The Ethiopian Basketball Federation in association with International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) offered International Wheelchair Basketball training course for coaches, referees and classifiers coming from all nine regions and the two city administrations.
According to the information from the federation 6 trainees from all regions and the two city administrations and a total of 66 coaches, referees, classifiers and players took part in the training.
Federation Education and Training Expert Abel Tadesse said that the training is aimed specifically to strengthen the wheelchair basketball premier league and city cups clubs competition. The training also helps wheelchair basketball players to prepare for 2020 Tokyo Olympics. “Expansion of the game is one of the most important aspects of the course,” Abel said.
The participants who came from different regions are hopefully gain experience, knowledge and skills from the training, the expert added.
Jess Markt from the US is a trainer of the program and Disability Sport and Integration Adviser to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). He told The Ethiopian Herald that he started such a program some six years back. He says “I travel to many countries where the ICRC works and help nations implement sport programs for persons with disabilities.”
According to him this wheelchair basketball training which is now given for coaches, referees, classifiers and players is a technical training to give basic knowledge of how to play wheelchair basketball.
Sport for persons with disabilities has a positive impact to their various aspects of life such as to enable them learn how to get jobs, to be effective in their education, to start their own businesses, according to the trainer. He explained Ethiopia is one of the countries the ICRC is supporting through the sport in addition to other areas of collaborations.
The goal of this training is to strengthen the wheelchair basketball across the country. Jess Markt said, “The ICRC brought me here to facilitate the training program. In addition to this I am also assigned to identify the facility gaps that exist in the country. This means the ICRC wants to support Ethiopians across the country.”
The trainer said that the ICRC is working with the Ethiopian Basketball Federation to make sure that the program will be sustainable. We are supporting the program that is under the leadership of the locally dedicated actor, the Ethiopian Basketball Federation.
According to the Vice President of the Federation Dr. Tibebe Chekol Wheelchair basketball is a new federation established some two years ago aiming at including persons with disabilities in sport as per the guide of the country’s sports policy that gives attention to an active engagement of persons with disabilities and women in sport.
The federation is working with international partners like the International Committee of the Red Cross to expand the sport across the country, the Vice President added.
The Vice president said the federation has undertaken various activities to expand the sport across the country by organizing city cups, national championships, active participation in Continental championships.
Dr. Tibebe further said that the federation is trying its best to support wheelchair basketball players in all regions and city administrations and it is also exerting utmost effort to form its own Wheelchair basketball association with its own leadership. This will push them to have their own executive committee members responsible to guide their own association.”
The Sport Policy of Ethiopia gives much focus to an active engagement of all citizens based on their preferences with a special attention to include persons with disabilities and women.
BY YARED GEBREMEDEN
Over 39 million people of the 78 million people that have been infected have died of AIDS since the beginning of the HIV and AIDS epidemic. A UNAIDS global HIV statistics shows that the number of people currently living with the virus is projected to 36.7 million, including 2.6 million children. The previous year only, over 1 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses. Sixty-nine per cent of the 36.7 million people living with HIV are in Sub Saharan Africa region.
Gloomy though the HIV scenario was for Africa and other developing world, today thanks for advancements in medication and commitment of local and governments and the international community that the then plague is no more a significant public health problem in Africa. As several reports indicate the disease burden of the pandemic has immensely decreased almost in all of the highly affected areas in SSA region. These nations are even offering lessons to other nations on the international arenas regarding the issue.
Ethiopia as a SSA nation has gone through fire and water to avert the HIV and AIDS scenario in the past fifteen years. The government has almost traded anything to put the rate of infection under control and to optimally minimize the impact. Intensive awareness raising tasks, reduction of the prevalence, allocation of a significant budget and coordinated response are among the some of the primary tasks that gave rise to triumph over the HIV spread.
As Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) Director General Dr. Ebba Abate told The Ethiopian Herald recently, associated Ethiopia has succeeded in its HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Program with many parameters. For the Director, the achievements over the past 15 years are associated with the formulation and implementation of HIV and AIDS policy, the importing and distribution of anti-HIV-drugs and feeless medical service, high level awareness creation, large investment on building and modernizing HIV and AIDS laboratories, and applied research among others. Besides, the number of HIV and AIDS treatment centers has reached 1043 now from 353 in 2006. Adoption and implementation of the global HIV and AIDS strategy has also contributed to the nation’s thrive and brought it international recognition. Yet, continuous researches undertaken so far have had a profound impact.
