For adventure buffs, Ras Degen Mountain is the best place which is a must visit in a lifetime. With all the delightful activities and the adventure trekking sites. Ras Degen adventures not only make visitors refreshed and happy, but also busy exploring the endless exciting activities. It is a place where anyone will be able to leave all of their tensions behind.
Ras Degen Mountain is the best spot not only for trekking but also to get away from the towns' noise and the daily routine of life. Explore so much fun and exciting nature extravaganzas that will stay in your mind for a lifetime. The Mountain offers a lot more in its bosom, say Travel destination analysts. Break out the hiking boots and put on your hat for exceptional outdoor adventure jaunt. Hike up at the green massive Mountain to admire the surrounding natural beauty in a far off villages of Ethiopia.
Ras Degen is the highest mountain in Ethiopia and tenth highest mountain in the continent with an elevation of 4,550 meters above sea level. The massive Mountain is part of the Simien Mountain National Park. From the green bottom to the snow covered top you will have so much experience and treasured time. Ras Degen offers loads of exploration opportunities. Spotting wild animals including gelada baboon, walia ibex and Ethiopian wolf while trekking is the main flavour of the trip to the mountain. The greener sanctuary is full of birds and butterflies who add exceptional colour and beauty to the place. Don't even think about giving your neck a rest for a second, the spectacular views are endless and breathtaking. Throw a picnic lunch at the warming sun and get up close view of the monkeys and Gelada baboon who will pick up their meal from nature. It's a spectacular mountain to go deep into the life of wild animals, nature, hiking and camping at Sankaber.
The Ras Degen and the nearby Simien Mountain Parks are full of life including extensive range of wildlife with over 200 bird species and vegetation. The Ras Degen fascinating mountain lies in 2200 km wide, making it the massive mountainous place where visitors will feel on top of the world. The unique topography of the rocks and dense forests are home to the wildlife. The attractive colors and patterns of the numerous topographic features are the picturesque particulars of the mountain. If you enjoy trekking, watching wildlife up close, camping and bird watching, then the stunning landscapes of this park should be at the top of your adventure priority list.
The mountain offers a perfect mix of Ethiopia’s incredible diversity, ancient civilization and culture. At Ras Degen trekking adventure, you will have ample opportunities to interact with the local community and witness the lifestyle and culture of the people who live far from the chaotic city life. Their stylish unique haircut, shorts, sandal shoes and their blanket to keep themselves warm takes you back to several centuries.
By Eden Sahle
Study findings indicate that Ethiopia's poverty index had declined from 38.7 to 29.6 per cent from 1997 to 2003 E.C. And most recently, the index has shown a significant improvement in poverty reduction .The figure has tumbled to 22 per cent by the year 2007 E.C. Accordingly, the nation has managed to achieve the millennium development goals of reducing poverty by half.
The Second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTPll) has also ensured that one of the major reasons for the reduction of poverty is sustaining fast economic growth. Furthermore, the safety net programme which has been operational over the past years has also its own immense contribution to poverty alleviation, as per Agriculture and Natural Resource Ministry.
Accordingly, the programme has been implemented in rural parts of Ethiopia effectively and preparation has been carried out to replicate the same success in urban towns. The programme is now under its fourth chapter, second phase. Over the past three programmes, 3.4 million people have benefited by making their own wealth and turning economically independent citizens.
In its fourth phase, it has involved some 7.9 million citizens. Of which, 6.9 million people are getting benefits through engaging in community development activities that are being carried out in their locality. In addition, they can create their own job by creating linkage with saving and credit institutions.
Safety net Programme Donor Coordination Team Leader at World Bank, Kelly Johnson witnessed that the ongoing poverty reduction effort and the best practice that has been registered in implementing Saftey net programme in Ethiopia will help to introduce the programme in other African countries.
It is relevant to provide direct support to 1.3 million people living with disabilities and the elderly. The assistance given to citizens in the form of wage by involving 14,000 people in the ongoing developmental activities would also help to prevent economic independence and accelerate the tasks.
As to her, getting reliable nutrient food supply and graduating and leaving the programme after increasing household income are some of programme effectiveness measures. In addition, the construction of 40,000 km road could be taken as another success story of the program. Taking some best practices from previous three years performance, it is essential to change the plan into action through strengthening programme effectiveness, she added.
