Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 14 March 2017
Tuesday, 14 March 2017 20:06

Explore Ethiopia’s Natural Wonders

For adventure buffs who are looking for a vacation diffused with warm sun and refreshing environments in one of the world’s iconic landscapes, Ethiopia is the right pick. From the ancient skillful architectures to natural wonders; it is a place for experiencing nature at its finest. _

The land of Ethiopia found in East Africa is home to many natural wonders. Travelers planning a holiday in Ethiopia will prove there is more to the country than just being a fun place to be. This nature’s paradise is full of refreshing clean beaches and stunning destinations which are full of history and amazing wildlife found only in Ethiopia. There are so much activities and adventurous things to do from diving into the massive lakes, refreshing parks, the healing natural hot springs, viewing wild animals, world class accommodations it’s one of a kind destination that will leave you satisfied and enlightened.

The travel experience in Ethiopia entails something far more unique and everlasting memory from the museums, the ancient architectures and the wildlife’s say travel advisors at Jumia Travel. The country which stayed true to its culture and history has so much to offer including over ten UNESCO registered global heritage sights, it’s a place where you will be inspired and fulfilled. This part of the African continent gets you out of the ordinary and an extraordinary level of experience visibly showing you the 10th century breathtaking creations that continued to exist even at the modern era. From palaces to obelisks and rock hewn churches, it has an amazing ancient architecture to watch up close. This ancient nation has several destinations, which have incredible spots that attract tourists from all corners of the planet. Historical sites, ancient temples, and other sceneries are abundant.

Ethiopian architectures including the famous rock hewn Lalibela church is a significant place of pilgrimage and pride being the Ethiopian iconic enormous structure. The UNESCO registered global heritage is the most outstanding design ever built in the country history. It’s built by carving a single huge block of rock, without adding any external building materials like bricks and cement. Do not just stop there head to the north to see the strong standing obelisks of Aksum which were erected back in the 4th century. The enormous monuments made from a single piece of granite of smooth gray stone stand as high as 82 feet remaining to be the stunning creations of the country.

Ethiopia is not short of anything exciting, proving rewarding trekking at Semien mountain which rival the Colorado’s Grand Canyon and Ras Dashan Mountain among the many high rise mountains to climb in Ethiopia. Ras Dashan is not only a green refreshing mountain but also home to several wild life’s including over 400 species of birds that made to be referred as the African Amazon and sparkling powerful waterfall. _If you prefer extreme adventures do not miss out on Danakil, one of the world’s active fire lake which bubbles from deep in the ground 125 meters below sea level, creating a sparking fire lake. The molten rock of lava bubbles up to the surface creating hard to believe experience. If you are looking to tick off marvelous destinations, look no further than the stunning Ethiopia.

Eden Sahle can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./

 

By Eden Sahle

Published in Society

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships of brain development. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in every 160 children is subject to autism spectrum disorder.

Even though a cure for autism is not yet available, WHO recommended that an evidence-based psychosocial intervention can reduce difficulties in communication and social behavior, with a positive impact on the person’s well being and quality of life.

Tackling the impacts of autism, which begins in childhood but tend to persist into adolescence and adulthood, is one major target of the Ethiopian government’s inclusive education strategy.

Children with autism were neglected and left extremely vulnerable for years.Ethiopia's. Inclusive education, in this regard, enables them to learn alongside their non-disabled peers in general_education_classrooms.

Yekatit 23 Special Needs School in the capital Addis Ababa is one of such schools effectively providing inclusive education for children with varied mental and physical conditions, including those children affected with autism spectrum disorder.

With a vision to provide the much-needed evidence-based psycho social intervention and support for children with autism,the school has commenced its care-giving and education service back in 2012 with 5 autistic children and a single classroom.

Izedin Bahiredin is one of the first batch students that joined the school five years ago. His then homeroom caretaker and teacher, Frehiwot Yecheneku, recalled Izedin’s early first days at the school.

Izedin was first spotted by a stranger who had been given an awareness raising training provided by trained school caregivers on various issues related to autism and the service offered at the school.

