The ongoing political dialogue among political parties is a new chapter to widen the political terrain, build a culture of peaceful negotiations and establish a democratic system in the country, according to political parties.
Chairperson of Unity for Democracy and Justice Party Tigistu Awolu told The Ethiopian Herald that the political dialogue established between the ruling and the oppositions by itself servers a steppingstone to the democratic system in the country. The issues that we set and improve together promote political pluralism, he added.
Tigistu also noted that the parties are currently going to figure out the barriers of democratization through peaceful political dialogues that mainly depend on a straightforward experience, logic, and scientific methods. This process of convincing and entertaining political dynamics is one way of building the democratic system, he said.
Apart from creating framework agreements, the only decisive action to widen the political landscape is properly implementing the regulations and the possibly- agreed proclamations at rewarding level, Tigistu commented.
According to Tigistu, the political dialogues among the political parties are mainly useful for the people. As we represent the opinions of the people, amending the laws is mandatory to better serve the society, he said.
In this regard, the people have the responsibility to ensure whether the political landscape is widen enough or not; the final decision rests on the people, Tigistu stated.
He said “The framework will facilitate cooperation between the ruling and the opponent political parties. All of us are in one boat, connivance towards the pilot's (the incumbent's) failure spells the death of all. So, every political party should support the ruling one with critics and valuable opinions to construct a political community.”
“Over the last seven months’ discussions, parties did manage to create consolidated relations and harmony among each other. They had managed to work together for one nation. If the dialogues continue in such a cooperative manner, the trend will undoubtedly help to reach at a national consensus.”
President of All Ethiopian National Movement Mesafint Shiferaw said the discussion forum among political parties would help to establish stable political transformation in the country that goes through setting agendas and solving problems together. The opening of dialogues by the ruling party signals the ensuing of a ripe moment for all parties to build a culture of peaceful negotiations. It as well creates systemic political settings, he added.
According to Mesafint, both the ruling and the opposition parties should actively participate in the dialogues respecting set regulations to come up with asserting national consensus and nurturing vibrant political environment. The dialogue forum would enable discordant ideas converge in to collective points, and would allow the pronouncement of shared national issues, Mesafint said.
Mesafint also said the House of People’s Representatives should consistently ensure far-reaching political and economic reforms as well as improve the electoral system to make the voices of the people heard in the Parliament.
In this regard, Head of the Office of the EPRDF Shiferaw Shigute previously told The Ethiopian Herald that the presence of a spectrum of interests in the nation,is not a matter of choice but that of existence. As to him, the basic ground to launch the political parties’ dialogues is part of the deep renewal procedure.
Shiferaw also said the dialogues would certainly build democratic system of governance and ensure all-round development in the country. “To ensure such developments, we need establish national consensus, peace and stability,” he added.
According to Shiferaw, his party believed that the dialogue would bring affinity among political parties and create stable political system. It as well helps open the door for the public to judge which party has sound policies and programs.
Apart from broadening the democratic system, it is very significant for crystallizing politico-economic transformation. As we are not enemies, “We are the representatives of different segments of the society with a broad array of interests. It therefore goes without saying we are expected to set common codes for the interest of the people.”
By ZELALEM GIRMA
The Ministry of Public Enterprises is striving to boost the productivity of public enterprises through providing them technical support and enabling them play their due role in the economy. It as well is working towards rendering them globally competitive and efficient public enterprises. Over 371 public enterprises, which were expropriated by the previous command-economy-pursuing regime, have been privatized for over two decades now. Ministry’s Corporate Communication Head Wondafirash Asefa so told The Ethiopian Herald.
According to the head the enterprises have irreplaceable roles in stabilizing the market and boosting fast economic growth. Public enterprises need support to strengthen their capacity in terms of producing skilled human power, building strong financial capability and introducing modern productivity system.
According to Wondafirash, these public enterprises should be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge so as to enhance product and productivity. Assessing the nature of the enterprises, the ministry has identified those to be transferred to the private sector, and those that should remain under the jurisdiction of government’s corporate finance administration.
Wondafirash said the government will privatize the Awassa Agricultural Development Enterprise, Shebele Transport S.C, Kombolcha Textile S.C, Ethiopian Pulp and Paper S.C, Bahir dar Textile S.C, National Alchcohol and Liquior Factory soon.
Wondafirash also said the government retained some public enterprises under corporate finance administration such as SPA Service Enterprise, Ghion Hotels Enterprise, and Hotels Development S.C (Hilton) which are found strategic for the overall development of the economy. It is also establishing new ones after conducting feasibility studies.
BY ZELALEM GIRMA
The Sub-Saharan African countries should come up with more effective and efficient health interventions to cope with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) as the current prevalence rate of diabetes has alarmingly increased by 200 per cent. This was disclosed by the Ethiopian Society of Internal Medicine (ESIM).
ESIM Vice President Dr. Mengistu Erkie told The Ethiopian Herald that Non-Communicable Diseases such as cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, stroke, and diabetes are threatening human life, unlike communicable diseases like Malaria and Tuberculosis.
