One of the fundamental roles of civil society organizations is ensuring the well being of the society. This is particularly true for those emerging economies that have got social, political and economic challenges.
The role of societies and charities has proven that they have a crucial role to provide support for those vulnerable and marginalized members of society. But this could only happen if they are organized with a genuine vision of helping the society than becoming the instrument for other purposes.
What is more is that they need to be active all the time. Their roles should not be limited by certain events. They should not be seasonal.
Social protection, especially rights of citizens is not a onetime agenda. It needs 365 days effort. It is necessary to ensure social protection policies, programs and implementation thereof resonate well with the principles, rights and obligations outlined in, for example, binding international conventions, national legislation and jurisprudence.
Furthermore, civil society organizations have the important function of holding state actors accountable through activities such as exerting pressure on political decision makers and court action if their efforts do not comply with expected standards.
Here, it must be noted that the strength or the weakness of charities or civil societies will depend up on the type of political structure that the country follows and the commitment of charities and societies towards the rights of the society. Whenever there are strong charities and civil societies there is strong protection of rights.
According to the Federal Charities and Societies Agency, Communication Director, Mesifin Tadesse, societies and charity organizations are not playing enough roles to protect the rights of communities, noting that there are about 3,360 charitable associations and about 200 of them are register in every year in Ethiopia.
As to him, charity organizations have a responsibility to participate in activities that ensure rights of their members and community right. “Charity organizations should work aggressively to ensure democratic rights and developmental activities. In this regard, both charity organizations and societies are not effective.”
Beyond assuring members right by addressing communities’ problem, they need to exercise their power by protecting rights through respecting country's law, said the Director.
Mesifin explained that some associations are not strong enough to respond the needs of their members. Youth and women leagues are good examples in this regard. They are weak to participate warmly and communicate enough within their community to protect members rights and advantages.
He said that several laws, policies and other systems are designed to protect public right. Therefore, societies should play a leading role by raising basic questions such as good governance and rights of citizens.
The Director also said that, the Agency is working closely with charities and civil societies. Regarding transformation on the society, there is no detailed research conducted so far. But the current finding of the Agency shows that it is on the better position.
The director added that, the international and local charity organizations are bringing better changes in the community on capacity building and other socioeconomic issues. Specially, they are taking parts in areas that are not touched by the government.
BY GENET FEKADE
Causes, solutions of illegal migration
Human migration has been practiced for many centuries. People may move from place to place for seeking temporary or permanent settlement. The migration may be undertaken within the boarder of the nation or outside of it.
Within the country, it could be from rural to urban areas or via versa, from one region to another region. The other migration scenario is performed from the country of origin to another country. Such migration is caused due to many reasons including seeking employment, asylum and other basic needs.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) 2016 report, the number of refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people has reached 65 million worldwide.
When we see the case of Ethiopia, there is both internal and border crossing migration incidents. What makes the situation worse is that illegal migration and human trafficking activities are in higher scale at this time.
Though the government has designed anti-human trafficking laws, it could not be implemented properly. Consequently, human traffickers and agents could not be penalized and as a result many Ethiopians have been losing their precious life and property.
Illegal migration is common in every corner of Ethiopia. Most people from the southern and central Ethiopia has a trend of migrating to South Africa while the people who live in the northern part of the country usually migrate to Middle East countries mostly to Saudi Arabia.
According to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, 15,000 citizens migrate to Saudi Arabia every month illegally. In this case, Tigray state, especially the Eastern Zone is known in migrating to Middle East illegally. The state has the highest illegal migration prevalence in Ethiopia. Adigrat University 2016 research report indicates that more than 200,000 people migrate to Saudi Arabia from only two Woredas or local districts within 3 months.
Researcher Tesfay Kinfe told The Ethiopian Herald that unemployment, underemployment, low salaries, lack of land and capital and maladministration are the major pushing factors forced the youth to abandon his family and homeland seeking better life.
‘‘The problem of illegal migration is causing social and economic burdens. Since the youth chooses migration as best option: children, women and elderly are being obliged to live without any supporter. This created negative impact, especially in the agriculture sector. Saesietsada Emaba and Atsbi Woreda are the most vulnerable areas in the state,’’ he identified.
The researcher states that most of the migrants are youths who are high school and university graduates. “Hundreds of thousands of students graduate from public and private universities every year. But the job opportunity to accommodate them is highly limited,’’ he said, adding ‘‘Their families expect them a lot. They believe their children would lift them out of abject poverty. However, all expectations may not be materialized and this causes anxiety, hopelessness and frustration among the graduates.’’
Another motivating factor is witnessing the success of the families who sent their son, daughter or family member abroad. The community observes their neighbors send money, clothes and other goods and they feel resentful. Thus, they initiated to send their children or family member selling their cattle, jewelry or any other property.
Kibrom Tewelde was born in eastern part of Tigray, in a town known as Edaga Hamus. He was jailed in Saudi Arabia for months due to entering the country illegally. But he was freed when Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed paid official visit to the country and held discussion with Saudi officials. Now he has returned to his homeland.
‘‘I don’t want to remember it. It was extremely risky journey. You can see people dying of dehydration and disease. But what makes our journey heartbreaking is that our expectation may not be materialized even if we reach our destination in a very difficult situation,’’ he notes.
Kibrom and his friends were jobless for almost a year. They have been supported by relatives and friends who live there.
‘‘Life in Saudi was harsh. The weather condition, food, language and way of life was challenging for strangers like us. But the most challenging task was getting employment.’’
