Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 13 June 2017

 

The Ethiopian Cycling Federation offers practical training for health experts on the area of first aid for injuries and accidents that may occur during cycling races.

The training which is given for ten days has been aimed at improving the knowledge and skills of health experts to help cyclists who face injuries during race.

Trainer and High level Health Expert in the Ministry of Youth and Sport Dr. Abayneh Shiferaw said that many accidents happen during cycling races so far and this training is helpful to give treatment at the spot. “It minimizes the risk of facing fatal consequences as a result of light injury. The new trainees possibly provide the necessary treatment on the spot,” he said.

Tsegaye Nesereab is a health expert attending the training from Tigray. He said the training is different from others in that there are specific injuries associated with cycling like fractures which needs special treatment types.

Sister Tigist Muktar is a health expert from Addis Ababa attending the training for the first time. For her Cycling accident is different from other kinds of accidents as it happens instantly so it needed to be there on the spot as life might be lost if the treatment is late.

According to the information from the Federation, Some 21 trainees from Tigray, Amhara, Oromia, Southern Nations, Nationalities an Peoples, Dire Dawa, Addis Ababa and the Ethiopian Youths Sport Academy have taken part in the training.

 

BY YARED GEBREMEDEN

 

Published in Sport
Tuesday, 13 June 2017 19:51

GER registration under way

Last year a sea of 42,000 people in green and yellow flooded the main streets of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in the 10-kilometer annual Great Run. In 2017 that figure is expected to go up to 44,000.

 

The 2017 Great Ethiopian Run, (GER) registration is going on for the last seven days in different places, the event organizers announced. The initial stage registration pace is satisfactory, according to the organizers.

In the 2017 GER that will take place in November the organizers expect a record 44,000 participants. This will be an increase of 2,000 people from last year.

This year the organizers decided to provide barcode and race number to all participants along with their official T-shirts.

The organizers say that the race number is helpful to identify illegal T-shirt and helps control their illegal distribution.

In the coming GER the elite 7,000 athletes will wear Green T-shirt while the mass 37,000 runners who take part to enjoy the carnival atmosphere, jog and walk will wear the Red T-Shirt.

Registration for the Green T-shirt participants is 220 birr while the Red will get the ticket with 200 birr.

This year GER main sponsor is Total while Banks and Ethiopian Airlines are co-sponsors.

Ten branches of Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) serve as registration centres. Plus mobile or internet banking at the CBE also serves for registration.

The organizers said that Group registration takes place at the GER head office. Group participants need to have official support letter from their respective organization.

 

 

 

 

Published in Sport

 

The Ethiopian Badminton Championship began last weekend at the Ethiopian Youths Sport Academy.

Ethiopian Badminton Federation (EBF) President Gebreyesus Ayele said that all nine states including two city administrations are working towards promoting badminton sport in their respective states. He said, “Most of the states could not attend this year’s championship due to budget constraints with the exception of Oromia state that showed no interest to take part in the tournament,” adding “The Oromia State expected to host this year’s championship but the federation changed that considering other factors.”

The president further said that Badminton needs sport facilities, gymnasiums and well equipped playing grounds but they found it difficult to overcome these challenges.

He added “Despite the challenges we still look for other options that could possibly replace modern playing grounds.”

We will work further to strengthen badminton sport together with our stakeholders and he said “The International Badminton Federation provides assistance to our national Federation. Using these we will try to resolve some of the challenges we are facing this time.”

In her part Federation Office Head Worknesh Tilahun said the championship which is held every two years is aimed at increasing performance of players and acquire experience to be competitive in the national and international competitions. She stressed,“Such tournaments are crucial for selecting best players for further training and sport engagement.”

The Office Head also said that even if the federation has invited all the regional states in this tournament only the two city administrations and three regional states have attended the tournament. According to her the participating teams are from Tigray, Addis Ababa, Amhara, Dire Dawa and Southern Nations, Nationalities an Peoples State.

Some 64 players are attending the tournament and it will come to an end the coming weekend at the Ethiopian Youths Sport Academy.

 

BY YARED GEBREMEDEN

 

Published in Sport

National football team conceded five goals in their opener

 

The Ethiopian national football team suffered a heavy 5-0 defeat at the hands of the Ghanaian side on Sunday in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualification Group F match at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.

