It goes without saying, a well-educated human power is a task force for a country's development. If this workforce gets armed with the necessary theoretical knowledge and enjoys exposure to the right practice, there is no doubt it will be a backbone for a nation.
To render a generation capable and responsible, educational institutions need to be creative centers, come up with new things and invite students to avail themselves the opportunity the institutions offer. Schools have power to shape society's mind within positive or negative outlooks.
Peace is the first and the most invaluable ingredient for educational institutions at higher level and the lower ones too. In the absence of peace and security, family members could not send their children to schools and institutions cannot carry out their service properly.
“Peace is a bedrock for everything, without peace there will be no education, if there is no peace development will be unthinkable,” said Dr Abate Getahun, Wollo university president. By forging strong relationship with the community, the university has pressed ahead with its peaceful teaching and learning process.
If a given educational organization maintains its peace and stability, then it proves ready to accomplish set homework. Increasing educational accessibility and improving educational quality could not be achieved overnight, it needs day today devotion and the spirit for change.
This journalist had a stay in Combolcha town at Hidar Asirahand Primary School. This article affords a peek into the school's activities.
When a stranger embarks on the school's premise, different eye catching natural and human made things strike him/her. The compound is fully adorned by a green mantle. Colorful mathematical symbols and key words of different subjects are seen painted on the walls. The nation and nationalities flag are placed dramatically. The school totally proves a place of peace not only for children but also for all, it could catch mind of grown ups too.
“The school stands out for its greenery, it makes students to fall in love with their school and stay there to study and play. Students can sit in the open area and peruse their exercise books or discuss with each other. It influences them to pine for it when they are outside. Apart from imbibing physics, chemistry and the like students are expected to have a good behavior. So, the unique compound helps students develop the love of studying admiring greenery,” Haimanot Gared the school's Director said.
She added that the school's suitable environment allow students enjoy nature. The school practice urban agriculture in the compound on top of beautifying the environment.
Fozia Seid is 8th grade student and a prime minister in the school's parliament.
“Our school is covered by green mantles. The compound refreshes our mind and triggers our passion of studying. This is strengthened by school's ministry of agriculture,” she said.
Fozia and her friends are happy to come to school even at their free time, as their teachers hone their creative knacks and students discus with each other on different issues.
Supporting and developing innovative works is the other big task the school uses to encourage students stay at school glad.
When Herald paid a short visit in Combolcha Technology Institute, this journalist had seen a Teff threshing machine. According to Gosaye Sissay, Industry Unity Director within the Institute, the machine was maintained for a third time and now it is 90% effective .
About 60 % of yields used to lay waste while harvesting is conducted in the traditional harvesting way. Thus the helpfulness of the machine is out of question.
After settling the patent right issue, by way of innovation, this Teff threshing machine will be given for industrial institutions to outreach beneficiaries.
It is not only this machine the institute introduced, there are other creative works being developed by students. It is playing its role to let students have a good time in their campus life.
Technological development within such institutes specially with the higher education is necessary to ease students' movement and make all teaching learning processes comfortable. Specially these days, technology is becoming a springboard to educational development.
In our stay at Wollo and Adigrat Universities, this journalist had a chance to see the ICT movement. Daniel Bekele the ICT director of Wollo university also disclosed that, as ICT is decisive for one's university, experts are striving to make the university digital by 2017. Video conference halls, training centers,e-learning centers are already built. Also big screens to the universities' communities are built.
Data centers, which fulfill international standards, are also built at Adigrat university, as to Negasi Tadesse, the ICT Director within the University. About 500 computers, connected with data centers, are giving services for students alone. And smart classrooms are giving services for them furnished with high technological facilities.
The government is striving to reinforce education quality. To achieve set goals,it is necessary to strongly work on academical issues. But in light of envisaged change, works done are not enough. It is necessary to make schools comfortable and beneficial to students.
BY GENET FEKADE
Orthodox Christianity was adopted in Ethiopia during the reign of King Ezana in the 4th century. That is why the nation has been known as one of the oldest Christian kingdoms in the world. Since that time, it has been celebrating several religious and cultural holidays colorfully. Among the religious festivities being celebrated every year is found the Ethiopian Easter (Faska also Tinsae). Tensae is Ge'ez word which has direct meaning to ‘resurrection /rise’. The word expresses the resurrection of Jesus Christ from death and the commemoration event takes place in all orthodox churches throughout the country.