After spending disappointing time in Saudi, the returnee is optimistic about his future. He hopes that the government will support them to create their own business.
Besides, he urges his fellow country men and women not to risk their life for unattainable goal. He advised them to work in their country or to migrate legally.
‘‘If you enter ones country illegally, you would face deportation, imprisonment and other dangerous consequences. So, let your journey legal and safe,’’ he insisted.
Meanwhile, Wollo, a province in Amhara state is one of the most affected areas in the country. The recent Wollo University study on migration shows that many youths make their desperate journey to Middle East.
Even though awareness creation activities are being undertaken intensively, the problem could not be stopped. Consequently, it has caused social and economic damages.
Ethiopia has young demographic base. About 70 percent of its population is under the age of 30 years. This young and energetic part of society would be driving force for economic growth of the nation.
However, the respondents and researchers say that the government, non-governmental organizations and stakeholders should work in collaboration in empowering the youth. Hence, illegal migration should be tackled.
As well, the government should tighten measures on human traffickers, agents and those who involve in illegal migration. If so, the second populous nation in Africa would realize its dream of becoming middle income country by 2025.
BY TSEGAY HAGOS
Today’s guest is Wassihun Teffera. He is an inventor. He was born and raised in Goljota village, Arsi Negele, West Arsi, Oromia State. At this point in time, he is a second year Electro Mechanical Engineering student at Addis Ababa Science and Technology University (AASTU) found around Akaky Kaliti, Kilinto area. He is a member and founder of the Koket Group. He pursued primary and secondary education at his place of birth and Arsi Negele in that order.
Likewise, he is winning the hearts and minds of most people through his ground-breaking innovative works. When the innovator’s works come into effect, they will undoubtedly take the country to a new chapter of success in no time at all. Nobody had expected the innovator would reach where he is in the present day. Most people were in the habit of pouring cold water on his efforts. They were constantly giving him the cold shoulder including his parents.
Considering Wassihun’s great achievements in his world-shattering innovative works, he had been showered with a range of gold medals for three consecutive years from the Ministry of Science and Technology. Hence, he grew to be the talk of most people and high government officials within the shortest time possible. Time and again, he comes up with a range of innovative works which make the lives of the general public simpler and smarter. Just to mention a few, control smart home devices, smart lamp switch, digital stove, multipurpose oven, modern plastic road, different software applications and what not.
The Ethiopian Herald had a short stay with Wassihun Teffera with a view to acquainting readers with his world-shattering innovative works. Excerpts:
How did you get yourself involved in invention works?
As a child, I was dreaming of becoming a different person. I was dreaming of becoming an inventor. Over and over again, the idea was coming in and out of my mind. At that specific point, whenever I informed my friends a kind of apparatus I would like to invent down the road, they did not easily understand me.
Therefore, all my efforts went for nothing. Some time ago, as there was no electricity in our area, most radios were battery operated. As a child, whenever we talked about radio, my friends informed me the fact that there were people in the radio speaker. I was always eager to see the people.
At some point, before a cock crows, my dad left the house. In a little while, I embarked on unscrewing the radio. The radio was infested with cockroaches. But I could not find a single person in the left, right and center of the radio except loud speaker, transistors, tuning capacitor, long wave-medium wave switch, audio transformers, volume control, battery compartment and what have you. Nobody was around.
In due course, I failed to assemble the radio. I did not know what I had to do. I felt as if the whole sky was falling apart on me. I felt like a fish out of water. At first, I thought I could do everything standing on my head.
However, no matter how hard I made an effort, my dream could not come true. We were living a hand to mouth life. At the end of the day, when I directly applied electricity to the radio devoid of the knowledge of power basic management, it all of a sudden stopped working. In fact, I did not have an inkling of idea about the dos and don’ts of the radio. Thus, all my efforts went astray.
Flipping back to the gist, when I was a ninth grader, I set in motion actively engaging myself in invention works. As I have tried to mention so far, there was no electricity in our vicinity. Just then, I was using my own light bulb. It was my invention. I had my own power source, power supply, among others. For me, it was not a big deal. As invention was my hobby, I did not place much emphasis on my work values.
Tell us about chapter and verse of your first invention works.
As I was excellent at invention works, I was harvesting the fruit of success from time to time. As chance would have it, I put on show my first work in Arsi Negele concerning the celebration of the Anniversary of May 28.
At that specific juncture, I came up with thirteen models or so. It was held at Technical and Vocational Education and Training center. There was Innovative Center Members in the workshop. When I asked the teacher responsible for the center to allow me to join the center, he was not in the position to lend me his ears. He simply turned a deaf ear. Though I boldly told him the fact that I could do anything he wanted, he gave me the cold shoulder. He considered me as a good-for-nothing person.
Someday, I designed a free power system in a piece of paper and showed the teacher. This time, the teacher mockingly and sarcastically said, “You are a wonderful student. Nobody can keep abreast of you.”
He made me a laughing stock. Nobody was on my side. He really made me feel small in this regard. I was not desperate for invention works no matter what the cost may be. I was constantly badgering the teacher. I did not easily give up hope.
At a loss what to do, the teacher ordered me to make a mini saw. I almost immediately made the saw because making the saw for me was bordering on a walk in the park.
Though the teacher could not believe his eyes, he was not willing to forward his appreciation. As a devoted student, I kept on spending my time in the library. As luck would have it, through hard work and determination, I made a stove.
How did the idea of making stove spring to your mind?
