He was not distracted by what happened to him, unjustly. He never lost hope and never gave into date of birth debacle, but let his craft speak for itself. Amidst wild guesses, it transpired in due time, that he was born in 1935 and lived until his last moment in Toronto, Canada, his adopted country.
The reality is, from the three dams built in the country, 2424 megawatts of power is expected to be generated for Ethiopia. As much as Ethiopia makes international investment a priority, the sustainability of uninterrupted power flow is crucially important.
I visited many places, including Asmara, Djibouti and Khartoum. Everywhere I go, I discovered that making speeches on Ethiopia is one thing, not mentioning Ethiopians is as good as saying nothing. I endorse the acknowledgement of the Prime Minister to highlight the linguistic, religious and cultural differences that exists within Ethiopia. Knowing what it takes to constitute a governmental structure is the necessary part of “Ethiopianism”
The whole Oromo culture is unique. I have observed it from near and far and it is no wonder, it is starting being recognized around the world. From the way elections are conducted around the signature Oak tree, to the Gaada system itself, it is something to hold and embrace.
The herdsmen claimed that a day before, a passing vehicle of the same model and color had run over their calf and killed it. They were now holding the vehicle’s driver as the one responsible of the alleged crime committed. Our linguistic ability was found to be a conflict resolution rescue. The herdsmen would not move away for anything less than 500 Birr, quite a big sum at the time.
The news and stories we hear each day vary from the painful to the uplifting. News of a promising footballer’s untimely and tragic death in Ethiopia was very much the former. An FM radio show, which makes interesting stories out of local anecdotes, focused this week on a case of human perseverance in the face of extreme poverty.
There are some things that happen in the world that catch the attention of people everywhere, regardless of nationality or political leanings. In such cases, as with the recent Presidential election in the United States, people are forced to ask themselves the ‘why’ question. One of these incidents was the tragic and deadly Irrecha celebration in Bishoftu. While the people of Ethiopia were asking themselves ‘why’ the government engaged in a campaign of blame. Now, following the instigation of ‘deep reforms’ that aren’t so deep, the question people seem to be asking themselves is ‘where do we go from here’
Ethiopia’s global image has been nurtured and cultivated since the great marathon champion Abebe Bikila won the 42 kms 195m in 2 hrs. 15 min. record time while running bare foot. This image building has been kept and grown stronger from generation to generation. That image mark has followed me here in Brussels. Every time people ask me and I mention the name Ethiopia they report back and ask me the land of long distance runners?”
Haile has proven himself to be an exceptional athlete, a shrewd businessman and a great Ethiopian. His legacy of starting the Great Run has earned the country recognition and promoted the country as a great tourist destination. It can never be underestimated and should be celebrated.
Timing of mobility is basic. It should be recognized that in collaboration with taxi drivers, transport companies as well as pedestrian passengers and students, City Hall, can best identify traffic originating spots and destinations at different times of the day. Churches, market places, hospitals, stadiums and wherever large people are to gather, is where more research is needed to solve congestion. Public transportation is a great solution to lessen the demands placed on roads. Experts can also look at dividing the city into big square tables and provide the city transport services better alternative routes and short cuts in order to explore traffic blockage.
The shutdown of the Internet, following the announcement of a state of emergency in the country, did not serve to hide the reality of the discontent being felt in parts of the country from the German Chancellor. Her visit, although positive in it’s main purpose – the opening of the new African Peace and Security Council – was more frosty than may have otherwise been the case.
German-Ethio relations stretch back many years, whether it be through culture, quality import products, research or medical facilities. With Chancellor Merkel paying a visit to Ethiopia this week, the focus, however, will be on stemming the flow of migrants from Africa to the EU. Though Merkel herself has become known for extending her hands to welcome migrants by the million, a couple of unfortunate events have led to many opposing her open door policy.
The annual Errecha celebrations should be a time to indulge in cultural appreciation, while focusing on hope, peace and stability across the nation. There should be no room for politics to enter the fray. This year’s celebrations will go down in history as a very dark day for Ethiopia, after several people lost their lives following a stampede triggered by political disagreements.