Difficult to manage for his caregivers during his early days at school, Izedin was not even physically fit to walk upright at the age of 6 due to the lack of support that he suffered during childhood.

After years of comprehensive support by trained caregivers such as his homeroom caregiver Frehiwot, he is now a grade 3 student commended for his dedication and commitment at school.

Unlike what his parents thought he would be, Izedin is currently an outstanding student attending his education along with students without disability.

Since the majority of autistic students enrolled at the school, including Izedin, were previously victims of discrimination and stigma, the school administration also works towards a more accessible, inclusive and supportive scheme down to the society level.

According to Frehiwot, who is also a community advocate, whilst some of these children were victims of inhuman treatments stranded at home by their parents, others were left abandoned by their families due to their conditions.

Frehiwot further noted that many parents in the area also exclude their children with autism from the wider society that associates autism to broader supernatural contexts.

Some parents in the area were also ignorant to the needs of their autistic children due to economic reasons and the exceptional demand of the child’s conditions that impose additional financial requirements on the family.

Cognizant of this, the school administration working hand-in-glove with security forces and partners has registered remarkable achievements towards atoning to the suffering that autistic children underwent for years in the area.

Comprehensive activities that envisage physical, social and attitudinal changes for students with autism are also offered for children enrolled at the school.

One of these activities is a school feeding program provided twice a day by the school administration in partnership with students’ parents. Massage and physiotherapy support are also part of the day to day activity that targets students who were maltreated and their corporal structure immobilized as a result.

The school administration, with the help of ChildFund Ethiopia, has also established separate library that serves autistic students focusing on developing their psychosocial needs.

ChildFund Ethiopia, as a partner organization to the school, also provides adequate teaching-learning materials that contribute to the physical, social, and attitudinal needs of autistic children enrolled at the school. The humanitarian organization, apart from the material support, also provides awareness creation trainings to community members, caregivers and teachers on handling the needs of children affected by autism.

The number of children with autism at the school has now reached to 43 and, according to the school principal, the interest from the general public to step up our services has mounted over the past years.

“Currently, we have two classrooms particularly made and furnished cognizant of the needs of students with autism,” said G/tsadik Biazin, Yekatit 23 Special Needs School principal. “The number of autistic children enrolled at the school has also quadrupled in just the past two years.”

The fruit of the heroic activities employed by the school community and other partners are now much visible and grander for those who are familiar with the school, including the local community who are now conscious of the need to send their autistic children in search of psycho-social development

 

By Habtamu Worku

 

 

 

 

 

Published in Society

 

The Addis Coca Cola cycling race series will come to a close the coming Sunday at the Addis Ababa Stadium venue, the event organizer the Addis Ababa Cycling Federation, (AACF), announced.

According to the AACF President Rezene Beyene, the Sunday closing day race will be the 12th round of the season’s race.

“We carried out colourful races for the last 11 times in different venues. The first round that began at the Addis Ababa Stadium drew thousands of cycling fans. This was known ahead of the race because the stadium had the capacity to attract huge crowd. We expect the similar flooding of people the coming Sunday,” Rezene said.

In his view the second most watched race was the Ledeta-Karl Henze venue race. The Tsion Hotel-Wingate race has one speciality. The road is comfortable for the riders, the President noted.

The other venue that attracted record participants, 111 contenders, was also an important venue for the cycling race.

Of the 11 rounds, the most gruelling race was the 6km race up the hill to Intoto Saint Marry Church from Sidist Kilo Memorial Monument. In this gruelling race the Electric’s trio, Birhanu Belayneh, Abebe Beyene and Surafel Yehalashet, made a sweeping victory taking all the top three places, in the order of that.

This race also took place in 6km men’s mountain bike in the same route. The organizers pointed out that going up the hill was indeed exhausting.

Meanwhile, on Sunday the 20km and 40km races took place on the road to Debre Birhan starting from Legedadi.

The races attracted five cycling teams, Garad, Electric, Youth Academy, Ethiopian Grain Trade Enterprise (EGTE) and the African Refugee side.