According to Dr. Ebba, Ethiopia has reduced new HIV and AIDS incidence rate by 65 per cent and that of mortality by 45 per cent. A recent survey shows that the national prevalence rate also fell to about 1.1 per cent, which is a similar figure six years back, he disclosed.
Laudable as the gains due to the government intervention and commitment from the international community and funding organizations, the fight against AIDS is not yet over for several reasons. Dr. Ebba, for example, speculates the presence of threats and challenges that can potentially retrograde the achievements so far. Some threats might happen on account of the ongoing accelerated national socioeconomic development. The phenomenon is likely to create new social groups that are vulnerable to the disease.
He attempts to illustrate this with the development and expansion of industrial parks and universities. An industrial park is meant to inhabit close to 60,000 people at an area. The opening of new universities and a large scale expansion of old ones also presents a situation where tens of thousands of students live together. Besides, large scale commercial farms can have the same effect. Consequently, these people are highly vulnerable unless a strong intervention is applied beforehand.
On the other hand, the global economic slowdown and political changes made aiding nations to concentrate on their own agendas. This might pose budget challenges globally, leave alone Ethiopia. The UNAIDS for instance requires about 26 billion dollar for its HIV and AIDS prevention program. However, this target is unlikely to be met due to the retreat of nations.
Another threat is that the current reduced commitment noticed among the concerned parties locally. Until very recently, the issue of AIDS was priority agenda for every stakeholder. All exerted considerable efforts since the start of fighting it in synergy. Notwithstanding, for some unknown cause, but the significant decline of the prevalence, mortality rate, and other aspects of disease burden of the infection, most of the concerned parties reduced efforts and commitment.
Seeing that the epidemic is reportedly escalating in some East Europe and Asian countries, and the opportune the socioeconomic phenomena created locally, it would be rational to say ‘It is never time to stop the fight.’ In point of fact, whether Ethiopia need to sustain the struggle at the same rate as it did earlier, or the impacts of the national prevention and control intervention are long-lasting, and hence, no much effort or cost would be determined as national research on the impacts gained due to the HIV and AIDS prevention and control intervention by Ministry of Health will be unveiled. Aside from determining these issues, the national impact assessment, which EPHI will conduct jointly with Population- Based HIV Impact Assessment and Ethiopian Public Health Association, would define the quality of treatment, counselling, etc. services given to the HIV-positive people. It would also trace whether these people developed other illnesses like hepatitis, gonorrhea, etc. and they would be provided with the necessary medical service. Moreover, it would provide data on the status of HIV and AIDS program at national and state level. And it is this part of the investigation that would determine either reactivation of the intervention so far or policy revision and change.
According to EPHIA director Dr. Hailemariam Eshete the study, which participates 12,000 families and 25,000 individuals in 395 weredas, will be undertaken using high-tech lab and system and health professionals trained for the purpose. The study will have a significant impact for the success of Ethiopia’s implementation of the UNAIDS’ 90-90-90 plan the nation adopted, the director added.
Therefore, it would be quite safe for the time being to alert the public on the issue. The media shall play it irreplaceable role in bringing it to the menu. The government also ensures the battle is over when the education system has a room for adequately raising awareness among school children so that they should protect themselves and their family from the infection behaving in accordance. It should also be ascertained that the rural community has the awareness to practice self-protection. The ministry of health need to undertake frequent researches to periodically trace the level of the epidemic. The nation otherwise cannot be sure of the revival of the epidemic as in East Europe and Asia.
Put in nut shell, the nation has achieved tremendous success over the epidemic in several parameters; nonetheless, there are threats and challenges which can potentially reverse the gains. Hence, it should be noted that sustaining the gains demands activating the major stakeholders.
BY SINTAYEHU TAMIRAT
Tourism and hospitality industries have similar objectives towards attracting tourists. As they have a huge contribution to nation’s economic development , carrying out multifaceted promotional activities, fulfilling tourism infrastructures among other accommodation services will enable the country to be more beneficiary from the sector. Thus, sector actors should work hard jointly with the government and stakeholders to attract tourists as well as to provide quality services. Because visitors are attracted by brand identity and the kind of services they will be accommodated. It is a key tool for economic development indeed.
