Author Archive for Tadias

Paranoia, Lies and Fear: Trump’s Presidency Laid Bare by Mueller Report

In his highly anticipated report released to the public on Thursday former FBI Director Robert Mueller painted a damning portrait of Trump in the White House outlining in a cinematic fashion 10 “episodes” of obstruction of justice evidence and jarring scenes of presidential scheming, paranoia, fear and fabrication of false record. (AP photo)

The Washington Post

The moment President Trump learned two years ago that a special counsel had been appointed to investigate Russian election interference, he declared in the Oval Office, “This is the end of my presidency.”

Trump nearly made that a self-fulfilling prophecy as he then plotted for months to thwart the probe, spawning a culture of corruption and deception inside the White House.

Trump’s advisers rarely challenged him and often willingly did his bidding, according to the special counsel’s report released Thursday. But in some cases, they refused when Trump pushed them to the brink of committing outright crimes.

Trump ordered Donald McGahn to instigate special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s firing, but the White House lawyer decided he would resign rather than follow through.

Trump urged Corey Lewandowski to ask then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to curtail the investigation, but his former campaign manager only delivered the message to an intermediary.

And Trump demanded that Reince Priebus procure Sessions’s resignation, but the White House chief of staff did not carry out the directive.

The vivid portrait that emerges from Mueller’s 448-page report is of a presidency plagued by paranoia, insecurity and scheming — and of an inner circle gripped by fear of Trump’s spasms. Again and again, Trump frantically pressured his aides to lie to the public, deny true news stories and fabricate a false record.

“If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state,” the report says. “Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment.”

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ABIY AHMED By Feyisa Lilesa (TIME)

In the following article published by Time magazine Ethiopian Olympic-silver-medalist marathoner Feyisa Lilesa honors Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who has been named one of Time's 100 most influential people of 2019. (Photo: Yonas Tadesse—Getty Images)

TIME

By Feyisa Lilesa

In 2016, the situation in Ethiopia was very bad. People were being killed and many were in jail, and I wanted the world to know what the government was doing. That’s why, during the 2016 marathon at the Rio Olympics, I crossed my wrists at the finish line—to symbolize that the Ethiopian people want to stop the killing, stop the jailing. We don’t want a dictatorship.

After that, I knew I wouldn’t be able to go back. The government was killing dissidents. I missed my country; I missed my mother. She cried to me on the phone every day for two years.

Then last March, while I was training in Kenya, I heard that Dr. Abiy Ahmed would be the next Prime Minister. In Ethiopian history, we have never seen a leader like him. He’s an educated person who talks about unity. He has released thousands of people from jail. He brought peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea after 20 years of war. And he made it possible for me to come home.

Yes, people are still protesting. But now, when they protest, they aren’t going to jail. To me, that is democracy. That is hope.

See the full list at Time.com »


Related:
Photos: Ethiopia Honors Feyisa Lilesa

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Spotlight: #MeTooEthiopia “Assault is a Crime, not a Culture”

(Illustration: #MeTooEthiopia)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: April 16th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — Selemawit Tefera Kelbessa — a former Ethiopian Airlines hostess who had moved to the U.S. three years ago — was the victim of a heinous acid attack by one of her roommates in Maryland in 2018, and this past week she killed herself after having been hospitalized for nearly a year. This heartbreaking news reveals the pervasive gender-based violence that remains underreported by media outlets both in Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Diaspora. However, a new and bold movement fueled by young grassroots activists has created an online platform under the hashtag “MeTooEthiopia” along with the unequivocal tagline: “Assault is a Crime, not a Culture.”

Accompanied with poignant photos and illustrations on its website the #MeTooEthiopia movement collects and shares witness testimonials that narrate the gut-wrenching processes of dealing with life-long trauma as a result of experiencing gender-based violence. The hope in this work is to break the silence around gender-based violence and prevent similar tragedies moving forward.

“Due to the severity and prevalence of such crimes, we see fit to stand on behalf of victims and bring attention to this issue,” the MeTooEthiopia organizers state on their website, emphasizing that the mission is to create awareness about “gender violence, childhood marriage and acid attack among Ethiopians around the globe” and “to provide a safe platform for victims and survivors to speak, and to connect victims with resources that can help them heal and take action.”

As BuzzFeed News highlighted in a feature last month “the spread of hashtags and testimonies across social media are forcing communities in Ethiopia and across the diaspora to confront a topic that has routinely been ignored. Created by Ethiopian American women in light of an explosive documentary about R. Kelly’s alleged sexual abuse of minors, #MeTooEthiopia has shown hundreds of Ethiopian women and men that they are not the only ones carrying trauma as victims from sexual violence.”

BuzzFeed adds that “#MeTooEthiopia acknowledges the specific cultural barriers women face when it comes to speaking up about sexual violence: the shame surrounding it, and the difficulty of empowering women in a society that denounces feminism as a Western product that has no place in Ethiopian culture.”

While the current political climate in Ethiopia has included a new wave of female participation in top posts in the political sector, including appointing a female head of the Supreme Court, a female president, as well as having half the Cabinet positions filled by women politicians, there is plenty of work left to do to protect the rights of women and girls. Describing Ethiopia’s new leader in this era, PM Abiy Ahmed, BuzzFeed notes that “many believe he could be the first modern-day leader to actively champion women’s rights in the country. But movements like #MeTooEthiopia want to send a message loud and clear to Abiy and his cabinet: Gender parity in the government is not enough if women are still getting abused.”


Selemawit Tefera. (Photo: Facebook)

Describing Selamawit’s horrific attack #MeTooEthiopia shared that “in 2018, Selemawit lived with four Ethiopian male roommates in Hyattsville, Maryland. After finishing her shift on a Saturday evening, Selamawit returned to her house. She then entered the kitchen, where she came across one of her roomates: Bekre Abdela. Abdela was holding a container of sulfuric acid. He splashed the acid on her face and body. She stayed in a hospital for several months after suffering second and third-degree burns. Before Selamawit took her own life on April 12th, 2019, she was hospitalized for nearly a year and had undergone numerous skin grafts. She had permanently lost sight in her right eye. Her left eye had a chance of recovering, restoring parts of her vision, which was a good news for her as she planned to study Information Technology. She was planning to have reconstructive surgery, however, the funds were hard to come by. That was, until people began to raise funds for that, her living expenses and other medical bills.”

In a petition hosted on the Change.org website and addressed to PM Abiy, the group also stated: “We believe this matter deserves immediate and intensified action on all levels. From education to bringing cultural evolution to providing services and resources for the victims and ensuring those who inflict such harm be held accountable for these crimes.” So far, the petition has received over 3,000 signatures.

Despite the deep sadness felt in reading the testimonials on the #MeTooEthiopia site, there is an undercurrent of perseverance, dedication and willpower that is strongly present. It is time to bring this discussion to the forefront and #MeTooEthiopia sums up this spirit with this Instagram post: “We Can Do It!”

And we should!


You can learn more about #MeTooEthiopia at metooethiopia.com and sign the petition at www.change.org.

Related:
Setaweet: Addis Ababa is Home to a Burgeoning Women’s Movement

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Worknesh Degefa Wins Boston Marathon

Worknesh Degefa breaks the tape to win the women's division of the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo)

The Associated Press

Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa cruises to Boston Marathon title

BOSTON (AP) — Worknesh Degefa had never set foot on the Boston Marathon course before she toed the start line in Hopkinton, Massachusetts on Monday morning.

It didn’t stop the 28-year-old Ethiopian from conquering it on her first trip down the famed route.

Degefa broke away from the rest of the field early and ran alone for the last 20 miles to win the women’s Boston Marathon.

Degefa crossed the finish line in Boston’s Back Bay in a time of 2 hours, 23 minutes, 31 seconds.

She is the eighth Ethiopian woman to win the race, and the third in seven years. Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat was second, coming in at 2:24:13. American Jordan Hasay was third, crossing the line in 2:25:20. Defending champion Des Linden, who represented the United States in the marathon at the past two Summer Olympics, finished fifth in 2:27:00.

“Winning the Boston Marathon is super special to me,” Degefa said. “Even though I’d never seen the course before, last year I watched all the marathon coverage. I kept that in my mind.”

And for most of the race she kept the rest of the field far behind her.


Worknesh Degefa wins the women’s division of the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo)

It was Degefa’s first major marathon victory. She won the Dubai Marathon in 2017, setting an Ethiopian national record.

Linden took advantage of a rainy and windy course with temperatures in the 30s to claim last year’s title in the slowest time for a women’s winner in Boston since 1978.

A heavy band of rain moved through Hopkinton at the start line about 6:30 a.m. but tapered to a drizzle and then stopped before the women’s race began. It didn’t rain during the race, allowing the Ethiopian and Kenyan contingents to push the pace.

A half marathon specialist, Degefa took her first lead after Mile 4 headed into Framingham, followed by Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba and Kenya’s Sharon Cherop. Degefa increased the margin between Mile 5 and 6 and opened a 20-second advantage by Mile 7.

“I knew that I had some speed, so I pushed myself after Mile 5,” Degefa said.

Degefa’s pace slowed in the final three miles and she looked behind her a few times to try to glimpse one of her fellow competitors.

Kiplagat became visible again in the distance around Mile 25, but there was no time for her to close the sizeable gap.

Despite not being able to get on the podium for a second straight year, Linden had a lot of support on the course. The crowd serenaded her with loud cheers when she was introduced. At the finish, a young girl held a sign that read “Des 4 Prez.”

On a day in which the marathon fell on April 15 for the first time since the April 15, 2013 bombings, Linden said it had lots of significance for the city and for herself.

“That run down Boylston was very special to me,” Linden said. “I feel like I’ve built a name for myself in this community with these fans and they really appreciate what I’ve done over the years.

“It’s also a sign that I’m pretty old that they actually know me now.”


Related:
Ethiopia Runners Sweep Paris Marathon

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US Elections 2020|In NJ Cory Booker Kicks Off Bid With Echo of MLK: “We can’t wait.”

U.S. presidential candidate Senator Cory Booker formally Kicked off his campaign in his hometown of Newark, New Jersey this past weekend with a speech that echoed the world famous Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail: “We can’t wait.” (Photo: Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) takes a selfie with his supporters during a hometown kickoff for his presidential campaign in downtown Newark on Saturday, April 13th, 2019/AP)

The Washington Post

Sen. Cory Booker formally joins presidential race with an echo of Martin Luther King Jr.: “We can’t wait.”

NEWARK — Speaking in the rejuvenated downtown of the city he helmed as mayor for seven years, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) offered himself as an optimistic and hopeful counterpoint to President Trump who would heal political and social toxicity that Booker said extends far beyond the White House.

Like most of the Democrats running for president, he mentioned Trump sparingly in his remarks during his hometown kickoff — and then only as a symptom of a more pervasive problem in American society.

“We can’t wait when powerful forces are turning their prejudice into policy and rolling back the rights that generations of Americans fought for and died for,” he told the crowd of 4,100…

“And we can’t wait because many of our most serious challenges as a nation were with us long before Donald Trump entered the White House.”

Booker, the mayor of New Jersey’s largest city from 2006 until 2013, when he was elected to the U.S. Senate, finds himself solidly in the middle of a presidential pack that now numbers 18. Booker raised more than $5 million in the two months since he announced his bid for the presidency, a number that places him behind other high-profile aspirants like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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Corey Booker begins tour for president with ‘hometown kickoff’

UPI

April 13 (UPI) — U.S. Sen. Cory Booker began a two-week tour for president with a “hometown kickoff” Saturday in Newark, N.J., where still has a house and was mayor.

A crowd of around 4,000 to 5,000 people, according to police, turned out at Military Park for a campaign stretch billed as a “justice for all tour” — including criminal, economic and environmental. Because the supporters were slow in arriving, Booker’s speech was delayed by one hour, CNN reported.

Booker, who was elected senator in November 2012 after serving two terms as Newark’s mayor, announced his candidacy for president on Feb. 1 by emailing supporting with an email announcement.

Booker was the eighth Democrat to announce he was running for president. The Democratic field has ballooned to 17 other candidates, including six U.S. senators. He is backed by 3.8 percent of voters, according to RealClearPolitics, way behind 31.1 percent for Joe Biden, who hasn’t announced he is running for president, and 21.2 percent for Bernie Sanders, who ran in 2016 for president. All of the other candidates are in single digits.

“Together, we will fulfill our pledge to be a nation of liberty and justice for all,” Booker said in downtown Newark. “Together, we will win. And together, America, we will rise.”

Booker next plans to campaign in Iowa, Georgia and Nevada. He will be focusing on communities that have been left out, according to his campaign.

RELATED Democrats begin reporting funding totals; Sanders hauls $18.2M
“Too many people believe the forces that are tearing us apart are stronger than the bonds that hold us together. I don’t believe that,” the 50-year-old Booker told his supporters. “I believe we will achieve things that other people say are impossible. I believe we will make justice real for all.”

Booker, the first African-American to represent New Jersey in the chamber, mentioned Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” written in 1963, and its declaration that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

“We are here today to say, we can’t wait,” Booker said.

Read more »


Related:
Addisu Demissie to Manage Cory Booker’s 2020 U.S. Presidential Campaign

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In Pictures: Amsale Spring 2020 Bridal Runway Show

Amsale released four Spring 2020 collections during Bridal Fashion Week in NYC on Friday, April 12th, 2019. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: April 14th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — Amsale New York unveiled its Spring 2020 collections during Bridal Fashion Week on Friday, April 12th in New York City. The wedding brand that was launched by the late Ethiopian-American fashion designer Amsale Aberra, who passed away last year, also announced the launch of its new ecommerce website as well as the Amsale Retailer Partner Program and the incorporation of 3-D technology into its design and development process.

“The newly debuted program is a revolutionary app-driven initiative to reward brick-and-mortar retailers with their fair share of ecommerce revenue and align the interest of the stores, the bride and the brand to ensure that the consumer has a seamless and convenient shopping experience,” the company said in a press release.

The Amsale x You collection was among the latest designs featured at the Spring 2020 runway show as well as online.

“Amsale was an early adopter of CAD design tools in its development process, endowing it with
a digital database of 32 years of perfected couture design patterns. Amsale’s most celebrated couture
dress designs from its library are now accessible and have empowered brides to choose, using a simple
interactive tool, the elements that best reflect their personal style,” added the press release. “With Amsale x You, we virtually invite the bride into our design room, to peruse our library and empower her to design her own bespoke wedding dress,” said Sarah Swann, Chief Creative Officer of Amsale New York.

Additional Amasale collections that were revealed at the fashion show included Amsale, Nouvelle Amsale and Little White Dress.

Below are photos from the Amsale Spring 2020 Bridal Runway Show held in New York City on Friday, April 12th:


Related:
Tribute to Legacy of Amsale Aberra

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Ethiopia Runners Sweep Paris Marathon

All smiles - Gelete Burka after winning the Paris Marathon (Getty Images)

IAAF

Abrha Milaw and Gelete Burka Take Paris Marathon Titles

Ethiopia’s Abrha Milaw and Gelete Burka prevailed at the Schneider Electric Paris Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, whose 43rd edition took place on Sunday (14).

Milaw clocked 2:07:05 for a comfortable 20-second victory over compatriot Asefa Mengistu while Burka crossed the line in 2:22:47, five seconds clear of another Ethiopian, Azmera Gebru.

With his victory, Milaw put an end to Paul Lonyangata’s dominance in Paris, the 26-year-old Kenyan who was looking for a third successive victory in the French capital, a would-be record. Lonyangata had picked up a slight injury last week when he slipped and fell in training, but it wasn’t a big enough setback to keep him from the start line…


Abrha Milaw after his victory at the Paris Marathon (Getty Images)

Milaw made a big surge with three kilometres remaining, building a four-second gap on Lonyangata and Mengistu, and nine on Gachaga, at 40km, hit in 2:00:30.

He forged on unchallenged to secure the 2:07:05 victory, clipping 20 seconds from his previous best and sealing a second successive French road success after his win at the Nice-Cannes Marathon last November.

“The conditions were tough,” Milaw simply said.

Mengistu, a past winner in Seoul, Cape Town and Bloemfontein, came home second in 2:07:25, well outside his personal best, while Lonyangata rounded the podium in 2:07:29, 1:19 slower than the time he clocked last year.

Morhad Amdouni, the European 10,000m champion, was the first Frenchman, finishing eighth in 2:09:14 in his debut over the distance.

Burka impresses with blistering kick

The women’s race was as fierce as expected…Burka, who was the fastest woman in the field, lived up to her favourite’s role to capture her second marathon victory in 2:22:47. Grebu finished five seconds in arrears as Abreha came home third in 2:23:35, six seconds ahead of Calvin whose 2:23:41 performance broke the French national record.

Read the full article at IAAF.org »


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Ethiopia’s ‘Roof of Africa’ Forest Burns: Israel Joins Fire Combat

A wildfire burning in Ethiopia's Semien National Park. (Photo via Africa News)

Africa News

Israeli firefighters are the latest addition to a growing list of experts in Ethiopia to help authorities deal with a rampaging forest fire that has hit the Semien National Park in the northern Amhara region.

Fire have been raging in parts of the historic national park for the past few months but it wasn’t until last week that external intervention was sought for to combat the crisis.

Experts from South Africa, Kenya and France were among the first to offer their assistance as of last week. Media reports quoting an Amhara regional state official said after weeks of battling fires, a renewed forest fire had broken out as of April 9.

The Times of Israel said the team joining the efforts “is being led by Zion Shenkar, who was born in Ethiopia and was the Israel Defense Force’s first-ever battalion commander from the Ethiopian community.”

Local media portal, Addis Standard added that the fire has been on and off for the last two weeks with efforts aimed at controlling it largely unsuccessful. South Africa agreed to send six firefighter planes to help.

Kenya which is also dealing with a similar case in the Mount Kenya area could not deliver on its promised assistance as at close of last week. The regional state president admitted yesterday that the issue had gotten beyond their control and needed federal intervention.

The nature of gorges and the landscape of the area is also said to be a major contributory factor that largely hampered earlier efforts at extinguishing the blaze.

A BBC reporter said: volunteers and residents had joined in the effort to put out the blaze. Another fire broke out in the park last month, destroying 340 hectares (840 acres) of forest and grass. The cause of the fires have yet to be established.

Read more »


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Los Angeles: Nipsey Hussle, A Hometown Hero, Immortalized at Memorial

People watch as a hearse carrying the casket of slain rapper Nipsey Hussle passes Hussle's clothing store The Marathon, Thursday, April 11, 2019, in Los Angeles. Hussle’s casket, draped in the flag of his father’s native country, Eritrea, embarked on a 25-mile tour of the city after his memorial service, drawing thousands to the streets to catch a glimpse of the recently-anointed hometown hero. (AP Photo)

AP

By JONATHAN LANDRUM Jr. and MESFIN FEKADU

LOS ANGELES — Nipsey Hussle’s legacy as a persistent rapper, community activist, uniter, doting father, protective sibling and a loving son were underscored at his public memorial service on Thursday, with deeply personal testimonies from those closest to the rapper, including his actress-fiancee Lauren London, collaborator and dear friend Snoop Dogg and his mother, who said she was at peace with the death of her “superhero” son.

Beyonce and Jay-Z were among the big-name celebrities who attended the three-hour event in Los Angeles at the Staples Center, where the last celebrity funeral held at the concert arena was Michael Jackson’s in 2009.

The arena was packed with more than 21,000 fans and drove home the important impact Hussle — just 33 when he died — had on his city and the rest of the world.

“I’m very proud of my son. My son Ermias Joseph Asghedom was a great man,” said Angelique Smith, dressed in all white. Standing onstage with Hussle’s father, Dawit Asghedom, she declared: “Ermias was a legacy.”

London, who was in dark sunglasses, was emotional but stood strong onstage as she told the audience: “I’ve never felt this type of pain before.”

London called Hussle “majestic” and “brilliant” and said she had learned so much from his presence. She added that though she was hurting, she was really sad for their son Kross, whom she feared wouldn’t remember his dad: “My pain is for my 2-year-old.”

Snoop Dogg’s words to immortalize his friend were both serious and silly, as he told old stories about Hussle and their brotherhood.

“This a tough one right here,” he said, visibly shaken but keeping his composure.

Snoop thanked Hussle’s parents multiple times and told his father that “you picked up another son in me.”

Hussle’s father said he knew his son was strong because when he was born, the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck but he prevailed.

“He was a fighter,” he said.

Earlier in the ceremony, Hussle’s children also appeared onstage to pay tribute. London’s son with rapper Lil Wayne, Cameron Carter, said days after Hussle died, he had a dream he saw the rapper.

“I realized Ermias told me what heaven was like. He told me it was paradise,” Cameron said.

Cameron then told the audience that Hussle would look at him through the window at times and say “respect.” Cameron then asked the crowd to say “respect” in unison, and they complied.


Nipsey Hussle

Hussle was slain last month in front of a store that he tried to use to empower his South Los Angeles neighborhood. The public memorial service kicked off by paying respect to Hussle the rapper, as songs from his latest Grammy-nominated album, “Victory Lap,” filled the arena.

“Everybody put your hands in the air,” the DJ said as one of Hussle’s songs played. “It’s a celebration.”

Indeed, his mother danced in the aisle as R&B singer Marsha Ambrosius sang the Mariah Carey song “Fly Like a Bird” while fighting back tears. “This is for Nipsey y’all,” Ambrosius said before she started as she tried to gain her composure, sighing heavily.

But soon the focus was squarely on the person behind the persona. A montage of photos featuring the rapper from infancy, childhood and adulthood, with fellow rappers, his family and London, were shown to the crowd, set to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”

Stevie Wonder was the last performer to pay tribute to Hussle, who he said he had the chance to meet, saying: “We had a good conversation.” Before he sang “Rocket Song,” one of Hussle’s favorites, Wonder denounced gun violence and told the audience “there’s enough people being killed by guns and violence.”

Anthony Hamilton invoked the spirit of a church service when he performed in Hussle’s honor. Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan hailed Hussle’s ability to bring different factions together. And blogger and media figure Karen Civil read a letter sent by former U.S. President Barack Obama, who wrote that he never met Nipsey but heard of his music through his daughters.

“While most folks look at the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and only see gangs, bullets and despair, Nipsey saw potential. He saw hope. He saw a community that even through its flaws taught him to always keep going. He chose to invest in that community rather than to ignore it,” the Obama letter read. “He set an example for young people to follow and is a legacy worth of celebration. I hope his memory inspires more good work in Crenshaw and communities like it. Michelle and I send our sympathies to Lauren, Emani, Kross and his whole family and to all those who love Nipsey.”

Father Thomas Uwal read a scripture in Tigrinya — the native language in Eritrea, the African country where Hussle’s father was from. Uwal spoke of Hussle being “proud to be an Eritrean-American,” later saying to the late rapper’s family: “On behalf of all Eritreans … we say our condolences to you.”


A makeshift memorial site for Nipsey Hussle is filled with candles outside The Marathon Clothing store. (AP photo)

Books with an image of Hussle on the cover were handed out to service attendees. The book of nearly 100 pages contained numerous photos of Hussle with London, his children, and friends like Russell Westbrook and Snoop Dogg. It also had heartfelt messages from Rick Ross, The Game and LeBron James.

“I’ve never cried myself to sleep over any public figure before, but Nipsey’s presence meant so much for our community,” actress Issa Rae said in her message inside the book.

The hearse carrying Hussle’s coffin went through a 25-mile (40-kilometer) lap through the city, including past the property where Hussle had planned to turn an aging strip mall into new businesses and affordable homes.

Thousands of people crowded the streets, some on bicycles and motorcycles, following and surrounding the vehicle as it slowly wound its way to the funeral home. The silver Cadillac passed the rapper’s childhood home in Watts. It came to a halt at times, unable to move in the vast crowd of people.

Police kept an eye on the crowd, which appeared largely peaceful. At one point, people sat atop a police car spray-painted with the words: “Nips in Paradise.”

At one point during the procession, there was a brief stampede, apparently because of some kind of startling noise that may have been Mylar balloons popping. The Fire Department said several power lines were downed by the metalized balloons. There also were reports of people feeling unwell from the heat and the packed conditions. The Fire Department said it treated 15 people, including five who were taken to local hospitals.

There were reports of leg pain and dehydration but no reports of major injuries, fire officials said.

The hearse finally arrived Wednesday evening at a funeral home in the city’s hard-scrabble Crenshaw district, where the rapper was born on Aug. 15, 1985.

Hussle was shot to death March 31 while standing outside The Marathon, his South Los Angeles clothing store, not far from where the rapper grew up.

Eric R. Holder Jr., who has been charged with killing Hussle, has pleaded not guilty. Police have said Holder and Hussle had several interactions the day of the shooting and have described it as being the result of a personal dispute.

For a decade, Hussle released much sought-after mixtapes that he sold out of the trunk of his car, helping him create a buzz and gain respect from rap purists and his peers. His said his stage name, a play on the 1960s and ’70s rhyming standup comic Nipsey Russell, was given to him as a teen by an older friend because he was such a go-getter — always hustling.

Last year he hit new heights with “Victory Lap,” his critically acclaimed major-label debut album on Atlantic Records that made several critics’ best-of lists. The album debuted at No. 4 on Billboard’s 200 albums charts and earned him a Grammy nomination.

But the rapper was also a beloved figure for his philanthropic work that went well beyond the usual celebrity “giving back” ethos. Following his death, political and community leaders were as quick and effusive in their praise as his fellow hip-hop artists.

His family and friends vowed to continue his work, and London told the crowd: “The marathon continues!”

Associated Press Writers Andrew Dalton, Amanda Myers and John Rogers contributed to this report.
___

In Ethiopia Candlelight Vigil Held for Slain Eritrean American Artist Nipsey Hussle


Hundreds of Ethiopians and Eritreans living in Addis Ababa attended a memorial service for Eritrean American rapper, Nipsey Hussle who was shot dead last month near a clothes shop he owned in Los Angeles. (AFP)

AFP

Ethiopians bid farewell to slain rapper Nipsey Hussle

Addis Ababa — With poems and speeches, Ethiopians have held an emotional farewell for murdered rapper Nipsey Hussle, whose roots in neighbouring Eritrea won him admirers in both countries.

Known for his Grammy-nominated debut album, Hussle was shot dead last week in front of the clothing store he owned in the US city of Los Angeles, whose violence-plagued neighbourhoods he had tried to revitalise.

On Friday, 29-year-old Eric Holder pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder over the shooting that also wounded two other men.

At the Saturday evening memorial in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, Hussle was remembered as a rare entertainer who bridged his American upbringing with his roots in the Horn of Africa.

“When we heard there’s an Eritrean rapper out there, we were fans before we heard his music,” said Ambaye Michael Tesfay, who eulogised Hussle at the event held in a darkened parking lot. “He was an icon for us.”

Before his 2018 debut album “Victory Lap” scored a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album, Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, had won the attention of rap fans from both Ethiopia and Eritrea for his embrace of his father’s Eritrean heritage.

Eritrea was a province of Ethiopia until 1993, when it voted for independence after a decades-long independence struggle, but both countries still have close cultural and family ties.

“It’s just really tragic what happened,” said Tezeta Solomon, an Ethiopian living in Los Angeles who attended the memorial in Addis Ababa.

“When he first came out, we were all so excited. To know there was a habesha rapper out there definitely sparked some pride,” she said, using a common term to describe people from the Horn of Africa.

Hussle embraced his Eritrean heritage, visiting the country last year and telling state media, “More than anything I am proud of being Eritrean.”

Read more »


Nipsey Hussle’s Eritrean American Dream (The Atlantic)


As the staff writer for The Atlantic magazine Hannah Giorgis highlights in the following article: “The slain rapper, who was known for his investment in his Los Angeles community, also inspired fans and fellow musicians who share his East African heritage.” (Getty Images)

The Atlantic

By HANNAH GIORGIS

Updated: APR 4, 2019

In April 2018, the Los Angeles–born street rapper Nipsey Hussle traveled to his father’s native Eritrea for the first time in 14 years. The trip found the musician, née Ermias Davidson Asghedom, both contemplative and triumphant: After a prolific run of mixtapes spanning more than a decade, the fiercely independent artist had recently released his major-label studio debut, Victory Lap. (The February 2018 record, which debuted at No. 4, would later earn him a nomination for Best Rap Album at this year’s Grammys.)

While in the East African country, Hussle and his brother, Samiel “Blacc Sam” Asghedom, followed their father’s lead: They traveled to historical sites and met the country’s divisive president; they were blessed by their 90-year-old grandmother with himbasha, the slightly sweet bread most often served during celebrations. Hussle was also interviewed by a number of state-run media outlets. In one interview, which was posted to Eritrea’s Ministry of Information website, the Eritrean journalist Billion Temesghen told the musician that his listeners, particularly those on the continent, saw his hard-won successes as their own. Hussle’s response at the time was gracious and affirming. “I want to thank my Eritrean fans for feeling connected to me and for supporting me. I feel extremely grateful,” he replied. “I am going to keep coming back here and make frequent returns … Thank you for keeping my name alive out here.”

But now, less than a year later, Hussle’s connection to his fans, Eritrean and American alike, has taken on a far more tragic valence. On Sunday afternoon, Hussle was fatally shot outside the store he co-owned in South L.A., the neighborhood Hussle celebrated in his music, advocacy, and philanthropic ventures. The Los Angeles Police Department has since apprehended a suspect in the case, but the rapper and activist’s killing remains a devastating blow to his family and to fans around the world, many of whom have likened him to the late Tupac Shakur.

Read more »


How Nipsey Hussle (Ermias Asghedom) Connected to His Eritrean Roots


Grammy-nominated Eritrean-American rapper Nipsey Hussle whose real name was Ermias Asghedom was shot and killed on Sunday outside the clothing store he founded in Los Angeles. He was 33. (Getty Images)

CNN

Rapper Nipsey Hussle’s death in a shooting near his clothing store was greeted with shock and disbelief by celebrities and fans alike.

The 33-year-old musician, real name Ermias Davidson Asghedom, was shot dead in an attack on Sunday that also left two others injured.

The city of Los Angeles where he grew up and dedicated his life to helping kids break out of the cycle of gang violence mourned his passing.

But somewhere, thousands of miles away in east Africa, Nipsey’s death was felt even more keenly by the people of Eritrea.

His father, Nipsey once said, fled a war in Eritrea to settle in the US.

Hussle visited Eritrea twice in his lifetime: first as an 18-year-old when he spent three months and most recently in April 2018.

With his brother Samiel and their dad, Hussle met the Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and sat down with the Ministry of Information’s website for a wide-ranging interview about his life and experiences growing up in Los Angeles in a culture of gang violence.

Then he spoke of his love for Eritrea and his desire to connect with his extended family after fourteen years since his last visit.

“I am here to visit my family and reconnect with my grandmother, my cousins and everybody else,” Hussle said during the interview.

“I love to be here. The people, the food, the culture, and the lifestyle are extremely good.”

During his trip back to his father’s country, Hussle also visited a local textile factory in the capital Asmara to explore business opportunities.

Eritrea’s Minister of Information Yemane Meskel led the tributes to Hussle after news of his death broke.

Read more »


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Spotlight: Mehret Mandefro’s ‘The Loving Generation’ up for Webby Award

Mehret Mandefro is the co-Director and co- Producer of the documentary 'The Loving Generation' that has been nominated for the 2019 Webby People’s Voice Award. (Getty Images)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: April 11th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — The last time we featured Mehret Mandefro in Tadias she was promoting the award-winning film Difret at a screening in New York, which was attended by the movie’s real-life inspirations Aberash Bekele as well as her lawyer Meaza Ashenafi who is now the head of Ethiopia’s Supreme Court.

In prior years we had also selected Mehret as part of our 2012 women’s history month profile and highlighted her background as a physician, filmmaker, anthropologist and social change activist as well as a former White House Fellow during the Obama administration.

In her latest film project The Loving Generation — which she co-directed and produced with Lacey Schwartz — Mehret who is now based in Ethiopia and works as an Executive Producer and Social Impact Director for Kana Television, tackles the still archaic view of race here in the U.S.

The press release about the documentary notes that “The Loving Generation tells the story of how a generation of Americans born to one black and one white parent experience race and identity in a divided United States.” The film takes its title from the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia, that struck down anti-miscegenation laws across the country, and focuses on people born between 1965 and 1985. The documentary is the “first series of its kind to train a lens on this particular generation of Americans, many of whom have become recognized leaders in their respective fields.”

Mehret shares that The Loving Generation has been nominated for The Webby People’s Voice Award and voting by the public is currently underway. According to its website the award, which the New York Times has dubbed “The Internet’s highest honor,” recognizes 7 categories of media projects including websites, video, apps, games, and podcasts. “Members of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) select the nominees for both awards in each category, as well as the winners of The Webby Awards,” states the award website. “In the spirit of the open Web, The Webby People’s Voice is awarded by the voting public. Each year, The Webby People’s Voice Awards garners millions of votes from all over the world.”


You can learn more and vote for ‘The Loving Generation’ at https://vote.webbyawards.com.

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Photos: Ethiopia Honors Feyisa Lilesa

Olympian Feyisa Lilesa received a well-deserved heroes honor in Ethiopia on April 9th, 2019 while meeting with PM Abiy Ahmed and President Sahle-Work Zewde, and was also awarded $17,000 USD for garnering Ethiopia a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. (Photo: Office of the Prime Minister @PMEthiopia)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: April 10th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — One of the key moments that occurred during the nation-wide civil unrest in Ethiopia in the last few years, prior to current reforms, included Olympic marathoner and silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa’s symbolic protest at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil. The photo of Feyisa crossing the finish line with his hands crossed over his head — already a popular act of protest among the youth in Ethiopia — reverberated across the world. He then repeated the protest sign at a follow-up press conference and refused to return home, fearful of government reprisal.

As Feyisa’s daring protest brought immediate global attention to the festering crisis in his native country, the athlete sought political asylum in the United States. Feyisa returned to Ethiopia this past October following the new Prime Minsiter Abiy Ahmed’s call for exiled Ethiopians to come home.

On Tuesday Feyisa received a well-deserved heroes honor in Ethiopia while meeting with PM Abiy and President Sahle-Work Zewde, and was also awarded $17,000 USD for garnering Ethiopia a silver medal at the Olympics.

Below are photos tweeted by PM Abiy’s office:


(Photo: @PMEthiopia)


Related:
2016 in Pictures: Tadias Year in Review
In Pictures: Feyisa Lilesa’s Daring Protest Reminiscent of 1968 Olympics

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US-Ethiopia Launch $4m Justice Project

(Picture Courtesy: U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia)

Press Release

U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia

The United States and Ethiopia Launch New $4 Million Project to Improve Rule of Law Institutions

Today, the United States announced the launch of its new two-year, $4 million Feteh project to support the strengthening of independent rule of law institutions in Ethiopia. Feteh (meaning “justice” in Amharic) is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and will provide technical support to the Attorney General’s Office and the Supreme Court’s efforts to expand their independent decision-making and oversight capacity.

USAID’s Feteh project will strengthen the overall capacity of the Attorney General Office (AGO) directorates and agencies, and provide technical support to the AGO advisory council and secretariat for their ongoing legislative initiatives. The project will also support the Federal Supreme Court of Ethiopia in its efforts to strengthen commercial benches, revise various framework laws – including the Law on Judicial Administration and the Law on Federal Courts – and enhance its case flow management to improve efficiency.