Aba Gebremariam a priest in St. Marry Church in the capital Addis Ababa said Fasika is very important holiday in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church because it signifies the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Before Fasika, Orthodox followers spend intensive fasting days to commemorate the brutal physical sufferings He underwent and sacrifices made to bear the guilt being committed by human beings.
‘‘Our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified for our sins. To remember the sacrifice paid, Christians have been fasting for 55 days. They refrain themselves from meat and other animal products, like milk, egg and butter,’’ he said. Besides, the Passion Week (also known as Holy Week) takes place between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. According to Aba Gebremedhin, this holy week represents the willingness of Jesus Christ to be crucified for the sake of humans.
‘‘During the passion week, followers fast until dusk. They will not shake hands while they meet each other. They wash legs of elderly people to remember Jesus’s humbleness to his followers.’’
Another very important day which is celebrated by Orthodox Christians is the Good Friday. On this special day, Christians remember that their Lord Jesus Christ died for everyone. He was crucified for doing nothing wrong. He was tied and nailed on the wooden cross and died due to the suffering he received. This is why the Cross is considered as a symbol of Christianity in the whole world. Hence, Ethiopians spend Good Friday fasting, soul searching, praying and confessing at churches and monasteries so as to erase their sins.
Dawit Teshome lives in Addis Ababa. He eagerly welcomes the Good Friday every year. He considers the day would give him ample opportunity for the ablution of sins.
‘‘Good Friday is a day which reminds us the brutal crucifixion our lord Jesus Christ had received. We commemorate the passion, love, suffering and death of our lord on the cross and we spend it in fasting, prayer and repentance. This is the day that we forgive those who committed something bad on us,’’ he said.
Next to Good Friday, the very important day is Fasika (Ethiopian Easter/The Orthodox faithfuls). Fasika is observed on Sunday every year. The festivity commemorates the rise of Jesus Christ after being crucified. Believers spend the night (until 4:00 am) praying at churches. Then, after the church observance is over, past midnight believers return back to their homes. As the fasting period is over after mid night, they eat and drink festive dishes and drinks, which were prohibited for 55 days.
Rahel Melaku who came from Dire Dawa to Addis Ababa ten years back remembers Fasika /Ethiopian Easter as a day of joy, excitement and enjoying oneself while she was at home with her beloved family.
‘‘How could I tell you? Fasika festivity brings families, neighbors, friends and colleagues together. People adorn themselves with white dresses on this magnificent day. They ask each other and exchange gifts.’’
What makes the day more special is that Ethiopians spend it sharing what they have for needy fellow citizens. They give money, food, drinks and cloths for those who have destitute way of life. It is a day which creates ample opportunities for Ethiopians at home and abroad to strengthen their bond. It is a day that helps them to remember their childhood, family, neighbors and country.
BY TSEGAY HAGOS
Ethiopia is heading in the avenue of socioeconomic pickup. Today’s Ethiopia is entirely different. The country is heading in the right direction. It is being changed over and over again.
Today’s guest is Manfred Set. He had served in Ethiopia for years as a volunteer at some stage in the Emperor Haile Selassie's regime. Above and beyond, he had played a major role in training the Ethiopian farmers living in the rural areas for the most part in Majet found in Northern Shewa. He had played a quite a role in letting the lives of quite a lot of farmers experience a turnaround and familiarizing them with modern Agricultural Science and Poultry Farming. More to the point, he had taught the farmers a lot about the secret of farming and poultry at the time when modern farming and other related aspects were not introduced across the country.
Above and beyond, Manfred used to bring into play a variety of best chicken breeds from Israel with a view to improving the lives of farmers. At that point, the farmers did not have the faintest idea about modern farming technique, which could make them harvest the fruit of success in the shortest time possible. To the surprise of many, Manfred is on familiar terms with the nuts and bolts of Ethiopia’s cultures, history, norms, its people and what have you. He considers Ethiopia as home away from home.
The Ethiopian Herald had a short stay with Manfred, who fell in love with Ethiopia, with the purpose of familiarizing his personal and professional life with our readers. He had touched upon a number of mesmerizing issues revolving around the inside out of Ethiopia, the country he loves with all his heart and considers as his second home. Excerpts:
Brief us about your contribution to Ethiopia?
At some point in the emperor regime, when I came for the first time to Ethiopia, a blessed country, as a volunteer I was assigned to partake in a project known as “Ministry of Community Development”. Without exaggeration, I feel affection for the people of Ethiopia for the reason that they are remarkable, honorable and respectful. The instant I came to Ethiopia, I was assigned in a poultry project found in Majet, North Shewa. I was bringing a range of best chicken breeds from Israel with the intention of changing the lives of the farmers at that specific juncture.