Moreover, hospitality industry should use various methods to become more recipient and maintain customers flow. Tourists’ hotel and other hospitality services choice differ for various reasons. Hence, service providers have to be sure that they are providing quality and hospitality services. Monitoring and evaluating tourism and hospitality service accommodation should be considered as key instrument to be more beneficiary and competitive in the sector at nationally as well as globally.
To this effect, recently a symposium in connection with 2017 World Tourism Day was organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. In his presentation entitled : “Tourism and Hospitality Marketing” , Dr. Theodros Atlabachew said that tourism is becoming one of the main economic sectors in many countries. As marketing is an essential tool for tourism business development, it is evolving quickly and interestingly for tourism.
Dr. Theodros further said that in respect to tourism marketing, although selling is a very old subject, marketing is a relatively new subject. It represents a higher-order integration of many separate functions – selling, advertising, marketing research, new product development, customer service and physical distribution, that impact on customer needs and satisfaction, When it comes to hospitality or tourism marketing, it can be seen as a combination of Product, Price, Promotion, Place and People. Hence, a systematic and balanced combination of these marketing elements or tools can influence the demand for tourism product or services. he added.
He further said that the hospitality industry includes opportunities to work with hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, convention centers. Although the training for this kind of work is as multi-faceted as a beautiful quilt, there is one common thread that runs through all of the pieces and holds everything together.
According to Dr. Theodros, tourism and hospitality marketing serves as the vital linking mechanism between supply and demand focused on exchange transactions, in which consumers exercise preferences and choices and exchange money in return for the supply of particular tourism products and services.
In Ethiopia, a number of tourism businesses became insolvent due to lack of appropriate feasibility study, business plan, appropriate management system and marketing strategy.
Increasing competition among the commercial sector of hospitality and tourism requires that agencies adopt marketing techniques and strategies in order to thrive and remain competitive in the market. In short, marketing is a steppingstone for the development of successful tourism and hospitality businesses. Tourism has international character and is a highly competitive business. It is important for tourism businesses to become competitive in the market.
He said that tourism supply includes all the necessary product and services offered to tourists by service providers in a host country. Supply components comprise of tourist facilities and services – information, facilitation, accommodation, catering, tour operation, guiding, shopping, entertainment and other auxiliary service.
Dr. Theodros further said that domestic tourism if properly developed and managed, domestic tourism in Ethiopia offers great opportunity for the development of SMSTTEs. It can also serve as a tool to reduce seasonality, create additional employment opportunities and contribute to the overall sustainable tourism development in the country. In Ethiopia, products and services necessary for the development of domestic tourism are not satisfactorily developed.
Promoting domestic tourism has many advantages including but not limited to, the followings; it help nations and nationalities of Ethiopia to know each other, respect their cultures and learn from each other; sustain demand for tourism when there are seasonal variations in international tourism; conserve foreign exchange by encouraging locals to see their own country rather than travelling abroad; greater contribution to social inclusion and poverty reduction; expand investments from richer to poorer areas and enables local people to benefit from government investment in tourism infrastructure; and maintain the occupancy of accommodation and related services as the number of international tourists decline during the slack seasons.
Furthermore, tourism and hospitality businesses have choices to cater for domestic tourists, inbound tourists or both depending on their preferences, capacity and abilities.
Dr. Tedros further said that tourism businesses and destination places are complementary to each other, since they have mutual interests. Destination brand is used to refer to a destination’s competitive identity. It is what makes a destination distinctive and memorable. It differentiates the destination from all others.
According to him, destination brand represents the core essence and enduring characteristics of a destination. It can change its moods and the way in which it presents itself to different market segments. But its core brand characteristics, like someone’s personality, are essentially always the same. It should run through every act of marketing communication and behaviour by the NTO and the destination’s stakeholders. A destination brand also represents a dynamic interaction between the destination’s core assets and the way in which potential visitors perceive them. It really only exists in the eyes of others. It is the sum of their perceptions, feelings and attitudes towards the destination, he said.
BY ALAZAR SHIFERAW
Very recently, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) and Melkassa Agricultural Research Center jointly organized a field visit with a view to introducing and demonstrating new maize and haricot bean intercropping techniques to farmers residing at Geressa and Auda Anshura kebeles.