President of the Supreme Court Meaza Ashenafi joined USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick and Ambassador Michael Raynor to announce the new collaboration at a launch event in the capital city.

“Today, we are opening a new chapter in our partnership. The United States is committed to investing in the capacity of Ethiopian legal institutions to achieve their goals of ensuring free and fair elections, promoting human rights, citizen engagement, and greater representation,” said USAID Deputy Administrator Glick.

The United States has invested approximately $4 billion in development and humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia over the past five years to enable people across the country lead healthier and more prosperous lives.


Related:
Q&A: Ethiopia’s First Female Chief Justice Says “Women Shouldn’t Be Silent Victims”

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Diaspora & Migration: A Reading List

The Pen America reading list includes Maaza Mengiste's novel 'Beneath the Lion’s Gaze.' (Photo: Pen)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: April 9th, 2019

Diaspora & Migration: A Reading List By PEN America

New York (TADIAS) — PEN America has released a great reading list, which includes Maaza Mengiste’s novel Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, in preparation for its upcoming book talk highlighting a new anthology on refugee lives. The anthology titled The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives features a collection of writings by 17 refugee writers compiled by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen and includes a submission by Ethiopian American author Maaza Mengeste.

According to PEN: “As a response to President Trump’s 2017 action of closing borders from seven predominantly Muslim countries, Viet Thanh Nguyen edited a collection of eclectic refugee voices to refute stereotypes. With essential voices from around the globe, this clamorous assortment of essays reminds readers of our cosmopolitan society and the need to maintain empathy with our global neighbors.”

Beneath the Lion’s Gaze: A Novel, Maaza Mengiste

“This historical fiction shines light on the Ethiopian revolution of the 1970s—a moment often glossed over in the Western world—while crafting a gripping original story. Mengiste contrasts mellifluous, emotive language with grandiose, often grotesque, depictions of civil war. A tribute to the importance of love and family even in the grimmest times, this novel is a testament to human resilience.”


Maaza Mengiste. (Photo: M.M.LaFleur)

Maaza, whose upcoming second novel The Shadow King is scheduled to be released in September 2019, was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University. Maaza is also the “writer for the Ethiopia segment of GIRL RISING,” a feature film that tells the stories of 10 extraordinary girls from 10 developing countries around the world. Maaza’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Guardian, BBC Radio, The Granta Anthology of the African Short Story, and Lettre International.


If You Go:
PEN Out Loud: Viet Thanh Nguyen and Maaza Mengiste
Friday, April 26, 2019 at 7:00PM
Strand Book Store
Rare Book Room, 3rd Floor
828 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
Click here to buy tickets

Related:
Timely New Book ‘The Coffeehouse Resistance’ by Owner of Buunni Cafe

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Q&A: Ethiopia’s First Female Chief Justice Says “Women Shouldn’t Be Silent Victims”

Human rights defender and women’s rights activist Meaza Ashenafi became President of Ethiopia’s Supreme Court in November 2018. (Photo: by Papillon pierre)

African Arguments

Meaza Ashenafi was appointed President of Ethiopia’s Supreme Court in November 2018. How is she faring?

As Meaza Ashenafi was introduced to the stage at the LSE Africa Summit last month, the audience went wild with rapturous woops and applause. Here she was! The first ever woman to be Ethiopia’s Chief Justice! The founder of the Ethiopian Women Lawyers’ Association! The architect of Ethiopia’s first women’s bank! The justice crusader whose defense of a 14-year-old child bride was immortalized in the critically-quite-liked Angelina-Jolie-executive-produced 2014 film Difret!

As Ashenafi adjusted the mic, a smile on her face, the spectators settled down. A few looked at one another in giddy anticipation at hearing this giant of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s brave new Ethiopia speak. And then she started…quietly at first, and then a little louder, and then quieter again.

The short address that followed contained little that was provocative or controversial. Ashenafi responded to her rock-star entrance by performing a gentle pan-flute-solo of a speech about the importance of rule of law and Africa’s untapped potential. Rather than exuding charismatic authority, the hugely accomplished 55-year-old was quietly measured, calm and compassionate. In other words, she exhibited the qualities one should probably look for in an arbiter of justice.

African Arguments caught up briefly with the Chief Justice after her speech to hear more about her first five months in the job.

You are now the ultimate guardian of justice in your country, but that is a very abstract concept. How would you define justice in concrete terms in the context of Ethiopia?

Justice is applying and interpreting the law, but not only that. It is also about making sure justice is served. We have to make sure trials are fair and speedy and that due process is followed. We will be satisfied in terms of delivering justice when people have access to courts, physically as well as financially, and when we have impartial and competent judges in place. Justice will be served when people can lose a case, but be comforted that the process was followed.

Read the full interview at africanarguments.org »


Related:
Tadias Interview with Meaza Ashenafi & Aberash Bekele about ‘Difret’ Movie: 2015 in NYC

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In Ethiopia Candlelight Vigil Held for Slain Eritrean American Artist Nipsey Hussle

Hundreds of Ethiopians and Eritreans living in Addis Ababa attended a memorial service for Eritrean American rapper, Nipsey Hussle who was shot dead last month near a clothes shop he owned in Los Angeles. (AFP)

AFP

Ethiopians bid farewell to slain rapper Nipsey Hussle

Addis Ababa — With poems and speeches, Ethiopians have held an emotional farewell for murdered rapper Nipsey Hussle, whose roots in neighbouring Eritrea won him admirers in both countries.

Known for his Grammy-nominated debut album, Hussle was shot dead last week in front of the clothing store he owned in the US city of Los Angeles, whose violence-plagued neighbourhoods he had tried to revitalise.

On Friday, 29-year-old Eric Holder pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder over the shooting that also wounded two other men.

At the Saturday evening memorial in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, Hussle was remembered as a rare entertainer who bridged his American upbringing with his roots in the Horn of Africa.

“When we heard there’s an Eritrean rapper out there, we were fans before we heard his music,” said Ambaye Michael Tesfay, who eulogised Hussle at the event held in a darkened parking lot. “He was an icon for us.”

Before his 2018 debut album “Victory Lap” scored a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album, Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, had won the attention of rap fans from both Ethiopia and Eritrea for his embrace of his father’s Eritrean heritage.

Eritrea was a province of Ethiopia until 1993, when it voted for independence after a decades-long independence struggle, but both countries still have close cultural and family ties.

“It’s just really tragic what happened,” said Tezeta Solomon, an Ethiopian living in Los Angeles who attended the memorial in Addis Ababa.

“When he first came out, we were all so excited. To know there was a habesha rapper out there definitely sparked some pride,” she said, using a common term to describe people from the Horn of Africa.

Hussle embraced his Eritrean heritage, visiting the country last year and telling state media, “More than anything I am proud of being Eritrean.”

Read more »


Nipsey Hussle’s Eritrean American Dream (The Atlantic)


As the staff writer for The Atlantic magazine Hannah Giorgis highlights in the following article: “The slain rapper, who was known for his investment in his Los Angeles community, also inspired fans and fellow musicians who share his East African heritage.” (Getty Images)

The Atlantic

By HANNAH GIORGIS

Updated: APR 4, 2019

In April 2018, the Los Angeles–born street rapper Nipsey Hussle traveled to his father’s native Eritrea for the first time in 14 years. The trip found the musician, née Ermias Davidson Asghedom, both contemplative and triumphant: After a prolific run of mixtapes spanning more than a decade, the fiercely independent artist had recently released his major-label studio debut, Victory Lap. (The February 2018 record, which debuted at No. 4, would later earn him a nomination for Best Rap Album at this year’s Grammys.)

While in the East African country, Hussle and his brother, Samiel “Blacc Sam” Asghedom, followed their father’s lead: They traveled to historical sites and met the country’s divisive president; they were blessed by their 90-year-old grandmother with himbasha, the slightly sweet bread most often served during celebrations. Hussle was also interviewed by a number of state-run media outlets. In one interview, which was posted to Eritrea’s Ministry of Information website, the Eritrean journalist Billion Temesghen told the musician that his listeners, particularly those on the continent, saw his hard-won successes as their own. Hussle’s response at the time was gracious and affirming. “I want to thank my Eritrean fans for feeling connected to me and for supporting me. I feel extremely grateful,” he replied. “I am going to keep coming back here and make frequent returns … Thank you for keeping my name alive out here.”

But now, less than a year later, Hussle’s connection to his fans, Eritrean and American alike, has taken on a far more tragic valence. On Sunday afternoon, Hussle was fatally shot outside the store he co-owned in South L.A., the neighborhood Hussle celebrated in his music, advocacy, and philanthropic ventures. The Los Angeles Police Department has since apprehended a suspect in the case, but the rapper and activist’s killing remains a devastating blow to his family and to fans around the world, many of whom have likened him to the late Tupac Shakur.

Read more »


How Nipsey Hussle (Ermias Asghedom) Connected to His Eritrean Roots


Grammy-nominated Eritrean-American rapper Nipsey Hussle whose real name was Ermias Asghedom was shot and killed on Sunday outside the clothing store he founded in Los Angeles. He was 33. (Getty Images)

CNN

Rapper Nipsey Hussle’s death in a shooting near his clothing store was greeted with shock and disbelief by celebrities and fans alike.

The 33-year-old musician, real name Ermias Davidson Asghedom, was shot dead in an attack on Sunday that also left two others injured.

The city of Los Angeles where he grew up and dedicated his life to helping kids break out of the cycle of gang violence mourned his passing.

But somewhere, thousands of miles away in east Africa, Nipsey’s death was felt even more keenly by the people of Eritrea.

His father, Nipsey once said, fled a war in Eritrea to settle in the US.

Hussle visited Eritrea twice in his lifetime: first as an 18-year-old when he spent three months and most recently in April 2018.

With his brother Samiel and their dad, Hussle met the Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and sat down with the Ministry of Information’s website for a wide-ranging interview about his life and experiences growing up in Los Angeles in a culture of gang violence.

Then he spoke of his love for Eritrea and his desire to connect with his extended family after fourteen years since his last visit.

“I am here to visit my family and reconnect with my grandmother, my cousins and everybody else,” Hussle said during the interview.

“I love to be here. The people, the food, the culture, and the lifestyle are extremely good.”

During his trip back to his father’s country, Hussle also visited a local textile factory in the capital Asmara to explore business opportunities.

Eritrea’s Minister of Information Yemane Meskel led the tributes to Hussle after news of his death broke.

Read more »


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Ethiopian Selected as Official Carrier for 2019 World Press Freedom Day

Ethiopian Airlines has been chosen as the Official Carrier for the 2019 World Press Freedom Day Global Conference to be held in Addis Ababa from May 1-3, 2019. (Photo: Ethiopian Airlines)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: April 6th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopian Airlines has been selected as the official carrier for the 2019 World Press Freedom Day conference that will take place in Addis Ababa next month. This year’s conference will mark the first time in the event’s 26-year history that it will be held in Ethiopia.

According to UNESCO — the organizer of the annual international conference collaborating jointly with the Ethiopian Government and the African Union Commission — the theme of this year’s gathering is aptly titled Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation.

UNESCO has announced that the two-day conference will be held at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa from May 2-3, 2019.

UNESCO notes that the event “will serve as an opportunity to explore and discuss new issues and obstacles facing the press in electoral times, as well as the media’s capacity to help build a culture of peace and reconciliation. The Day will also examine concerns such as the safety of journalists (both online and offline), and how we can better push back against a growing climate of disinformation.”

Ethiopian Airlines, the event’s designated carrier, anticipates providing transport service for more than a thousand guests from around the world who are traveling to Addis for the meeting. “We are honored to have been chosen to serve as the official carrier for this year’s World Press Freedom Day Global Conference,” said Tewolde GebreMariam, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. “We are all the more delighted to be part of this noble cause which seeks to advance press freedom around the world.”

The announcement from UNESCO adds that “the main celebration in Addis Ababa will feature two plenaries, various breakout sessions, a youth newsroom, a photo exhibition, a cartoon exhibition, and a film screening. In addition, UNESCO in collaboration with a local university is organizing its annual Academic Conference on the safety of journalists.” There will also be pre-conference events organized by partner organizations on May 1st, 2019. As the World Press Freedom Day conference is underway in Addis Ababa UNESCO says that there will also be simultaneous events held across the globe.

For Ethiopia the conference signifies a remarkable change in just over 12 months, from having a reputation of being one of the “worst jailers of journalists in the world” to hosting World Press Freedom Day. It is worth emphasizing that at the present moment there are no journalists in prison in Ethiopia.


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Analysis: Ethiopia’s New Foreign Relations & the Domestic Issue of Ethnic Federalism

Amid the growing and deafening crescendo of fake news, divisive propaganda and the same old ego-based rhetoric (insulting, yelling and barking at each other) in the Diaspora blogosphere, here are two refreshing and well informed analysis of current affairs in Ethiopia. The first one is written by Awol Allo focusing on Ethiopia’s new foreign policy. And the second article by Goitom Gebreluel on Aljazeera asks a timely question: Should Ethiopia stick with ethnic federalism? (Image: Ethiopia on map/Wikimedia)

The Abiy Doctrine: One year of Ethiopia’s new foreign policy

BY AWOL ALLO | African Arguments

APRIL 5, 20190

It’s not just domestically that the new Prime Minister has shaken things up in his first year.

When Abiy Ahmed became Ethiopia’s prime minister a year ago on 2 April, he inherited a deeply divided and fractured country. The economy was in free fall, a state of emergency had been declared, and an agitated mass was calling for revolutionary change. Since then, his administration has been praised for pulling the country back from the brink. The government has enacted a series of progressive and transformational reforms, which have made headlines internally and been widely scrutinised.

Much less, however, has been said about Abiy’s foreign policy.

When he entered office, the young prime minister promised to transform Ethiopia’s foreign policy and extend the country’s influence. In his inaugural speech, Abiy noted the complex history of the region. “The Horn of Africa is gripped by lots of crisis,” he said, “where many forces with different interests and objectives are scrambling and where there are many complex entanglements.”

He also spoke of Ethiopia’s commitment to pan-Africanism and its “notable role in regional, continental, and global matters.” He vowed to strengthen this position and stand with “our African brothers in general and with our neighbours in particular…in times of hardship as well as in times of happiness.”

These kinds of promises are not uncommon in inaugural speeches and few expected Abiy to follow through. That is until he made the unexpected move to end twenty years of intractable military stalemate with neighbouring Eritrea and began a flurry of visits to countries in the region and the Middle East. Within just three months of assuming office, Abiy had capably and courageously resolved the long-running conflict with Eritrea and begun to consolidate multiple strategic partnerships within and beyond the region.

Read more »


Related:
Should Ethiopia stick with ethnic federalism? (Aljazeera)

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Read Excerpt From Ethiopia Crash Report

Below is an excerpt from a preliminary report released on Thursday, April 4th, 2019 by the Ethiopian government concerning Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 that crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa on March 10th, killing all 157 on board. The preliminary report found that the pilots performed all the procedures recommended by Boeing but could not control the plane. The Initial report also pointed out a problem with a flight sensor data that led to the crash. (Photo: An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8/EPA)

The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau of Ethiopia

FOREWORD

The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) is the investigation authority in Ethiopia responsible to the Ministry of Transport for the investigation of civil aircraft accidents and serious incidents in Ethiopia.

The mission of the AIB is to promote aviation safety through the conduct of independent, separate investigations without prejudice to any judicial or administrative action consistent with Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation.

The AIB conducts the investigations in accordance with the proclamation No 957/16 and Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, which governs how member States of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) conduct aircraft accident investigations internationally.

The investigation process involves the gathering, recording and analysis of all available information on the accidents and incidents; determination of the causes and/or contributing factors; identification of safety issues; issuance of safety recommendations to address these safety issues; and completion of the investigation report. In carrying out the investigations, the AIB will adhere to ICAO’s stated objective, which is as follows:

“The sole objective of the investigation of an accident or incident shall be the prevention of accidents and incidents; it is not the purpose of this activity to apportion blame or liability’’.


Executive summary

On March 10, 2019, at 05:38 UTC, Ethiopian Airlines flight 302, Boeing 737-8(MAX), ET-AVJ, took off from Addis Ababa Bole Int. Airport bound to Nairobi, Kenya Jomo Kenyatta Int. Airport. Shortly after takeoff, the Angle of Attack sensor recorded value became erroneous and the left stick shaker activated and remained active until near the end of the flight. In addition, the airspeed and altitude values from the left air data system began deviating from the corresponding right side values. Due to flight control problems, the Captain was unable to maintain the flight path and requested to return back to the departure airport. The crew lost control of the aircraft which crashed at 5: 44 UTC 28 NM South East of Addis Ababa near Ejere village.

ORGANISATION OF THE INVESTIGATION

On Sunday 10th March 2019 at around 05:47, FDRE Ministry of Transport and AIB were informed the loss of radio and radar contact with flight ET 302 a few minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.

After having established without doubt that the Aircraft had disappeared, the Ethiopian Authorities launched a technical investigation. In accordance with article 26 of the Convention and ICAO Annex 13 “Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation”, an Investigation Committee (IC) from Ethiopian AIB investigators was formed by a ministerial decree issued by the Minister of Transport in order to conduct the technical investigation. An investigator-in-charge (IIC) was designated in the same decree to lead and initiate the investigation immediately. As per Annex 13 provisions, in the investigation participated:

ECAA and Ethiopian Airlines Group – Technical Advisor to AIB
NTSB – Accredited Representative State of Design and Manufacturer
BEA – Accredited representative, State which provided facilities & experts for the read out of DFDR & CVR
EASA -Technical Advisor to AIB

As per the Ethiopian Government decision and agreement between the FDRE Ministry of Transport and the French Bureau d’Enquête Analyse pour la sécurité de l’aviation civile (BEA), the DFDR and CVR were read at the BEA facilities at Le Bourget, near Paris, France. Both recorders were transported directly to the BEA under the custody of the State of Occurrence accompanied by members from the IC and readings were performed by BEA personnel in association with and under the direct supervision of the IC. On request of Ethiopia and as per annex 13 article 5.23, BEA has appointed an accredited representative.

Working groups were formed as follows:
• Operations
• Maintenance & Airworthiness group
• Power plant group
• Autopsy examination group
• DFDR and CVR group

A Search & Rescue (SAR) team performed search by Ethiopian Air force, Ethiopian Air lines Group and Abyssinian flight service. Search operations were conducted in full coordination with Federal, Regional police and other Government bodies.

It was also decided that media relations till the release of the final investigation report were to be handled by the FDRE Ministry of Transport Minister with factual data and information relayed through the IIC directly to the Minister.


1 FACTUAL INFORMATION
1.1 HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On March 10, 2019, at about 05:44 UTC1, Ethiopian Airlines flight 302, a Boeing 737-8 (MAX), Ethiopian registration ET-AVJ, crashed near Ejere, Ethiopia, shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (HAAB), Ethiopia. The flight was a regularly scheduled international passenger flight from Addis Ababa to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (HKJK), Nairobi, Kenya. There were 157 passengers and crew on board. All were fatally injured, and the Aircraft was destroyed.

The following is based on the preliminary analysis of the DFDR, CVR and ATC communications. As the investigation continues, revisions and changes may occur before the final report is published.

At 05:37:34, ATC issued take off clearance to ET-302 and to contact radar on 119.7 MHz. Takeoff roll began from runway 07R at a field elevation of 2333.5 m at approximately 05:38, with a flap setting of 5 degrees and a stabilizer setting of 5.6 units. The takeoff roll appeared normal, including normal values of left and right angle-of-attack (AOA). During takeoff roll, the engines stabilized at about 94% N1, which matched the N1 Reference recorded on the DFDR. From this point for most of the flight, the N1 Reference remained about 94% and the throttles did not move. The N1 target indicated non data pattern 220 seconds before the end of recording. According to the CVR data and the control column forces recorded in DFDR, captain was the pilot flying.

At 05:38:44, shortly after liftoff, the left and right recorded AOA values deviated. Left AOA decreased to 11.1° then increased to 35.7° while value of right AOA indicated 14.94°. Then after, the left AOA value reached 74.5° in ¾ seconds while the right AOA reached a maximum value of 15.3°. At this time, the left stick shaker activated and remained active until near the end of the recording. Also, the airspeed, altitude and flight director pitch bar values from the left side noted deviating from the corresponding right side values. The left side values were lower than the right side values until near the end of the recording.

At 05:38:43 and about 50 ft radio altitude, the flight director roll mode changed to LNAV.

At 05:38:46 and about 200 ft radio altitude, the Master Caution parameter changed state. The First Officer called out Master Caution Anti-Ice on CVR. Four seconds later, the recorded Left AOA Heat parameter changed state.

At 05:38:58 and about 400 ft radio altitude, the flight director pitch mode changed to VNAV SPEED and Captain called out “Command” (standard call out for autopilot engagement) and an autopilot warning is recorded.

At 05:39:00, Captain called out “Command”.

At 05:39:01 and about 630 ft radio altitude, a second autopilot warning is recorded.

At 05:39:06, the Captain advised the First-Officer to contact radar and First Officer reported SHALA 2A departure crossing 8400 ft and climbing FL 320.

Between liftoff and 1000 ft above ground level (AGL), the pitch trim position moved between 4.9 and 5.9 units in response to manual electric trim inputs. At 1000 ft AGL, the pitch trim position was at 5.6 units.

At 05:39:22 and about 1,000 feet the left autopilot (AP) was engaged (it disengaged about 33 seconds later), the flaps were retracted and the pitch trim position decreased to 4.6 units. Six seconds after the autopilot engagement, there were small amplitude roll oscillations accompanied by lateral acceleration, rudder oscillations and slight heading changes. These oscillations continued also after the autopilot was disengaged.

At 05:39:29, radar controller identified ET-302 and instructed to climb FL 340 and when able right turns direct to RUDOL and the First-Officer acknowledged.

At 05:39:42, Level Change mode was engaged. The selected altitude was 32000 ft. Shortly after the mode change, the selected airspeed was set to 238 kt.

At 05:39:45, Captain requested flaps up and First-Officer acknowledged. One second later, flap handle moved from 5 to 0 degrees and flaps retraction began.

At 05:39:50, the selected heading started to change from 072 to 197 degrees and at the same time the Captain asked the First-Officer to request to maintain runway heading.

At 05:39:55, Autopilot disengaged,

At 05:39:57, the Captain advised again the First-Officer to request to maintain runway heading and that they are having flight control problems.

At 05:40:00 shortly after the autopilot disengaged, the FDR recorded an automatic aircraft nose down (AND) activated for 9.0 seconds and pitch trim moved from 4.60 to 2.1 units. The climb was arrested and the aircraft descended slightly.

At 05:40:03 Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) “DON’T SINK” alerts occurred.

At 05:40:05, the First-Officer reported to ATC that they were unable to maintain SHALA 1A and requested runway heading which was approved by ATC.

At 05:40:06, left and right flap position reached a recorded value of 0.019 degrees which remained until the end of the recording.

The column moved aft and a positive climb was re-established during the automatic AND motion.

At 05:40:12, approximately three seconds after AND stabilizer motion ends, electric trim (from pilot activated switches on the yoke) in the Aircraft nose up (ANU) direction is recorded on the DFDR and the stabilizer moved in the ANU direction to 2.4 units. The Aircraft pitch attitude remained about the same as the back pressure on the column increased.

At 05:40:20, approximately five seconds after the end of the ANU stabilizer motion, a second instance of automatic AND stabilizer trim occurred and the stabilizer moved down and reached 0.4 units.

From 05:40:23 to 05:40:31, three Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) “DON’T SINK” alerts occurred.

At 05:40:27, the Captain advised the First-Officer to trim up with him.

At 05:40:28 Manual electric trim in the ANU direction was recorded and the stabilizer reversed moving in the ANU direction and then the trim reached 2.3 units.

At 05:40:35, the First-Officer called out “stab trim cut-out” two times. Captain agreed and First Officer confirmed stab trim cut-out.

At 05:40:41, approximately five seconds after the end of the ANU stabilizer motion, a third instance of AND automatic trim command occurred without any corresponding motion of the stabilizer, which is consistent with the stabilizer trim cutout switches were in the ‘’cutout’’ position

At 05:40:44, the Captain called out three times “Pull-up” and the First-Officer acknowledged.

At 05:40:50, the Captain instructed the First Officer to advise ATC that they would like to maintain 14,000 ft and they have flight control problem.

At 05:40:56, the First-Officer requested ATC to maintain 14,000 ft and reported that they are having flight control problem. ATC approved.

From 05:40:42 to 05:43:11 (about two and a half minutes), the stabilizer position gradually moved in the AND direction from 2.3 units to 2.1 units. During this time, aft force was applied to the control columns which remained aft of neutral position. The left indicated airspeed increased from approximately 305 kt to approximately 340 kt (VMO). The right indicated airspeed was approximately 20-25 kt higher than the left.

The data indicates that aft force was applied to both columns simultaneously several times throughout the remainder of the recording.

At 05:41:20, the right overspeed clacker was recorded on CVR. It remained active until the end of the recording.

At 05:41:21, the selected altitude was changed from 32000 ft to 14000 ft.

At 05:41:30, the Captain requested the First-Officer to pitch up with him and the First-Officer acknowledged.

At 05:41:32, the left overspeed warning activated and was active intermittently until the end of the recording.

At 05:41:46, the Captain asked the First-Officer if the trim is functional. The First-Officer has replied that the trim was not working and asked if he could try it manually. The Captain told him to try. At 05:41:54, the First-Officer replied that it is not working.

At 05:42:10, the Captain asked and the First-Officer requested radar control a vector to return and ATC approved.

At 05:42:30, ATC instructed ET-302 to turn right heading 260 degrees and the First-Officer acknowledged.

At 05:42:43, the selected heading was changed to 262 degrees.

At 05:42:51, the First-Officer mentioned Master Caution Anti-Ice. The Master Caution is recorded on DFDR.

At 05:42:54, both pilots called out “left alpha vane”.

At 05:43:04, the Captain asked the First Officer to pitch up together and said that pitch is not enough.

At 05:43:11, about 32 seconds before the end of the recording, at approximately 13,4002 ft, two momentary manual electric trim inputs are recorded in the ANU direction. The stabilizer moved in the ANU direction from 2.1 units to 2.3 units.

At 05:43:20, approximately five seconds after the last manual electric trim input, an AND automatic trim command occurred and the stabilizer moved in the AND direction from 2.3 to 1.0 unit in approximately 5 seconds. The aircraft began pitching nose down. Additional simultaneous aft column force was applied, but the nose down pitch continues, eventually reaching 40° nose down. The stabilizer position varied between 1.1 and 0.8 units for the remainder of the recording.

The left Indicated Airspeed increased, eventually reaching approximately 458 kts and the right Indicated Airspeed reached 500 kts at the end of the recording. The last recorded pressure altitude was 5,419 ft on the left and 8,399 ft on the right.

1.3 DAMAGE TO AIRCRAFT
The aircraft is completely destroyed.

1.5 PERSONNEL INFORMATION
1.5.1 PILOT IN COMMAND

According to Ethiopian Airlines records, the captain has the following flight experience:
 Total hours: 8122
 Total hours in B737: 1417
 Total hours in B737-8 MAX: 103
 Flight time in previous 90 days: 266 hours and 9 minutes
 Flight time in previous 7 days: 17 hours and 43 minutes
 Flight time in previous 72 hours: no flight time

The pilot in command was 29 years old. According to Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA) records, the Captain’s most recent simulator training experience was September 30, 2018, and his most recent simulator proficiency check was October 1, 2018. The captain completed the Ethiopian Aviation Academy on July 23, 2010. A review of the captains training records indicated that he received his 737-800 First Officer type rating on January 31, 2011 and completed his PIC type rating for the 737-800 October 26, 2017. 737MAX differences training on 3 July, 2018.

The pilot in command is type rated as a First Officer of the following types of aircrafts: B737-7/800, B767/757, B777 and B787. As pilot in command, he is rated on B737-7/800 and B737MAX.

The pilot’s ECAA license allowed him to act as pilot-in-command in commercial air transport operations in a Boeing 737-7/800 (dated October 26, 2017) and Boeing 737 MAX (dated July 3,2018.)

The pilot had a first-class medical certificate with no limitations dated December 12, 2018. A review of the medical exam that resulted in the issuance of this certificate showed no vision or hearing deficiencies, and on the certificate application, the pilot stated he was taking no prescription or non-prescription medications. He reported no medical conditions.

1.5.2 FIRST-OFFICER

According to Ethiopian Airlines records, the First-Officer has the following flight experience:
 Total hours: 361
 Total hours in B737: 207
 Total hours in B737-8 MAX: 56
 Flight time in previous 90 days: 207 hours and 26 minutes
 Flight time in previous 7 days: 10 hours and 57 minutes
 Flight time in previous 72 hours: 5 hours and 25 minutes

The first-officer was 25 years old. According to ECAA records, the first-officer’s most recent simulator event was listed as a proficiency check and occurred on December 3, 2018. His line training/check (conducted in the B737 aircraft) was completed on January 31, 2019.

The first-officer’s ECAA license allowed him to act as first-officer in commercial air transport operations in Boeing 737-7/800 (dated December 12, 2018) and Boeing 737 MAX (dated December 12, 2018.)

The first-officer had a first-class medical certificate with no limitations dated July 30, 2018. A review of the medical exam that resulted in the issuance of this certificate showed no vision or hearing deficiencies, and on the certificate application, the pilot stated he was taking no prescription or non-prescription medications. He reported no medical conditions.

1.6 AIRCRAFT INFORMATION
1.6.1 GENERAL
The 737-8 (MAX) is a low wing, narrow body single aisle, jet transport with a conventional tail unit configuration, powered by two high bypass turbofan CFM Leap-1B engines mounted on pylons beneath the wings. The Aircraft is manufactured by Boeing Commercial Aircraft and is the fourth generation of the 737 series. According to The Boeing Company’s website, the Aircraft was designed to carry 162-178 passengers, depending on seating configuration. The 737-8 MAX was launched on August 30, 2017, and type certificated with the FAA on March 8, 2017.

ET-AVJ was a 737-8 MAX single aisle transport aircraft configured in a 160 passenger multi-class arrangement manufactured by the Boeing Company and delivered to Ethiopian Airlines on 15 November, 2018. The Aircraft was powered by two LEAP-1B Turbo Fan Engines manufactured by CFM International. The Aircraft had 1330.3 hours with a total of 382 cycles at the time of the accident.

Registration Number: ET-AVJ
Aircraft Serial Number: 62450
Aircraft Manufacturer: Boeing Commercial Aircraft
Model: 737-8 (MAX)
Engine Manufacturer: CFM International
Engine Model: LEAP-1B28B1G05
Manufactured Year: 2018
Aircraft Type: Fixed Wing Multi-Engine
Engine Type: Turbo Fan
Aircraft Category: Transport
Number of Engines: 2
Seating arraignment: Multi-Class
PAX Seating Capacity: 160
Max. T/O Weight: 82,190 kg
Total Time: 1330.3 hours
Total Cycles: 382
Aircraft Owner: Ethiopian Leasing (5-737) LTD

1.11.1 DIGITAL FLIGHT DATA RECORDER

The aircraft was fitted with a FA2100 NAND DFDR manufactured by L3-com with part number 2100-4945-22 and serial number 001217995.

On 11 March 2019, the DFDR was recovered from the accident site by the AIB. The DFDR chassis with the Crash Survivable Memory Unit (CSMU) attached were transported to the French BEA recorder facility for data downloading. The recorder read-out was performed by BEA (Bureau d’Enquête Analyse pour la sécurité de l’aviation civile) investigators for the Ethiopian Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) under the authority of Ethiopian investigators with the participation of the U.S National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), The Boeing Company, U.S Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and EASA.

The memory unit recorded 1790 parameters and approximately 73 hours of aircraft operation, and contained 16 flights, including the accident flight.

1.11.2 COCKPIT VOICE RECORDER

The aircraft was fitted with a FA2100 NAND CVR manufactured by L3 Communications with part number 2100 1925-22 and serial number 001289168.

On 11 March 2019, the CVR was recovered from the accident site by the AIB. The CVR CSMU was transported to the BEA recorder facility for data downloading. The CMSU was found separated from the chassis during wreckage recovery. The read-out was performed by BEA investigators under the authority of the Ethiopian Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), with the participation the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) of United States of America, the Boeing Company, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The memory unit recorded 2 hours, 4 minutes and 14 seconds of aircraft operation, which contained 2 flights including the accident flight.

1.12 WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The accident site was located near Ejere, Ethiopia with a GPS location of approximately 8.8770 N, 39.2516 E.

The Aircraft impacted in a farm field and created a crater approximately 10 meters deep (last aircraft part found) with a hole of about 28 meters width and 40 meters length. Most of the wreckage was found buried in the ground; small fragments of the aircraft were found scattered around the site in an area by about 200 meters width and 300 meters long.

The damages to the aircraft are consistent with a high energy impact.

INITIAL FINDINGS
On the basis of the initial information gathered during the course of the investigation, the following facts have been determined:

 The Aircraft possessed a valid certificate of airworthiness;
 The crew obtained the license and qualifications to conduct the flight;
 The takeoff roll appeared normal, including normal values of left and right angle-of-attack (AOA).
 Shortly after liftoff, the value of the left angle of attack sensor deviated from the right one and reached 74.5 degrees while the right angle of attack sensor value was 15.3 degrees; then after; the stick shaker activated and remained active until near the end of the flight.
 After autopilot engagement, there were small amplitude roll oscillations accompanied by lateral acceleration, rudder oscillations and slight heading changes; these oscillations also continued after the autopilot disengaged.
 After the autopilot disengaged, the DFDR recorded an automatic aircraft nose down (AND) trim command four times without pilot’s input. As a result, three motions of the stabilizer trim were recorded. The FDR data also indicated that the crew utilized the electric manual trim to counter the automatic AND input.
 The crew performed runaway stabilizer checklist and put the stab trim cutout switch to cutout position and confirmed that the manual trim operation was not working.

3 SAFETY ACTIONS TAKEN
The day of the accident, the operator decided to suspend operation of B737-8MAX.

On 14th March 2019, Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority issued NOTAM regarding “The operation of Boeing B737-8 ‘MAX’ and Boeing B737-9 ‘MAX’ aircraft from, into or over the Ethiopian airspace, which is still active at the date of this report publication.

4 SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS
 Since repetitive un-commanded aircraft nose down conditions are noticed in this preliminary investigation, it is recommended that the aircraft flight control system related to flight controllability shall be reviewed by the manufacturer.
 Aviation Authorities shall verify that the review of the aircraft flight control system related to flight controllability has been adequately addressed by the manufacturer before the release of the aircraft to operations.


Related:
Watch: Ethiopia Releases 737 Max Preliminary Crash Report

Ethiopian Airlines Expresses Disappointment – Calls Out Media Outlets Eager to Blame Pilot

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Ethiopia Crew Followed Boeing Procedures

Ethiopia's Minister of Transport Dagmawit Moges announced on Thursday that a preliminary report had found that the crew of the Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed last month performed all the procedures recommended by Boeing but could not control the plane. (Photo: FBC)

The Associated Press

By ELIAS MESERET

Preliminary report: Ethiopia Crew Followed Boeing Procedures

ADDIS ABABA — The crew of the Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed six minutes after takeoff last month performed all procedures recommended by Boeing when the plane started to nose dive but could not save it, according to findings from a preliminary report released Thursday by Ethiopia’s government.