Similarly the incumbent has been striving to make urban dwellers beneficial from the programme. That is why, the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing called on fellow citizens to actively participate in the implementation of Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP).
In an exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald, the Urban Food Security and Job Opportunity Agency Deputy Director Solomon Asefa said that Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) is aimed at enabling the poor to resist shocks, create assets and become food self-sufficient having overcome chronic food insecurity. “To effectively realize the program, active public participation is a key factor.”
Out of the total population, 29.6 per cent of the people are living in poverty. Hence, he said Productive Safety Net Program is a showcase for the unwavering commitment of the government to reduce the poverty rate.
Aside from sustaining the double digit economic growth in the country, the government has devised the 2014 Social Security Policy with a view to boosting the income of some pro-poor householders in a five- year time, the Deputy Director added.
According to him, the program has been implemented in eleven towns namely; Addis Ababa, Adama, Hawassa, Dessie, Harare, DireDawa, Jigjiga, Semera, Logia, Gambella and Assosa. The Program would benefit 604,000 people in those 11 towns. He pointed out that 123,000 people would become beneficiaries of the Program this fiscal year.
World Bank Food Security and Safety Net Program Project Office Head, Debebe Barude said the total project cost is 450 million USD, of which the 300 million USD earned from World Bank in the form of loan and the remaining capital is financed by the government.
According to Debebe, if the program being introduced in Africa for the first time is proven effective, partners will for sure show interests in working in other Ethiopian towns that are not yet included in the program.
“The program has been implemented as per the schedule. Most states have finalized the recruitment of pro-poor citizens and they are now on the verge of providing support,” he said.
Accordingly, in the selected towns, 12 per cent of the total population or 55 per cent of people living below poverty would get assistance. Besides, providing financial assistance, the long-term plan of the program is facilitating sustainable livelihood improvement support to the beneficiaries.
Those who have the capacity of working would earn assistance in the form of salary while others who have no capability to engage in development works would get direct financial support, he added.
BY GIRMACHEW GASHAW
Over the years travel and tourism had a tremendous economic impact directly contributing to economic growth. Both local and international travellers taking a voyage for business and leisure became part of a country's economy.
Possessing several attractions including cultural, historical and archaeological attractions, Ethiopia has managed to attract several tourists from all over the world. However, the country has not been prioritizing on local travellers as the industry is set to bring foreign currency into the country. Such initiatives never focused on the potential local travellers with the focus to infrastructure development and inbound travellers.
Proving this tourist infrastructures in several national parks has been upgraded, while renovation work on roads linking the parks with major roads and lodges continue to be carried out. The preservation also involves the protection of wild animals and conservation of heritage sights including the ten World Heritages registered under UNESCO. These have brought so many inbound travellers to Ethiopia.
Although the Ethiopian Airlines which actively and directly engages to promote destinations solving accessibility setbacks increasing number of travellers having a significant for local travellers, little has been done to encourage local travellers to visit their country destinations. The perception that tourism is luxury and for foreigners has been hampering travel even to the domestic well-off costing the country significant revenue from its citizens. Lack of promotion and encouragement to local travellers enticed many locals to take their vacation in Dubai where they mix sightseeing with business.
There is a growing trend in the tourism industry despite the presence of most exotic destinations, a massive promotion needs to be performed so that people be aware of the destination and take a vacation. The country encouraging local travelers as one of the main targets will benefit from increased number of travellers as the demand from local and international travellers will provide massive potential to bring sustainable growth and development to the industry. Owing to its ancient historical remains, culture and sophisticated natural sights, Ethiopia remained to be one the notable destinations in Africa.
As number of diplomats, corporate and leisure travellers are growing, chain hotel groups are expanding in the capital. Growing the number of hotels is part of the plan to make Ethiopia one of the top five tourist destination in Africa in the coming four years enabling the country to use its tremendous tourism potential.
Zegeye Tsige together with his six children resides in Agotu Anema Kebele, Wondo Woreda, Oromia State. Besides engaging in subsistence farming, he has now been engaged in fish husbandry in which he has been scoring significant achievements.