This was a bad start in their campaign for the qualifiers. The serious trouble began when Ghana found the net two times in the first 15 minutes.

Prior to their travel to Ghana many expected a close margin defeat. This was not the first time for the Ethiopian national team to face this kind of disastrous defeat in the qualifiers. The 7-1 demolition by Algeria a couple of years ago was one among others. That led to the sacking of Coach Yohannes Sahile.

Gebremedhin Haile who replaced Yohannes tried to secure a place by getting the best second place but to no avail.

This was the first major defeat under the newly appointed head Coach Ashenafi Bekele. His side had one international friendly against Uganda a week before they travelled to Ghana. After finishing goalless, Ashernafi said that when the remaining players join his side they would possibly make differences.

The national side had that international friendly in the absence of Saint George players who had an international commitment against the DR Congo’s AS Vita on Sunday in their CAF Champions League Group C first leg that took place at the Addis Ababa Stadium.

A goal from Salhadin Seid gave St. George a 1-0 win over the visitors. The hope of the coach was that the inclusion of St. George players would bring difference but it was not to be so.

The victory takes the Black Stars to the top of Group F standings with three points, while Walia Ibex are placed fourth on the table. Sierra Leone, who ended a Kenyan 10-match unbeaten run with a 2-1 victory in Freetown the previous day.

The following is the international media outlets report from the spot: The Black Stars started off like a house on fire as they hit the back of the net twice in the first 15 minutes of the encounter.

The deadlock was broken by Asamoah Gyan, who headed home Thomas Agyepong’s cross – to make it 1-0 to Ghana ten minutes into the game.

It was soon 2-0 to Ghana five minutes later after John Boye controlled the ball beautifully, before beating Ethiopia goalkeeper Abel Mamo.

Holland-based midfielder Agyepong, who was making his international debut for Ghana, was looking lively for the home side.

The attacker showed some good skills in the 22nd minute, before unleashing a shot which was blocked and cleared away by Walia Ibex.

The Black Stars continued to pile pressure on the Walia Ibex defence as they looked to extend their lead and they did make it 3-0.

Ebenezer Ofori was the man who beat Mamo this time when his thunderous left-footed effort hit the back of the net five minutes before the halftime break

Ghana were leading 3-0 during the half time following an entertaining first half which was dominated by the home side.

The Black Stars continued to press Walia Ibex in the second half and they extended their lead through Raphael Dwamena, who was also making his debut for Ghana.

The bulky striker hit the back of the net from close range from a rebound - making it 4-0 to Ghana with the Ethiopia defence caught ball watching.

Dwamena then completed his brace on the hour-mark - scoring from close range after Mamo failed to hold onto the ball and the striker made it 5-0 to Ghana.

Ghana goalkeeper Richard Ofori was finally seriously tested towards the 70th minute when he was forced into a good save by Ethiopia winger Shimelis Bekele from a free-kick.

Afriyie Acquah, a defensive midfielder by trade, was introduced by Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah in the closing stages of the match as home side looked to contain Ethiopia.

The Walia Ibex were unable to grab a late consolation goal as keeper Richard Ofori was alert in the dying minutes of the match and ultimately, Ghana ran out 5-0 winners.

 

 

Published in Sport

The oceans’ health is only getting worse and the cycle of decline must be reversed, said representatives at the opening of a high-level UN conference.

Approximately 5,000 representatives from governments, civil society, and the private sector from around the world have gathered at the UN for its first ever Ocean Conference, a high-level meeting which aims to address and mobilize action to improve the state of oceans.

“The health of our oceans and seas are inextricably linked with the health of our planet and all life on earth,” Secretary General Antonio Guterres told the full General Assembly hall.

However, the oceans are under threat as a result of human activity.

“We are here on behalf of humanity to restore the sustainability, balance, and respect in our relationship with our primal mother, the source of all life, the ocean,” said President of the 71st Session of the General Assembly Peter Thomson.

“The time has come for us to correct our wrongful ways,” he added.

Among the pressing issues to be addressed during the conference is marine pollution, and much of this pollution is from plastic.