The report, based on flight data and cockpit voice recorders on the Boeing 737 Max 8, was not released in full. Boeing declined to comment pending its review of the report.

The Max 8 has been under scrutiny since a Lion Air flight crashed off the coast of Indonesia under similar circumstances in October.

Investigators are looking into the role of a flight-control system known by its acronym, MCAS, which under some circumstances can automatically lower the plane’s nose to prevent an aerodynamic stall. The Max has been grounded worldwide pending a software fix that Boeing is rolling out, which still needs to be approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and other regulators.

The Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed just after taking off from Addis Ababa on March 10, killing all 157 on board.

Ethiopian investigators did not specifically mention the MCAS, but recommended that Boeing review “the aircraft flight control system related to the flight controllability.” They also recommended that aviation officials verify that issues have been adequately addressed before allowing the planes to fly again.

Boeing is the focus of investigations by the U.S. Justice Department, the Transportation Department’s inspector general, and congressional committees. Investigations are also looking at the role of the Federal Aviation Administration in the U.S., which certified the Max in 2017, declined to ground it after the first deadly crash in October. The agency was also reluctant to ground the planes after the Ethiopian Airlines crash and was among the last agencies to do so.

The FAA, which must certify the 737 Max is safe before it can go back into the air, said in a statement that the investigation is still in its early stages.

“As we learn more about the accident and findings become available, we will take appropriate action,” the agency said.

The statement did not say if the FAA would review the Max’s flight control system as recommended by Ethiopian investigators, and FAA spokesman Greg Martin would not comment beyond the statement. Boeing is working on improvements to the MCAS software that would make it less aggressive in pointing the nose down and easier for pilots to disable. The FAA has said it will review the software before allowing the Max to fly again.

The agency said Monday that it anticipates Boeing’s final software improvements for 737 Max airliners “in the coming weeks.”

But it wasn’t clear whether the Ethiopians are seeking just that or a broader update in the Max’s flight controls.

What also isn’t clear is whether the Ethiopian pilots followed Boeing’s recommendations to the letter in dealing with the system repeatedly pointing the nose down.

The pilots initially followed Boeing’s emergency steps by disconnecting the MCAS system, but for an unknown reason, they turned the system back on, an official familiar with the crash investigation told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because at the time, Ethiopian investigators had not released their preliminary report. Boeing’s procedures instruct pilots to leave the MCAS system disconnected and continue flying manually for the rest of the flight.

Ethiopian investigators did not address that issue at its press conference, saying only that the pilots had done what they were supposed to.

“The crew performed all the procedures repeatedly provided by the manufacturer but was not able to control the aircraft,” said Minister of Transport Dagmawit Moges.

However, Moges told The New York Times after the press conference that the pilots turned MCAS on and off, but she couldn’t say how many times. That will be addressed in the final report, she said.

In a statement Thursday, Ethiopian Airlines said its pilots followed Boeing instructions. “Despite their hard work and full compliance with the emergency procedures, it was very unfortunate that they could not recover the airplane from the persistence of nose diving,” the airline said.

David Hasse, an aviation analyst and editor of industry publication airliners.de in Berlin, says it is significant that the report found that the pilots followed the proper procedures, because that links the case more closely to the Lion Air crash.

“What is special about this case is that two crashes seem to have a very, very similar reason. This is something that is very rare in aviation. The question is whether the Boeing 737 Max should have been grounded after the Lion Air crash and before the Ethiopian Airlines crash,” said Hasse.

He noted that crash reports are not meant to assign legal blame and that it is too soon to know what the legal implications might be for Boeing, but it clearly raises the pressure on the company.

“If pilots sit there and follow the rules that have been given to them by the manufacturer, then they should be able to rely on the fact that they are correct,” Hasse said.

___
Associated Press Writers Carlo Piovano and Tom Krisher contributed to this report.

Related:
Vote of Confidence! Ethiopian Airlines Wins “African Champion of the Year” Award
Ethiopian Airlines Expresses Disappointment – Calls Out Media Outlets Eager to Blame Pilot

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In NYC ECMAA Expands Program to Include Community Soccer Games

The Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA) soccer game in New York City on Saturday, March 30, 2019. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: April 3rd, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — The Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA) has been hosting family-friendly events in New York City for many years including their popular annual Ethiopian Day picnic that is usually held in September. With ECMAA’s new Board of Directors — that includes more participation from young professionals — it is now expanding its outdoor programs to include community soccer games.

The first soccer game of the season took place this past weekend on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with teams sponsored by Awash restaurant in Manhattan and Bati Ethiopian Kitchen in Brooklyn. Technically the Awash team (yellow jerseys) represented those over 30 and Bati (orange jerseys) under 30. Awash won the match 11 to 8.

“It was a lot of fun,” enthused Dinsiri Fikru, one of the organizers, during a dinner at Awash after the game. “We had a full team of 11 players each.” A rematch is scheduled for June 9, 2019.

ECMAA was founded in 1981 to serve the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut Ethiopian Diaspora community. In addition to regularly hosting social, educational and networking events they also help “individuals to find ways to give back to their community by sharing their skills and experiences or by assisting financially.” Recently launched ECMAA programs also include weekend Amharic classes for children.


You can learn more about ECMAA and contact the organizers at http://www.ecmaany.org.

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Eden Dersso Is the Changing Face of Tel Aviv’s Hip-Hop Scene (Vogue)

Eden Dersso. (PHOTOGRAPHY BY ORIT PNINI)

Vogue

I’m sitting inside Edmund Café, one of the few vegan coffee shops in Tel Aviv, as Eden Dersso raps at me in Hebrew. The 21-year-old Israeli-Ethiopian artist is seated on a bench in a huge, highlighter-yellow puffer coat and a spandex crop top, her braids knotted up with a black bandana as she grooves to the verse. Her flow is captivating—rapid and light, like the ticking hand of a clock or a boxer working away at the bag, slugging it with a knockout hook every few beats. In the quick stream of Hebrew, I can make out only one English term: hand job. Dersso uses it figuratively to describe the way she can handle a mic, which admittedly is pretty amazing. At the end of the verse, our group—which includes her manager, photographer Orit Pnini, and me—erupts in cheers.


PHOTOGRAPHED BY ORIT PNINI

Over the past year, Dersso has become a sensation in the city’s small but growing rap scene, yet she has spent her whole life preparing for this meteoric rise. She hails from the town of Rehevot, about 30 minutes south of Tel Aviv, and grew up with five brothers, who were fans of Tupac and Lil Wayne. “I didn’t know Beyoncé,” she explains. “We had posters of Tupac in the house.” Dersso began rapping in the 7th grade, using it as an emotional outlet. “[I’d rap about] if someone hurt me, [about] wanting to get out of my house and the hood,” she says. “Or if my life was too boring, I would just use my imagination.” She began writing lyrics in English and uploading her rap videos to Facebook. At 16, after she heard local artists rapping in Hebrew, she switched over. “The Israeli rappers were really good, and I thought maybe I could do the same in Hebrew,” she says. Eventually, Dersso was noticed by Tel Aviv–based musician DJ Mesh, who invited her to join his label, Shigola Records, and produced one of her biggest music videos to date: “Busses,” in which she uses buses as a metaphor for people’s opinions, weighing down and moving heavily around in her head. Another track, called “Amen,” is a mix of Dersso rapping and singing about a guy who’s stoned and who tricks her into saying “amen” to everything he wants. Most of her YouTube videos hover around 70,000 to 100,000 views—quite a feat for a rising Israeli artist—and she performs gigs several times a month.

Read more »


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Watch PM Abiy’s 1st Anniversary Speech

(Photo: Fana Broadcasting @fanatelevision/Twitter)

Fana

Sustaining Ongoing Reform Responsibility Of All Ethiopians, Says Premier

Addis Ababa, April 2, 2019 (FBC) – Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed said sustaining the ongoing reform initiative is the responsibility of all Ethiopians.

He made the remark at a culmination of review of the one year journey of reforms which took place at the Millennium Hall [Tuesday, April 2nd].

In his remark, the Prime Minister pointed out the gains made in the political, social, and economic sector since he came to office a year ago.

During the past year, gender balanced cabinet has been formed, political parties have returned home after several years in exile, thousands of political prisoners have been released, and a peace agreement has been signed with neighboring Eritrea.

As far as the economy is concerned, the government has managed to bring about 13 billion US dollars in investment, aid and remittance in the past seven months alone, the Prime Minister indicated.

The Prime Minister also highlighted the need to resolve differences through dialogue.

The Prime Minister pledged to add momentum on the ongoing reform in the year to come. Efforts will also be made to reliably rehabilitate displaced community members.

He also called on the Ethiopian Diaspora to continue supporting their country of origin.


Related:
Tadias Reflection on PM Abiy’s One Year in Office
Ethiopia Photo Exhibition Captures a Year of Reforms

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Addis Fine Art Exhibit Puts Focus on New Generation of Ethiopian Photographers

(Photo by Girma Berta)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: April 2nd, 2019

New York (TADIAS) – A new generation of Ethiopian photographers are redefining the way people perceive Ethiopia both at home and internationally. Among them are Girma Berta and Eyerusalem Jiregna whose latest works are set to go on display at Addis Fine Art Gallery in Addis Ababa, from April 9th through May 25th, 2019, in an exhibition titled From Our Perspective: Young Ethiopian Photographers Changing the Gaze.

“They represent the new voices in contemporary Ethiopian photography, pushing the boundaries of the medium and questioning the definitions of documentary photography,” the gallery stated in a press release. “Their works have been exhibited internationally and selected to adorn Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s new public and private offices.”

Girma Berta (b.1990) is the winner of the 2016 Getty Images Instagram grant. As Getty Images noted: “Berta uses his iPhone to photograph vibrant, gritty street life in Addis Ababa, crossing street photography with fine art by isolating his subjects against backdrops of rich color.” Addis Fine arts adds: “As one of the first photographers to travel to Eritrea once the blockage was lifted in June 2018, his new Asmara series documents Eritrea’s capital frozen in time. Berta, who is self-taught, uses a combination of street photography and graphic design to create images of passers-by with a painterly quality. Berta’s use of digital media, to produce and present his artworks, is in itself a commentary on the digital revolution underway across Africa. He represents the vibrancy of the millennial African.”

Eyerusalem Jirenga

“Eyerusalem Jirenga (b.1993) is an exciting emerging artist and fashion designer based in Addis Ababa,” the press release shares: “Shot in the walled city of Harar, her series titled The City of Saints, documents a living history.”

“Informed by her experience in design, Jirenga specialises in evocatively bright and discerning portraits, enliven with distinctive and striking colour detail,” states the Addis Fine Art press release. “Her use of rich textures and colours plays against the crisp focus of her photographs, enhancing their warm, visually stimulating effect. Eyerusalem Jirenga has received considerable acclaim for her work both within Ethiopia and internationally. She has exhibited in the New York photography festival Photoville 2016 and participated in the New York Times Portfolio Review 2016.” Eyerusalem has also participated in solo and group shows in Johannesburg, Cape Town and New York City.


If You Go:
More info at https://addisfineart.com.

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Nipsey Hussle’s Eritrean American Dream

Grammy-nominated Eritrean-American rapper Nipsey Hussle whose real name was Ermias Asghedom was shot and killed last Sunday outside the Marathon clothing store he founded in Los Angeles. He was 33. As the staff writer for The Atlantic magazine Hannah Giorgis highlights in the following article: "The slain rapper, who was known for his investment in his Los Angeles community, also inspired fans and fellow musicians who share his East African heritage." (Getty Images)

The Atlantic

By HANNAH GIORGIS

Updated: APR 4, 2019

In April 2018, the Los Angeles–born street rapper Nipsey Hussle traveled to his father’s native Eritrea for the first time in 14 years. The trip found the musician, née Ermias Davidson Asghedom, both contemplative and triumphant: After a prolific run of mixtapes spanning more than a decade, the fiercely independent artist had recently released his major-label studio debut, Victory Lap. (The February 2018 record, which debuted at No. 4, would later earn him a nomination for Best Rap Album at this year’s Grammys.)

While in the East African country, Hussle and his brother, Samiel “Blacc Sam” Asghedom, followed their father’s lead: They traveled to historical sites and met the country’s divisive president; they were blessed by their 90-year-old grandmother with himbasha, the slightly sweet bread most often served during celebrations. Hussle was also interviewed by a number of state-run media outlets. In one interview, which was posted to Eritrea’s Ministry of Information website, the Eritrean journalist Billion Temesghen told the musician that his listeners, particularly those on the continent, saw his hard-won successes as their own. Hussle’s response at the time was gracious and affirming. “I want to thank my Eritrean fans for feeling connected to me and for supporting me. I feel extremely grateful,” he replied. “I am going to keep coming back here and make frequent returns … Thank you for keeping my name alive out here.”

But now, less than a year later, Hussle’s connection to his fans, Eritrean and American alike, has taken on a far more tragic valence. On Sunday afternoon, Hussle was fatally shot outside the store he co-owned in South L.A., the neighborhood Hussle celebrated in his music, advocacy, and philanthropic ventures. The Los Angeles Police Department has since apprehended a suspect in the case, but the rapper and activist’s killing remains a devastating blow to his family and to fans around the world, many of whom have likened him to the late Tupac Shakur.

Read more »


How Nipsey Hussle (Ermias Asghedom) Connected to His Eritrean Roots


Grammy-nominated Eritrean-American rapper Nipsey Hussle whose real name was Ermias Asghedom was shot and killed on Sunday outside the clothing store he founded in Los Angeles. He was 33. (Getty Images)

CNN

Rapper Nipsey Hussle’s death in a shooting near his clothing store was greeted with shock and disbelief by celebrities and fans alike.

The 33-year-old musician, real name Ermias Davidson Asghedom, was shot dead in an attack on Sunday that also left two others injured.

The city of Los Angeles where he grew up and dedicated his life to helping kids break out of the cycle of gang violence mourned his passing.

But somewhere, thousands of miles away in east Africa, Nipsey’s death was felt even more keenly by the people of Eritrea.

His father, Nipsey once said, fled a war in Eritrea to settle in the US.

Hussle visited Eritrea twice in his lifetime: first as an 18-year-old when he spent three months and most recently in April 2018.

With his brother Samiel and their dad, Hussle met the Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and sat down with the Ministry of Information’s website for a wide-ranging interview about his life and experiences growing up in Los Angeles in a culture of gang violence.

Then he spoke of his love for Eritrea and his desire to connect with his extended family after fourteen years since his last visit.

“I am here to visit my family and reconnect with my grandmother, my cousins and everybody else,” Hussle said during the interview.

“I love to be here. The people, the food, the culture, and the lifestyle are extremely good.”

During his trip back to his father’s country, Hussle also visited a local textile factory in the capital Asmara to explore business opportunities.

Eritrea’s Minister of Information Yemane Meskel led the tributes to Hussle after news of his death broke.

Read more »


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A Year of Ethiopia Reforms in Pictures

(Image: Office of the Prime Minister - @PMEthiopia)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: March 31st, 2019

Photo Exhibition Captures a Year of Reforms in Ethiopia

New York (TADIAS) – A photo exhibition kicked-off in Addis Ababa this weekend celebrating a year of historic reforms under the new Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed who was inaugurated into office one year ago on April 2nd.

The photography show features hundreds of images by various artists encapsulating the changes that took place in the past twelve months.

The Office of the Prime Minister announced on Twitter that the exhibition was officially opened on Sunday, March 31st by the Minister of Culture & Tourism, Hirut Kassaw, at the Millenium hall in Addis Ababa.

The PM’s office said that the photo exhibition titled ‘April to April’ also includes “a visual art tree installation designed by art curator Edom Belete. The tree art is inspired by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s inaugural speech and depicts Ethiopianess.”

A panel discussion also took place during the opening with photographer Aida Muluneh, Bekele Mekonnen, Associate Professor of Fine Arts at AAU and Agenehu Adane, Director of Alle School of Fine Arts. The exhibit announcement noted that “the panelists reflected on the role of photography in documenting history and in bringing leaders closer to the public.”


Related:
Tadias Reflection on PM Abiy’s One Year in Office

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Timely New Book ‘The Coffeehouse Resistance’ by Owner of Buunni Cafe

Author Sarina Prabasi and her husband Elias Gurmu at their coffee shop Buunni Cafe in NYC. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: March 31st, 2019

New York (TADIAS) – Timely, funny, and poignant the new book The Coffeehouse Resistance is “part coming-to-America story, part lyrical memoir, and another part activist’s call to action.”

We featured the book’s author Sarina Prabasi and her husband Elias Gurmu in 2014 in an interview at their Manhattan-based speciality coffee shop Buunni Cafe, which they had opened soon after the couple moved to New York from Addis Ababa in 2012.

The book launch announcement adds: “When Prabasi and her husband move from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to New York City with their young daughter in 2011, they start a thriving coffee business, grow their family, and live their American Dream. After the 2016 election, they are suddenly unsure about their new home. Reclaiming the tradition of coffeehouses throughout history, their coffeehouses become a hub for local organizing.”

As Elias says: “In Ethiopia we don’t talk about coffee, we talk around a coffee gathering.”

“This is a book we all need right now – a powerful memoir of a mother, business woman and activist who tells a coming-of-age story around the idea of coffeehouses as a nexus of family, community, and political action,” shares a reader of The Coffeehouse Resistance giving it a thumbs up under the community review section on goodreads.com. “It is a beautiful story that crosses multiple cities and covers various significant times in the author’s life,” adds another reviewer. “I very much enjoyed how coffee served as backdrop and connector weaving together various chapters of the story…learning about the culture of coffee in Ethiopia. The themes of home, love, connectedness, and optimism shine through.”

The book launch party is scheduled for April 9th at the newest Buunni location in Manhattan’s Inwood neighborhood.


If You Go:
Launch Party: The Coffeehouse Resistance
Buunni Coffee
4961 Broadway, New York, NY 10034
Click here to RSVP

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Reflection on PM Abiy’s One Year in Office

PM Abiy Ahmed at the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, DC, July 27, 2018. (Photo: Matt Andrea for Tadias )

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: March 29th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) – When Ethiopia welcomed Dr. Abiy Ahmed as its new Prime Minister nearly a year ago on April 2nd, 2018 he had inherited a country that was under a state of emergency – a society under heightened security following a relentless wave of nationwide protests.

A year on Ethiopia is no longer under State of Emergency. There are no journalists in prison. Freedom of expression is more evident, whether it’s from the arts sector or the political stage. And most importantly, the country is gearing up for what would hopefully be a groundbreaking first-ever season of free and fair elections led by former judge, opposition leader and human rights activist, Birtukan Mideksa, who is now serving as the new head of Ethiopia’s Election Board.

To be sure there are many serious challenges that remain. As the Financial Times reported in a recent article “Ethnic Rivalries Threaten Abiy Ahmed’s Reform Agenda.” PM Abiy’s administration needs to better address the unfolding humanitarian crisis of internally displaced people across Ethiopia, which has been severely exasperated by the ethnic-based violence particularly along border areas of Oromia and Somali regions, but also in Central and West Gondar zones of the Amhara Region. According to Ethiopia’s disaster prevention chief, Mitiku Kassa, about eight million people are currently in need of humanitarian assistance. The magnitude of this humanitarian crisis cannot be ignored and requires urgent solutions.

A year ago here in the United States Congress had been preparing for an unprecedented vote on Resolution H. RES. 128 denouncing the Ethiopian government’s human rights record the same week that PM Abiy was being inaugurated. In this past year alone, Ethiopia has re-forged relations with neighboring Eritrea and Ethiopians in Diaspora have been encouraged to return home and be part of the greater movement under the popular sentiment of “Breaking the Wall, Building a Bridge.” Economically, Ethiopia is continuing its annual growth rate of 10% — one of the fastest in the world and last but not least, the nation has its first female president and first female Supreme Court president as well as a gender-balanced Cabinet. These are all historic achievements to be proud of.

Having shared the events that have brought forth renewed hope, we are also aware of the work that still lies ahead. Below are a few areas:

Moving Forward with Democratizing the Media Environment in Ethiopia

Among the multitude of challenges, that PM Abiy faces as he starts his second year in office next week, include the still nascent media environment that’s dominated by a handful of state-affiliated outlets and formerly exiled political activists. Although freedom of expression is blossoming the political media is still in need of a new culture of independent journalism with adequate resources for professionals in the sector, especially as the country heads into a national election season.

The Arts as a Tool for Social Change

The good news is that PM Abiy is cognizant of the fact that in today’s digital age the media sector is not limited only to politics, and he is a big supporter of the arts community and the capacity of its members to encourage social change.

The arts, as we have demonstrated in Tadias Magazine for the past 15 years, play a major role in fueling social change and should not be seen merely as entertainment. If it wasn’t for the award-wining film “Difret,” for example, the world wouldn’t have known about the landmark Ethiopian court case that outlawed the archaic culture of abducting young girls for marriage, nor the brilliant lawyer and women’s rights advocate behind the case, Meaza Ashenafi, who is now the President of Ethiopia’s Supreme Court. In a similar manner singer and songwriter Teddy Afro has been preaching the idea of ‘Medemer,’ and unity in diversity in his music long before the term became a fashionable political cliché. Likewise, the new movie Anbessa — that is executive-produced by model and humanitarian Gelila Bekele and making the rounds at various international film festivals this year — is putting the spotlight on the impact of housing expansions that are affecting local agricultural communities that surround cities across Ethiopia. Artists, writers and musicians have always impacted and led social change movements in their communities and it’s vital that they’re voices are included in more ways than one when speaking about development or national growth.

In the end Abiy is in many ways a creation of our collective imagination and aspirations for a nation that not only embraces a plurality of identities and voices, but one that also becomes more equitable and inclusive. The continuity of Ethiopia depends on all of us, both at home and in the Diaspora.

John F. Kennedy said in his presidential inaugural address: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Repeating JFK’s wisdom at this pivotal time in Ethiopia’s history we say: “Ask what you can do for Ethiopia, not what Abiy can do for you.”


Related:
Ethiopia Photo Exhibition Captures a Year of Reforms

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Anti-stall System ‘Caused Ethiopia Crash’

Boeing anti-stall system 'caused Ethiopia crash,' according to investigators looking into a B-737 MAX crash in Ethiopia that killed 157 on March 10th, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. (Photo: Airplane part at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa/Tiksa Negeri/Reuters)

Reuters

Updated: MARCH 29, 2019

WASHINGTON – Investigators looking into a Boeing 737 MAX crash in Ethiopia that killed 157 people have reached a preliminary conclusion that an anti-stall system was activated before the plane hit the ground, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people briefed on the matter.

U.S. safety investigators have reviewed data from the “black boxes” that were aboard Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, four people briefed on the investigation told Reuters on Thursday. A preliminary report is expected as early as next week, the U.S. officials said.

The plane crashed on March 10 shortly after taking off from Addis Ababa.

Investigators of a deadly 737 MAX crash in Indonesia in October have also focused on the new anti-stall system, called MCAS. Boeing on Wednesday said a planned software fix would prevent repeated operation of the system that is at the centre of safety concerns.

Boeing’s fastest-selling 737 MAX jet, with orders worth more than $500 billion at list prices, has been grounded globally by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other regulators, although airlines are still allowed to fly them without passengers to move planes to other airports.

The manufacturer said it had developed a training package that 737 MAX pilots are required to take before the worldwide ban can be lifted, proposing as it did before two deadly crashes that those pilots do not need time on flight simulators to safely operate the aircraft.

On Thursday, a lawsuit against Boeing was filed in Chicago federal court by the family of Jackson Musoni, a citizen of Rwanda, who died in the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

The lawsuit alleges that Boeing had defectively designed the automated flight control system. Boeing said it could not comment on the lawsuit.

The amount and quality of training that Boeing and airlines provided to 737 MAX pilots is one of the issues under scrutiny as investigators around the world try to determine the causes of two 737 MAX crashes within five months.

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Boeing’s development process and what Boeing disclosed about MCAS.

The U.S. Transportation Department said on Monday that a new blue ribbon commission will review how the Federal Aviation Administration certifies new aircraft.

U.S. and European regulators knew at least two years before the Indonesian crash that the usual method for controlling the 737 MAX’s nose angle might not work in conditions similar to those in two recent disasters, Reuters reported on Friday, citing a document.

The European Aviation and Space Agency (EASA) certified the plane as safe in part because it said additional procedures and training would “clearly explain” to pilots the “unusual” situations in which they would need to manipulate a rarely used manual wheel to control, or “trim,” the plane’s angle.

Those situations, however, were not listed in the flight manual, according to a copy from American Airlines seen by Reuters. Boeing declined to comment on the EASA document.

NEW: Lawsuit Filed Against Boeing in U.S. Federal Court


Ethiopian official says plane crash report due this week


AP photo

The Associated Press

By Elias Meseret | AP March 26

Ethiopian official says plane crash report due this week

ADDIS ABABA — A preliminary report on a March 10 Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people will be made public soon, but it may take months to finish the final report, a spokesman for the country’s transport ministry said.

“A date has not been set but it will be released later this week,” Mussie Yiheyis told The Associated Press Tuesday, adding that a high-ranking government official will announce the preliminary result.

“The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, France’s BEA and an Ethiopian Transport Ministry department have been conducting the investigation,” he said. “It has been conducted as per International Civil Aviation Organization rules and regulations.”

On Monday, Ethiopian Airlines’ CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said the pilots who flew the plane that crashed on the outskirts of the capital, Addis Ababa, had trained on “all appropriate simulators,” rejecting reports that they had not been adequately prepared to handle the new aircraft.

There is speculation that the software could have contributed to the crash as well as to the crash of another Boeing 737 Max, a Lion Air flight in Indonesia in October.

Regulators say both planes had similar erratic flight paths shortly after take-off, an important part of their decision to ground the roughly 370 Max 8 planes around the world.

The preliminary report could come as early as Wednesday, the date that the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee’s aviation subcommittee has scheduled a public hearing on federal oversight of airline safety. Daniel Elwell, acting Federal Aviation Administration administrator; Calvin Scovel, the Transportation Department inspector general who is investigating approval of the Max; and Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, are scheduled to testify, but not anyone from Boeing.

Senators’ questions likely will focus on how much the FAA knew about anti-stall software on the Max that was not disclosed to airlines and pilots until after the Lion Air crash, and why it approved the software. It’s the focus of investigations into both crashes because it automatically points down the nose of the plane to avoid an aerodynamic stall, and there’s evidence that pilots of both jets struggled to deal with it.

The New York Times reported Monday that pilots from five airlines tested current and updated software on a Boeing flight simulator. During a test that recreated conditions on the Lion Air flight, the pilots had less than 40 seconds to override the software before the plane uncontrollably plunged toward Earth, the newspaper said, citing two unidentified people involved in the testing.

Pilots can flip one switch to reverse a move by the software to point the nose down, and they can disable the software by flipping two switches at their knees.

Pilots involved in the simulator testing followed those steps and kept the plane under control using the current anti-stall software, the newspaper reported. The Lion Air pilots, on the other hand, had received little training on the system and it was only after the plane crashed that Boeing first notified pilots of the system’s existence.

Jason Goldberg, a pilot who has flown the Max 8 and is spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, the union representing American Airlines pilots, said the anti-stall system “has significant control over the aircraft — it can pitch the nose down very significantly.”

He said it was “inexcusable for Boeing to omit this information from the pilot manuals for training. It’s a serious breach of trust.”

American Airlines has taken its 24 737 Max 8 planes out of the schedule at least through April 24.

On Saturday, Boeing confirmed that updated software will rely on data from more than one sensor before it automatically pushes the nose down. The system won’t repeatedly lower the nose as it seemed to do with Lion Air, and the software-controlled movement won’t be as abrupt. The update must be approved by the FAA and other countries’ regulators.

“We’re hopeful that Boeing will come up with a fix, but the process can’t be rushed,” Goldberg said.

He wouldn’t discuss Saturday’s simulator testing but said the union is pleased that Boeing and the FAA are taking input from pilots in testing the fix.

Ethiopian Airlines, widely seen as Africa’s best-managed airline, had been using five of the Max 8 planes and was awaiting delivery of 25 more. The airline has not made a decision on whether or not to cancel that order.

Boeing has invited more than 200 pilots, technical experts and regulators to its factory in Renton, Washington, for a briefing Wednesday on the software update.

Tom Krisher in Detroit and David Koenig in Dallas contributed to this report.


Related:
Boeing 737 Max Makes Emergency Landing in US
Vote of Confidence! Ethiopian Airlines Wins “African Champion of the Year” Award
Ethiopian Airlines Expresses Disappointment – Calls Out Media Outlets Eager to Blame Pilot
UPDATE: Preliminary info from flight 302 black box show ‘Clear similarities’ in Boeing crashes’ (AP)

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Lawsuit Filed Against Boeing in US Court

Debris from the crashed Ethiopia Airlines Flight 302 is seen near Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on March 11, 2019. (Getty Images)

Time

UPDATED: MARCH 29, 2019

A U.S. Lawsuit Targets Boeing Over the Deadly Ethiopian Airlines Crash

A wrongful death lawsuit was filed against Boeing in a U.S. federal court Thursday in what appears to be the first litigation over the fatal crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 earlier this month, Reuters reports.

The case was brought by the family of Jackson Musoni, a 31-year-old Rwandan national who was among at least 22 U.N. workers killed in the March 10 tragedy.

The suit alleges that Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft had a defectively designed automated flight control system and that Boeing failed to warn pilots about the allegedly faulty sensors. The ill-fated Flight 302 lost control minutes after takeoff from Ethiopia capital’s Addis Adaba and the crash killed all 157 people on board.

Following the crash, dozens of countries and airlines grounded the 737 MAX. The same aircraft was involved in Indonesian carrier Lion Air’s wreckage last October, which killed 189 people.

Read more »


Boeing Insists 737 Max is Safe (UPDATE)


The 737 Max was grounded in the U.S. March 13 after a deadly crash involving a Max in Ethiopia on March 10. ( Photo: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max makes emergency landing in Orlando on Tuesday, March 27, 2019/AP)

The Washington Post

Updated: March 27th, 2019

RENTON, WASH. ― Boeing executives on Wednesday defended the safety of the company’s 737 Max commercial jetliner ahead of meetings with representatives from every corner of the global aviation industry.

In its most detailed briefing yet, Boeing executives took a conciliatory tone about the loss of life but rejected calls for new oversight of its aircraft development process amid an investigation into the company’s relationship with its regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration. They also offered more information about software and training fixes in the aftermath of two deadly crashes.

Officials from the Chicago-based aerospace giant defended the embattled 737 Max as the culmination of 50 years of aircraft development in which, they said, safety has been the first priority. They also pushed back on the idea that something is inherently wrong with the aircraft development system Boeing and the FAA have in place, an issue that is the subject of congressional inquiries, a Department of Transportation audit and a criminal probe by the Department of Justice.

In an office park a few miles from its 737 assembly plant, Mike Sinnett, Boeing vice president of engineering and chief project engineer for the 737 program, said the company had been “deeply affected by the tragic loss of life” in Ethiopia.

“We are going to do everything we can to make sure that accidents like this never happen again,” Sinnett told a packed room of 67 media professionals.

The statement echoed one from Chief Executive Douglas Muilenburg in the days after the Lion Air Max 8 crash in Indonesia in October.

Safety concerns over the 737 Max emerged around the world after March 10 when a Boeing Max 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed minutes after takeoff, killing 157. It came just months after another Max 8 crashed off the coast of Indonesia under similar circumstances, killing 189. The FAA concluded, based on satellite data and evidence from the wreckage, that the two accidents had enough in common that global fleets of the Max 8 should be grounded.

Read more »


Related:
Ethiopia Crash Report Due This Week
Boeing 737 Max Makes Emergency Landing in US
Vote of Confidence! Ethiopian Airlines Wins “African Champion of the Year” Award
Ethiopian Airlines Expresses Disappointment – Calls Out Media Outlets Eager to Blame Pilot
UPDATE: Preliminary info from flight 302 black box show ‘Clear similarities’ in Boeing crashes’ (AP)

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Ethiopian Ethnic Rivalries Threaten Abiy Ahmed’s Reform Agenda (FT)

Abiy Ahmed and Debretsion Gebremichael, chairman of the Tigray People's Liberation Front. Premier’s stellar reputation gets frosty reception among formerly dominant Tigrayans. For many of the 5m-plus residents of Tigray, Mr Abiy is not so much saviour as threat. If the gloss eventually comes off the prime minister’s story, that process will have begun in Tigray. (© Getty)

THE FINANCIAL TIMES

Mekelle — Ever since Abiy Ahmed became prime minister of Ethiopia last April, Africa’s youngest leader has been hailed as one of the most progressive figures on the continent. A former army intelligence officer who has forged peace with Eritrea, packed his cabinet with women and overseen the mass release of political prisoners, he has been greeted as a national saviour by many of Ethiopia’s 105m people.

But enthusiasm for Mr Abiy, 42, stops in Tigray, Ethiopia’s northernmost state and a dominant force in national politics since a Tigrayan rebel army overthrew the hated Marxist Derg regime in 1991.

For many of the 5m-plus residents of Tigray, Mr Abiy is not so much saviour as threat. If the gloss eventually comes off the prime minister’s story, that process will have begun in Tigray.

To the region’s people, Mr Abiy’s shake-up of the Ethiopian state, which has targeted Tigrayans in top positions, is widely seen as biased and vindictive. Even his rousing talk of national unity is viewed as an attack on the federal constitution, which devolves significant powers to nine ethnically defined territories, including Tigray.

“Concentrating on one ethnic group is dangerous,” said Debretsion Gebremichael, acting president of the Tigray region, who added that Mr Abiy’s crackdown on corruption had an anti-Tigrayan bias. Adding that he initially opposed Mr Abiy’s selection as chairman of the ruling coalition and hence prime minister last year, he said: “I told him: ‘You are immature. You are not the right candidate’.”…

To Mr Abiy’s supporters, the prime minister is merely cleaning house and correcting the over-representation in Ethiopia’s state apparatus of Tigrayans, who comprise only 6 per cent of the population.

Mr Abiy categorically denies any ethnic bias, saying he is governing for all Ethiopians. In a recent interview with the Financial Times, he emphasised the concept of medemer, which roughly translates as strength in diversity. To achieve that, he said, he must resist any tendency towards ethnic ultranationalism and instead promote national unity and national pride.

Mohammed Ademo, founder and editor of OPride, a news website focused on Oromo issues, said the complexity of Ethiopia’s political jigsaw would be Mr Abiy’s greatest challenge. “We need to dial down ethnic tensions,” he added. “I wish Abiy were superhuman and could make that disappear.”

Read the full article at FT.com »


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Vote of Confidence! Ethiopian Airlines Wins “African Champion of the Year” Award

Ethiopian Airlines emerged as the ‘African Champion of the year‘ at the 7th edition of the Africa CEO Forum, which is taking place in Kigali from March 25, 2019. Ethiopian Airlines was awarded for their intra-african partnerships, reaching 40 countries on the continent, the Africa CEO Forum said in a statement.

