Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 11 July 2017

 

Addis Ababa Women Association said it has launched a fund raising programme aimed at expanding rehabilitation centre for vulnerable women due to various reasons.

Association Chairperson Almaz Abriha told the press yesterday that the fund raising programme set to collect 25 million Birr through various mechanisms including text message, ticket sale and musical concerts.

She said the association has been playing due role in empowering women through education and saving culture, protecting from any violations. Currently, the association is providing support to 432 vulnerable women and children. Some 3,000 women are also taking training on various disciplines.

She called on the public to extend support for the noble cause.

House of Peoples Representatives Deputy Speaker Shitaye Minale for her part said that the association has played significant role in empowering women and protecting children under the center providing a regular support.

The role and contribution of the association in raising public awareness is vital and instrumental to government’s move towards addressing issues of women and children, she noted.

The deputy speaker urged the public to actively take part in fund raising efforts of the association since it is the duty and responsibility of all.

 

BY YOHANES JEMANEH

 

Published in National-News

 

With concerted efforts of the government and other stakeholders, Nyala Insurance Company is providing weather insurance services to small scale farmers and pastorals in various states, said Micro Insurance Business General Manager Solomon Zegeye.

The manager told The Ethiopian Herald that with an intention of delivering social responsibility and promoting saving culture in the rural parts of the country his company provides weather insurance services to farmers who lost their products due to drought.

According to Solomon, the payment would be settled based on the information received from the Ethiopian Meteorology Agency.

He further said that in order to get the insurance services farmers and pastorals should organized themselves in a cooperative association and make agreement with the company. Over the past seven years, 25,000 farmers in Tigray State who are members of the micro-finance institutions received over one million Birr insurance money.

Similarly, from 2012 to 2015 6,655 people in Amhara State received 220, 078 Birr, and from 2015 to 2016 over 2,000 people in Gambella and Tigray states received over two million Birr, he said.

As to Solomon, the insurance money is used for risk management tool and for promoting autonomous adaptation of climate change. Currently, the company provides various types of insurance coverage and among others multiple peril crops, livestock and weather index insurances.

However, he said the insurance mechanism has its own short comings as the result; the company is unable to scale up the ongoing efforts because such endeavour requires huge investment.

Shortage of product designing, inadequate meteorology infrastructure and lack of technical experts can be mention as major hurdles, he said.

An expert in the Ethiopian Meteorological Agency weather insurance department Tsegaye Ketema for his part said that metrological equipment are installed in Tigray, Amhara, Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities and peoples states. He said experts collect data from satellite for ten days interval and would be analyzed by agronomist and when drought is confirmed reason for the crop damage is confirmed the insurance money will be paid to farmers through their micro finance institutions based on the agreement.

According to Solomon, to enhance its activities the company with the cooperation of Africa and Oromia insurance companies have planned to provide insurance coverage beginning from next September to 5,000 pastorals in Somali state whose cattle are affected by the drought.

 

BY ABEBE WOLDE GIORGIS

 

 

 

Published in National-News

Government Communication Affairs Office Minister Dr. Negeri Lencho recently discussed with the UAE Ambassador to Ethiopia on ways of bolstering cooperation between the UAE and Ethiopia in the media field, Emirates News Agency reported.

Ambassador Ghazi Abdullah Salem Al Mehri and Minister Dr. Negeri met at the minister’s office and also discussed bilateral relations between their countries and means of enhancing them.

During the meeting, Dr. Negeri expressed his admiration for the progress the UAE has made in the media field, and his government's desire to work with the UAE in the sector.

The UAE Ambassador praised the progress of UAE-Ethiopian relations achieved at various levels.

Published in National-News
Tuesday, 11 July 2017 23:36

Coffee export hits 866 mln. USD

Ethiopia earned 866 million USD exporting 221,000 tons of coffee during its last fiscal year .

According to Ethiopian Coffee & Tea Development and Marketing Authority, it has accomplished 92 per cent of its set goal to increase coffee exports. “ It is a very great achievement compared to nation’s previous years' coffee export performance .”

