the infection. The new generation therefore is not going to be infected for there is already a vaccine for hepatitis B. There is also a vaccine available for certain selected group of the society, particularly those who are highly risked in handling sharp materials. The professor hence is very hopeful about the future of HBV. “I’m therefore quite confident in that the impact is going to be massive in the near future. Because the practice is in congruent with the global Expanded Program of Immunization .”
Those nations that employed the same intervention have attained success. An outstanding illustration can be Taiwan. It received international recognition in significantly reducing HBV infection and liver cancer complications over 20 years. Ethiopia in the same way started the trend before five years, so it would not see more HBV infection. Because children who were born in health care system accessible areas of Ethiopia over the past 5 to 7 years already received the vaccine for hepatitis B infection. There is also a better access to the vaccine for healthcare workers.
Government has also placed emphasis on preventing HCV. The Ministry of Health together with the Ethiopian Gastroenterology Association has been working harder to make the drug available in Ethiopia at 99 per cent discount. And the manufacturing company, Gilead Sciences now provides Ethiopia the drug at 1 percent cost of the original price which is about 84,000 US dollar per personal dose.
The overall attainment so far can be deemed rewarding. However, it would be prudent to sustain the efforts for lasting resolutions. Therefore, being on post HIV era and taking into consideration the magnitude and seriousness of the problem, prevention and control of viral hepatitis need a high degree of attention similar to HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
BY SINTAYEHU TAMIRAT
The Ethiopian Badminton Federation (EBF) is currently working to expand the sport across the nation and to be competitive in the Continental and International games, EBF stated.
The Federation also highlighted during its 13th General Assembly that finance, sport facilities, play grounds and backward attitude towards the sport are challenges facing the federation this time.
Federation President Gebreyesus Ayele said during the assembly that Ethiopia is in a good position in light of the continent’s rank even if there are many things yet to be done as per nation’s potential.
The president stressed that regions and all stakeholders should work hand in glove to build strong network to have public base for the sport.
Gebreyesus added that the federation has faced challenges in the areas of facility, playing fields and finance in its effort to expand the sport.
Office Head of the Federation Worknesh Tilahun said during the General Assembly meeting that shuttle time, badminton school program, disability badminton, different national and international tournaments and skill development trainings were thoroughly discussed. “Regardless of the limited finance and other bottlenecks the assembly considers the federation has registered good performance last season,” Worknesh said.
Material support from Japan and training collaborations with the World and African Badminton Federations were also complements to Federation’s performance in the last budget year.
She said adding “One of such a partnership was the recent event management course given for 13 trainees.”
The federation was also hailed for successfully organizing the 2017 International Badminton competition that drew 85 participants from India, Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Jordan, Zambia, Luxemburg, Algeria, Uganda, and Seychelles including the host nation Ethiopia. Among these 34 were Ethiopians.
Worknesh noted, “The tournament was the best opportunity to identify our level and share international experiences.”
BY YARED GEBREMEDEN
Tirunesh Dibaba won the Chicago marathon with consummate ease
Ethiopian three times Olympic gold medallist and world champion Tirunesh Dibaba snatched the Chicago Marathon women’s title on Sunday, pulling away to win her first major crown at the distance.
Tirunesh won at a time of 2 hours 18 minutes and 31seconds to leave behind Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei by 1:51 to take the second place with American Jordan Hasay third in 2:20:57.
From the start Tirunesh vowed to challenge the women’s course record of 2:17:18 set by British world record holder Paula Radcliffe in 2002 and was on that pace in the early stage but she was not able to slash that record.
What was observed was that Tirunesh led after 5km in 16:08, 19 seconds under Radcliffe’s course record pace, and had trimmed the field in the lead pack to only five.
Tirunesh led at the halfway mark at 1:08:48, well off Radcliffe’s record pace, but made another charge that left only Kosgei on her heels. The Kenyan fell back with 10km remaining, leaving Tirunesh alone to the end.
Tirunesh is a two-time 5,000m world champion and three-time 10,000m world champion who settled for second at this year’s worlds in London, trailing only to compatriot Almaz Ayana.
