ADDIS ABABA-- Tigray Agriculture Bureau indicated that it has been striving to capacitate smallholder farmers and boost produce and productivity of the sector through introducing agricultural mechanization.
Speaking to the Ethiopian Herald, Mechanization Acting Coordinator with Tigray Agriculture Bureau, Haftu Haile said that 18,246 hectare of land was tilled over the last six months as model of the project being designed to introduce agricultural mechanization among smallholder livelihoods. He added that mechanized agriculture would hugely transform the centuries-old traditional way of agriculture and bump up yields and increase productivity.
‘‘Ethiopian farmers in general and Tigray farmers in particular have been tilling their land using oxen for hundreds of years. Due to this, farmers have been obliged to lean on a hand-to-mouth harvest,’’ he said, adding, ‘’now the government is adopting agricultural mechanization to transform the sector and to help the farmers produce export-oriented crops. Modern machineries and qualified expertise have been deployed to realize the encouraging progress being ensured so far.’’ Haftu noted that the consciousness of the farmers towards using modern machineries likes tractors, sowing and harvesting machines is growing and the willingness to produce export oriented commodities have been mounting over the last couple of years.
More than 70 tractors were distributed for individual farmers, unions and associations as loan and others are in the pipeline, he indicated.
Besides, market linkage was created for the farmers to sell their produce, Haftu added, ‘‘the farmers are being encouraged to produce export items to maximize their income and to play their part in boosting foreign currency earnings.’’
He pointed out that districts such as Raya Alamata, Raya Azebo, Hawzen, Laelay Maychew, Medebay Zana, Asgede Tsimbila, Wolkayt Tsegede and Humara have been identified as places which have immense potential for mechanized agriculture.
‘‘For instance, Humera is renown in producing sesame among the major export items of the nation. The agriculture being practiced there is supported by modern facilities. This is so because the investors who are engaging there have high capital and material capacity to afford machineries and other basic facilities.’’
For his part, Tigray Agriculture Bureau Public Relations Senior Expert Michael Miruts said that mechanized agriculture would have massive role in reducing poverty.
He affirmed that efforts are being exerted to restore soil fertility and to scale up best practices in enhancing irrigation mechanization which is very decisive to alleviate rain dependency.
According to him, trainings and awareness creating workshops are being provided for agriculture experts and farmers on agricultural mechanization especially on ways of operating and maintenance of modern machineries.
BY TSEGAY HAGOS
The nation is flexing muscles to buttress aggro-processing in a bid to save as well as generate foreign currency. Yet, set target is not yet achieved to the required level but hope is there to save the cost of importing.
What are hurdles and hopes in the eyes' of experts and stake holders?
Dendena Chemeda aggro-processing Industry Support Director within Ministry of Industry(MoI) was approached by The Ethiopian Herald. He says changes are taking shape at some level but the sector is at embryonic stage. Hence there is a call for to do better than one's best.
Currently, biscuit factories are mushrooming in the nation, the trend could cut down the importation volume.
Also, previously, lot of bottles of wine used to be imported but now plants like Zeway Factory are slashing down the importing rate highly, as to him.
He exemplifies, from the aggro-processing sector, in the past eight months— from July to February – alone 106 USD was collected from more than 70 exporters.
There are lots of imported foods like pasta, macaroni, fruits,vegetables and beverages among others that inundated the market, the director said. The shortage and supply gap in agricultural products like wheat, beer barely, among others, is challenging the sector.
Dendena adds that there is a meat-processing factory in the nation, it has a capacity to process about 6000 goat and sheep and about 3000 cattle per a day. As to him, this is a sure way of getting high foreign exchange. But still the supply limits the effectiveness.
Strategies, are being developed within MoI to render the agriculture sector productive and supportive for the industry thereby make aggro-processing industries process enough products to better serve the public.