Over 5 trillion pieces of plastic weighing more than 260,000 tons are currently floating in the world’s oceans, a figure that may be an underestimate. More than 80 percent of such plastic waste in oceans comes from land.

Because of ocean currents, this trash accumulates in what is known as “ocean garbage patches,” located in virtually every ocean in the world. The largest such patch is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch located between Hawaii and California which is estimated to be around 1 million square kilometers.

This has contributed to the massive piles of trash that have washed upon the shores of the isolated and once pristine Henderson Island in the South Pacific. A recent study found that the UNESCO world heritage site is covered with over 38 million pieces of trash, making it the most densely polluted place in the world. Researchers found discarded fishing nets, toy soldiers, and hardhats.

“It is inexcusable that humanity tips the equivalent of a large garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute of every day. We have unleashed a plague of plastic upon the ocean that is defiling nature in so many tragic ways,” Thomson told conference attendees.

And plastic that ends up in the ocean does not solely float harmlessly, but rather have real, long-term implications on animal and human health.

Oceans and Peoples’ Health as One

Animals, which often find themselves entangled in trash, have also been seen to be ingesting plastic with deadly consequences.

In a dialogue on marine pollution on the first day of the conference, Norwegian Minister of Climate Vidar Helgesen pointed to the case of a goose-beaked whale which beached on Norway’s cost earlier this year and was found with nothing but 30 plastic bags in its stomach.

Plastics also release toxins when ingested which have found to be damaging the reproductive health of many fish species.

Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP)’s Director General Kosi Latu noted that plastic was found in 97 percent of fish species studied in the Pacific alone.

WEF predicts there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050 if such trends in ocean pollution continue.

Evidence also shows that people are consuming plastics by eating seafood.

After purchasing fish from markets in Indonesia and the U.S., researchersfound that 1 in 4 fish had plastic in their guts. European researchers estimated that Europeans could be eating 11,000 microplastics every year through seafood.

Though the impacts are still uncertain, studies have shown that plastic ingested by humans could be toxic and can increase the risk of health problems such as cancer.

 

A Call for Action

Representatives have therefore urged for action to prevent and reduce marine pollution during the conference.

Already, countries have outlined commitments to combat the issue.

Indonesia has vowed to reduce 70 percent of its marine litter by 2025 while Thailand has established a pollution management plan that comprises of encouraging eco-friendly substitute for plastic materials and implementing a 3Rs strategy of reduce, reuse, and recycle.

The lack of strong policies and infrastructure on waste management have largely contributed to ocean pollution. For instance, only 14 percent of plastic packaging is collected for recycling globally, allowing millions of tons of plastic to end up in landfills and oceans each year.

“Without effective recycling, I don’t think we will be able to solve the problem,” said Latu.

The Ocean Conservancy also found that Indonesia and Thailand are among the top five plastic-polluting nations in the world.

Other countries such as Austria have committed to reducing plastic bag use while Sweden introduced a ban on plastic microbeads in cosmetics. More than 600 commitments have been received.

Civil society groups have also promised to take action including the Dutch foundation Ocean Cleanup which has developed a cost-effective net system that could clean up 50 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in five years.

Though there is no one size fits all solution, conference participants agree on one thing: we must act now if we want a secure future on this planet.

“This is the year that we cease to steal from the future of our grandchildren,” said Thomson.

Guterres highlighted the long history of people’s relationship to the ocean as a call for action, stating: “The Swedes were sailing around the Baltic Sea and as far away as present-day Istanbul 7,300 years ago. Fijians were sailing canoes at record speeds and for record distances around the Pacific well before that. A Japanese creation myth tells of how the archipelagos formed from seawater, and Inuit creation myths is central on Sedna, the goddess of the sea. The sea indeed belongs to all of us.”

The globally agreed 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes goal 14 which stresses the need to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development. Within the goal is a target to prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds by 2025.

 

BY THARANGA YAKUPITIYAGE

 

Published in Development

 

The local 2017 FHI results were released today at the Future of Health Summit 2017 in Johannesburg

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, June 12, 2017/ --

• Future Health Index commissioned by Philips reveals that South African’s perceptions of the current health system do not align with the realities.

• South Africans perceive that they have more access and greater integration of the healthcare system and better adoption of connected care technology, than they have in reality. The large gap between the perception of the healthcare system and its realities, indicate ample room for growth.

