Feeding a growing number of Africans, as climate change intensifies, will require boosting harvests - and environmental protection African farmers face one of the greatest balancing acts of the 21st century - feeding a rapidly expanding population without causing irreparable damage to the environment they rely on. It's a monumental ask.
A meeting, organised by Farm Africa and the UK National Farmers' Union (NFU), explored how the global agricultural sector can best address the nature and scale of the food security challenges.
More mouths to feed
With Africa's population set to surge to 2.4 billion by 2050 the continent will inevitably continue to see rapidly rising demand for food.
Pushing up supply to meet demand is no easy feat and the challenge is compounded by climate change. But "50 years ago, commentators said it would be impossible to feed the population we have now. Yet between everybody working up and down the supply chain those naysayers have been proved wrong," said Tim Smith, group quality director at Tesco and Farm Africa's latest board member.
The stakes have never been so high. Africa needs a clear roadmap on how to achieve long-term, sustainable food security.
Growing more - and better
At Farm Africa, every day we see the effect that increasing farmers' productivity can have. After helping farmers develop agronomic skills and improving their access to quality inputs, we've routinely seen agricultural yields double within the space of a year.
These are much needed gains, given that the average African farm performs at only about 40 per cent of its potential.
Increasing productivity needs to be an integral part of tackling food insecurity, but it represents only a part of the problem: environmental sustainability and access to markets are equally important.
Degraded environment - and food security
The environment is the largest determinant of agricultural productivity, and when the ecosystem is degraded, future agricultural yields are put at risk. For food security efforts to be successful, environmental concerns must be paramount.
Our work in Ethiopia's Bale eco-region is a case in point. Deforestation in the highlands is reducing the flow of water to the lowlands, putting a strain on the agro-pastoralists who live there and make a living from growing crops and rearing cattle.
By not only helping the lowland farmers to improve productivity, but also working to reverse deforestation and conserve the watershed, we're helping assure these farmers' access to the most basic of environmental resources necessary for their work: water.
To secure agricultural productivity and livelihoods farmers must focus on counteracting the damage being done to the environment, as well as supporting existing conservation efforts made by local communities.
The efficiency revolution
Inefficiencies within the food system - the logistical, market and policy factors that form the foundation of all food networks - also undermine food security. Even when yields are good, farmers face another huge constraint: the lack of access to markets.
Farm Africa is helping Ugandan and Tanzanian farmers make the most of this new market, providing communities with the resources and knowledge to produce high-quality grain, store it safely and get top prices from the market, helping to secure food for Kenyan consumers year round.
Africa's well documented fight for food security can seem an uphill struggle. But we are hopeful. We've witnessed a meaningful change in attitude. Actors across the supply chain are adopting an integrated approach to food security issues that doesn't just include a focus on increased production but, crucially, market efficiencies and environmental protection.
Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority has set up to execute regulatory proceedings that ensure aviation safety in addition to providing air navigation services through technical assistance in air traffic control in the Ethiopian airspace. Activities are undertaken with regard to safety procedures in accordance with the safety standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which in general enables the aviation system to thrive without deficiencies hindering smooth operation.
Authority Director General Col. Wossenyeleh Hunegnaw told The Ethiopian Herald that there are internationally recognized safety standards that should be met by all flights crossing the country’s airspace and also for the country’s aviation sector to be allowed to operate in the global level.
According to him, there are eight critical elements that should be fulfilled for a country to engage in the aviation sector. The first one is the availability of a National Aviation Security Legislation. This is important for the provision of a comprehensive and effective legislative framework, consistent with the environment and complexity of the state’s civil aviation operations.
The second critical element is the existence of Aviation Security Programmes and Regulations that help in the provision of standardized implementation procedures, equipment and infrastructures in conformance with required standards and security related provisions.
The third is a state appropriate authority for aviation security which is supported by appropriate technical and non-technical personnel and the provision of adequate financial resources. The state appropriate authority must have aviation security regulatory functions, objectives and policies. And it must develop and maintain an effective National Civil Aviation Security Programme, National Civil Aviation Security Training Programme and National Civil Aviation Security Quality Control Programme.
The fourth critical element is personnel qualifications and training with establishment of minimum knowledge and experience requirements for technical personnel performing state aviation security oversight and regulatory functions. The provision of appropriate training to such personnel to maintain and enhance their competence is a very crucial element.
Fifth is the provision of technical guidance, tools and security critical information as applicable, to technical personnel to enable them to perform security oversight functions in accordance with established requirements and in a standardized manner.