Painkillers are a temporary measure to reduce distress, while failing altogether to get to the root cause of the problem. It is through a similar response that the EPRDF are attempting to appease the frustrations and rebellions of an increasing number of the Ethiopian population. This is evidenced in the current delays in the commencement of Ethiopia’s academic year, with meetings being held to temporary dampen the heat, as opposed to cutting off additional fuel for the fire.
The equality, which is supposed to be embraced throughout the regions of Ethiopia, has become little more than the annual cultural shows broadcast across the country. The time has come for the ruling EPRDF party to listen to the voices of the opposition and make good on its promises for reform.
With the ruling party’s latest exercise in what it describes as ‘deep renewal’ to amend itself of self-serving members with state powers than working towards an improved social order, there is a great deal of skepticism among political commentators and the public at large. With the appearance of the veteran EPRDFites on a lengthy TV interview, any hope of a paradigm shift in leadership is waning thin. Even judging by some of those who appeared on the show, the Front’s commitment to address the core problems is questioned given their tarnished reputation associated with corruption.
The question of how the leader of any nation can give the green light for the killing of peaceful protesters is a question many in Ethiopia are currently asking. The anger, fear and distrust this creates – alongside other concerns, such as embezzlement and corruption – is threatening the government’s credibility.
Despite heavy investment in Addis Abeba’s transport systems, there are still clear indications of its inadequacy in serving the city’s ever expanding population. Long queues at bus lines, roads crammed full of traffic and an increasing number of road accidents are examples of such indicators. With time such an important component of a nation’s growth and prosperity, going underground might well be a solution to the capital’s transport issues.
The realisation of any vision requires coordinated planning, and this is especially true when it comes to a nation’s development. Electricity and water are two of the basic services that residents of any city worldwide should expect to be afforded, uninteruppted. Despite heavy investment, however, a lack of coordination in planning, alongside other limiting factors, has resulted in many unhappy residents in Ethiopia’s capital city in this regard.
While couples exchange intimate vows to cherish and support each other in sickness and in health till death do them apart might appear as a fairly achievable proposal, as couples experience the every day intricacies of a wed lock, it becomes evident that more is needed to maintain the well-being of the wedding than just a wedding day vow. The importance of marriage cannot be underestimated as it is the bedrock upon which families, societies and nations are built upon. In this light, a happily married population makes for a more stable nation. It lays the foundation for engendering civility and peace among new generations.
Ethiopians have been synonymous with long distance running ever since the barefoot Abebe Bikela won the Rome marathon. This has given the nation a foothold in global sport, with athletes like Haile Gebre Selassie, heralded worldwide for their achievements. At this year’s Olympics, however, Ethiopia have been in the press for the wrong reasons, while their competitiveness has been restricted by the unfair scheduling of pre-qualification.
Gondar is famous worldwide for its incredible 16th century castle, and forms a key part of northern Ethiopia’s incredible history. Last week, however, the city was in the news for a different reason. Thousands of people from all across the region took to the streets to protest against the powers that be, waving the old tricolour flag and expressing allegiance with the Oromo protesters. With major political angst being expressed in two of the world’s major powers, the UK and the US, the question is – where could this lead?
As has been the case between the US and Cuba, who recently put aside 60 years of dispute to open progressive dialogue, Ethiopia and Eritrea could finally sit around the negotiating table once more. Indeed, there are no other countries in this part of Africa better suited to taking positive steps towards greater integration, peace and understanding. Ato Abay Tsehaye, one of the senior special advisors to the Prime Minister, could well be the man to steer the ship in this direction.
Addis Abeba is a city besieged by a number of problems, with transport and electricity high up on the list. Despite the new light railway, minibuses, microbuses, taxis, bajaj and personal motor vehicles, thousands of people are seen lining the streets or terminals throughout the city patiently waiting to hop on board. Navigating the ever-expanding capital is no easy task either, with few street names, house numbers or even a proper map to speak of. One positive development, however, according to Girma Feyissa, is the renovation of the Addis Abeba-Djibouti railway, which he describes as the life blood of the country’s import and export outlets.
The visit of Benjamin Netanyahu to four east African nations has raised a few eyebrows. The author of this piece, Girma Feyissa, questions whether the fact that four riparien nations, sharing the same philosophical stance towards the equitable and fair distribution of the waters, were included is simply coincidence. With the construction of the Hidasse Dam mega project well underway, we will soon discover the outcomes of his trip.
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