By Africa-OnTheRise

Ethiopian Airlines hailed as “African Champion of the year” at Africa CEO Forum Awards 2019

Ethiopian Airlines won the accolade of ‘African Champion of the year‘ at Africa CEO Forum Awards 2019 for their intra-african partnerships, reaching 40 countries on the continent. The award was received by the airline’s CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam.

“I would like to start by thanking everyone who has supported us after the tragic accident that happened to us two weeks ago. We promise to keep up the good work for the good of the African continent,” Gebremariam said in his acceptance speech.


Related:
Ethiopian Airlines Chief Questions Max Training Requirements
Ethiopian Airlines Expresses Disappointment – Calls Out Media Outlets Eager to Blame Pilot
UPDATE: Preliminary info from flight 302 black box show ‘Clear similarities’ in Boeing crashes’ (AP)

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Dallas Doctor From Ethiopia Uses Homeland Words in Practice

In this Jan. 28, 2019 photo, from left, physical therapist Binu Aramath helps Wegayehu Cheko with her leg movements as Neurologist Mehari Gebreyohanns and Cheko's daughter Hareg Wolde watch at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. Chekol is from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and is recovering from a stroke she had last September. (The Dallas Morning News via AP)

The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS – When Hareg Wolde arrived in the emergency room to see her mother, doctors gave her grave news. Her mother had suffered a massive stroke, they said, and she might not live through the night.

The Dallas Morning News reports Wolde was shocked. Just the day before, her mother, 68, had been strong and limber. She had climbed up and down the stairs of their Garland house with ease, cooked meals and cared for Wolde’s two young children. Now she lay unconscious, her right side paralyzed.

The situation would be upsetting for anyone. But Wolde, who is originally from Ethiopia, felt bewildered. Not only had she never heard of a stroke, but her native language, Amharic, has no term to describe the world’s second leading cause of death.

Her predicament is not uncommon in Dallas. Amharic is the fourth most commonly spoken language at Parkland Hospital after English, Spanish and Vietnamese. North Texas is home to as many as 40,000 Ethiopian immigrants and one of the fastest growing African-born populations in the United States.

Language and cultural barriers contribute to poorer health among immigrants and ethnic minorities, said Dr. Mehari Gebreyohanns, a neurologist with UT Southwestern’s Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute. Like Wolde, Gebreyohanns was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.

To help improve outcomes, Gebreyohanns introduced a new term in Amharic for stroke: ye-angol tikat, or “brain attack.”

In January, he published a study in the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing that found broad support for the new term among Amharic speakers in North Texas.

The term “brain attack” benefits native English speakers, too, he said.

“‘Stroke’ is a very abstract term for people,” said Gebreyohanns, who sees patients at Parkland and at the neurology-focused Zale Lipshy University Hospital. “They have heard the term ‘stroke,’ but still when they come here they ask me, ‘What happened? Is it my heart?’”

When he saw Wolde later that first day, Gebreyohanns used ye-angol tikat to explain what had happened to her mother.

“It draws a very nice parallel with ‘heart attack,’” he said.

In a heart attack, the blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to the heart become blocked, damaging the heart muscle. In a stroke, blood vessels supplying oxygen and other nutrients to the brain become blocked or rupture, killing brain cells.

He told Wolde that the parts of her mother’s brain that control movement and speech had been damaged.

“But don’t worry, I will be with you. She will get treatment,” he told her, Wolde recalled.


Hareg Wolde helps her mother Wegayehu Chekol with the assistance of physical therapist Binu Aramath during a physical therapy session at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. Chekol is from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and is recovering from a stroke she had last September. (Carly Geraci/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

A word for ‘stroke’ never developed in Ethiopia because the country has faced widespread poverty, instability and a shortage of doctors to educate the public.

Gebreyohanns left the country in 1986 when he was 19 after surviving The Red Terror, a reign of persecution by its communist regime.

“They would take young people from their homes and kill them,” he said. “Many times, they would leave the body in the streets all day. We’d be walking as kids and we’d see bodies in the street.”

He lost two of his brothers during that period.

Gebreyohanns arrived in the United States alone on a student visa. He worked a variety of jobs to save for tuition and rent, including as a bell man at the Sheraton Dallas. He graduated from Georgia State University and then Atlanta’s Morehouse School of Medicine in 1999.

Now he is taking his stroke education campaign to Ethiopia. Last summer, he launched a partnership between UT Southwestern and a large regional hospital in the northern city of Bahir Dar. The hospital serves 7 million people but has no neurologists on staff and lacks basic brain-scanning equipment.

Under the partnership, UT Southwestern experts will teach local medical personnel in Bahir Dar the basics of neurology and, each year, will send doctors and doctors-in-training to help care for patients there. There are also plans to establish a resource center for autism, which Gebreyohanns said appears to be unusually common now in Ethiopia. The center would provide care for autistic children and partner with UT Southwestern neurologists on studies of the condition’s genetics.

Gebreyohanns has also been in touch with Ethiopia’s health ministry about launching a public education campaign around stroke.

Explaining strokes to rural populations in Ethiopia comes with extra challenges, he said.

“First, you have to explain it’s not something caused by a spirit,” he said. “You have to say, ‘This is a real organic disease.’ Then you have to explain it’s in the brain. Then you have to teach them it’s the blood vessels in the brain.”

He has launched a similar campaign in Dallas, speaking on Amharic radio programs and making presentations about stroke warning signs and risk factors at local gatherings and at holiday feasts.

Had her mother fallen ill in Addis Ababa, said Wolde, her relatives may not have taken her to a doctor. Instead, she might have seen a priest and received holy water.

“People think it’s devil stuff,” she said. “Nobody has this kind of knowledge.”

Here, her mother recuperated at Parkland for several weeks before coming home and continuing physical therapy.

“She will be fine,” said Wolde, managing a smile after helping her mother through a grueling workout.

“If people know (about strokes), they will rush to take them to a hospital,” said Wolde. “That’s a good thing.”


Information from: The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com. This is an AP Member Exchange shared by The Dallas Morning News

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Ethiopian Airlines Chief Questions Max Training Requirements

Tewolde Gebremariam, Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, speaks to The Associated Press at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Saturday, March 23, 2019. The chief of Ethiopian Airlines says the warning and training requirements set for the now-grounded 737 Max aircraft may not have been enough following the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash that killed 157 people. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

The Associated Press

By ELIAS MESERET

ADDIS ABABA — The warning and training requirements set for the now-grounded 737 Max aircraft may not have been enough following the Ethiopian plane crash that killed 157 people, the chief of Ethiopian Airlines said Saturday.

After the Lion Air crash off Indonesia in October, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing “came up with contents that we incorporated in our working manuals and also briefed all our pilots. But today we believe that might not have been enough,” Tewolde Gebremariam told The Associated Press in an interview in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

Ethiopian Airlines insists the carrier’s pilots went through all the extra training required by Boeing and the FAA to fly the 737 Max 8 jet. The March 10 crash killed people from 35 countries.

Gebremariam said earlier in the week that the training was meant to help crews shift from an older model of the 737 to the Max 8, which entered airline service in 2017. In a statement, he said pilots were also made aware of an emergency directive issued by the FAA after the Lion Air crash, which killed 189 people.

Ethiopian Airlines has said there is a “clear similarity” between the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes, citing preliminary information from the flight data recorder.

Although the causes of the crashes haven’t been determined, investigators in the Lion Air disaster have focused on an automated system designed to use information from two sensors to help prevent a dangerous aerodynamic stall.

It is not known whether the same flight-control system played a role in the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines jet shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, but regulators say both planes had similar erratic flight paths, an important part of their decision to ground the roughly 370 Max planes around the world.

Both planes flew with erratic altitude changes that could indicate the pilots struggled to control the aircraft. Shortly after their takeoffs, both crews tried to return to the airports but crashed.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that the pilots of the doomed Ethiopian plane never trained in a simulator for the Max. Gebremariam, the Ethiopian Airlines CEO, said Saturday that “it wouldn’t have made any difference” as the 737 Max simulator isn’t designed to imitate problems in the new jet’s flight-control software.

He still didn’t say whether the pilots had trained on the simulator.

Boeing’s planned software update for the Max must “address the problem 100 percent before we return the aircraft to air,” he said, noting that the airline hasn’t made a decision on whether or not to cancel orders for Max jets.

Ethiopian Airlines is widely seen as Africa’s best-managed airline.

The carrier had been using five of the Max planes and was awaiting delivery of 25 more.


Related:
Ethiopian Airlines Expresses Disappointment – Calls Out Media Outlets Eager to Blame Pilot
UPDATE: Preliminary info from flight 302 black box show ‘Clear similarities’ in Boeing crashes’ (AP)

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Ethiopian Airlines Calls Out Media Outlets Eager to Blame Pilot

(Photo: Ethiopian Airlines)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: March 22nd, 2019

New York (TADIAS) – Ethiopian Airlines is pushing back against recent U.S. media reports that sought to cast doubt on the pilot training standard of Africa’s oldest and best-managed airline.

In the wake of the March 10th crash of Flight ET302 — that is hauntingly similar to the tragedy involving another Boeing 737 Max 8 in Indonesia a few months prior — Ethiopian airlines has expressed its disappointment and frustration that U.S. mainstream news outlets, including The Washington Post and The New York Times, are seeking to shift blame to Ethiopia’s flag carrier and its award-winning and longstanding pilot training program. It is worth noting that Ethiopian airlines has a 75-year history as a customer of Boeing.

“Ethiopian Airlines strongly refutes all the baseless and factually incorrect allegations written in The Washington Post dated March 21, 2019,” the Airline said in a press release referring to a headline in The Post titled: Ethiopian Pilots Raised Safety Concerns Years Before Fatal Crash, Records Show. “All the allegations in the article are false defamations without any evidence, collected from unknown and unreliable sources and meant to divert attention from the global grounding of the B-737 MAX airplanes.” The Washington Post article had cited a 2015 complaint “filed before the Max 8 was in use” with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration by an unnamed Ethiopian pilot claiming dissatisfaction about an “allegedly flawed training programs and poor safety procedures.”

Ethiopian airlines responded that it: “operates with one of the highest global standards of quality and safety performances certified by all National, Regional and International regulators like the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority, the FAA, EASA, IOSA and ICAO and other national regulatory authorities,” adding that “Ethiopian is one of the leading global airlines with modern fleet, high standards of infrastructure, highly automated with the latest ICT (information and communication technology) and one of the most modern operating systems.”

The airline also shared that it “has seven full flight simulators (Q-400, B-737NG, B-737 MAX, B-767, B-787, B-777 and A-350) to train its pilots and other airlines pilots” and “has invested more than half a billion dollars in infrastructure just in the last 5 years, which is not common for a typical airline.”

All B-737 MAX airplanes have since been temporarily grounded globally while investigators continue their probe on the cause of ET 302 tragic crash.

Ethiopian Airlines also criticized The New York Times for its headline that declared: Ethiopian Airlines Had a Max 8 Simulator, but Pilot on Doomed Flight Didn’t Receive Training.

“Ethiopian Airlines expresses its disappointment on the following wrong reporting of the @nytimes,” the airline answered on Twitter tagging the newspaper. “The pilots had also been made aware of, and well briefed on the Emergency Airworthiness Directive issued by the FAA following the Lion Air accident.” Ethiopian Airlines emphasized that “the content of the airworthiness directive has also been well incorporated in all pilot training manuals, operational procedures and working manuals” and further noting that “the B-737 MAX full flight simulator is not designed to simulate the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) problems.”

Ethiopian Airlines had previously emphasized that the pilot in command of ET302, Captain Yared Getachew, was an experienced pilot who had accumulated 8,100 hours of flying time.

In its press statement Ethiopian airlines urged “all concerned to refrain from making uninformed, incorrect, irresponsible and misleading statements during the period of the accident investigation. International regulations require all stakeholders to wait patiently for the final result of the investigation.”


Related:
Ethiopian Airlines chief questions Max training requirements (AP)
Ethiopian Airlines was a symbol of national pride. Then disaster struck (CNN)
UPDATE: Preliminary info from flight 302 black box show ‘Clear similarities’ in Boeing crashes’ (AP)

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Ethiopia’s First Female Superhero Comic

The comic book digs deep through the trenches of history and is inspired by Ethiopian Queen Yodit Gudit. (Courtesy of Etian Comics)

Okayafrica

Barely a year since the founder of Etian Comics, Beserat Debebe, brought us the first ever Ethiopian superhero comic, Jember, he’s back with yet another first. This time, his newest comic book Hawi centers a female superhero, a young Ethiopian woman named Ement Legesse, who is tasked with having to rescue her mother after she’s abducted. The colorful visuals are stunning and showcase Debebe’s talented team of African artists and their unique ability to capture the vibrancy of Ethiopia. A story about returning to one’s roots and having the courage to rise above the challenges that come with seeking reconciliation and belonging, it’s one we can all relate to whether literally or figuratively.

“The fact that Hawi is Ethiopian means a lot to me,” Debebe tells OkayAfrica. For the 29-year-old creator of Etian Comics, having an Ethiopian superhero is meant to normalize the idea that Ethiopians and Africans in general can have an impact on the world. “I wish I had seen an Ethiopian superhero growing up,” he says. “I would have embraced my ability to make a difference earlier and acted on it.”

Hawi follows the story of Ement Legesse, a young Ethiopian woman living in America with her mother. In the opening scenes of the comic book, it becomes apparent that Ement desperately wants to visit Ethiopia on a guided tour but her mother is against the idea. According to her, Ement can barely speak their native Ahmaric language and fears for her safety given that numerous young girls have been abducted in Ethiopia. It’s quite clear that Ement is frustrated by her mother’s refusal to allow her to visit her home country. As the story progresses, the two eventually visit Ethiopia together (yay!) only for Ement’s mother, however, to be abducted (oh no!). This is where the story really begins. Now we won’t tell you how Ement obtains her dope superhero abilities but what we can tell you is what inspires them.

Read more »


Related:
‘Jember’: Ethiopia’s First Superhero Comic Series Entertains & Empowers Fans with African History

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Satire is Flourishing in Ethiopia

Wax and gold: The political climate has become more permissive—up to a point. (Surafel Daniel/Amen Films)

The Economist

Print edition | Books and arts

Mar 21st 2019

Ayalkibet, a portly man in a garish white suit, is taking an oath. Hand raised, expression sombre, he reads a pledge to administer his café wisely. Four colleagues nod in approval. “But only for a month,” prompts one, following the text as he recites it. Ayalkibet skips over that proviso; his colleagues look up in alarm. So begins a recent episode of “Min Litazez?” (“How can I help you?”), a hit Ethiopian sitcom, in which the temporary manager schemes to extend his time in office.

Who might this represent? Not, surely, Ethiopia’s new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, who has convulsed the country’s politics by promising free elections next year and to step down if he loses. And, indeed, “Min Litazez?” is too clever for such clunky comparisons. But the audience is invited to draw their own, and many viewers have seen a reflection of Abiy in the protagonist. In previous seasons there was no doubt that Ayalkibet—then a petty tyrant of the workplace—stood in for the ruling party’s authoritarian old guard, whom Abiy shoved aside last March. Now, as Ethiopians acclimatise to a more gentle leadership, the character has been transformed. No longer a dictator, he is a well-meaning but pompous honcho with a weakness for the limelight.

Read more »


Related:
Press Freedom in Ethiopia Has Blossomed. Will it Last? (The Economist)

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Spotlight: The Haile-Manas Academy, A New World Class School in Ethiopia

Image from a video introducing the upcoming Haile-Manas Academy, co-founded by Ethiopian American author & philanthropist Rebecca Haile, pictured above as a child in Ethiopia. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: March 20th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) – When the Haile-Manas Academy (HMA) opens its doors in Debre Birhan in 2020 it will be be among the top high schools in Ethiopia featuring international-standard curriculum and a brand new educational facility.

The private school is co-founded by Lawyer, Mother, Author and Businesswoman Rebecca Haile whose work we first featured in Tadias in 2007 when she published her memoir titled Held at a Distance: My Rediscovery of Ethiopia.

“The Academy will be a world-class co-educational secondary boarding school for 400 students of promise recruited from across the country and admitted without regard to financial circumstances,” says Rebecca. “It will be a model school in and for Ethiopia – the first of its kind.”

Rebecca, who lives in New York City, says she is inspired, like many Ethiopians around the world, by Ethiopia’s new-found optimism and sense of collective civic responsibility ushered in by the new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

“The timing is right for this transformative undertaking,” states the website for the Ethiopia Education Initiatives (EEI), the U.S.-based organization that’s overseeing the building of the high school. “With a GDP of just $783 per person (PPP $2,100), Ethiopia is burdened with an antiquated education system, yet it has the world’s fastest growing economy in 2018, and a population of over 105 million with a median age of just 18.” EEI adds: Ethiopia is ready to transform itself into a regional leader and economic powerhouse – but Ethiopia’s young people, its greatest asset, must be equipped to forge the way forward. An investment in the Haile-Manas Academy is an investment in Ethiopia’s future – in educating its future leaders and its most engaged and impactful citizens.”

The official ground-breaking for the Haile-Manas Academy was held three months ago and “guests included government officials, community leaders, representatives from various organizations” as well as Rebecca’s friends and family.

“Beyond the ceremony, it was exciting to see a couple hundred construction employees working in parallel on over a dozen school buildings, many of which are already at first floor level,” Rebecca shares. “We are making great progress!”

For Rebecca, who is the daughter of Professor Getatchew Haile — one of the foremost experts in the ancient Ethiopian language of Ge’ez — her passion for education come naturally.

“It certainly wasn’t easy to be a refugee, to start completely over in a new country (central Minnesota to be precise),” she writes on the EEI website. “But for me, and for my sister and fellow board member Sossina, education was the key that unlocked every door. We had access to excellent schools and generous scholarship programs ensured that if we worked hard we could take advantage of every opportunity we qualified for.”

Ethiopian architect Fasil Giorghis is one of the project leaders helping to build the HMA campus with “beautiful, contextually appropriate buildings and a focus on local materials and sustainability,” says Rebecca who co-founded the school together with her husband, businessman Jean Manas, also an immigrant to the US. “In October 2018 we engaged Rama Construction, a top contractor. Along the way, we sought and received the support and good counsel of innumerable people in the U.S. and in Ethiopia, as well as critical financial commitments.”

The Board of Directors of EEI include Rebecca’s sister, world renown academic scientist Dr. Sossina Haile, as well as Former U.S. Ambassador to the African Union and Dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, Reuben Brigety; Mr. Jean Manas, Chairman of the Board; Dr. Liben Hailu, Chief Technology Officer at Duracell, a Berkshire Hathaway Company; and Ms. Caroline Brown, founder at Brown & Peisch, formerly Partner at Covington & Burling, LLP.

Below is a video narrated by Rebecca Haile introducing The Haile-Manas Academy and the inspiration behind the new school:

HMA Anthem from Haile Manas Academy on Vimeo.


You can learn more about The Haile-Manas Academy and support the Ethiopia Education Initiatives at ethiopiaeducationinitiatives.org

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Filmmaker & Actor Leelai Demoz Named Associate Artistic Director at Steppenwolf

Filmmaker and Actor Leelai Demoz. (Photo: PerformInk Chicago)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: March 18th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) – Filmmaker & Actor Leelai Demoz has been appointed as Associate Artistic Director at the Chicago-based Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

According to PerformInk “Demoz is a founding partner of Small Ax, a digital production company/agency based in Venice, California, where he produced the award-winning film “DIFRET” (2014 Sundance World Cinema and 2014 Berlin Panorama Audience Awards).”

“When I was a young actor growing up in the Chicago area, acting meant only one thing: Steppenwolf Theatre. The members of the ensemble epitomized the craft and art of acting. So to be cast in “The Grapes of Wrath” and playing the National Theatre in Great Britain as a 20-year-old was a life-changing experience.” Demoz said. “Now, after a career as a film and television producer in NY and Los Angeles, I jumped at the chance to be considered for this job. I can’t think of a better place than Steppenwolf to be collaborating with so many artists who are asking fundamental questions about our community and our world. I look forward to bringing my experience, energy, passion, naiveté, and unbridled enthusiasm to my new position. I thank the Board, the staff, David Schmitz, and Anna Shapiro for this incredible opportunity. When I was acting, I was always asking the question ‘Who am I?’ Now I am most interested in the question, ‘Who are we?’ To quote Anna, I’m ready to ‘get in here.’”

“Leelai Demoz is a talented producer, administrator, artist and film maker,” says Executive Director David Schmitz. “With his variety of professional experiences, he will immediately add value to the range of projects happening at Steppenwolf at any given moment. As a department head and leader of the artistic office at Steppenwolf, he will be collaborating throughout our organization and our community, and I am thrilled that he is joining our talented staff.”

PerformInk notes that Leelai was “nominated for an Academy and Emmy Award for the documentary film “On TipToe,” which is a profile of Ladysmith Black Mambazo and was directed by Steppenwolf ensemble member Eric Simonson. His other work has been seen on MTV, Discovery, Travel Channel and BET. He also directed a set of ‘get out the vote’ public service announcements for the Clinton Foundation featuring LL Cool J and Alicia Keys.” Demoz also currently serves as a Board member for The Schoolhouse Foundation and Action Civics California.


Related:
Interview with Filmmaker Leelai Demoz (2009)

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LA Celebrates Dinaw Mengestu’s Novel ‘The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears’

Dinaw Mengestu. (Photo by Mathieu Zazzo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: March 17th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) – The award-wining novel by Ethiopian American author Dinaw Mengestu, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, has been selected by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) as part of their 2019 NEA Big Read Program.

“DCA will mark its 11th year of programming the NEA Big Read with the 2018-2019 selection of Dinaw Mengestu’s The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears, a fictional account of an Ethiopian immigrant living in Washington, DC, but whose story could relate to any immigrant living in any city,” the Department announced. “The protagonist deals with the trauma of leaving his homeland, the struggle to find success and love in America, and the adjustment of gentrification to the neighborhood that has been his new home.”

The 2019 program officially kicked-off on Wednesday, March 6th with a ceremony held at the Los Angeles City Council Chamber. The opening event was followed by a reception and a presentation of original artwork by Los Angeles poet and artist, Dorothy Randall Gray, based on Dinaw Mengestu’s book. The artwork in the exhibit, which is a “combination of sculpture and creative writing” focuses on “themes of family memories, community change, and home,” stated the announcement from DCA. “Guests will enjoy an exhibition of art created by youth at the Canoga Park Youth Arts Center.”

The program also includes a community film screening today (Sunday, March 17th) featuring Yared Zeleke’s critically acclaimed movie Lamb, which is “the first film from Ethiopia to be included in the Official Selection at the Cannes Film Festival and was the country’s entry for a Best Foreign Language Oscar.

DCA notes that the Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) “designed to restore reading to the center of American popular culture” and is presented in partnership with Arts Midwest. “The Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) and the NEA hope to unite communities through literature and intra-cultural connections, as well as to inspire teens to become life-long readers with the Big Read Program in Los Angeles.”

DCA added: “The NEA Big Read Program in LA will address several timely topics through its engagement with this award winning literary work…the theme of memory will explore personal and local history, and how we can learn from the past and be empowered to shape the future. Los Angeles residents experience these issues to various degrees on a daily basis. The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears will remind Angelenos that despite the different reasons and roads that brought us together, we are all companions within this diverse, vast city we call home.”


If You Go:
For more information about DCA’s Big Read Program in Los Angeles, please call 213.202.5567, or
email elizabeth.morin@lacity.org.

COMMUNITY FILM SCREENING
Lamb (2015) director Yared Zeleke
Dates: Sunday, March 17, 2019
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Site: Barnsdall Gallery Theater
Barnsdall Art Park
4800 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Cost: Free
culturela.org
BigReadLA.org
neabigread.org

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Spotlight: Ethiopian Beejhy Barhany at Women of the World Fest at Apollo

Beejhy Barhany. (Photo: Routes-mag)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: March 17th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) – Ethiopian American entrepreneur Beejhy Barhany is featured as one of the presenters at the 2019 Women of the World (WOW) Festival, which is taking place at the legendary Apollo Theater this weekend on Sunday, March 17th as part of Women’s History Month celebrations.

In a statement the curator of the 2019 WOW Festival, Isisara Bey noted: “We join WOW Festivals taking place in more than 54 cities on five continents to speak with one voice about our many challenges and obstacles, triumphs and achievements. We are rooted locally with hands outstretched around the planet to tell our own stories with truth and grace, passion and power.”

“The Wow Festival features workshops, activities, programming, and performances with artists, community leaders, writers, thinkers, activists, and leaders exploring a variety of issues across cultural, civic, and social boundaries with a focus on empowerment and activism,” Apollo Theater announced. “Participants include educator and activist Angela Davis; musician Alice Smith; finance expert Suze Orman; White House correspondent April Ryan; Poet Nikki Giovanni and more.”

Beejhy, who is the owner of Tsion Cafe, joins other respected harlem-local female restaurateurs (@safariharlem @chaiwaliharlem) at the WOW festival “as they bring together three cultures, all under the theme of “Bake Bread. Build Bridges,” stated the press release. “These women will be sharing their immigration stories, why they decided to bring these recipes to the Harlem community and the power of entrepreneurship.”

Beejhy who was born in Ethiopia and grew up in Israel has been a New York City resident for past 19 years. She is also the founder of BINA (Beta Israel of North America) organization as well as the annual Sheba Film festival.

“It is important for me to highlight Ethiopian culture and its rich heritage, and paying homage to my Jewish background,” Beejhy told Tadias in an interview when she opened Tsion four years ago. “I moved to New York in 2000, and after living and working here for a few years, I founded BINA as a way to create a platform to raise greater awareness about Ethiopian Jews.” She added: I started organizing events, film screenings, showcasing cuisine, stories, and music…but I always wanted a venue. And I always wanted something in Harlem; it’s historical, it has some connection to Ethiopia. I wanted to honor writers, artists, have readings and performances, and this place simply worked.”

“The legendary Apollo Theater — the soul of American culture — plays a vital role in cultivating emerging artists and launching legends,” note the organizers of the WOW Festival. “Since its founding, the Apollo has served as a center of innovation and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world.”


If You Go:
Apollo Theatre – WOW Festival

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UPDATE: Flight ET302 Black Box Review

A priest cries at a mass funeral at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, Sunday, March 17, 2019. Thousands of Ethiopians have turned out to a mass funeral ceremony in the capital one week after the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash. Officials have begun delivering bags of earth to family members of the 157 victims of the crash instead of the remains of their loved ones because the identification process is going to take such a long time. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

The Associated Press

By ELIAS MESERET

Updated: March 17th, 2019

‘Clear Similarities’ in Boeing Crashes, Ethiopia Minister Says (AP)

ADDIS ABABA — Preliminary information from the flight data recorder of an Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed a week ago and killed 157 people shows “clear similarities” with an earlier disaster involving the same kind of Boeing aircraft in Indonesia, Ethiopia’s transport minister said Sunday.

The disclosure came as thousands marched in the capital of Addis Ababa, accompanying 17 empty caskets at a funeral for the Ethiopian victims of Flight 302. The caskets were empty because authorities have said that recovering and identifying the remains will take months.

The crash of Ethiopian Flight 302 on March 10 and that of a Lion Air plane in Indonesia in October — both of them Boeing 737 Max 8 jetliners — have prompted the United States and other countries to ground the aircraft.

The flight recorders from Flight 302 that went down shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa for Nairobi were recovered “in a good condition that enabled us to extract almost all the data inside,” Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges told reporters.

Information collected so far from the flight data recorder has indicated “clear similarities” between both crashes, she said. Both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder were sent to Paris for analysis by the French air accident investigation agency BEA.

Moges did not elaborate on what the similarities were.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration already has said satellite-based tracking data showed that the movements of Flight 302 were similar to those of Lion Air Flight 610, which crashed off Indonesia, killing 189 people.

Both planes flew with erratic altitude changes that could indicate the pilots struggled to control the aircraft. Shortly after their takeoffs, both crews tried to return to the airports but crashed.

Suspicions emerged that faulty sensors and software may have contributed to the crashes.

Moges said the Ethiopian government intends to release detailed findings within a month.

At the memorial service earlier in the day, some of the relatives who marched behind the flag-draped coffins were overcome with grief and fainted.

The service came one day after officials began delivering bags of scorched earth from the crash site to family members of the victims because of the problems with identifying the remains.

Family members said they were given a 1-kilogram (2.2-pound) sack of dirt from the crash site. Many relatives already have gone to the dusty field outside Addis Ababa where the plane went down to pay their respects.

Mourner Elias Bilew said he had worked with one of the victims, Sintayehu Shafi, for the past eight years.

“He was such a good person,” Bilew said. “He doesn’t deserve this. He was the pillar for his whole family.”

Boeing Black Box Review Begins in France, Aviation World Waits (Reuters)


Men unload a case from a diplomatic car from the Ethiopian Embassy outside the headquarters of France’s BEA air accident investigation agency in Le Bourget, north of Paris, France, March 14, 2019. The black boxes from the crashed Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 arrived in France on Thursday. (Reuters photo)

Reuters

By Richard Lough, Aaron Maasho

Updated: March 15th, 2019

PARIS/ADDIS ABABA – Investigators in France on Friday examined the black boxes of a Boeing 737 MAX that crashed in Ethiopia, as a spooked global airline industry waited to see if the cause was similar to a disaster in Indonesia months before.

Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed soon after take-off from Addis Ababa last weekend, killing 157 people, the second such calamity involving Boeing’s flagship new model after a jet came down off Indonesia in October with 189 people on board.

In both cases, pilots asked to return minutes into flight.

The international repercussions are huge. Regulators have grounded the 737 MAX around the world, and the U.S. planemaker has halted next deliveries of the several thousand planes on order for a model intended to be the future industry workhorse.

Parallels between the twin disasters have frightened travelers worldwide and wiped almost $28 billion off Boeing’s stock market value.

U.S. aviation authorities say information from the wreckage in Ethiopia plus newly-refined data about its flight path indicated some similarities.

Two sources said investigators retrieved from the wreckage a piece of a stabilizer, which moves the nose up and down, that was set in an unusual position – one similar to that of the Lion Air plane that crashed in Indonesia.

(GRAPHIC: Ethiopian Airlines crash interactive – tmsnrt.rs/2ChBW5M)

“NOSE-DIVE”

Pilots were waiting anxiously for the investigation.

“Looking at the crash site photos, the aircraft appears to have nose-dived,” Paul Gichinga, former head of the Kenya Airline Pilots Association, told Reuters.

“The pilot must have gotten some sort of indication that maybe the airspeed was unreliable or something and decided, instead of climbing and going to sort out the problem up there, the best thing was to return to have it sorted.”

Boeing, the world’s biggest planemaker, has said the 737 MAX is safe, though it plans to roll out a software upgrade in the coming weeks. It continued to produce at full speed at its factory near Seattle, but paused shipments.

French authorities have possession of the flight data and cockpit voice recorders, though Ethiopia is formally leading the investigation and U.S. experts are in Paris and Addis Ababa too.

First conclusions could take several days.

The New York Times said the Ethiopian captain, Yared Getachew, initially reported a “flight control” problem in a calm voice before asking to return in panicked tones three minutes into the flight. “Break break, request back to home,” he told controllers, the newspaper reported, citing a person who had reviewed the communications.

The jet initially flew below the minimum safe height for its climb, then once at higher altitude was oscillating up and down by hundreds of feet, all at abnormal speed, the Times said. It then disappeared from radar over a restricted military zone and lost contact with air controllers five minutes after take-off.

FAMILIES “STUCK AND EMOTIONAL”

In Ethiopia, grieving relatives have been visiting the charred and debris-strewn field where the jet came down to pay last respects. Only fragments remain, meaning it may take weeks or months to identify all the victims who came from 35 nations.

Some families stormed out of a meeting with Ethiopian Airlines on Thursday complaining about lack of information.

Israeli Ilan Matsliah flew to Ethiopia hours after confirming his brother was on board, thinking it would be quick to find remains for burial in accordance with Jewish tradition.

“More than 24 hours is a problem for us. But I have been here for more than 96 hours,” the 46-year old told Reuters.

“We are now stuck in the same place, the same as Monday. We are very emotional.”

With heightened global scrutiny, the head of Indonesia’s transport safety committee said a report into the Lion Air crash would be speeded up for release in July or August.

A preliminary report focused on maintenance, training and the response of a Boeing anti-stall system to a recently replaced sensor.

As the ripple-effect from the Ethiopia crash spread, Canada’s biggest carrier Air Canada suspended financial forecasts for the first quarter and the year, two days after its MAX jets were grounded. It had expected the MAX to deliver significant savings on fuel and maintenance costs.

A potential new Chinese order for more than 100 jets worth well over $10 billion was thrown into doubt.

Legal experts said even non-U.S. families of the Ethiopia victims may be able to sue Chicago-based Boeing in the United States – where payouts are larger – as eight of the dead were American and plaintiffs may argue liability hinges on system design and safety decisions made by executives.

Boeing, one of the biggest companies by market capitalization on the Dow Jones and a darling of the market, has seen its shares lose 13 percent since the crash.

Its shares had hit record highs just a week before, having risen a stunning 52 percent since the end of December, and were still up 19 percent year-to-date.

‘My child! My brother!’: As mourners gather at Ethiopian Airlines crash site, an agonizing search for remains (The Washington Post)


Ethiopia to Send Plane’s Black Box Abroad, as Grief Grows (AP)


Relatives react at the scene where the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed shortly after takeoff on Sunday killing all 157 on board, near Bishoftu, south of Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia Wednesday, March 13, 2019. The black box from the Boeing jet that crashed will be sent overseas for analysis but no country has been chosen yet, an Ethiopian Airlines spokesman said Wednesday, as much of the world grounded or barred the plane model and grieving families arrived at the disaster site. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

AP

By ELIAS MESERET and YIDNEK KIRUBEL

Updated: March 13th, 2019

The black box from the Boeing jet that crashed and killed all 157 people on board will be sent overseas for analysis but no country has been chosen, an Ethiopian Airlines spokesman said Wednesday, as much of the world grounded or barred the plane model and grieving families arrived at the disaster site.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Asrat Begashaw said the airline has “a range of options” for the data and voice records of the flight’s last moments. “What we can say is we don’t have the capability to probe it here in Ethiopia,” he said. An airline official has said one recorder was partially damaged.

The Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft crashed six minutes after takeoff Sunday, killing all 157 people on board. The disaster is the second with a Max 8 plane in just five months.

While some aviation experts have warned against drawing conclusions until more information on the latest crash emerges, much of the world, including the entire European Union, has grounded the Boeing jetliner or banned it from their airspace. Ethiopian Airlines, widely seen as Africa’s best-managed airline, grounded its remaining four 737 Max 8s.

That leaves the United States as one of the few remaining operators of the plane.

“Similar causes may have contributed to both events,” European regulators said, referring to the Lion Air crash in Indonesia that killed 189 people last year.