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) (www.Philips.com), a global leader in health technology, today released the South African results of the second annual Future Health Index (FHI) (www.FutureHealthIndex.com/report/2017). The study builds on data from over 33,000 participants in 19 countries and advisory input from leading academic and global non-profit organisations.

Local findings indicate that South Africans generally evaluate their health positively, with the majority (80%) of the population rating their current health positively (good, very good or excellent), while healthcare professionals are less optimistic. Just one third (33%) of healthcare professionals agree that the overall health of the population in South Africa is positive.

Healthcare professionals’ perceptions of the health of the nation are likely driven by their perceptions of access to care, as they are less likely to agree that their patients have access to care across all phases of the continuum compared with the 19-country average.

Despite the discrepancy between the South African general population and healthcare professionals’ perception of health, the results suggest that both groups perceive they have more access to healthcare than what the system is set up for in reality, which signals that there is an opportunity to improve access to care further.

“Through the Future Health Index, we are examining current realities of how well the healthcare system is set up for the future in order to quantify the readiness of health systems across five continents to meet future healthcare challenges,” said Jasper Westerink Chief Executive Officer of Philips Africa. “The FHI has uncovered a number of significant areas where our healthcare system must transform if we are going to succeed in delivering long-term value-based care. With these findings as a guiding light, we are engaging all relevant parties around the table to drive the debate and ultimately improve the quality and cost effectiveness of healthcare for future generations.”

Where there are distinct gaps between reality and perception, it is harder to design a clear plan for future development, as both the reality and perception need to be addressed in order to advance. There is a call for greater integration globally, as the study clearly reveals that the largest perception/reality gap globally is centred on health systems integration, which also aligns to local findings.

“The general population often have a perception that healthcare is integrated and people only find that the integration is not there once they are a patient in the system,” said Westerink.

Other key local findings include:

Nearly half (46%) of the South African population think the health system in the country is unintegrated, while healthcare professionals feel even more strongly about this (74%), an increase from 2016 (58%).

While both the general population and healthcare professionals in South Africa see the importance of connected care technology in prevention of medical issues and overall health of the population, the technology is still perceived to be underutilised.

South Africa’s efficiency ratio, which compares the country’s health expenditure to key health outcomes among the population is the lowest out of the 19 countries in this study, indicating considerable inefficiencies in the budget that is spent.

The general South African population and healthcare professionals believe that connected care technology would make healthcare more expensive in the long-term. In order to increase the likelihood of connected care technology being used, training opportunities, informational resources such as databases of available technologies, and government subsidies to manage cost concerns, may be needed to improve health systems at a tertiary level. “Conversely, digitisation could additionally offer a breakthrough opportunity to improve the African population’s healthcare by breaking down traditional cost structures,” said Westerink. “By connecting patients, and care providers with public health workers via mobile telecommunications on available cellular networks, we can fill critical gaps in primary care and have a lower cost base at the primary level of intervention.”

These findings indicate that there is significant room for growth if investments are made. “Despite these barriers, the potential for global health systems to benefit from better integration remains a positive possibility, while the large local gaps indicate ample room for growth,” says Westerink. “However, the data in itself is not enough; it is vital that the findings inform robust debate at a local level in order to benchmark measurements and ultimately contribute to progress,” Westerink explained.

The 2017 FHI highlights that it is not only important to adapt healthcare delivery across different healthcare systems, but in the meantime address the differences between the perceptions of users of the health system and the reality of how well the system is set up for the future in South Africa.

The local 2017 FHI results were released today at the Future of Health Summit 2017 in Johannesburg where several eminent speakers shared their experiences and case studies on the Transformation of Healthcare and the Future of Healthcare in South Africa. Follow the conversation on Twitter @PhilipsSAfrica.

To download the 2017 FHI report in its entirety, please click on this link (www.FutureHealthIndex.com/report/2017).

For additional FHI related content, please visit: www.FutureHealthIndex.com.

 

By Royal Philips ,APO on his behalf .