In the 20km race Youth Academy emerged first leaving behind Electric and Garad to take the second and third places, in the order of that. This race drew cyclists from Yeka Sub-city.

In the 40km road race, the African Refugee side took title while Youth Academy finished second. The third place was won by the EGTE.

The Sunday race was one of the series of events that took place in this Ethiopian season under the name of Addis Coca Cola cycling club race.

This cycling competition is sponsored by Coca Cola East Africa Bottling Share Company. The sponsorship deal was set for the coming one year with the possibility of extension.

Under this sponsorship deal the AACF will get 500,000 birr from Coca Cola East Africa Bottling SC for one year.

The sole factor for Coca Cola East Africa Bottling Share Company to sponsor cycling race is to help promote the sports at the national level.

The Addis Ababa Cycling Federation, (AACF), has invited the enthusiastic cycling fans to witness the coming Sunday final race for free at the Addis Ababa Stadium.

 

 

Published in Sport

 

Four Ethiopian Premier League sides - Coffee, Adama City, Arba Minch City and Fasil City - are set to play to mark the sixth anniversary of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

The four-team football competition is organized by the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) and the GERD National Secretariat Office. In a statement sent by the country’s football governing body, EFF, the event marks the sixth year anniversary of the Grand Dam that will possibly bring a new chapter in the country’s power generation history.

The four sides represent the people of the land in full. “These are clubs that represent the Amhara, Oromia, the South and others. They can draw thousands of people when they play,” EFF said in the statement.

All four sides are enthusiastic to play for this great event, the statement adds. The standings of the four sides in the current league football competition are quite good. So the event will attract huge crowd to colourfully mark the six-year anniversary, according to the EFF.

In March 2011, the year the cornerstone was laid for GERD by the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, GERD is expected to generate 5,200MW hydroelectric power but later it was announced that GERD is set to produce 6,000MW.

In his address to the gathering and to the Ethiopian people live on TV on the day of the ceremony to lay cornerstone at a place called Guba, Benshangul-Gumuze State, the late Premier made it clear that getting fund to construct such a Grand Dam has never been successful. “This led the country with two options: either to abandon the project altogether or do whatever it takes to raise the required fund from the local source. I have no doubt which of these difficult choices the Ethiopian people will make. No matter how poor we are … the Ethiopian people will pay any sacrifice to build the dam,” Meles said six years ago.

As he well puts it so far 56 percent of the dam has been constructed covering the cost by the Ethiopian people and government.

The overall cost is estimated to be 80 billion birr. So far the Ethiopian people have contributed nine billion birr.

 

 

 

Published in Sport

Coffee fans who celebrate their victory last time are now aspiring to repeat that feat

 

The three top sides of the Ethiopian Premier League sides, Coffee, Dedebit and Adama City closing in on the gap with league leaders as they collected the full three points with wins in the weekends.

Coffee who travelled to Gondar crashed the home side Fasil City 4-1 on Sunday. Victory saw fourth-placed Coffee move to within four points of leaders St. George who have 35 points from 17 games.

Last week Coffee had a 4-0 win over Mekelakeya. That gave them good opportunity to keep their (Coffee) pursuit of the Ethiopian Premier League title hope.

For Fasil City this was the third time to concede defeat in a row. Last week they dropped three points with a 2-1 defeat at the hands Wolayita Dicha. Fasil have now 26 points from equal 18 games.

Fasil City who joined the elite league this season had shown good performance all through the first round but in the second round their performance abruptly slipped down. This is not a good trend for the fresh elite sides.

Dedebit beat Wodiya City 1-0 to gain the full three points on Saturday. The win didn’t change their place in the table on 31 points from 18 games. They (Dedebit) are third in the table.

Losers Woldiya are not faring well this time. Last week they dropped two points after finishing level at 1-1 with Arba Minch City. They have now 21 points.

Second placed Sidama Coffee kept their place with an away goalless tie with Dire Dawa City. They (Sidama) have now 32 points from equal 18 games. Last week Sidama had a 1-0 win over Adama City to jump to the second place.