Certification and approval obligation is the six critical element that helps to ensure personnel and organizations performing to meet the established requirements before aviation academies as well as individual pilots are allowed to conduct their duties.
The seventh one being quality control obligations, including audits, inspections, surveys and tests, to proactively ensure the aviation security entities continue to meet the established requirements and operate at the level of competency and security required by the state. This includes the monitoring of designated personnel who performs security oversight functions on behalf of the appropriate authority.
The eight and the last critical point which is resolution of security concerns to resolve identified deficiencies, including the ability to analyze security deficiencies, provide recommendations to prevent re occurrence, track rectification and respond to acts of unlawful interference.
Col. Wossenyeleh also claims that the Ethiopian aviation sector is in a good state as it has passed through a relatively long history in the last seven decades. At the moment, thirteen overseas flight operators fly to Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Airlines Aviation Academy being the country’s sole aviation school for many years, nowadays aviation academies in the country reached four, of which three of them are giving training in the fields of piloting, ground technique and cabin crew.
This indicates the growing state of the industry in line with the country's growing economy. Besides, Ethiopian Airlines has grown tremendously, despite the ever increasing competition in the international aviation market as the sector is capital intensive and requires a highly trained human resource.
Facilitating the development of the aviation industry is one of the tasks of the authority, in terms of producing competent operators as well as airport development, insists Col. Wossenyeleh.
There are currently more than twenty-three airports in the country and more airports are under construction. Flight accessibility in the country is also expanding in times, with new destinations opening and flight frequencies increasing.
Likewise, air navigation is a service of communication, surveillance to properly enable airplanes during take off, flight and landing. Therefore, every airplane activity within the Ethiopian airspace should be communicated to the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority to properly manage the air traffic control, asserts Col. Wossenyeleh. This activity will be undertaken by trained professionals in air traffic control, communication, navigation and surveillance activities.
Further, airport enterprise is also an organ that is regulated by the authority according to the General Director. “That means, the quality of runways in the airports should be monitored based on standards for flight safety. This is undertaken by trained professionals in the field. On the other hand, terminal standards of the airports are also monitored with the target of ensuring passenger safety and comfort,” said Col. Wossenyeleh.
Hence, airports are certified based upon international standards, which of course is customized for Ethiopian context, and whenever an airport fail to meet the standards, measures ranging up to closing down of the airports could be in effect.
The aviation industry by nature is capital intensive and requires a highly skilled human resource. However, the government of Ethiopia has allowed private airline operators to lease aircrafts from abroad. This could be done in two ways, states Col. Wossenyeleh. One is dry lease, a means of leasing aircraft excluding the pilots, while the other is wet lease, which is leasing the aircraft including the pilots.
Moreover, they are entitled to duty free spare parts and other materials for their service. The sector is allowed to Ethiopian nationals only. In general, the incentives are encouraging to welcome private aviation operators, as explained by the Director General.
According to Col. Wossenyeleh, the quality of the authority’s air traffic service is measured by its futuristic system, skilled personnel and modern technologies. “Regarding this, we have one of the best air traffic control system in Africa, as we run a very standardized system of operation, highly skilled human resource and superior technological devices,” he claims.
The Ethiopian Aviation Academy under the Ethiopian Airlines is a highly advanced academy serving the whole continent. There is also a technical school that trains professionals in aviation technology for Ethiopians and other African nations.
There is also a safety overseeing task conducted by the authority to foreign aviation operators flying to Ethiopia called Safety Oversight for Foreign Aviation (SOFA). Deficiencies found in these aircrafts will be reported to the aviation authorities of their respective countries, while in case of serious defects, they should be prohibited from flying, states Col. Wossenyeleh.
Moreover, according to the Director General, private aviation service providers are emerging in line with the country's booming economy, with 15 operators licensed out of which seven started operation. The Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority, so far, signed bilateral agreements with more than one hundred countries all over the world in a bid to expand a safe and credible aviation service. Overall, aircrafts carrying about eight million passengers are hosted by the country's airports and airspace every year.
BY HOMA MULISA
how should Adwa be remembered by the current young generation? Every year, come March 2 (St. George's Day for the Orthodox Christians), there are lots of talks and discourses regarding the military and political significance and dimensions of the victory that Ethiopians recorded at Adwa in 1896 when the invading Italian forces were repelled. Every year on Adwa Day, celebrations are carried out throughout Ethiopia and even abroad where Ethiopian nationals or people of Ethiopian origin any way are present in significant numbers. Everyone seems to be fond of talking about this important and unique episode in our historiography. Definitely, it is recognized as a landmark in the history of our country and as a tremendous event with immense consequences. That is why we all feel entitled to celebrate it. That is why we recall it with immense joy and pride highlighting in the brightest of words the sacrifice paid by our forefathers. It is by so doing that our forefathers inherited us the current Ethiopia and we should not only acknowledge it but also celebrate it by bestowing upon them all the honor and credit they deserve.
