A huge coffee set with 547 coffee cups is seen at the entrance of the Jimma University stadium, where the 1st round City Forum was held recently at the largest city in south-western Ethiopia, special zone of the Oromia State.
Inside the tents that were setup to host the event, there are even more cultural and traditional reflections of the Oromo culture. Starting from cultural foods, drinks to music, cultural dressings, ornaments and different innovations, the place is crowded with thousands of attendees drawn from over 130 cities, including six neighboring cities.
Berke Tadesse, owner of a cultural restaurant at Nekemte City located at East Wollega Zone of Oromia State is one of the participants who were busy promoting Nekemte’s cultural foods and drinks for attendees. The delicious fiber rich Oromo’s cultural meals includes chechebsa, enchoti, merka, chembo, itttitu among others which are commonly made with bread, butter and meat according to Berke.
Cultural drinks such farso, bukuri, araqee and bokana were also presented for visitors at the event. Breke said: “Forums like this help to promote the culture and traditional assets and heritages of the people as well as strengthening the city to city relationships to share experience and learn from each other.”
Aman Weyu is from Shashamane, a city found in west Arisi Zone of Oromia State. He and his friends have presented the image of Shashamane through art that has attracted many visitors at the event. Their work includes a sculptured and decorated women and men that show cultural dresses and attires of the Shashamane people. Oromo cultural clothing and ornaments and a stick called sike were portrayed in the sculptured art work. According to Aman, Shashamane was founded some 103 years ago and many people do not know the history that Shashamane was named after a famous grocery owner called Shashe. Shashamane means 'Shashae's place' and it was the famous place that people used to meet and greet at the time where there was no means of telephone or technology, he said.
Various innovation works were also part of the show that has reflected the encouraging activities of the youth engaged in innovation and entrepreneurship activities. Most innovative works, include machines and technologies that are used for coffee processing such as coffee collecting and washing simple machines and technologies by innovators from the different cities.
Inspiring and innovative works were awarded and model cities were praised at the five days forum.
Aweke Grima won first place for his innovative work 'Helicopter' at the innovation competition held alongside the forum. He used waste materials and additional electrical equipment to build the flying machine which he attempted to fly at the event attracting the attentions of many.
Accompanied by panel discussions, workshops and research presentations by scholars from Jimma University, the forum saw active participation of the public, while the networking and experience sharing stage enabled participants to express their opinions and reflections on the Oromia Urban Development and Housing Bureau’s work on urban development, investments, job creation and housing.
Mayors and researchers discussed with the public on challenges, developments and opportunities of the Bureau's future urban programs and initiatives with effort to ensure the beneficiary of the youth and residents in making cities clean and green.
According to Dr. Girma Amente, Head of the Bureau, the biennial city forums is not enough for a country like Ethiopia with many developing cities. “The decision made to prepare forums is necessary to bring out small cities at a grassroots level for further urban developmental transformation.”
“The forum was successful in bringing out and promoting all cultures in one, and creating opportunity for business and tourism ties between cities. It was also successful in encouraging innovative works, which shows vibrant participation of the youth and public,” Dr. Girma added.
BY FASICA BERHANE
Education sector on the move
Though Ethiopia’s education sector has been challenged by problems related to quality and accessibility, the country has made commendable effort during the past decade and plus years to ensure quality education at all levels. The government has implemented viable educational programs and strategies that have been evidently successful in enhancing the quality and accessibility of education in the country.
Ethiopia has registered admirable progress in the education sector and the total number of students enrolled in the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education has grown from 10 million decade ago to over 25 million today. The country has also been able to maintain the achievement in the education sector. According to Global Partnership for Ethiopia, the number of grade 4 students achieving basic proficiency in all subjects has increased from 505,000 in 2011 to 792 thousand in 2015.
At the training and workshop session Ministry of Education recently hosted in Adama City of Oromia State, three papers were presented on the performance of Higher Education and its prospects, the performance, challenges and plan of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), and the performance of General Education.
Presenting the paper on the national performance of the General Education, School Reform Program Director with the Ministry, Yohannes Wegaso said that the pre-primary education enrollment rate has showed significant increment and the number of students attending schools have sky rocketed from 4.2 percent in 2001 to 44.4 percent in the 2016/17 fiscal year.