Before involving himself into the sector, he sought professional advice and went to woreda agriculture and Wondo Genet College offices where he was advised to take training concerning the issue.
Then, a year ago, a given NGO working in the area brought him fingerlings from Sebeta, Addis Ababa area. And he started breeding with 200 fingerlings. Apart from fulfilling his families' daily consumption, he is preparing himself to supply fish for the market. “If somebody asks me to buy fingerlings, I am prompt enough. Now, the pool has been filled with fishes, approximately 5,000 fishes are found in the pool. I also use the water to plant vegetables for my kitchen garden,” he said.
Using the professional advice, he became productive. Market linkage is not bothering him as it is already available. “I can supply fishes to the college community. I want to expand the production work and I have been setting up another pool for further production.”
He has spent 5,000 birr to prepare the pool that has 1.5 meter depth and 12 square meter breadth. Farmers residing in the nearby kebele began visiting Zegeye's fish breeding centre. Sharing his best practices, they are now showing tendency to engage in fishery sector.
Samuel Bekele is working as Community Service Coordinator at Wondo Genet Forestry and Natural Resource College. He said, “The college has been providing community service since 2007 EC. So far, we have been providing material, professional and financial assistance to ten farmers who are engaged in fish breeding. As fish is highly demanded by the community, the college has planned to expand the practice through encouraging the participation of more farmers who limited themselves in subsistence farming.”
Researches indicate that Ethiopia has untapped potential for fish breeding. Especially, Wondo Genet area is blessed with water which flows through out the year. The soil in the area has a capacity of holding water that makes aquaculture practical. And the college has been introducing integrated aquaculture activities to the nearby farmers so that they can produce fish within limited spaces and time. Tilapia (Qoroso) fish for instance, can be ready for consumption within six months. “Thus, farmers will be productive if they are ready to apply best practice of others. We also integrate fish production with other agricultural activities. As the water is highly nutrient, farmers can use the water for irrigation purpose without applying extra fertilizer,” Samuel added.
Indeed, so far, due to various reasons, Ethiopia has not been exploiting fish resource potentials. Recognizing this, the government again set to invest in the sector in the second Growth and Transformation Plan. Accordingly, it has planned to increase fish production from 50,000 to 96,000 tonnes using various water bodies such as lake, dams and rivers. This practice of aquaculture will bring 15 per cent annual average growth, according to the Ministry of Livestock and Fishery.
In Ethiopia, as the ecosystem is cosy for fish breeding, all stakeholders should encourage farmers to engage in aquaculture to ensure food self sufficiency at the household level and to make aquaculture as a reliable source of fish production at national level.
BY YOHANES JEMANEH
The Horn of Africa is one of the volatile regions with the people facing various man-made and natural disasters. Conflicts and droughts hit the region at different times. Boarder and internal conflicts linger at the region leaving the entire people in absolute fear.
These incidents claimed the lives of hundred thousands of people. Suffice it to mention the previous conflicts between Eritrea and Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan, that claimed the lives hundreds and thousands of people and damaged property worth millions.
Drought is another natural phenomena troubling nations in the region. This time only millions of people are in need of emergency food aid as a result of the El-Nino induced drought. The United Nations warned that war and the collapsing economy have left 100,000 people to starvation in the northern-central part of South Sudan. And tens of thousands have been forced to flee their homes in the face of ongoing offensives between the conflicting government and opposition factions .
According to World Food Programme and other UN bodies additional one million people were feared as being on the brink of famine so that humanitarian access was urgently needed to reverse the escalating catastrophe. The report indicated that about 4.9 million people, more than 40 per cent of South Sudan's population, are in need of urgent food aid. Unless something is done the number of people in need of food assistance is expected to raise to 5.5 million in July 2017.
The humanitarian community has been trying to avoid this catastrophe, scaling up humanitarian response of that quite frankly would have seemed impossible three years ago.
There is only so much that humanitarian assistance can achieve in the absence of meaningful peace and security, both for relief workers and the crisis-affected people they serve. The region was devastated by an upsurge in violence last year while inflation, soaring up to 800 per cent year after year. Market failure have got the people struggle with massive price-hikes on basic food items. The UN also warns that three other countries, Yemen, Somalia and Nigeria, are now also at risk of famine.