Emperor Menelik's strategic and tactful masterpiece is underscored and utmost credit and admiration accorded to the prowess and patriotic sentiments of our ancestors, who despite the innumerable problems that they may have had to face in their dire and arduous lives, managed to sustain, nonetheless, a fierce and prolonged battle against an enemy who was definitely mightier and much better equipped with better arms and ammunitions than we were.
The victory of Adwa is often stressed as a double victory, both in terms of the message it loudly and unequivocally diffused to the whole world, of how much the Ethiopian peoples were attached and fond of their freedom and independence, and, in terms of the demonstration of its capacity to forge a firm union of all the nationalities of the Land under a single banner, a unique conviction, a unique objective: sovereignty, the indomitable determination not to be subdued by any external aggression, the spirit of rejection of any form of injustice and imposition from an alien power.
The history of Ethiopia, scholars have often reiterated, is principally the history of warfare, of battles and showdowns of might, between conflicting factions of society, (between the oppressed and oppressors, between tenants and landlords, between the various 'dejazmatches', 'rases', counts and barons or aspiring ones, trying to capture the throne or some other prominent position in the kingdom. Definitely, human society is replete with the history of such rivalries and conflicting interests, disputes, hostilities and antagonisms based on the pursuit of a variety of vested interests. Perhaps it is the very essence of mankind's constitution, the essence of human nature to desire power and seek authority. However, the story of Adwa shows us that all the local rivalries and disputes were left aside and a new bond of unity was forged, a new sense of purpose in defence of an alien force that had the agenda of invading, occupying and dominating our country. Hence, the past features of our country were completely changed. A new chapter was written by this important campaign. The first significant point regarding this historic event is the unity of a previously faction ridden country to one.
Definitely Adwa can be seen as a watershed in the long history of the peoples of Ethiopia. Not only that. It also set a significant precedent in the relation between Europe and Africa. It became an important point of reference in that context. On the one hand, the European conquerors, European vassals, who were trying to conquer the peoples of Africa at any cost, on the other, the would-be preys or the to-be-sacrificed African nations defenceless and weak. Adwa represents a resistance to such state of affairs. It represents the spirit of indomitability of Ethiopians, the spirit of dignity and honour that rejects dominion of any sort imposed by alien forces. Therefore, Adwa signifies an indelible milestone in the record of the historiography of the Third World. Why? Because never before Adwa has a European power actually succumbed to a crushing humiliation by a small and “uncivilized” African nations which they describe as a “nation of barbarians”.
In the event of the victory of Adwa, people of African origin were thrilled by the news as it was reported worldwide. Finally, Ethiopians were introduced to the wide world as a concrete reality. The world was acquainted with the spirit of independence that Ethiopians had, their patriotism and heroism.Black Americans were inspired by such victory and were even more motivated in their struggle for equal rights and equal opportunities in the US. They were instigated to strengthen their battle for civil liberties and demand these rights. On the other hand, the Italian political and military leaders were humbled and humiliated by the defeat they never even dreamt of. Crispi's government faced crisis in his government. On Adwa day, Rome was reportedly engulfed in complete darkness throughout the night! The atmosphere was gloomy and dark and the physical environment as well was reported to have been equally dark on that fateful day. Italians would never forget such humiliation.
Adwa revealed that the display of mere might, or the vast deployment of modern weapons did not suffice to attain a military triumph. Adwa was a real testimonial, a tangible evidence that the unity of a people against any invading enemy forces could manage to have the upper hand if it had sufficient motivation and determination to face any consequences. Adwa also reconfirmed (if at all there were doubts) that Ethiopians never bowed passively to submission to any foreign invader, to foreign expansionist. Other historical episodes of similar nature did precede Adwa. Adwa is simply the progeny of this spirit that had been a consistent and recurrent theme throughout the remarkable days of Ethiopian history. No doubts Ethiopians have always cherished most their freedom and never cared to sacrifice their lives for such noble cause!