At some point, when I came within reach of a stove, it was very warm. After a long fight with my thoughts, I reached into a conclusion to make stove bringing into play a cartoon box. The stove was able to make a cake in 23 minutes time.
Moreover, it was possible to boil water on the stove in a short time. I grew to be the talk of all and sundry. All our teachers were taken by surprise.
Sooner or later, I joined the innovative Center Members with the purpose of making my dream become a reality. Except accepting the reality on the ground willy-nilly, the teacher could not utter a word. Everyone had full confidence in me.
Slowly but surely, I set in motion winning the hearts and minds of most people. I am not a money-oriented person. Everybody was fully interested in my presentation. To be quite honest, there is nothing which makes me happier than coming up with inventive works. My second work was known as control smart home devices.
What is all about control smart home devices?
As I bend over backwards time and again, I came up with smart home devices. When I was a high school student, I came up with inventive works. In plain language, if somebody in one’s absence comes home, the device can easily sends information about the person using one’s cell phone in the blink of an eye.
The only thing that we do is, we plant a certain small device somewhere in one’s residential house. The device has got its own box comprising a range of things.
Be that as it may, I discovered a wireless power transmission. That means, electrical energy can be conducted from a power source to an electrical load devoid of interconnecting wires. Without exaggeration, it plays a major role in the place where linking wires are problematic, perilous and the like.
Do people encourage you to succeed?
Every so often, most Ethiopian high government officials encourage me. Everybody is happy at the moment. They believe in my innovative ability. When I was a high school student, Shiferaw Shigute, the former Ministry of Education came to see my work. After he saw the whole thing he forwarded his respect and appreciation. As well, he told me the fact that I would be a great man within the shortest time possible if I keep on working at that pace.
When, why and how did you establish Koket group?
I am founder and managing member of Koket group. By the way, in Afaan Oromoo language, Ko means mine and Ket means yours. Koket is officially established in 2018. The intended target of the association is to manufacture a range of machines in the country.
Moreover, it produces and puts up for sale a range of software applications. At the moment, we can design different machines with no trouble. We can do anything which could be done abroad. We can also design soft wares with no trouble.
At this point in time, all my efforts are bearing fruit. In the same way, we manufacture oven with a fair and reasonable price. Everything is at our doorstep.
While we are on the subject, I would like to compete with Samsung and LG Companies. I am fully confident in myself. I can do anything under the sun with no trouble. I have passed through many ups and downs to reach where I am today.
In fact, we design the stove for low-income-communities. We would like to make the lives of the general public simpler and smarter. Similarly, we can manufacture smart lamp switch.
For instance, if we go somewhere leaving switch light bulbs, televisions, stoves and other related aspects off, we can turn them off wherever we are without a distance barrier.
In this invention, we can win the hearts and minds of anyone in a jiffy. As we are living in the modern world, we can control everything as we wish. Everything is at our doorstep.
What other benefits do we secure out of the inventions?
We secure a lot of advantages out of the inventions. To elaborate, the country does not have an adequate amount of electric power.
In reality, electricity has been used in various government organizations. More often than not, most of them are not seen turning light bulbs off. Wastages are being witnessed in this regard.
However, if we apply smart lamp switch technologies in every nook and cranny of the country, we can minimize wastage. The invention is reliable and durable. In this fashion, we can achieve the intended target at the drop of a hat.
What about the plastic road?
We make asphalt roads out of plastics. We do a great job out of used plastics. If we take as an example, plastics have been spoiling the environment we live in from time to time.
By its very nature, we do not import asphalted road from aboard. But bringing into play used plastics, we can build attention-grabbing asphalt roads. For asphalt roads construction, we grind used plastics. This time, they turn out to be very tiny. Then, we melt small ingredients as they can carry a heavy load when they all come together.
As a matter of fact, there are techniques in which we do asphalt road. Nothing can affect plastic roads seeing that they are better than the normal asphalted roads in many ways. For example, if the roads are chipped, we can replace them with original ones.
After we get everything ready, we simply put down the readymade asphalted road on the road intended for this purpose. To be honest, the plastic road can easily melt anybody’s heart. It is very strong.
If the asphalted road is chipped after twenty or so years, one can simply replace them with new ones. To be honest, asphalted roads do not retain water. But cobblestone can retain water without difficulty.
Here, the good thing is, the new technology can have power over everything. That means, the water can easily flow to any direction apart from smoothening the progress of the water system. The whole lot concerning the plastic road is over.
What we do need is only a sponsor at this point. We are hunting for sponsors. If prosperous people work with us, they can easily harvest the fruit of success.
BY ADDISALEM MULAT
Without a shadow of a doubt, people from all walks of life fight back with the purpose of leading a meaningful life. Heartbreakingly, they do not have the faintest idea pertaining to what the future holds for them in store.
Some of them would like to be mega-rich and lead a luxurious life. They do not care a fig for their beloved country as their focus is making money and live a life they love.
What is more is that some people do not care about other things except fattening their pocket at the expense of their compatriots. Quite the opposite, some people work day in day out with the aim of taking their beloved country to the height of accomplishment.
They place much emphasis on their beloved country. They give their all to their place of origin. They love their motherland with all their hearts. Major Girmay Hadigu is among one of them. The way how the great figure joined the music world never cease to amaze this writer. His musical works are housed in the hearts of everyone’s hearts. The great Ethiopian figure left no stone unturned to take Ethiopian music industry to a new episode of achievement. How did he manage to join the music world?