Dr. Mengistu, MD Internist Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist, said “We are living in a developing country. And as such diabetes is not supposed to be a threat for us.But unfortunately, we are witnessing the problem.”
Dr. Menegistu also said when a person is infected by diabetes, it will prove a life time disease. According to him, the average cost of medical care is very expensive considering the number of days the patient is absent from work due to continuous illness as well as the cost of multiple medication that charges up to 700 birr per head every ¾ days a week.
Dr. Menegistu stated that in concert with other stakeholders; ESIM has conducted a research on the Quality of Internal Medicine Residency Program in the country to figure out the quality of internal medicine. The health landscape must evolve to plan better and work faster to save more lives, he added.
Apart from conducting research, the Society had provided training in Bahir Dar, Mekelle, Hawassa and Dire Dawa for the last four years. It also searches grants for young and senior doctors to further pursue their education in universities, said Dr. Menegistu.
According to Dr. Menegistu, ESIM has also created awareness about the various medical issues mainly focused on Internal Medicine through broadcast media.
BY BETELHEM BEDLU
Mekalle University (MU) was established 25 years ago with the purpose of meeting the demand for education. Besides meeting this rising demand, it has been carrying out its responsibilities in supporting the intended development the nation is pursuing. This year, it celebrated its 25th anniversary with a number of great achievements. The Ethiopian Herald had short stay with MU president Dr. Kindeya Gebrehiwot. Excerpts:
Your university has celebrated its 25th Anniversary this year. How do you assess its progresses towards achieving its intended goal since its establishment?
Since 1992, we have registered considerable achievements. Mekalle University (MU) had humble beginnings. In 1991, it began with 150 students, 16 academic staff, 20 administrative staff. It kick-started tasks with less than 10 programmes. After 25 years, all these have grown to more than 2000 academic staff and close to 4000 supportive staff. It has more than 30 thousand students attending in more than 100 undergraduate, 135 Masters, 13 PhDs and 11 Medical Specialty programmes in its regular and non-regular (distance and continuing) enrollments that have been delivered in seven colleges and nine institutes which are stationed in 5 relatively well-equipped campuses and with additional centers at Addis Ababa, Sekota in Amhara State and Somaliland.
Moreover, the newly inaugurated Meles Zenawi Campus in Quiha, Mekalle, plays a significant role in supporting the ongoing efforts to make the university among the top 25 in Africa by 2025. As an institute of technology, it helps to cement university-industry linkage. This would contribute a great deal in improving the skills of our teachers and students in practical aspect; meanwhile, the industry sector can benefit significantly. In addition to pursuing the continuous expansion at home, we are thinking distance programmes abroad in the long run since the technology is making things relatively easier.
We have also set a vision to see our university turn out to be one of the best 25 universities in Africa in 2025. We are tirelessly working towards that. Every activity we are accomplishing daily is leading us towards that. All our objectives are planned in such a manner that they could contribute bricks towards our competitiveness in the international arena.
Would you tell us the number of graduates so far including that of this year?
Since its inception, MU has produced more than 80,000 graduates. We believe our graduates had played considerable roles in the socioeconomic progresses the nation registered in the last two decades.
What are some extraordinary successes you have achieved in the last 25 years?
The first success story is attributable to the thousands of graduates we have so far churned out. These graduates had been part of and contributors to the 25 years success stories of our nation, for all the success stories of the nation would not have been achieved without educated workforce. Today, our graduates are providing services at different spheres and layers of leadership and professional roles in governmental, private and NGOs.
Our research outputs have also been part of our success stories though the outcomes of such outputs manifest themselves fully in the long-term. Based on the research findings, we have vivid contribution in terms of enhancing agricultural productivity of our farmers and regeneration of depleted forests through environmental rehabilitation programs.These undertakings are among our success stories though the best has to come yet.
Our community service engagements in various fields, for instance, in the health sector have been playing instrumental role in easing the societal problems of the communities in Tigrai as well as neighboring states. Today, thousands of citizens get health services right at their doorsteps and this has eased the financial, physical and moral challenges patients and their families have been facing for decades.
Our visibility in the global arena in terms of knowledge and technology production and strong partnership with partners from both the south and the north has also played important role in enhancing the positive image of our country. Such intangible asset is worth recognizing as it paves the ways for better delivery and result in our triple mandates in particular and socio-economic development of the nation in general.
However, the returns of our huge investments in our human and physical infrastructure investments will manifest in higher magnitude in the years to come as investment in education, research and technology transfer and community service projects delivers results in the long-term.
Could you mention some significant accomplishments you carried out in order to improve quality education?