As of August 2016, close to 24 million people in the horn region are facing critical and emergency food insecurity. In Ethiopia alone, 9.7 million people are in need emergency food assistance to meet their basic food needs. On the other hand, excessive rainfall in late 2015 and between March to May rainy seasons of 2016 however led to flash floods in parts of Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda. Heavy rain intensified in late April, affecting nearly 410,000 people, displacing 231,916 people while killing 271 people in the region.
Historically El Niño had a variable impacts on the region, ranging from floods affecting more than 3.4 million people in 2006/2007 to drought affecting more than 14 million people in 2009/2010.
In the Ethiopian context, following a mid-year review in August 2016, the Government of Ethiopia and humanitarian partners revised their Humanitarian Requirement Document which needs a total of 1.6 billion USD for nutrition, health, education, protection, logistics and makeshifts until December 2016.
Furthermore, southern pastoral and agro-pastoral areas of Ethiopia were at risk of experiencing below-average rainfall in the last quarter of 2016. This may have affected livestock and their productivity. By June 2016, five rounds of food assistance had reached the targeted 10.2 million drought-affected people in six regions, with more than 200,000 people receiving cash assistance.
Some five million people or more than 40 per cent of the population are in need of food and livelihoods assistance in Somalia. Of these people, 1.1 million are facing food crisis. Over 300,000 acutely malnourished children clamor for urgent nutrition support, medical treatment for more than 50,000 who are severely malnourished and far more vulnerable than any other groups.
In Kenya alone, between 3.5-5 million people are reported to be in urgent need of food assistance and the situation is likely to continue to deteriorate over the next few months. Over the past year, countries in the Horn of Africa have experienced two consecutive poor rainy seasons, resulting in one of the driest years since 1950/51. The expected rains across large parts of the region have either been insufficient or failed completely, resulting in crop failures and livestock death. Up to 60 per cent of cattle have perished in some areas.
The Ethiopian government is implementing various counter mechanism in drought affected areas, despite insufficient and slow response from the global community, Mitiku Kassa, head of the National Disaster Risk Management Commission, told Xinhua recently.
It is paramount important for other Horn countries to look at the ways the Ethiopian government has been handling the severe drought in various regions of the country. The Ethiopian government, after taking lessons from the successful intervention response of last year's El Nino induced drought, is implementing various interventions in areas affected by this drought.
According to reports from Disaster Prevention Commission, not human death have been reported so far. However, the death of livestock has been already reported in hard-hit areas of Afar, Oromia and other parts of the country.
The Government of Ethiopia and its humanitarian partners in January officially launched the Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) for 2017 looking for an estimated 948 million U.S. dollars to reach out 5.6 million people with emergency food and non-food assistance. According to the commission, the Ethiopian government has recently allocated 47 million U.S. dollars to provide food and non-food components to drought affected areas in the country.
Commissioner Mitiku Kassa told Xinhua that despite the Ethiopian government's effort in tackling the impacts of the existing drought that hits the southern and southeastern part of the country, "the response from the global community is so slow.
The major reason for the slow response rate from the global community is the stretched needs across the globe mainly in the horn of Africa and the Sahel region together with the political instability in the Middle East. Ethiopia has developed an experience that could be taken by other African countries in handling drought crises. The very notion in Ethiopia is working industriously for sustainable economic growth. Its development plans enabled the country to accumulate some sort of wealth that could help it overcome challenges in the time of difficulties.
Available documents indicate that the service sector, including trade, transport, communication, hotel and the like, has also achieved positive growth in the First Growth and Transformation Plan. In fact, different international organizations have also witnessed the healthy economic and human development in Ethiopia. World Bank is one among these organizations
Ethiopia has achieved high levels of economic growth, and made substantial progress on social and human development over the past decade. Economic growth has helped to reduce poverty in both urban and rural areas. Since 2005, 2.5 million people have been lifted out of poverty, and the share of the population below the poverty line has fallen from 38.7 per cent in 2004/05 to 29.6 per cent in 2010/11.
The economic growth registered in the first GTP totally changed the image of the country. The country’s per capital income reached 632 US dollars last year.