One fine day, people irrespective of sex, age, ethnicity, political viewpoint, and what have you had been flowing to Jan Meda. They all were from the left, right and center of the country with a view to seeing the Kagnew Shaleqa Soldiers off.
The moment was beyond words. All the people got like an electric shock feeling that ran through their complete bodies. To the surprise of many, most people were singing war time songs over and over again. The soldiers were getting themselves ready to leave for Korea with the purpose of putting the last touch on the civil war which took place between South and North Koreans. At that specific point, the historic event had given grace to Emperor Haile Selassie’s regime. Ethiopia’s fame was spreading across the world like wildfire. As the emperor was an influential person in the world, Ethiopia was among the chosen countries to bring to an end the civil war whatever the cost may be.
All the soldiers were ready to leave for Korea courageously. Pertaining to their country, quite a lot of things were coming in and out of their minds. What remained were the farewell wishes and speeches of the emperor.
They all had mixed feelings about the journey. In the long run, the heroic Ethiopian Kagnew Shaleqa peace keeping soldiers arrived at the Red Sea. They were all pleading God for their safe arrival and return.
At that moment, the Eritrean born Major Girmay Hadigu was one of them. He was too young.
When he arrived in Asmara, his birth place, something sprang to his mind- the mandolin, a stringed musical instrument. He loved the musical instrument. It was sent to his older brother from overseas.
The instrument had helped him prevail over a twenty-twenty one day journey by ship. It as well helped him trounce a one year and three months service in Korea. He was in the habit of entertaining the soldiers bringing into play his mandolin. His life was fully subjected to the mandolin.
Nobody could detach Major Girmay Hadigu from Mandoline. They were two sides of the same coin. Little by little, the instrument embarked on revolutionizing his life. He was infinitely happy in this regard. Just then, most people did not have a wee-drop of idea about the instrument. Life was perfect. His life was incomplete and empty devoid of the instrument. He believed in hard work and determination.
In his stay in Korea, Major Girmay Hadigu had acquainted himself with the Piano. Whenever his colleagues went in and out of the dining hall, they were in the habit of touching the string of the mandolin.
They were singing the song entitled “Kalipso Wei Kalipso,” all the time. Everybody was crazy about the music to this point. The music was difficult to understand for Korean women who were working in the dining hall. At a loss what to do, the women set in motion making fun of them saying the instrument did not produce sounds other than “Din” “Din” “Din.”
Despondently, the song entitled “Kalipso” and the instrument, Mandolin, were on the brink of getting out of the market. He developed the musical skill on his own. But he did not know when he would fully get himself acquainted with the general public.
When he returned home after completing the mission, he was assigned as head of Military Officers Club. He did not have another option except accepting the position. But he did not know how to materialize his dream. He was looking forward the day to come.
As ill luck would have it, Major Girmay Hadigu and his assistant ended up in jail in charge of wasting the club’s resources. He did not feel irk. He did not utter a word. He did not give up hope even. Though things were keeping on falling from the frying pan into the fire and missing the intended target, he did not know how to make his dream become a reality.
In a little while, he could not find the way out. He had to wait better days to come. At that point, the Kibure Zebegna Music Troupe was led by Armenians.
After a long fight with his thoughts, he reached into a decision to do something. Nobody had expected that he would come up with an immediate solution. He found it difficult to write lyrics and compose melodies.
He knew very well the fact that the prison was not comfortable for his works. At a loss what to do, he headed straight to the head of the Imperial guard and asked for permission to practice at the day time at Kibur Zebegna hall and return to prison in the evening. After a short time, he was given the go ahead. Almost immediately, he kept on practicing and turned out to be a successful person.
Moreover, he had the opportunity to meet the renowned Ethiopians musicians named Colonel Sahele Degoga. As his lucky stars were with him, he got the chance of working as a vocalist in no time at all. To the surprise of many, Major Girmay Hadigu and Colonel Sahele Degoga began harvesting the fruit of success in a little while.
In the same way, he had also written song lyrics to vocalists Tilahun Gesesse, Buzunesh Bekele, Tefera Kassa, Tezera Haile Michael, Mohamed Ahmed and what not. Their works are still in the hearts of the general public. Everybody loves their songs as they revolve around a range of societal issues. Through his astounding works, he had won the hearts and minds of everyone in a little while.
Similarly, it is said that the major had helped Aster Aweke in different ways at the time she was in Shebele Music Band.
However, most people do not know the fact that he is the secret behind most vocalists’ success and the father of modern Ethiopian music. He was among one of the unsung heroes who shaped the modern Ethiopian music.
More to the point, he had composed a number of melodies for most singers apart from teaching vocal exercise and other related aspects. Without exaggeration, he knew the nuts and bolts of music.
Once the honorable Dr. Tilahun Gessess said, Major Girmay Hadigu was the man who had taken the Kibur Zebegna music to the pinnacle of success. He was an engine for the modern Ethiopian music.
Beyond this, Major Girmay Hadigu had once been thrown into prison because of the lyrics he had written related to Asmara. Even worse, he nearly had escaped death.
Hence, his mother managed to send him to Addis Ababa. At the time when the emperor’s power was in danger, he resigned from the Kibur Zebegna and joined the Hager Fiker Theatre.
Major Girmay had spent most of his life singing spiritual songs in the Ethiopian Mekane Yesus Church. He shifted to the spiritual world with the aim of praising God for He gave him the power and made the whole thing for him. He had played quite a lot of spiritual songs.