Comparing to the coffee export volumes of 2015/16, there had been 11.5 Per cent growth in the coffee exports during the just concluded fiscal year 2016-17. Plus ,the foreign earning from coffee has raised by 20 percent due to the global coffee price hikes .

In a recent exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald, Market Development and Promotion Directorate Director Dassa Daniso said: “ Ethiopian Coffee has been imported to over 60 countries. But, this year, 57 countries have imported our coffee, particularly, 86 per cent ofthe total coffee exports destined for Germany, Saudi Arabia, Japan, USA, Belgium, Sudan, South Korea, among others.”

According to him, Germany alone had imported 18 per cent of our coffee during the reported period.

He further said Sidama, yirgacheffe and Harar Coffee Beans have been recognized as internationally branded Ethiopian coffees.

“The government has been also working harder to get branding for other types of coffee beans in the country. “

So far, the country has not become competent enough to export value added coffee as the former coffee quality control and marketing proclamation did not allow exporting of roasted coffee, he noted.

But, the director said the new improved coffee quality control and marketing proclamation has been recently endorsed so as the country will soon begin exporting roasted coffee.

The government has given due emphasis in attracting coffee investors via providing various incentives like making available land with low price, facilitating bank loans with low interest, offering 10 years tax holidays, allowing tax free machineries imports, among others, he said.

However, prolonged marketing chain process, illegal coffee trading among other are still bottlenecks facing coffee export market, he added.

 

BY ALAZAR SHIFERAW

 

 

Published in National-News

 

The 13th Weight lifting and body building championship which was held in Arba Minch town, Gamo Gofa Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples State was concluded colourfully over the last weekend.

Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples State won the women’s Weight Lifting contest with two gold medals. Benshangul-Gumuz took second place with one gold and one bronze whereas Addis Ababa won the third place with three silver medals.

The South also won the men weight lifting category with two gold, three silver and one bronze medal. Addis Ababa took the second position with two gold and one bronze medal. The Dire Dawa City Administration side finished third with one gold, two silver and two bronze medals.

On a body building category, Addis Ababa took the winning trophy by collecting four gold medals and one bronze. South took the second position with one gold and four silver medals. The third position in the category was secured by Benshangul-Gumuz with one silver.

At the end the Dire Daw City Administration side won the fair-play trophy.

The season’s weight lifting and body building competitions attracted 52 male and 17 female contenders from Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples State, Oromia, Addis Ababa, Benshangul-Gumuz, Gambella and Dire Dawa sides.

Among these, 17 female and 33 male participants competed in the in weight lifting. And the rest 19 took part in the body building competition.

Federation Office Head Abebe Ashne told The Ethiopian Herald that all stakeholders should play their role to develop the sport across the nation. He said adding “Investors and donors should support the sport for its expansion.”

Mentioning the support from the Ministry of Youth and Sport, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples State, Arba Minch and Gamo Gofa Zone have displayed the necessary support for the success of the tournament.

The Federation reported that there was no refereeing problem as it was in the past. That was because the federation gave orientation and short term refreshment course for referees ahead of this contest.

It was learned that the Federation has organized the championship in the area this year after critically looking at the fact that Gamo Gofa Zone and Arba Minch are talent areas for weight lifting and body building in addition to Football.

 

BY YARED GEBREMEDEN

 

 

 

Published in Sport

 

First the disappointing news: Saint George conceded a 4-0 away defeat at the hands of Esperance in their final CAF Champions’ League Group C match at Stade Olympique de Radès on Sunday.

Goals from Khalil Chemman, Bilel Mejri, Haythem Jouini and Ali Machani gave Esperance a comfortable 4-0 win.

The victory elevates Faouzi Benzarti's men to the top spot with 12 points from six matches and they will now meet Egyptian side Al Ahly in the quarterfinals between 8 and 10 September 2017.

Remember the national team’s crushing 5-0 away defeat by Ghana in the African Nations Cup first leg qualifiers a month earlier.

Just days before departure the national fans had the fear of possible demolition in both cases. It happened so.

Look also the chance St. George wasted in their CAF Champions’ League Group C matches. In their second game against Esperance they finished goalless missing three clear scoring opportunities at the Addis Ababa stadium.