According to him, regarding coffee, oil seeds, livestock, sugar , fruits and vegetable, among others MoI has developed strategies which portray the current situation and that prognosis developmental potentials down the road.
Sensitization works are underway to lure investors come on board by allowing them opportunities and incentives.
As to the director, there are hopes to cover the local market and then export the aggro - processed products working hard.
Dr Teke Alemu, Economics Lecturer at AU told to The Ethiopian Herald that, if the country exports wheat and then imports pasta the nation will lose a lot of foreign currency. The problem does not only get itself reflected in terms of badly-needed hard currency citizens also lose job opportunities.
Here it worth noting the tax such employees get finds its way into the government's coffer.
It is not only from the aggro-processing sector the country will be more profitable from all processed materials in the nation.
As to Dr Teke the nation stands a chance to be more competent for the future with the other countries given its resource and human power. Therefore, in a strengthened manner the nation should press ahead with churning out skilled human power on the sector and creating strong organizations.
“For one kilo of processed coffee imported, buyers will pay two or three times as much compared to raw coffee inside the nation,” he says. It may be difficult to compete with the developed countries but it is better to export semifinal or processed goods, he added.
Moreover, sensitization is needed to inform buyers the hallmark or quality of the product. But quality and cost matters to win local markets, as to Dr Teke.
Even the person coming from foreign countries are observably proud to wear Ethiopian shoes. That means quality with affordable cost matters.
Some original products of Ethiopia Like Red paper are protected by themselves . But most commodities are imported and they dominate local products as to Dr Teke and he stresses that the nation should step up efforts to protect local products.
They indicated that, if the whole movement continue in a strengthened manner by private and government bodies, the country will reap fruits of success in the sector soon.
BY GENET FEKADE
ADDIS ABABA — Government Communication Affairs Office (GCAO) has underlined that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been undertaking fruitful discussions and consultation with various parts of society to consolidate peace, prosperity and unity.
In his press briefing held yesterday, GCAO Minister Negeri Lencho (PhD) said that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will hold discussion with more than 25,000 citizens in Millennium Hall on 15 April 2018.
He added that the Premier has been undertaking various discussions and consolations with public since he took power and the Sunday’s discussion would be part of it.
Negeri pointed out that as part of his efforts; Prime Minister had paid visit to Jigjiga, Ambo and Mekelle and conferred with the people on political, economic and social issues.
Besides, the discussion he held with opposition parties, civic societies and celebrities at National Palace recently has been fruitful, according to him.
Admitting that infant democracy, abject poverty, corruption, mismanagement, and other malpractices have caused the political unrest that broke out in recent years; he called for Ethiopians to work together to develop democratization, to alleviate corruption and to safeguard rule and order so as to ensure economic equitability and political inclusiveness.
Negeri has urged Media outlets and professionals to play their part in ensuring peace and stability, economic development and democratization process of their country.
BY MUSSA MUHAMMED
ADDIS ABABA- To effectively translate the Growth and Transformation Plan fighting corruption and improp rieties tooth and nail must get focal attention.
The Federal Ethics and Anti-corruption Commotion (FEACC) Communication officer Aseged Medeksa so stressed.
The utilization of resources allocated for the expansion of infrastructural facilities , building democratic systems and rendering citizens' equal beneficiaries and fighting out rent-seeking mind bent and corruption must be made a point.
Nowadays, as the aforementioned tasks have become the country’s main agenda , the commission has designed a plan entitled “Integral Strategy for Corruption Prevention.” It is working towards the implementation of the plan.
The officer further noted that strengthening the struggle against corruption will help bring about significant changes in preventing and combating corruption and rent-seeking.
In this regard, in order to bring considerable change in the country amendments of corruption laws that enable the Commission to investigate corruption cases in public enterprise and private institutions is a must.
The commission should make investigations, criminal prosecution and recovery of public assets, embezzled or inappropriately obtained from any relation with customers, stockholders, people having political powers or administrative position, and so on.