Dire Dawa City conceded a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Electric last week. The goalless tie didn’t improve their position and they have 17 points from 18 games. Collecting 17 points in 18 matches means they didn’t manage to get one point in each match.

Adama City did well by beating Wolayita Dicha 1-0 this week to revive from the last week debacle. Last week they suffered a 1-0 defeat by Sidama Coffee.

They (Adama) have now 30 points from 18 games to stand 5th.

The other three premier league matches held on Sunday, Commercial Banks and Jimma Ababuna, Hawassa City and Arba Minch City, Addis Ababa City and Electric, finished by the same goalless tie each.

Addis Ababa City remained the bottom side on 11 points while Banks stand second from the bottom on 18 points. Last week Banks faced a shocking 4-0 defeat by Hawassa City.

Jimma Ababuna who joined the elite league this season and Electric who lifted the league trophy two times have equal 18 points. The similarity of the two sides is the last week result. Electric collected the full three points with a 3-1 win over Dire Dawa City, similarly Jimma enjoyed the sweet victory beating Addis Ababa City 1-0.

Hawassa now have 18 points while Arba Minch City collected 24 points from equal 18 games.

The defending champions Saint George who maintained the Ethiopian Premier League leadership on 35 points from 17 games didn’t play these weekends because of their international commitment in the CAF Champions League. If they win their remaining match they will comfortably maintain their leadership.

Getaneh Kebede of Dedebit is the leading scorer with 13 goals while St. George’s Adane Girma and Saladin Seid have nine goals each. Fitsum Gebre-Mariam of Electric stands third with eight goals. Getaneh has kept extending the lead by scoring in every match.

 

 

Published in Sport

Ethiopia champions, St. George, cruised past Cote D’Or 2-0 in their first leg preliminary round clash last month away at the Amitie Stadium in Praslin

 

The Ethiopian giants Saint George upset AC Leopards of Congo Brazzaville with a deserved 1-0 away win in Dolisie in the CAF Champions’ League first leg on Sunday.

Saint George’s Mintesenot Adane scored the winner in the 24th minute and red-carded late in the game.

The sports commentator from the spot said that Mintesenot was the hero and villain in St George’s 1-0 victory against AC Leopards. He was seen as a hero because he was the one who scored the precious winner.

He was seen as a villain because he was red carded at the end, unable to be in field in the return match the coming Sunday.

With 10 minutes to play, the home side was granted numerical advantage when Mintesnot was sent for an early shower following unsporting conduct.

He was well positioned to slot home after a bounced ball in his path following a save by the goalie off Salhadin Said’s goal bound shot in the 28th minute.

Uganda Cranes duo of goalie Robert Odongkara and Yassar Mugerwa were part of the Ethiopians’ contingent in Congo.

The result gave St. George an opportunity to advance into the next round with simple win or draw in the return leg. Though difficult to tell football results in advance, it is highly likely for St. George secure win in Addis Ababa on Sunday. The return leg will be played this coming weekend at the Addis Ababa Stadium.

Meanwhile, TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo stumbled at their first CAF Champions League hurdle Sunday when they were held 1-1 by CAPS United of Zimbabwe.

Nigerian Champions Enugu Rangers were on Sunday night defeated 1-4 by Egyptian side Zamalek SC in a Caf Champions League round of 32 game at the Al-Salam Stadium in Cairo.

The Flying Antelopes hardly made it out of their half in the opening exchanges as Zamalek pressed from the start of the game.

The African Champions League holders Mamelodi Sundowns began the defence of their crown with a 2-1 win over Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) of Uganda on Friday, but conceded what could be a vital away-goal.

On Saturday, record 8-time African champions Al Ahly of Egypt beat South African league leaders Bidvest Wits 1-0 in Cairo.

Centre-back Ahmed Hegazy, who starred when Egypt finished Africa Cup of Nations runners-up last month, scored the winner on 57 minutes.

Former African title-holders Esperance of Tunisia and Wydad Casablanca of Morocco also used home advantage to build leads ahead of return matches next weekend.