Similarly, the gross enrollment rate of primary education (1-8) surged from 90.7percent in 2007/8 to 107.5 percent in 2015/16. On the other hand, the secondary education gross enrollment rate increased from 38.1percent to 45.7 percent in the aforementioned period.
Concerning Special Needs education, the gross enrollment rate of the primary education has reached to 4.0 percent, and 9,011 students attended class in the 2015/16 fiscal year.
According to the Director, quality education, administrational capacity building, higher education, TVET, improving inner skill, fair general education delivery, and adult’s alternate education are the main priorities of the fifth educational development program. Ministry of Education designed the programs in such a way that it comprises sub-programs and strategies that has enabled to attain success during the past years.
The meticulous intervention to enhance the capacity of teachers, and the learning-teaching process as well as to improve school administration program is widely regarded as the major contributor for the success that has been gained in the general education. Equally, the government’s move to improve teacher’s salary and the in-job trainings and other capacity building programs that has been offered for teachers has also contributed to the success.
Furthermore, the trainings that are offered to science, mathematics and mother tongue language teachers were among the major factors for the accomplishment.
On the other hand, Yohannes noted that the poorly organized gender- inclusive pedagogy and inclusive education capacity building trainings for school managements and shortage of educational trainings framework for pre-primary education officials are mentioned by the research papers as the sector’s major gaps. In addition, gaps in the timely implementation of the recruitment, assignment and leveling manual of school leaders are witnessed in the teachers’ development program.
Regarding quality education improvement program, 172, 453 teachers sit for exams in the 2016/17 fiscal year to obtain school administration licenses from Ministry of Education. Again, the Ministry was able to fully achieve its goal for school inspections and distributed the result for all concerned bodies.
In the case of the four emerging States; namely Afar, Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambela and Ethiopian-Somali, over four million students attended the first and second levels of education. In line with the policy of supporting emerging states, the Ministry has allocated four special supporting professionals in the respective States. Similarly, the Ministry is supporting about 120 educational institutions in the aforementioned States and revising the strategy of farmer’s education.
The Director pointed out that lack of qualified teachers in pre-primary education, the gaps to meet the general school inspection standard as well as low performance in issuing license for teachers in school administration, and low grade students are the issues the research papers identified as the drawbacks of general education.
One of the core issues that were raised by participants was the problem witnessed in assigning appropriate officials at the right position. They claimed that some of the appointment of officials in administration positions did not take merit in to account, and this has caused challenges in the sector.
The participants also argued that university students should be placed in their field of interest; and called on the placement to take in to consideration the students’ choice to better results.
The Ministry identified the education sector’s major problems, and those that rose during the discussion, and make consolidated efforts to ensure quality education whilst expanding accessibility in years to come, Yohannes stated.
BY BETELHEM BEDLU
Ethio-Djibouti ties dates back to ancient times of pre-colonial Eastern Africa. There are abundant records indicating several hundred years of diplomatic history between kingdoms and sultanates of the two states and much of that long history of bilateral relations has been characterized by extraordinary neighborliness.
The bonds between the countries go much beyond sharing geographic borders. They are even more invigorated by peoples in both countries having the same culture and speaking the same languages. The psychological closeness of these peoples truly transcends the physical boundaries.
When Djibouti was under French rule, the ties between the two countries were limited to trade. An important milestone in boosting bilateral trade was the Ethio-Djibouti railway. Construction of the Franco-Ethiopian railway as it was then called, linking Djibouti to the heart of Ethiopia, was begun in 1897 and reached Addis Ababa in June 1917. The railway line has been serving as the major carrier of commercial items and passengers’ movement between the two countries until it became obsolete about two decades ago.
The new railway which replaced the older one has helped boost bilateral trade as well as the volume of Ethiopia’s international commerce. It was also to become an important gateway aiding mobility and cultural exchange. The much cherished 786 km long railway symbolizes the long and fruitful ties of the two neighboring countries as well as their fraternal peoples.
The two countries have been enjoying stronger diplomatic ties since 1977, when Djibouti got its independence. The strong ties between the two countries were further consolidated after the Ethio-Eritrea border conflict, when Ethiopia started to use Port of Djibouti as the sole inlet and outlet for its import-export trade.