According to his son, Getayawuqal his dad had served for quite a lot of years. He was in the habit of giving more value to church services. He loved his profession more than anything in this world.
Above and beyond, he had produced a number of church musicians including his son, Getayawuqal. At this point in time, his son, Geta Yawiqal is a famous singer and music composer.
May your heart and soul find peace and comfort! (source real Music)
BY ADDISALEM MULAT
What Shall I Be?
Shall I be a chameleon?
In a way that
Makes observers sick,
Shall I uncunningly
Side the slick?
Shall I optimize my chance
The good or wrong stance
Of who by unfair means
Seized the rein of power
And hence benefits
Will not be loath
On me to shower?
Reflecting my surrounding
Shall I be
As it has become
Nowadays a common thing?
Shall I be an ermine?
Keeping my professional
And self integrity
True to my conscious
To the extent of
Facing an unfolding adverse
Shall I distance
A false witness
On my colleagues
BY Alem Hailu Gebre Kristos
The type of political structure of a given country decides the type of economic system it applied. Following the coming of the military junta into power in 1974 Ethiopian political map was totally shifted and its economic structure was also changed. The previous market led economy was replaced by command system. All private firms were nationalized. Individual capital was limited.
In the final periods of Dergue the command economic structure was also shifted into mixed one. Before the implementation of command economic system there were some private firms that had been operational in the county. However, with the change of political structure they were nationalized and private investors were discouraged from investing their capital.
However, with the downfall of the military regime the economic structure of the country was also changed. The mixed economic system that was started at the dusk of Dergue regime took the place and it gradually pave the way to free market economy system.
With the introduction of market economic system several local and foreign investors were attracted to spend their capital in Ethiopia. Several private firms started to flourish all over the country. This market led situation has created investors an opportunity to gain more profit.
The shift in economic structure has strengthened the national economy in several ways. It has dramatically affected the overall economy of the country. Almost all economic sectors have benefited from it. Job opportunity is created and investment is promoted.
Following the implementation market structure selected economic sectors became open to local and foreign investors. Various big and medium economic sectors which had been under the government were transferred into private investors.
As to Amin Abidela, a member of Ethiopian Economist Association, Policy Research Institute, about 44 governmental firms has privatized until 2015. This has brought change in human resource development and productivity. The implementation of market economic system and privatization has encouraged several investors to spend their capital. It has also created healthy market competition.
He said, in times where the country was guided by command economic system one USD had been exchanged by two ETB. This rate was increased to five birr in the latter periods where market economy took the place.
Dr. Birihanu Deno, lecturer at Addis Ababa University Department of Economics says that the market economy which is implemented in the country for the past two decades has created economical freedom for the private sector. It has also motivated investors. But it does not mean that all the paths of market economy system are smooth and perfect.
Dr. Birhanu also said that, beside the free market system several incentives from the government has attracted private investors to spend their capital in the country Excise free permits, tax holiday, land grant and other factors has encouraged private investors to be more active players of the economy.
At the beginning of GTP II 22,097 local investors with 212.74 billion capitals have got investment license. Out of which 186 projects whose capitals are about 4 billion birr are under construction and about 262 projects with 3.948 billion birr capital have already started production.
For that reason, the introduction of market economy into the country has also positively impacted job opportunity. In addition to local investors the coming of foreign investors has created job opportunity for millions of Ethiopians. According to Aklilu wibet, lecturer of economics at Addis Ababa university, when the country opened its doer for foreign investors FDI has increased and market economy has opened job opportunity for Ethiopians. The FDI is increasing every time and this is a good indicator of the effectiveness of market economy which has increased from 3.27 billion dollar in 2016 into 4.2 billion dollar 2017.
This does not mean that all the paths of market economy are perfect. There are challenges, says Aklilu. “Even if the government has rules and regulations to create comfortable situation for the private sector, there are gaps on implementation. There is no always success without challenge. In order to be successful the private sector has to pass through some challenges.”
Akililu also commented that establishing an institution with a mandate of researching and facilitating necessary conditions for the private sectors is necessary.
BY GENET FEKADE
Research enhancing agricultural productivity
The agricultural sector is the mainstay of the economy. The sector is taken as a springboard towards economic transformation. Besides supporting the industrial sector advancement by providing raw materials, the sector has several advantages to all economic sectors of the growing economy of the country. The presence of fertile land and active working force are some of the opportunities of the sector.
However, the sector is not free from challenges. Absence of proper technology to support the sector is one of the bottlenecks of the sector. Despite its multi-sectored role to the national economy, the sector has been still struggling to increase productivity with poor technology. Traditional way of farming and lack of extensive research activities are some of its challenges.
Most researchers in the area agree that proper investigation and research activities in the rural farming land will reveal a positive result to the sector. Researchers have common stand that proper scientific research activities will increase production and productivity. This is specially true for soil research activities. If this proper research is conducted and the expected result will be register and the country could be self reliant and food security will be ensure.
One of the main goals of Green Development Strategy is the use of improved technology. Several Ethiopian researchers are doing their best to bring about change in the area of agricultural production and productivity. Remarkable results are also being witnessed.
Most researchers and soil scientists agreed that due to the reason that the highland part of the country is exposed to over population its productivity has diminished in that 40 percent of the land has become acidic. They also agree that for the past three decades over population in the highland areas have caused soil degradation. This has influenced the soil to lose its fertility which has decreased productivity.
Senior researcher, Dr. Getachew Agneghu who is currently working at Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) and he is among those researchers who believes the claim that soil fertility is affecting due to overpopulation and unwise use of sol.