Liberian William Jebor scored late to earn Wydad Casablanca a 1-0 win in Rabat over Mounana of Gabon, who had David Massamba sent off just before half-time.

On a profitable day for North African clubs, 2015 Champions League runners-up USM Alger of Algeria defeated Rail Kadiogo of Burkina Faso 2-0 in Algiers.

 

 

Published in Sport
Tuesday, 14 March 2017 19:53

Efforts to green of African technology

Technological innovation offers Africa huge possibilities. We should identify how the digital economy can propel the kind of radical change the continent needs.

At the same time, though, we had to think about some old tools that our ancestors passed down to us – namely, how to think for the long term and how to work together. These tools are a form of technology that we need to use now, so that future generations have a chance.

Climate change is the ultimate test of whether we can use the old and new technologies to safeguard our children’s future.

Africans must take decisive action to combat the threat of global warming, by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and by helping one another to adapt to climate change. If we fail to make progress in these areas now, future generations will judge our inaction as expensive, unjust, and immoral.

Africa is one of the region’s most vulnerable to climate change. Yet it accounts for only 2.3 percent of global CO2emissions. That is partly because two-thirds of Africans – 621 million people – do not have access to electricity.

To meet the double challenge of climate change and this energy deficit, African countries need to help themselves and one another. Developed countries – the major contributors to global warming – must live up to the promises they made at the COP21 climate talks in Paris.

Alongside reacquainting ourselves with old-tech methods of thinking about the long run and working together, new technology is essential if Africa is to cope with climate change. Innovations in biotechnology and farming methods are needed to deal with disease, pests, and drought.

New technology can also help Africa to leapfrog over_dependence on fossil fuels_and into a low-carbon future. The continent has a great opportunity to develop new low-carbon energy strategies that build resilience and support growth that benefits everyone, reducing poverty faster. We show how this can be done in the 2015_Africa Progress Report, “Power People Planet: Seizing Africa’s Energy and Climate Opportunities.”

Renewable sources will replace fossil fuels gradually. It cannot happen overnight. Africa needs a judicious and dynamic energy mix. Most of all, it needs much more energy, now: Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole, excluding South Africa, currently generates less electricity than Spain.

The state of education in Africa is one telling consequence of the continent’s energy crisis. I have worked in education most of my life, as a teacher and minister of education in Mozambique. Experience has taught me that a country’s schools are the key to its success and prosperity. Yet in many African countries, 80 percent of primary schools do not have electricity, severely compromising the quality of instruction.

Shortages of electricity also cost lives. Almost four in five Africans rely for cooking on solid biomass, mainly wood and charcoal. As a result, more than 600,000 people die each year from household air pollution. Efficient cooking stoves would save them, liberate millions of girls and women from the chore of gathering firewood, and generate wide-ranging environmental benefits.

The steps that Africa’s leaders need to take are clear. Long-term national interest must take precedence over short-term political goals, vested interests, and political patronage. African leaders need to root out graft, make the governance of energy utilities – some of which have been centers of corruption and inefficiency – more transparent, strengthen regulations, and increase public spending on energy infrastructure. They also need to redirect the 21 billion dollar spent in Africa on subsidies for loss-making utilities and electricity consumption – which mainly benefit the rich – toward connection subsidies and renewable-energy investments that deliver energy to the poor.

There is also a clear course of action for the leaders of major CO2-emitting countries. They need to put a proper price on their emissions by taxing them, instead of continuing to subsidize them by spending billions on fossil-fuel exploration. G-20 countries must set a timetable for phasing out such subsidies.

And rich countries need to mobilize international development finance, which can play a key role in helping African countries meet their energy needs. The fragmented, under-resourced and ineffective system for financing climate policy has failed Africa. It needs wholesale reform. Unfortunately, the world’s largest emitters have shown little commitment to the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund.