In the same way, I jump-started hatching chicken eggs making use of incubator machines and giving out for farmers living in a range of localities of the area. Apart from teaching farmers about the secret of agricultural farming, I was also putting up for sale eggs and hens. In doing so, I was satisfied a lot with what I had done for Ethiopia. The project which had been supported by the German government had won the attention of the Emperor and thus our success story had enjoyed full coverage of the Daily Addis Zemen Newspaper.
What was the next move?
As the political situation of the country was falling from the frying pan into the fire, the project was made to move to another part of the country. After that, I started working in Health Affairs and Vocational Center found in Hollota Town. As I was a volunteer, I was not made to go back to my country when the first project, where I used to work, was closed down. From time to time, I was acquainting myself with the inside outs of Ethiopians’ cultures. In due course, I was transferred to other African countries. For me, it was easier said than done to reach into a conclusion to leave the country where I lived for years. The decision was bordering on a bitter pill to swallow. It was really difficult to distance myself from Ethiopia.
In due course, as I did not have other options, I headed straight to Togo and began working at GTZ for four years before I moved to Ivory Coast. After that, I headed straight to Congo and served there for seventeen years. I was as well in Sudan and Rwanda from 1992 to 1994. At the time when Tutsi and Hutu were in civil war, I was providing aids for the two countries working hand-in-glove with the government of German. I had closely witnessed the main cause of the genocide in Rwanda and its consequences at that specific juncture.
How do you describe the civil war in Rwanda at that point like?
For me, talking about the genocide which took place between Hutu and Tutsi is bordering on licking a wound. At that moment, the situation was heartbreaking. I would say, it was a time that I witnessed the evilness of a human being. Quite a lot of people had lost their lives on account of the civil war. Moreover, I would say, it is the time that most people had witnessed the outcome of civil war. I have the nerve to say people themselves were not the cause of the civil war.
To the best of my knowledge, the major reason of the civil war was language and political ideology. There was misunderstanding between francophone and Anglophone language speakers at that specific point. Moreover, except living in harmony there was no grudge between Hutu and Tutsi peoples. To be honest, I personally had witnessed the interference of Europeans in Africa for the most part in Rwanda. Even worse, the hand of some countries had played a major role in developing grudge and hatred between Hutu and Tutsi.
Tell us about the image Ethiopia had during the Emperor regime.
During the Emperor regime, the population of Ethiopia was about 17,000,000. The people were God-fearing and considerate. From top to bottom, they were indescribable. Every so often, the whole thing concerning Ethiopia comes in and out of my mind predominantly the gentleness and greatness of Ethiopians, Ethiopia’s culture, norm and what not. They are unique ones and unparallel. The invasion of Italy had hindered Ethiopia from moving to a new chapter of success almost immediately. Therefore, it was the time that the Emperor was struggling day in and day out to take Ethiopia to the pinnacle of development.
In the past, I was excellent at Amharic language but because of my advanced age, I fail to remember the language to some extent. To be honest, I am still familiar with some Amharic phrases used in greetings. By the way, I adore Ethiopians’ smile and kindness.
What is your reflection on the current Ethiopia?
It is entirely difficult to compare Ethiopia with other countries’ culture, religion and history by any means. It is incomparable as Ethiopia has a long history of culture, norm and what have you. The other thing is the country’s cultures and other related aspects are ancient ones. Those who live around the countryside have a great respect for others and themselves. Ethiopia is heading in the avenue of socioeconomic pickup. Today’s Ethiopia is entirely different. The country is heading in the right direction. It is being changed over and over again. The population of Ethiopia has increased at this point. To my mind, even though the country is heading in the right direction, we cannot conclude the change is to the required level. If Ethiopia and other African countries would like to grow fast and catch up with the affluent nations, they have to work hand-in-glove. A bit remains in the picture Ethiopia cuts at the present time in the global arena as everything changes fast worldwide.
As far as I am concerned, it is impossible to continue without suffering cultural pollution. Ethiopia that I knew in the past and now is incomparable. I have not find Ethiopia in the place where it was decades ago. Some of the cultures are subject to cultural pollution. Without a shadow of doubt, the whole lot changes in the world. Unless proper care is taken, cultures will be subject to cultural pollution with no trouble. The bottleneck which drags Ethiopia and other African countries is neo-colonialism.
What piece of advice would you give to a person who would like to be as hard working as you?