He said that due to over use and over cultivation the soil has lost its nutrients. According to him, the original nutrients cannot be replaced by fertilizer. Poor awareness of farmers about farming soil and failure to leave the residual has also put pressure on the soil.
With some exceptions there is no trend to leave the residual in the soil. 85 percent of the remaining is used for animal manure and the reset will be used for construction and other purposes. This has a side effect on soil fertility.
He said that it is a good indication how unwisely the soils are being used believing that Ethiopian scientists and researchers are also responsible in protecting the soil from damage. Research activities have to be done to preserve productivity of the soil.
He indicated that almost 50 percent of agricultural productivity has direct link with soil fertility. When there is fertile soil there is better product.
He stressed that researchers and farmers have to be hand and gloves. One cannot function without the presence of the other. Mutual understanding between the two will reveal positive result.
According to him, agricultural productivity and proper research activities are two sides of a single coin. Whenever there is proper research activity productivity will increase. This is witnessed within the last 15 years. In times where research activities were weak production was poor.
However now, with the increase in research activities productivity has increased. But, this does not mean that we have done our assignment. When we take the experience of other countries we have a lot to do in area of soil fertility and increase productivity. (Translated from Addis Zemen Amharic Daily)
BY LEULSEGED WORKU
Pardon relieves burden. Forgiveness cures hatred. Clemency is a sign of political maturity in a democratic society. Where there is official pardon, there is political coherence. If there is political consistency progress is always inevitable.
Sustainable economy is the other version of peaceful and democratic transition. When peaceful political situation is created, there is always sustainable economic transformation.
As well, healthy economic growth is the product of people’s joint efforts. Democratic society works for common goal. When people develop common interest for their land polarized ideological difference will leave the ground.
However, if one group strives for progresses while the other is for destruction, the smooth functioning of the state will be in question.
It is normal and natural to have varying ideological difference in any politics. But, this difference should not lead to bloodshed. One of the best ways of avoiding future conflict is through dialogue and forgiveness.
The recent move taken by the government is part of this will and commitment to see a new Ethiopia with a new political chapter. And the current pardon and dropping of charges would transform our nation’s infant democracy to another level.
Government’s willingness to release political prisoners and pardoning them is a sign of political maturity and a will to sustain democracy and widening political landscape, sustaining peace and stability and ensuring national consensus.
Inviting opposition parties to practice their political activity peacefully and democratically is an unprecedented milestone in the political history of the nation.
Government and the competing parties should develop the culture of tolerance and they should realize that their ideological diversity should not hamper the country’s rapid economic growth.
As it was mentioned by Oromo Democratic Front (ODF) Chairperson Lencho Leta the wind of hope is blowing across the nation and this initiated him to come home and involve in social, economic and political development of his country.
The other organized political parties should abroad and of course at home, have to follow Lencho’s foot step.
The government is endeavoring a lot to widen the political landscape of the country. Previously outlawed groups like Oromo Democratic Front (ODF) have agreed to undertake their political participation peacefully. This should be lauded as encouraging step towards strong democratization.
The country was in political unrest for some years. Many people were jailed being involved in the destructive protest. However, the ruling party (EPRDF) has identified the causes of the unrest and started to take drastic measures.
The recent moves are likely to durably ease unrest and disturbances which have been affecting the country for the last three years.
In addition to offering pardon for prisoners, the government should design system which could ensure transparency and accountability. It should be noted that lack of good governance, corruption, unemployment and poverty have caused the unrest and internal and external elements have hijacked the legitimate public grievances for their advantage.
Pardoning and dropping charges of notable figures would speed up the economic growth of the nation.
After Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power replacing Hailemariam Desalgen 60 days ago, many achievements have been maintained. The Premier has undertaken states visits which could strengthen bilateral relations and release Ethiopian prisoners. Moreover, his government is striving to enhance demoralization through offering pardon and dropping charges. These moves would be vital for Ethiopia.
Nearly 6,000 prisoners have been released since January. Most were detained for alleged involvement in mass protests that broke out in different parts of the country.
The recent move to release political prisoners, including those under prosecution and those who were convicted, would improve the national consensus and widen the east African country's political platform.
Ethiopia’s relation with world organizations counts decades and is one of the very first countries in the world to join or a founding member of them. History remembers how the late Emperor Haileselassie counted on the power and influenced of the world body, then the League of Nations, and joined it considering a guarantee for the common security and sovereignty of nations.
History also recalls how he was betrayed as it failed to do anything effective to protect Ethiopia from Fascist invasion in 1936. The fervent appeal that the emperor made at the headquarters of League of Nations is still remembered as one of the historical chapters of both the organizations’ frailties and how the world needed something stronger that could restrain the instincts of aggression or expansion of certain arrogant and fascist regimes.
In fact, as he predicted then, there was soon to be other aggressions by the Fascist and Nazi regimes of the 1930s which eventually triggered the devastating World War II and the world plunged into a deep crisis.
Fortunately, Ethiopia got liberated after five years of efforts both in the home front thanks to its brave patriots’ persistent resistance while the exiled emperor exerted all the efforts in the diplomatic front to bring it to the attention.
When things settled and guns stopped roaring, the world needed to contemplate on what to do next and the idea of the United Nations Organisation was born. Ethiopia was a founding member. This body was intended to do away with the errors of the past and be vigilant that never again there would be a ground for any nation to use war as an instrument of foreign policy.