MU has been implementing multiple projects in order to improve education quality in line with the national policies and strategies. First of all, it has been working on stepping up its staff qualification by improving the composition of 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree holders. Currently, about 500 staff members are attending their 2nd degree and more than 200 are attending their PhD studies in Ethiopia and abroad. In addition, MU has been hiring hundreds of staff to improve student-teacher ratio. In fact, we have already met the national target set in GTP-II. Secondly, MU has been implementing quality education enhancement packages including modular curricula system, student-centered teaching-learning approach, continuous assessment programme, implementation of Education and Technology Development Army (ETDA) and other reform programmes such as ISO quality management system though it is in its embryonis stage. In addition, MU has been modernizing its library system through digitization of its library system, subscription of academic journal articles and data bases, and introduction of 24/7 and on-line library services in collaboration with world renowned institutions such as USA’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Moreover, MU staff has been attending Higher Education Programme in order to enhance education quality; so far, hundreds of staff has been certified through this programme. Furthermore, MU has been engaged in the construction of state-of-the-art facilities such as SMART classrooms, laboratories, workshops, libraries and others to create a favorable environment for practical knowledge transfer supporting the theoretical classroom sessions. Finally, it has been revising the curricula of many programmes to improve it with the requirements of the day and the industry/market. In line with this, MU students have been attached to industries through internship/practicum and other programmes so that they can relate the theories with the world of work. In addition, students are encouraged to do field visits to selected industries/institutions to get insight of the practical world.
In connection to teaching-learning process, is there any activity that the university has carried out in order to improve the livelihood of the members of the society residing in your vicinity? Have you been conducting researches that can address the problems of the rural society? How do you measure the outcome of the activities?
We have been supporting rehabilitation projects to make it scientific. Also livestock development through hybridization. In the engineering sector, we have supported the micro enterprises so that they can increase their products. We have extended similar support in business and economics and legal issues. In the last 25 years, we had accomplished very rewarding activities that improved the livelihood of wider society.We are pressing ahead with this noble task.
Mekelle University’s capacity has not only grown in the teaching-learning sphere but also in terms of its research and community service capacity and outputs. In order to carry out fruitful researches, first we developed our capacity through establishing proper relationship with research institutes that enhance our endeavor. The university’s visibility has grown through its problem-solving research undertakings, which have been carried out with partner institutions in Ethiopia as well as in the Netherlands, Belgium and Norway. For instance, in collaboration with research institutes in Belgium, German and Norway, we conducted various researches that have improved the livelihood of societies in different states. Our PhD candidates, who pursued their studies abroad, carried out research works addressing the problems in our society. Based on the findings of the researches, we have accomplished very significant activities in rehabilitating environment, improving the production and productivity of farmers and micro enterprises.
The handful of research projects during its inception have now grown to more than 100 projects annually; for instance, we produced 500 publications in 2016/2017 alone. In fact, MU is ranked to be the leading institution on publication standard based on the normalized criterion in 2017. It also secured more than 350 Birr million research grants from partners in 2015/2016 academic year and the amount has increased this year. In connection to this, the award winning projects have been securing funds from national partners like Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) and international ones.
MU has been a strong community partner since its inception. It has been active in empowering communities through knowledge and technology transfer, and provision of all rounded supports. One visible role among these services is its Ayder Referral Hospital which has been serving thousands of citizens every year from Tigrai and neighboring regions such as Afar and Amhara. Besides, MU has contributed significant share in agricultural productivity enhancement and environmental protection projects in Afar and Tigrai States through introduction of improved seed varieties and implementation of soil and water conservation practices. In the provision of legal services, several activities had been accomplished in the course of the last 25 years.
What efforts are you demonstrating to contribute for the success of the second Growth and Transformation Plan?
In order to contribute to the success of GTP-II, MU has developed a 5-year strategic plan based on critical analysis of the objectives of GTP-II and in alignment with the directions, priorities and pillars of GTP-II. Accordingly, MU has been implementing a strategy that perfectly fine tunes with it and other national policies and strategies. Hence, all its endeavors in the teaching-learning, research and technology transfer, and community services arena directly contribute towards the achievement of the targets set in GTP-II as far as production of capable and entrepreneurial human resources, problem-solving research outputs, technologies and community services are concerned.
What activities have you been doing to ensure the good governance in the university?
Each and every activities we do are contributing to the strengthening of good governance. Among these, we are working to ensure transparency. In order to make sure, we apply technology. For instance, students who are enrolled in our university can register themselves being at home, before coming to the university, utilizing digital technology. We are also working to establish a system that can create transparency in every undertakings such purchasing, financial allocation and the like.
The leadership usually conducts series of discussions with the university community in order to identify and resolve any problem. In the course of our discussion, we create sense of belongingness and ownership among the stakeholders so that they can discharge duties in a responsible manner.
Like the developed nations, we are also planning to establish Mekalle University Alumni so that our former graduates would play their roles in supporting the university's endeavor in reinforcing the national development.
What is the secret of your successes? Could you mention any lesson that other universities can draw from you?
I believe all other universities have their own success stories. We must also learn from them. There are series of discussions among the leadership of the higher institutions where we can share experiences and stories.