In their fifth match when they faced Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa they conceded a 1-0 defeat after missing a spot kick just seconds from the first half whistle. Plus they wasted two clear scoring opportunities from the goal mouth on home ground.

Look also at the good chance they faced in this Group C matches. In their first away match against Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa they managed to share a point finishing a goalless tie. Few expected that they would be back with such marvellous result.

Then Sundowns dropped points when St. George won over AS Vita of DR Congo. That gave them the second place on five points.

As if this was not enough, Mamelodi Sundowns were held to a 1-1 draw by AS Vita in their final Group C match on Sunday. The clash at Lucas Moripe Stadium saw the Congolese claim the lead in the first half through Thabo Nthethe, but Vita levelled the game in the second thanks to a fine goal from Yazid Atouba.

The score sheet tells that if St. George had the opportunity to collect the full three points from the three home matches; they would have advanced into the quarterfinals to face Group D winners Wydad Casablanca as the runners-up of Group C.

The disappointment emanates from this simple but possible mathematical calculation.

But calculating results with ‘ifs’ is not productive. It is, in fact, counter-productive simply because ‘ifs’ are unlimited.

Now St. George faced an early exit from CAF Champions’ League contest group stage. Despite their early exit, they have also the chance to take part in the next year CAF Champions’ League contest because they are the champions of the season’s Ethiopian Premier League club competition.

Getting a place in the continental big meet with title win at home is a big achievement. It is helpful to gain experience in a bag of inexperience. The big question here is, do they really take lesson that will help them improve their future position in the continental competitions from this failure?

This needs proper answer. For now the game is over. The disappointment of the national football fans will remain for some time until a better result comes to overshadow these demolitions.

 

 

Published in Sport

Muktar Edris gained victory at IAAF Athletics Diamond League meeting in 5,000m in Lausanne, Switzerland, July 6, 2017.

 

The promising Ethiopians athlete Muktar Edris exploded in to victory leaving behind his compatriot Selemon Berega and the Ugandan Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei to take the third place, in the of that, in the Diamond League held in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday.

The 5, 000m men’s race was fully the domain of Ethiopians. Muktar took him 12 minutes and 55:23 seconds to finish the 5, 000m, the first sub-13 minute time of the season while the second placed Selemon settled at a time of 12:55.58.

The third place was won by The Ugandan Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei won the third place clocking 12:59.83.

The other Ethiopians Yenew Alamirew at 13:06.81 and Berhanu Legesse at 13:26.40 settled fourth and fifth places, respectively. It is because of this sweeping victory, the 5, 000m race was named as the event of the Ethiopians in Lausanne.

Muktar said that the win was a good omen for the Ethiopian squad who will take part in the 2017 London World athletics Championship.

“When one gets victory days ahead of another big competition like the world championship or Olympics it boosts the morale,” Muktar said.

Ethiopia's Olympic women's 1,500m silver medalist Genzebe Dibaba tried to break the mile world record 25 years after the race was last run at the Pontaise Stadium but her scintillating effort was outside that mark by some three seconds at a world lead of 4:16.05.

"I felt good during the first part of the race. I had good legs up until 1,200m. And then it blocked," Genzebe said at the end.

"It's a pity as the conditions were good. I need to train some more to have some freshness at the end of the race."

As if this was not enough her compatriot Aman Wote opened up a large gap in the men's 1,500m but had to work hard to finish first ahead of Kenyan duo Charles Simotwo and third-placed Silas Kiplagat. Aman Wote won clocking 3:32.20 leaving behind Kenya’s Charles Cheboi Simotwo at 3:32.59 and his compatriot Silas Kiplagat at 3:32.96 to take the second and third places, in the order of that.

 

 

 

Published in Sport
Tuesday, 11 July 2017 23:03

Striving for strong democracy

 

Engraved into a wall at the Korean War Veterans Memorial of Washington is "Freedom is not free," - the popular American saying- expressing gratitude for the services, risks and sacrifices of members of the military.