Ethiopia’s move in this regard has helped to further bring the two countries and their peoples even closer.
In the best interests of assuring mutual development and advancing closer people to people ties, the two countries are working together in the social, economic and political spheres.
Ethiopia shares Djibouti’s vision of enhancing friendship and mutual growth and is hard at work to that end the country seeks economic integration with neighboring countries and considers Djibouti a priority in this regard. Thus as a manifestation of this desire massive bilaterally oriented infrastructure developments are in evidence.
In the cooperation between the two countries, the matter of port stands at the forefront since Ethiopia is undertaking almost all of its import-export activities via ports in Djibouti.
As its economy is booming, Ethiopia’s use of ports has been increasing over the past decade and the two countries have been engaging in huge infrastructure development activities to materialize the envisioned economic integration, as the result, Ethiopia and Djibouti have been connected in railway, road and electricity.
Following Ethiopia’s economic boom, Djibouti’s ports have become busy and the government is utilizing its ports properly. Certainly, the ongoing mega projects in Ethiopia and rising local demand for imports of industrial commodities have led to an ever increasing use of ports in Djibouti.
The strategic role of ports cannot be underestimated as Ethiopia strives to sustain the momentum and move steps ahead to join the club of middle income countries. Djibouti’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Mohammed Idriss Farah told The Ethiopian Herald that as an important economic partner, his country is expanding and modernizing its existing port facilities and infrastructures and building new ones in a bid to satisfy Ethiopia’s ever growing demand for port service.
The regional body, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has planned an infrastructure-driven economic integration among member states. Known as the Minimum Integration Plan (MIP), the scheme encompasses cooperation in the transport, industry, ICT, peace and security and agriculture sectors among others.
The Ambassador noted that Ethiopia and Djibouti are the two nations that have been particularly hugely investing on infrastructure to implement the envisaged IGAD plan and the expansion of infrastructure will enable the two exemplary countries to integrate their economy.
In addition to their cooperation in railway and road projects, the two countries are bilaterally involved in the energy and water sectors.
Telecom connectivity is yet another sphere where Ethiopia and Djibouti are working in collaboration and the telecom service providers of the two countries are working closely to boost the crucially important service for possible economic integration.
Tourism is also among the sectors that will help to integrate the two countries’ economies and the natural, historical and cultural attractions of Ethiopia and Djibouti draw visitors from both sides, and boost tourism earnings in both sides.
There is no doubt that trade has paramount importance in facilitating economic cooperation between countries. In this regard the strong trade ties between Ethiopia and Djibouti are believed to play a crucial role.
According to Ambassador Mohammed, the service sector contributes the lion’s share of Djibouti’s GDP and the largest share comes from the sale of port services to Ethiopia. As a trading partner, Ethiopia on its part exports coffee, gold leather, fruit, vegetables and power to Djibouti.
Undoubtedly both countries are strongly committed and highly motivated to build robust and comprehensive relations based on mutual interests and certainly there is every indication they will remain the torchbearers of the great IGAD vision of creating regional integration, the Ambassador noted.
BY BILAL DERSO
Sources indicate that tourism, unlike the other sectors, highly demands everyone, irrespective of his\her status in every aspect of life, to be its ambassador to bring the desired result. Obviously, the Media is one of the most influential tools in this regard. And this is not lost on the government body that oversee the sector.
Ministry of Culture and Tourism in collaboration with other stakeholders have been organizing trips for media practitioners to various parts of the country for the past 6 years. This year, the Ministry has organized its 6th media forum in June 2018 at Adigrat, Tigray, where the Media community has visited various tourist attraction sites and a community lodge.
Anaf community Lodge at woreda Ganta Afeshum, was one of the sites visited by the media society. It is an epitome of community-run successful small business that not only economically interlinks and benefits various members of the community, but also plays its own constructive role in promoting the tourism sector of the region.
Abraha Tsegay is the manager and shareholder of the community Lodge. He told The Ethiopian Herald that the community lodge was established in 2009 with 90 members. The numbers of the members has now reached 180, after the interest to become member quickly rose by learning the lodge’s economic importance.
He said, so far, the members of the community lodge have taken out their dividend payment in three rounds. In the first round, the shareholders got 240 thousand Birr, then 50 thousand in the second round, and over 80 thousand Birr last year.