To mention some of the secret of our success: our strong partnership with international and local partners and organizations that have contributed a great deal in supporting our vision take the lion's share. For instance, universities from German and Belgium have contributed considerably in capacity development. Next, having clear mission, vision and strategy for realizing these strategic intents has helped us to set priorities, build unity among the stakeholders and give directions to its members. And communicating our purpose and goals to our stakeholders has effectively accelerated our success. Above all our committed employees and skillful leadership work with strong determination. Besides the support of the government has reinforced our success.
BY WAKUMA KUDAMA
Undaunted by erratic rain
Many like to call Diredewa a town of peace and tolerance.It is a land inhabited by people who speak their mind upfront and ask whatever they feel like. The town is marked for rail transport. It entertains numerous trade activities. Apart from the Keble-towns it houses, on the peripheries, Diredewa is encircled by rural Kebles.
It is to be recalled that in 2007 the floods, which feed the Dechato river emanating from these villages, had spelled havoc on the town following the inundation of the river. Consequently, people of Dire Dewa had suffered a huge death toll and sustained physical injuries as well as material destruction— a catastrophe the absence of a physical and biological conservation work brought in its wake. Since that time now, the rural Kebles have carried out numerous physical and biological conservation and water-harvesting works. In so doing, aside from, to some extent,averting the anxiety of heavy-flood-born destruction looming large on Diredewa's sky, they have begun to bump up the yields they get from their agricultural engagements.
Shemesedin Abduraheman is one of the farmers that turned his life around engaged in such a venture. He lives in Adada Keble, 25 kilometer away from DireDewa town. Farmer Shemesedin is engaged in vegetable and fruits production. Apart from feeding his family, he has managed to get returns supplying his yields to market. As his locality is characterized by shortage of rain, he had to dig for a water well. Diverting the water of Hamesa river, which is contributory to Dechato river that used to inundate Diredewa, for dry seasons, he harvests water in this well of his. Marked an outstanding farmer, he had won prizes in farmers' festival held at federal level in 2015. Though his farming plot was small, utilizing it effectively and bumping up his onion, tomato, and avocado harvest he had managed to display a huge change. This zealousness had won him prize as a token of recognition. Though it is only a half hectare land he has, collecting yields twice or trice per year he has begun to get from 50 to 70 thousand birr per year . When he tends his land he heeds the words of Development Workers. He was forthcoming in seeking expertise. In diverting rivers to his well during rainy seasons he was sure to get the say of experts. After winning prize as an outstanding farmer he is transformed into an investor. Parallel to that, he runs mills and supermarkets. He has also purchased a vehicle worth 400 thousand birr. Also around Diredewa's industrial park he has built a blocket producing shade. As a result he has created job opportunities for four. This farmer is a father of five. Four of his children go to school. He has a son that has become a teacher. The pat on the back he was accorded in 2015 at Federal level has uplifted his passion for working better than his best. Inspired by his passion and following his footstep fellow farmers in the neighborhood are aiming at a similar turnaround. He happily shares his experiences to other farmers and practically shows them how to apply inputs such as select seed he prefers to use. In so doing he makes them enjoy better returns.
Next he wants to build another flour mill. He also cherishes a dream to ripple his stone mills and blocket producing shades across and beyond his locality. He has created job opportunities to many.
A farmer who draws lessons.
A cradle of coffee, Ethiopia is marked for feeding the global market with the sought-after coffee Arabica. As we refer Kaffa the cradle of coffee, we single out Jimma as a zone famed for a quality and volumes coffee. The fact that visitors see a huge coffee pot in a square by the gate of the historic zone confirms this fact. It is safe to claim that all Weredas in the zone widely produce coffee. They as well widely supply their yields to market. Yamana is one of the Weredas. In this Wereda, there are many farmers that produce coffee. In Gube Basika Keble of this Wereda lives an energetic farmer,who goes by the name Shafi Aba Feta Aba Cheresa. He is a father of four. Marked an outshining farmer, he had won prizes in farmers festival held in 2008 and 2009.It is good to see here his works that merited prizes in the row and how he managed to cup his efforts with success? He has a coffee farm. He attributes part of his success to the coffee seedlings by the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute. Since 1996 producing coffee widely and in better ways he has begun to reap increased harvest. When he was nominated for the prize he already had a 1.5 million birr capital. Initially, it was with a conviction to change his life for the better he worked hard but not to win the prize. As the saying goes two birds with one stone, he feels gratified for the prizes he got as a token of recognition to his perseverance. The recognition has fueled his passion for additional feathers in his cap .He ascribes the success stories he portrayed in the row to this achievement. The farmers festivals he attended and that brought together many farmers and experts as well as the field tours in which he participated had stirred in him a deep feeling of shaping one's fate through exertion-based effort. In the experience-sharing forums seeing the ups and downs model farmers passed through to emerge successful has lent power to him to persevere in the face of challenges. Years back before he got prize he was leading a hand-to-mouth life. Applying modern farming-techniques on his small farming plot, as he managed to scale up his returns, he and his family members have begun to enjoy balanced-diets daily. Shortage of food,a common phenomena previously, no longer assails his family. Thus, now ,he is of the opinion that to effect change in one's lifestyle one has to be changed first. He cites himself as an example of change farmers and even a nation should emulate, provided, armed with modern trends, all is out to shape destiny with determination. He emphasizes “It is possible to kick start change with things in ones hand!” Once more citing himself as an example he notes that it was on a hectare of land he started farming. When he plants coffee he checks its type and species. He attentively follows his farmland. He is also well known for using artificial fertilizer. As a result he has began better yields. He recalls that it is he who managed to increase his agricultural surpluses from4 to 8 per cent per quintal to12.5 per cent per quintal. He still believes he has yet a lot to do in increasing yields both in quality and quantity. This way, bit by bit, increasing his capital he has now over 10 million birr currently.
