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 (assegued@anfilo.com).


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 (assegued@anfilo.com).


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 (assegued@anfilo.com).


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 (assegued@anfilo.com).


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.


New Leadership to Better Grave Political Uncertainty

Leadership by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front that has lasted over a quarter of a century seems to have come at a crossroads. Promises and policy decisions do not seem to have borne any fruits as unrests weigh down the nation’s economic development. The lack of central leadership within the ranks and files of the ruling party are not helping either. It is perhaps time to bring to the fore the type of leadership that has a better understanding of the changes required.


Uncharted Waters of Ethiopian Politics

Democracy is that system of government which history found better suits society. But most African states – and some not – have lacked it even if leaders consistently promise that public officials are accountable to their constituents. Ethiopia’s situation does not fare better, and the last two years have not been particularly good to the country, where unrests across the nation have been consistent.


Fruits of Neighbourly Reconciliation

Almost a quarter-century has passed since the fateful referendum that led to the formation of Eritrea as a sovereign state separate from Ethiopia. There has not been much change in the leadership of the two East African nations in all those years though, and disputes over territories along the borders both share have not ceased. But the desire to see the governments, or at least the governed, of the two nations make a reconciliation do subsist.


The Imminent New Year

New Year of the Western world is around the corner, signalling that Gena, Ethiopia’s version of Christmas, is not far behind. But holidays, though merry everywhere, are celebrated far more differently here in Addis Abeba and Europe. Both will see a shopping spike, but of mostly different items. And while it will be warm in the capital of Ethiopia, most Western countries will experience negative temperatures.


Grow, Prosper, Electrifyingly

Electricity provision has never been an issue Ethiopia has been able to solve. And with the inclusion of more power consuming projects, like the Industrial Parks in different parts of the country, the problem is unlikely to abate soon. But in discussing the shortage of electricity, it is critical to note that there are those who have no access to it, to begin with. Rural electrification projects are just as essential to the country’s development goals, by way of improving domestic resource mobilisation and creating job opportunities, as most of the government’s economic agendas, if not more.


Eventful Great Run

The Great Ethiopian Run began in 2001 and is still going at full throttle. An initiative by Haile Gebrselassie, the most famous Ethiopian runner, if not the most famous Ethiopian, it is a sporting event whose participants have been growing together with the local and international attention it has been getting. Even the HuffPost rated it as one of the 15 most adventurous races in the world in a blog written two years ago. But the 2017 edition will go down in history for the tragic turn of events the race took where two people lost their lives.


Zimbabwe Minus Mugabe

military needs to be under civilian oversight to ensure the correct administration of power. This is a lesson Ethiopia has learnt the hard way. But it was different for Zimbabweans who were seen celebrating on the streets the downfall of their long-time president, Robert Mugabe, and cheering on the military that decided to take matters into its own hands. There will always be the fear that the fall of one dictator will give rise to another, but the bloodless coup d’etat and the constitutional machinations that were following to remove Mugabe of his post lawfully restore hope in a peaceful transfer of power. In the end, Mugabe gave in – better late than never.




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