Ethio-Eritrean Rapprochement Adds to Optimism

The feeling of optimism and hope evident in the public continue with the arrival of the Eritrean President Issayas Afeworki in Addis Abeba last weekend. It is another development that heralded reconciliation between adversaries, writes AMBESSAW ASSEGUED(

Old Neighbourhoods Deserve the Authorities’ Attention

The lack of maintenance in parts of the city that have cultural and historical importance still confronts the city. Just as unfortunate is the gentrification that seems to pay little attention to the needs and wants of the residents there, writes AMBESSAW ASSEGUED(

Ethiopians Have Yet to Learn How to Disagree

Building a nation with various opposing forces within it remains easier said than done. We have to resort to an old tradition of conflict resolution, Shengo, which is appropriate today given the divergent voices that are coming, writes Ambessaw Assegued  (

Nation’s Audacity for Hope

The rally on June 23 was as significant as it was unexpected. Hundreds of thousands of people attended the rally, which was unfortunately cut short by an explosion. But it was the feeling of solidarity and the endorsement of a united Ethiopia that won out, writes AMBESSAW ASSEGUED(

Original ‘Spencerite’ Path to Ethio-Eritrea Relations

With the Executive Committee of the EPRDF’s decision to implement the Algiers Agreement without preconditions, the debate over the fate of the two nations relationship has intensified. While many opinions have been forwarded, the original idea by John H. Spencer still applies, writes AMBESSAW ASSEGUED(

Build but Not with Reckless Abandon

There is a cost to a statist approach to economic development. It is not only inept at failing to allocate resources to a point that they are used the most productively. It is also too narrow sighted to consider the costs to individuals and the environment, writes AMBESSAW ASSEGUED(

Coarse Customer Service: Insult to Injury of Weak Economy

Ethiopia is a developing country where service provision rarely meets expectations. Just as jarring is having to deal with customer service in cases where the service rendered or the good bought is faulty, writes Ambessaw Assegued (

Autocratic Rule: ‘See, Even the Americans Do It’

On the night of the 2016 election in the United States, a group of men from the Ethiopian Diaspora are sitting and chatting away at a table of a popular…

Short End of the Rule of Law

Incidents in urban cities, where those that have run afoul of the rules are dealt with punishment right there on the streets, either by law enforcement officers or even civilians, have become too common, writes Ambessaw Assegued (

Those Who Can Don’t Teach

The debate over the education system never seems to abate as the multitude of graduates that are flooding the workplace are leaving much to be desired when it comes to skill. This flaw mainly emanates from the quality of the teachers in higher learning institutions, writes Ambessaw Assegued (

Why Cities Smell Bad

One of the most intractable challenges Addis Abeba has faced for decades is the manner of waste disposal in the city. But it is not just the capital, as urban cities such as Adama too grapple with the problem. Lack of it has led to streets that are often flooded and, worse, smell bad, writes Ambessaw Assegued  (

Today’s Political Evolution Better than Yesterday’s Revolutions

Ethiopia experienced two major political revolutions in the past century, either of which has not been successful in realising an utterly politically stable nation. Today’s political atmosphere seems to be different though in that the movement is towards a goal that both the public and the leaders can agree on, writes Ambessaw Assegued (

The Chinese Conundrum

The Chinese have become one of the foremost investors in Ethiopia, not to mention the number one bilateral creditor of the nation. But there are drawbacks to such dependency on a single country, in debt accumulation or the loss of policy sovereignty, writes Ambessaw Assegued (

Ethiopia’s ‘Odysseuses’, Lapse of Opportunity

Ethiopia has a large diaspora community around the world. It is the same group that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) said that Ethiopia’s arms are open for their return. This is not for nought as some have gone on to achieve great success. The fact that many remain overseas is a missed opportunity for the nation, writes Ambessaw Assegued (

Ethiopian Dust Bowl Impends

Development projects are scarce measured on the damage they cause to the environment. The Ethiopian landscape is suffering, in a manner that bears resemblance to the early 1930s United States, when the Dust Bowl occurred, writes Ambessaw Assegued (

The Sterile, Secure, Virtual World of Leaders

The amount of security that leaders require has come a long way since the days of Emperor Haileselassie. While the Emperor would be seen amongst the populace, there is a seemingly impenetrable wall between those that govern and the governed today, writes Ambessaw Assegued (

Precarious Fate of Ethiopian Forest Coffee

Ethiopian Forest Coffee is an extraordinary product that belongs in the forefronts of the current trend of a niche market that emphasises high qualities, single origins, specific varietals and small lots. But it remains mainly undifferentiated in the marketplace. That though is about to change with a new certification scheme by an overseas-based NGO, writes Ambessaw Assegued (

Public Transportation ‘Enforcers’ Redundancy

Transport services in Addis Abeba have long been a headache. The authorities have not remained passive to this. But measures, such as putting more people in positions of authority to enforce the law, are only adding to the confusion, writes Ambessaw Assegued (

Destructive Constructions

Years have passed since the Ethiopian government decided that that best way to attain economic development is through infrastructure investment. Supported by great public spending, Ethiopia has seen massive construction projects that are upending the natural features of the nation, writes Ambessaw Assegued (

Historical Event that Transcends Fiction

Part of the popularity of the recent superhero movie, Black Panther, exported from Hollywood to Ethiopia, is the view that it tells the story of Ethiopians. Wakanda was a fictional African country that was never colonised by European powers, as Ethiopia was never colonised. But the latter’s history is noteworthy in its own right and needs no embellishments, writes Ambessaw Assegued (

Fixing a Toilet, Easier

Ethiopia’s tourism industry is regularly snubbed for the lack of promotion, adequate infrastructure, human capital and investment. Rarely, however, is the harm inflicted by the lack of modern bathroom facilities mentioned. There is only so much that stately accommodations can achieve by themselves if they are not met with adequate restrooms, writes Ambessaw Assegued.

Communique that Hit Bulls-eye

There have been multiple calls for political inclusiveness, but more often than not they have remained just that. But the recent communique by the Oromia People’s Democratic Organisation (OPDO) seemed to have some sincerity to it for it found acceptance even with opposition members based overseas. It called for dialogue that would stretch across the political sphere.

Political Space Widens at Long Last

It was not long ago that Getachew Ambaye announced that the charges of 528 people would be dropped. Amongst them was Merara Gudina (PhD), a prominent opposition leader that had been in jail since 2016. His release, and that of others, was applauded by international institutions and a large number of people such as those who greeted Merara at his home. It is not apparent though if this is the beginning of the path towards the consolidation of good governance by the ruling party.

Chicken, Egg Conundrum of Society, Gov’t

Is it an inward-looking and inflexible society that is giving way to bad leadership, or is it the other way around? Leaders, of course, have come and gone, while society gradually changed, to a certain extent, through the decades. Either way, it is only worthwhile to try a bottom-up approach, see if leaders are mere products of a society and if a finer version of the latter can result in a fitter government.

Reprieve Delay, Reprieve Deny

A decision by the EPRDF’s Central Committee sent both social media and the mainstream ones into overdrive. Ma’ekelawi, the infamous facility, is to be closed, and political party members held there are to be pardoned. For some, the decision proved too little too late, while for others, especially international observers, it was a welcome step forward. But since it is only a promise, there is still fear that it would not be met with action.


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