At the event , farmer and business man,Wado Anolo said he has been the center’s new varieties beneficiary for age . “ Comparing to the previous yield amount ,the new maize and bean species have become more effective and productive. I used to plough four times in the previous time .But now by ploughing twice ,it has eased my farming chores and time, ” he added.
He also said as they are drought resistant and early mature species, they can yield bumper harvest and in turn farmers who have large families will benefit a lot in terms of ensuring food sufficient at household level .
Besides, haricot bean has high nutritional content , it is very useful to pregnant women and child.
“ We are very pleased to gain access to this new technology. But ,we urge the center to transfer the technology to other farmers, ”he said .
National Lowland Pulses Researcher and Coordinator Dr. Birhanu Amsalu for his part said the objective of the visit was demonstrating different technologies to model farmers.
He further said the farmers had been introduced on how to produce maize –haricot bean intercrop farming methods and its importance .
The center has worked hard adopting the technology to the farmers. It has also promoted the importance of less frequency ploughing so as to keep soil fertility.
Melkassa Agricultural Research Center Director Dr. Mohamed Yesuf said Through intercropping agricultural practice, farmers can get more benefits from their farm.
Maize apart from, its yield increment, it is also one of potential crops which have high contribution to ensure food security. Besides, its by product also use for animal fodder.
Moreover, bean as it has high protein continent, it will hugely improve farmers and their families nutrition need.
He also said: “When we see maize species in terms of productivity, non hybrid maize can give from 40 – 50 quintals of yield per hectare . Whereas the hybrid maize can give from 70 -80 quintals of yield per hectare. The bean species can also give from 25 -30 quintals of yield per hectare. Both are used for local consumption and export markets.
More importantly, Dr. Mohamed noted that research and development endeavors carried out jointly and coordinately with various stakeholders. “ In our research system, we have extension department that links the research and developmental activities. The extension department in cooperation with ,zone, woerda agricultural offices that implement and expand the new technologies to the farmers.”
Currently , the center has recognized neighboring kebele farmers interest of the new technology expansion to them . “We have planned to expand this technology in cooperation with zone and wereda agricultural offices and other research institutions.”
He also said that the farmers have adopted the new technology. But only volunteer farmers have been engaged in this work . However, its spillover has increased the demand for the technology.
Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume project (SILMESA) Coordinator Dr. Bederu Beshier said maize productivity has been improved greatly.
Producing maize with haricot bean using intercropping method will have great importance both economically and nutritionally. Farmers can get twofold maize yield . The new technology has been tested for seven years. According measurements, soil fertility has been improved from time to time. But their productivity differ based on maize species. Some can yield up to 70 quintals per hectares. Whereas, the other one can give up to 40 quintals of yield per hectare. But when you saw maize and bean together, soil fertility will be increased. It also has great importance to prevent crop diseases. Besides, intercropping will create an alternative production system. As its the first of its kind for this kebele the nearby kebeles are also requesting to become new technology beneficiary.
However, as there is an open grazing system around the kebele, animals use to feed maize and bean byproducts.
We will expand the new technology in cooperation with extension workers other stakeholders like Estern Shoa Agricultural offices and other concerned research institutes.
The field visit was arranged to demonstrate the effectiveness of intercropping and less frequency ploughing to the local farmers. The early mature maize species can reach within 120 and 145 days . They can be effective when there is stress.
Currently, the farmers observed the alternative intercropping farming importance, they also understand how the technique enhance soil fertility, he said .
Melkassa Agricultural Research Center (MARC) was established in 1969 as a national horticulture research center with staff members of five personnel and land area not exceeding five hectares. Over the years, other important research programs and commodities have been included in the research program that contributed to improved rainfed and irrigated agricultural development with a main focus on dry and lowland areas of moisture stress and irrigable areas of the country.
BY ALAZAR SHIFERAW
I would be remiss of my duty as a loyal and steadfast patriot if I were not to commence my commentary by transmitting my heart-felt condolences to the families and friends of the recent internecine conflict between the brotherly peoples of Oromia and Somali.