The chronicles of Adwa document that the preparation for the battle took a lot of time and energy. It monopolized the whole attention and resources of the nation for months. Tens of thousands of citizens from all corners of the state were mobilised and united their massive energies as one, behind the far-sighted and committed leadership of Menelik II, beside the resolve and determination of Empress Taitu, who was reputed to have been particularly disgusted and disappointed by the Satanic aims and expansionist moves of the then Italian military and political bosses.
The astonishing military and logistical arrangements remained the remarkable surprise of many foreign historians and adventurers, who for one reason or another found themselves in our land during the unfolding of the major event. They couldn't help praising the operational manoeuvres that were undertaken during the battle. The strategic measures were admired as not to be expected from a poor African nation by Europeans who had imagined a facile and taken-for-granted victory. However, the tide of history was on our side. God was in our favour, beside us. David had defeated Goliath. And our nationals recorded what each one of us can be proud of, what all freedom-lovers may cherish, what remains as an important moment in the long and hard battles of oppressed peoples for their inalienable rights and inherent dignity as free human beings.
The new generation of our nation should always bear in mind the extraordinary historical significance of Adwa, no matter the years. The immense sacrifices paid can never be undermined. Adwa teaches that the struggle against all sorts of arrogant power or arbitrary rule should always be resisted. Building an ever united front against underdevelopment, injustice, corruption, poverty, HIV and AIDS and every other drawback that may inflict a negative effect on our society in its path towards justice, peace and progress should be one way of valuing Adwa.
Adwa, therefore, is not a point of arrival, but one of departure. It is a launching pad, towards a better society, freer people, a more motivated, stronger and prouder nation. It is a guide to a new spirit of unity and purpose, between Africans in search of a sense of achievement. Hence, Adwa must remain an evergreen inspiration in our hearts and guide us on the right path towards freedom, unity and progress. Otherwise, we shall have betrayed all those who have sacrificed their precious lives to give us such brilliant moment to let us celebrate amid great and picturesque fanfare and pride. We shall have betrayed the spirit of Adwa, the statesmanship of Menelik, the promise of Africa.
Finally, a lyric from the latest album of the emerging, young Ethiopian singer Gigi. The song is titled "Adwa":
Adwa is today,
Adwa is yesterday
Those who fell for it,
did not rise up yet
Our pride today
is the result of the sacrifice of yesterday
If you see me here,
in pride and confidence,
it is thanks to those
who paid dearly their lives
fighting back invaders,
fighting back aggressors.
BY FITSUM GETACHEW
A cradle of mankind, Ethiopia is marked for ancient civilization. It as well is singled out a mosaic of culture and a land of tolerance. Repelling expansionists that attempted to violate its sovereignty, Ethiopia has turned a beacon light for freedom fighters.
And as such during the anti-colonial movement it had become the pride of Africans and black freedom fighters up to the Caribbean islands and beyond.
The 121st anniversary of the victory of Adwa, where Ethiopian patriots scored a decisive triumph against the invading Italian forces, is being colorfully celebrated in Adwa and Addis Ababa.
The victory of Adwa is not only the victory of Ethiopia. It is also the victory of Africa and the symbol of freedom for Africans.
Despite the fact that our forefathers were equipped with traditional weapons, their courage, unity and conviction for freedom have enabled them to defeat a modern and Italian forces armed to the teeth. Thus, their victory has become the pride not only of Ethiopia but also of all Africans.
Our forefathers have already conquered and wiped out the invading forces from our land. What is left for us now is fighting against poverty and emerging triumphant.
If we persevere in our efforts and pursue our vision of achieving economic progress, the country will relegate poverty to the limbo of history.
Adwa has opened a new era in Ethiopian history where Ethiopian patriots fought heroic battles scoring a decisive and glorious victory.
Adwa symbolizes a water-shade that indicates Ethiopia became a fortress society when it annihilated colonial invaders and became a symbol of independence and sovereignty for the rest of Africa and all peoples of black origin.
Adwa is the first major victory of non-white peoples over European colonizers.The vicotry of Adowa has turned tops-yturvey an ageold belief on the white supermacy over the black people. It has reversed the falsly fabircated story on the differences in caliber and capacity between Africans and the European colonizers.
The victory of Adwa has attracted the attention of several writers and it has become the pride of Africans in general and Ethiopians in particular. Several writers have agreeed that the victory of Adwa is one of the turning points not only in Ethiopia's history but also in Africa's.
The victory was not only the pride of Ethiopians but also all Africans and other black people living allover the world who were considered as incapable of repelling the white conquerors. The victory of Adwa had compelled the European colonialists to stop and reconsider their actions.