According to Abraham, Anaf community lodge has created jobs for 12 individuals - 4 cooks, 4 guides, a manager, a watchman and a cashier among others. “The tourists are very happy to spend their time here to see the wonderful nature and remarkable sceneries of our landscapes. The flow of the tourists is currently raising,” he said. He said that 99% of the visitors who come to them are foreigners.
Having told this reporter that she is one of the shareholders of Anaf community lodge, Tsigab Kidanemariam, a cook, expressed that when tourists come, she makes 100 Birr in 24 hours away from her dividend as a member. Moreover, she is very hopeful that she would be more beneficiary through time as the flow of tourists is increasing.
Berhe Kalayou, a chairperson of Mulualem and Birhan guiding and travel agent Share Company whom this reporter approached him said that guiding is the business he is fully engaged for living.
He said that the number of tourists visiting the wonderful landscapes nearby the lodge are getting higher from time to time. Selling the nature and the society’s traditional way of life are the main tourist attractions of Tigray Eastern zone, Berhe added. The spectacular landscapes of Gheralta, the monastery of Debre damo, the sacred rock hewn churches, the historical and archaeolog ical sites are the noteworthy attractions of the zone just to mention a few among many others.
Hagos Gebremariam, Lecturer at Adigrat University Department of Sociology presented a paper on ‘The endowments of Eastern Zone of Tigray in tourism’. As to him, more than 85 of the rock hewn churches in Tigray are found in this zone. Moreover, Derih Ahmedin Nejashi (the tomb of Ahmedin Nejashi), known as the second Mecca is found in this zone. This sacred place, according to the instructor, is the place where the first followers of the Islamic religion started to worship in Ethiopia in 615 E.C for the first time. “This is a living testimony of the tolerance and mutual respect of various religions in Ethiopia since those times,” Hagos indicated.
As for the instructor, the Eastern zone of Tigray is endowed with various eye catching spectacular chained mountains such as the Gheralta, Seheta, Adigrat, Asimba, Atsbi, Saesi’e Tsaeda emba mountains, among others, ranging from 1800 to 3500 Meters above sea level.
Meanwhile, Berhe said that the lodges in the zone are not yet promoted at the needed level. “The most saddening point in this regard is that foreign promoters such as lonely planet are promoting these lodges while nothing is done by the domestic media and other Ethiopian tour and travel companies; hence a lot remains to be done in this regard.”
Further, he claimed that the political situation in the last few years has influenced the flow of tourists.
According to him, the other challenge facing anyone engaged in the sector is the fact that tourism is seasonal. “For instance, we can make good money from October to March, but then after it goes down till the end of September.
But, the very promising side here is that the sector is very opportunistic that we can operate side business with the money we generate from our main job,” he noted before adding, “to be specific, my workmate, for instance, has bought a vehicle and four others have opened their own cafeteria all with the money they made and saved from guiding,” he ascertained. Berhe expressed that the travel agency company he chairs has 6 members, and each member in average gets 60 thousand Birr per year.
Currently, there are 6 active community lodges in the Eastern zone of Tigray namely Shimbreyti, Chehat, Erar, Gahgot, Seheta and Anaf community lodges. These days, a tourist averagely spends 3.24 nights in these community lodges, and is expected to pay more than 1650 Birr a night, including all accommodations the community lodge offers. While 80 percent of that goes to the guides and the community, the rest 20 percent goes to the tour and travel company for its role in booking and promoting the community lodges. So far, 240 foreigners have visited the community tourism lodge in this fiscal year
“Lack of continuous training, provision of trekking shoes as we have to travel quite a long distance averagely 400 to 800 kilometers per day are the critical challenges of us,” he noted.
Ato Dawit Hailu, Tigray Culture and Tourism Head told the forum that though it is true that Tigray is endowed with a wide range of tourist attractions, a lot still remains to be done to exploit these opportunities. “In this regard, we are working with two strategies - in one hand, we have created a platform that enables the private sector to develop this sector, and on the other hand, we are working to maximize the participation and ownership of the communities”.
As to the organizers, the very objective of the establishment of the culture and tourism media forum is to wisely exploit the role of the media to contribute its share in the country’s socioeconomic development by promoting the nation’s culture and tourism.