An aviation expert says investigators can expect to find multiple factors as they look for the cause of an Ethiopian Airlines plane crash that killed 157. The plane was a Boeing 737 Max 8, the latest version of the widely used jetliner. (March 11)

Others took action on Wednesday. Lebanon and Kosovo barred the Boeing 737 Max 8 from their airspace, and Norwegian Air Shuttles said it would seek compensation from Boeing after grounding its fleet. Egypt banned the operation of the aircraft. Thailand ordered budget airline Thai Lion Air to suspend flying the planes for risk assessments. Lion Air confirmed reports it has put on hold the scheduled delivery of four of the jets.

The U.S.-based Boeing has said it has no reason to pull the popular aircraft from the skies and does not intend to issue new recommendations about the aircraft to customers.

Boeing’s CEO Dennis Muilenburg also spoke with President Donald Trump and reiterated that the 737 Max 8 is safe, the company said. Its technical team, meanwhile, joined American, Israeli, Kenyan and other aviation experts in the investigation led by Ethiopian authorities.

The Federal Aviation Administration also backed the jet’s airworthiness and said it was reviewing all available data. “Thus far, our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft,” acting FAA Administrator Daniel K. Elwell said in a statement. “Nor have other civil aviation authorities provided data to us that would warrant action.”

Some aviation experts have warned that finding answers in this crash could take months.

An Ethiopian pilot who saw the crash site minutes after the disaster told the AP that the plane appeared to have “slid directly into the ground.”

Asrat, the Ethiopian Airlines spokesman, told the AP that the remains of victims recovered so far were in freezers and that forensic DNA work for identifications had not yet begun.

The dead came from 35 countries. The airline has identifying them should take five days.

More devastated families arrived at the crash site on Wednesday, some supported by loved ones and wailing.


‘Black Box’ Recovered in Ethiopian Airlines Plane Crash


The Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) were discovered on Monday. (Photo: Rescuers work at the scene of the crash near Debre Zeit on Monday, March 11, 2019/AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: March 11th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) – The “black box” voice and data recorders from an Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed a few minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport on Sunday have now been recovered. Recovery of the voice and data recorders may help investigators find out the cause of the plane’s crash shortly after the pilot sent a distress call and given permission to return to the airport.

Officials have reported that there are no survivors from the flight that crashed near Bishoftu (Debre Zeit) and carried 157 people including Ethiopian Airlines crew on its way to Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.

“The flight data recorder (FDR) preserves the recent history of the flight through the recording of dozens of parameters collected several times per second, while the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) preserves the recent history of the sounds in the cockpit, including the conversation of the pilots,” explains Wiki. “The FDR and CVR give an accurate testimony, narrating the aircraft’s flight history, to assist in any investigation.”


Related:
Ethiopia Mourns Crash Victims as Investigators Seek Answers (AP UPDATE)
Ethiopia grounds Boeing aircraft involved in devastating crash that killed all aboard (Washington Post)
No Survivors in Ethiopian Airlines Crash En Route to Kenya (AP)

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Meet Hunnah: The Secret-Weapon Songwriter Who’s About to Make It Big

Image Source: Instagram user hunnahw

Popsugar

Hunnah makes the kind of music you want to start and end your day with — smooth, jazzy tones that lend themselves to your morning cup of coffee and your evening glass of wine. A Toronto native and daughter of Ethiopian refugees, the 24-year-old’s music is infused with influences of Stevie Wonder and Lauryn Hill, along with Hunnah’s own personal heartbreak and the influence of Ethiopian jazz, making her a unique voice that we can’t stop listening to. Though she only has three songs out, it is clear that she is bringing a rare level of openness to the table; her debut single, “Tell You,” is a bouncy and colorful track that she made with chill trap DJ Pusher, but her latest singles — the buttery-smooth “Think About It” and slow, sultry “Crush” — really give you a feel for who Hunnah is and who she wants to be.

If you ask Hunnah how she got into music, she will make sure to give credit where credit is due. When her father came to Canada as a refugee, he made an unlikely friend, an older woman whom Hunnah now calls Grandma. Grandma is the one who encouraged Hunnah’s father to put her into piano lessons and get involved in music when she was only 9 years old. As a result, much of her childhood was spent singing gospel in the church choir and practicing scales on a piano. Eventually, she studied journalism and human rights at Carleton University. During her studies, she had taken her career path away from music, but she returned to singing as a hobby when she started posting videos of her singing covers on YouTube five years ago.

“I honestly didn’t think I was good enough,” she said, but listeners disagreed, and her videos climbed to over 400,000 views. Soon, publications like Fader and Highsnobiety took notice, and her manager Doris contacted her to come out to Los Angeles and start recording. As she builds up to her debut EP, Hunnah has been gaining a loyal fan base and impressing industry insiders, especially for her collaboration with Cuco, who produced her latest single, “Crush.”

Read more »


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Press Freedom in Ethiopia Has Blossomed. Will it Last? (The Economist)

(Photo: Reuters)

The Economist

Print edition | Middle East and Africa
Mar 16th 2019 | ADDIS ABABA

Eskinder nega founded his first newspaper, Ethiopis, in 1993. After seven issues it was forced to close, the first paper charged under a muzzling law introduced by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (eprdf), which had shot its way to power two years before. Three more of Eskinder’s newspapers were shut down by the courts. In 2012 he was sentenced to 18 years in prison on charges of terrorism. He was released last year as part of an amnesty for political prisoners.

Ethiopis is back in business, its return symbolising the start of a more hopeful era for press freedom. Hundreds of websites, blogs and satellite-tv channels have been unblocked since Abiy Ahmed took office as prime minister in April last year. For the first time in 13 years there are no journalists in prison; no fewer than 23 publications and six privately owned satellite channels have been given licences by the Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority since July.

Read more »


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Spotlight: Afetarik (አፈታሪክ), A Digital Archive Collects Voices of Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa. (Photo by Dawit Tibebu)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: March 14th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) – A new online digital archive is being launched to collect and share an oral history of Addis Ababa as told through people from around the world who consider Ethiopia’s capital city to be their hometown.

The community-sharing site, which is aptly named Afetarik (አፈታሪክ), Amharic for oral history, notes that Addis Ababa like many other major metropolitan cities has many neighborhoods with their own distinct flavors and cultures.

“Since its establishment in 1886, and its progress from a town to the capital city of Ethiopia between 1889 and 1891, Addis Abeba continues to flourish and accommodate its growing population,” states the portal founded by Meareg Tesfazghi. “As Addis Abeba’s quarters and neighborhoods have expanded over the years their names have evolved as well, taking on the stories of those who inhabit them.” The event organizers note that the website “is an opportunity for Addis-Abebawians to participate in the documentation of their own oral history.”

The official launch event for the new site will take place on Saturday, March 16th in Silver Spring, Maryland.

“Guest will discover a number of interactive exhibits that are synonymous with life in Addis. Take a ride on the Lion Bus (አነበሳ፡አወቶቡስ) or taxi(ላዳ), get some groceries at the pop-up shop (ጉልተ or ሱቅ፡በደረቴ), get your shoes shined (ልሰተሮ), or just have a glass of honey wine (ጠጅ፡ቤት).”


If You Go:
Afetarik (አፈታሪክ) Launch Event
Date: March 16, 2019
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Location: Silver Spring Civic Building
Address: 1 Veterans Place, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Register: https://www.afetarik.com/news-and-events

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U.S. Grounds Boeing 737 MAX Jets

A Chinese man mourns a victim of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash during a commemoration ceremony at the scene of the crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, March 13, 2019. (REUTERS)

Reuters

Updated: March 13th, 2019

U.S. grounds 737 MAX jets, Boeing shares fall again

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Wednesday said the United States would ground Boeing Co’s 737 MAX jets, following Europe and other nations that have already stopped the planes flying due to safety concerns after an Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday, the second such disaster in less than five months.

It was the second time the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has halted flights of a Boeing plane in six years. It had grounded the 787 Dreamliner due to problems with smoking batteries in 2013.

Shares of the world’s biggest plane maker, which were up earlier in the session, fell 2 percent to $370.48. The shares have fallen about 13 percent since Sunday’s crash, losing about $32 billion of market value.

Shares of Southwest Airlines Co, which has the largest fleet of 737 MAX aircraft, fell 0.4 percent.

“We’re going to be issuing an emergency order of prohibition to ground all flights of the 737 MAX 8 and the 737 MAX 9 and planes associated with that line,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

“The FAA is prepared to make an announcement very shortly regarding the new information and physical evidence that we have received from the site, and from other locations and through a couple of other complaints,” he said.

Boeing said in a statement that it supported the move to temporarily ground 737 MAX operations.

Meanwhile, Germany’s federal agency responsible for investigating air accidents will not analyze the black box from the Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed, casting uncertainty over the process of finding out what may have caused the disaster.

“This is a new type of aircraft with a new black box, with new software. We can’t do it,” said Germout Freitag, a spokesman for Germany’s Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation (BFU).

The move leaves unclear the destination of the black box, which may yield vital details of what caused the plane to plunge to the ground, killing 157 people.

Canada also grounded 737 MAX jets on Wednesday, saying satellite data suggested similarities to a previous crash involving the same plane model.

Countries around the world had already grounded the 737 MAX jets or banned them from flying over their airspace since the Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed soon after taking off from Addis Ababa.

The still-unexplained crash followed another involving a Boeing 737 MAX in Indonesia five months ago that killed 189 people. Although there is no proof of any link, the twin disasters have spooked passengers.

Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau told a news conference that Ottawa would stop 737 MAX 8 and 9 jets from leaving, arriving or flying over Canada.

He said satellite data suggested similarities between the flight profiles of the Ethiopian jet and that of a Lion Air plane of the same type that crashed in Indonesia last year. Both planes crashed shortly after takeoff.

Air Canada and rival WestJet Airlines operate a total of 37 Boeing 737 MAX jets.

Boeing has said it has full confidence in the 737 MAX – a model that has 371 jets in operation around the world.

Ethiopian Airlines spokesman Asrat Begashaw said it was still unclear what happened on Sunday, but its pilot had reported control issues – as opposed to external factors such as birds.

“The pilot reported flight control problems and requested to turn back. In fact he was allowed to turn back,” he said.


Canada Joins Much of World in Banning Boeing Jet Involved in Ethiopia Crash (AP)


Relatives react at the scene where the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed shortly after takeoff on Sunday killing all 157 on board, near Bishoftu, south of Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia Wednesday, March 13, 2019. The black box from the Boeing jet that crashed will be sent overseas for analysis but no country has been chosen yet, an Ethiopian Airlines spokesman said Wednesday, as much of the world grounded or barred the plane model and grieving families arrived at the disaster site. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

The Associated Press

By ELIAS MESERET and ROB GILLIES

Updated: March 13th, 2019

Canada grounds Boeing 737 Max 8s after Ethiopia crash

HEJERE, Ethiopia (AP) — Canada joined much of the world in barring the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet from its airspace on Wednesday, saying satellite tracking data shows possible but unproven similarities between the Ethiopian Airliner crash that killed 157 people and a previous crash involving the model five months ago. The decision left the U.S. as one of the few remaining countries to allow the planes to keep flying.

Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau said a comparison of vertical fluctuations found a “similar profile” to the Lion Air crash that killed 187 people in October.

Garneau emphasized that the data is not conclusive but crossed a threshold that prompted Canada to bar the Max 8. He said the new information indicated that the Ethiopian Airliner jet’s automatic system kicked in to force the nose of the aircraft down after computer software determined it was too high. He said that in the case of the Lion Air crash off Indonesia, the pilot fought against computer software that wanted to drop the nose of the plane.

“So if we look at the profile, there are vertical fluctuations, in the vertical profile of the aircraft and there were similarities in what we saw,” Garneau said. “But I would repeat once again. This is not the proof that is the same root problem. It could be something else.”

Canada lost 18 of its citizens in Sunday’s crash, the second highest number after Kenya. A Canadian family of six were among the dead.

Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airlines said Wednesday that flight recorders from the jet that crashed will be sent abroad for analysis, but it was unclear where. Some aviation experts have warned that finding answers in the crash could take months.

Boeing has said it has no reason to pull the popular aircraft from the skies and does not intend to issue new recommendations about the aircraft to customers. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg spoke with President Donald Trump and reiterated that the 737 Max 8 is safe, the company said.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has backed the jet’s airworthiness and said it was reviewing all available data.

“Thus far, our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft,” acting FAA Administrator Daniel K. Elwell said in a statement.

The agency had no response to Canada’s decision, saying it doesn’t comment “on actions that other civil aviation organizations take.”

While aviation experts warn against drawing conclusions until more information emerges from the investigation, more than 40 countries — including the entire European Union — have suspended flights by the Max 8 or barred it from their airspace. China also ordered its airlines to ground the planes — they had 96 Max 8 jets in service, more than one-fourth of the approximately 370 Max jets in circulation.

The list of countries continued to grow Wednesday. Lebanon and Kosovo barred the Boeing 737 Max 8 from their airspace, and Norwegian Air Shuttles said it would seek compensation from Boeing after grounding its fleet. Egypt banned the operation of the aircraft. Thailand ordered budget airline Thai Lion Air to suspend flying the planes for risk assessments. Lion Air confirmed reports it has put on hold the scheduled delivery of four of the jets.

Ethiopian Airlines, widely seen as Africa’s best-managed airline, grounded its remaining four models.

And airline pilots on at least two U.S. flights have reported that an automated system seemed to cause their planes to tilt down suddenly.

Ethiopia was searching for another country to take the black box from Sunday’s plane crash for analysis.

Germout Freitag, a spokesman for Germany’s Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation, said that agency declined a request from Ethiopia to analyze the box because it lacked the software needed.

A spokesman for Ethiopian Airlines, Asrat Begashaw, said the airline has “a range of options” for the data and voice recorders of the flight’s last moments.

“What we can say is we don’t have the capability to probe it here in Ethiopia,” he said, adding that it would be sent to a European country that he did not identify. An airline official has said one of the recorders was partially damaged.

Boeing’s technical team joined U.S., Israeli, Kenyan and other aviation experts in the investigation led by Ethiopian authorities.

An Ethiopian pilot who saw the crash site minutes after the disaster told AP that the plane appeared to have “slid directly into the ground.”

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said their pilots had received special training.

“In addition to the basic trainings given for 737 aircraft types, an additional training was given for the Max version,” Tewolde told state news reporters.

“After the Lion Air crash, questions were raised, so Boeing sent further instructions that it said pilots should know. Those relate to the specific behavior of this specific type of aircraft. As a result, training was given by Boeing, and our pilots have taken it and put it into our manuals,” he said.

Tewolde said he is confident the “investigation will reveal that the crash is not related to Ethiopian Airlines’ safety record.”

Forensic DNA work for identifications of the remains recovered so far has not yet begun, Asrat said. The dead came from 35 countries.

More devastated relatives of victims arrived at the crash site Wednesday, some supported by loved ones and wailing.

Others mourned in private. Dawit Gebremichael sat with a photograph of his only sister, Sara, a flight attendant on the plane. She left three children.

“It is customary for Ethiopians to have a body and a proper burial,” he told the AP. “But we don’t have the body here, and we don’t expect anything now.”

___

Gillies reported from Toronto. AP writer Yidnek Kirubel contributed from Hejere, Ethiopia.


Related:
‘Black Box’ Recovered in Ethiopian Airlines Plane Crash
Ethiopia Mourns Crash Victims as Investigators Seek Answers (AP UPDATE)
Ethiopia grounds Boeing aircraft involved in devastating crash that killed all aboard (Washington Post)
Passengers Who Missed Doomed Ethiopia Flight ‘lucky’ to be Alive (The New York Post)
No Survivors in Ethiopian Airlines Crash En Route to Kenya (AP)

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

The Western Erasure of African Tragedy

Media coverage of the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 framed a horrifying accident in appallingly familiar ways. (Photo: A passenger passport lies on the ground at the scene of an Ethiopian Airlines crash south of Addis Ababa/Mulugeta Ayene/AP)

The Atlantic

By Hannah Giorgis

On Sunday morning, an Ethiopian Airlines jetliner crashed shortly after leaving Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, en route to Nairobi, the capital city of neighboring Kenya. Minutes after takeoff, the Boeing 737 Max 8—the same model of aircraft that went down in Indonesia several months ago—lost contact with air-traffic controllers. Soon after, the aircraft crashed; all 157 people on board Flight 302, including the crew, died.

According to a list shared by Ethiopian Airlines following the crash, these passengers hailed from 35 countries. Several nations suffered more than five casualties—among them, Kenya, Canada, Ethiopia, China, Italy, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, and Egypt. In the hours following initial reports, the corners of Twitter, WhatsApp, and Facebook frequented by African users were filled with shock and horror, mourning and disbelief. The crash seemed senseless, and its human toll devastating.

But in the aftermath of the tragedy, many Western media outlets reported the news with unevenly rationed compassion. Some stoked unfounded suspicions about the caliber of the airline itself. Others stripped their reporting of emphasis on Africa almost entirely, framing the tragedy chiefly in terms of its impact on non-African passengers and organizations.

On a broadcast of the Turkish channel TRTWorld, for example, the British anchor Maria Ramos asserted that Ethiopian Airlines had a “poor safety record historically,” a baseless claim that the British aviation analyst Alex Macheras challenged on air, even after Ramos suggested that a 1996 hijacking attempt made the African airline categorically unsafe. (Macheras also contextualized Ethiopian Airlines’ record, by comparing it to that of American and European carriers such as United Airlines, Air France, and American Airlines.) On Twitter, the Financial Times’ East Africa–based reporter pondered in a now-deleted tweet whether “questions may well be asked about the pace of the carrier’s rapid expansion since 2010,” despite acknowledging that the reasons for the crash remained unknown.

Read more »


Related:
‘Black Box’ Recovered in Ethiopian Airlines Plane Crash
Ethiopia Mourns Crash Victims as Investigators Seek Answers (AP UPDATE)
Ethiopia grounds Boeing aircraft involved in devastating crash that killed all aboard (Washington Post)
Passengers Who Missed Doomed Ethiopia Flight ‘lucky’ to be Alive (The New York Post)
No Survivors in Ethiopian Airlines Crash En Route to Kenya (AP)

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Flight ET302 Black Box Review Begins

Men unload a case from a diplomatic car from the Ethiopian Embassy outside the headquarters of France's BEA air accident investigation agency in Le Bourget, north of Paris, France, March 14, 2019. (Reuters photo)

Reuters

By Aaron Maasho, Leigh Thomas

Updated: March 17th, 2019

Experts begin examining Ethiopia jet cockpit recorder

PARIS/ADDIS ABABA – Investigators hunting for the cause of the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane that killed all 157 people on board have begun studying the cockpit voice recorder, France’s BEA air accident investigation agency said on Saturday.

Experts say it is too soon to know what brought down the Boeing 737 MAX 8 on March 10, but aviation authorities worldwide have grounded Boeing’s 737 MAXs, as concerns over the plane caused the company’s share price to tumble.

A spokesman for the BEA agency said downloading the data from the recorder retrieved from wreckage was expected to take four to five hours. The BEA also issued a photo showing the recorder intact but dented by the impact of the plane’s crash into a field minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa.

“We are waiting for the results. We are making all the necessary efforts to identify the cause of the accident,” Ethiopian Minister of Transport Dagmawit Moges told reporters in Addis Ababa.

“This kind of investigation needs considerable amount of time to reach concrete conclusions”.

The Ethiopian carrier said DNA testing of the remains of the people on board flight 302 may take up to six months, and it offered bereaved families charred earth from the plane crash site to bury. Passengers from more than 30 nations were aboard.

Dagmawit said temporary death certificate had been given, and a final one would be issued in two weeks time. Collection of DNA samples from relatives had begun.

Victim identification would be done to scientific international standards, and internationally-recognised organisations such as Interpol were going to be involved in the process, she said.

As families wait for the results from the investigation, Ethiopian Airlines is planning to hold a service on Sunday in Addis Ababa, at the Kidist Selassie, or Holy Trinity Cathedral, where many of the country’s past rulers are buried beneath its pink stone spires.

EARTH FROM THE CRASH SITE

“We were told by the company that we will be given a kilo (of earth) each for burial at Selassie Church for a funeral they will organise,” said one family member who asked not to be named.

Papers given to the families at the Skylight Hotel on Saturday said death certificates would be issued within two weeks, and an initial payment made to cover immediate expenses.

The return of remains – most of which are charred and fragmented – would take up to six months, the papers said, but in the meantime earth from the crash site would be given.

Abdulmajid Sheriff, a Kenyan whose Yemeni brother-in-law died, said the family had already held a service.

“We are Muslims we didn’t care about that (earth). We did yesterday our prayers at the mosque and that is all for us.”

Around 100 relatives, including the brother and father of pilot Yared Getachew, gathered at a memorial for the victims at the Kenyan embassy.

“His dream was to be a pilot,” said Meno Getachew Tessema, 39, Yared’s brother. “He was diligent, hardworking, he had a consistent work ethic. I would like to emphasize his record and that he was a rising star at Ethiopian Airlines.”

Flight data has already indicated some similarities with a crash by the same model of plane during a Lion Air flight in October. All 189 people onboard were killed. Both planes crashed within minutes of take off after pilots reported problems.

The grounding of the 737 MAX jets has had no immediate financial impact on airlines using the planes, but it will get painful for the industry the longer they do not fly, companies and analysts said on Friday.

Boeing plans to release upgraded software for the 737 MAX in a week to 10 days, sources familiar with the matter said.

The U.S. planemaker has been working on a software upgrade for an anti-stall system and pilot displays on its fastest-selling jetliner in the wake of the deadly Lion Air crash.


‘My child! My brother!’: As mourners gather at Ethiopian Airlines crash site, an agonizing search for remains (The Washington Post)


Ethiopia to Send Plane’s Black Box Abroad, as Grief Grows (AP)


Relatives react at the scene where the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed shortly after takeoff on Sunday killing all 157 on board, near Bishoftu, south of Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia Wednesday, March 13, 2019. The black box from the Boeing jet that crashed will be sent overseas for analysis but no country has been chosen yet, an Ethiopian Airlines spokesman said Wednesday, as much of the world grounded or barred the plane model and grieving families arrived at the disaster site. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

AP

By ELIAS MESERET and YIDNEK KIRUBEL

Updated: March 13th, 2019

The black box from the Boeing jet that crashed and killed all 157 people on board will be sent overseas for analysis but no country has been chosen, an Ethiopian Airlines spokesman said Wednesday, as much of the world grounded or barred the plane model and grieving families arrived at the disaster site.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Asrat Begashaw said the airline has “a range of options” for the data and voice records of the flight’s last moments. “What we can say is we don’t have the capability to probe it here in Ethiopia,” he said. An airline official has said one recorder was partially damaged.

The Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft crashed six minutes after takeoff Sunday, killing all 157 people on board. The disaster is the second with a Max 8 plane in just five months.

While some aviation experts have warned against drawing conclusions until more information on the latest crash emerges, much of the world, including the entire European Union, has grounded the Boeing jetliner or banned it from their airspace. Ethiopian Airlines, widely seen as Africa’s best-managed airline, grounded its remaining four 737 Max 8s.

That leaves the United States as one of the few remaining operators of the plane.

“Similar causes may have contributed to both events,” European regulators said, referring to the Lion Air crash in Indonesia that killed 189 people last year.

An aviation expert says investigators can expect to find multiple factors as they look for the cause of an Ethiopian Airlines plane crash that killed 157. The plane was a Boeing 737 Max 8, the latest version of the widely used jetliner. (March 11)

Others took action on Wednesday. Lebanon and Kosovo barred the Boeing 737 Max 8 from their airspace, and Norwegian Air Shuttles said it would seek compensation from Boeing after grounding its fleet. Egypt banned the operation of the aircraft. Thailand ordered budget airline Thai Lion Air to suspend flying the planes for risk assessments. Lion Air confirmed reports it has put on hold the scheduled delivery of four of the jets.

The U.S.-based Boeing has said it has no reason to pull the popular aircraft from the skies and does not intend to issue new recommendations about the aircraft to customers.

Boeing’s CEO Dennis Muilenburg also spoke with President Donald Trump and reiterated that the 737 Max 8 is safe, the company said. Its technical team, meanwhile, joined American, Israeli, Kenyan and other aviation experts in the investigation led by Ethiopian authorities.

The Federal Aviation Administration also backed the jet’s airworthiness and said it was reviewing all available data. “Thus far, our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft,” acting FAA Administrator Daniel K. Elwell said in a statement. “Nor have other civil aviation authorities provided data to us that would warrant action.”

Some aviation experts have warned that finding answers in this crash could take months.

An Ethiopian pilot who saw the crash site minutes after the disaster told the AP that the plane appeared to have “slid directly into the ground.”

Asrat, the Ethiopian Airlines spokesman, told the AP that the remains of victims recovered so far were in freezers and that forensic DNA work for identifications had not yet begun.

The dead came from 35 countries. The airline has identifying them should take five days.

More devastated families arrived at the crash site on Wednesday, some supported by loved ones and wailing.


‘Black Box’ Recovered in Ethiopian Airlines Plane Crash


The Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) were discovered on Monday. (Photo: Rescuers work at the scene of the crash near Debre Zeit on Monday, March 11, 2019/AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: March 11th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) – The “black box” voice and data recorders from an Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed a few minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport on Sunday have now been recovered. Recovery of the voice and data recorders may help investigators find out the cause of the plane’s crash shortly after the pilot sent a distress call and given permission to return to the airport.

Officials have reported that there are no survivors from the flight that crashed near Bishoftu (Debre Zeit) and carried 157 people including Ethiopian Airlines crew on its way to Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.

“The flight data recorder (FDR) preserves the recent history of the flight through the recording of dozens of parameters collected several times per second, while the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) preserves the recent history of the sounds in the cockpit, including the conversation of the pilots,” explains Wiki. “The FDR and CVR give an accurate testimony, narrating the aircraft’s flight history, to assist in any investigation.”


Related:
Ethiopia Mourns Crash Victims as Investigators Seek Answers (AP UPDATE)
Ethiopia grounds Boeing aircraft involved in devastating crash that killed all aboard (Washington Post)
No Survivors in Ethiopian Airlines Crash En Route to Kenya (AP)

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Ethiopian Community Asking Questions After Police Shooting in Philadelphia

The victim 25-year-old Kelab Belay moved to Philadelphia from Ethiopia to attend Temple University last summer. (KYW)

KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Members of Philadelphia’s Ethiopian and Eritrean communities are asking questions after one of their own was shot by police on Wednesday night. Police say the victim was wielding a knife, but his supporters believe there’s more to the story.

“The information that is relayed on TV and early release from police is very disturbing to me,” Saba Tedla told KYW Newsradio Thursday afternoon. She runs Bookers Restaurant at 49th Street and Baltimore Avenue and is guardian to Kelab Belay.

She says she hired the family friend to work as a busboy at the restaurant last August after he moved to Philadelphia from Ethiopia to attend Temple University. She says the 25-year-old was quickly promoted to bookkeeper and payroll. So when she heard he was shot multiple times by police, she was shocked.

“He’s very laid back, very introvert, super nerdy and very smart,” she said, “so I don’t know how he could be an aggressor.”

p Police say officers responded to a 911 call of a stabbing near the corner of 49th Street and Hazel Avenue just before 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Capt. Sekou Kinebrew says a man carrying a knife came out of a home on the block, approaching the officers.

“Both officers initially retreated while both giving him warnings to drop the knife. The male did not comply and continued to advance toward the officers,” he said.

That’s when a 27-year-old officer, a four-year veteran, allegedly shot the man multiple times.

“We searched the scene and the home in search of a stabbing victim. At this point, we have not found anyone that was stabbed,” says Kinebrew.

A kitchen knife was found at the scene. Police have not identified the victim, but Tedla says Belay is the man who was shot.

“How did he end up being shot by police, that’s very puzzling,” said Tedla, “and he had a knife, couldn’t they have used a Taser? Why did they have to use such force, I can’t imagine him being that much of a threat.”

She says the Ethiopian community is already raising money to support Belay and has hired an independent investigator who is already at work.

“We want to shed some light on exactly what triggered this incident,” said Tedla.

Police say the man who was shot is a person of interest. There is no word yet on whether he is under arrest.

Tedla says the Ethiopian community, Belay’s friends and family will gather to come up with next steps.

“We have so many questions,” she said.

Tedla says Belay was a good student at Temple and had just secured a prestigious internship on the Main Line.

City’s Ethiopian community rallies after one of their own is shot by police


Related:
Tension Building In Aftermath Of Police Shooting Of Knife-Wielding Man In West Philadelphia (CBS)

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Africa’s Women Are Rising: OP-ED by President Sahle-Work Zewde (FT)

Ethiopian president Sahle-Work Zewde: for young women particularly, seeing other women in leadership positions and non-stereotypical professions helps to expand their horizons © Getty

Financial Times

By Sahle-Work Zewde

Africa’s women are rising to challenge gender discrimination

Change is sweeping Africa. Systemic barriers to gender equity are falling and a growing number of women leaders are reshaping the continent.

Across the continent, women are increasingly challenging traditional norms by claiming positions of power and influence in our public arenas. Rwanda, Seychelles and my own country of Ethiopia now have cabinets split evenly along gender lines, with some of the most powerful posts occupied by women.

A new generation of African leaders is investing in social and human capital, universal health coverage, education and gender equality. This is a story that’s particularly important to tell as we approach International Women’s Day.

Globally the proportion of seats held in parliament by women has slowly risen from just 12 per cent in 1997 to 24 per cent in 2018. Amid this, a handful of African countries stand out. In Rwanda, over 60 per cent of members of parliament are women, and in Namibia, South Africa, Senegal and Mozambique, at least 40 per cent of parliamentarians are women.

This represents a dramatic shift in representation, inclusion and democratisation of opportunity. For young women particularly, seeing other women in leadership positions and non-stereotypical professions helps to expand their horizons. For institutions and governments, tapping the full potential of their talent pools brings diversity of perspectives and experience when hard decisions must be made.

But to enable more women to serve as leaders, we need to redistribute power and ensure equal pay at work. The International Labour Organization estimates that the gender pay gap is higher in sub-Saharan Africa than any other region in the world.

Gender equality and respect for women’s rights starts at home, where power and wealth are still in the hands of men. Yet women tend to spend more out of household budgets on providing for their families than men do. A report launched today, at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, reveals that gender equality in the workplace is still a far cry. The Global Health 50/50 report: Equality Works, which looks at the policies and practices of nearly 200 organisations active in global health, shows that seven out of 10 of such organisations are headed by men.

Read more »


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In Pictures: Girls Gotta Run in Ethiopia

The Girls Gotta Run team in Bekoji Ethiopia. (Photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: March 8th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) – In honor of International Women’s Day, which is being celebrated around the world today, we are featuring excerpts from a recent photo-journal from the Bale Mountains authored by Meghan Hicks, Managing Editor of iRunFar, who documented the work of the Girls Gotta Run Foundation in Ethiopia. As Meghan points out, the U.S. nonprofit “awards scholarships to girls and young women in Bekoji to give them elevated access to education, health care, organized run coaching, life-skills development, and more.”

If Bekoji sounds familiar that’s because the town is also home to some of the greatest athletes in the world including Olympic gold medal-winning long-distance runners Kenenisa Bekele, Tirunesh Dibaba, Derartu Tulu and Fatuma Roba.

In her article below, which includes intimate photographs of the GGRF program participants, Hicks takes us to the inaugural Bekoji 100 Mile Relay that took place this past January.

——–
Jaybird Deep Dive: Bekoji 100 Mile Relay (iRunFar)


The 2019 Bekoji 100 Mile Relay participants at Bale Mountains National Park the day before the relay. (Photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks)

The sun has just risen, bathing the 48 of us in light the color of a wheat field ready for harvest. The air is cold and dry here at 10,000 feet above sea level, so our warm, damp breaths condense into silvery clouds about our faces as we nervously laugh, take selfies, and jog in place. Our group is composed of 15 teenage girls hailing from the town of Bekoji which is located exactly 100 miles away and where many Ethiopian elite runners train, 27 adult visitors from several countries, and six organizers and coaches. Starting in moments, we’ll all take turns running five-kilometer road segments from here to Bekoji, thereby enacting the inaugural Bekoji 100 Mile Relay…

The tarmac road upon which we run dissects the northern finger of Ethiopia’s Bale Mountains National Park, home to baboons, warthogs, nyala, and dozens of other wildlife species…At about 24 kilometers into the relay’s route, the road crests its high point in the Bale Mountains, at 11,700 feet above sea level. Those of us who are visiting from low altitude are lightheaded and woozy, while the Bekoji girls, who live at 9,000 feet, are almost unaffected. That said, this is the first time the girls have ventured and run this high–or this far from home, for that matter, this is a huge adventure for them. Meskarem, who is running now, just doubled over to vomit on the side of the road.


The Girls Gotta Run team warms up ahead of a speed workout in the grass fields. (Photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks)


A girl strides it out while warming up for the relay in front of farmlands that are dormant in the dry season. (Photo: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks)

GGRF coach Fatia Abdi shrieks in Amharic and the bus screeches to a halt. She and a group of people sprint off the busses and to Meskarem’s side, offering her a sip of water and a couple supportive hands on her back. These mountains are today’s first tangible obstacle…

The GGRF girls are accustomed to obstacles, or at least that which Westerners would perceive as significant challenge: poverty; limited access to pretty much every basic resource such as clean water, clothing, and nutritious food; decreased access to education; it goes on…Describes Kayla, who has been a part of the American nonprofit GGRF since 2011 and who lived in Ethiopia for four of these years to help develop its programs, “Girls face an enormous number of challenges in their personal and social lives, especially around adolescence, including early marriage, dropping out of school, domestic violence, social isolation, limited economic opportunity, and more.” To address this, GGRF provides three-year academic and athletic scholarships to girls starting around age 12 or 13, the average age of early marriage in Bekoji. The program’s goal is to supply girls with the tools they need to successfully navigate their volatile teenagerhood.

“GGRF also works with each girl’s mother,” says Kayla, “to help them gain access to the resources and skills that allow them to support themselves and their daughters in school and otherwise.” In Bekoji, GGRF supplies scholarships and support to 60 girls and their 60 mothers.

The point about GGRF’s run training must be emphasized. Bekoji is a running town. Not everyone runs, but hundreds do and pretty much everyone understands the sport’s national importance. Ethiopian Olympians galore have come from and trained in Bekoji. Think Kenenisa Bekele, Derartu Tulu, and Tirunesh Dibaba, okay? Running is a lifeblood of Bekoji, and a GGRF cornerstone.

“Running has become a space in Ethiopia where women have been able to express power through sport, to create their own educational and economic opportunities nationally,” emphasizes Kayla. “We work with the idea of using sports to renegotiate the norms of what it means to be an adolescent girl in Ethiopia.”

Read more the full article and see photos at irunfar.com »


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Maaza Mengiste on Writing at NYU Panel

Maaza Mengiste's upcoming second novel, The Shadow King, is scheduled to be released in September 2019. (Photo by Simon Hurst)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: March 7th, 2019

Award-winning Author Maaza Mengiste Discusses Writing & Activism at NYU Panel

New York (TADIAS) – Award-winning writer Maaza Mengiste will discuss her work, writing, activism and the power of storytelling at an upcoming panel at New York University titled “Gazes, Migrations & Memories: Women on Performance and Writing.”