The vicortry of Adwa is different from other vicotries. The first and the most important thing is, Adwa has spared Ethiopia from colonizaiton and its scar on the people and it has brought all Ethiopians together for common goal-invincability.
Despite their cultural, political and language differences Ethiopians were ready to shed thier blood to stop the advancement of colonizers. Consequently, they maintained the sovereignty of their country while many other African countries were colonized by the Europeans.
It reaffirmed the love of the people to their country and their perseverance.It really shows the way our forefathers handle their differences and give priority to their country’s sovereignty. That is what our forefathers did. They managed to protect their country from foreign invaders. They sacrificed their lives to realize free and sovereign Ethiopia.
It is appropriate for the new generation to protect and keep the country from its enemies. The youth has to take a lot of lessons from the victory of Adwa. On one hand, every Ethiopian had contributed to the victory either through supplying logistics or directly participating in the battle. On the other hand, all Ethiopians had put aside their differences in repulsing enemies. As a result, the divide and rule colonizing system of European colonialists didn’t work in the country.
Now, the threats we have to face does not come from colonizers. If there are any threats against us, they could be from none other than poverty, unemployment and lack of good governance. In this regard, the new generation has the responsibility to replicate the heroic deeds of forefathers by preserving the existing peace, fighting poverty.
The youth has a responsibility to fight for common goal. What is more, using the existing political and economic conditions the youth can leave a glorious history for the future generation. By avoiding all ethnic-based conflicts and all forms of destructive thoughts the new generation can sustain the economic progress the country is portraying these days.
The FDRE Peace Support Training Center (PSTC) graduated students who have completed their short term training on peacekeeping under UK's support.
Global peace and security is a top priority For United Nations Security Council members like the UK and Ethiopia.
The UK is committed to working with African institutions to effectively reduce, manage and resolve conflicts. This includes working with the African Union and Regional Economic Communities where building capacity and consistency of peacekeeping interventions are crucial.
Ethiopia plays a critical role both within the region and across the continent through the provision of peacekeepers to United Nations (UN) and African Union (AU) missions such as in the Sudan and Somalia.
While handing out certificates after the completion of the training, British Ambassador to Ethiopia Susanna Moorehead congratulated trainees for successfully completing two courses provided by the center under UK's support.
Ambassador Moorehead said: "Global peace and security are important for both the UK and Ethiopia. The UK aims to support efforts to end some of the world’s most destabilizing conflicts. It has a long history of supporting UN and AU peacekeeping.
Ethiopia is critical to security in the region and more widely, and its provision of troops to multiple UN & AU peace operations is hugely important. The UK views Ethiopia as a capable partner and remains keen to help where it can to improve standards and performance – to the benefit of UN and AU peace operations.
BY YARED GEBREMEDEN
The Federal Attorney General underlined the need for intensifying efforts in combating terrorism, religious extremism, human and money trafficking to uphold the constitution and the public interest at large .
Opening 4th Federal Attorney and the State Subject Justice Office Common Platform yesterday, Attorney General Getachew Ambaye said as the federal system has been established by the will of the nation, nationalities and peoples, any form of conspiracy against it must be contained with strong legal system and cooperation between the federal and state justice organs.
He noted that keeping the rapid economic growth, avoiding rent seeking attitude and endeavoring for the flourishing of the system of transparency and accountability are part and parcel of democracy building.
According to Getachew, to uplift the justice system to the higher level, periodic evaluation of the justice organs executions is crucial.
SNNPs Council House Speaker Lemma Gezmie for his part said state justice offices play crucial role in preventing illegal acts in their respective jurisdiction and benefit the public from the ongoing political, economic and social development.
BY ABEBE WOLDEGIORGIS
The Addis Ababa City Administration marked the 121st anniversary of Adwa at the City Hall with a panel discussions yesterday.
The Victory of Adwa, beyond ensuring independence to Ethiopia initiated pan-African solidarity, disclosed one of the panelists, Hailemelekot Agizew in a paper he presented.
Marshet Lakew, a young participant of the event speaking to The Ethiopian Herald said: “The history made on the mountains of Adwa over a century ago is a source of pride for all Ethiopians today, but it should also be a source of dedication for us to bravely fight poverty and make our own version of history”.
The unified movement of our forefathers/foremothers at the battle despite absence of advanced communication technology was enchanting, pointed out Tadesse Yimer, a participant in the panel and called for unity among the Ethiopian people in the march towards prosperity.