 

 

Published in Society

 

For the past 25 years, Eritrea is being ruled mercilessly by lifelong one-man rule self-declared President Isaias Afeworki. The country does not have well defined and established courts, constitution, and foreign policy, political and economic policy. Statehood process is not yet established. There is no government but one armed political front governing the tiny bankrupt country. Hence, state building, democratization process is either denied or postponed. Economic development process to improve the livelihood of citizens is obscured indefinitely.

No political scientist can exactly categorize the government style of Eritrea. Some attempted to equate the regime with the government of North Korea which is somehow wrong. In the 21st century, be it dictatorial or democratic governments have a defined courts, economic policies and constitutions regardless of its effectiveness. However, none of them exist in Eritrea nowadays. Scholars who closely follow the daily activities of the government of Eritrea have categorized it a totalitarian regime. Yet, an exact definition that define the Asmera regime is not found. To put it shortly, I prefer to call it “Mafia” styled regime.

As a means to escape from accountability, Isaias Afeworke has carefully avoided principles of rule of law, constitutional supremacy and independent court. The political and economic policy of the country is also decided by a single dictator -Isaias. Constitution, independent court and media, democratic elections are considered to be an obstacles for his dictatorial ambition. He knew that having democratic election in Eritrea means change of regime.

As a means to escape for public concern about democratic election, and other basic principles of democracy, Isaias regime had been fabricating several pretexts. Entering into war with neighbouring countries was/is one of his strategy to divert the attention of the public. The hostile Foreign Policy of Isaias Afeworki emanates from such calculations.

After all, he knew well the mentality of his own people and comrades in his circle. Whatever he claims are believed at least for that time. He knew well that Eritreans would say “Eritrea first” at the expense of human rights, rule of law and economic development! Hence, to prolong his power and remain unaccountable for his deeds Isaias projected to commit, he had to use the mentality of his own people and comrades. The questions of democracy, justice, constitution, economic development, and equality of nationalities, religions, rule of law and other basic staffs would be delayed or denied if the country is perceived under war. And, those who raise the question would be labelled as traitors, sellouts etc. It was betrayal in the strict sense of the word to Eritreans who fought for justice but effective strategy to stay in power. An effective tactic used by Isaias for the last 50 years to conduct social engineering in Eritrea.

Expectedly, he had to provoke Sudan first. He had to be honest, good reasons to trigger the war with Sudan since the later was widely suspected of spreading Islamic fundamentalism in the Horn of Africa, particularly jihadists’ existence supported by Sudan inside Eritrea. Thus, Isaias’s move against Sudan was taken seriously not only locally but also by Ethiopia and the international community at large. Hence, nobody suspected him of his future projects. Once, he won the hearts of the local people and outside world as a leader against any terrorism, he had to deepen and use it against others to realize his project of prolonging his power by postponing the basic questions of his people. Thus, he personally triggered the minor disputes he had with Yemen again over Hanish Islands and made it serious war which helped him gain blind support from his people though not his close comrades. His comrades knew that was unnecessary war instigated by his personal calculation. The international community had run hurriedly to reconcile the issue which Isaias wanted it to be. Isaias wants always to attract the attention of the international community at the expense of his people blood. and the damage of Eritrea.

The offensive he projected against Sudan and Yemen benefited Isaias for seven years not to implement the much loaded demands of the people. The Eritreans could not raise questions of writing constitution, establishing courts and democratic principles since the country is under “attack” by neighbours. However, the cards of Isaias lasted not long. People had begun raising the buried questions again. He had to find other new reason to suppress the promises for long again. Ethiopia was the best candidate. This is for reasons that since Ethiopia was portrayed as ‘colonialist’ country in the minds of Eritreans and since the 30 years long armed struggle of Eritrea was waged against it, Isaias found best reason to blind his people.

Expectedly, Isaias sent his secret brigades to instigate war against Ethiopia via the small town of Ethiopia’s Badme in the west direction remote area where nobody can know who started the war. I know well that even his defence minister, foreign minister and generals of the army did not know who provoked the war first since he provoked Ethiopia using few loyal lower ranked solders. This incident had shocked Ethiopians. On the other hand, Eritreans were surprised by the unexpected war. This is resulted from the fact that most Eritreans believed their leader who told them that Ethiopia begun the war to re-take Eritrea. This tactics somewhat is easy to be taken serious by Eritreans taking the past bad history into accounts. Isaias become the happiest leader in the world by misleading his people. His media and cadres commenced massive false propaganda to confuse the people locally and mislead the international community to give the impression Ethiopia invaded Eritrea. It is fairly to say he won the propaganda that time. Most countries and all Eritreans except few trusted the massive propaganda and Ethiopia was portrayed as invading country against small country.