There are multifaceted success stories in the First GTP. The results registered in education, health, agriculture, construction, infrastructure and other economic sectors during the past five years are so encouraging and could serve as inputs and energies for the effective accomplishment of the Second GTP.
The Second GTP is the sequel of the first plan. Those unfinished mega projects that have began in the First GTP would be accomplished in the coming five years. For instance, the sugar development projects have shown a good progress in the First GTP but have not been completed yet.
The overall development in the country has laid the foundation and contribute significantly in supporting nation's efforts to restructure its agricultural led economy to industry one. This is one of the major factors that helped the government to contain the consequences of the severe drought.
BY GEMECHU TUSSA
Of late, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn had laid a cornerstone for the construction of Borena University in Borena Zone, Oromia State. As the premier spoke after the groundbreaking ceremony, the construction of the university will assist in preserving the cultural values of the pastoral communities, and thereby to address their socio-economic issues.
In fact, efforts have been well undergoing in Ethiopia to make the content and the organization of education more relevant to the diversified needs of the population. But, major investments in improving the numbers and the qualifications of teachers, the availability of equipment and student achievement have not sufficiently been improved.
Although there has been achievements in the increasing number of educational infrastructures, a lot remains to come up with improved teaching-learning processes. If students do not acquire significant knowledge and skills, the nation will not be able to compete within a global economy.
It is therefore necessary to shift attention to quality concerns which translate more directly into an improved and a genuine learning environment. Of course, quality is a crucial challenge at higher education level. A higher education system demands high‐quality education and other human and material resources.
Access to all levels of the education system has to increase at a rapid rate in line with a sharp increases in the number of teachers, schools and institutions in the next academic years.
However, the rapid expansion and sustainability of higher education are currently hot topics. The Ethiopian education system had displayed a leap from 39,000 students in the late 1990s to 700,000 in 2015/16. With the goal of growing further in the next few years, there has to be serious implications for the maintenance of quality and affordability.
Putting growth rates in relative terms growth rates, the number of universities in the country, some 15 years ago, has been limited to two with 3,000 students enrolling capacity. The number of public universities over the course of the last two decades has increased to over 34, excluding private owned ones.
The enrolment capacity of higher education limited to 39,000 students in the late 1990s has shot up to to 700,000 in 2015/16 showing an increase of 33 per cent. Hence, the construction of the universities is critical in achieving GTP targets the country has set, and to join ranks with middle income countries by 2025.
Having such achievements so far, the development of higher education should be an important element in the expansion strategy as it can provide a laboratory for innovation and new practices and competition that could refine standards as well as improve access. Currently, quality has also emerged as a determinant issue, in the processes of curriculum reform at national and institutional levels.
Though government polices and regulations vary widely, the role of higher education institutions may be seen as a solution to quality and creating access to limited space and facilities. Nowadays, higher education and some private institutions have begun to develop more expensive study fields, and to conduct more researches on system of governance in general.
The newly inaugurated Borana University will play a significant role in improving the livelihoods of the pastoral communities and to efficiently use the livestock resource available.
Apart from building universities and educational infrastructures, the government has to provide the necessary support for technology transfer, women participation and human resource programme for emerging industries so as to see the nation's vision comes true.
Through improving all aspects of the quality of education and ensuring excellence, an acknowledged and measurable learning outcomes will be achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life‐skills.
The issue of quality education can be expressed in terms of teachers’ qualification, pupils‐teacher ratio, learning achievements of students, level of educational facilities, and level of educational expenditure as the typical indicators of quality education. Indeed, school facilities have impact on accesses, quality, efficiency and equity. The school facilities are also tools to attract students in general.
In sum, Ethiopia has had development policy directions which entirely existed to ensure equitable and inclusive socio‐economic development to reduce poverty at all levels. And human resource development has been placed at the centre-stage of any development agenda of the country.
As all of the policy directions including the current GTP II envisages education as one of the most potential instrument to realize Ethiopia’s development vision of becoming a middle income economy by 2025, there is a critical need for middle and higher level skilled human power. So, the expansion of such universities in due course is an indicator for the commitment that the government has undoubtedly given to the realization of the renaissance journey.