I believe that no phrase effectively expresses the foundation of the rule of law than: "the laws that lead the people and the nation reside in the Government that is conceived by the will of the people”. In a democracy, the people must be seen to be observing the laws of the land. If citizens do not respect laws, the consequences will result, at best, in mobocracy, or at worst, in relegating the country to a basket case. The need to observe laws, therefore, must permeate the lives of citizens because the absence of a legal culture will result in the collapse of legality and the regression of social relations._
However, in order to accept the concept of legality, it is necessary to reflect on oneself, on life, on opportunities offered by relationships with others within the daily existence of each of us. To achieve respect for “legality”, is one of the most important issues for Ethiopia. Respect for the rules and the culture of legality are the best way to resolve social relationships and conflicts.
Legality is the action of the rule of law, in which laws are developed to govern, not the force to regulate everything. However, there are some bad examples of citizens with no legal culture, who have reduced legality to a mere philosophical concept (and regressed social relationships to a pre-Juridical dimension). Within the concept of legality, the greater the social position of a subject then the greater his responsibility to meet the social obligations and observance of those rules of coexistence. An example is the situation one finds at “a crossroads” where the rules of precedence show that if everyone tried to go first, then nobody would move (and there would be frequent clashes).
So, we must co-exist respectfully, to everyone to pass without risk. To co-exist peacefully, there must be mutual-respect that is entrusted among the government, the citizens and everyone that is written within the laws of the country, where the absence of such respect for such laws, would inevitably shake to the core the very basis of civil coexistence. Thus the law that governs a country such as ours cannot work if it does not have the conviction of compliance with the law by the people of our nation. The foundation of The Constitution of FDR of Ethiopia lies in the fundamental principle of equality for all citizens in the “eyes of law” and in the protection of fundamental rights and values (which all fails when there is no culture of respect for legality).
The laws are not intended to be obeyed (forcibly) but such that they must be observed (willingly). Here, the difference between obedience and observance is an important consideration where (supported by an illustrious jurist) it is noted that “the difference is expressed in the distinction In the proclamation of our Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (Proclamation No.1/1995) is states that”
“We, the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia are strongly committed, in full and free exercise of our right to self-determination, to building a political community founded on the rule of law and capable of ensuring a lasting peace, guaranteeing a democratic order, and advancing our economic and social development."
The preamble of the Constitution embraces the full respect of individual and people's fundamental freedoms and rights on the basis of equality (and without any sexual, religious or cultural discrimination) with the joint forward outlook to rectify historically unjust relationships though progress and change that will promote our shared interests. To do this, it was committed within the Constitution that we would strive to live as one economic community to create sustainable and mutually supportive conditions to ensure respect for the rights and freedoms of all the peoples of Ethiopia and the collective promotion of all interests. Today, this does not seem to be the case as respect for the law (as set out in the Constitution of our nation and in our country) seems to be absent from the conscience of some of our “compatriots” (as demonstrated both in their relations to the institutes of public administration and in their personal inter-relationships).
In short, there is a change in the "social climate" of Ethiopia and if the law is not complied with (i.e. respected), then this will mean the collapse of authority. The Institutions of any democratic Government (hereafter referred to as “the Central Government”) require respect by the people of the nation that they serve. Thus, in order to achieve an effective policy by a government, it is necessary to have a “sentimental connection” between the Government administration and the people of a nation. Accordingly, respect for the “Democratic Government” that represents the nation of Ethiopia must be shared by everyone. Respect derives from human reason (“the sentimental connection between the people and the Government”), as well as that tradition of respect which is handed down by our ancestors. The active participation of the citizens in the political life of their country is one of the major challenges of our country's cooperative development.
Thus, democratization [have to be pursued] based on the strengthening of areas of dialogue between civil society and public authorities. In this context, democratization implies two elements. Firstly: the participation of the population in the exercise of power and secondly: the responsibility of the Government of Ethiopia, in the exercise of its administration democratically. In our country, for millennia, we have pursued the respect for our Government’s, which constitute our ethical and cultural heritage. Accordingly, we have come to consider the Government as the foundation of every ethical rule given to us by both our ancestors and our current leaders. At the beginning of this New Year, I heard many preachers from different denominations and houses of worship, invite the people of Ethiopia to respect “the role of the Government”.
I firmly believe that this "sense of respect for the State" is reflected through the respect for the Government, which respectful consideration must be the first rule for a people (whatever political party they belong to). The various institutions of the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia are obliged to promote and defend democracy in accordance with the principles of our constitution and I believe it is engaged in doing so with the seriousness and determination that the process warrants. Thus, the authority needs to be an expression of the general interest of the nation, in the service of the common good.