Tirunesh also won 5,000 and 10,000 gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and defended the longer crown (10, 000m) four years later in London Olympics. Last year in Rio, Tirunesh was third in the 10,000m with the fourth-fastest time in history.
And Tirunesh was second at London Marathon in April in 2:17:56, becoming the third-fastest woman at the distance on a similar flat course in only her second effort at the distance.
After culminating the most gruelling 42 kms and 195m race Tirunesh said that she was actually wasn't running against anyone. "I was running to improve my personal best. I'm very happy I won. I trained very hard for this big international event. I knew if I maintained my own pace I would be able to finish in 2:17 but I was not able to meet that target," Tirunesh said.
She added: "I've won many races. I'm not going back to the track. Hereafter I'm only running marathons. In London World Athletics Championship I had a plan to run marathon but a few months before the start of the global event I changed my mind following the advice of my coaches. I managed to finish second in 10, 000m. That was good. Now I want to have Olympic gold medal in marathon. If I get that I will be the third Ethiopian to collect gold in marathon next to Fatuma Roba and Tiki Gelana and the first athlete to get the track and marathon Olympic title. That is what I aspire to get at this time.”
Tirunesh had the ambition to make history in Chicago. She wanted to beat the 2:17.56 she run when she finished second in London on April 23 this year. She wanted to break the course record of 2:17.18, set by Paula Radcliffe in 2002. She eyes also Radcliffe's world record of 2:15.29.
What was a surprise revelation was that she said she skipped the award ceremony at the London World Championships in August after finishing second in the 10,000 meters so she could begin training for Chicago.
Tirunesh earned her first marathon victory in the span of three years.
Meanwhile, international media reported that Galen Rupp became the first US men’s winner of the Chicago Marathon since 2002 when he took victory in the Windy City on Sunday in 2:09:20.
The 31-year-old surged clear of his rivals with three miles to go as he beat 2016 winner Abel Kirui of Kenya by 28 seconds with another Kenyan, Bernard Kipyego, third.
Kenyans had won 13 of the past 14 men’s races in Chicago, with the only other win coming from an Ethiopian. But Rupp broke the East African dominance as he became the first American to triumph since Khalid Khannouchi took the race in 2002.
Rupp was the London Olympics 10,000m silver medallist.
Over the past years, Ethiopia has been registering rapid economic growth that ensures fair distribution of wealth. In due course, how is the welfare of citizens and level of poverty addressed ? How is the job creation pace against unemployed rate? The Ethiopian Plan Commission Minister Dr. Yinager Dessie gave his reflections on these and related issues during the an interview he held with Addis Zemen daily. The excerpts:
Addis Zemene : How would you describe the fairness and inclusiveness of the country’s economy in improving citizens welfare and reducing poverty over the last ten years?
Dr. Yinager: Our economy is broad base. This meant the government is embarking upon all sectors. For instance, wide range of activities has been carried out in the agriculture sector over the past 15 years. This is simply because most of Ethiopians are highly dependent on agricultural development. Therefore, to change the life of the people focusing on agriculture is a must.
Especially, supporting the wider people engaged in agricultural sector is quite smart choice in ensuring fairness.
By the way, the rural and agricultural, industry and urban development strategies as well as other strategies and policies are focused on fairness. They were designed in a way to extricate most of the people from poverty.
Over the past years, budget allocation and focused activities have been made in line with this noble aspiration.
In urban areas, the industry development is mushrooming. Micro and small enterprises are expected to reduce urban poverty as they are basis for urban development.
Primarily, they create ample jobs and improve their income. This would ultimately trim down poverty in urban areas.
The incumbent attached due attention for urban policies to promote micro and small as well as big and medium industries. These industries would play decisive role in improving life and livelihood of most citizens in urban areas. In this regard, changes have been registered. Many citizens specially the youth have improved their lives. However, due to various reasons especially the poor governance and related problems, the number of unemployment still high. Our policies are proven to be viable and fruitful in some parts of country where implemented at fullest capacity.