As I understand the value of work, I work day in and day out. I always work with passion with the aim of changing the lives of others and materialize their dreams. We should give due weight and attention to hard work. Unless we work hard, we cannot achieve the desired goal. While we are in the subject, as I have lived in Africa for fifty years, I have realized the value of peace more than anything under the sun. The reason why Africa stays behind civilization is because of its leaders and their followers who do not understand the value of this reality. In my opinion, if it possible to make stronger unity by parry external influences, it is possible to reach to a new level of success in the shortest time possible.
At the moment, I live in a small village found in Rwanda. I do the whole thing which I think can transform the mental capacity of people. After I get retired, I do not want to get myself involved in my own business. I have worked all my born days. Everyone should have the same feelings, ideas and thoughts on the subject of work. My age is advancing at the present time. I would like to live ten to fifteen years before I go to meet my maker. I would like to spend the rest of my life in Africa.
Why did you put on a cap bearing the picture of Emperor Haile Selassie?
As I have tried to mention so far, I have a strong love for Ethiopia. I cherish for Ethiopia with all my heart. Ethiopia is unique in terms of culture, norms and patriotism. At some stage in my stay in Ethiopia, I had once the opportunity to meet the Emperor. I bumped into him in a certain agricultural exhibition which was organized by our project. He was charismatic and considerate. He loved his people very much. He was a big king. The emperor loved talking about his country. At the time when he had visited German, he was welcomed by several people, next to Queen Elisabeth. More to the point, he had struggled a lot to let Ethiopia embark on a new journey of success in terms of infrastructural facilities and education. I believe he had done a great job for his motherland.
BY ADDISALEM MULAT
Nobody denies the fact that Ethiopia possesses a range of traditional clothes worn by all Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia on various occasions. Ethiopians put on various traditional clothes at some stage in religious holidays, wedding ceremonies, birthday parties, graduations, memorial parties, funeral processions and so forth.
Most people across Ethiopia go to an assortment of market places with the intention of buying traditional clothes for the most part during religious holidays such as Ethiopian New Year, Eastern holiday, Christmas, Epiphany,the Finding of True Cross and what not. More often than not, most Ethiopians adore themselves head to foot in attention-grabbing traditional clothes from time to time.
This writer headed straight to Sholla Market with the purpose of figuring out what the traditional clothes market at some point in the Eastern holiday like. The left, right and center of the market were bedecked with different goods used as an input for giving color for the holiday. The market was thronged by quite a lot of people from various corners of Addis Ababa.
During my stay in the market, I stumbled upon Rahel Feleke who was going to try traditional clothes on in a certain shop found in the heart of Sholla Market. I approached to have her feelings, ideas and thoughts regarding the various Ethiopian traditional clothes worn on different occasions.
“I have a weakness for traditional clothes. More often than not, I buy dresses for my daughters and myself from Shiro Meda and Sholla Market. We all are keen on wearing traditional clothes during religious holidays. To be honest, I purchase traditional dresses for my children once or twice a year particularly during Ethiopian New Year and Eastern. Above and beyond, my daughters are crazy about wearing Ethiopian traditional clothes over and over again. By the same token, whenever we visit our near and distant relatives mainly during religious holidays, we put on traditional clothes. In terms of beauty, the traditional clothes are turning out to be attention grabbing at the present time,” she said.
“Some time ago, there were no many people who wear Ethiopian traditional clothes. Nowadays, the traditional clothes are growing to be the number one choice for most Ethiopians irrespective of age and sex. At some stage in the celebration of Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities and People’s day, most students would like to wear Ethiopian Traditional clothes given that they are proud of their cultures,” she added.
This writer as well came across Almaz around traditional clothes shop and posed the same question.
“The traditional clothes cost an arm and a leg. Today, I came here with the purpose of buying traditional clothes but as a result of the sky-rocketing price I am going to change my mind. Although, quite a lot of attention-grabbing clothes are available in various shapes and forms in Sholla Market, they are beyond my capacity. But as you can see, people are busy buying traditional clothes for the love of celebrating Eastern. Unless, I put on traditional clothes, I will not feel top of the world. Come what may, I need to wear a new one in the course of the Eastern and other religious holidays. In terms of design, our traditional clothes are different from what we had in the past,” said Almaz.
“I love traditional clothes with all my heart. At this instant, our traditional clothes are turning out to be the choice of most women living in most part of the country. Furthermore, they are being worn by some people living in various parts of the world. This is really a good achievement as our traditional clothes are representation of our identities and cultures. To the best of my knowledge, our traditional clothes should be worn day after day,” she highlighted.