However, when Isaias attempted to prolong the war indefinitely and in the same time, Ethiopia withdrew its troops from Eritrean occupied territory justifying that it had no intention to invade other areas but restore its forcefully occupied territory. He also began losing grounds to mislead Eritreans in the name of ‘invasion’. But Eritreans and the international community set in motion figuring out the secret behind the war.

By the same token, they were also constantly asking the reason why the Eritreans troops had pulled its advancing troops in view of the fact that they were in no position to defend themselves. In due course, they discovered that Ethiopia did not provoke Eritrea. They realized that If Isaias claim was right, Ethiopia could not withdraw its advancing troops at any price. At this point in time, the hidden truth is coming out. The reverse is true now that almost all Eritreans got the secret that why Isaias did start the war and that everything turned against him.

What Ethiopian troops did and what Isaias did tell to Eritreans went opposite proving that Ethiopia did not provoke Eritrea first. If Isaias claim was right, Ethiopia could not withdraw its advancing troops. Now, the truth lies hid from Eritreans for the last 15 years is coming out. The reverse is true now that almost all Eritreans got the secret that why Isaias did start the war and that everything turned against him.

The main reason Isaias did invade Ethiopia was not just because he wanted it or he had land claims. Not at all! He used it to postpone the demand of democracy and constitution and stay in power unchallenged in the pretext of war which he did it. For example, the draft constitution of Eritrea before the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea says: “An Elect president stays only for four years if not elected again”. It further underlines: A president should be Eritrean by blood.”

Isaias could not pass the two basic points. For example, it is absolutely against his ambition to be a president of Eritrea for just four years or more and he is not Eritrean by blood either but Ethiopian born and grew up in Eritrea. Everyone knows this reality on the ground.

Quickly, when a country is under sovereign attack, it is a crime to raise questions of democracy, justice, economic development etc., he declared. For this reason he stayed in power unchallenged up to now. Those who raised the question are now killed, jailed or vanished.

In conclusion, the tactics and strategies Isaias Afeworki of Eritrea applied to stay in power are provoking neighbouring countries first and spread false propaganda as if Eritrea is attacked. Then by declaring state of emergency to suppress questions of constitution, democracy and development, he silences everyone and it was an effective mechanism.

The results of being unpredictable leader for the last 25 years: Eritrea is left without constitution, court and clear economic policy. The political crisis brought social crisis followed by mistrust among Eritreans, frustration, hopelessness, acute poverty and fleeing. Every month, not less than 5,000 Eritreans leave Eritrea. Eritrea’s government may have committed crimes against humanity, including a shoot-to-kill policy on its borders, a UN investigation says. “It is not law that rules Eritreans – but fear,” says the report, which details extrajudicial killings, sexual slavery and enforced labour.

As a result, it is second to war torn Syria in producing refugees in the world. It is said 20 per cent of its population migrated. It is isolated completely from the international community. Ultimately, scholars listed it in the fast falling, rogue states. Eritrea turned into hell. The one man betrayed and killed, tortured and raped his country and people. Surely, 30 to 50 years under peaceful circumstances will take to rebuild Eritrea since serious gab of generation is created. The current generation is all completely not educated. One can imagine what uneducated generation meant for a poor country in transition like Eritrea.

Unless, something is done to save Eritrea drifting into the hands of the Arab countries, the future will be more problematic mainly to Eritrea as a state and Ethiopia’s security. Economic diplomacy, people to people relations should be, therefore as plan ‘A’, quickly installed to normalize the two countries. The plan ‘B’ should force Isaias to come into negotiations on these vital issues for both countries. According to the writer, he can do as far as he is threatened to lose his power. However, prolonging the ‘no peace no war’ policy will end up with the incursion of the Arab States into Eritrea who are hostile to Ethiopia and the state of Eritrea can be fragile paving the way to anarchy like Somalia. That time, Ethiopia will be encircled by fragile states like South Sudan, Somalia and now Eritrea making it difficult and costly to manage security.