Corporate leaders have a responsibility to act as well. They should demand a price on carbon, drive innovation, and seek opportunities to fund low-carbon development across Africa. Natural gas and renewable energy sources, such as sun, water and wind, are an opportunity, not a risk, in Africa. Millions of energy-poor, disconnected Africans earning less than 2.50 dollar a day constitute an energy market worth 10 billion dollar a year.

Some hope for rapid change may be glimpsed in the fact that Africa now leads the world in adopting many new technologies. It is bypassing earlier ones and jumping straight into the digital age. East Africa’s M-Pesa system for transferring money via mobile phones is spurring new microfinance services, such as peer-to-peer lending. Commodity exchanges are enabling farmers to access real-time prices.

Let us put those timeless, old-tech skills of far-sightedness and collaboration together with new technology. If we do, the current generation of African leaders has a unique opportunity to protect future generations from a climate disaster, deliver on the promise of energy for all, and build shared prosperity.

 

BY GRACA MACHEL

Published in Development

Over the past decade, Ethiopia has been one of the fastest growing global economies; its tourism sector expansion was not an exception recording a remarkable growth than it had before. Although the country is yet to reach its full potential solving problems from its economic factors the begging trend continue to get on in its way of developing tourism industry Jumia Travel observed.

The hospitality sector has been crucial in supporting the overall economic growth, hosting a growing number of inbound travelers who are contributing for growing revenue from the sector. Certainly, the future of tourism in Ethiopia holds great potential attracting travelers from Africa, Europe, South America and within its territory, however its expansion and development heavily depends on better infrastructure, open borders, policy implementation, marketing strategies and airline and other transport connections as well as keeping the comfort of local and international travelers.

Expansion on tourism activities will contribute to reducing Ethiopia's dependence on agriculture. Until recently, little had been invested in mapping the country’s tourism, but the last decade has seen intensified interest from investors and growing number of travelers. Encouraged by the progress of the industry, Ethiopia established a Tourism Transformation Council to research and develop destinations. The council is tasked to prioritize on growing the industry as well as creating dependable sector, allowing the country to take advantage of the industry. The growth is predicted to continue over the next decade rising by 5.4 percent, bringing ETB 24.7 billion (USD 1 billion) to the economy. _Similarly, Ethiopia has been getting strong support from the UNWTO to reinforce the sector, crafting sustainable tourism development strategies, public private partnerships and marketing strategies.

Although the country is improving in its initiative to develop the tourism industry and beyond when it comes to infrastructure development it still has a long way to go to eliminate begging particularly at tourists destinations. The very thing which is considered as harmless or the way of the norm is taking the country image on another tall sending out wrong messages. It requires the country to take initiatives to protect and avoid begging at tourist destinations creating job opportunities to local communities.

Evidently tourism can generate a great support for the economy creating diversified income generation opportunities. It allows wealth to be distributed into the community in a variety of ways due to the nature of the industry which gives small businesses an opportunity to grow easily. On the other hand, it creates employment for both skilled and illiterate human power making the sector more important for developing countries like Ethiopia.

For a community residing in a popular tourist destinations there lies a great opportunity and benefits for work instead of relying on begging money from local and international travelers. One of the key benefit is the opportunity of the tourism industry which brings a range of direct employments for tour guides, hotel staffs, restaurants, transportation services. These business not only create income to individuals but also create market for local productions and services growing existing business and creating new once to fulfil demands. This will allow entrepreneurs to establish new services, products and facilities that would be sustainable income for the community.

Tourism benefit always comes twofold from the cash spent directly on the tourism economy and on the other sectors including the food industry, clothing, medical services, souvenirs and amusements, hairdressing and city transportation services the list can be limitless. _Such incomes are earned locally and spent locally giving a boost to the overall economy of Ethiopia portraying a multiplier effect generating revenue and spending the revenue back to the economy. The begging business deserves ample attention from stakeholders if the country has to take advantage on its full tourism potential soon than it has anticipated.

The writer can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

BY EDEN SAHLE

 

 

Published in Development

 

As a post war global phenomenon, globalization has continued to heavily influence cultural, ideological, scientific and technological innovations around the world. We have reached a level where no country or even a single individual is immune from the effects of globalization. In this age, cultural globalization has become one of the most important aspects of globalization.