Currently ,the Commission's mandate is receiving tips from whistle blowers. Investigating corruption offenses, prosecuting corruption offenders and conducting asset recovery missions fall under the jurisdiction of General and Federal Police in accordance with proclamation No,943/2008.
In 2016/ 2017 GC budget year, the Anti-corruption Commission has carried out many effective and preventive activities. To empower institutions in preventing corruption it has been providing training on Institutionalized corruption prevention strategy. In Partnership with Tax, Audit and Transparency programs for those Federal Institutions of the country, it as well gives awareness training on “Asset Registration & its significance, Ethical Leadership and Corruption prevention .
As Asseged told to Herald, the Commission has reviewed studies conducted nationwide to assess the “Impact of corruption and improprieties regarding wastage of Natural Resources and Environmental Pollution, Contribution of Construction Consultants on corruption prevention and Impropriety in the construction sector.” The other issue is “Duty Free Import Goods Provision” , among various issues related to other AU countries .
As the officer stressed Transpa rency International supports the creation of FEACC's to help in the fight against corruption, and calls on governments to support and protect these institutions to fulfill their mandates by ensuring they are given the independence and resources to do their jobs effectively. In implementation a well-financed and independent anti-corruption Agency or commission can be instrumental in the fight against corruption. However, they need support from the government, judiciary and law enforcement bodies if they are to discharge their jobs effectively.
As the explanation of the officer, the Vision for the Prosperous Africa leans on inclusive growth and sustainable development. It can only be successfully realized in an African context.
Good governance, democratic value, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law must have unshakable base in Africa so Africa stands shoulder high than continents. Above all, anti corruption commissions in Africa need independence, they need to establish their credentials as independent investigators dedicated to fighting corruption both inside and outside government in practical operations of all over the country Ethiopia and Africa.
The officer Asseged said the fight against corruption is very difficult because it changes its manifestations in tandem with technological advance ment. So it is an acid test all level of experts,managers middle and high level leaders as the experience of other countries depict.
Asseged also explained that FEACC has planned to perform more works with African countries' Anti-corruption Commission Offices and that of other global anti-corruption commission offices to ensure good governance and democracy . Virtues that will create a platform that fast track the move towards corruption prevention, investigation and prose cution, supporting and coordinating the activities of Ethics infrastructures, Asset Disclosure and Registration Legal Affair, Promoting and strengthening Ethical practice and corruption Research Expansions are indicators for the commission. These were stressed in the 30th Assembly of the Head of States and Government of African Union(AU) n convened on January 22-29/2018 in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia.
Ethiopia has launched a new campaign with a single important goal of fighting corruption across the continent .Furthermore Asseged said focus will also be placed on awareness -deepening training on prevention & combating corruption and rent-seeking to hasten the Growth and Transformation of the country Ethiopia.
As to Aseged's explanation, for works down the road, as a president for next two consecutive year, Ethiopia has been selected by the AU to lead the east African region,while Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan Executive as Committee members to fight corruption across the continent of Africa. True to the South African context Ethiopia stands a chance to gain extra opportunity of leading for additional periods proving its strength to struggle against fighting corruption across the African context. But Ethiopia needs collaboration on the part of the continent's people and the government of Africa and the world to do assignment in a coordinated manner.
BY MUSSA MUHAMMED
ADDIS ABABA— Ethiopia would place much attention on economic ties with neighboring countries , Ministry of Foreign Affairs(MoFA) emphasized .
Over last year, 855 million422 thousand USD had been secured by putting on the market exportable commodities for neighboring countries. MoFA as well disclosed that over the past years, foreign investors had partaken in 473 investment works apart from creating job opportunities for 13 thousand Ethiopians.
As per Meles Alem, Spokesperson of MoFA, Ethiopia and its neighboring countries are spliced by languages, cultures and boundaries. Moreover, the neighbors serve as market hubs. For a long time, Ethiopia was giving much attention to political relationships with neighboring countries. At this point, it will give much attention to common economic benefits.