Now he has become an investor. He has built residential villas in the near by town. Moreover, currently he has coffee stores,coffee pulping machines and 16 hectares of land covered with coffee. In the coffee farm interspersing he plants all that thrive on the gifted land. For instance he develops vegetables and fruits —avocado, mango and banana— and the like. He has also modern beehives. Attentively observing what he is doing on the field as well as comparing and contrasting his previous yields and that of the present one farmers in the neighborhood draw lessons. His zeal induces a similar feeling in them. He seconds their testimonial. As he and his neighbors are born and brought up there, all have no room to doubt the astounding changes that are taking shape before their eyes. All agree the farmer has moved one step ahead. Seeing gaps between his field and theirs they immediately address their short falls.
Farmer Aba Sifa Aba Feta utilizes to the full every available support he gets from development workers. He doesn't wait till development workers come to his plot. He meets them going half way and sees to their advises with alacrity.
This is one of the secretes behind his success, according to him. Research institutions nearby too follow his progress with probing eyes. When PhD candidates come to test select-coffee seedlings he allows them a spot on his farmyard to conduct their studies. In return he reaches a deal with the researchers to tell him the outcome of their research results. According to their agreement, before they depart the researchers disclose to him better ways they discovered through research.
Moreover he pulps and readies for central market the coffee he collects from his land and from fellow farmers in the vicinity. Adding value on coffee he has joined the investment circle. The fruits of his hard work, aside from benefiting him, has created job opportunities for many in the locality. He has 16 permanent workers and on the average close to 85 causal workers. He has a multifaceted role in the locality as an investor as well as a development agent. He extends financial backup,gives advice, inspires others for suggested changes and coordinates farmers.
By ALEM HAILU
(Original Story By Tewabe Chane, From the Publication of the PR Office of MoA)
Ethiopia is dead set on extricating itself from the fetters of poverty and joining the ranks of middle income countries. In the metamorphosis, taking the driver's seat, the agriculture sector is entrusted with the task of making raw materials and decisive inputs available to the industries mushrooming in the country,augmenting hard currency much-needed for spurring growth and ensuring food security, which was a pain in the neck in the gloomy past.
The incumbent is patting stakeholders and main actors of the sector on the back so that the sector,capitalizing on the economic transformation,warrants the envisaged leap to industrialization.
In present day Ethiopia, both farmers and semi-pastoralists are adopting and adapting new technologies than never before. As a result, agricultural product and productivity have begun to display an upward swing unremittingly. Owing to this, the benefits that accrue to farmers and pastoralists are also increasing.
To keep the palpable tempo of change for the better in product and productivity the government, for the past seven consecutive years, had been giving award and encouraging model pastoralists and farmers that,heeding expertise, acquired wealth through hard work on their farming plots .
The objective of the participatory-agricultural-extension program underway is taking the living standard of people to a higher status allowing farmers practice modern and improved technologies. This has played quite a role in increasing beneficiaries of the agriculture sector and scaling up best agricultural practices. Here it must be noted that applying paying practices means utilizing improved techniques and modern technologies with one's intuition and experience. In this regard, the agriculture extension program is charged with the task of strengthening the scaling up work of the extension program in GTPII. As part of this bid, there is a call for singling out, utilizing exhaustively and scaling up the technologies that proved effective in the row after passing through the acid test of practice.
The scaling up task basically aims at widely and quickly rippling across the country effective practices taking in to account such activities to be introduced fine-tune with respective Ecologies and agro-climatic zones. In so doing, it targets increasing product and productivity to sustainably change the living standard of people. It as well aims at buoying up the return the country gets from the agriculture sector and change the number of beneficiary farmers and pastoralists thereby realizing set Goals in GTPII—rendering 50% of GTPII targeted 16,776 farmers beneficiaries of the extension program..
Solidifying the natural resource development task the country could avert the vicious cycle of the climate-change-wrought drought, which plots to hamstrung the nation's agriculture. Also it aims at enabling the country get as much benefits from the sector as it could.
A resort to irrigation is a task that has to be inexorably pursued. Parallel to properly utilizing underground and surface water resources, reinforcing the ongoing catchment development work that further develops the aforementioned resources is decisive. As the saying goes “Killing two birds with one stone.” conducting studies on ways how unemployed youths could transparently come aboard the catchment development work, to derive double benefits from the task strengthening the environment stewardship work should be made a point.