BY SHUSHAY ADANE
What happened in this week is miraculous, immense, far profound than mere international relations. PM Abiy Ahmed is creating a world uniquely his own vision. Abiy Ahmed’s visit to Eritrea during a time of his very heavy workload is the best example of peace and courage at work.
Although of minor importance, in light of such monumental events taking place in the future of a people, I admit that it has life-changing profound effect on me as an individual. For once it left me dumbfounded, and for once I run out of anything to say. That is a monumental admission by a chatter-box who is resourceful and imaginative in expressing his views in writing.
Yes, I have written some very harsh statements against PM Abiy mainly, because I do not want a hero being stained by any close contact with the likes of Kassa Kebede. Another point of contention is due to my strong disagreements in allowing terrorist organizations, such as Ginbot-7, OLF etc into Ethiopia.
I was and still am vehemently against forgiving Mengistu Hailemariam, the Red Terrorist butcher. However, I do regret using harsh and rude statements focused on your person and close associate Demeke Mekonnen in my disagreement with you. It is the love I have for Ethiopia that I use at times crude expressions to vent my anger. My apology to you, especially so witnessing the tremendous positive change you brought about in Issaias Afeworki and the people of Eritrea.
Now that you have signed a Peace Treaty with Issaias Afeworki, the first step is to publicly present it to the Representatives in Parliament and have an open debate. Ethiopians should be informed about the content of any international agreement before it is accepted as part of the law of the land.
I watched again and again lengthy videos and several news clips of PM Abiy in Asmara and the incredible welcome he received by President Issaias Afeworki and the People of Asmara/Eritrea. I am still in the process of digesting what I watched in the internet of such historic event.
No one can generate such enthusiasm and expression of love without true feeling and true passion deep under. I could say that I have never seen anywhere such love by a host leader and hosting people for a visitor (from supposedly an enemy country) anywhere in the world.
I ask myself, is this not far better to witness than to see tanks rolling downhill, soldiers in trenches, planes bombing, fields of dead and dying young soldiers et cetera? Certainly, infinitely better.
I peered carefully at the people who were celebrating and welcoming PM Abiy, and in all honesty, they would have been from anywhere from Gondar, Mekelle, or Addis et cetera, for they are so much similar in their physical features, dressing, mannerism and enthusiasm as their Ethiopian counterparts. As always, it is very difficult for me to rejoice in the new paradigm that fractures Ethiopia, even though I am painfully aware of the fallacy of composition in my reasoning for unity.
All these uplifting historic events taking place one after the other, and yet I felt deep in my soul regret and sorrow, for I realized for the first time after all the past years of self-denial that Eritrea is indeed another new independent country and not a part of ancient historic Ethiopia.
To some extent all that celebration in hosting Abiy is in part a celebration of independence and national recognition of Eritrea itself. I cannot avoid feeling this way, after all my childhood friends that lasted a lifetime were children of Eritrean neighbors. I even had two very good friends in my middle-school years (not girlfriends but buddies) that were girls. And much later in my life as a professor in a local college, I had few students who were from Eritrea.
They were very polite and attentive students the same way my other Ethiopian students were. I had one elderly Eritrean student, almost my age, who was a doctor and a polyglot who spoke and wrote in seven languages, attending my class of English Composition.
I still remember him because of his concern for me about my overwork for my class was overflowing and all the writing I had to correct. There were others in that class from both Ethiopia and Eritrea whose appreciation of my effort I still remember to this day. Most of all what was most endearing to me was watching them how they related to each other, helping each other, doing assignments together, etc ...
There are also family relations like my Eritrean Aunts who were married to my Ethiopian Uncles, and my nieces and cousins. How could I let go such loving family members? You tell me.
For example, there was my Auntie Hiwet originally from Asmara living in Addis, whom I adored who would not accept that I had eaten enough when I visited with them, who would insist that I eat more and then pack some food for me to take to my dorm. I was then a college student very slight of built and look very vulnerable.