“The country’s export and import trade is entertained at the ports of Djibouti and Sudan. At this point in time, efforts are underway to bring into play alternative ports,” the spokesperson stressed.
“For the country’s peace and growth, neighboring countries play a major role. Furthermore, Ethiopia would further strengthen economic ties with neighboring countries.
It as well is undertaking legal border market,among others.” he added.
He went on to say, with the intention of taking the current economic ties of the country in terms of trade, investment and tourism sectors to a new level of achievement, infrastructural development works are being successfully carried out. Above and beyond, it is made possible to achieve stronger relationships pertaining to roads, trains and port usage to this point. Although, the infrastructure development ties is promising, the condition of peace and security has not moved towards the required level. As they are turning out to be stumbling blocks for economic ties the government would accord special attention to working hand-in-glove with neighboring countries.
BY ADDISALEM MULAT
ADDIS ABABA--Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) has announced that more than 68 foreign companies have shown interest to engage in solar energy sector, one of the renewable energy source projects being undertaken in Ethiopia.
Currently, Ethiopia is becoming the best destination for foreign investors who have huge experience and expertise in utilizing renewable energy sources, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ethiopian Electric Power, Azeb Asnake told the Ethiopian Press.
She added that the investors’ willingness to invest in Ethiopia would have immense significance in exploiting the untapped energy potential of the nation.
Over 68 companies have come to compete in bid which was unveiled for constructing solar energy in Metehara and they have interest to expand their investments to Mekele, Humera and other parts of the country, Eng. Azeb stated.
“Investors demand many preconditions in order to engage in this sector. They concern on challenges which hinder their business while they spend their capital for profit. Thus, sustainable peace and stability is highly vital to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).’’
According to her, the bid process for the project is over and the winner has been identified and the contract agreement will be signed soon.
Eng. Azeb said that though there are initiations to encourage domestic investors, only few of them have shown readiness to involve in the sector so far.
Financial constraint might be the reason for hampering domestic investors from taking part in renewable energy utilizations, according to the CEO.
Renewable energy projects being utilized by private developers are growing from time to time and the kurubete and Tulumoye steam energy plants will be completed soon to generate 500 MW each, she noted.
BY HANNA ZERIHUN
Ethiopia is a country blessed with bountiful natural resources like arable land and water, if effectively harnessed, which will help come up with bumper harvest.
Also if well processed, the agricultural yields could go a long way in curtailing the outflow of the much-sought-after hard currency. The resources could as well help in fetching the same.
To substantiate the case in point, it suffices to reflect that though Ethiopia is marked for its green emerald or coffee Arabica, without value addition it exports this commercial crop for cheap and imports processed coffee. As compared to the former, the price of the latter is manifold.
The sad episode shows that if agro-processing industries mushroom in the country to come up with semi-processed or processed agricultural yields, the country could curtail the outflow of hard currency discouraging the importation of such commodities. Also, replacing imported commodities by the local products could augment its hard currency reserve. As many agree in terms of quality, the locally produced Macaroni and Pastas are nothing less than the imported ones, ubiquitous in the market.
In so far as, there are fresh fruits that get their way from the farm to the fork or processed here, there is no need to import fruits and beverages, which are seen inundating the market. At this juncture, it is important to note that there is a call for sensitizing the public to zoom focus to homegrown products going against the trend of lavishing fancy on imported commodities as a sign of refinement.
As the inclination towards Ethiopian-made leather clothes is seen growing on the wake of the burgeoning of leather industry in the country, the aforementioned habit will buy credence among the general public slowly but surely. Here, worthy to note is the unfolding of such habit on the part of citizens and foreigners here.
Most Ethiopian shoes made of pure leather are outsmarting the imported ones. But this trend presuppose the coming up with quality products. It is the coupling of affordable price with quality that could attract buyers to locally-produced commodities.