To the contrary, we sense that in some parts of the country because of weak implementation youth have not been benefiting from job creation and economic growth as it was planned. It is against this backdrop, the government has established special youth revolving fund since last year. This is being done along the usual development activities to reduce the unemployment.
In general, though there are problems to effectively implement policies and strategies in rural and urban areas, the development policies and strategies have proven to be the basis of fair utilization of wealth in the country.
Addis Zemene: How do you assess the improvement of per capita income and expansion of socio-economic infrastructure development over the last decade?
Dr. Yinager : There are international and conventional parameters to measure a certain country’s growth. By dividing the Gross Domestic Product by the number of population we can get the average per capita income. In this computation, in 2008 EC the per capita income was 794 USD. This is an average and there are people who earn below and above this mean income. Over the years, the per capita income in the country has been growing as the country’s GDP grows. The growth encompasses the aggregate of agriculture, industry and service sectors growth. This aggregate has shown steadily increment and the county has registered 10.1 percent average growth over the past decade.
On other hand, there are sectors, significantly contributing for the economic growth, which are non financial parameters by themselves. For instance, the expansion of education and health services in the past ten years has big share for the social sector growth. In fact, the share of education sector is much high than health.
Obviously, the expansion of education is one of the results of development. If we desire to register sustainable growth and develop the manufacturing sector, the focus is on educated youth. This unquestionably would help undertake knowledge based development. The competitive workforce for the manufacturing sector comes from the education sector. Therefore, the education sector is potential growth arm for the manufacturing sector. Besides, the service sector has been backed by the education sector. No exception for the agriculture sector.
The expansion of education facilities at various levels has enabled the farmers to send their children to education facilities. This, for sure, would enable farmers to undertake knowledge based farming practice and technology application thereby sustaining the growth of the agriculture sector.
In sum, as the number of educated citizens’ increase, their contribution to all spheres of development would be imperative. Above all, the growth of a given country is labeled by its human resource development.
It is worth mentioning that the agriculture sector is also supporting the education sector. If a farmer improves his/her product and productivity, his/her income will improve. So, it is possible to fulfill the educational inputs and construct schools for his/her children.
Similarly, if the farmers are protected from any communicable disease, they would be productive. The life expectancy will increase. Again this would enable the people to enhance their role and contribution for the improvement of product and productivity in the agriculture, industry and service sectors. It is vivid that these growth indicators are complementing each other and have the capacity to sustain the development.
Precisely, the last decade was the time for the country to register commendable achievements in social development. In fact, there are pending issues related to quality which would be a focus area for the government. For instance, over the past years the government has been aggressively working to expand education. Hence, the issue of quality now becomes the focus. A number of reforms are being implemented to address the quality gap.
With regards to infrastructure development, wide ranges of facilities have been built. Road is one of the infrastructures that swiftly and widely undertaken. It also consumed huge budget in relation to other sectors. For obvious reason, the country’s economy needs to be networked with roads to ensure sustainability. In this regard, the rural road accessibility program has carried out valuable activities. The road sector development has multifaceted benefits including job creation, market access to farmers and supply agricultural inputs to farmers.
The power supply is also an ever demanding issue. All the power supply is generated from renewable energy resources. This is decisive to sustain the green development. Over the last decade, laudable job has been done in power supply. Currently, huge power supply projects are well underway. We have now managed to export power to neighboring countries. Actually, expansion of power supply is meant to provide energy demand at household level, for micro and small enterprises and in general for industry and service sectors.
Therefore, to measure a country’s economic growth all the financial and non financial measurements need to be reviewed.
Addis Zemen: The number of youth especially women was high in the last ten years. How do you evaluate the number of readily available working force and job creation capacity in the country?
Dr. Yinager : Our population is increasing. In our three censuses the population size shows sharp increase. In 1984 the population was 40 million. This number has increased to 54 million after ten years. In the third population census in 2007 the number had reached 73.4 million. The fourth one is expected to be conducted in the coming February. The estimation is 96 million. Though the population increases, thanks to the effort over the last four years the birth rate is declining.