The other day I read a very interesting well written but rather short article by Solomon Medhanie, in AigaForum. [http://aigaforum.com/article2018/is-pm-abiy-manchurian-candidate.html]. I do not think neither leader is a Manchurian Candidate. In order to make such huge claim as Solomon did, one must first establish the existence of an almost God-like master manipulator like Mrs. Eleanor Iselin that would fit the game setup as in the book by Richard Thomas Condon (1915-1996). I do not see anyone anywhere in the World who could manipulate such two leaders and the future of that part of the World with such profound effect.
This obvious change of heart not just tone of Issaias Afeworki and his associates, I think has to do with the personality of PM Abiy; and Issaias Afeworki seems to acknowledge that in his speech at the state diner he gave in honor of the PM.
The political divide between the two leaders was a huge chasm until it was bridged in a spectacular manner when PM Abiy continued the peace offer without preconditions, and later followed through his pronouncements with deeds when he traveled (breaking protocol) to the Bole Airport and personally received the delegation sent by Issaias Afeworki.
Of course, the neighboring countries are affected by the new friendship matrix of Ethiopia and Eritrea for the area is undergoing no less a political Tsunami. Ethiopia is a stabilizing force. I urge you all to hear the words of not just PM Abiy but also the words of wisdom and democratic vision of Lemma Megersa. The consistent message of Lemma Megersa is that Ethiopia has a historic role to play not only for our own continued survival but also in keeping the Horn countries from falling apart. Just like Abiy Ahmed I believe Lemma has solid grounding in Ethiopian history.
God Bless All.
BY TECOLA W HAGOS
What makes oil, or any other resource, a blessing or a curse is how that particular country manages to use it. And the benefits oil brings to Ethiopia far outweighs the risk of it.
Following Ethiopia's government recent announcement that the country is starting oil production, there have been some arguments heard in some quarters, citing how oil can bring with it economic stagnation, corruption and conflict.
Indeed, the concerns are valid. After all, the notion of the resource curse, or the paradox of plenty, goes back to Adam Smith, where creating plenty of revenue from minerals like oil has brought, in many instances, unintended harm rather that widespread benefits.
We have seen it bringing conflict to countries; from Nigeria and Angola to Venezuela, among many other countries, although the situation in some of those countries have improved. We have also seen it bringing adverse environmental impact, and damaging the livelihood of local communities in the process.
However, there are some economic facts we need to consider here. Despite, its consecutive economic growth, reports are stating that Ethiopia is currently facing a very bad forex crunch that is not only affecting the manufacturing sector, but is challenging the attraction of foreign direct investment (FDI). There are other economic issues as well, like government debt to GDP ratio, which is ballooning.
So, with this in mind, it is obvious that revenue is needed to lessen the burden of its forex crunch. Oil not only can bring huge amount of foreign capital earnings, it can also help the country save the foreign currency it would have spent in importing oil, which according to latest data is close to 90 billion Birr.
It also create jobs for huge number of people as it has many value chains at every level. With a country with huge number of unemployed youth, this also provides huge economic opportunity to Ethiopia.
Furthermore, creating revenue is important for a country's economic growth, and Ethiopia's needs huge amount of capital to implement its national strategic plan, the GTP II. Given that GTP defines the pathway for Ethiopia to achieve its ambitious socio-economic targets, which are interrelated, and also given that natural resources play a vital role in Ethiopia's sustainable development and are key strategic direction of the GTP, then, producing oil to generate massive amount of revenue is very important.
In addition, it will majorly boost the export revenue of the country by broadening its export goods portfolio, and also lessen the country's dependence on agriculture commodities for export. And this will majorly bolsters the government's revenue, which will allow it to sponsor the ongoing huge socio-economic projects.
However, enjoying the economic benefits oil brings to the country demands a smart management and use of the resource. It should be noted that producing oil does not guarantee economic growth as resource-abundant countries have experienced lower growth than their counterparts over the last four decades.
The country has to establish an inclusive development where the population, and especially the local community become beneficiaries from. This is the only way to create a stable, conflict-free extraction and production of oil. Also, in order to circumvent economic phenomenon like 'Dutch disease', the government must spend the revenue in long-term economic objectives, rather than a gold rush type of move, as it is the only way to make sure the economy will not be oil dependent.
In the end, the use of any natural resource is a balancing act. Attending to the current urgent need of the country, whilst taking into account the interest of the future generation of this country.