Obviously, the aforesaid saying indicates that today's most democratic countries in the world had begun to enjoy freedom having sacrificed a lot in the past. The same is true to Ethiopia , to own the present democracy system , thousands of fellow citizens were perished and made great scarifies .

During the monarchical and Derg regimes there were no rooms to exercise the inviolable democratic rights.

For instance, the dictatorial Derg regime used to promote Ethiopian nationalism violating the right to self-determination which is the fundamental democratic and human rights of ethnic groups.

After the downfall of Derg, the nation had managed to own a new constitution- one of the most conventional democratic constitutions in the world.

For over two decades, the constitution that promotes freedom of press and expression has been put in effect with a view to building strong democratic society and institutions as well.

Moreover, the constitution has guaranteed Ethiopia's nations, nationalities and peoples the right to self-determination up to cession apart from other fundamental democratic and human rights.

It is true that the building and strengthening democratic institutions to uphold the core principles of the constitutions has been a top priority to the incumbent .

That is why the General Auditor, The Ethiopian Institution of the Ombudsman, The human Rights Commission, and the National Electoral Board, the media and the Parliament have been established so far.

During a recent event at the House of Peoples' Representatives (HPR), Government Whip Assistant Minister Atsbeha Aregawi told the public wing of the House that though democracy in Ethiopia is at its infancy, the efforts of building and strengthening democratic institutions have brought the desired attitudinal changes towards democracy at national level.

Presenting 15 years’ performance report on the democratic institutions , Atsbeha said: “Democratic institutions have been playing their due role in indoctrinating the constitutional order, building a culture of democracy, and ensuring sustainable peace.”

The institutions also enabled the nation to maintain the rapid development, protect individual and group human rights as well as prevail rule of the law. They also helped the House to gain power to scrutinize numerous proclamations and policies adopted in harmony with the inalienable human rights as well as those rights granted by the FDRE constitution, according to the Minister.

It was also indicated that weaknesses of each institution in the last 15 years. For instance, limitations identified with HPR include: the law formulation used to encounter quality constraints during passing the bills. The bills had often been subjected to recurrent amendments at the house.

This is because the house did not carry out sufficient consultation with stakeholders before making a given bill a law of the country. Some drafted bills were tabled to the MPs at the closing session of the house. Thus , they were ratified without undergoing the proper scrutiny.

Besides, some laws and proclamations that were issued during the Emperor’s regime should have been amended or replaced for they do not get along with the current socioeconomic and political trends as a whole.

Moreover, the report identified inadequate data recording system of the House to monitor and follow up the executives and lack of collaboration among democratic institutions to minimize its limitations.

On the other hand, some of the limitations of House of the Federation include delaying solutions of constitutional questions from communities, switching good governance and identity questions, and knowledge and attitudinal gaps among the leadership and workmen in their effort to indoctrinate constitutional principles.

The media as well received a huge criticism from both sides. While the public (state owned) media reported the constructive story, the private ones concentrated on destructive stories.

Mehari Yohhanes Lecturer and Researcher of Political Science at Mekele University appreciated the solid fact that a nation that had never seen a ‘sign of democracy’ for over a century and has now owned a democratic constitution and held democratic elections with progressive public participation.

He nevertheless said the pace of democratization has been sluggish, and the performance of the democratic institutions has not fully met the target. He strongly refuted the externalization to the sluggish pace of democratization.

Mahari told The Ethiopian Herald that the controversy between government and opposition parties as a major cause for failure. These parties, despite their difference, need to consult on what their ‘common nation’ should look like and how they should build their nation rather than running hostility politics.

He also puts another major blame on the ruling party itself. “The ruling party itself should be accountable for this level of performance among the democratic institutions. It has been exercising a gloomy highly centralized democracy which hindered an efficient separation of power.”

The opposition parties have also had their share, according to the scholar, they have not yet acquired the skills for building democracy. Most of the oppositions are more or less undemocratic. “These very parties have been proposing optional ideas and struggling for building democracy without obeying the constitution.”

They sometimes reflect hostile opinion and fail to set scenarios of national and public interest.