Maaza is the author of Beneath the Lion’s Gaze which was selected as one of ten best contemporary African books by the Guardian. She received the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 2018 and was named a runner-up for the 2011 Dayton Literary Peace Prize as well as selected as a Fulbright Scholar and a 2013 Puterbaugh Fellow. Her work has been published in The New Yorker, Granta, Rolling Stone, the New York Times, Guernica, the Guardian as the New York Review of Books, and she served as a writer on the documentary films, Girl Rising and The Invisible City: Kakuma. Maaza is a Board Member for Words Without Borders and Warscapes.

Maaza will be joined by vocalist and songwriter Somi and human rights advocate Clemantine Wamariya (author of The Girl Who Smiled Beads) “as they discuss their work, activism, the archives, ways of telling, sharing stories and why,” announced The Institute of African American Affairs (IAAA) and Center for Black Visual Culture (CBVC) at NYU, which is hosting the event. The panel will be moderated by Deborah Willis, photographer of In Pursuit of Beauty: Imaging Closets in Newark and Beyond.

The NYU event announcement notes that Maaza’s fiction and non-fiction work “examine the individual lives at stake during migration, war, and exile, and consider the intersections of photography and violence.” Her upcoming second novel, The Shadow King, is scheduled to be released in September 2019.


If You Go:
Gazes, Migrations & Memories: Women on Performance and Writing
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Location: NYU Law School, D’Agostino Hall, Room: Lipton Hall
108 West 3rd Street (between MacDougal and Sullivan Streets)
Please RSVP: nyuiaaa-cbvc-events@nyu.edu or (212) 998-IAAA(4222)
Please make sure to state the event name and date in your email.
Books will be available for sale.
Click here for more information

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All Female Ethiopian Flight Crew Celebrates International Women’s Day

On Friday, March 8th, 2019 Ethiopian Airlines honors International Women's Day with an all-female flight crew on its Addis Ababa-Oslo route. (Photo: Ethiopian Airlines)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: March 7th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) – Ethiopian Airlines is celebrating International Women’s Day with an all-female flight crew that will depart Addis Ababa for Oslo, Norway on Friday, March 8th in honor of the United Nations holiday.

In a press release Ethiopian Airlines said the aim is “to show the power of women to the world.”

“The historical flight will be operated by Ethiopian Airlines women professionals from flight deck all the way to the ground including airport operations, flight dispatch, load control, ramp operation, on-board logistics, safety and security, catering as well as air traffic control, which will be carried out entirely by women,” the announcement said.


(Photo: TWITTER/@FLYETHIOPIAN)

In a statement the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde GebreMariam, noted: “We are immensely honored that we have women trailblazers in every aspect of our aviation field. Women are an integral part of our success story from the start and with this dedicated flight we honor and celebrate their indispensable contribution to our aviation group and the broader aviation industry, our country and the continent at large. Although women are Africa’s greatest resource, gender inequality still persists in our continent . Therefore, we all need to ensure that women take their right position in all human endeavor by creating the right conditions and through all inclusive engagement models.”

The press release added: “Ethiopian operates five weekly flights to Oslo, Norway via Stockholm with ultra – modern Boeing 787 Dreamliner. It is to be recalled that Ethiopian Airlines has operated four flights to Bankok, Kigali, Lagos, and Buenos Aires, which were operated by women aviation professionals.”


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Spotlight: Ethiopian Sirak Seyoum Ready to Climb Mount Everest

High altitude climber Sirak Seyoum, photographed in Peru three years ago, is scheduled to climb Mount Everest from April to June 2019. What’s more Sirak’s fundraising will also help Addis Abeba City Administration’s new trust fund to assist street children. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: March 5th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) – His goal is to climb to the top of Mount Everest, the highest mountain on earth, and plant an Ethiopian flag to exemplify this new era of optimism and change in Ethiopia. If he succeeds Sirak Seyoum, an Electrical Engineer from Nevada and an elite high altitude climber, will become the first Ethiopian to conquer the world’s tallest mountain, which has been in his sights for the past ten years.

Sirak first shared his adventures as an avid mountain climber with Tadias in August 2009. “I knew after climbing my first peak, I have found my passion,” he told us then. “A passion similar to life itself, life doesn’t stop if the going gets hard, we simply rise up and keep moving.”

Reflecting on his aspirations to climb Everest Sirak had vowed: “Practice will be my top priority until the day comes for me to do this mission.”

And practice he has for more than a decade, trekking faraway peaks from Mt. Chopicalqui and Mt. Pisco in South America to White Pinnacle in Nevada, USA. “He is the only Ethiopian who has already conquered so many mountain peaks in some of the remotest parts of the world, where the Ethiopian flag was quietly raised at the highest points of continental regions,” states Sirak’s fundraising page. “He is taking 11 years worth of extreme mountain climbing experience, to the top of the world April-June 2019.”

What’s more Sirak’s fundraising will also help Addis Abeba City Administration’s new trust fund to assist street children.

“As part of the recent socio-political change sweeping through Ethiopia, Addis Abeba City Administration has launched a trust fund that began the work of caring for 2865 street children (as of March 1, 2019) who flood in from regional states with no means for survival,” the announcement said. “Sirak has arranged with the city government to donate 10% of all funds raised to support this initiative.”


You can learn more and support Sirak at www.gofundme.com.

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UK to Return Emperor Tewodros’ Hair

The National Army Museum in England has announced that it will return two locks of hair belonging to Emperor Tewodros II following a formal request from Ethiopia. The announcement also comes after the uproar that was ignited by the Victoria and Albert Museum last year when it displayed historical items looted from the treasury of Emperor Tewodros during the British campaign in Ethiopia in 1868. (Photo: Reuters)

Press release

National Army Museum

National Army Museum Responds to Repatriation Request from Ethiopia

Request

On 17 April 2018, the Minister of Culture and Tourism from the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia made a formal request to the Director of the National Army Museum for the return of hair belonging to Emperor Tewodros II. The hair is considered to be of cultural sensitivity to Ethiopian citizens.

Acquisition

The hair was accessioned into the Museum’s collection in 1959. It was given to the Museum by the family of an artist who had painted the Emperor on his deathbed. Two locks of hair were accessioned at the time, one of which was framed with a letter and the Emperor’s seal. The objects are considered significant to the Museum’s collection for their historical connection to a major and unique campaign fought by the British Army in 1868 and were collected in good faith.

Decision

The recommendation to repatriate was prepared by Terri Dendy, Head of Collections Standards and Care at the Museum and agreed upon in principle by the Council of the National Army Museum in November 2018, pending consultation with other stakeholders. Requests for repatriation are treated in accordance with the Museum’s Collections Development Policy and the Museums Association’s Code of Ethics. Claims for repatriation are measured on the basis of the evidence provided to support the claim, balanced alongside the Museum’s obligation to protect and safeguard collections for future generations.

Terri Dendy said: ‘Having spent considerable time researching the provenance and cultural sensitivities around this matter, we believe the Ethiopian government claim to repatriate is reasonable and we are pleased to be able to assist. Our decision to repatriate is very much based on the desire to inter the hair within the tomb alongside the Emperor.’

Repatriation

The Ethiopian government has requested that the hair be returned so that it can be interred with Emperor Tewodros at the Trinity Monastery in the northern part of Ethiopia. The National Army Museum remains in discussions with the Embassy of Ethiopia in London on arrangements for formally returning the items.

The Director of the Museum, Justin Maciejewski DSO MBE, said: ‘We very much look forward to the occasion when we can hand over these symbolic humans remains to the people of Ethiopia.’


Related:
The Battle Over Ethiopia’s Meqdela Treasures
Ethiopians Urge Britain to Return Remains of Prince Alemayehu After 150 Years
150 Years After His Death Ethiopia Commemorates Life of Tewodros II
UK Museum Wants to Loan Ethiopia Looted Ethiopian Treasures. Why Not Return It?
A Photo Journal Retracing the Last March of Emperor Tewodros to Meqdela

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In US 2020 Candidates Honor Selma March

US presidential candidate Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey (third from left) pictured with civil rights leader Jesse Jackson during the Bloody Sunday commemoration in Selma, Alabama on Sunday, March 3, 2019. The Associated Press notes "The infamous “Bloody Sunday” on March 7, 1965, galvanized support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act that year." (AP Photo)

AP

On Selma anniversary, Booker calls for new fight for justice

SELMA, Ala. — Thunder rolling above Brown Chapel AME Church, Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker warned Sunday of a looming threat to American democracy and called for protecting the legacy of the civil rights movement with love and action.

“It’s time for us to defend the dream,” Booker said in a keynote speech at Brown Chapel, which two generations ago was the starting point of a peaceful demonstration in support of voting rights that ended in beatings on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The infamous “Bloody Sunday” on March 7, 1965, galvanized support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act that year.

“It’s time that we dare to dream again in America. That is what it takes to make America great. It is up to us to do the work that makes the dream real,” said Booker, a New Jersey senator and one of three White House hopefuls who participated in events commemorating the march.

Saying America faces challenges, Booker said: “People want to make it just about the people in the highest offices of the land. People who traffic in hatred, people in office that defend Nazis or white supremacists, people that point fingers and forget the lessons of King. What we must repent for are not just the vitriolic words and actions of bad people, but the appalling silence and inaction of good people.”

Also visiting Selma on Sunday were Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sherrod Brown of Ohio. Joining them was Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee in 2016. Booker and Brown, along with Clinton and civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, marched with dozens of others Sunday afternoon to Edmund Pettus Bridge. Sanders had left for a campaign event in Chicago…

This year’s commemoration came in the early days of a Democratic presidential primary campaign that has focused heavily on issues of race. Several candidates have called President Donald Trump a racist, while others have voiced support for the idea of reparations for the descendants of enslaved black Americans…For the New Jersey senator, much of the day felt personal. In Brown Chapel he sat next to Jackson, for whom he cast his first ballot as an 18-year-old during Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign. He later marched to the bridge alongside Jackson, their arms locked together.

Click here to read the full article »


Related:
Addisu Demissie to Manage Cory Booker’s 2020 U.S. Presidential Campaign

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Ethiopian Women Sweep Tokyo Marathon

Ethiopian athletes Ruti Aga (center), Helen Tola (left) and Shure Demisse at the podium after winning the women's marathon in Tokyo on Sunday, March 3rd, 2019. (Photo courtesy: The Tokyo Marathon Foundation @TokyoMarathon)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: March 3rd, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopian women won the top three spots at the 2019 Tokyo Marathon on Sunday.

The Ethiopian sweep was led by Ruti Aga who finished first with a time of two hours, twenty minutes and 40 seconds. She was followed by her compatriots Helen Tola who came in second in 2:21:01 and Shure Demisse who was third in 2:21:05. According to the International Association of Athletics Federations “it was the first Ethiopian women’s 1-2-3 in the history of the Tokyo Marathon.” Reuters adds: “Ethiopians have now won the women’s marathon in Tokyo in six of the last eight editions.”


Ruti Aga crosses the finish line at the Tokyo Marathon (Getty Images)

“The conditions were poor and there was a lot of water on the roads,” Ruti told IAAF. “But it was still a good race.”

Below is the result of the women competition at the 2019 Tokyo Marathon:

1 Ruti Aga (ETH) 2:20:40
2 Helen Tola (ETH) 2:21:01
3 Shure Demise (ETH) 2:21:05
4 Florence Kiplagat (KEN) 2:21:50
5 Bedatu Hirpa (ETH) 2:23:43
6 Ababel Yeshaneh (ETH) 2:24:02
7 Mao Ichiyama (JPN) 2:24:33
8 Joan Chelimo Melly (KEN) 2:26:24
9 Rose Chelimo (BRN) 2:30:35
10 Ruth Chebitok (KEN) 2:31:19

Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese wins the men’s race at Tokyo marathon


Birhanu Legese wins the Tokyo marathon on Sunday March 3rd, 2019. (Getty Images)

Birhanu Legese of Ethiopia also won at the men’s marathon in Tokyo on Sunday, winning with a time of two hours, four minutes and 48 seconds. IAAF notes that Birhanu’s pace was the second-fastest winning time in the Japanese capital. “It is a good course,” Birhanu said. “Had the weather been better, I could have run 2:03.”

Highlighting Birhanu Legese’s achievement Reuters adds that “the 24-year-old was part of a small leading group for the first 30 kilometres before pulling away easily from runner-up Kenyan Bedan Karoki (2:06:48) and strolling to victory.”

Below is the men’s result at the 2019 Tokyo Marathon:

1 Birhanu Legesse (ETH) 2:04:48
2 Bedan Karoki (KEN) 2:06:48
3 Dickson Chumba (KEN) 2:08:44
4 Simon Kariuki (KEN) 2:09:41
5 Kensuke Horio (JPN) 2:10:21
6 Masato Imai (JPN) 2:10:30
7 Takuya Fujikawa (JPN) 2:10:35
8 Daichi Kamino (JPN) 2:11:05
9 Ryu Takaku (JPN) 2:11:49
10 Tadashi Isshiki (JPN) 2:12:21


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Spotlight: Ethiopian Movies at New African Film Festival in Maryland

Three new Ethiopian films: Fig Tree, Found in a Dream and Fortuna will be screened at the 2019 New African Film Festival at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland. (Images: Courtesy AFI)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: March 2nd, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — The Ethiopian selections at this year’s New African Film Festival in Silver Spring, Maryland includes three movies from the Diaspora highlighting the diversity of present-day Ethiopian global experience, from being a refugee in Europe to growing up as an adopted child in Australia to an Ethiopian-Israeli story of love and separation during the turbulent 1980s.

In the film Fortuna (French and Amharic with English subtitles), Ethiopian actress Kidist Siyum plays a teenage girl named Fortuna whose family, like thousands of other Ethiopian migrants, had braved the Mediterranean in search of a better life on the other side of the sea. But Fortuna has not heard from her parents since they landed on the shores of Lampedusa, Italy. “Together with other refugees, she is given shelter for the winter in a Catholic monastery in the Swiss Alps,” the filmmakers share in their synopsis. “This is where Fortuna meets Kabir, a 26-year-old refugee with whom she falls desperately in love. Their relationship develops in secret until the day Kabir mysteriously disappears following a police raid.”

Helen Kassa’s Ethio-Australian film Found in a Dream is also slated to screen at the 2019 New African Film Festival. “Set in Australia and Ethiopia, Found in a Dream explores the journey of a young adopted Ethiopian-Australian man struggling to find his path,” the announcement said. “Abeselom (Sammi Obamah) is a drug dealer living in Melbourne. Experiencing isolation and navigating between doing what is right and doing what he must to survive, Abeselom’s world is changed when he meets a young nurse named Netsanet (Netsanet Tefera). Found in a Dream is about love, culture and, ultimately, finding comfort within connection.”

The third film tilted Fig Tree (Ye Shola Zaff) takes place in Addis Ababa at the end of the Ethiopian Civil War in the late 1980s. Fig Tree is directed by Ethiopian-Israeli filmmaker and writer Aäläm-Wärqe Davidian. “Sixteen-year-old Mina (newcomer Betalehem Asmamawe) lives with her brother and grandmother in a humble house with newsprint for wallpaper,” notes the film summary. “The family is Jewish and is planning to flee Ethiopia for Israel, where Mina’s mother awaits. But this plan leaves out the person Mina loves most: Eli, her Christian boyfriend, who lives in the woods so as to evade being drafted into Mengistu Haile Mariam’s army. When Mina hatches a scheme to save Eli, everyone and everything seems set against her. Fig Tree offers a rare opportunity to better understand the impact of civil war on the lives of ordinary people — and it pulls no punches.”


Learn more about the New African Film Festival at AFI Silver: https://silver.afi.com.

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Ethiopians Celebrate 123rd Anniversary of the Battle of Adwa (Reuters)

Men dressed in traditional costumes dance during the 123rd anniversary celebration of the battle of Adwa in Addis Ababa, March 2, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri)

Reuters

By Aaron Maasho

Ethiopians Celebrate Defeat of Colonialists, Call for Unity

ADDIS ABABA – Bedecked in lion mane collars, warriors’ headdresses and military fatigues, thousands of Ethiopians descended on Addis Ababa’s main squares to celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Adwa – one of Ethiopia’s finest hours in the battlefield.

It was in the northern town of Adwa 123 years ago that poorly-armed Ethiopians – clad in such attire – routed an Italian force that sought to expand Rome’s fledgling 19th century colonial empire.

The victory that preserved Ethiopia’s independence in 1896 resounded elsewhere in Africa, becoming a rallying point for Africans a generation later as they bid to end colonial rule.

“I call myself independent because my fearless fathers fought the battle from all corners of the country,” said 27-year old Bonsa Kuma, who arrived in the capital on horseback.

“I rode for two days to get here to remember my heroes,” he told Reuters.

The event was also used by some Ethiopians to call for unity at a time of persistent ethnic strife that has left over 2 million people displaced due to violence in the last two years.

“Adwa for me is a sign of freedom and a sign of unity of the country. Today’s generation should learn the importance of unity and abstain from clashing on the basis of ethnicity,” said Tiki Gebreab, a 36-year old Addis Ababa resident who attended the celebrations.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed also joined a chorus of calls to end violence.

“The young generation of today should repeat the victory of Adwa by defeating current challenges and barriers,” Abiy said in remarks published by state-owned media.


Related:
The Adwa Legacy Art Exhibition at the Ethiopian Embassy in DC
The Concept Behind Ethiopia’s Adwa Pan-African University: Interview with Dr. Ayele Bekerie
Ethiopia: The Victory of Adwa, An Exemplary Triumph to the Rest of Africa
Adwa: Genesis of Unscrambled Africa
119 Years Anniversary of Ethiopia’s Victory at the Battle of Adwa on March 1st, 1896
Reflection on 118th Anniversary of Ethiopia’s Victory at Adwa
The Significance of the 1896 Battle of Adwa
Call for the Registry of Adwa as UNESCO World Heritage Site

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DC: The Adwa Legacy Art Exhibition

The Adwa Legacy: an art exhibition by Hailu Kifle opens on Friday, March 1st, 2019 at the Ethiopian Embassy, Washington DC. (Image: The event's poster courtesy of the organizers)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: February 28th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — This week marks the 123rd anniversary of Ethiopia’s victory at the Battle of Adwa on March 1st, 1896.

In commemoration of this historic occasion an art exhibition titled The Adwa Legacy is scheduled to open at the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, D.C. on Friday, March 1st featuring paintings by Ethiopian artist Hailu Kifle.

The Battle of Adwa was fought between Ethiopia and the invading Italian colonial army in 1896 resulting in a dramatic and decisive victory for Ethiopia — the first African victory over a European colonial power. This triumph was significant and consequential not only for assuring Ethiopia’s sovereignty for generations to come, but also for interrupting the colonial agenda in Africa and for inspiring Pan-African movements for freedom around the world.

As Ethiopian historian Ayele Bekerie explains: “The Battle of Adwa was a global historic event, for it was a battle heroically and victoriously fought against colonialism and for freedom…Adwa was a story of common purpose and common destiny. The principles established on the battlefield of Adwa must be understood and embraced for Africa to remain centered in its own histories, cultures and socioeconomic development. We should always remember that Adwa was won for Africans. Adwa indeed is an African model of victory and resistance.” Quoting the late sociologist and scholar of Ethiopia, Don Levine, Bekerie adds: “Adwa remains the most outstanding symbol of the ‘mysterious magnetism’ that holds Ethiopia together.”

Below is the poster courtesy of the organizers of this Friday’s program at the Embassy:


ADWA LEGACY: Art Exhibition by Hailu Kifle Ethiopian Embassy, Washington DC Opening Friday, March 1st, 2019. (Image: The event’s poster courtesy of the organizers)


Related:
The Concept Behind Ethiopia’s Adwa Pan-African University: Interview with Dr. Ayele Bekerie
Ethiopia: The Victory of Adwa, An Exemplary Triumph to the Rest of Africa
Adwa: Genesis of Unscrambled Africa
119 Years Anniversary of Ethiopia’s Victory at the Battle of Adwa on March 1st, 1896
Reflection on 118th Anniversary of Ethiopia’s Victory at Adwa
The Significance of the 1896 Battle of Adwa
Call for the Registry of Adwa as UNESCO World Heritage Site

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

The Concept Behind the Adwa Pan-African University: Interview with Dr. Ayele Bekerie

Professor Ayele Bekerie in New York, November 2018. (Tadias photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: March 2nd, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — Establishing the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia was a monumental moment in history. It was a nod of acknowledgement for Ethiopia’s maintenance of its independence from colonization as well as its deep support for the decolonization of the African continent. A new university is now being established as Adwa Pan-African University (APAU), and it is envisioned as a timely gift from Ethiopia to Africans worldwide.

The university, which is set to be built on a beautiful 150 acres in the foothills of Adwa, will have a panoramic view of the town’s legendary mountains — where the scene of Ethiopia’s resounding victory against the invading Italian forces occurred on March 1st, 1896. APAU will serve as one of the leading centers of academic research and study exploring contemporary and historical Pan-African issues.

In an interview with Tadias, Professor Ayele Bekerie, who is managing the project, said that the new institution is also a tribute to Ethiopian history and the triumph at Adwa that marked “the beginning of the end of colonization around the continent and beyond.”

“Why are we establishing a university as opposed to a museum? asked Dr. Ayele. “Because university is a place where knowledge is produced; it’s a place where you have a sense of permanency.” He added: “It’s a cultural institution in which we are able to study all issues pertaining to the African people. You research it, write about it, analyze it, critique it, evaluate it and in the process you generate knowledge. And once you have knowledge and data then you can utilize that information to engage and converse with the world on your own terms and with your own original ideas.”

The land for the university was donated “with the generosity of the people of Adwa as well as the regional and federal governments,” Dr. Ayele said. “The Ethiopian government has given us initial seed money of 200 million birr to build the school.” Dr. Ayele pointed out that it’s equally important to mention that the idea to build APAU came from citizens, not the government. “We are also looking at several other sources of local, regional and international funding including partnerships with UNESCO and the African Union.”

Dr. Ayele, who is an Ethiopian-American scholar is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the PhD Program in Heritage Studies as well as Coordinator of International Affairs department at Mekelle University’s Institute of Paleo-Environment and Heritage Conservation. He is also a contributing author in the acclaimed book, One House: The Battle of Adwa 1896 -100 Years, and the author of the award-winning book Ethiopic, An African Writing System: Its History and Principles. Dr. Ayele was back in the U.S. this past fall promoting the concept for Adwa Pan African University among his academic colleagues in the United States and within the Ethiopian community in the New York/Tri-state area. His stops included Cornel University where he was previously an Assistant Professor at the Africana Studies and Research Center before returning to Ethiopia; as well as Columbia University, The Schomburg Center in Harlem, and Howard University in Washington, D.C.

“Part of my trip here was to recruit scholars that can help us build this momentous institution,” Dr. Ayele told Tadias. “In fact a very prominent Pan-African scholar at Cornell University, who was my former advisor, is willing to come and work with us is in building the curriculum and so it’s those kind of scholars not only from the U.S. but also Africa who are eager to participate and we are happy to attract.”

Dr. Ayele noted that in April 2018 a major international conference was held in Adwa, to discuss the launching of the new university, where invitees included scholars from the United States, Europe and Asia.

“At that conference we identified the key tasks that needed to be carried out in order to bring the establishment of the university into reality,” Dr. Ayele said. “We constituted four committees: on curriculum, architecture, fundraising, as well as documentation and archive.”

Dr. Ayele says this effort also includes identifying existing African cultural centers across the globe. “For instance you have the Mandela Center in South Africa,” notes Dr. Ayele. “You have the Senghor Cultural center in Senegal, you have the Nkrumah and Du Bois cultural centers in Ghana, and they have this fascinating museum that houses Adwa collections at St. Petersburg in Russia, because Russia was an ally of Ethiopia during the battle,” Dr. Ayele continued. “The Russians worked as Red Cross volunteers and were strong supporters of the Ethiopian cause, which the world does not know, and because of that they have an excellent collection from the battle. So this university is going to link itself to all of these various institutions.”

In terms of its curriculum, Dr. Ayele shared that they’ll start with a graduate program and the major fields will focus on humanities, social sciences, information sciences and technology. Dr. Ayele said some scholars who came for the international conference last April also suggested that they include military science primarily “to demonstrate that the battle of Adwa was not a fluke – there was specific military tactics and strategies that were utilized in order to decisively defeat the Italians,” Dr. Ayele emphasized. “So we have to build on that tradition and study the military science of African people.”

Dr. Ayele added that “it is not too difficult to start with a graduate program. In general it requires that you identify Pan-African scholars in the world and ask them to supervise the research work of students who are going to enroll in our program. So we intend to start with Masters and PhD level curriculum, and after that depending on the strength that we have, we’ll start an undergraduate program.”

“The vision is that students will be recruited from all corners of Africa as well as the Diaspora and acceptance will be merit-based,” Dr. Ayele shares. “The center of excellence is Pan-Africanism, meaning defining, analyzing, interpreting and advancing Pan-African issues. So it’s not going to be an ordinary university. It’s going to be a stand-alone institution that will be studying, promoting, protecting and explaining the interest of the African people as well as finding a way for Africans to live in peace with themselves and in peace with the rest of the world. That’s our vision. So when we open this institution we are not going to limit our activities only to Ethiopia, Africa or a particular ethnic group or tribe; we’re going to link ourselves as a member of the globe so it will enable us to think and look at and search for the bigger picture,” Dr. Ayele argued. “That’s very important especially in the context of what’s going on now.” He said: “Because it’s when you start to project yourself beyond your immediate identity that you start to kind of recognize the enormity of your own history and making it richer.”

Ayele reminds us that the first important congress of Pan-Africanism was held in London in 1900, four years after Ethiopia’s victory at the battle of Adwa. “What’s interesting is that immediately after the victory at the Battle of Adwa a Pan-Africanist by the name of Dr. Benito Sylvain — a Haitian who used to live in Paris — traveled to Ethiopia to congratulate Menelik, and had extended an invitation to the Emperor to attend the London conference.” Although Menelik did not travel to England personally he appointed Dr. Sylvain to represent Ethiopia at the gathering. “What’s important here is that 4 years after the victory at the Battle of Adwa you have Ethiopia being engaged in Pan-African issues,” Ayele said. “Of course in those times the most pressing issue was colonialism, and therefore this movement established first to articulate the interests of African people, and then to fight against colonialism. So that particular conference is directly linked to Adwa and there is a historical Pan-African connection there.”

The building of the university is also in line with agenda 2063, which is a resolution passed by the African Union “projecting what kind of people we are going to become, and the kind of unity that we’re going to establish by the 100th anniversary of the AU,” Dr. Ayele explained. “That was resolved during the 50th anniversary of the African Union some few years back. So now we are at a moment where Africans are thinking, critiquing and evaluating what they regard is their place in the world.”

As the concept paper for the university shared with Tadias highlights:

The Battle of Adwa is well documented and its literature can be found in almost all the major libraries of the world. Institutions of higher learning, and in some cases, high schools have incorporated the Battle and its outcome in their curricula. And yet at the very site of the battlefield, in Adwa, there are no battlefield markers, museums, or monuments. Historically, while Adwa signifies resistance and freedom to the people of Africa, Adwa remains unmarked and undeveloped. The historic victory appears to have more significance outside than inside the country. It is therefore critical to capture the dynamics and meanings of the victory at Adwa for posterity and for the generations to come. Hence, there was a widespread call and a succeeding unanimous approval, locally and internationally, for the establishment of Adwa Pan-African University (APAU).

Adwa is the spark for the global Pan-African Movement. Adwa imparts can do-ness and affirms the possible. It is undoubtedly a source of inspiration for anti-colonial struggles. This key symbol of resistance and freedom deserves a permanent institution to document and narrate the Battle. It is therefore necessary to establish an institution that is capable of perpetuating the victory and its Pan-African implications for generations. It is in this context that the need for the establishment of APAU was announced and measures for its implementation were adopted. APAU, which is the first of its kind, strives to immortalize the victory at the 1896 Battle of Adwa. The lessons from the preparation to the Battle, the coming together of virtually all Ethiopians in defense of their country and ultimately their victory remain historic and educational. The lessons are the basis for the establishment of a Pan-African institution of higher learning. Successfully repulsing the colonial aggressor imparts lessons valuable to all freedom lovers in the world.


Related:
Ethiopia: The Victory of Adwa, An Exemplary Triumph to the Rest of Africa
Adwa: Genesis of Unscrambled Africa
119 Years Anniversary of Ethiopia’s Victory at the Battle of Adwa on March 1st, 1896
Reflection on 118th Anniversary of Ethiopia’s Victory at Adwa
The Significance of the 1896 Battle of Adwa
Call for the Registry of Adwa as UNESCO World Heritage Site

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HRW Visits Ethiopia for 1st Time in 8 Years

A woman walks on bridge to a station of the city's light railway, in Addis Ababa. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

HRW

Ethiopia Lets in Human Rights Watch for First Time in 8 Years

After more than two years of protests, power changed hands in Ethiopia last April. Under the new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia is shedding its reputation as a country that tortures detainees and spies on its citizens. The authorities have released thousands of political prisoners and dismissed some abusive security force officers. The decades-long conflict with neighboring Eritrea came to an end. And for the first time in eight years, Human Rights Watch staff who cover Ethiopia were permitted to visit the country. Senior Researcher Felix Horne talks with Amy Braunschweiger about these exciting steps forward, as well as his concerns about rising tensions among ethnic groups in the country’s rural areas.

How has Ethiopia changed since you were last there?

Addis Ababa, the capital, has changed so much. Unlike before, modern asphalt roads are everywhere, there are freeways, tall, modern shiny buildings, lots of new restaurants, and a light rail system. It used to smell of smoke, from people burning wood to prepare food, but that smell is now gone. People seemed to feel much more free to express their opinions. They were speaking very openly about sensitive subjects in public spaces, cafes, and mini buses. That’s not the Addis I knew, where everyone was looking over their shoulder to see who was eavesdropping.

You went specifically for a workshop on rebuilding civil society. What did you learn?

Under the 2009 Charities and Societies Proclamation, civil society groups working on human rights issues in Ethiopia was decimated. Most nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) were closed. Others had their bank accounts frozen. But a new law was passed earlier this month. It eliminates most of the draconian restrictions from previous legislation. The new agency registering NGOs needs to get up and running and that will take time, but we hope NGOs will be able to register soon, which will open up possibilities for funding. Then they can document abuses and advocate for respect for human rights, which is critical ahead of the May 2020 elections.

What was the workshop like?

There was a feeling of newfound optimism there. Still, it was starkly evident the extent to which civil society working on human rights has been decimated since the Charities and Societies Proclamation was passed 10 years ago. It will clearly take time for the sector to recover. At the workshop, international and Ethiopian NGOs, such as the Human Rights Council of Ethiopia and the Consortium of Ethiopian Rights Organizations, discussed advocacy strategies and research gaps, and talked about economic, social, and cultural rights. It was a chance for everyone to get together in person. There were people there who I knew quite well but had never actually met. It was nice to put faces to names.

Did anything surprise you?

Some of the activists organized a press conference at the end of the workshop, and I honestly didn’t expect much media interest. But 60 journalists showed up, and most were from the state media. When I talked about how it was our first visa in eight years, there was applause. They asked questions about what work we planned to do in Ethiopia and if we’d open up an office there.

State media never covered our work in the past, and that has clearly changed. But media is still publishing a pro-government prospective. For example, we spoke about all the great reforms happening, and we also talked about our concerns. But most of the media never reported on the concerns.

I have this memory from the press conference, when, among the microphones was one from ETV, which is the main state broadcaster, and next to it was one from OMN, the Oromia Media Network, which used to be banned in Ethiopia. The former government went to great lengths to jam OMN’s television broadcasts and had unfairly charged it under the counterterrorism law. It was great to see them side-to-side and a powerful image of change in the media landscape.

Read more »


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Black History at Red Rooster Harlem

Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster Harlem. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: February 21st, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — February is Black History Month in the United States, and here in Harlem the renowned Ethiopian-American Chef, Author, and Entrepreneur Marcus Samuelsson is launching a new dinner series at his restaurant Red Rooster next week dedicated to honoring “black excellence and the untold or overlooked histories that permeate our modern histories.”

Red Rooster Harlem’s new event, Green & Fanny Dinner Series — named after African American master distiller Nathan Green and Thomas Jefferson’s chefs Edith Fossett and Fanny Hern — kicks off on February 27th and will last throughout the year. The series promises a nights of “delicious meals, amazing music, and captivating storytelling steeped in the energy and vibe of Harlem.”


Red Rooster Harlem Green & Fanny Dinner Series with André Mack Hosted by Chef Marcus Samuelsson & Kendra Dandy. (Courtesy photo)

“Our first featured guest in this dinner series is André Mack, a renowned sommelier, wine educator, winemaker, and the first African American Best Young Sommelier,” the announcement stated. “We are excited to celebrate his exemplary craftsmanship as he serves his own wines and to hear firsthand his knowledge and passion for wine.”


If You Go:
Green & Fanny Dinner Series with André Mack
Hosted by Chef Marcus Samuelsson & Kendra Dandy
Wed, February 27, 2019
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM EST
Ginny’s Supper Club
310 Lenox Avenue
New York, NY 10027
Click here to RSVP

Related:
Harlem: African American and Ethiopian Relations (TADIAS)

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Financial Times Interview With Abiy Ahmed

This is Abiy Ahmed's first one-on-one interview with the international media since he took office as Prime Minister of Ethiopia last April. (Photo: Abiy Ahmed is pushing an agenda of 'privatization with zero corruption' © Aron Simeneh)

The Financial Times

Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed: Africa’s new talisman

It is the compound from which Emperor Menelik II conquered swaths of territory, where Haile Selassie passed judgment until he was toppled by a Marxist revolt in 1974, and from which Meles Zenawi, strongman prime minister until his death in 2012, plotted an Asian-style economic miracle on the Nile.

Surveying the same 40-hectare plot in the centre of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, Abiy Ahmed, the most talked-about leader in Africa, sets out his grand plans for transforming Ethiopia…

In Mr Abiy’s first one-on-one interview with the international media since he was catapulted to the premiership last April, he alternates between homespun prophet, hard man and visionary leader. He mixes humour with a tactile arm-grab worthy of LBJ. His sentences, delivered in proficient English, are laced with biblical references, big data and Michael Jackson. Committed to opening up Ethiopia’s closed political system, he is fascinated by the nature of popularity.

“If you change this,” says Mr Abiy, gesturing to the rubble-strewn compound and the rapidly changing skyline in the capital beyond, “you can change Addis. And if you can change Addis, definitely you can change Ethiopia.”

Improving his own surroundings, he says, is a metaphor for the transformation of a country that has, for 15 years, been the best-performing economy in Africa, but whose authoritarian government provoked a sustained popular uprising.

On his first day, he says, he ordered an overhaul of his office. In two months, what had been a dark and austere interior became a blindingly white luxury-hotel-style affair, replete with wall-to-wall videoconferencing screens, modern art and sleek white rooms for cabinet meetings and visiting delegations.