ADDIS ABABA- Ministry of Health said that it has been executing consolidated efforts to enhance the quality and accessibility of country’s emergency health delivery.
This was revealed when the Ethiopian Society of Orthopedics and Traumatology held its 13th annual general meeting at Sheraton Addis Hotel here yesterday.
During the occasion, Health Minister Dr. Amir Amin said that the Ministry is partnering with relevant stakeholders to improve the quality of emergency responses.
Dr. Amin noted that the Ministry has been built various trauma centers and introduced modern technological outputs in orthopedics services including helicopter air lift.
An emergency response team would start giving services in next week in 11 places across the country, he added.
The Minister praised the quick service orthopedic health professionals and health officers offered for victims of the recent bomb blast in Mesquel Square, Addis Ababa.
Dr. Biruk L. Wamisho, Orthopedics Department Head at Addis Ababa University said on his part that despite few in number, the professionals have made great jobs in save the lives of many citizens in the recent attack and accidents.
Dr. Biruk, who is also President of Ethiopian Society of Orthopedics and Traumatology, stated that the professionals are also hugely engaged to improve service delivery in the bid to save more lives.
Currently, orthopedics specialty is offered in four universities namely Addis Ababa University, Mekele University, Bahir Dar University and Jimma University. According to Dr. Biruk, preparations have been finalized to provide the course in Hawassa University in next year.
The conference would stay open for two days with scientific and medical exhibition.
BY FASICA BERHANE
Addis Ababa - Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and its Saudi Arabian counterpart signed agreement to secure the right of both workers and employers.
According to the agreement, the ministries will work towards a mutually acceptable recruitment system for Ethiopian domestic workers for employment in Saudi Arabia, pursuant to the applicable laws, rules and regulations of both countries.
The agreement allows to adopt standard employment contract for domestic workers, the text of which shall be accepted by the competent authorities of the two countries, and be binding among the contracting parties.
This agreement clearly demarcate the roles and responsibilities of the two countries. Accordingly, Saudi Arabia's labor ministry has the responsibility to ensure that the recruitment, hiring and placement of domestic workers under this agreement shall be in accordance with the relevant laws, rules and regulations.
The agreement further obligates the Ministry to facilitate the opening of a bank account by the employer in the name of the domestic worker, and establish a mechanism which will provide a twenty four hour assistance to the domestic workers.
As per the contract, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of Ethiopia on its part has an obligation to ensure the recruitment of medically qualified workers that meet all the criteria needed, like ensuring that prospective domestic workers have no criminal record to be fit workers to go the Kingdom of the Saudi Arabia according to job specification requirement.
The agreement forces the Ethiopian Ministry of Labor to orient prospective domestic workers to respect Saudi's laws, morals, ethics and customs while residing and working there.
Senior Communication Expert with FDRE Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Besazin Deribe on his part said that skill training will be given for prospective domestic workers on housework at specialized institutes, and will also receive orientation on Saudi's customs and traditions, as well as the terms and conditions of the employment contract.
He further noted that in collaboration with its task force and different stakeholders, the Ministry is taking controlling measures to combat illegal traveling to Saudi Arabia. To this end, the Ministry bringing illegal agencies before the law.
BY TAMERU REGASA
ADDIS ABABA- Ethiopian Airlines disclosed that it has finalized preparations to resume daily flights to Asmara, Eritrea as of July 17 with the most technologically advanced commercial aircraft, the Boeing 787.
The flight resumption follows agreements reached in Asmara between Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki.
CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebremariam said the resumption of air transport will play a critical role in boosting the overall political, economic, trade and people-to-people ties between the two countries.
He said: “We at Ethiopian feel an immense honor and joy to resume scheduled flights to Asmara after 20 years. With the opening of a new chapter of peace and friendship between the two sisterly countries, we look forward to starting flights to Asmara with the B787, the most technologically advanced commercial aircraft, which gives customers unparalleled on-board comfort.”
Thanks to Ethiopian extensive network of more than 114 international destinations in five continents, flights to Asmara will avail best connectivity options to the vast Eritrean Diaspora Community living across the world, and will boost the flow of investment, trade and tourism into Eritrea, the CEO added.
He noted that the Ethiopian flag carrier has a plan to operate multiple daily services and to start cargo flights in view of the huge market potential between the two countries.