Here there is a call for conducting a public relation task to amplify such developmental feats by all stakeholders and inspire others for a similar push forward. Specially utilizing events, festivals, field tours and media outlets to convey astounding results registered on small scale farmings go a long way in winning the hearts of many to tighten their belt for a similar achievement. A lot is to be desired from a country that aspires for a leap from agriculture to industrialization. Hence there should be no stone citizens leave upturned in seeing this cherished ambition sees the day's light.
Also Ethiopia that has avowedly embarked on the highway of Renaissance is expected to register similar achievements in other areas too. Hence an all-out move is expected among citizens that should rise up to the lofty task putting aside petty issues of dissension.
Female students that joined Wollo University are graduating with flying colors in science and technology education. Among the total 2,044 male and 928 female graduated students, the number of female students that finished with distinction has increased by 3 percent compared with the previous year.
Seada Abera, one of this year's graduates from Wello University, received trophy for her distinctive accomplishment in science and technology education.
Trained in Combolcha campus, Seada said the role of her competent teachers was tremendous in developing her knowledge and unleasing her skills.They as well has helped her break the aversion of students in general and female students in particular on science education.
Taking her talent the University has given the standerd-bearer girl a greenlight to teach there and help women develop their capacity in science and technology.
University Registrar and Almunay Director Demeke Shumiye said that the provision of additional supportive education for female and other students who came from developing states is attributable for this success.
Assistant Science Director for Combolcha Technology Institute Yared Solomon said that increasing the number of female teachers in the university has created optimistic perception on girl students to emerge role models like their female lectureres in science education.
If females can become successful in science and technology, they will play immense role in the country’s renaissance journey.
As the university has created linkage with institutes and industries, over 13 percents of students has already get job opportunity after graduation.
On the other hand, Gondar University graduated 2,198 females from various academic programs this year. The university often recognizes and awards outshining female students. This year it handed over award for successful female students, teachers and medium managers from natural science and related fields.
Academic and Research Affairs Vice President Dr Asirat Atsedeweyin said giving recognition and support goes a long way in increase the number of female graduates.
Gender Directorate Director in the Ministry of Education Elisabeth Gessese stated that special attention was given for female students and teachers in 2009. Among thosewho joined higher education institutes, female make 42 per cent.
Higher Education Sector State Minister Dr. Samuel Kifile for his part said of all the graduates in governmental higher education, female consist of 31 percents. Thus, if every stakeholder does their jobs, all the educational skill gaps will be fixed, he added.
BY GENET FEKADE
The sixth biannual conference of the East African Association for Paleoanthropology and paleontology (EAAPP), co-organized by the EAAPP secretariat in collaboration with the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (ARCCH) and the ministry of culture and tourism was held here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from July 30th to August 2nd 2017.
According to Professor Zeresenay Alemseged, a scientist who discovered selam, co-founder and President of the EAAPP who hosted and spearheaded the conference, over two hundred local, regional and international scholars are said to have attended the conference and presented high number of scientific papers pertaining to heritage research, conversation, management and development.
As to the professor, it was extremely hard for young African scholars to take part thereby present and discuss their findings in such international scientific forums. But the EAAPP has, now, reversed the situation by bringing this forum to the region. He, with reference to that, added that by creating this forum and bringing the scientific discourse back to the Eastern region, the EAAPP aims at augmenting collaboration between international researchers and local scientists. “Though the eastern African region is endowed with impressive archaeological paleoanthropological resources, a platform where research outputs could be discussed within the region was missing up until the formation of our association,” said Zeresenay.
According to him, the association has, as one of its main achievements, enabled young African scholars to establish broad collaborative networks globally. As could be learnt during the occasion, the objective of the conference is to create an enabling environment for East African scientists to present their own research outputs away from merely being participants in such conferences unlike the previous times. For instance, in this scientific conference, right here, over 20 young Ethiopian scientists are expected to present and discus their scientific research findings thereby let the two parties-scientists and policy makers- discuss face to face on issues which need their collaborative efforts.
Having expressed in his keynote remark that the association will continue to play a key role in promoting scientific discourses in the region and beyond, Ato Yonas Desta, Director of the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (ARCCH), said in this regard that the association is key in bridging scientists and policy makers together.
Dr. Hirut woldemariam, Minister of Culture and Tourism, on her part said during the occasion that eastern African region holds the single most important promise for the solution of the many mysteries that still surround the question of origins of humanity and its early days. It is indeed gratifying for Ethiopians to begin to talk about themselves as descendants of Lucy or as distant relatives of Ardi or selam, she added.
As to her, it is beginning to figure increasingly in the parlance of the ordinary public too. She expressed to the participants that there is something very powerful for Ethiopians about Ethiopia being described as the cradle of humanity. She, furthermore, accentuated in her speech that it is even more gratifying that this is not just a self-aggrandizing banter exchanged among the literati only. She said that Ethiopia is the origin of mankind and this ascertained not by Ethiopians but by these scientists who are here in the conference. They have, through Lucy, Ardi and Selam, reached a consensus that mankind from its very beginning was evolved here in Ethiopia and then dispersed to the rest of the world.