For instance, the birth rate was 3.5 percent in 1990’s but currently this rate is below 2.5 percent. It is also anticipated that the rate would decrease in the coming years. The major reasons for the decrease are the activities done in the education and health sectors. Besides, putting in place modern family planning system attributed to the success in controlling population size as this was confirmed by researches. But this does not mean the population size would not increase rather at family level do so.
Yearly, the size of population that joins the workforce bracket is increasing in the absence of opportunities that can absorb this influx. Though considerable youth in rural and urban areas have benefited from job opportunities in agriculture, industry and service sectors, still there is imbalance between the increasing population and job creation capacity. As a result, the number of unemployed youth shows increase in rural and urban areas especially the women.
As the agriculture continues to be the leading sector to for the economy and most of the people living in rural areas, huge job must be created in this sector. Therefore, the youth should take part in agricultural job opportunities. There are ample opportunities in agriculture and related fields. This is one of government directions to address unemployment in the rural areas.
In urban areas, micro and small enterprises have great contribution for job creation. The expansion of medium and big industries would have also vast role in creating jobs.
Certainly, the role of micro and small enterprises should be enhanced as they are potentially promoted to medium and then to the big ones. Basically, the sustainable industry development is considering job opportunity creation.
Therefore, government at all levels should give priority to address the multifaceted problems of the micro and small enterprises. The problems related with loan and working areas provision as well as the relevance of the sector should be considered with urgency. If all actors employ efforts, the sector will go a long way in absorbing unemployed youth.
Addis Zemen: Does the manufacturing sub sector grow as the government desires over the last ten years?
Dr. Yinager : I think this has historical evolution. Before 26 years, the country’s economic system was socialism. This ideology does not encourage private investors. The manufacturing industry and other firms were owned by the government this would not encourage the private investors. In 1985 EC, the county did not have industry infrastructure. Since 1994 EC after the formulation of policies and strategies the country has pursued market led economy and structural change has been evolving. The weak role and contribution of private investors in the previous regimes has limited its contribution to country’s economy. Over the past ten years, thanks to the government’s efforts the involvement of private sector and the industry sector have grown.
For instance, the industry has registered 20.6 percent growth in the previous year. The manufacturing sector displays 18 percent growth. Apparently, the growth is huge but the base is not broadening. The inception of manufacturing industry was at lower level and this is the reason for the sector that limits its growth. The other sound reason is the attention for the sector is the recent phenomenon.
The manufacturing sector is highly dependent on agriculture sector. The price of raw agricultural products the global market has been fluctuating while the price of processed have not been as such varied.
Therefore, to secure sustainable foreign trade revenue exporting processed products are more preferable to complement various development programs. This is why the government is focusing on the expansion of industries in general and the manufacturing sub sector in particular.
Addis Zemen: Thank you for your time
Dr. Yinager: I also thank you.
BY HAILEGEBRILE BINIYAM
Ethiopia is implementing a foreign policy that has in fact redeemed the war ravaged Horn of Africa region. As we know, if anything goes wrong in the Horn of Africa region, Ethiopia would be the first to suffer the consequences. The policy it is pursuing now is devised after perusing the objective facts of the long history of the Horn.
The fundamental paradigm shift, one can easily point out from the current foreign policy of Ethiopia is its proclivity towards the internal political harmony as a means to ensure its peace and national security rather than fumbling about to deal with isolated deeds of its perceived or real enemies who might conspire against it.
In my view, this is an astute policy that would possibly fend off any external threats Ethiopia may face in the volatile region of the Horn of Africa. When we try to compose ourselves and see things critically based on tenets of our foreign policy, we would clearly understand that Ethiopia has relieved itself from the pestering effects of a siege mentality that had deposed the previous regimes to be paranoid based on a wrong assessment or belief that other hostile countries are conspiring against the country.
Freeing itself from imagined or real threats that incarcerate by fear of attack by external hostile forces, Ethiopia has adopted a new foreign policy that adopts an inward looking perspective and that tries to move with the time.
We can rest assured that Ethiopia would continue to successfully stride along the current path of development, if it manages to cope with our internal political discord and countries that are hovering around the Horn of Africa would not pose any real danger to our national security.