Cultural globalization is manifested through the global flow of ideas, values, traditions, science and technology, fashion, food habit and countless trends in human interaction. Though cultural globalization is not something officially declared by international organizations, yet no country can adhere to cultural protectionism unless it risks self isolation. The global economic system, technological innovations as well as the expansion in the entertainment industry have to higher degree enhanced global cultural exchange that is growing rapidly.

Multifaceted communication across cultures and intellectual diffusion of knowledge among global research centres and higher learning institutions have all promoted cultural globalization. Music, sports, religion, costumes, food, and international standards on quality and standards of goods and services are gradually assuming global dimensions.

Some critics of globalization argue that it poses a threat to the diversity of cultures as a dominating global culture is introduced. Some argue that globalization may ultimately lead to Westernisation or Americanization of cultures, where the dominating cultural concepts of economically and politically powerful Western countries spread and assimilate local cultures.

Many developed countries are perceived by many in developing countries as pace setters of civilization. There is certainly a grain of truth in this. However, this does not mean that countries do not have any choice than simply absorbing what is provided to them.

Ethiopia is certainly not immune from the effects of cultural globalization. Although globalization is influencing the entire social fabric of the Ethiopian society, its effects are far more pronounced in the areas of culture, which includes among other things, music, fashion, communication, creative arts and several other relevant areas.

Ethiopia has a long tradition and history of music. The country boasts quite a number of indigenous musical instruments and dance styles of the many nations, nationalities and peoples of the country. Almost half a decade back, modern music was introduced into the country through military brass bands and the dedication of the family of Nerses Nalbandian, musician and educator of Armenian descent who settled in Ethiopia as early as 1930. They also introduced classical music suited to the Ethiopian context. In later years, with the establishment of Yared Music School through the assistance of Bulgarian government and with the leadership of prominent Ethiopian musician and scholar, Professor Ashenafi Kebede, modern music took shape in the country.

Today, the development of music in the country seems to be off track in the sense that there is a huge mix up of modern music with traditional music with costumes that are not known to this country. For instance, tee shirts and pants those have no connection with Ethiopia’s culture are being used in the guise of “traditional costumes.” The situation is clearly visible on dance video clips.

In terms of creative arts, particularly in theatrical arts, there is a tendency which might be expressed as ‘one step forward and two steps back’. The number of books written in local languages, particularly in Amharic has grown both in content and quantity but the youth has a tendency to prefer Internet than reading books written on various topics of interest. Excessive use and dependence on the Internet and computers for sources has led students, particularly those in higher learning institutions into unnecessary act of plagiarizing others’ works.

A number of professional associations in the fields of creative arts have been established a couple of decades back but due to lack of capacity and other related bottlenecks, they have either failed to accomplish the objectives for which they have established or have probably lost contact or have never had one with regional or global organizations with similar objectives.

Compounded with the impending catastrophe of cultural globalization, lack of interest among the professionals and higher institutes of learning to conduct researches on local cultures had negatively affected or even dwarfed the development of local cultures in Ethiopia and this had exposed them to being infested with alien cultural values that are unknown among the peoples of this nation.

There are also some good cultural heritages that Ethiopia had tried to inherit from global cultures. For instance, the Ethiopian Police Orchestra had one of the best philharmonic orchestra and various types of chamber orchestra which the Derg has destroyed branding it as “imperialist culture” and “imperialist music”. Today our youth are trying to enjoy their reggae, raga, gam gam style music and other forms dance music simply because they wish to appear “modern” and “youthful” just like the youth in western cities.

Ethiopia has a long way to travel before the age old cultures of the nations, nationalities and peoples are properly advertised and promoted. Except for a tiny school of music that is now functioning under the Addis Ababa University, the country seems to still be far away from owning a national musical conservatory or a national cultural centre that cater to the youth a researchers in the arts.

When one speaks of Ethiopian culture, one should mean that it is a mosaic of the cultures of the nations, nationalities and peoples. This gives a comparative advantage for the nation not only to promote creative arts but also to build up on tourist potentials of the country.