Yonas on his part said that some of the earliest evidences for the emergency of the first humans and upright walking have been discovered here. As to him, a unique record of human biological and cultural evolution, spanning the past 6 million years, has been documented at various sites in Ethiopia. Further, some of the most iconic fossils specimens known to date in the history of paleoanthropology including Lucy, Selam and Ardi were discovered here in Ethiopia.
Concerning the government’s efforts, the minister expressed that various tasks are being carried out to make Ethiopia a tourist destination taking all the above facts into account though much more still remains to be done.
As said by her, the government is promoting the country’s wonders through various national and international media outlets, festivals, tourism programmes, websites and many other marketing mechanisms.“For instance, as we all know, Al-nejashi is the first mosque, where Islam could be practiced openly in the world after its birth in Saudi Arabia, so, we are working to make it Islamic (pilgrimage) tourists destination like that of Mecca, so internationally branded Nigerian investors are investing on that to open international resorts,” said Hirut.
The minister added that, nowadays, in addition to the other forms of transport facilities, there are 25 local airports in Ethiopia; so, travelers can simply and safely visit any sight they want by using air flights. The same is true for other facilities too, as sources indicate, for instance, currently; a worldwide hotel is being launched here in the metropolis at a monthly basis.
Regarding to activities being undertaken at a government level to build the capacity of Ethiopian Paleoanthropologists and paleontologists, laboratories, research centres, bureaus, libraries, meeting halls and other related services not mentioned here are almost met. As to Hirut, the government is working on human resource development. A considerable number of individuals have been sent to different parts of the world to attend their PHD programmes in this particular field of study in addition to allocating budget for research away from the other fund sources as this is a critical field.
Professor Zeresenay added that the government’s support to the field in all dimensions is really wonderful. Many young Ethiopian students are showing interests to this field and are therefore joining to the department in various old and newly flourishing universities here and there.
Having expressed that it is necessary to expand and support archaeological field schools in east Africa, Dr. Hirut, called upon the association to work toward creating the East African regional centre of excellence in these fields of study given the very fertile ground the region has.
In relation to this, Hirut promised to the participants of the conference that the government would be more than willing to support their valiant efforts to expand paleoanthropological and paleontological research in our country.
Meanwhile, Zeresenay told this reporter in his exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald that he in collaboration with all other concerned organs wants to open a centre of excellence here in Ethiopia in these fields.
According to Yonas, organizing such conferences locally and beyond that is quite critical if African museums and universities are able to be centres for science and research.
As could be known in the occasion, research into human origins in Ethiopia is relatively young compared to many other countries. The director of ARCCH says that yet, the research output registered during this relatively short time is phenomenal showing that the potential of the nation is indeed huge. After irregular intermittent searches at the beginning of the 20th century and in the 1930’s, systematic paleontological and archeological exploration in Ethiopia began in the lower Omo valley in the 1960’s and Melka Kunture. Work in the lower Omo valley documented a huge number of faunal and floral remains. Research in the Omo was soon followed by new missions to the Afar depression, which subsequently, became an epicenter for paleoanthropological exploration. “Currently, there are over 27 paleontological and archaeological missions throughout the country making unparalleled impact on the search for human origins. But the country’s paleontological and archaeological resources are still untapped and much more remains to be discovered,” he said.
With this regard Hirut said that there may be plenty of research findings of prehistoric flora and fauna in the East African region but she is not quite sure they are kept properly and safely, while being at the same time accessible to the public both for scientific investigations as well as viewing by local visitors. She said, “I humbly urge the association and other collaborators to work toward establishing a state of the art museums and safe showcase areas for prehistoric fossil remains and related scientific findings.
As indicated by Yonas, researches into human origins in Ethiopia have been conducted by non-Ethiopians, mostly western scholars for various historical reasons but, now, the authority is working to transform itself from just being an institution which facilitates researches to conducting researches and develop modern field and laboratory conservation plans
As could be known from the organizers, Launched in 2005, the East African Association for paleoanthropology and paleontology held its first biennial international conference in 2007 in Nairobi. Following that, four successive meetings were held in Arusha (2009), Addis Ababa (2011), Mombasa (2013), and Dar es salaam (2015, so Addis is now hosting this conference for a second time.
BY SHUSHAY ADANE
People who were gathered under the villagization programme are showing remarkable changes based on the social service facilities and trainings given to them.
The people who were refusing to send their children to schools have now started to request opening of a secondary school as they have realized its importance. They have also quit tilling with their hands and started using oxen for farming which is helping them to produce surplus.
Recently, these peasants are transforming from being pastoralist to semi pastoralist which is the only way to benefit themselves from the resources at hand. Meanwhile, they are striving to feed themselves without any donation. The emerging regions which account for only 13 per cent of the country's entire population, but cover 60 per cent of the total land area. They were not beneficiaries of infrastructure development as they settled on distant and peripheral areas of the country. The FDRE constitution provides that the regions need special support. Though the government has been providing support for years, the support was not effective in bringing about the desired outcome, according to Kassa Teklebirhan Federal and Pastoralist Development Affairs Minister.