I believe it is necessary for there to [be] collaboration between the regional administration, in order to achieve “democracy”, so that all of them operate in compliance and respect of the law and with the sole purpose of achieving the "good commune of our nation". To build democracy in our country, we must work in different directions: on the one hand, to ensure the proactive participation of all citizens in the choice(s) of institutions to be created or maintained, as well as to ensure that citizens actively support those institutions so that they may conduct their mandate transparently. We also have to consider that our country has been doing a lot in recent decades, but there is still a long way to go.
BY AKLILE BERHAN MAKONNEN HAILE SELASSIE
Recently, the Ethiopian Investment Commission and the Ethiopia Textile Industry Development Institute announced that the third AFRICA SOURCING AND FASHION WEEK aimed at encouraging the foreign trade and promoting the country’s textile and garment sector slated from October 3-6 , 2017 at the Millennium Hall.
The event would be a platform to display the potential and opportunities of the textile industry which leads the way to the much needed industrialization. It as well is the best way as the sector is labor intensive with excellent market value products and ample raw materials in the country.
Lately ,Ethiopia’s textile industry has been gaining more attention from international textile and apparel industries .
In fact , the textile and garment industry is expected to generate 779 million USD at end of the Second Growth Transformation Plan period..
The sector generated over 89.3 million USD in 2009 EC. But. it is lower than the budget year target.
The reasons behind for the low performance are attributed to inability to satisfy the international market, the managerial and technical capacity limitations of potential industries, and delay in investment projects as well as related reasons.
Obviously, the government is considering the textile industry as number one priority by its industrial development strategy. The availability of three million hectares of land which is suitable for cotton cultivation, the cheapest environmentally friendly hydroelectric power supplies and competitive labor cost are some of the sound reasons to make the country preferable destination for textile industry. Establishing a dedicated textile industry development institute is also a plus for actors in the sectors.
Concerning the skilled labor force for the industry, the demand is increasing rapidly as a result of fast growing education and training institutions in textile technology. In this regard, the government is trying to address the demand as currently, six universities, and over 100 technical and vocational institutions as well as private training institutions are providing training, according to the Textile Industry Development Institute.
Eventually, the industry is witnessing rapid growth, as a number of domestic and multinational firms are being engaged in productions of textile, garments and apparel for domestic and global markets. What is more for Ethiopia to be the best choice for this lucrative business is availability of markets.
There are available international buyers such as H&M, George, Tchibo, KIK, Alde, PVH, VF and the likes in addition to the quota and duty free market access to the US and EU, COMESA and other countries. It needs to be noted that the growing population and rapid economic growth of Ethiopia is the largest domestic market in the continent.
With the favorable conditions created at Hawassa Industrial Park for textile and apparel production currently, close to 18 high profile companies have already entered the hub, and six has already begun exporting. The rest are about to launch either production or export.
The country‘s growing human and material capital as well as the offer particularly to investment, operational and financial incentives are also the advantages reinforcing the industry. These and other inviting situations make the country the second nation to receive huge FDI from the textile industry next to Vietnam and the leading in Africa attracting 4.1 billion USD from the sector in the last fiscal year.
Along with boosting the export, the country plans to create many more jobs through the textile sub sector. Currently, over 30,000 jobs have already been created in Hawassa Industrial Parks.
Around 200 medium and high level textile and apparel manufacturers gone operational so far in the country, the sector has created job opportunities to nearly 100 ,000 citizens. In the coming years, the sector is expected to absorb over 250,000 trained workforces.
Despite the challenge, the sector over the last five years has shown 51 percent growth and contributes six percent of the country’s total export value. Though it is impossible to overcome all challenges at once, there is a need to seriously prepare to attract investors and accommodate and facilitate their needs.
To attract top international firms amid nation's bid to industrialization the incumbent should address problems the industry facing as it is benefiting large number of people and paves the way for nation to join middle income status in the planned time possible.
As to the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) , the textile and garment sector is expected to generate 779 million USD at the end of the plan time.
The performance of the sector is improving. For instance, the sector had generated over 89.3 million USD in 2009 EC. Though last year performance surpassed the previous year by 11.3 million USD, it is lower than the budget year target.