Last year, when the Horn began to ramify with the advent of the member countries of the GCC into the region, some local and external observers were alarming that Ethiopia would face formidable challenges. They had suggested that if it does nothing, being oblivious of the endangering maneuver of the power politics of the Gulf States, it would possibly put its national security at risk.
If Ethiopia continues to remain idle as such in the face of the ongoing stern political and military ramifications without taking the necessary precautionary measures that counterbalance the mug’s game that involve these hostile Gulf Countries on one hand and Iran on the other, it will suffer the consequences.
But according to our foreign policy, there is no more important issue to Ethiopia’s domestic stability than the arrangement of its internal affairs. If it can reduce its internal anti-systemic threats that regularly conspire against our federal democratic establishment by ensuring and consolidating the democratic governance, no single terrorist group or conspiracy of “rogue state” would be strong enough to destabilize Ethiopia.
Therefore, in assessing the state of Ethiopia’s strategic stability one must focus on the internal political situation. Anti-systemic groups who may threaten the stability of our federal democratic system solely feed on the dissatisfaction of the public that arise from lack of good governance and anti-democratic proclivity of government officials.
While I believe that it is sensible to think in terms of the new scenario owing to the siege mentality that Eritrea has adopted and accordingly acted over the past two decades I would strongly believe the ball is in our hand. Surly, the most important factor that determines the outcome of the standing destabilization project being sponsored by the rouge state in Asmara is its internal political stability.
The utmost hate the regime in Asmara harbors on Ethiopia might once again lead the leadership to miscalculate and may launch an open aggression. Nonetheless, if Eritrea decides to launch an aggression for the second time, Ethiopia will respond, as the late PM Meles has once said, in a manner that would make sure that Eritrea won’t have a third chance.
If Eritrea decides on its own to go to war with Ethiopia or is emboldened to do so by the new allies, it will likely bring itself into the fray that would speed up its demise. If Ethiopia does all its “homework,” then it will meet any case and would fend off any threats posed against its national security.
Following the establishment of the federal democratic system in Ethiopia in 1995, we had seen a major paradigm shift in the dynamics of the country's foreign policy and diplomacy. That was the time when Ethiopia, for the first time in its history, had a comprehensive and an all embracing democratic policy and strategy. The Foreign Affairs and National Policy and Strategy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia was an enlightening document that had clearly defined the foreign policy and diplomacy of the country.
The foreign policy of Ethiopia focuses on sustained economic development, prosperity, promotion of democracy and peace as the pillars of the nation's objectives of foreign policy and diplomacy.
Unlike the previous foreign policies devised by the previous regimes, the new foreign policy of Ethiopia tries to promote the national interest of the country by mainly promoting common agendas that would benefit both sides. In short, the country's foreign policy emanates and is based on the domestic policies of the country. Ethiopia has understood the consonance between its domestic and foreign policy objectives. Our foreign policy prescribed the need to mainly focus on the domestic affairs in order to excel in our diplomatic mission that primarily promote the influx of foreign investment capital that would solidify the fight against poverty.
BY AMEN TEFERI
It is obvious that poor countries and vulnerable people are always facing a barrage of economic, environmental,health, social and political shocks as well as natural disasters.
To mention some of these shocks and natural disasters that have been affecting the poverty-stricken nations are the following; volatile food prices,financial crises, droughts, earthquakes,diseases,conflicts, violence and like.
The aforementioned shocks and disasters have been disrupting the food supply and threatening food and nutrition security of poor countries. Bearing this in mind, Ethiopia has been enhancing its drought mitigation efforts with a view to strengthening resilience and achieving food and nutrition security for all.
On many occasion,most of the experts and practitioners from food,nutrition,health,agriculture ,humanitarian and related development sectors have echoed that building resilience means helping individuals,households,communities,and countries anticipate,prepare for,cope with,and recover from shocks and not only bounce back to where they were before the shocks occurred,but become even better off.
In fact, the concept of resilience is currently the subject of wide attention in the development community,but resilience in the context of food and nutrition security is less widely discussed. That is why many people have urged governments to take resilience seriously in a bid to ensure an end to hunger and under-nutrition sustainably and forever.