On the morrow this writer headed to Shiro Meda Market for the same purpose. The area was decorated with a range of street vendors who put on the market traditional clothes. As they do not pay tax for the government, they put up for sale with reasonable price. When different religious holidays’ approach, several vendors are seen in the area for the sake of selling traditional clothes. It sometimes encumbers to go from place to place. However, people do not rub their eyes to buy clothes from them considering the fairness of the price. Hence, business persons who put on the market traditional clothes will not grow to be beneficial.
Some people buy traditional clothes from officially authorized sellers as most street vendors put up for sale Netella, flat homemade clothes of cotton.
There were lots of people sitting together around Shiro Meda. They were busy embroidering traditional clothes. They were not interested to talk to anyone. They were not in the position to lend their ears to anyone. All of them were singing songs concentrating on their works. They did not want to be interrupted as they were making an effort to make money in a short time. Most of the clothes shops in the area have been labeled with different numbers and names.
In due course, the writer headed to a certain shop found in the area. This time, he posed a question to Kidist, one of the buyers hunting for clothes around Shiro Meda.
“I am here to buy traditional clothes for my wedding ceremony. Unfortunately, the price is expensive in consequence of the quality and design level of our traditional clothes. If truth be told, there are traditional clothes , sold around the area at a bargain price. As I do not want my wedding clothes for temporary purposes, I am not interested to buy unoriginal ones. I do need my wedding clothes for lifelong memory. Moreover, I do not want to have something which would not add value in my life. The embroideries of traditional clothes, vended on the street, are not original ones and thus I am not interested to buy them for the benefit of saving money,” she said.
She went on to say, the traditional clothes are all thin and durable. On account of the abovementioned reasons and other related aspects, I am not interested to pay money for them. Sadly, most people buy traditional clothes from street vendors considering the fairness of the price. As far as I’m concerned, the government should stand on the side of those who sell original traditional clothes. A lot should be done in terms of producing business persons, who give due weight and attention to original traditional clothes.
The Shiro Meda area was busy. People from different corners of Addis Ababa and its environs and other areas were constantly coming to the area. But currently, the area is not as busy as it was before. Business was not as usual in the area.
When I was at a loss what to do, I headed straight to a certain traditional clothes shop with a view to figuring out the reason behind.
“Traditional clothes shops are opened in every nook and cranny of the capital. What is more, Some countries have got itself involved in the business coming machines. Our traditional clothes are handmade while theirs is machine made. In terms of quality, Ethiopian traditional clothes prove unparalleled. I would say, this reality on the ground has distanced our customers from the area given that they can find different cloths reasonably, said Afework an owner of a shop.
According to Afework, the least price of traditional clothes around Shiro Meda is 500 Birr while the biggest price is 4000 Birr. I have the nerve to say, the price of our traditional clothes are expensive as the quality level of our fabric, thread and other inputs cost an arm and a leg. Moreover, organizations that provide inputs are limited in number. It is as well difficult to find inputs when the need arises. The government should make the business in the area attractive by raising awareness concerning the tight spot. Quality and price are different things. People should be able to understand the uniqueness of Ethiopian original traditional clothes.
“The original ones which attract the attention of everyone could be remade in any shape and form whatever happenes. More to the point, they are durable and long-lasting. Above all, everyone should give priority to quality. We should be able to give priority to our cultures and assets,” he concluded.
BY ADDISALEM MULAT
From cold shoulders
And many a rejection,
Resilient, I throw
My full weight
What me await
In the storeroom
By Alem Hailu
The Federal Urban Job Creation and Food Security Agency has been designing a range of strategies with a view to providing food security for the poor focusing on Small and Micro Enterprises(SMEs) through growth based assistance. This in turn promotes the culture of saving and creating several job opportunities for the unemployed segment of the society.
Aside from creating job opportunities, the Agency has been working on providing food security for the disadvantaged segment of the society based on strategies set in the second Growth and Transformation Plan.
According to Asefa Ferede, Public Relation Head of Federal Urban Creation and Food Security Agency, over the past two and a half years, parallel to providing food security and capacity building, the Agency has been harvesting the fruit of success in creating job opportunities every so often.
“Based on the set strategies a range of platforms had been staged over and over again with the intention of motivating the youths in addition to facilitating a comfortable environment which help them run their own businesses. Moreover, the Agency provides them with a range of effective trainings which help them achieve the desired goal,” he added.