The Victory of Adwa is being celebrated nationally at Addis Ababa and at the battlefield, Adwa, today through various activities, it was learned.
BY HOMA MULISA
House Speaker Abadula Gemeda said: “ The victory of Adwa will strengthen Ethiopians' can-do spirit towards the ongoing renaissance journey.”
Opening art exhibition in connection with the 121st Adwa Victory Day at National Museum recently, Abadula said history would always remember that Ethiopian great fathers/mothers bravely defended their motherland against Italian colonial force. “We observe this year's anniversary with heightened patriotic zeal and the day will help us renew our commitments to realize a prosperous nation in the near future.”
Minister of Culture and Tourism Dr. Hirut Woldemariam for her part said the legacy of Adwa has to pass down to the posterity in an organized and responsible manner than ever before.
According to her, this year's victory day has been organized in a way that the present generation would take lessons out of the legacy of Adwa.
Veteran TPLF combatant Sibhat Nega also said: “Adwa victory is the history of all nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia. We need to instill our forefathers' invincibility in the youth.”
According to Sibhat, people from all walks of life made great scarifies during the battle of Adwa than any one. “Historians need to tell this story to the public as most of Ethiopian history books revolve around monarchy.”
Addis Ababa University Theatrical Art College Dean Assistant Professor Nebiyu Baye also noted that the true face of Adwa has immense value that could assist generations to bear responsibilities and respond to historical calls.
As the day is also mythical platform, there will be good turnout during open air festival and celebration at Soloda Mountain in Adwa today.
BY MENGISTEAB TESHOME
History rhythms though not in every sense. People of Ethiopia regardless of religious, class, linguistic and cultural differences, trekked to the country's north—Adwa— 121 years ago to write history with bones and blood crushing colonialism under heels.
The rhythm has resurfaced again almost in three generations with almost the same zeal to make another history gaining dominance over all forms of poverty when women, men, the youth as well as children have joined hands and hearts for another developmental feat. They have zoomed their eyes towards the country's north west, Guba zone of Benishangul Gumuz State,where the construction of Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD) is underway.
If history is only a narration, its place with in the infinitude of human existence will surely lack significance. "History, as a discipline, studies past achievements and failures to shed a limelight of lesson on the present context and to forecast the future," as a young history researcher of Addis Ababa University, Fitsum Woldemariam puts it.
For him, Adwa signifies the collaboration of all the people of Ethiopia from east and west, north and south as well as center. "In unison, the people of Ethiopia did history not only for themselves but also for all people oppressed and hit by the thirst for liberty."
The significance of the victory of Adwa could be interpreted from diverse points of view. It was the ice-breaking field experience for all the oppressed. It did prove that imperialism/colonialism was something to be challenged and defeated by black people. The victory that threw imperial force into delirium was a transparent symbol to the beginning of the end of the infamous forces. For Africa, the victory had been remarkable in that it came in the wake of the Berlin Conference of 1884-85 to partition Africa (almost after 11 years of its practice). Above all, for Ethiopians the victory was a rallying factor behind a common cause of fighting enemy. Still, the people have portrayed their common stance for a common good, despite differences, with the flagship project GERD.
"The victory can be a unifying cause to maintain the tempo of our country's progress," as Fitsum said.
War is still declared at present—Ethiopia has locked horns with poverty. "The past bravery of our forefathers/foremothers at the battle of Adwa has left its living metaphor for the present generation," stated Prof. Mitiku Haile of Mekele University.
"Our predecessors paid costs to pass down an independent and proud nation for us," he underscored, adding: "The fight against poverty has also costs to pay, which this generation needs to understand."
The September 1895 call of Emperor Menelik II for arms was met with fast response. "The people from the entire country swarmed like bees defending their hives," as Prof. Mitiku said it. And this should be replicated presently to lift the country from the abyss of poverty, according to him.
Beyond a one day celebration
A move to the glory of the victory is the proposed Pan African University of Adwa that would lie on a 100, 000 hectares of land at the actual war site. The establishing members said: "Pan African studies will get primacy when the university turn a reality."
Prof. Mitiku for his part emphasized the touristic value of the site. "Wouldn't it appeal if a mock battle could be prepared at the site [Adwa] to increase its touristic value," he added.
His comments goes beyond the commemoration at home. To further utilize the spirit of the victory, the African Union ought to take an arduous step, urges Mitiku.
For him, the acute challenge of the continent is lack of peace and security. Thus, the continental bloc has to eye towards a platform which could give opportunities to debate and discuss on such critical issues.
BY WORKU BELACHEW