The reasons behind for the low performance is attributed to unable to satisfy the international market, the managerial and technical capacity limitations of potential industries, and delay in investment projects as well as related reasons.
The government in collaboration with partners has been undertaking wide range of activities to address the aforesaid challenges of the textile and garment industry. Hence, very recently, worth of 200,000 Euro hi-tech Italian machinery cooperation agreement was signed between the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) and the Ethiopian Textile Industry Development Institute (ETIDI).
On the occasion, Italian Ambassador to Ethiopia Giuseppe Mistretta said his government is committed to support the development of the Ethiopian textile industry. The agreement would help for technology transfer and training for experts in the textile industry thereby strengthening the cooperation between the two countries, he added.
With possible extension for another three years, the cooperation agreement would provide a contribution of 190,000.00 Euro for technology and equipment that will be dedicated for local training activities, the ambassador said.
According to Giuseppe , the Italian companies such as Calzedonia group and village industry have already joined the export race in Ethiopia as direct investment cooperation.
Moreover, his government would extend support to the textile sector in identifying the gaps and addressing those gaps with tailor made promotional activities and to the participation of close to 20 Italian textile machinery manufacturers to AFRICA SOURCING AND FASHION WEEK.
At the event, Institute Director General Seleshi Lemma said : “The support from the Italian government for the expansion of the fast growing textile development industry in the country is commendable.”
The Italian Trade Agency support will play pivotal role in the efforts of the nation to enhance the productivity of cotton to achieve comprehensive and sustainable development on the textile industry, he added.
According to the director, the country has a great potential for cotton production as it endowed with favorable environment, vast investment land and labor. There shall be synchronization between sector actors and smallholder cotton growers and should be supported to boost production by the help of the agreement.
Italy-Ethiopia Textile Technology Center will be established at the premises of the institute in the coming four years.
Ethiopia's textile and garment industry has a promising future as there are a number of international buyers such as H&M, George, Tchibo, KIK, Alde, PVH, VF and the like. In addition to the quota and duty free market access to the US and EU, COMESA , the country's fast growing population and rapid economy will be the largest domestic market .
More recently, the Investment Commission Commissioner Fitsum Arega told the press that currently, the construction of 15 industry parks mainly focused on textile and garment are well underway. The country is striving to fulfill the provision of infrastructure and all service in the parks. Accordingly, the industry is witnessing rapid growth, as a number of domestic and multinational firms are being engaged in productions of textile, garments and apparel for domestic and global markets.
Last year, Ethiopia has become the second nation to receive huge FDI next to Vietnam and the leading country in Africa attracting 4.1 billion USD from the sector.
Along with boosting the export, the country plans to create many more jobs through the textile sub sector. Currently, over 30,000 jobs have already been created in Hawassa Industrial Parks. In the coming years, the sector is expected to absorb over 250,000 trained manpower.
BY KASSAHUN CHANIE
Ethiopia is building a resilient community to sustainably mitigate drought and related disasters through multisectoral and decentralized approach that fosters sustainable development, according to the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC).
NDRMC Communication Director Debebe Zewdie told The Ethiopian Herald that since 2013 when the government made policy change, there was a bolder move towards mainstreaming the drought and other disasters so that a better resilience could be built.
Accordingly, he said, the duties and responsibilities NDRMC was solely undertaking have been delegated to such sectors as Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Livestock and Fisheries Development, Water, Irrigation and Electricity, Health and Education.
In addition, previously, NDRMC’s primary target was delivering post-disaster response to the rural community, but now, the policy change allowed it to include urban areas, Debebe added.
“Though building a resilient community is time taking, we are now experiencing changes in every part of the nation as a result of applying the synergetic intervention from the above said and other concerned parties. Today, basin development, irrigation schemes, animal feed production, etc., for example, have significantly added to the drought mitigation efforts nationally,” the Director mentioned.
Areas like Dire Dawa used to worry as the rainy season approached because of the recurrent flooding. Nevertheless, the physical structures and several water retention dams built over the mountains as well as other basin development works have alleviated the risk, he indicated.
The water dams help irrigate the nearby small farms and to water domestic animals.
On the other hand, similar works in other areas turned lands that deprived of all their forests in to green features, and dried up streams have now emerged. This boosted animal husbandry and small-scale irrigated farming during the dry season.