Cluttered storage rooms are now pulsing data banks and the ground floor is a California-style café — white, of course — where the premier’s mostly western-educated young staffers can sit and brainstorm. “I want to make this office futuristic. Many Ethiopians see yesterday. I see tomorrow,” he says. “This place has gone from hell to paradise.”

Read the full article at ft.com »


Related:
PM Abiy Ahmed Named Among Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2019

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Quartz Africa on Design Week Addis Ababa

Founder Metasebia Yoseph. (Design Week Addis Ababa)

Quartz Africa

Design Week Addis Ababa wants to turn Ethiopia’s growing economy into a creative one

Addis Ababa is determined to rebrand itself as a global city, with a hi-speed train and high-rise buildings quickly replacing its old-world charm. Part of what will maintain its distinction is the proper recognition of Ethiopia’s historic culture.

And why shouldn’t the city market its culture to the world, and its own citizens, asks Design Week Addis Ababa founder, Metasebia Yoseph.

Yoseph was born and raised in the United States but joined the returning Ethiopian diaspora in 2013. With art history as a major, she came back to gain work experience in the national museum but found that Ethiopia’s cultural and historical artifacts were often neglected. She returned to the US to complete a graduate degree in communication and came back to convince Ethiopian businesses that what they need was a good PR strategy.

It was a hard sell, but the 35-year-old convinced an old family business to start a Facebook page. It was Ethiopia’s weavers, carpenters and your designers reinventing an old craft that she was more interested in selling, though. Local businesses would rather work with suppliers in Dubai or Cape Town “because that is being perceived as the best.”

“This disconnect between the commercial, creative and cultural was really what I was trying to fill the gap in,” she says.

Joseph started Design Week Addis Ababa in 2015, mostly out of her own pocket with one sponsor on board, French beverage giant Castel, who produce Ethiopia’s Rift Valley wine.

This year was a turning point though: political optimism under president Abiy Ahmed has brought more attention to Ethiopia’s capital. Tourism Ethiopia has come on board, designating it as a “destination event,” and Heineken signed up as an event sponsor.

Read more »


Related:
Spotlight: Design Week Addis Ababa 2019 (TADIAS)

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Regarding The History of Ethiopic Computing by Fesseha Atlaw (Op-Ed)

In the following OP-Ed Ethiopian-American engineer Fesseha Atlaw responds to readers questions and highlights some important points regarding the history of Ethiopic computing. (Courtesy Photo: Fesseha Atlaw hosting the first Ethiopic software workshop at the Hilton Hotel in Addis Ababa in the mid 1980s.)

Tadias Magazine

By Fesseha Atlaw

February 19th, 2019

The History of Ethiopic Computing: The process of Development; The Key Players; The Patent Process

Santa Rosa, California (TADIAS) — Many individuals have contacted me after the Tadias article on the genesis of Ethiopic computing have been published in 2018.

http://www.tadias.com/04/06/2018/how-ethiopic-script-was-introduced-to-modern-computers-interview-with-fesseha-atlaw/

The majority of the e-mails I received were congratulatory and “Thank you” and some even referred to me as “our hero”. Just to note a few , :

I was a member of the delegation that visited you at Stanford way back in 1987(?) and the follow up of your demonstration at Hilton Hotel in Addis Abeba. So many claimant innovators have popped up since then claiming discovery of an update Geez Script for Computer. As far as I remember I think you are one of the earliest pioneers to introduce the Ethiopian/ethiopic script …. “

Another heart warming e-mail I received from a totally blind reader in Ethiopia who was able to use the Unicode supported technology that allowed him for the computer to read the Amharic text and also allowed him to dictate to the computer to write in Amharic… He said :

ለታዲያስ መጽሄት የሰጠኸውን ስለEthiopic software የተመለከተ ቃለምልልስ አንብቤ በጣም ደስ አለኝ። በተለይ ኢትዮጵያውያን እንደ አንተ ያሉ ታሪካችን እና ባህላችን በቋንቋችን ተጽፎ በDigital ዘመን ተመዝግቦ እንዲቀመጥ ያስቻሉ ለአስርት አመታት የታገሉ ሰዎች መኖራቸውን ሳውቅ እድለኞች ነን አልኩ።እኔ ማየት የተሳነኝ ኢትዮጵያዊ ስለሆንኩ በአማርኛ እየጻፍኩ ኮምፒውተሩ በአማርኛ እያነበበልኝ፤ ስልኬ በአማርኛ ማን እንደደወለ እየነገረኝ ወዘተርፈ የቴክኖሎጂው ትሩፋት ዋነኛ ተጠቃሚ ሆኛለሁ።

I am thankful and humbled by these kinds of words and generous comments. However, I still feel there is a need to clarify and to accurately chronicle the history of digitization of Ethiopic computing. Unfortunately other news media (print and video) have a tendency to exaggerate and write about some technical matter without careful investigation. There were some who seem to be confused about the actual history and as to what exactly was done and who were the players. Some have asked me, if I had secured a “PATENT” or “Copyright”.

Here are some of the questions I received and my reply:

What was the process of developing “Ethiopic/Amharic” software in the 1980’s?

In the 1980’s I was working as an engineer for Hewlett-Packard, the largest technology company to this day. We didn’t have graphical User interface like WINDOWS or a mouse. The main use of computers at that time was to do word processing. (Writing a letter, a report or books etc) The operating system was called DOS (Disk operating system) programs come on a floppy disk and loaded onto a computer thru a disk drive.

The technical process of developing Ethiopic font-sets to work with computers is not as difficult as one thinks. Many talk about “inventions” or “discovery” etc … I have always discouraged people from referring the accomplishment and the development process as “Invention”. Unfortunately many in the general public don’t understand the detail process and see it that way. This has been made worse by some mass media hype and exaggeration and some claimant using the term “invention.” I also understand what digitizing Ethiopic meant for our language and the preservation of our collective heritage. I am proud of the fact I had any part in pioneering and contributing to such a project that will impact the Ethiopian society for generations.

To describe the process in brief, what we have done is to design Ethiopic fonts and insert them in computer programs as one of the fonts. Of course in the 1980’s that was not an easy task because the accessibility of computer programs, upload and download processes were very limited. (It was called load a program—- There was hardly any internet connection— no e-mails; no social media)

The biggest challenge was designing fonts for the limited character space (8X8) of computers at that time. All English alphabets can fit on a 8 by 8 grid, but the limited space was not suited for some Ethiopic characters. So, for example, fitting wide alphabets like ጬ was difficult.

Another challenge was the number of Ethiopic characters. At that time Latin alphabet (English and others) enjoyed the luxury of having only 26 characters —while Ethiopian alphabet was about 270). The manual Amharic type shown in the picture made up almost the entire alphabet using vowel marks.

Fortunately I was involved in the Unicode Technical Symposium early enough where I was part of the discussion of expanding computer encoding system from Ascii to Unicode and changing the name of the script from “Amharic” to its original name as Ethiopic so as to represent all language groups in Ethiopia.

Unicode is an international encoding standard for use with different languages and scripts, by which each letter, digit, or symbol is assigned a unique numeric value that applies across different platforms and programs. Or Unicode is a digital code for computers that lets them show text in different languages. Unicode standards are promoted by the Unicode Consortium and based on ISO standards.

I worked with Joe Becker, the founder of the Unicode Technical Consortium, to provide the first Ethiopic Proposal to the consortium representing both Dashen Engineering and Hewlett Packard. The consortium participants were computer scientists from all major high tech companies like Google, Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Facebook etc as well as participants from governments like India, Malaysia, etc. Here is the membership list: http://www.unicode.org/consortium/members.html. In 2018 I was nominated to get the title of “LIFE TIME Unicode Member” I am grateful and proud to represent Ethiopian script being the only African member of the Unicode in its history.

If there is anything that took a lot of push and stamina, it was calling the script “ETHIOPIC” rather than Amharic. I am most proud of that more than any of my contributions and starting a process to add more non-Amharic fronts to the unicode such as ቐ (Tigrigna) ፤ ዸ (For Afaan Oromo), etc. As the Unicode consortium member and owner of Dashen Engineering I received recommendations from many non-Amharic users in Ethiopia and adding new characters.

So here is the Unicode encoding scheme permanently embedded in all computers (new or old):

Basic Latin Range: 0000–007F
Greek and Coptic Range: 0370–03FF
Katakana (Japanese) Range: 30A0–30FF
Ethiopic Range: 1200–137F

So “ሀ” is represented by 1200 and ሁ 1201 ሂ 1203 etc all the
way to :137C = ፼ (ETHIOPIC NUMBER TEN THOUSAND )
Reserved for about 384 characters for Ethiopian languages :
አማርኛ ፤ ትግርኛ ፤ አፋን ኦሮሞ ፤ ከፋ፤ ጋሞ Gamo-Gofa-Dawro Basketo
Gumuz have been included : New Characters that were not part
of the Amharic typing system (Amharic Type writer ) have been
added Examples of the new Characters are : ቐ ዸ ꬁ ꬖ ጜ ጛ)

Were there others who were working on digitizing Ethiopic at that time? If so who were the key players? What makes your unique and why is your name mentioned at the forefront? How about others? Did you patent the software?

The short answer is, YES there were many others who were working on “Amharic Word Processor” about the same time as me or later-on. I started my research around 1982 and had the first usable Amharic word processor in 1985 that has been released to the general public. But others were released to the market soon afterwards.

The Ethiopian Science and Technology commission, under the late commissioner Ato Abebe Muluneh, had been tasked with developing an Amharic word processor by the Mengistu government and and they had demonstrated a working model around 1989 shortly after my demonstration at Addis Abeba Hilton. Others who worked on Ethiopic/Amharic word processor and should be recognized include: Dr. Yitna Firdyiwoq (Virginia), Daniel Admassie (Ethiopia Science & Technology), the late Feqade Mesfin (Los Angeles), Abass Alemneh (Texas) and Yemane Russom (Texas).

There are many more names of developers that came later and who have contributed to the Ethiopic digitization, but the above names stand out as early researchers and each of them had complete usable products.

I am also aware there are people who claim being early pioneers and writing their own Wikipedia pages. Unfortunately the ever growing Ethiopia media grab such claimants and mislead the general public (much the same way as they have done with rampant stories and interviews of the Dr. Engineer ZeMichael did). I wish our media develops the culture of due diligence and doing their homework of what exactly happened and when and report it accordingly.

I like to focus on the many positive achievements of Ethiopians and some non-Ethiopian that are working hard developing applications for our script. I am impressed by many new and young Ethiopic Digital application developers who are doing amazing and creative work but shy away from the media limelight and
don’t even want their names to be mentioned.

Some ask “Do you have patent or copyright protection for your early work?

The original MLS Ethiopic Word Processor I (as a founder of Dashen Engineering) had developed has been Copyrighted since 1985. Software is not generally patentable as such. However some typing mechanisms/schemes are patentable. There are several individuals who hold “Amharic/Ethiopic” typing method or KEYBOARDING patents. While these are legitimate patents they are easily misunderstood on what they mean. I have helped few young people apply for Ethiopic Keyboarding Patents on new method of typing. In fact any new scheme of typing/Keyboarding can be submitted for a patent in the US quite easily. There is a free software tool available from Keyman and others that allows anyone to come up with new Ethiopic (Amharic, Afaan Oromo, etc) Keyboarding method and submit that to PATENT office. I know some people who developed a new Keyboarding method to meet a certain needs in less than a week and submitted it for patent. There are many people who still are working to come up with a new “keyboarding scheme for Amharic and other languages. The tools are available to allow any non-technical person to design a unique keyboarding method and can easily patent it. These tools are listed on ethiopicsoftware.org website. I like to emphasize that these patents should Not prevent from coming up with new application of Ethiopic.

The patents are given for a unique method of keyboarding (typing) for example using (“ha” or “H” or “h” to type “ሀ”). The Ethiopic Unicode assignment is FREE to anyone who wants to develop an app or use Ethiopic in anyway. In fact I have heard stories that new developers were being harassed and attempts were made to discourage them from using Ethiopic in new apps.

On the other hand those who design fonts can legitimately claim ownership of their artistic efforts in designing fonts and assign them to the Unicode. The two major font designers are Ato Abass Alemneh of EthioSystems (senamirmir.com) and Ato Solomon Hailu (ethiohahu.com) have done a great work in designing creative Ethiopic fonts.

Recently, you were quoted, in one Ethiopian magazine, as making a call to the Oromo Intellectuals to use Ethiopic/Geez . “ …..የኦሮሞ ምሁራን የግዕዝ ፊደላትን እንዲጠቀሙ ጥሪ አቀርባለሁ….” What is your opinion on the Afaan Oromo writing system using Latin?

Yes, the magazine in Ethiopia extracted some of the Tadias interview and reprinted it in Amharic. However I want to clarify some issues. I never gave an interview to this particular magazine. Most of what they printed was correct but there were lots of exaggerations and some factual errors. All in all what they wrote was mostly correct and reflects my views also.

Some people call the alphabet – Amharic. The correct term is Ethiopic or “Ethiopian Alphabet.” 30 years ago during my participation in the UNICODE committee, I helped push for the adoption of the name “ETHIOPIC” as a name to be recognized for all computer systems. The computer knows the alphabet as Ethiopic not as “Amarigna”. In doing so, it was important we include special characters that were left out in the old Amharic type writer (such as: for “ ቐ” Tigrigna and for “ዸ”Afaan Oromo). So using the term Ethiopic is correct in that the alphabet belongs to all Ethiopians. Because of the Unicode there are many new software applications are developed in Ethiopic (such as Google Translate; Web Translate; text to speech and speech to text applications, etc). We now have computer languages and Operation systems in Amharic and other languages that use Ethiopic characters.

In the 1970’s the concern of many Oromo intellectuals about the growth and development of Afaan Oromo with computer technology was legitimate. Selecting the use of an already existing Latin alphabet was an advantage. Yes, in the 70’s most of computing was done in the English language- using Latin alphabet. Now that is no longer the case— thanks to the Unicode organization, almost all world languages that have a well develop script system have been included in all computers. From technical point of view, using Ethiopic to write Afaan Oromo is much more efficient and will ensure the rich language and literature of the Oromo develop faster. I give this advice as a technical person and do not get involved in political reasons. It is my strong belief that the decision rests entirely on the Oromo speaking people and no one else.


Related:
How Ethiopic Script Was Introduced to Modern Computers: Interview with Fesseha Atlaw

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Spotlight: Ahmedin Mohamed Nasser’s Library Foundation For Ethiopia

Ahmedin Mohamed Nasser, Founder of the Library Information Foundation For Ethiopia. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: February 16th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — If it was up to Ahmedin Mohamed Nasser — an Ethiopian-American social entrepreneur in Oakland, California who is the Founder of the Library Information Foundation For Ethiopia (LIFFE) — every child in his native country would have free access to a library and computer within walking distance of their home. The motto on his organization’s website says it all: “A country that reads is a country that leads.”

The vision for the foundation started more than two decades ago. At the time Ahmedin was a recent graduate of Cal State Hayward University where he studied accounting. Soon after graduation he organized a group of friends and enlisted Stanford University to ship 5,000 new books to Addis Ababa University, including his own college textbooks.

Since then Ahmedin’s non-profit organization has opened 22 libraries in Ethiopia, including at Sululta, Dejen, Bethlehem D/Zeyt, and Mekane Iyasus D/Zeyt Secondary Schools, the Future Generation Schools in Kara Kore, Kore Lafto, Mekanisa and Ambo, as well as Azezo Higher Preparatory School in Gondar, Afar Semera University and Kaliti Prison.

Ahmedin who is preparing to go to Ethiopia this month tells Tadias that his next project will focus on opening a library at a high school in Jimma.

Ahmedin’s work to establish libraries across Ethiopia has been compared to that of Andrew Carnegie, albeit without the American steel magnate’s unlimited financial resources. “At the dawn of the 20th Century, wealthy industrialist Andrew Carnegie began creating his legacy by building libraries across this country,” the CBS owned KPIX-TV in San Francisco enthused in local broadcast featuring Ahmedin’s work a year and half ago. “That’s sort of what Ahmedin Mohammed Nasser has done, but he laughs when asked if he’s a wealthy man.” KPIX added: “His is a legacy created not from the wallet, but from the human heart.”

“Without libraries what have we?,” the late American author and screenwriter Ray Bradbury once famously mused. “We have no past and no future.”


To learn more about Ahmedin’s foundation and get involved please visit www.1liffe.org.

Related:
Watch: Oakland Man Sends Books, Computers To Ethiopia, Creating 22 Libraries (KPIX CBS SF Bay Area)

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Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera Breaks World Indoor 1,500m Record in UK (Reuters)

Samuel Tefera wins the 1,500m at the IAAF World Indoor competition in Birmingham, UK on Saturday, February 16th, 2019. (IAAF)

Reuters

Ethiopia’s Tefera breaks world indoor 1,500m record

Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera broke the long-standing world indoor 1,500 metres record when he clocked three minutes, 31.04 seconds at the IAAF World Indoor Tour meeting in Birmingham, England on Saturday.

Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj set the previous record of 3:31.18 in 1997.

TEFERA BREAKS WORLD INDOOR 1500M RECORD IN BIRMINGHAM, UK (IAAF)


Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera poses with his world record time after winning the 1,500m final at the indoor athletics Grand Prix at Arena Birmingham. (Getty Images)

IAAF

Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera tore up the script for the Muller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham, upstaging compatriot Yomif Kejelcha to break the long-standing world indoor 1500m record* at the IAAF World Indoor Tour meeting on Saturday (16).

Kejelcha, who last week came within 0.01 of the world indoor mile record at the Millrose Games, had announced his intentions to break the 1500m mark ahead of his race in Birmingham. But Tefera, the world indoor champion at the distance, had a plan of his own.

The pacemakers hit their required target times with Bram Som taking the field through 400m in 55.69 and Jordan Williamsz leading them through 1000m in 2:21.27.

With the pacemakers having done their job, Kejelcha reached 1200m in 2:49.28 and was still on course to challenge the record, but Tefera was tucked close behind and looked ominously comfortable with the pace. Australia’s Stewart McSweyn was a few strides adrift in third place while Kenyan duo Bethwel Birgen and Vincent Kibet were further behind.

The clock ticked through 3:03 as the bell sounded for the final lap and Tefera made his move, kicking past Kejelcha to take the lead and leaving his compatriot unable to respond. Tefera charged towards the line and stopped the clock at 3:31.04, taking 0.14 off the previous record set by Hicham El Guerrouj in 1997.

Kejelcha finished second in an outright personal best of 3:31.58 while McSweyn held on to third place with an Oceanian indoor record of 3:35.10.

“I can’t believe that,” said Tefera. “I’m delighted with the outcome and to have the world record is a special feeling.”

Read more »


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Yekatit 12 Remembrance in Harlem

Yekatit 12 Monument in memory of the 1937 massacre, Siddist Kilo, Addis Ababa. (Photo: Focus on the Horn)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: February 16th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — The Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association, in collaboration with the Global Alliance for Justice, will host an event this weekend in Harlem in remembrance of Yekatit 12 and the Ethiopian lives lost at the Addis Ababa massacre on February 19, 1937.

According to Wikipedia, following an assassination attempt on Mussolini’s Viceroy Rodolfo Graziani by the Ethiopian resistance, the Italian occupation army retaliated by killing an estimated 20,000 people, which translated to approximately 20 percent of the population in Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa.

The Yekatit 12 Remembrance event in New York City is scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 17th at Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building in Harlem. Speakers include Dr. Teshale Tibebu, Professor of History at Temple University; Dr. Girma Abebe, former United Nations and Ethiopian diplomat; Dr. Zergebatchew Asfaw, founding member and president of Hakim Workineh and Melaku Beyan society of physicians in North America; as well as Dr. Shimelis Bonsa, Professor of History at Stony Brook University, and Human Rights Activist Mr. Nicola DeMarco. The program will also include select poetry readings.

——
If You Go:
“Yekatit 12th” Remembrance in Harlem
Sunday February 17, 2019
Doors open at 1:30 PM
Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building
163 West 125th Street, 2nd floor
New York, New York 10027

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US Invests $40m in Ethiopia Health Care

U.S. investing $40 million to support goal of universal health coverage in Ethiopia. (U.S. Embassy Ethiopia)

Press Release

U.S. Embassy Ethiopia

Today the United States launched a new, five-year USD $40 million Health Financing Improvement Program to invest in expanding Ethiopia’s capacity to provide quality affordable healthcare to citizens across the country. Under the new program, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will work with the Ministry of Health to strengthen policy and financing reforms that enable public and private entities to better provide primary health services while reducing out-of-pocket expenses for Ethiopians.

USAID’s Health Financing Improvement Program builds upon the successes of earlier investments like USAID’s community-based health insurance initiative, which currently provides medical coverage to nearly 20 million Ethiopians nationwide. Over the next five years, the new program will focus on mobilizing increased domestic resources and streamlining medical insurance schemes to expand coverage to millions more people. The project will also work with public and private healthcare providers to better utilize resources and revenues to finance their services.

USAID Mission Director Leslie Reed remarked, “We look forward to continuing our joint work to tackle the challenges facing health financing as part of overall efforts to build a truly sustainable and resilient health system in Ethiopia. Together, we can show other developing countries around the world that with the right political will and commitment, it is possible to lay the promising foundation to a self-reliant healthcare system, capable of providing high-quality health services to all citizens in every corner of the country.”

U.S. development programs like the Health Financing Improvement program invest in the capacity of Ethiopian institutions and the Ethiopian people to address their own needs and become stronger partners. The United States is the largest bilateral donor to Ethiopia’s health sector, with approximately USD $150 million per year in funding for HIV/AIDS; malaria; maternal, neonatal and child health; nutrition; tuberculosis; and water, sanitation and hygiene. Overall, the United States has provided over $4 billion in development and humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia over the past five years.


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Ethiopia Habtemariam: Meet the Music Mogul Bringing Motown Back – InStyle

Ethiopia Habtemariam, a first-generation Ethiopian-American, is the executive vice president of Capitol Music Group and the president of Motown Records. This year in celebration of Motown’s 60th anniversary Ethiopia is releasing a documentary on the legendary American record label. (InStyle)

InStyle

Ethiopia Habtemariam has been working in the music industry since she was a 14-year-old intern at LaFace Records in Atlanta. After turning that job into a full-time position right out of high school, the wunderkind shot straight to the top. Now, at 39, as the executive vice president of Capitol Music Group and the president of Motown Records, she is one of the most powerful women in music. Habtemariam is respected for her ear (with an impressive roster of signed artists like Justin Bieber, Ciara, and J. Cole) and her resolve. “Anyone I’ve ever signed, I really believe in,” she says. “And either you get it or you catch on eventually.”

Most recently, she was responsible for bringing rap trio Migos to Motown, which helped lead to the label’s new awakening. For Motown’s 60th anniversary this year, she’s releasing a documentary on its soulful roots and building on innovative successes like Netflix’s animated series Motown Magic. “I’m bringing back f—ing Motown,” she says, smiling. “That’s badass. This is the most legendary label in music. When you think about what started in a small neighborhood in Detroit and all its superstars [e.g., the Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, the Supremes] who went on to touch the world with their music — I want to remind people of that.”

Leading lady: “The reality is there aren’t many women or women of color who have ever been presidents of a company,” she says. “Having my family’s support from the beginning was dope because that’s not common for immigrant parents, especially in the music space.” Today, the first-generation Ethiopian-American is determined to link arms with like-minded ladies. “If you’re the only woman in the room, that’s a problem,” she says. “Once you have power and people are listening to your voice, you have to include other women.”

Music to her ears: Corporate meetings play a large part in Habtemariam’s day-to-day schedule, but she still carves out time for what she loves most: finding and developing young artists. “I have to stay close to the music and do the things that feed me,” she says.

Read more »


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Jomo Design at Black Artists & Designers Guild Spring Preview

Jomo Tariku, owner of Jomo Furniture, in New York City on Tuesday, February 12th, 2019 showcasing his work during the spring preview hosted by the Black Artist & Designers Guild. (Tadias photo)

Tadias Magazine
Tadias Staff

Updated: February 12th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — From the Nyala chair — inspired by the mountain antelope that is endemic to Ethiopia– to the Kebero and Mukecha stools as well as the Ashanti seats from Ghana and the Maasai chair from Kenya, there is nothing like Jomo design when it comes to contemporary furniture style representing a diverse array of African aesthetics.

Jomo Furniture, founded by Ethiopian American designer and entrepreneur Jomo Tariku, was featured in New York City at the spring preview of the Black Artist & Designers Guild (BADG), which was held on Tuesday, February 12th at Décor NYC in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.

“BADG (Black Artists + Designers Guild) is a curated collective of Black Artists and Designers throughout the African diaspora,” states the organization’s website. “We create contemporary art, textiles, furniture, interiors, and architecture for bespoke residential, commercial and hospitality spaces.”

BADG’s site adds that their mission is to “create a global platform showcasing the works of Black Artists + Designers of the African diaspora who are passionate about creating art, home furnishings, interior and exterior spaces around the world.”

In addition to Jomo Furniture the spring preview also included works by Malene B. Atelier (ceramics), Lisa Hunt (fine art), Kelly Marshall (photography), Nasozi Kakembo (textiles), Marie Burgos (furniture), Livvy & Neva (pillows), Sheila Bridges Home (wallpaper), Da Brand (home accessories), and Studio Lani (Lighting).

In 2015 a book published by Thames & Hudson titled, Contemporary Design Africa — the first of its kind — dedicated a section for Jomo’s designs along with fifty artists from Africa and the Diaspora “all of whom are creating sophisticated and innovative products for interiors.”

Jomo tells us that his furniture is available for licensing, and the designs could be manufactured for any potential large orders including “pieces for lodges and hotels as well as any residences that want to create unique spaces.” We couldn’t agree more.


You can learn more about Jomo Furniture at www.jomofurniture.com.

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Q&A with Julie Mehretu – Brooklyn Rail

The following is an interview with Ethiopian American artist Julie Mehretu by The Brooklyn Rail magazine highlighting her current exhibition at Kettle’s Yard gallery in Cambridge, England. (Portrait of Julie Mehretu, pencil on paper by Phong Bui)

The Brooklyn Rail

On the occasion of her current exhibition at Kettle’s Yard, Julie Mehretu spoke with me about her work from the past two decades. The images she has been creating during this time, in the form of paintings and drawings, consider the world we live in today through references to cities, architectural sites, geo-political events, and histories. She shows us an urban landscape that is dynamic and chaotic; constantly in motion. Simultaneously, Mehretu’s fascination with mark-making, and her commitment to drawing as an intuitive force, is vital to how she functions as an artist and to what she makes.

Mehretu was born in Addis Ababa in 1970 to an Ethiopian father and an American mother. She grew up in East Lansing, Michigan, and now lives in New York.

Allie Biswas (Rail): I wanted to start by asking you about the role that drawing initially played in your work.

Julie Mehretu: When I started my MFA, I was making big, abstract oil paintings that looked gestural and expressionistic, even though I wasn’t interested in them looking like that. I would also include what I considered to be cultural indicators—things that might refer to an album or a part of a face, like a mask, for instance. Ultimately, they were super generic; I thought that I was making art, but that wasn’t the case at all. It was more like I was mimicking art, rather than really inventing something. A little later on, I began to think about my mark-making and realised that drawing was something that really generated my work and thinking.

Read more »


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Spotlight: Generation ‘Anbessa’ New Ethiopia Movie at Berlin Film Festival

'Anbessa' is making its world premier at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: February 11th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — The 2019 Berlin Film Festival is underway this week and the Generation section of the program features a new film from Ethiopia titled Anbessa, which is executive produced by model and humanitarian Gelila Bekele. In the film a young boy from the Ethiopian countryside named Abisef recreates himself as a lionheart hero in response to the unsettling modernization and construction that is altering his life and community forever.

“You know, hyenas aren’t the bad ones,” his mother tells Abisef in one poignant conversation referring to the people from the city who want to buy her home so they can develop condos. “These days it’s humans you should fear.”

In a review titled ‘Anbessa’ Critiques a Country through the Eyes of a Child,’ Redmond Bacon points out that : Anbessa is the Ethiopian word for “Lion” — a creature accorded symbolic status in the country’s mythology. The Lion of Judah, for example, was used on their old imperial flags and currency, and can still be found around the streets of Addis Abeba today. It is also strongly related to Haile Selassie, Ethiopia’s defining figure that Abisef often swears by. Thus, by dressing up as a lion and pretending to banish the hyenas — a metaphor for the land dealers who want to take his house — Abisef stands strong as a symbol of the country’s pride under such hardship.”

The website for the 2019 Berlin Film Festival adds: “Abisef and his mother defy the newly-built housing estate which is like all the other ones springing up all over Ethiopia and continue their life within the traditional village community: grazing their animals, tending their gardens and picking fruit off the trees. Abisef’s hut lacks electricity, but the windows of the surrounding high-rises outshine the moon at night. Abisef scours the new city’s streets for electro-junk and builds a spaceship with an engine. His mother recounts ancient legends. Real estate developers buy up more land. Abisef feels increasingly threatened, stalked by the invisible hyena that haunts the area. With a sensitive grasp of her protagonist’s emotional reality, the documentary filmmaker and camerawoman Mo Scarpelli traces Abisef’s transformation into Anbessa, the lion.”


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In Ethiopia AU Inaugurates Majestic New Statue Honoring Emperor Haileselassie

A statue of Emperor Haile Selassie was inaugurated at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019. (Photo: Elias Mulugeta Hordofa @eluukoo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: February 11th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — Former Emperor Haile Selassie is finally receiving his due recognition for his role in establishing the African Union (AU) – initially launched as the Organization of African Unity (OAU). On Sunday, February 10th, a majestic new statue in Haile Selassie’s likeness was inaugurated at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital in the presence of heads of state, family members, community leaders and international media.

Among those who attended the event included Ethiopian American social activist Nebyat Aklilu Demessie, who led a grassroots movement for over 6 years to help erect the statue honoring Ethiopia’s last emperor. Nebyat traveled to Ethiopia for the event at the invitation of Haile Selassie’s family.

As we wrote here previously: “On May 25, 1963 [two decades after Ethiopia fought and retained her independence from Italian military occupation] several Heads of State from 32 newly independent African countries gathered in Addis Ababa. The meeting brought together various factions from across the continent that held differing views on how to achieve union among the emerging, decolonized African countries – an issue that also preoccupied the continent’s press and academics at the time. One such promiment group, “The Casablanca bloc,” led by President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, argued for the federation of all African states. A second group of countries called “The “Monrovian bloc”, led by Léopold Senghor of Senegal, preferred a more gradual economic cooperation. Emperor Haile Selassie offered a diplomatic solution and brokered the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now renamed the African Union (AU). The assembly settled its headquarters in Addis Ababa and entrusted Haile Selassie with the very first of its rotating chairmanships. Gamal Abdul Nassar of Egypt and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana served as subsequent OAU leaders.”

The Associated press noted “Ethiopians have cheered the statue’s erection, the first on Ethiopian soil since Haile Selassie was mysteriously killed at the age of 83 in 1975 when a military junta called the Derg overthrew the imperial dynasty that existed in Ethiopia for 3,000 years.”


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UN: Ethiopian Chopper Crashes in Sudan

An Ethiopian military helicopter carrying 23 people has crashed inside the compound of the United Nations on the border between Sudan and South Sudan, killing three of its crew members. According to the UN the MI-8 helicopter crashed during a routine operation transporting Ethiopian troops from Kadugli to Abyei on Saturday. Ethiopia has about 4,500 personnel stationed in the region supporting the UN mission. (Photo: UN)

Press Release

United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei

An Ethiopian military helicopter registration Number UNO 379P with 23 passengers on board has crashed today at around 1310H inside the compound of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) killing three of its crew members.

The MI-8 helicopter was on routine operation carrying Ethiopian troops on rotation from Kadugli to Abyei when it crashed. Ten passengers were injured with three in critical condition. The three who are in critical condition have been conveyed to Kadugli en route to Addis Ababa while those not in critical condition are being stabilized at the UNISFA Level II hospital in Abyei.

The immediate cause of the crash is not yet known. UNISFA’s acting Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Gebre Adhana Woldezgu said, “We are investigating the incident.”

“We are deeply saddened by what happened this afternoon. We are extending our condolences to the families of those who died in the crash,” Major General Woldezgu said.

General Gebre Adhana Woldezgu commended UNISFA personnel who responded promptly to the crash by assisting to evacuate passengers from the helicopter, stressing that the casualty figures could have been much higher. “This show of solidarity reflects the spirit of peacekeeping and must be applauded”, General Woldezgu said.

The helicopter flew from Kadugli for the Mission’s regular troop rotation. UNISFA’s sole troop contributing country Ethiopia is currently rotating its soldiers from Kadugli to different sites in the Abyei area.

Ethiopia has around 4,500 personnel on the ground to support UNISFA’s efforts of ensuring peace and security in Abyei.


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Meet Ethiopian American Tsion Yared: High School Runner of the Year in Florida

High School student-athlete Tsion Yared has been named the 2018-19 Gatorade Florida Girls’ Cross Country Runner of the Year and is a finalist for the Gatorade National Player of the Year. (Photo: Pine Crest School)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: February 9th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopian American student athlete Tsion Yared has won the most prestigious award in high school sports. Tsion, a student at Pine Crest School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, has been named the 2018-19 Gatorade Florida Girls’ Cross Country Runner of the Year and is a finalist for the Gatorade National Player of the Year.

“The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the racecourse, distinguishes Yared as Florida’s best high school girls cross country runner,” the press release said. “Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year award, Yared joins an elite alumni association of past state award winners in 12 sports.”

“Tsion had a remarkable track season last spring, and that propelled her into her best summer of training and her best cross country season ever,” said Paul Baur, Pine Crest Cross Country and Track & Field Program Head. “Her individual accomplishments are staggering, but how she brought the team together this season — despite our injuries — and to a finish on the podium for the seventh year in a row, will be something her teammates cherish forever.”

According to Pine Crest School, ‏Tsion is “one of only 15 girls to have won three or more Cross Country State Championships in Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) history.” The press release added: “Earlier this year, Tsion was named Broward County Runner of the Year by South Florida The Sun Sentinel, and named the 2018 Class 2A Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year by the Florida Dairy Farmers Association.”

The award website also notes that Tsion “has maintained a weighted 4.85 GPA in the classroom. She will begin her senior year of high school this fall.”


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Edelawit Hussien’s New Film Reflects on Her Generation in Ethiopia & Diaspora

Filmmaker Edelawit Hussien. (Instagram)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: February 6th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — Edelawit Hussien, a 23-year-old Ethiopian filmmaker who is living between New York and Berlin recently shared her upcoming short film with Tadias, which follows three Addis Abeba-based teenagers on a road trip to Lake Langano.

“My work aims to explore dual identity and global exchange motivated by my Ethiopian upbringing within an American context,” Edelawit tells Tadias.

“After graduating from New York University where I studied politics, film, and African studies, I worked within the commercial and branded film sphere before relocating to Berlin to exclusively work on independent filmmaking.”

The film tilted Wallahi, I Will Be Somebody “takes inspiration from the energy of Ethiopia today, a time of excitement and change,” Edelawit adds. “With its growing art community, young people are looking to connect the traditional with the modern as well as build a bridge between Ethiopians within the nation and in the Diaspora. These endeavors have manifested into music, art, fashion, culture and cinema.”