On the other hand, despite the threats of globalization, the entire global development of technology in information technology can be turned to an opportunity to introduce and popularize local and indigenous cultures among the global community. Modern social media outlets such as YouTube and Facebook can be used to promote the rich cultural heritages of the peoples of this country.

It is erroneous to totally condemn globalization as foreign phenomena. Maintaining a national cultural pride is something important but turning the opportunities provided by globalization in various fields like IT, medicine, economics, the environment and other scientific fields is equally important as safeguarding and maintaining the nations, cultural values and heritages. Whether we fill it or nor or whether we like it or not, generations are to continue with globalization as mother earth continues to link us all together through globalization. However, we still have the choice to maintain our cultural integrity and identity as Ethiopians.

 

BY SOLOMON DIBABA

 

 

 

Published in Editorial-View-Point

 

There in no gainsaying that agriculture is a key sector which is vital for the survival of mankind. At the same time plants are the producers in the food chain, and without them, life cycle would just not be possible. Crops are used to produce several food items such as bread, powders; organic additives to other goods and the like. Hence, efforts should be strengthened to boost value-added yields.

Yes, technology has been playing a big role in developing the agriculture sector. The use of agricultural biotechnology helps to grow crops in semiarid areas. This way the world has witnessed surplus yields to feed more than seven billion mouths worldwide. Within this technological approach, plants have been engineered to survive in drought conditions. Through genetic engineering scientists have managed to introduce traits into existing genes with a goal of making crops resistant to droughts and pests. In this context, the nation has been working to meet emerging demands across the board.

In the past week, an exhibition aimed at promoting utilization of agricultural technologies and improving productivity and modernization was held in Adama town.

Yes, the exhibition was organized as part of the 28th Farmers’ and Semi-pastoralists’ Day being observed across the country.

Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dr. Iyasu Abrha said the event creates an opportunity for farmers to get used to agricultural technologies that could boost productivity.

The move could assist to get lucrative market and to create market linkage between farmers, producers and suppliers, beyond enhancing productivity.

The exhibition had also brought together thirty private and governmental institutions to display products which could give momentum to the strengthening of ties between the actors.

As the nation is striving to become a middle income nation, promoting the utilization of agricultural technologies is a must in a bid to use machines on farms. Working on modern transportation, cooling facilities and genetically produced plants is essential. There is also a call for the development of animal feeds, among others.

This year the nation has recorded high yield that enables it to cushion impacts of El-Nino. This outcome has been realized because of the commitment made by the endeavours of respective states in assisting farmers across the board.

As the nation is striving to establish various industry parks, some taking as input agri-foods, it needs to reinforce stances to boost the productivity of farmers supplying with agricultural technologies.

We are witnessing that the ever-growing demand should be addressed with well -organized approaches to actualize enabling realities.

Advantages of technology in agriculture include expediting crop production rate and crop quantity, which in turn reduces costs of production for farmers and food costs for consumers, and even makes crops more nutritious and livestock bigger. Technology in agriculture should produce benefits for small-scale farms and national farming operations alike.

So far, nation's move is commendable in a bid to do away with the poor performance recorded in supplying the sector with agricultural technologies.

The technological approach should increase agricultural productivity as well based on basis for Sustainable Agriculture.

The efforts should be supported by communication approaches to win farmers in a bid to use the technology as per the yield they had in their hand. The agricultural experts should be well informed about the ultimate outcome. That utilization of technologies is critical to improve production and productivity. The nation should embrace it to customize new technologies among farmers.

The farmers’ cooperatives as well as the finance institutions should pave the way to undo the challenges in introducing technologies. The introduction of technologies should also be handled in a concerted manner to address the ever-growing demands nationwide.

Finally, the supply of agricultural technology must be targeted to pull the nation out of poverty and to transform economic structure of the nation. The food security issues should be levelled in short period of time at household.

The approaches should focus on applying water, fertilizers, pesticides, selected seeds and skills uniformly across entire fields.

 

 

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