Such achievements are also largely attributed to the community. Each year they carry out a month-long basin development work.
The director further stated that apart from coordinating the leading sectors, NDRMC jointly with sectors and concerned UN agencies, NGOs, states and the public conducts biannual assessment as part of sustaining the building of resilient community.
Disaster risk assessments are undertaken on seven hundred weredas twice a year. And ways of tackling the identified disaster risks would be sought within the framework of sustainable development, he said.
“For instance, disaster vulnerability of 412 weredas have been undertaken to date. Parallel to this, each state has devised its own ways of preventing the risk per the results of the assessment.”
This is and should be the foundation on which the precautious tasks and resilience capacity need to be built nationally, Debebe underscored.
BY SINTAYEHU TAMIRAT
The Melkassa Agricultural Research Center said it is popularizing productive, drought resistance maize -haricot bean intercropped species to farmers of Auda Anshura Kebele of the Oromia State.
In a recent field visit to the Kebele, the Center Director Dr. Mohamed Yesuf said such visit had been organized aimed at introducing and demonstrating center’s lowland maize and haricot bean intercropped to the farmers. Within limited ploughing frequency, farmers can get more yield in those moisture stressed areas, he added.
Farmers are able to produce different kinds of crops in same plot of land by implementing the technology. Maize has high potential in ensuring the country’s food security. Apart from its yield increment, the by product has also hugely important for animal fodder.
He also said that as bean known by its high protein continent, it will hugely improve farmers and their families balanced diet feeding.
Unlike other African countries, the Ethiopian government has supported and given due emphasis on research conducts by allocating budgets. However, there are gaps, like lack of infrastructure; the absence of improve laboratories, equipment and workshops . However , the government has promised to invest in addressing the gaps.
Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume Project (SILMESA) Coordinator Dr. Bederu Beshier for his part said the project would keep and recover soil fertility by producing different types of crops and through intercropping and rotation farming mechanisms.
“ We are engaged in maize and legumes, especially haricot bean intercropping in middle Refit valley. The project is implemented in five states in Ethiopia; in Oromia, Amhara ,Beneshangul Gumz , Somali and Sothern Nations Nationalities and Peoples’ State,” he added.
A father of 16 children, Wado Anolo on the occasion said : “ As I am farmer and business man, I will benefit a lot from the center’s new technology . The new maize specie can be harvested within a short period of time and also it is so productive .When I compare it with the previous yield , the new maize variety has become more effective and productive . Besides, earlier I used to plough four times but now I plough twice. As result it has decreased my labor hours.”
The field visit was organized by Melkassa Agricultural Research Center and Western Arsi and Eastern Shoa zone.
BY ALAZAR SHIFERAW
Due to successful interventions against hepatitis B virus (HBV), the infection rate has significantly reduced although there are a number of people living with the infection.
Assistant Professor of Medicine at Addis Ababa University and Tikur Anbesa Specialized Hospital Endoscopy Center Director Dr. Amir Sultan told The Ethiopian Herald that the employment of Expanded Program of Immunization has contributed greatly to reduce new HBV infection rate.
The government has been focusing on eradicating the virus and treating those patients who developed the complication, he said, adding that the new generation won't be infected because of hepatitis B vaccine .
Moreover, there is a vaccine for certain selected group of the society, particularly those who are at risk of handling sharp materials, the Director pointed out.
Regarding the impact of the intervention, he said countries that have employed the same intervention have attained success. Taiwan, for example, has gained international recognition for significantly reducing HBV infection and liver cancer complications.
“By the same token, as we have started vaccination campaigns before five years, we have not found more HBV infection recently . This is because children who were born at hospital and health station have been receiving the vaccine . There is also a better access to the vaccine for healthcare workers.”
Regarding HCV, Dr. Amir stated that the ministry together with the Ethiopian Gastroenterology Association has been working harder to make the drug available and cheapest in Ethiopia. And the manufacturing company, Gilead now is providing the drug in Ethiopia at 99 per cent discount.
In the Ethiopian context , viral hepatitis, next to alcohol induced hepatitis, is the clinically significant cause of liver disease.
The enduring viral hepatitis are caused by HBV and HCV. While the former affected about eight per cent of the entire population, the later has an estimated 1 percent prevalence.
BY SINTAYEHU TAMIRAT