Also agro-processing industries thrive in Ethiopia, at the top of the table in Africa when it comes to the number of cattle countries in the continent have.
Investors who fight shy to join the sector must enjoy encouragement and incentives as such a move falls in line with the government's push towards industrialization that eyes at using the agriculture sector as a springboard. Though some changes in this regard are taking shape, there is a lot to be desired.
The coming into life of agro-industries opens wider room for job opportunities too. Aside from absorbing many unemployed citizens, mainly youths and women, the trend will bump up the tax revenue the government collects to turnaround the livelihood of citizens.
Gaps in the supply and demand of some industrial inputs are palpable.
Farmers must be patted on the back to use technologies that boost yields and productivity. But such technologies prove unaffordable to farmers .By way of incentivizing the trend, it sure is good the government subsidizes the sector. To multiply over quality there is also a call for making land available.
There is a call for additional policy changes in terms of incentives, finance , transport and logistics.
As the new prime minister noted recently the nation is beset by dearth of foreign currency as a result of shortfall in its exports. This is ascribable to inadequacy to emerge with commodities that brush shoulder with those circulating the global market. This has to be rectified.
Assessing performances in GTPII so far, the country must press ahead with augmenting its hard currency breaking bottlenecks.
The disagreement, disturbances and demonstrations conducted by some people within the Amhara and Oromia Regions is directly related to the continuous interference by those toxic Diasporas on the internal affairs of the nation intended to destroy the constitution and the constitutional order of the land and to grasp power by all means including through violence and anarchy as opposed to the HR 128 claim . This too was not carefully analyzed by those who sponsored HR128 against Ethiopia. Here at home, we have witnessed unlawful gatherings crating havocs here and there often times than not and tend to get into emotions and take part in unlawful, destructive and uncivilized manner. In any demonstration, the people at large must comprehend their rights and responsibilities during the process. Rights and responsibilities go hand in hand and they are two sides of the same coin; therefore, responsible people must always be aware of their rights and responsibilities and they must not be carried away with emotions or irresponsible behavior. Instead, they must become very careful and always be prudent when conducting demonstrations because the whole public is watching and judging their behavior, their characteristics and their general performances. We have witnessed recent activities here at home and most of them were way below the required standard and unexpected from a civilized society aspiring to represent the interest of the public at large. Here, I am referring to some illegal and destructive activities made by some few people against our national interest and against our sovereignty.
I was especially shocked to hear people calling names based on ethnicity, religious or linguistic backgrounds. In our era of 21st century, dialogue, tolerance and mutual understanding is the way to go and not chauvinism, racism, egocentrism and religious fundamentalism among others. These are outdated, archive and a zero sum losing games with no positive results. The young generation can learn a lesson or two from the experiences of the more democratic nations like the US to be tolerant and refrain from being intolerance, chauvinist, ego-centrist and racist because such behavior is ignorant and uncivilized. Further, that kind of behavior usually emanates from lack of substance or mere ignorance or from both. That is what is going on with few toxic Diasporas stationed in the US. Unethical and uncivilized personal attack based on ethnicity, linguistic and religious background has nothing to do with any democratic and civilized behavior or even freedom of speech because that kind of behavior is simply foolish and unacceptable least to say. Providing alternative and useful agendas, programs pertinent to the developmental endeavor of the nation and the public at large has everything to do with democratic demonstrations and that is not analyzed by the HR 128 sponsors. Therefore, baseless finger pointing and attacks on a nation and its people is regrettable least to say. Therefore, HR 128 should have seen and focused on issues, substances, programs, strategies and tactics undertaken in Ethiopia in order to help the nation and the public at large and not on cheap and unethical comments that can backfire and that can have detrimental and regrettable effect on the sponsors own personalities. People are judged by their behavior among others and people want to hear gentle, intelligent and wise personalities. They want to see and hear substance not insult; so, one has to be careful not to insult the intelligence of the public at large. Some fundamentalist and chauvinist Diasporas stationed in the US who have been busy knocking the doors of every US congress, have time and again tried to use religious and ethnic cover-ups in order to advance their personal and/ or group’s hidden agendas. They have tried time and again to infiltrate and jeopardize this solid interpersonal, inter religious and ethnic harmony that lasted for generations between and among the Ethiopian people and that was instrumental in maintaining the national stability and peaceful coexistence amongst this nation. They have now erroneously succeeded to convince the sponsors of HR128 in that regard. However, this inter personal inter religious and other relationships between and among the Ethiopian people is deeply rooted, highly intertwined and profoundly entrenched within the blood and sole of the Ethiopian people. Therefore, they did not succeed in advancing their divisive and menacing agendas before and they cannot and will not be able to succeed in the 21st century with this generation either. Religious extremism, terrorism and advancement of hate propaganda using religious cover up and xenophobic agenda is a thing of the past, an obsolete, archaic, uncivilized and backward phenomenon that this dynamic and vibrant generation of the 21st century living in Ethiopia cannot and will not accept.