Subsequently, when the world appeared to be immersed in an ideological battle, ‘cold war’, divided into the Capitalist West led by USA and the Socialist East led by Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, USSR, Ethiopia opted to take the neutral stand in the ‘Non Allied Movement’ spearheaded largely by leaders like Yugoslavia’s Marshal Tito, India’s Jawaharlal Nehru, Egypt’s Gamal Abel Nasser and Emperor Haileselassie.
Ethiopia’s active participation among the world community has since been vigorous and exemplary also because it was the only African country that had always remained free of colonial expansion and as such had some leverage wherever it presented itself in the diplomatic sphere.
When the UN was to be active participant of the world’s peace efforts, both in terms of peace making with peace keeping, Ethiopia was among the front runners. In fact, in the early fifties when there was the Korean War, the UN asked Ethiopia to contribute troops to fight along with UN forces and Ethiopia responded positively.
Then the Congo Crisis emerged in the 1960s, again Ethiopia contributed troops to the UN mission. After these two historical efforts by the Ethiopian people and government, the contribution of Ethiopia for world has always been applauded by the UN and other international bodies and the international community has written the name of Ethiopia in golden words.
With the formation of the Organisation of African Unity in Addis Ababa back in 1963, Ethiopia was again among the most active participants of the process along with its leaders and diplomats helping settle the various diversities among the continent’s countries with varying orientations, be it political, cultural or religious. African countries had come from years of colonial dominion and their culture had been some how undermined being replaced to a certain extent by the influence of the alien culture. Portuguese, French, German and English were the imported languages. It was not easy at all to contain the differences of influence and ideology and bring together all of them to one table and agree on what to do to assert Africans’ interest.
Ethiopia’s role in the United Nations endeavours has continued to expand and grow and its troops have been among the most preferred both for their discipline as well as their preparation and courage when there have been moments of combat to keep peace. Its leaders’ contribution in brokering mediation and peace has also been consistent and reliable along the years.
When the other day the United Nations celebrated the seventieth anniversary of the formation of the peacekeepers organisation, Ethiopia was mentioned among the top members of the body and the ceremony held in New York at the headquarters of the organization was very significant.
During the past three decades after the fall of the military junta in 1991, it is evident that Ethiopia has made progress towards not only the alleviation of poverty of its people but also its efforts to advance the causes of democracy. Particularly in the past few months, with a new leadership team at the apex of government, the momentum has reached a new peak and the coming years seem even more promising.
People say the country is in transition and as it tries to come out of the deep holes of poverty and reliance on foreign aid, its contribution to the peace efforts of international bodies such as the UN, the AU, NEPAD and IGAD and the like has however been very significant. Even the leadership of the World Health Organization given to an Ethiopian has its own significance because Ethiopia has demonstrated along the years to be a reliable partner in the world scene.
Given its strategic position along the Red Sea route and very near to the Middle East and of course the core of Africa, Ethiopia’s role cannot be undermined in regional as well as continental power politics. The role its leaders have played beginning with Emperor Haileselassie and then Colonel Mengistu to Meles Zenawi, Hailemariam Dessalegn and now Dr Abiy Ahmed is welcome and appreciated. All these leaders were committed to the cause of African Unity and in one way or another have contributed to the liberation of Africa from foreign dominion. It is in our memory how the late Meles Zenawi was an active campaigner of Africa’s campaign to claim legitimate compensation for the damages the advanced nations caused through what is called climate change: a direct result of the reckless carbon emission to the environment causing havoc in the atmosphere during their drive towards industrialization. The Paris Climate Agreement is one of the results of such efforts. Ethiopia is now cited among the nations that have made tremendous advancement towards developing a clean energy.
The campaign to make the world better and safer is an ongoing process in which every country in the world should take part and some of the huge economies of the world should be prompted to bear their due share of responsibilities and not avoid them. Ethiopia in the meantime will continue to be among the forefront of countries that contribute its fair share in peace making as well as peace keeping under the auspices of well recognized international bodies. It also takes active part in combating international terrorism as well as human trafficking besides of course giving a hand in hosting thousands of refugees who flee war zones and persecutions from places such as neighbouring Eritrea, Somalia and the Sudan.
Hence the role of Ethiopia in international diplomatic circles will continue to flourish even with the new government of Dr. Abiy as he gave it priority in his agenda by visiting the neighbouring countries and then the Arab World.
BY FITSUM GETACHEW
The recent government’s pardoning and dropping of charges of notable figures and inviting previously outlawed political groups would have positive impact in the economic and political development of the nation, despite some concerns, according to scholars.
Civil Service University Lecturer, Haileab Negash speaks to The Ethiopian Herald that the government’s willingness in releasing known figures and inviting groups which were labeled as terrorists would have massive role in widening political scope, sustaining peace and stability and ensuring national consensus.
He adds that forgiveness has been the good culture of Ethiopians and the recent pardoning would have huge importance in creating understanding and consensus among Ethiopians.
‘‘The recent pardon and dropping of charges would transform our nation’s infant democracy to the next level. It could bring Ethiopians together to pursue their common interest,’’ he says, adding ‘‘the government and the opposition should develop the culture of tolerance and they should realize ideological difference should not be an obstacle for our country’s rapid economic growth.’’
Andargachew Tsegie was arrested on 23 June 2014 by the Ethiopian government in collaboration with the Yemeni security forces for being executive member of the outlawed Ginbot 7. However, the Federal Attorney General has offered him pardon as the government’s plan to create new chapter of national consensus and understanding.