Likewise, the Agency had planned to register 2,100,000 unemployed citizens. Of these, it has registered 940,269 Males and 802,802 females. All in all, 1,743,071 unemployed citizens have been registered. In other words, 1,743,071 citizens have been registered accomplishing 83% of the set plan. Among them, 61,400 citizens were graduates from various universities while 128,248 were graduates from Technical and Vocational Education and Training. Among 189,648 registered jobless citizens, 70% of them were youngsters.
By the same token, jobs offered in construction, urban agriculture, service sector, business sector and micro manufacturing prove to be 101.62 %, 60%, 120.8%, 87.69% and 78.17% in that order. This being the case, the agency has performed 90.91% of the set target.
Assefa said as learnt from reports' of states the fedral government , in the second GDP 1,172,678 citizens were provided with permanent jobs while 453,205 citizens were provided with temporary job opportunities. Among citizens who got job opportunities, 477,598 (40.7%) of them were women. In the budget year, due weight and attention was given to the construction sector. Over the last two years, the sector grew from 15.99% to 17.20%. The Agency has planned to focus on urban agriculture sector down the road.
Amongst the job opportunities created for 1,172,678 citizens, the Oromia State takes 40% of the lion’s share. The Agency believes that it has to work hard with the purpose of giving equal chance of job opportunities for other state cities like Harar, Benishangul, Gambela, among others.
During the Growth and Transformation Plan II (GTP II), it was planned to create job opportunities for 6.1 million people and thus during the half of GTP II, 2,838,195 citizens were provided with job opportunities which is 46.5%.
The huge government project has created job opportunities for 566,338 citizens (139,569(24.66%) temporary and 426,769 (75%) permanent jobs). The number of women who got the jobs was 155,977 (28%). Furthermore, 40,975 citizens got hired with 0 year of work experience apart from creating job opportunities for 16,137 returnee Ethiopian migrants.
As maintained by Asefa, amongst citizens who got job opportunities, 4,423 were disabled citizens. Having planned to create job opportunities for 1,567,575 young citizens, the Agency has created job opportunities for 1,207,872 citizens. Among them, 71,321 of them were women.
“By understanding the problem of unemployment, the Agency has allocated 10 billion Birr to lend for the jobless citizens of the society which help them run their own businesses. Hence, in every state 3,337,983 young jobless citizens have been offered trainings pertaining to their preference of jobs in addition to creating job awareness. What is more,the Agency made an effort to avert challenges such as lack of good governance, corruption and other related aspects,” he concluded.
By Hanna Zerihun
The inflow of local and international tourists in Afar State is soaring up, State's Culture and Tourism Office disclosed.
The State has set a plan to welcome about 5000 foreign tourists and about 15,000 local tourists this fiscal year. But more than five thousand foreign and more than 20 thousand local tourists had visited the state's touristic spots only the past months.
Ahimed Abidulkadir Tourism Growth and Park Development Directorate Director within the office told to EPA 's journalists that, last year, the state had been visited by 4774 foreign and more than 10,000 local tourists. This year too the trend is displaying an upward swing.
From international tourists who visited this tourist destination the past few months alone, the state had managed to collect about 2.1 million Birr precluding what they paid for other services in the place.
In connection with the twelfth Nation and Nationalities Day in the State, the magnificence of the touristic spots of the state was displayed through international and national medias. This is the salient reason to the increment of the number of tourists in the area, as to the director.
According to Ahimed, there is no security-related problem in the state and lots of infrastructural facilities are put in place in connection with Nation, Nationalities and Peoples Day, this also a means for the influx of tourists and income from the sector.
The other reason to the upswing in the number of tourists in Afar resides in the collaboration of Tigrai and Afar states while marking the tourism day, as Ahimed.
It is known that the most active volcano Erta Ale is available in the north eastern state of Afar.
BY GENET FEKADE
Extending a helping hand to the needy, sharing joy during a holiday, such as Easter, and exchanging best wishes are among the salient features that characterize Ethiopians.
Not only faith wise but also across faith, citizens exchange best wishes during festivities accentuating the time-tested considerateness one to another. After all, is it not love, peace and compassion religions ram home?
It is in cognizance of this fact, in connection with Easter, religious leaders of the Christian denomination, citing verses from Bible, called up on citizens to press ahead with the age-old religiosity as well as culture of considerateness and affectionate bond.
Watering such a cohesive bond, the country is marked for, pays. Moreover, it permits citizens to brush aside petty differences and engage in developmental feats, which in turn could strengthen the bond allowing citizens dividends that accrue from the fruit.