Third ,he argued that the media as a democratic institution is equally responsible, but they operate taking the two extremes. “Although the private media in Ethiopia came into existence after the downfall of Derg, they are functioning by taking one extreme- being an opposition- even disregarding the constitution, while the government or public one function as affiliates of the ruling party than defending national and public interests, both exhibiting biased reporting.”

Likewise, those media that are considered to be ‘unbiased’ have received unnecessary pressures for criticizing the government or its party or an official. This has indeed happened in both private and public media, he reproached.

Then, given that these and related major issues have pulled back the truck of democratic institutions along their path of democratization in the past two decades, what vital steps should be taken to fast-track it, then?

The answer first and foremost lies on the government, opposition parties, media, the ruling party and the democratic institutions. All should strive for one democratic prosperous nation amidst all their attitudinal, ideological and interest disparities, because they all do have one Ethiopia, which strongly requires their further commitment to settle all its developmental challenges, maladministration, corruption, unemployment and the like issues.

 

BY SINTYEHU TAMIRAT

 

Published in Society

Truly Ethiopia is an exceptional destination from the never ending warmth sun to affordable explorations it’s the ultimate exciting destination that will linger in your memories for years.

In Ethiopia it’s hard to decide which destination to go as the sights are many and enlightening and breath-taking making picking a destination very challenging.

Ethiopia is home to stunning destinations including parks full of endemic wild animals, sky rise mountains, rivers, lakes, hot spring water falls, beaches, rock hewn obelisks and churches. What you see in Ethiopia will not only exceed your expectations but also inspire you with great culture and history that remained to pass to generations.

Climbing to Ethiopia’s green and full of life mountains is truly rewarding. The excitement, the fresh air and viewing the destination from the top of the mountain is absolutely an everlasting experience. Do not worry if you want to stay up in the mountain enjoying the view and the clean air as it's possible and adventures to camp. Pitch a tent at the green mountains to take the glamorous and unbeatable surrounding view. The crystal clear beaches offer an exceptional outdoor adventure allowing you to view serious natural extravaganza.

Truly nothing feels more refreshing than sitting on top of the greenery mountains and to soak in the healing naturally spring waterfalls and beaches around the country. Surrounded by blooming gardens and admirable views, unforgettable exploration is one of the typical Ethiopian experiences.

All of the ancient churches and all inclusive museums do remain open until late night allowing you to witness the beautiful night view of the places. In fact, visiting these places at dusk can be a very rewarding and peaceful time to explore the sight avoiding the crowds.

Ethiopia is also full of ancient museums featuring ancient royal belonging and state of the art ancient crafts, authentic pieces of handmade paintings, clothing’s, precious stones and books written on a sheep skin. Undoubtedly, the time in Ethiopia will be the all-time favorite exploration to Africa. The history, the culture and hospitality gets you off the common taking you on extraordinary adventure.

The parks and wildlife view is not to be missed. At the forests you can watch exotic creatures up-close roaming around the forests doing their daily routine of food hunt and sunbathing after meal. The forests are full of life showcasing nature’s peculiarities.

Be sure to pull off these naturally preserved parks to see lions, elephants, red fox, zebras and countless birds that fly above you singing adding glamour to your adventures in the ever green forests.

 

BY EDEN SAHILE

 

Published in Development

 

As the world socio-economic scenario has been changed, exceeding the West , China has stood out to be a potential growth pole for developing countries . The presence and engagement of China particularly in African countries' economics have been tremendous.

After the introduction of economic liberalization since 1979, China has made economic miracle which lifted 700 million people out of poverty and now it is the second largest economy in the world next to the United States.

In fact, China has been displaying fast economic growth over the past 40 plus years. Inspired by this economic development, other emerging economies and developing countries have been emulating China's model.

Recently, the Africa- China high level dialogue and think thank forum was held under the theme : “Fighting Against Poverty for Common Prosperity.”

Presenting paper on China's economic background and its takeoff, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister Dr. Arkebe Equbay said 30 percent of the world manufacturing was concentrated in China during the 15th and 16th centuries and such situation can be said a good back ground for the economic take off.

