Demographic Explosion


Despite slower economic growth than has been the case in the early years of the decade – and worsening political instability – Ethiopia’s population has been on an upward trajectory. From what was 74 million people just a decade ago, it is estimated that there are 100 million Ethiopians today. The population growth will be a challenge for the government on at least a couple of fronts. Economically, caring for an ever-increasing populace, in a country where demand has not been met to begin with, will be tricky. Politically, with tensions as they are, an increase in the number of youth, together with more globalisation and social media’s influence, governing will become complicated.


Lessons from Lake Tana

Lake Tana has an enemy, locally called Emboch, a type of weed that covered almost 2000ha of the lake by the end of the past fiscal year. It has been blocking the fishing grounds, reportedly resulting in a decline of fish production. Despite the fact that the river is located in the Amhara Regional State, it has not stopped the youth of neighbouring Oromia Regional State from joining the fight. The phenomenon could be taken as a perfect indicator of what needs to happen at a national level to make sure that the current political tensions in the country end. It was also a precursor to the meeting held between some of the leaders of the Oromia People’s Democratic Organisation (OPDO) and the Amhara National Democratic Front (ANDM) in Bahir Dar.


The Ethiopian State

Ethiopia is not starved for news at the moment, but few of them are positive. The past couple of months have been mired with unrests in at least two regions while a top-level corruption case into a number of ministries has nabbed many officials. Throw in a couple of senior government officials giving up their posts; then there is justifiable ground to speculate that there is something seriously wrong. It is not uncharacteristic to believe that all of these events are connected in some way. 


Valuation of an Ill-advised Devaluation

The National Bank of Ethiopia announced its bombshell decision almost a couple of weeks ago. The country’s currency will be 15pc less valuable than it has been most of the past fiscal year, selling close to 27 Br for every dollar. The devaluation has its supporters, like international financial institutions, and its detractors. While the government is hoping for higher export earnings, consumers are bracing for a rise in inflation. Only time will tell what the actual outcome would be but measures should be taken to ensure that the devaluation is for the better.


Reforest Like There’s No Tomorrow

More people have come to mean fewer trees. This is especially the case in areas where electricity has barely made it. People have to depend on burning wood for fuel. Aside from that, the population growth has necessitated the need for converting more areas into croplands. Subsequently, indigenous plants and trees have suffered and, worse, the environment is hurting. Reforestation, and providing homes with adequate power supply, even if expensive and time-consuming, is the only way out of the crisis.


Podium for Expression

When the Irreecha festivity took place last Sunday, there was the feeling that the state of Oromia would be thrown into another round of unrest, as was the case last year. But October 1 passed peacefully. Social media reports claimed that there were some issues, but nothing as distressing as that of the year before. It is essential to take note that the government has not done anything to solve the cause of the problem, which is the suppression of freedom of expression. The recent controversy over Teddy Afro’s 2017 album ‘Ethiopia’ is a testament to this.


Housing Projects: Keep Away from Children

One of the signature policies of the current government to provide citizens with housing are the middle and low-income condos currently flourishing around Addis Abeba. But while these houses could serve as cheaper alternatives for the general public, the level of quality that the buildings exhibit and the type of neighbourhood that follows once people enter their homes and populate the area is worrying. It is all the more alarming that children have to grow in these places.


Differnces Heal, If We Understand Them

In a country lush with diversity, unity can sometimes be tricky. Disagreements can occur and they can sometimes lead to loss of property, or worse, life. But the ways of solving them should not be secret, instead, they should be inclusive. The measures we take should be carefully documented so that we can learn from them in the future, whether they have had the desired outcome or not. In this token, the media can be a great asset. We should not shy away from it, but rather embrace its openness.


Ups, Downs, Expectations of Ethiopian New Year

The New Year denotes a multitude of meanings to Ethiopians. For some, it is a holiday that symbolises the end of the rainy season, and that sewerage problems would abate. For others, it is time for setting New Year’s resolutions in the hopes that the coming 12 months would be more productive, less unfortunate and more enriching.


Losers, Winners of Enkutatash

Enkutatash is here to announce that a year has come and gone. All around the country, people will celebrate the holiday using different customs and traditions. For most, it will be an exciting day, where fancy food is eaten and new clothes are worn. For others, it would be another reminder of Addis Abeba’s inflation rate. Even sadder, there will be the exceptionally unlucky who may have something bad befall them.


Requiem for a Noble Profession

The teaching profession deserves the adjective ‘noble’. which is why we usually hear people defining it as a noble profession. For those of us who are older, our thoughts go…


 O Buhé Belu, Where Art Thou?

Every 13th day of Nehase (August 19) followers of Ethiopian Orthodox celebrate the Transfiguration of Jesus on Mount Tabor. Ethiopians call this religious event Buhé Belu, and have devised various traditional ways with which to commemorate it. But over the years, with developments in globalization, the general attitude of Ethiopians towards the holiday has changed.


Tribute to a Man of All Trades

Tesfaye Sahlu, commonly known as Ababa Tesfaye, the iconic star of a cancelled children’s show that ran on a state-run network, died at the age of 94. To many, the death was a tragedy – Tesfaye represented a generation that prioritised the importance of discipline to children. He will be missed.


Corruption on Top of Tax Addled Nation

The recent outcry to the high estimates imposed upon some taxpayers has added to the outrage felt last year in two of the country’s largest regions. The nation’s stability is being rocked again after a number of officials overseeing large projects were arrested on charges of corruption. All of these events are commingling to elevate the amount of distrust between the government and its constituents.


Modern History of the Press in Ethiopia

Freedom of speech has been lacking from the country for quite some time. The line between expressing one’s ideas and encouraging violence has always been too thin to adequately tell apart. The death of the much-celebrated journalist Negash Gebre Mariam has made most take a closer look at the current status of the media in Ethiopia.


A Fraction of Ethiopia’s History

Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world. It could be found in almost every country or city. To Ethiopians, maybe no variety of coffee can surpass that of their own. But there are places that remind one of home, and the traditional ways of brewing coffee. The Ethiopian themed Belgian Restaurant, Toukoul, which tends the culturally astute, is one.




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