Of course , a resilience approach has the potential to improve livelihoods and support economic growth and transformation while mitigating future shocks .Plus,it can help developing countries tackle issues that run across the entire agriculture,food,nutrition, and environmental system..
In the same vein , investing in the resilience of smallholder farmers is tantamount to investing in the food system,the resilience of communities,and the strength of nations.
Indeed, there are many approaches to creating resilience,but what is more important is to start with what exists,with local knowledge and a partnership approach.
Apparently, Ethiopia could be taken as an exemplary nation in a view with building resilience to the rest of poor and vulnerable countries. Adding that during the 2016 drought and famine in the Horn of Africa,the impact in Ethiopia was limited compared to the horror stories of the 1980s because of good leadership and government policies that addressed macroeconomic and ensured investment in drought preparedness and smallholder farmers.
Of course, Ethiopia has adopted a plan for the growth and transformation of its economy. The plan consists of investment and policy approaches for enhancing agricultural productivity ,expanding key infrastructures such as energy and communications, and promoting industrial growth.
These in turn embody Ethiopia's key strategy in enhancing resilience to shocks of many forms,which is to build a robust and diversified economy.
So how do a nation build resilience for food and nutrition security?
First of all, it is to listen to and respect the opinions of local people. They may not have high levels of formal education,but they know the land and local conditions far better than the development workers.
Then, development is not something that we do for people since it is what people do for themselves. Thus,resilience is a consequence of successful rural development as a whole.
The third proposition is that poor rural people are not looking for charity. Handouts do not not build resilience, they rather increase dependency. Hence, we should build resilience through partnership based on approaches that respect the dignity of the recipients ,foster ownership and ensure sustainability.
The last one is that the efforts to build resilience must start with a change in mindset. As farming is a business, no matter the scale or size, small -scale farmers are the main on-farm investors in agriculture throughout the developing world. They must be regarded and respected as equal and integral partners in development.
In sum up, achieving the international set goal of ending hunger by 2025 across the globe highly depends on strengthening resilience in coping and prospering in the presence of any human and natural shocks as well as disasters.
The National Meteorology Agency said as last rainy season witnessed heavy downpours of the past many years and also urged nation to take advantage over the great rainfall to garner bumper harvest.
Agency Deputy Director Dulla Shanko said the agency releases beforehand weather information to the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, farmers and other stakeholders every three days through various mass media and its website.
Using its eleven branches in Amhara, Tigray, Somali, Afar, Oromia, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples, Gambella and Benishangul Gumuz states, the agency provides latest weather forecast using its over 1,300 weather stations across the country.
Moreover, around 233 stations are well equipped with modern apparatus that receive atmospheric information within 30 kms distance.
The agency also provides weather information to the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electric and Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission in a bid to give them green light when torrential rain occurs, he noted.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources Public Relation Officer Daniel Dentamo for his part said the current heavy rainfalls are helpful for highland farmers who sowed seeds lately for various reasons. However, he urged farmers take every necessary measures to protect their crop from possible damage due to heavy rain.
He also said farmers who plowed their farms in rugged and slop areas need to dig drainage to protect the farm from possible erosion.
According to Daniel, the amount of rainfalls vary from place to place particularly in the areas .For example, the rift valley, eastern Tigary and Wollo and parts of Afar region receive little rain, hence, he called on farmers to harvest the water , use it economically and retain precipitation. Furthermore, they have to sow crops that grow fast such us lentils,cheek pea,pea and bean.
BY ABEBE WOLDE GIORGIS
The Ethiopian Agricultural Research Council Secretariat (EARCS) said that it would intensify provision of improved agricultural technologies through conducting rigorous researches focusing on strategically selected food crops, supplying agricultural inputs and engaging in human resource development among others in this fiscal year.
This was disclosed recently at the Secretariat 's 2nd Regular Assembly. EARCS Coordinator Dr. Mekuria Tadesse on the occasion said : “We have the responsibility to coordinate, support and give guidance to nation’s research system. A lot is expected from us in terms of ensuring food security, enhancing export earnings and developing agri- business industrialization in the country.”