Currently we saw in an unprecedented and senseless cruelty and cold blooded murder in its worst way, form and shape an act of brutality based simply on xenophobia by few individual criminals, few toxic Diasporas, Genbot 7, OLF and the likes who are stationed in the US over innocent people. What a great shame! II hope that such inhuman and savagery act of terror will never happen again anywhere to anyone and that people will take a lesson or two from that savagery act of murder. Unlike the false claims by the HR128 and unlike what the toxic Diasporas want the US congress to believe, the Ethiopian Government has released many descendants, journalists, activists who have violated the constitution and the constitutional order Those who were taken to prison are now given amnesty and are released and free. Instead of accusing the Ethiopian government in that regard, one can simply come to Ethiopia to see things for one’s perusal. Respect for human, citizenship and democratic rights and freedom of speech, movement, demonstration etc. are entrenched within the Ethiopian constitution. Those rights are not matters of choice rather, they are matters of life and death because the Ethiopian people fought and gave their lives to secure them. The relationship between and among our people is what we inherited from our ancestors and that noble relationship is what we must pass to the next generation and not violence, conflicts and wars that toxic Diasporas are on the daily basis trying to export to our nation and trying to confuse the international community in general and the American congress in particular. Conflicts and war, illegal and violent activities as ways and means of achieving individual, group or institutional goals and objectives will always have detrimental consequences on peace and development of any nation because they cause damage, destruction and underdevelopment that are highly regrettable. Few negative people want to deny Ethiopians of these precious values and norms they shared together for centuries. How can one separate these men from mercenaries? A mercenary sells his country and his people for money. That is exactly what these mercenary men have done from their sanctuary in North America living comfortably there and wanting Ethiopians who live in this country together sharing their values and norms for centuries to kill each other.
BY YOHANNES GEBRESELLASE (PhD)
Today’s guest is Tadele Feleke. He is a film scorer by profession. Every so often, he has been playing a major role in taking Ethiopian film industry to the pinnacle of success. He has scored more than forty documentaries for Walta Information Center aired on television. Hence, he managed to attract the attention of quite a lot of viewers across the country. Furthermore, he has scored the intro music of Ethiopian Plasma Television Program in addition to composing a number of social issues revolving around the River Nile, Flag Day, World AIDS Day and other related issues.
In the same way, Tadele has composed more than 80 songs with societal messages. Above and beyond, he has scored quite a lot of Ethiopian films focusing on a number of issues such as Maya, Yetekelekle, Ewneta, Yarda Lij I and II, Adinas, Bechis Tedibeq, Sene Sellasa, Yenegen Aleweledem, Ayraq, Sermizewa, Baleqelem Hilmoch, Hiyab, Hiwote, Hello Ethiopia, Esktmech Libed, Arba Amist Qen, Engineerohu, Afronism, Bidrat, Yigbagne, Meklit, Lemdres, Cheekcology, Yemchershaw Mefthe, Kebron, Fitsamew, Enena Anchi, Braed Fim and what not. On the whole, he has scored more than 70 Ethiopian films.