Besides, Haileab stresses that the release of political figures like Andargachew would signify the government’s commitment to ease burden of jailing such groups.
‘‘The right groups and our development partners were campaigning for releasing individuals who were labeled as terrorists. Now everyone is freed. We will see what they would say about this good move,’’ he notes.
Moreover, inviting opposition parties to practice their political activity peacefully and democratically will be another millstone in the political history of the nation, according to him.
‘‘The government is endeavoring a lot in widening political scope. Previously outlawed groups like Oromo Democratic Front (ODF) have agreed to undertake their political participation peacefully. This should be lauded as encouraging step towards strong democratization.’’
Besides, ODF Chairperson Lencho Leta insists that the wind of hope is blowing across the nation and this initiated him to come home and involve in social, economic and political development of his country.
‘‘Our part was among those which instituted the federal system. We came back to be part of the ever growing economy and democratization process of our country.’’
Political Science and International Relations Lecturer at Aksum University, Kahsay Gebrehiwot for his part underlines that beyond pardoning prisoners, the government should work its homework.
‘‘The country was in political unrest for almost three years. Many people were jailed being involved in the destructive protest. However, the ruling party (EPRDF) has identified the causes of the unrest and started to take drastic measures,’’ he continues, ‘‘in addition to offering pardon for prisoners, the government should design system which could ensure transparency and accountability. It should be noted that lack of good governance, corruption, unemployment and poverty have been caused the unrest and internal and external elements has hijacked the legitimate public grievances for their advantage’’
He insists that pardoning and dropping charges of notable figures would speed up the economic growth of the nation.
Daniel Gizachew, Law Post Graduate student at Addis Ababa University on the other hand is not convinced with releasing all people who have been convicted of terrorism, murder corruption and other malpractices.
‘‘Of course granting pardon is good. But to whom are we supposed to do it? Does the pardon bring the intended goal? We have to think about these,’’ he argues. He has concerns that it could jeopardize the supremacy of law.
‘‘In my opinion, this would go against the supremacy of law. It looks as if regime change has happened. The constitution should be respected first before we aim at enhancing national consensus. The constitution governs all Ethiopians despite their political, economic and ethnic background. Everyone is below the constitution that was ratified by the nations, nationalities and peoples of the country.’’
According to Daniel firm guideline should be designed which could give clear direction on who should be offered pardon and who should not.
However, he is hopeful in that the recent moves would ease unrests and disturbances which have been affecting the country for the last three years.
‘‘The measures which are being taken would be for good. But to make the rule of law respected, we have to have clear law on pardon,’’ he emphasized.
After Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power replacing Hailemariam Desalgen 60 days ago, many achievements have been gained—release of top political figures being one among these. If the current opportunity could properly be used by the government and competing parties, and the public in general, sustainable peace, harmony and mutual understanding is sure to prevail.
BY TSEGAY HAGOS
ADDIS ABABA-The Housing Development and Administration Agency of Addis Ababa City Administration transferred 2,605 condominium houses to the beneficiaries in a lottery draw held at municipality yesterday. This 12th round house transfer programme has favored women and community members with disabilities.
City Administration Mayor Dirriba Kuma said that the housing development programme is one of the strategies the government uses to minimize socio-economic problems of city’s community. More than 176, 000 houses were built so far and more than 800,000 residents benefited from the programme, he added.
“The city administration is working tirelessly to meet public demands. Hence, more than 132,000 houses are under contraction. And the programmme has created job opportunities for more than 60,000 citizens,” Dirriba said.
Yidinekachew Walelign, Director General at the agency, said that the city administration has been working diligently to provide the rising needs of the residents. “We are laboring to ensure the benefits of our society regardless of possible constraints,” he stated.
Atsede Abay, Deputy Director General of the agency, on her part said that more than 32,000 houses will also be transferred to the beneficiaries after a month.
It can be recalled that on the 11th round, 39,249 condo houses were transferred to the residents.
BY GENET FEKADE
U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, Ambassador Deborah L. Birx told The Ethiopian Herald indicated that a remarkable progress is being witnessed in Ethiopia.
According to her, several anti HIV/AIDS campaigns together with proper utilization of fund to combat the pandemic has helped the country to be a model nation.
“Because of the work we have done in Ethiopia, together with the governments and communities, the investments that we’ve made in community health workers and infrastructure, the number of health centers we’ve built across Ethiopia, both the Global Fund and PEPFAR, we’ve seen remarkable progress in Ethiopia.”
She further said, “Ethiopia is approaching the situation where we call it that they are 'controlling their pandemic.' What do I mean by that? It means that the number of people infected with HIV is beginning to shrink, because of both their prevention and treatment work that we’ve done together with our Global Fund and PEPFAR investments.”
Ambassador Deborah L. Birx indicated that the fund that was allocated to fight the pandemic has hit its target in Ethiopia.
“Ethiopia was one of the countries where largest investments was made by PEPFAR and Global Fund. Those dollars were put to highly effective work. And today, we’re asking the team, the country and the government and communities to really come up with a long-term plan to ensure that the epidemic remains controlled and continues to shrink.”
Ethiopia is poised to answer that for us in sub-Saharan Africa, and so their investments will be utilized in a different way. With all its challenges the economic growth of the country is bearing fruits. This economic growth is not a one way approach. Improved health of the society and prevention measures of pandemics is one way showing progress.
Health related challenges are one of the manifestations of Sub-Saharan African countries. HIV/AIDS is one of these common problems for the region.
BY LEULSEGED WORKU