The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU-PSC) has urged member states to take necessary measures to implement the agreement which allows the free movement of people and goods in Africa.
AU statement on Saturday stated that free movement of people, goods and services would consolidate Africa’s regional and continental integration.
The meeting held Thursday, at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Chaired by Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo, has deliberated and passed decisions on free movement of people and goods and assessed its implications on peace and security of the continent.
Reminding that some AU member states have signed and ratified all relevant AU instruments on free movement of people and goods, the Council called on other member states to take similar measures and take up all institutional and regulatory capacity gaps.
The Council also insisted that the mutual trust, cooperation and collaboration among AU member states would be important to tackle security challenges by preventing terrorist and criminal groups from taking advantages.
It has further exhorted member states to take action to ensure the issuance of visas on arrival for African citizens while taking necessary security precautions.
The summit held in Kigali, Rwanda, in July 2016 on free movement of persons and goods initiated AU member states such as Benin, Ghana, Mauritius, Rwanda and Seychelles to start visa issuance on arrival to fellow African citizens, the council noted.
BY TSEGAY HAGOS
Japan and UNESCO entered a cooperative agreement which provide one million USD fund for a project on quality teacher training and development for peace-building in the Horn of Africa.
Japanese Ambassador to Ethiopia Shinichi Saida and UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA) Director Dr. Yumiko Yokozeki signed the agreement Monday.
On the occasion, Ambassador Saida said Japanese government is committed to contribute to long term peace-building through education. The project is relevant to boost teachers' role in peace building, he added.
UNESCO-International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA) Director Dr. Yumiko Yokozeki for her part emphasized that the project is vital for widening school teacher's roles in peace-building and peace-keeping. " It will also allow to work very effectively with teachers and the young generation."
Some 8,000 young teachers selected from primary and secondary schools from the region will take part in the training, she added.
According to her, the training to be given in collaboration with Hiroshima university aims to create critical mass of teachers in the region who can deliver effective teaching-learning environment producing economically productive and peace loving youth.
The project will be implemented in six Horn Africa countries namely Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Uganda.
Fund to boost teachers' role in peace-building.
BY TEWODROS KASSSA
The Ethiopian Patriots Association has called on all Africans to mark the victory of Adwa for it signaled the beginning of end of imperialism.
In an exclusive interview with Addis Zemen, Association President Lij Daniel Jote Mesfin said Adwa is a victory for black people all over the world and called on fellow Africans to rejoice the victory.
The president encouraged concerned bodies to make effort in getting a proper place in the world for the huge sacrifice Ethiopian patriots paid for liberty which in turn ignited all oppressed people to fight for their freedom.
Regarding the present generation, Lij Dainel said the youth needs to replicate the victory of forefathers and mothers over invading Italian forces in maintaining the country’s peace and economic development.
The victory of Ethiopian patriots over invading forces is an inspiration for the young generation, Lij Daniel added.
The president noted that the association is working together with Ministry of Culture and Tourism and other stakeholders to mark the day colorfully.
Amhara State allocated 8.5 million Birr to develop Yisma Nigus as one of the touristic destinations of the country.
Yisma Nigus is a place where King Menelik II of Shewa entered the ambiguous Wichale treaty with the infamous Count Pietro Antonelli of Italy in May 1889.
The agreement consisted of 20 articles with its article 17 of the Italian version were made in discord with its Amharic text aiming to put Ethiopia under Italian protectorate
Ambassel Woreda Administrator Fisiha Yitbarek said Yisma Nigus is a historical place which signaled the inevitable war.
Besides, Yisma Nigus has various historical breathtaking sites including Lake Golbo and chains of mountains, Fisiha added.
Ambassel Woreda Culture and Tourism Office Head Tsehay Wele for her part noted that residents have long demanded for the development of the area.
Today, the Woreda culture and tourism office together with the state government is working to exploit the untapped tourism potential and to make the area accessible to tourists.
As part of this effort, the woreda has made notable work through conserving and developing the place, she said.
As to her, 35 million Birr has been outlaid for the construction of museum, lodges, and other tourism infrastructure.
The 121st Adwa Victory would be celebrated Thursday at Adwa with various programs including panel discussions, and symposiums.
BY YOHANES JEMANEH