He further said that China had developed a system of meritocracy that was helpful for laying ground for competitive economic environment. However, after the opium war , China's manufacturing dominance taken away by the West.But, resurrected again during the late 19 70's.

According to Dr. Arkebe, every country could take lesson from other country considering its own context. Japan learned from the United States and Europe through sending students to these countries. He said the first parliamentary system established by the Meiji dynasty in Japan in 1080s was emulated from United Kingdom. The railway technology also imported from UK. As to him, such emulation is vital for Africa and China which is a closer reference to African continent economic endeavor.

Currently, Africa has 1.2 billion people which constitute 16 percent of the global population and this number is expected to increase to 40 percent by the year 2080. Dr. Arkebe argued that the huge number of population of the continent is an indicator of how the continent has a potential to obtain excess labor force which generate wealth and could be consumer of industrial and agricultural products.

It is certain that the future is for Africa. Thus, China and other economic power countries should look the continent as key economic player for the next century and bring significant impact in the global market.

According to Dr. Arkebe, over the last 15 years many African countries have managed political conflicts and created conducive situation for stimulating their economy.

Consequently, the political stability has enabled countries to lure foreign investors to engage in the ongoing development. Improvement has also been witnessed in governance. Yet countries have not achieved fundamental economic transformation, according to Arkebe.

Many African countries are not yet capable of exporting value added products and diversified items. As the result, the mono economic performer countries which export oil and minerals found themselves in difficult situation. Therefore, taking lesson from China in this regard is vital.

Hu Jing is an economist from China who presented paper focused on Africa-China economic cooperation. He said China is the most populous country and 40 years ago it was one of the poor countries in the world. Owing to the implementation of viable policies and taking lesson from north eastern Asian countries ,China has achieved remarkable economic miracle which is unprecedented in extricating its citizens from poverty and improving their livelihood. The opening of its economy to the foreign investors enabled the country to attract almost half a million multinational companies to invest in China and create job opportunities for hundreds of millions citizens.

Now China has the leading economy and integrated in the world economy order. The annual trade volume exchange with Africa has reached 60 billion USD. China is the major investor in Africa in various sector particularly in infrastructure development

Though, fighting poverty and improving the livelihood of citizens are the responsibility of each government, forging sound cooperation among countries is vital for all countries. Among the various cooperation areas the road sector development is central.

According to Hu, expansion of infrastructure can bring ample benefits to the public. For instance, roads connect rural parts with urban center so that it facilitates trade which enables to reduce transaction cost. It is also a fundamental factor to advance all other key economic and social sectors including agriculture, mining, tourism, education and health among others.

The expansion of road network is a means to advance the economic progress. In this regard, the support of Chinese government in road construction in many African countries has been growing from time to time. These days, the countries are harnessing the outcome of the road facility.

The current rapid economic growth of Africa is demanding the construction of cost effective and efficient means of transportation for the ever increasing import and export bulk of freights. Along with the road construction, the rail way mode of transportation is playing crucial role in speeding up the logistics service.

Cognizant of this fact, many of African counties are devoting their time and money for the construction of rail way. The role and contribution of the Chinese public and private companies are immense to this end . The construction of electric powered rail way which connects Addis Ababa to Port of Djibouti is exemplary and will play a vital role in boosting export and import businesses. Similarly, the rail way constructed by Chinese company, which connects Port Mobassa with Nairobi, is expected to increase the trade volume Kenya has with the outside world.

In sum, the journey China has been through is a lesson for most developing countries. Ethiopia which follows China’s development model, would benefit more from the successes and challenges of China’s development. In fact, the trade exchange volume between China and Ethiopia has been steadily growing registering three billion USD.

The Chinese companies’ involvement in Ethiopia is widening in sectors and increasing in number. They are overtaking the lead in their investment. Along with generating considerable foreign currency, the Chinese investment projects have created thousands of jobs. They are doing well in terms of technology transfer. In general, the ever growing partnership, which is taking shape into a strategic cooperation level, would be a driving force for Ethiopia for its transformation agenda.

 

BY ABEBE WOLDE GIORGIS

 

 

Published in Development
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