The timing and manner of the recent demolition of houses built on ‘illegally occupied land’ in Addis Abeba, which led to deadly skirmishes, highlights the deeply vexed relationship of the society. In face of simmering tensions that are increasingly erupting into violent confrontations between squatters and law enforcement agencies, a small token of calmness and humility can achieve so much in defusing the tension.
The fallout from Britain’s decision to exit the 28-member EU block has had significant impacts on diplomatic, financial and economic aspects. The reverberations have been felt, in some shape or form, in different parts of the globe. As the drive to reverse the referendum is already in full swing and gaining momentum, the outcome is inspiring separationist issues elsewhere.
News of fresh border conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea has led to an explosion of speculation from both sides. Some believe that Ethiopia is shifting the focus of internal anger to an external foe, while others comment that the tensions coincide with a damning report on Eritrea by the UN Security Council. Partly to blame is the revolutionary mindset of both countries’ regimes, and this writer argues that it is time to progress their respective politics into the modern era.
In the 19th century, European countries scrambled for the riches and resources of Africa. Nowadays, there is a new scramble – one which impacts the youth of our nation and the future for all. Without due attention, this scramble will lead us to a culture and reality whereby are youth placed in danger at every turn.
In meeting human needs for survival, there must be recognition of interdependence and movement. Hence, Ethiopia’s emphasis on transportation infrastructure and access to sea ports are critical to its ongoing development. Communication is another factor essential for integration and the exercise of human rights. The media has a responsibility that goes beyond the will of the rulers, according to this writer.
The commemoration of the 25 anniversary of Ginbot 20 took place last week. At the event, Prime Minister Hailemariam highlighted the achievments of his government. His speech was full of superlatives. But the reality on the ground is far from what the premier depicted. Maladministration, corruption and rent seeking are rife.
Ever since Eritrea became an independent country, its relationship with Ethiopia has been volatile. In the early days, things were smooth. Economic and political relations went well. It, however, did not last long. Relations went sour with the border conflict, which, though over in two years, resulted in the current impasse. There seems to be no end point to it.
: In light of Ethiopia’s achievement in athletics, Woldemeskel Kostre’s death is a sad story. His service as a coach for the national athletics team by far outweighs the few complaints heard. His name will certainly stay in the hearts of athletes, fans and the Ethiopian public.
Looking into the football scenes of Ethiopia and the United Kingdom, one can see several similarities. It even looks like ups and downs are typical of football. There cannot be any better evidence of this than the abrupt termination of Yohannes Sahle’s contract in Ethiopia and the championship of Leicester City in the English Premier League.
Press Freedom Day is one of the highly celebrated days of the year the world over. It marks the essentiality of a free press, complemented with freedom of expression, for democratic progression. Nonetheless, the state of affairs varies between countries. In Ethiopia, the state of press freedom seems to be going backwards. The good days of free expression are gone, according to this writer.
Holidays have a deep social significance. They are moments of family reunions and celebration. This, however, is not universal. For people living outside of their country, holidays are moments of recalling good memories. And this brings sadness to the heart. Part of this feeling is shared by those who have to work during the holidays.
Some are seen trying to crack a joke on the story of coffee. But the joke should not be allowed to spread as it sows seeds of doubt on the original story. History has it that Ethiopia is the origin of coffee and hence, this has to be maintained as a public record. Jokes should not be allowed to spoil the truth.
Water is becoming scarce in most areas of Ethiopia. And the situation is affecting many aspects of life, from cooking to livestock rearing. But there seems to be no policy coherence to address this essential need. Incongruity is what has become typical to the power circle.
Ethiopian sport journalism witnesses multiple problems. But lack of professionalism stands out taller. It is common to watch, hear and read journalists analysing events on the basis of impressions, feelings and emotions. It seems that objectivity is a misnomer.
It has been five years since the foundation stone of the GERD was laid. The project has reached over 50pc. With the project going with the current speed, it would not take long before Ethiopia becomes a hydro-dollar nation.
Terrorism has become a popular agenda. Security alerts around the world were in their historic high after the Paris attack, in November, 2015. With last week’s attack in Brussels, the mood of panic has furthered. For an Ethiopian, who is used to living in harmony with neighbours, witnessing terrorism has a different meaning.
An apology heals, but only when it comes at the right time. The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, apologised for what happened in Oromia. But his apology, which leaves much to be answered shows the difference between the bosses and the leaders in the Ethiopian political scene.
This year’s celebration of the 120th anniversary of the Battle of Adwa was colourful. The case was even special with Addis Abeba and Meqelle. From the speeches made at the event, one could see the way the ruling party governs. Relating the event to what is happening in Oromia, revealed political substance in the celebration.
Radio is a key element of societal discourse. Its wide outreach means that it is crucial even for development and democratic progress. But the case in Ethiopia is far from the intended. Ethical and professional shortfalls are prevalent in the Ethiopian radio scene. Listeners seem to have little leverage.
Careful reading of Ethiopian history shows a close relationship between commodity price and political stability. There is no more important commodity than oil in this nexus. History shows us that oil price has played a significant role in the whole play of the student movement of the 1960s. As the commodity’s price gets into another low cycle, it is better if policymakers give due attention to the political implications of their decisions.
Life in Addis is full of contradictions. Residents living in the political and economic capital of Ethiopia, cannot avoid being overwhelmed by issues of varying weights. What takes the priority in one’s mind is defined by the closeness to the issue. A typical week in Addis involves being taken away by national issues such as drought, and preferential issues, such as football. Last week was a typical time to see this trend.
The national broadcaster is celebrating its Golden Jubilee. But its state is not a manifestation of the wider media sphere in the country. The Ethiopian media sphere is identified with direct and indirect suppression: journalists live an uncertain life. Had the press been free, though, the nation and its citizens could have benefited a lot.
Numbers could mean a lot when they are used in their right place. But they mean nothing in the wrong places. The case with popular economic growth figures in Ethiopia largely goes with the latter. Much as it is overused, the 11pc GDP growth figure, for instance, has lost its meaning. The case gets even worse when one analyses the numbers in the political scene, including the 100pc election victory by EPRDF.
African leaders are convening in Addis Abeba for their annual summit. As they go about their annual tributes, however, the leaders seem to have forgotten the price paid to realise the African Union. It is puzzling to see leaders convening to strengthen unity failing to pay due tribute to the death of Africans, in Africa, by Africans.
The informal sector contributes a lot to the economy. Yet, it hardly receives policy attention. Inattention by the media to the informal sector also plays its role in the overall sidelining of the sector. Regardless, the sector is here to stay as it is a natural extension of the real economy.
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