He further said that the research capacity building would be carried out in line with the road map directions.
“Enhancing collaboration and coordination of research priority commodities, strengthening research infrastructure and central service of EARCS give impetus to the agricultural research system.
According to Dr. Mekuria , the Secretariat has carried out a wide range of feasibility studies and the studies have already indicated the agricultural research gaps particularly in human resource development.
For example, most of the researchers are first and second degrees holders. “But , in developed countries, first degree holders are not considered as researchers. Thus, the council has planned to reach third degree holders to 60 percent and the rest second degree graduates by the end of GTP III.”
He also noted that the country has planned to modernize its research infrastructures, bio-science among others to become globally competitive. ”With a view to achieving global competitiveness, the council has prepared capacity building project that will be endorsed by the Ministry of Council in the near future. We believe the project will be successful with the support of the government and stakeholders,” he added.
In his presentation on Ethiopian Agricultural Research System Capacity Building Concept , Dr. Mengistu Alemayehu said that the current Ethiopian agriculture calls for paradigm shift in improvements in crop and livestock production and productivity to improve the overall welfare in the country and to compete in the stiff competition of the global market for agricultural products.
BY ALAZAR SHIFERAW
The city road coverage has already reached 23.4 percent before the Second Growth and Transformation Plan ( GTP- II) come to an end in three year time . The plan is to raise the road coverage by 25 percent at the end of the reported period, said T'umay Woldegebriel Public Relations Head at Addis Ababa City Roads Authority.
The head told The Ethiopian Herald that the road coverage of Addis Ababa has now reached 6,256 Km. “ Calculating the total road length of the city has no use so long as the pertinent body and the city residents do not take the necessary measures to protect the roads as a whole from any possible damage.”
According to T'umay, the city 's pedestrian roads are being mostly misused by various stakeholders. As a result, they are causing massive traffic jam and road deterioration.
“The road users have to move freely in the city. But, roads are being occupied by various illegal activities like street trading, parking at the side of the road, enclosing pedestrian areas without legal permission and so on.”
Regarding Road Safety Laws and Regulations , he said the five regional offices of city have responsibility to oversee the road condition in the respective sub-cities and they as well bring the violator before court . “ We have already begun litigation and received compensation from those who have incurred damages to the roads and sidewalks . ”
In the efforts to beautify the city sidewalks, the authority has organized 35 Small and Medium Enterprises allocating over 100 million Birr, T'umay indicated.
As to this year’s plan , he noted that over 1000 Km roads would be built and renovated using latest technology like Road Condition Survey Vehicle. “ On the top of building new roads and carrying out road maintenance, there will be constructions of cobblestone streets in condominium housing projects and access roads in areas where transport seems impossible.”
It was learnt that the Authority has allotted 4.6 billion birr for this fiscal year.
BY DANIEL BEYENE
In an exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald, New Universities Construction Project Office General Manager, Abebech Negash said: “By now, the 10 universities, but Kebridahar, whose construction started late, are at 92 per cent completion status, leaving the finishing job, and about 70 per cent of the contractors are in quest of handing over the projects.”
Though the projects were meant to be erected at an initial outlay of 2.4 billion Birr, it would incur additional cost on account of revised design, she indicated.
The ministry expects to see 100 per cent completion of the projects until October 20.
The ministry has already assigned presidents and vice presidents for the universities. Teaching and other staffs have recently been recruited in different campuses are now receiving trainings, she said.
Although there has been some delay of purchases on the part of the Federal Public Procurement and Property Administration Agency, agreements have now been reached with the suppliers for all the inputs necessary to start the instructional process, Abebech added. “We otherwise could start it earlier in the academic year.”
Consequently, the ministry is to take over the universities as of this week and decided the opening calendar to be the last week of November.
Abebech noted that the new universities would further add to the nation’s effort in ensuring education coverage which has already brought it international recognition.
In addition, to contributing to the quality education, the new universities would vitally affect the pace of socioeconomic transformation. And they would create significant number of permanent and temporary jobs to citizens including the communities nearby.
BY SINTAYEHU TAMIRAT