The Ethiopian Herald had a short stay with Tadele Feleke with the intention of familiarizing his personal and professional life with our readers. He has touched upon a number mesmerizing issues revolving around the nuts and bolts of Ethiopian Film Industry. Excerpts:
How was film scoring get off the ground here in Ethiopia?
Before I answer your question, let me say a few things how I got myself involved in film scoring. As most people are well aware, we did not have opportunities to watch movies at home owing to financial constraints. This being the case, I was in the habit of watching films at various places paying fifty cents every time. At that point, film scores used in different films were coming in and out of my mind. They were changing their shapes and forms in different scenarios accompanied by a range of heart touching music. The film scores were unswervingly attracting my attention. In due course, I realized the that professional film scorers are the secret behind quite a number of films. More to the point, I understood the fact that films are empty devoid of background music.
Flipping back to the gist, whenever I saw various Television dramas, most of them were copied from foreign music. After that, I started asking myself why our films make use of Ethiopian music as a background. In actual fact, it was simply a wish. As luck would have it, I had taught myself how to play various musical instruments while working at Pro-Pride. Therefore, I was getting myself involved in various experiments pertaining to background music for Ethiopian films.
In this fashion, I set in motion making background music for a certain drama bringing into play Ethiopian traditional instruments and thus I understood to what extent one can arouse the feelings of audiences making use of the art in the field. I would say the year 2008 was the time that Ethiopian films had reemerged. At that juncture, the music scores of our films were directly copied from foreign music.
What is the significance of background music in films?
Once, a research was conducted in America pertaining to the significance of background music in films. The finding of the research concluded that,in grabbing attention, what is heard surpasses what is seen in films. In due course, the finding disclosed that the role background music plays is immense in arousing the attention of attendees. At first, in the experiment, people were made to watch a horror film composed of background music. As a result, all audiences got scared almost immediately. Similarly, when audiences were made to watch the same movie devoid of background music in the same film, they did not get scared. They were not terrified. Furthermore, when they were made to watch the film and the music separately, the audiences did not act in response. In the long run, they proved that 50% of background music takes the lion’s share in any film.
Most film scores of our country are copied from other sources. When I got myself in the profession ten years ago, I was constantly troubling people to give me the chance. At the outset, I jumpstarted working as a film scorer by means of traditional instruments such as Kirar, Flute and what not. For instance, if somebody cries his/her eyes out in a certain church while praying to God, I must make use of traditional instruments which go with the scene of the film than copying background music from somewhere else.
Would you please put in plain words the difference between a film score and sound track?
To begin with, music in film sets up background, generates ambiance, adds force to narrative enlargements, interprets meaning to a character's actions, helps decipher feelings apart from creating sentiment. Above and beyond, music can fashion a persuasive environment for one’s setting and strike a sensitive cord. To flip back to your question, soundtrack is all about the whole thing one hears in a certain movie. It could be sound effect, dialogue, audio portion of a film, the total music in a film, among others. It as well deals with intentional sound which accompanies moving images and premeditated resonances which go together with moving descriptions in films. On the contrary, a film score is an innovative music which is created to accompany films apart from augmenting stories in dissimilar scenes.
Would you please brief readers about Ethiopian films?