Affording citizens the oxygen of peace, mind bent of this nature permits them do miracles and undertake mega projects, like the Grand Renaissance Dam(GERD), deemed unthinkable by a country emerging from a murky past.
The knowledge that they have managed to tackle a mammoth challenge lends impetus to citizens all-out to display an accomplishment, nothing devoid of a miracle.
Clicking with each other enables citizens to parry divisive motives and frown up on those who try to sow the seed of discord. It as well strengthens unity and oneness.
It is from the aforementioned overwhelming sentiment Ethiopia's resilience emanates. After to dos that surfaced recently due to some external factors and internal administrative problems, uneven distribution of wealth, unemployment, among others, the country has managed to recover its tranquility.
On the backwash of the unrest,the country has regained its organic serenity after a consensus was reached through meticulous deliberation among Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front's (EPRDF's) sister organizations.
After ironing out differences the party has come up with a chairman, Dr. Abiy Ahmed. He was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Ethiopia in front of parliamentarians. He has managed to worm his way into the cherished corner of the major segment of society harping on unity and national sentiment, decisive elements for the cohesive bond of a nation.
True to the saying, unity is strength he had hammered home the need to roll up one's sleeve for development joining hands, minds and hearts. Getting out of the box—sheer political rhetoric—he is expected to come up with ministers that walk their talk to satisfy citizens' thirst for action that could turn around their life. All peace and nation loving citizens ,here and abroad, to whom too a call was made to come aboard, must lend the visionary leader all due support.
The call, resonating throughout the country and finding an echo in the hearts of citizens, has helped in settling the dust stirred by the recent unrest.
Religious leaders, who have been sensitizing citizens and the incumbent to see to reason and mobilizing the laity for prayers, have played quite a role in returning the much-sought-after quiet. Often, religious leaders hammer home love, unity, peace and development. It sure is good to let these decisive ingredients of life sink in. It is exactly these ideas public conferences held recently amplified. There is no gainsaying that occasionally conducting such conferences will play a great role in warding off possible unrest.
Down the road, nurturing unity in diversity, Ethiopia, home to over 80 ethnic groups, has to ensure its Renaissance. Further expanding the political terrain, ensuring across the board distribution of wealth, arresting rent seeking mind bent and mobilizing citizens behind the fate-changing move of doing better than one's best, it should join the ranks of middle income countries.
Over the past few years there has been a wave of special dynamism in Ethiopian society conducted mainly by youths. The country is itself in a process of continuous and vigorous growth and with new frontiers, new needs, new expectations, new hopes are emerging, arising and it appears that the dictum ‘the appetite comes while eating’ can be referred as applicable here. The more growth the country is recording, the more the expectations of those not feeling particularly included or privileged in the distribution of the pie.
It is natural that the expanding economy does bring a lot of direct and indirect benefits to the society at large. It empowers all those who are employed in one way or another in the new opportunities available, and these have incomes that they can again inject in the economy by taking part in all sorts of transactions.
With a population of more than a hundred million, the potential for growth and expansion for Ethiopia is huge and if this country continues to grow at the current pace for years on end, the chances that the GDP will catch up with the big economies of Africa will be more probable. Already it has excelled the GDP of several east African countries and the prospects of further new investments are high. No wonder Ethiopia has been listed among the most coveted destinations of FDI in the year 2017.
_Labour is cheap as compared to several other countries. The infrastructure is being expanded to suit the tastes and needs of the investors. Energy is available at cheap prices. It fulfills the requirements of many companies that are committed to avoid pollution as they want to portray themselves as not contributing to the disastrous climate change experienced in many countries. It is an environment friendly energy; it is clean. Ethiopia has been developing solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy and hydropower.
But the issue often raised is that not everybody has been benefiting equally from such condition. This means that there is a disproportionate distribution of the dividends of the economic expansion. Those who felt excluded felt that the system has failed them somewhere and that there must be something to be rectified. Hence they began to raise their voices in protest.
All promising endeavours mentioned are bound to halt or get derailed if there are no conditions of stability and peace that allows for everyone to plan on a long term basis and act accordingly. Stability is a ‘sine qua non condition’ for any kind of prospects.
Any business venture or industrial investment needs to count on stability and peace; and uncertainty of leadership and doubts whether there is continuity and stability in the establishment creates anxiety and blocks any expansion with more and more risks.