This writer, therefore, recommend concerned bodies both in Eritrea and Ethiopia to design sound policies to save Eritrea before too late to fall into stateless situation which will be fertile grounds to anti-peace elements.

 

BY ZEREAY HAILEMAIRAM

 

 

Published in Editorial-View-Point

 

It is understood that, financial sectors play pivotal role in stimulating the economy. The function of market, the value chaining between various sector, the whole sale and retail activities, the provision of loan and credit facilities can be mentioned as a life line of the economy. For these to happen finance is inevitable. It is also a key player in creating and accumulating of wealth. Monetizing the economy in Ethiopia could be traced back to hundred years. Prior to that bartering was a common practice which indicates economic underdevelopment. Modern banking system was introduced at the dawn of the 20 century by emperor Menelik II. Following this, insurance companies owned by both public and private sector flourished and outreached the public by providing financial services. With regard to the formulation of financial and monetary policies an exclusive mandate was provided to the National Bank of Ethiopia and the mandate is still in place.

Determining exchange rate, preventing and reducing inflation through various mechanisms such as raising interest rate while depositing money and borrowing, selling government bond to the private entities have been the jurisdictions of the National Bank. On the other hand, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia and other private banks played pivotal role by providing financial services which allowed the expansion of infrastructures and the supply of agricultural products to local and international market. From time to time they stretched the frontier of their activities to various sectors. The provision of financial service to the private companies in the 1960s and 70s enabled the expansion of large scale mechanized farms which was expected to close the gap between the demand for food and supply. The burgeoning of insurance companies also played pivotal role providing life and property insurances. It as well channelled huge financial resources to other sectors in the form of loan but because of various reasons the companies still serve the few segment of the society who have disposable income.

After the downfall of the imperial regime all private financial institutions were nationalized by the new regime and the economy characterized by competition changed in to the command one and the role of the private sector in the financial sector was curtailed. Hence, the sector's growth shrunk down. Many investors also shied away. Six years ago when the incumbent re-established the private financial institutions to play their role in the economy. Currently, more than a dozen of private banks and insurance companies are established. They are functioning in a competitive manner and their paid and UN-paid capital is rising and creating job for thousands. Their service provision is increasing from time to time and because of the lucrative nature of the sector's business, the government has managed to earn billions of bir in the form of revenue. As their asset is part of the nation wealth, the National Bank strictly supervises them and the institutions also abide by its instruction.

Saving is a source of investment and whenever the amount of the money saved increases the the money that could be utilized for investment will be easily available. But as to some sources, the saving rate compared to other sub-Saharan countries is less than the expected. Hence, upgrading the saving culture at any cost is essential. Currently, the purchasing of the Hidasie Dam bond and the saving of money for condominium houses are commendable. In addition, savings in credit associations and in public institutions must be enhanced. It is understood that, the emerging saving culture helps both the Development and Commercial banks to mobilize huge amount of money, utilized for the nation development. Yet the expansion of the financial institutions is more concentrated in urban centres and the impoverished rural community members are still marginalized. In fact, in order to provide service to the rural masses other supportive infrastructures such as electric power, Information, Communication, Technology are vital. Regarding this drawing lessons from other developing countries is essential. The other thing that should be mentioned is that reaching the poor through credit is still hard because the collateral system still puts as precondition getting financial access. According to the law, farmers have use rights only on their land. As a result, they are not entitled to collateral it. It is understood 85 per cent of citizens earn their living from subsistence farming and still poverty is rampant. So without eradicating rural poverty achieving development might be a challenge. Of course, micro finance institutions in the rural part of the country provide service to millions of farmers but because of limited financial service, farmers survive with subsistence living. It is an undeniable fact that, micro finance institutions, farmers, consumers association still play crucial role in supplying agricultural inputs to them and in value chaining their products to the market. This must be enhanced. But to do so there must be sufficient money at hand. In addition, to enhance its geographic coverage, widening the service area is necessary. Currently, the government is dedicating its time for poverty reduction and for the expansion of manufacturing and agro-industry sectors which need more finance. Hence, boosting the role of the sector should be prioritized.