I have the nerve to say, the current status of Ethiopian film is not promising. I would say, it is struggling to breathe every so often. To be honest, the Ethiopian film industry has not reached where it is today out of the blue. It has passed through many ups and downs. We have not given up hope yet. To be honest, in the mid of 1990s Ethiopian calendar, Ethiopian films were on all fours. All and sundry criticizes Ethiopian films from time to time. Some people say, “If we see the first part of any Ethiopian film, we can predict the end of the film with no trouble.” Let me tell you what I encountered once in this regard. One fine day, somebody went to a certain movie theater targeting at watching a film. As ill luck would have it, the whole film started and finished at a certain hospital. He was not happy in the film he was watching. As it happened, somebody gave him a call in a bid to figure out his whereabouts. “I am in a hospital,” he answered mockingly.
In fact, this kind of film can exist but one thing that we need to understand is, there are no film schools in Ethiopia which enable our actors and actresses to upgrade and broaden their knowledge. Concerning the film industry, there is no help we get from the concerned body. Even worse, we are not equipped with adequate filmmaking equipment. I am not saying that the whole lot concerning our film is just what the doctor ordered. There are gaps to be bridged in a little while. As to me, we have to tolerate until we achieve the desired goal. At this instant, things are getting out of our hands time and again. Some people are distancing themselves from our films as a result of Kana Television program at present.
What is your reflection on Kana Television program?
In the beginning, I am not a fan of Kana Television program. Kana is not reflecting the lives of the general public. It is not making original films. If they had made their own films, I would have forwarded my deepest respect and appreciation over and over again. But the reality on the ground is very different.
Sadly, they show day and night fully-fledged films on which a huge capital was invested, without applying their creativities. They do not do anything except interpreting various films by two or three people and air on television. They may draw to a close interpreting forty or fifty parts of a certain film within two or so days. Quite the opposite, when one makes original films, one spends a lot of time and money. I would say, Kana Television Program, is a catastrophe which is pouring cold water on Ethiopian films.
In the same way, people should give due weight and attention to their own films as the latter shape citizens without a doubt. Whatever the case may be, we will do the whole thing we could to take Ethiopian films' industry to a new chapter of accomplishment. I do believe if we come up with better works, Ethiopians do not rub their eyes to make our films their number one choice. As I have tried to mention so far, our films are on their embryonic stages.
How can we get to the bottom of the problem then?
The Ethiopian film industry needs the involvement of all stakeholders as far as I’m concerned. In our country, filmmaking equipment is taxable. Unless we take advantage of modern filmmaking equipment time and again, we cannot take our films to the helm of achivement. To the best of my knowledge, if our desired goal is to take the film industry a hit, filmmaking equipment should be tax free.
Likewise, film institutions which train about films should be established across the country. If you take Kenya and South Africa as an example, they have film schools which train students about the inside out of films. They as well produce cartoon films, features films, and what not. In this fashion, youngsters learn a lot about the nuts and bolts of films with no trouble. To the best of my knowledge, we need to have recording institutions given that Ethiopia is a big country with lot of history. As there are a lot of investors in Ethiopia, they should get themselves involved in the sector without much effort. I do believe that we can achieve the desired goal in this fashion.
Why do we see the same actors and actresses on films?
When we make films, the most important thing to be taken into account is money as it is a commercial business. When one invests one million Birr in a certain film, one expects another one million Birr as a profit. If actors appear twice or trice in a certain film, businessmen aiming at profit out of the task would like to give a chance for famous ones in the shortest time possible as their target is getting a better profit. That is why we see the same actors and actresses at various films every so often. There is something I encountered in this regard. The thing was, there was a famous Ethiopian actor who has partaken in several Ethiopian films. He is still a-number-one choice of everyone. Most people are on familiar terms with the actor.
On one occasion, somebody wanted to include the famous actor under discussion in a certain film with the intention of making a lot of profit. After that, the actor was made to partake in the film. His picture was posted. When audiences saw his picture on the poster, several people headed to a certain Movie Theatre. To the surprise of many, he appeared in the film for a moment or two. I have the guts to say, he did not almost partake in the film. When audiences watched the film, they could not find the actor in most parts of the film seeing that most films are made for commercial purposes.People got vexed.
BY ADDISALEM MULAT