_With the kind of growth that the country has been experiencing in the past years and with uncertainty bound to affect it negatively, the attention of investors could shift elsewhere. That is why any form of protests, be it peaceful or otherwise is bound to affect the mentality and plans of future investors. That was what the new prime minister underlined during his inaugural speech.
As much as investors loathe bureaucratic red tape and corrupt practices, they also abhor any form of uncertainty and unpredictability of government. That is where many professionals of the trade recommend the new leadership to tackle in earnest.
No investor wants to risk their millions of dollars to be nationalized if a populist government takes over a democratic and accountable one for the sake of satisfying the grievances of the public or the constituency. _
A democratic government that relies on the confidence of the public and the electorate is hence one of the ideal conditions of investment. A government that had a solid public basis and abides by the rule of the law is the one that inspires confidence on investors. Only then are they willing to risk their money in favour of such socio-political conditions. And here is where the people’s hopes are rekindled with the new leadership.
With the new leadership inviting everyone to come on board and work hard, the chances of success are more than probable than otherwise. A new confident leadership appears to be taking on the zenith of power with full legitimacy and this can only be an inspiration for all those who have been in the process of contemplating only disappointment and exclusion.
Ethiopia has been under the leadership of a coalition of political parties under the umbrella of EPRDF. This system has established itself solidly and been having some fortunes without disregarding a few misfortunes particularly lately in the eyes of the public.
There is a new enthusiasm with the new leadership that seems to involve practically everyone and the focus of the new prime minister has been his insistence on unity and tackling the problems of the country in unison despite any eventual differences in approach and strategy. His belief that for him there are no enemies when it comes to criticizing the government or the system for a common good, that appears to be a real paradigm shift when you compare it with the older ways of perceiving political adversaries.
The new leader argues the country belongs to all Ethiopians and there are no privileged few nor discriminations for any reason whatsoever.
After twenty seven years, it would not be a scandal if people feel some sort of weariness on the part of both the rulers as well as the ruled and the conditions on the ground have become too complicated and complex to be taken care of by a single party particularly if it does not accept certain suggestions or recommendations.
New technological breakthroughs have changed the way government operates. Newly born and grown up intellectuals have a new idea of how the system must change to accommodate the new demands of a growing and changing population. EPRDF needed to reform, completely changing leadership style and method or else it was conscious that it would risk being outsmarted.
_There is a need to acknowledge the metamorphosis of the society in act and the need to adapt by the leadership. That is what has been witnessed in the past few years. New leadership emerging in all parties means new movements are in play. New experiences are sought. With new challenges, new minds with prompt responses are required. The generation of Dr. Abiy Ahmed appears to be a natural consequence of a popular movement that needs to take the reigns of power and reform the system.
Indeed the new leader showed how different he could be in the way he perceives government service, power, family values, women, youths, opposition parties, the diaspora, regional and international partners and neighbours. In the all-encompassing speech he made to parliament, he showed a first taste of what he is made of and how he portrays his country whose name he called about thirty times in one speech alone. This is unprecedented. His appeal appears to have rung bells in every Ethiopian and such reawakening was something that everyone seemed to long for.
He invited everyone aboard to navigate the ship and focused on the prime idea of unity and not division. His invitation for a search to the solutions of the country’s problems using clear communication channels, reasoning, based on principles prospected optimism rather than skepticism and cynicism.
The youthful vigour of the new prime minster and his pedigree has created a sense of hope for the future and may be the country could now embark into a new chapter.
He asked permission to indulge into his family affairs thanking his mother along with all mothers and depicting Ethiopia as the mother of all. It was a really emotional and powerful speech and many observed that if such vigour is introduced to the National Palace, we can expect real changes in the coming months and years. The ruling coalition may have regained its seemingly precarious position in the hearts of millions.
_The reactions of those who are engaged in criticizing the government have been mixed. Some invited the new prime minister to be given ample time to process his thoughts and implement them while others expressed their doubts that he being a part and parcel of the system, there could be little hope of change unless there is put in place a real structural change in the system. To cite a few instances, they advocated for the establishment of new, independent institutions and agencies.
Undoubtedly change is in the making and there are no reservations about it because this is the first time that a peaceful transition of power has been experienced in our country. The world has noted it and underlined it. What is more, it all happened with smiles and hugs and such beginning can only be taken as a new chapter in our history.
Many remark that Dr Abiy Ahmed is an embodiment of a new generation of leaders. His invitation to all to work with him for a common objective could be taken as a landmark beginning to tackle all the problems of the nation with an open mind, without any prejudice and preconditions.
BY Fitsum Getachew