Ethiopian commands the lion’s share of the pan-African passenger and cargo network, operating the youngest and most modern fleet to more than 110 international passenger, and cargo destinations across five continents.
BY BILAL DERSO
ADDIS ABABA- Muslim scholars said Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s initiation to reconcile Ethiopia’s Islamic leadership is a symbolic act in enhancing the Muslim community’s active participation in peace and development.
Following the discussion with Prime Minister Abiy, a nine-member committee made up of representatives from the Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council, Ethiopian Muslims Arbitration Committee and Muslim scholars was established in order to solve the differences in Islamic leadership.
Speaking to The Ethiopian Herald, Ustaz Hassan Taju, a Researcher of Islamic history, said that the initiative is a ‘unique act’ that comes from a good leader that understands the importance of unison in the Muslim community for Ethiopia’s long-cherished peaceful coexistence.
Ustaz Hassan indicated that the government has shown an exemplary gesture to preserve the unity of the Muslim, and the move showcased Premier Abiy’s desire to mobilize the participation of the Muslim community for the democratization anddevelopment of the country.
Besides its role in solving differences in a civilized manner, the initiative will have an invaluable importance in helping the Muslim community focus its attention on development, and play a meaningful role in the ongoing reconciliation, the Scholar added.
Expressing the previous administrations' failure in taking the initiative to address the age-old problems in Islamic leadership in participatory manner, Hassan commended the attention the new government attached to the Muslim case.
Sharing the above sentiment, Historian and Chief Curator of Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Dr. Ahmed Zekaria said that addressing the problem in Islamic leadership will have a paramount significance in fostering the Muslim community’s participation in building a peaceful and prosperous country.
Dr. Ahmed said that the establishment of the new committee shows the priority PM Abiy has given to filling societal and religious gaps, and his plan to mobilizing equal participation of peoples with different religious backgrounds to build the new Ethiopia.
“For the first time in Ethiopia’s long history, a leader has taken the initiative to solve the gaps in the Islamic leadership in the view to scale up the faithful’s engagement in peace and development”.
The scholar called on all parties to play a constructive role in the ongoing reconciliation to enhance the Muslim unity and ensure the laity’s meaningful participation for democracy and development.
Meanwhile, Ustaz Hassan expressed his belief that the Supreme Council would come with fresh ideas that will significantly address its structural shortcomings and pave the way for competent scholars to take part in the leadership.
“It is my expectation the Council would transform to an efficient institution that leads the Muslim community to peace, development and spiritual enlightenment whilst nurturing the youth as peace loving citizens.”
According to the Scholar, the Council has also the prime responsibility to keep Muslim’s unity, and fight the destructive activities of some interest groups whose agendas are not religious.
The Council needs to support the Committee’s efforts to execute successful task and ensures the active participation and benefit of the Muslim community in Ethiopia’s development projects, Hassan added.
For his part, Dr. Ahmed pointed out that Muslim scholars have the major responsibility to teach the faithful about peace, tolerance and co-existence, and shun narrow nationalism.
The Committee is also expected to conduct extensive studies, and partner with the pertinent stakeholders to come up with strategic road-maps in a bid to satisfy the interest of all concerned bodies, the Assistant Professor added.
“The faithful should support the Committee’s works financially, technically and morally, and make a meaningful engagement in exposing the wrong doings of some interest groups.”
The scholars highlight that the government should maintain its attention to solve the problems in religions leadership, and called on the active participation of all actors in the process to make the reconciliation sustainable and fruitful.
BY BILAL DERSO
ADDIS ABABA- The Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) has called on the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea to establish a direct connection to enhance the two countries brotherly and cordial relationship.
In a statement it issued yesterday, the Front affirmed the commitment of the people and State Government of Tigray to stand together with Eritrean people in the ongoing comprehensive efforts to address the two countries stalemate in a sustainable manner.
Commending the two governments’ readiness and initiative to solve the two-decade long standoff, TPLF said that Eritrean people’s enthusiasm for friendship showcased the fact that the future is bright for the two countries peace.
The statement also affirmed the Front’s commitment for the implementation of the decision the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has made to change the 20 years 'no war, no peace' situation with Eritrea.