 

 

Published in Editorial-View-Point

 

The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs indicated that it has undertaken successful jobs in ensuring the wellbeing of vulnerable children nationwide.

The ministry has been carrying out various activities regarding child development, prevention and protection, as well as alleviation of harmful practices, Ministry Child Promotion and Protection Director Kibru Hailu told The Ethiopian Herald in an interview in connection with World Day against Child Labour.

‘‘Children are the future leaders of this country. Thus, if we want to produce competent, knowledgeable, healthy and ethical leaders of tomorrow, we should invest our time, skill and capital in today’s children.’’

The director also said: ‘‘The government has committed itself to prevent child trafficking while eradicating harmful practices, child labour and child abuse.’’

Around 12,436 children living on the street had been identified in Addis Ababa only over the last five months, the director disclosed; adding 7,000 of them were made to reunite with their families.

The ministry also confirmed that the remaining 5,436 children were orphans, hence granted local and foreign adoption.

The government in collaboration with other partners has been providing care and rehabilitation services for physically and psychologically affected children, Kibru pointed out.

Moreover, he added that 400 child parliaments have been established all over the country to help children exercise rule of law and democratization.

Labour and Social Affairs Ministry Child Labour Exploitation Prevention Expert, Wosenyelesh Birhanu for her part said special attention has been attached to safeguarding the rights of children living with disability, and children living with HIV as well as children living on the street.

She also admitted that there are still many children under the age of 14 who are facing physical and psychological abuses by their immediate family members and employers.

Noting that the ministry receives information on abuses on a daily bases, Wosenyelesh said corrective measures have been taken on perpetrators besides awareness raising workshops and discussions held to dry the menace from its roots.

Wosenyelesh underlined that the fast economic growth of the country and the concomitant urban construction boom are responsible for triggering more children to head to these places in search for jobs which calls for increased intervention in the areas.

Every year on 12th June, the World Day Against Child Labour brings governments, employers and labour unions, civil society, as well as millions of people from around the world to highlight the plight of child labourers and to indicate direction in supporting them, according to the International Labour Organization.

 

BY TSEGAY HAGOS

 

 

Published in National-News

National survey undertaken by the Ethiopian Institution of the Ombudsman (EIO) revealed that multisource constraints entangled leaders’ and employees’ service delivery efforts in government institutions and public development enterprises.

Attitudinal gaps, limitations of spirit of servanthood, and malpractice among the public servants significantly affected their efforts in serving the public and hence reduced customer satisfaction, EIO Senior Research Expert Adugna Muluneh mentioned as he presented the findings to the stakeholders’ and senior officials Saturday.

These causes sourced from immature work culture, focusing on rights than duties, seeking unnecessary benefits, biased promotion, scholarship awards, the leadership’s low level of commitment to and capacity to identify and solve the problems, among others, Adugna illustrated.

According to the expert, high employee turnover, rent seeking, lack of accountability, absence of incentive systems, and the sluggish reform implementation, were additional problems the survey revealed.

For her part, EIO Director General Fozia Amin said: “Mismatch between employees’ profession and the position they are assigned to, unfavourable job environment, and limitations in provision of capacity and skills enhancing trainings for public servants resulted in limitations on service delivery.”

A large number of guidelines and directives have been issued over the years, she said and adding, the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority alone has so far issued over 80 guidelines.

“So, the public servants may not get along with them quickly and well that they find themselves in a forceful situation to escape making decisions to customers’ affairs, thereby disappointing customers” she said.

One of the participants, Muluken Ayew from the Amhara State Labour and Social Affairs Bureau said the problems traced by the study existed in his bureau. However, he insisted, attitude related problems offset others.

On the other hand, few participants criticized that most similar studies have been consumed for stayed on shelf, despite their greater remedial socioeconomic and political values if they materialized.

Reflecting on issues, Fozia believes that the solutions the survey suggested are easily practicable. “Though solving all at a time is not unmanageable, those problems highly affecting the service delivery should be addressed with special priority.”

The researchers suggested that all stakeholders should exert concerted efforts towards the quickened application of the recommendations the survey forwarded. They also called on the institute to put pressure on the concerned parties to materialize the recommendations.

 

BY SINTAYEHU TAMIRAT

 

 

Published in National-News
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