The government has taken various measures like training the leadership and adjusting the structure so as to get promising results for the future.
Similarly the Federal and Pastoralists Development Affairs Minister added, the government has managed to settle 28 thousand farmers as per the plan.
Meanwhile, the minister expressed that more than 400 thousand households settled together and they are striving to change their lives day by day.
The construction of more than 5 thousand economic and social institutions has inspired people to accept the developmental efforts.
Currently all the households gathered at Kushimengel village, are leading a stable life by rearing cattle, goat and producing crops like maize and cabbage, among others. The government is striving to encourage agricultural activities through irrigation using different agricultural inputs, procedural manuals.
Among the special support to the emerging regions predominantly Benshangul Gumuz was the beneficiary with this settlement programme centre and there were 34 thousand 267 households according to the plan even though it was possible to participate 25 thousand 418 households and youths.
Accordingly senior government officials from both the regional and federal levels have expressed satisfaction during their visit on the dynamic change of these households that could be helped to reach their ambitions growth targets over the coming times.
Boki Buga is one of the settlers. She led a mean life in her home village, Gilgel Beles Town of Metekel Zone Benshangul Gumuz Region. She was volunteer to settle at Kushimengel village since 20011. She worked hard in agriculture using oxen. She says her life has changed meaningfully by now as she is able to send her children to school and earns income by selling her agricultural produces.
Zeleke Kelkay an Agricultural Development Extension worker was training and guiding people at Gilgel Gibe village pilot project on how to raise goats and cattle. After the training many villagers started producing millet, maize and sorghum as well as cattle significantly showing a dynamic change that could be emulated by the rest of the community.
In the district of Assosa within Kushimengel Kebele Ato Ali Mohammed is also among the beneficiaries being organized in an association including his 11 members of family and ploughing their land in the modernized way using technologies. Over here, it is noted that more than 185 households organized in associations and cultivating banana.
He was supplying to the near by markets even in the absence of road.
Youth Ado Behadin Abdo of the Kushimengel district said he and his friends established youth association in 2013. Eighty five of the members started growing and selling vegetables and fruits with the initial capital of Birr 1,700. Right now, they have a saving of Birr 893,000.
During the occasion Deputy Premier and Federal Special Support Board Director Ato Demeke Mekonnen said that the villagization is helpful in modernizing the life style of settlers.
He further underlined the possibility of changing the zone in to hub of mango production through utilizing research based inputs and supporting youth.
BY KASSAHUN CHANIE
Ethiopian economy has been dependent on traditional agriculture for centuries. However, from the last few years, farmers have begun utilizing the modern agricultural technologies to increase their benefits from the sector. They have shown incremental interest in the modern agricultural inputs especially during the summer season. Fertilizer has become farmers’ day to day agenda as they have to prepare it before the sowing season.
The Ethiopian Agricultural Works Corporation was established to supply, produce and distribute agricultural input products and give agricultural mechanization service. In addition to this, it buys, produces and sells natural gum products inside and outside the country.
Farmers’ in various parts of the country complained the scarcity of inputs supply though the concerned government bodies claimed that they are working strongly to adequately meet the demands. The Ethiopian Agricultural Works Corporation said, “The corporation will supply more agricultural inputs this year than the previous years.”
As the corporation’s data shows, till the end of June 2017 the corporation had purchased over one million tons of quality fertilizers with an outlay of Birr nine billion after conducting repeated soil compatibility test. Prior to procurement the products' quality was examined first by agricultural sector professionals before buying.
The corporation's general manager, Kefeyalew Berhanu, said the corporation has distributed 95 per cent of its plan this year. He added, ''In the past, the distribution of agricultural inputs was less than eight hundred thousand metric tons. When compared with the past, the distribution rate shows a great difference.”
According to Kefeyalew's report, the corporation has reached deal with ten transportation service providers to distribute the agricultural inputs to all parts of the country on time.
Kefeyalew also mentioned that fertilizers and select seeds in stock are reserved in case there might be unfavourable climate change. The other objective is to supply the demand that may appear after the regular season. He also added that follow up offices are organized in streets or kebeles to check the fair distribution of agricultural inputs.
After continuous soil tests, DAP is becoming out of use and is being replaced by organic compounds such as urea, NPS, NPSB and, NPS Zinc and Boron. Additionally, processed fertilizers are being imported to the country.
Seifu Assefa, Agricultural Inputs Sales Directorate Director at the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resource, says distributing fertilizers is not enough but it also requires consistent follow-ups. Furthermore, he emphasized that there are agricultural extension officers who check the proper usage of agricultural inputs at the streets/kebeles. They support farmers through giving awareness raising trainings on how to figure out the suitable type of fertilizer for a specific kind of soil and seed type.
BY TSEGAYE TILAHUN