In the short film the three teenagers — Tefera, Omar and Miki — are in an uncertain stage of their lives, “that youth all over the world experience,” explains Edelawit. The film’s Indiegogo page describes how “this uncertainty ranges from how they will make a living, and what kind of life they see for themselves, to how to maintain the joys of their youth.”

According to the project’s website, as the audience, we will also “see how their surrounding affects them as the city evolves and as do the residents. Through a series of vignettes, we are transported in time and space from an elderly couple drinking macchiatos at a Piazza cafe to kids selling toys at a busy roundabout. With poetic moving image chopped throughout the work, the film carries an experimental twist in its meditation on the changing notions of culture, city landscape and societal expectation through an honest look at the youth experience in this evolving time.”

Edelawit shares that the film’s producer is 28-year-old Ethiopian-Swedish Adelia Shiffraw who is currently working in commercial and film production sector in New York City. The filmmaker describes Adelia as an artist who “supports the amplification of minority voices and the preservation of their stories and experiences through film with particular interest in narratives exploring race and representation in a global context.”

Why are they making this particular film?

Edelawit quotes from a play by Suzan-Lori Parks’ noting: “You should write it down because if you don’t write it down then they will come along and tell the future that we did not exist.”


You can learn more about Edelawit Hussien’s new film and support her fundraising campaign at www.indiegogo.com.

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This Twitter Thread Clears Up Confusion on The Hague Teff Case (UPDATE)

The following Twitter thread started by legal consultant ልዩ - Leyou @anchihoye in Ethiopia clears up the confusion regarding The Hague Teff Case. (Photo: Preparing injera/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: February 7th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — Below is a great Twitter thread that clears up the confusion on The Hague Teff ruling. In fact the court case was between two companies. The patent holder was suing another company who wanted to use teff products. The second company argued that the patent was invalid to begin with because it failed to show how the patent was itself an innovation. The court then ruled against the patent holder. We can see how Fitsum Arega’s tweet was indicating the invalidation of the patent holder’s claim and how that is in essence a win for Ethiopia in general. But his tweet was also vague and implied that the Ethiopian government directly won an argument in court, which it hasn’t. So we’ll keep an eye on developments. In the meantime here is the Twitter thread started by Legal Consultant and journalist ልዩ – Leyou @anchihoye and a link to a comprehensive summary by the website Quartz Africa as well as The Washington Post.


Related:
How Ethiopia got its grain back
Ethiopia’s teff flour is no longer patented as a Dutch invention

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Ethiopia Reforms Mining Industry (Reuters)

A worker extracts salt from the desert in the Danakil Depression, northern Ethiopia. (Reuters Photo)

REUTERS

Ethiopia finalizing mining industry reforms: minister

Ethiopia will finalize reforms for its underdeveloped mining and oil sectors within the next two months as it seeks to encourage more foreign investors, its mines and petroleum minister said on Tuesday.

The country has already cut taxes for mining companies in recent years but the government wants to attract more foreign investment and ease a dollar shortage in the country.

Mines and petroleum minister Samuel Urkato said promoting the mining sector had become a priority and indicated that further tax incentives were on the cards.

“We are reforming all the laws, the national mining policy and the strategy that goes with that policy. These reforms include all fiscal regimes too in order to compete for global mining investments,” Samuel told Reuters on the sidelines of the African Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa.

Newmont Mining is among a number of gold companies now prospecting in Ethiopia and Norwegian fertilizer maker Yara International plans to build a potash mine and a fertilizer factory in the country.

Other companies, however, have been put off by poor infrastructure, a shortage of skilled professionals in the sector, as well as a lack of transparency in licensing, industry consultants in Ethiopia say.

Australia’s BHP pulled out in 2012, while Israel Chemicals terminated a potash project in 2016 amid a tax dispute and claims the government had failed to provide infrastructure.

Since coming to office nearly a year ago, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has announced shake-ups across industries, including plans to open up the once closely guarded telecommunications, logistics and power monopolies.

Massive government investment in infrastructure has helped make Ethiopia one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, but exports of garments and other products have struggled to take off, meaning the economy is not generating enough dollars to pay for imports.

Encouraging the mining sector could help. Though still small, it brought in $3.5 billion in foreign direct investment in the past five years, helped by new incentives that included updating the country’s geological data, extending duty-free access to companies engaged in exploration and offering to build infrastructure to accommodate mining sites.

“Take a company working at a remote site. They shouldn’t construct roads. The government should do that. They shouldn’t work on railways. The government will provide that,” Samuel said.

The government reduced the corporate income tax rate for miners to 25 percent two years ago, from 35 percent, and more recently lowered the precious metals royalty rate to 7 percent, from 8 percent.

The current law guarantees the government a 5 percent minimum equity stake in projects – a lower share than many other African countries.

While the government is keen to reap its share of mining revenues, Samuel said it planned more incentives to jump-start the industry.

“We will see later how to improve these royalty and fiscal regimes. We will gradually improve the size of royalties,” he said.


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Addisu Demissie to Manage Cory Booker’s 2020 U.S. Presidential Campaign

Addisu Demissie will run the 2020 US Presidential Campaign of Senator Cory Booker. (Photo: 50+1 Strategies)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: February 4th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — U.S. Political Consultant Addisu Demissie has been hired to manage the 2020 presidential campaign of Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey who announced his candidacy for the White House on Friday, February 1st.

Addisu, an Ethiopian American, is a graduate of Yale University as well as the law school. This past November he managed California Governor Gavin Newsom’s winning campaign. In 2016 Addisu was the National Voter Outreach Director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid. Prior to that he successfully led Cory Booker’s election in 2013 as he ran for Senator in New Jersey. Addisu started his campaign management and community mobilization career as the Ohio Get Out The Vote Director for Obama for America in 2008.

Addisu who currently lives in Oakland, California is also the Founding Principal of 50+1 Strategies, a national political consulting firm launched in 2012.

Below is Addisu’s bio courtesy of 50+1 Strategies:

“Addisu’s first love is developing and implementing sophisticated community organizing programs, which he has done during three presidential campaign cycles in 2004, 2008, and 2016. Following President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, Addisu was selected as the first National Political Director for the President’s political organization Organizing for America. Later that year, the Washington Post named him one of the “Ten Young Black Aides To Watch” in the Obama Administration. At OFA, Demissie played a key role in mobilizing and coordinating grassroots support for the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, federal student loan reform, and the Affordable Care Act. In the years since, Addisu served as Senior Advisor to California Assemblymember David Chiu’s 2011 mayoral campaign; as the general consultant for several California municipal, initiative, and independent expenditure campaigns during the 2012 campaign cycle, and as Campaign Manager for Senator Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) successful special election campaign in 2013. Most recently, as the National Voter Outreach and Mobilization Director on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, Addisu oversaw the development of organizing programs for Democratic base communities and state operations for 37 states. Addisu is a 2001 graduate of Yale University, 2008 graduate of Yale Law School, and a member of the state Bar of California.”


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DC: Bethlehem Abera Gronneberg to Attend the State of the Union Address

Bethlehem Abera Gronneberg, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of uCodeGirl, will attend the State of the Union Address on Tuesday, February 5th, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. at the invitation of her state's senior U.S. Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: February 5th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — You may remember our interview with Ethiopian children’s book author Bethlehem Abera Gronneberg, a mother of three boys and a software engineer who works and lives in North Dakota. This week Bethlehem, who is now the Chief Executive Officer of uCodeGirl — a non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage young girls to aim for careers in the high-tech industry — is in Washington, DC to attend the State of the Union address on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, February 5th as a guest of the senior U.S. Senator from North Dakota John Hoeven.

“Bethlehem is doing tremendous work in the Fargo region, helping prepare young women to be the next generation of innovators and tech entrepreneurs,” Senator Hoeven said in a statement. “This aligns with
our efforts to bolster STEM education and continue advancing technology as the third wave in North Dakota’s economic growth.” The Senator added: “That’s why we featured Bethlehem’s work during our State of Tech conference in 2017 and why we’re so excited to have her in D.C. for this year’s State of the Union address.”

Bethlehem said that she is delighted by the invitation and the attention it will bring to her organization. “It is a great honor to be recognized at the national level for uCodeGirl,” Bethlehem told Tadias. “Our vision is to see a world where the people who create and build technology mirror the people and societies for which they build.”

Bethlehem shares that her organization “inspires and equips young women with leadership traits, computational design thinking skills, aka coding, and entrepreneurial mindset so that they can confidently chart their own pathways to economic independence and become creators of future tech innovations.” She sees this invitation as “a tribute to the young women we serve. They are the heart of our program as well as the coaching and support of women professionals in STEM as mentors.”

The press release from Senator Hoeven noted that “In addition to her work with uCodeGirl, Gronneberg serves on the Governor’s Innovative Education Task Force of North Dakota and as an adjunct instructor of
computer science at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. She was recently named the 2018 YWCA Woman of the Year in Science and Technology, was honored by the Women Economic Forum, a global conference for women leaders and entrepreneurs, and was a recipient of the 2016 Bush Foundation Fellowship.”


You can learn more about uCodeGirl at www.ucodegirl.org.

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BBC: Ethiopian-American Blayne Tesfaye’s TruLuv Granola in Ethiopia

Ethiopian-American entrepreneur Blayne Tesfaye, Co-Founder of TruLuv Granola, a health food small business based in Ethiopia. (Photo: BBC)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: February 2nd, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — TruLuv Granola is a start-up in Ethiopia that makes and distributes healthy snacks to local businesses including cafes, supermarkets and hotels. Co-Founded by Ethiopian-American Blayne Tesfaye the small venture epitomizes the creative and optimistic spirit of a new generation of socially conscious entrepreneurs who are part and parcel of Ethiopia’s present efforts to reform and revitalize its growing economy.

“Blayne Tesfaye is a woman who means business,” enthused a BBC World News broadcast, Newsday, in a recent highlight. “An Ethiopian-American, she recently quit her job to start a business selling healthy snacks to the people of Addis Ababa.” BBC added: “With her majority female staff, she is excited about the economic opportunities that the government of Abiy Ahmed is helping to create.”

Startup Mentoring — a non-profit organization based in Berlin, Germany that supports small companies in developing countries — described the idea behind TruLuv Granola noting that: they seek to be the world’s source for healthy, sustainable, and convenient snacks crafted with Ethiopian flavors” and adding that the snacks are designed for “Addis Ababans living busy and active lives, but lacking delicious and nutritious snacks to fuel their hard work and big adventures on-the-go.”

Blayne told BBC News that TruLuv Granola also aims to support the economy with their practice of sourcing “directly and transparently from Ethiopian small holders as much as possible.”

BBC asked Blayne: how does the ongoing reform play into her ambitions?

“I think the current political situation gives us a lot of hope for the future,” Blayne says, noting that if she was to ask PM Abiy to make one change it would be to create “a more transparent bureaucratic situation.”

As for her long-term goals for TruLuv Granola, Blayne says their vision is to become an international brand as “the world’s favorite healthy Ethiopian food.”

Click here to listen to the interview on Newsday (BBC World Service) »


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Volkswagen Eyes Ethiopian Assembly

The German automaker said: "As one of the fastest growing economies and with the second highest population in the continent, Ethiopia is an ideal country to advance our Sub-Saharan Africa development strategy. Additionally, Volkswagen intends on tapping into existing expertise and strategic resources in Ethiopia to establish a thriving automotive components industry." (Photo: The 2020 Volkswagen Passat/VW)

Just Auto

Volkswagen has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ethiopia which should lead to local vehicle assembly using some locally made components.

Over the last decade, GDP growth in Ethiopia was above 8% – one of the highest worldwide, the automaker noted.

“Ethiopia is a priority and focus country for Germany under the G20 ‘Compact with Africa’ initiative,” the automaker said in a statement.

Volkswagen will focus on establishment of a vehicle assembly facility, localisation of automotive components, introduction of mobility concepts such as app-based car sharing and ride hailing as well as the opening of a training centre. It will also work closely with the Ethiopian higher education and training institutions for skills development and capacity building of local talent.

VW said: “As one of the fastest growing economies and with the second highest population in the continent, Ethiopia is an ideal country to advance our Sub-Saharan Africa development strategy. Additionally, Volkswagen intends on tapping into existing expertise and strategic resources in Ethiopia to establish a thriving automotive components industry.”

Ethiopia becomes the third country in Sub-Saharan Africa to sign a MoU with Volkswagen. It follows Ghana and Nigeria who both signed MoUs in August 2018. In Ghana, Volkswagen will establish a vehicle assembly facility and conduct a feasibility study for an integrated mobility solutions concept. In Nigeria, Volkswagen implemented a phased approach of vehicle assembly with long term view of establishing Nigeria as an automotive hub in West Africa.

Volkswagen has been manufacturing vehicles in South Africa since 1951. In Africa, Volkswagen also has vehicle assembly operations in Algeria, Kenya and Rwanda.

“Although the African automotive market is comparatively small today, the region has a bright outlook to develop into an automotive growth market of the future,” VW added.


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When Ethiopian Jews Tried to Save European Jews from Holocaust

In 1943 Ethiopian Jews approached Emperor Haile Selassie asking him to give refuge to Jews fleeing Nazism in Europe, the Jerusalem Post reports. The same year "1,500 Greek refugees, among them Greek Jews, had arrived in Ethiopia." (The Jerusalem Post)

The Jerusalem Post

August 1943, at the height of the Holocaust, Ethiopian Jewish leaders approached the Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia with a daring proposal. They asked him to help Jews in Europe flee to Ethiopia and assist Jewish refugees by hosting them in Ethiopian Jewish villages.

Three months after the Warsaw Ghetto uprising and two months after all four of the Auschwitz crematoria were functioning, The Palestine Post, as today’s Jerusalem Post was then called, published an article detailing Jewish immigration to Ethiopia. “Possibilities of Jewish immigration into Abyssinia were discussed by the Ethiopian Minister in London with Mr. Harry Goodman and Dr. Springer of Agudath Israel,” the August 8, 1943 article says. “A leading member of the Falasha (black Jewish) community expressed the desire to assist European Jewry and to welcome them in Falasha towns.” Falasha was the term used to describe Jews in Ethiopia at the time.

Discussions were ongoing in Addis Ababa where the emperor, who had returned to Ethiopia in May 1941 after it was liberated from Italy with British help, was showing support for the plan. 1,500 Greek refugees, among them Greek Jews, had arrived in Ethiopia in 1943, the article says.

Selassie had stayed at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1936 and was familiar with the Jewish minority in his country. He also worked closely with Orde Wingate, the British officer who was a passionate Zionist and who led the Gideon Force, which defeated the Italian fascist army in Ethiopia. Ethiopian leaders and the Ethiopian Jewish community were therefore familiar with the local Jewish community and the plight of Jews worldwide at the time.

While Ethiopian Jews suffered under the Italian occupation, by 1943 they were able to reach out to the emperor to suggest hosting Jews fleeing Europe. By that time it was too late for many of the Jews of Europe ensnared in the Nazi noose.

Read more »


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Looking Ahead to Davos and Addis in 2020

As Ethiopia prepares to convene the 29th World Economic Forum on Africa for a second time next year, here is a timely CNBC article by the CEO of General Atlantic Bill Ford highlighting what everyone will be talking about at the Forum's 2020 Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, which will be held in advance of the Ethiopia conference and may set the agenda for the Africa version of the gathering. (Photo: PM Abiy Ahmed at the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday, January 23rd/ Office of the Prime Minister @PMEthiopia)

CNBC

Here’s what everyone will be talking about at Davos in 2020 and beyond

Understanding the state of our world and how we can shape that agenda is the primary purpose of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting at Davos, Switzerland.

The theme for this year’s gathering is Globalization 4.0 – how we’re handling the changes wrought on the world by the increasing interconnectedness of cultures and economies.

We must also reckon with the future. Digitization, Big Data, and the migration of IT services to the cloud are driving change now but we’re also starting to see the opportunities that will lead to Globalization 5.0.

These are the themes we believe will dominate the Davos gatherings of the future:

Read more »


Related:
The 2020 World Economic Forum on Africa to be Held in Ethiopia (UPDATED)
Watch: At World Economic Forum PM Abiy Outlines New Investment Opportunities in Ethiopia:

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Al Amoudi Released From Saudi Custody

Ethiopian-born Saudi businessman Mohammed Al Amoudi has been released from detention in Saudi Arabia. (Photo: Mohammed Al Amoudi by photographer Hans Berggren)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: January 27th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopian-born businessman Mohammed Al Amoudi, who has been in Saudi custody for more than a year, has been freed from detention. “Yes, Al Amoudi has been released and is on his way home to Jeddah. His flight was at 9 or 10 a.m. Saudi time. He called his family; his family told me,” Mesfin Regassa, a friend and close associate of the businessman, told Bloomberg.

According to Reuters “Two Saudi sources confirmed that Al Amoudi had been released on Sunday, nearly 15 months after he was detained with scores of princes, ministers and businessmen in the state-run anti-corruption campaign.”

The news was first reported by Ethiopian TV, which quoted the CEO of Al Amoudi’s MIDROC Group Arega Yirdaw as its source.

On social media PM Abiy Ahmed’s office expressed its best wishes to the billionaire business tycoon noting that Dr. Abiy had brought up Al Amoudi’s case with the authorities in Saudi Arabia during his official travel there last May. “One of the issues included the release of Mohammed Al Amoudi,” the office of the Prime Minister said on Twitter. “Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in his Millenium Hall address later in May 2018 further assured of his return. We wish Mohammed Al Amoudi a safe return to Ethiopia.”


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PM Abiy Ahmed Named Among Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2019

Foreign Policy Magazine's list of 100 global thinkers of 2019 include Ethiopia's dynamic prime minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed. (Illustration by FP)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: January 27th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — What do Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, former U.S. President Barack Obama and the newly elected U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York City have in common besides being some of the most inspiring leaders of our time? They are all part of Foreign Policy magazine’s 10th annual special edition of global thinkers.

In announcing the list this month the magazine said: “A decade ago, in launching the series, FP’s then-editors wrote: In a year of worldwide economic crisis and dangerous wars, of radical innovation and newfound realpolitik, street revolution and blunt rhetoric, we could think of no better way to make sense of it than through the big ideas of those who shape our understanding of the world…So this year we decided that there was no better way to explicate our current, wildly complex moment — and peer into the year ahead — than to focus once more on the thinkers and doers who had a profound impact on the planet in the last 12 months. The idea is not to honor do-gooders (though we feature plenty of them) but to shine a spotlight on some of the most influential people in the world—for better or worse.”

Per Foreign Policy Magazines Highlight:


Illustrations by Foreign Policy

Abiy Ahmed
PRIME MINISTER OF ETHIOPIA

“In less than a year in office, Abiy Ahmed has already made history in Ethiopia by forging peace with its neighbor Eritrea. The move reunited families and reopened long-dormant trade networks. Now Abiy is focused on healing Ethiopia’s own divisions, and his status as the country’s first leader from the restive Oromia region has given many of his constituents hope that he’ll succeed.”

Barack Obama
FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

“Barack Obama’s eight years in the White House showed what an intellectual can and cannot achieve in the world’s most powerful office. His much-maligned but deeply deliberative approach to decision-making helped steer the global economy through its worst crisis since the Great Depression. His renewed emphasis on diplomacy secured a nuclear agreement with Iran, a global compact on climate change, and a fresh arms reduction treaty with Russia. To be sure, Obama’s presidency had many flaws — most notably its failure to adequately address the Syrian civil war. But the importance of Obama’s accomplishments, and of the eloquence and dignity with which he went about his day-to-day work, grows more evident every time his successor holds a press conference or types a tweet.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE FROM NEW YORK


AP photo

“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez channeled the rage triggered by Donald Trump’s presidency into something that was once almost unthinkable in the United States: victory by a 29-year-old Latina democrat over a white male Democratic Party machine politician. Now the youngest woman to ever serve in the U.S. Congress, she stands at the forefront of a newly resurgent progressive movement, whose candidates are winning elections on pledges of universal health care, a federal jobs guarantee, and criminal justice reform.”

You can read the full list at foreignpolicy.com »


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Houston to Replace L.A. as New U.S. Destination for Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines has announced that it's restructuring its entire U.S. network shifting its Los Angeles gateway to Houston and increasing frequency to Washington D.C. and Chicago. (Photo: Ethiopian Airlines)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: January 27th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — This coming summer the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, will replace the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in California as Ethiopian Airlines new destination in the United States. The airline said in a press release that the change is part of the company’s plan to restructure its entire American network in order to offer passengers “the best possible connectivity and shortest routes” between the U.S. and Africa.

The upcoming Houston flights, which will be served by Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, will operate three times per week to Addis Ababa via West Africa. “The new Houston flights will be the only connection between Houston and Africa and will facilitate the travel of the huge African community in the Houston area, as well as oil and other companies doing business in the continent,” the announcement said.

The press release also highlights that flights out of Washington D.C. will be increased from current daily to ten weekly flights. “The new additional three flights will pass thru Abidjan with service continuing on to Addis Ababa,” the airline said. “The current three weekly flights to Chicago will be increased to five weekly flights. From the planned daily flights from the New York area to Addis Ababa, four will be served via Lomé from Newark and three will be via Abidjan from JFK Airport.”


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In US: Another Trump Confidant is Arrested

U.S. federal agents have arrested another longtime associate of President Donald Trump for lying to Congress, obstruction of justice and witness tampering in connection with the Russia investigation. Roger Stone (pictured above) was arrested in a pre-dawn raid at his Florida home on Friday. (AP photo)

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Roger Stone, a confidant of President Donald Trump, was arrested in the special counsel’s Russia investigation in a pre-dawn raid at his Florida home on Friday and was charged with lying to Congress and obstructing the probe.

The seven-count indictment against Stone, a self-proclaimed “dirty trickster,” is the first criminal case in months from special counsel Robert Mueller.

It provides the most detail to date about how Trump campaign associates in the summer of 2016 were actively seeking to politically benefit from the release of hacked material damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. It alleges that unnamed senior Trump campaign officials contacted Stone to ask when stolen emails relating to Clinton might be disclosed.

The indictment does not charge Stone with conspiring with WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy website that published the emails, or with the Russian officers Mueller says hacked them. Instead, it accuses him of witness tampering, obstruction and false statements about his interactions related to WikiLeaks’ release. Some of those false statements were made to the House intelligence committee, according to the indictment.

CNN aired video of the raid at Stone’s Fort Lauderdale home, showing FBI agents in body armor using large weapons and night-vision equipment, running up to the home and banging repeatedly on the door.

“FBI open the door!” one shouts. “FBI, warrant!” Stone could then be seen in the doorway in his sleepwear before he was led away. He is expected to appear in court later Friday.

Stone is the sixth Trump aide charged in Mueller’s investigation into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign and the 34th person overall. The investigation has laid bare multiple contacts between Trump associates and Russia during the campaign and transition period and efforts by several to conceal those communications.

Well-known for his political antics and hard ball tactics, Stone has reveled in being a Washington wheeler-dealer dating back to the Nixon administration. He has also pushed several conspiracy theories and was an early and vocal supporter of Trump’s candidacy.

The case against Stone comes weeks after Trump’s former national security adviser was castigated by a judge in open court and just hours before Paul Manafort, his ex-campaign chairman , was due in court on allegations that he had lied to Mueller’s prosecutors.

Stone was one of Trump’s earliest political advisers, encouraging both his presidential runs. He briefly served on Trump’s 2016 campaign, but was pushed out amid infighting with then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Stone continued communicating with Trump on occasion and stayed plugged into the circle of advisers — both formal and informal — who worked with and around Trump.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump’s press secretary, told CNN Friday the charges brought against Stone “don’t have anything to do with the president.”

According to the indictment, many of those conversations involved WikiLeaks. The indictment lays out in detail Stone’s conversations about stolen Democratic emails posted by the group in the weeks before Trump, a Republican, beat Clinton. Mueller’s office has said those emails, belonging to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, were hacked by Russian intelligence officers.

The document says that by June and July 2016, Stone had told senior Trump campaign officials that he had information indicating that WikiLeaks had obtained documents that could be damaging to Clinton’s campaign.

After the July 22, 2016, WikiLeaks release of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee, the indictment says a senior Trump campaign “was directed” to contact Stone about additional releases and “what other damaging information” WikiLeaks had “regarding the Clinton campaign.” The indictment does not name the official or say who directed the outreach to Stone.

Another Trump campaign official cited in the indictment is Steve Bannon, who later became Trump’s chief strategist in the White House. Bannon, referred to as a “high-ranking Trump Campaign official,” exchanged emails with Stone in October 2016 about WikiLeaks’ plans for releasing hacked material. The indictment quotes from those emails, which had previously been made public by news outlets.

While the indictment provides some new insight into the Trump campaign, it deals largely with what prosecutors say were Stone’s false statements about his conversations with conservative writer and conspiracy theorist, Jerome Corsi, and New York radio host, Randy Credico. Corsi is referred to as Person 1 in the indictment, and Credico as Person 2.

The indictment accuses Stone of carrying out a “prolonged effort” to keep Credico from contradicting his testimony before the House intelligence committee. During that effort, prosecutors note that Stone repeatedly told Credico to “do a ‘Frank Pentangeli,’” a reference to a character in “The Godfather: Part II” who lies before a congressional committee.

Stone is also accused of threatening Credico. The indictment cites several messages, some of which have already been public, that Stone sent to Credico last year. On April 9, Stone called Credico a “rat” and a “stoolie” and accused him of backstabbing his friends. Stone also threatened to “take that dog away from you,” a reference to Credico’s dog, Bianca.

“I am so ready. Let’s get it on. Prepare to die (expletive),” Stone also wrote to Credico.

The indictment had been expected. Stone has said for months he was prepared to be charged, though he has denied any wrongdoing. A grand jury for months had heard from witnesses connected to Stone. And the intelligence committee last year voted to release a transcript of Stone’s testimony to Mueller as a precursor to an indictment.

Attorney Grant Smith, who represents Stone, did not return a phone message seeking comment Friday.

Stone has publicly denigrated the Mueller investigation and echoed the president’s descriptions of it as a witch hunt. But he has long attracted investigators’ attention, especially in light of a 2016 tweet that appeared to presage knowledge that emails stolen from Podesta would soon be released. Stone has said he had no inside information about the contents of the emails in WikiLeaks’ possession or the timing of when they’d be released.

Stone has said he learned from Credico that WikiLeaks had the emails and planned to disclose them. Stone has also spoken openly about his contacts with Corsi.

Credico hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing. Last year, Mueller’s prosecutors offered a plea agreement to Corsi that would have required him to admit that he intentionally lied to investigators about a discussion with Stone about WikiLeaks. But he rejected the offer and denied that he lied.

In a tweet Friday, Podesta wrote that it was now “Roger’s time in the barrel.” That was a play on Stone’s own words. Stone had tweeted cryptically before the Podesta emails were disclosed that it would soon be Podesta’s “time in the barrel.”

___
Read the indictment: http://apne.ws/1P23qpR

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The 2020 World Economic Forum on Africa to be Held in Ethiopia (UPDATED)

This article has been updated to reflect that PM Abiy's office has clarified its initial announcement noting that Ethiopia will host next year's World Economic Forum on Africa, not the 2020 WEF, which is always held in Davos, Switzerland. (Photo: PM Abiy Ahmed at the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday, January 23rd/ Office of the Prime Minister @PMEthiopia)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: January 24th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — The 2020 World Economic Forum on Africa, which brings together thousands of public and private sector leaders from around the globe, will be held in Ethiopia. The office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed made the announcement this past Wednesday following Abiy’s visit to Davos, Switzerland where he met with German Engineer and Economist Klaus Martin Schwab who founded the World Economic Forum in 1971 as an international institution for public-private cooperation.

“The PM & Prof Schwab discussed the importance of a collaborative approach among government, private sector, civil societies in addressing key global challenges,” PM Abiy Ahmed’s office shared via Twitter, adding that “they agreed that Ethiopia will host WEF in 2020.”

According to the WEF website, “The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. We believe that progress happens by bringing together people from all walks of life who have the drive and the influence to make positive change.”

The event next year will mark the second time that the international forum is being held in Ethiopia. The country hosted the regional version of the gathering in 2012. The 2019 World Economic Forum on Africa will be held in Cape Town, South Africa in September.


Related:
Watch: At World Economic Forum PM Abiy Outlines New Investment Opportunities in Ethiopia:

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Spotlight: Addis Calling III Group Show at Addis Fine Art Gallery

Addis Fine Art Gallery prepares for new show, Addis Calling III, scheduled to open on January 29th, 2019 in Addis Ababa featuring up-and-coming artists Tizta Berhanu, Yohannes Tesfaye and Frew Kebede. (Photo: Addis Fine Art/Instagram)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: January 23rd, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — Addis Fine Art Gallery, which focuses on contemporary fine art collections from Ethiopia and the Diaspora, will host its third annual group exhibition next week titled “Addis Calling” featuring emerging local artists.

The gallery announced that this year they are presenting works by Frew Kebede, Tizta Berhanu and Yohannes Tesfaye. The show is set to open on January 29th and will be on display thorough March 23rd, 2019.

Below are preview images and descriptions of each artist courtesy of Addis Fine Art Gallery:

Yohannes Tesfaye (1978) focuses on two and three-dimensional paintings in acrylic, oil on canvas, wood, fiberglass and a variety of mixed media. His paintings reference African traditions and culture. Using contemporary materials and techniques, his current work examines the practice of ritual tribal scarification in a twenty-first century artistic and historical context.

Tizta Berhanu’s (1991) main inspiration is human emotion in all its facets, portraying her subjects expressing love, hate, sadness, loneliness etc. Trying to capture the true emotion underneath the surface of their skins. Her paintings are often ambiguous, almost unrecognizable, painted with broad confident brush strokes in deep intense colours. Blues, purples and deep-sea greens, dominate the canvasses creating an almost uncomfortable atmosphere wherein the viewer comes voyeuristically close to the emotions of the portrayed.

Frew Kebede (1982) is a multidisciplinary artist working in a variety of mediums but his current focus is painting. As a musician, Jazz music plays an important part in his life and is one of his main inspirations. In his paintings, he is exploring the visual aspects of jazz music, transforming notes and rhythm into paint and brushstrokes creating colourful, vibrant canvasses, engaging the viewer into seeing things from different perspectives.


If You Go:
Addis Calling III Exhibition
January 29th – March 23rd, 2019
Addis Fine Art gallery
(3rd Floor, Red Building Behind Mafi City Mall)
Bole Medhane Alem
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel: +251 913 426553
www.addisfineart.com

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National Geographic: Ethiopia’s ‘Church Forests’ Center of Hope for Conservation

Priests, scientists, and local communities are partnering to save the less than five percent of forests that remain in northern Ethiopia. (Photo: The Debre Mihret Arbiatu Ensesa church, which looks from above like a bright pinwheel, is surrounded by trees. But the hot, dry fields are only a few steps away/National Geographic)

National Geographic

When Alemayehu Wassie Eshete was a boy, he went to church each Sunday. He would make his way along the dry, dusty roads between the wheat fields in his home province in northern Ethiopia. At the end of the trip was the prize: a literal step into another world.

The churches of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church—the dominant religious group in Ethiopia, with nearly 50 million members—were almost always nestled in patches of vibrant, shady forest. Forests, the church’s religious belief goes, were like the clothes surrounding the church at the center—as much a part of the religious space as the church building itself. Wassie would step out of the hot sun and into a beautiful, cool world filled with chattering birds and fragrant plants, a small hotspot of both biodiversity and spirituality.

“From an ecological perspective, it’s like going from hell to heaven,” he says. “You go from dry, hot fields into the beautiful forest. Anyone would see that as beautiful, but for me, the forest is more than that. It’s also a spiritual place where nature is perfect, and you pray to God.”

But when Wassie grew up and started studying biology and science, he realized that the forests he loved were few and far between. In school, he was learning about how important forests were for the ecological health of different parts of the world, and he asked himself: Where are our forests, here in northern Ethiopia? Why are there so few patches left?

Over the past century, nearly all of the native forests in the South Gonder province have disappeared, cleared to make way for wheat fields and grazing land—agricultural endeavors that support the region’s rapidly growing population. Many of the church forests, though, remain, protected by their religious stewards and the communities around them. They are tiny fragments of a lost past, and the center of hope for conservation and future restoration.

Read more and see photos at nationalgeographic.com »


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Kamala Harris jumps into presidential race

Today is MLK Day and one of our favorite U.S. senators, Kamala Harris of California, has just announced that she is running for President in 2020. The Associated Press notes that Senator Harris launched her presidential bid as the nation observes what would have been the 90th birthday of the slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. The timing was a clear signal that the senator sees herself as another leader in that fight. She would be the first woman to hold the presidency and the second African-American if she succeeds. (AP photo)

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON (AP) — Kamala Harris, a first-term senator and former California attorney general known for her rigorous questioning of President Donald Trump’s nominees, entered the Democratic presidential race on Monday. Vowing to “bring our voices together,” Harris would be the first woman to hold the presidency and the second African-American if she succeeds.

Harris, who grew up in Oakland, California, and is a daughter of parents from Jamaica and India, is one of the earliest high-profile Democrats to join what is expected to be a crowded field. She made her long anticipated announcement on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“I am running for president of the United States,” she said. “And I’m very excited about it.”

The 54-year old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in a video distributed by her campaign as she announced her bid. “They’re the values we as Americans cherish, and they’re all on the line now,” Harris says in the video . “The future of our country depends on you and millions of others lifting our voices to fight for our American values.”

On ABC, she cited her years as a prosecutor in asserting: “My entire career has been focused on keeping people safe. It is probably one of the things that motivates me more than anything else.”

Harris launched her presidential as the nation observes what would have been the 90th birthday of the slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. The timing was a clear signal that the California senator— who has joked that she had a “stroller’s-eye view” of the civil rights movement because her parents wheeled her and her sister Maya to protests — sees herself as another leader in that fight.

She abandoned the formality of launching an exploratory committee, instead going all in on a presidential bid.

She plans a formal campaign launch in Oakland on Jan. 27. The campaign will be based in Baltimore, with a second office in Oakland.

Harris joins what is expected to be a wide-open race for the Democratic presidential nomination. There’s no apparent front-runner at this early stage and Harris will face off against several Senate colleagues.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York have both launched exploratory committees. Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota are also looking at the race.

If Booker enters the race, he and Harris could face a fierce competition for support from black voters.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who unsuccessfully sought the 2016 Democratic nomination, is also considering a campaign. Several other Democrats have already declared their intentions, including former Maryland Rep. John Delaney and former Obama administration housing chief Julian Castro.

Harris launches her campaign fresh off of a tour to promote her latest memoir, “The Truths We Hold,” which was widely seen as a stage-setter for a presidential bid.

She is already planning her first trip to an early primary state as a declared candidate. On Friday, Harris will travel to South Carolina to attend the Pink Ice Gala in Columbia, which is hosted by a South Carolina chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, which Harris pledged as an undergraduate student at Howard University. The sorority, founded more than 100 years ago, is a stronghold in the African-American community.

South Carolina, where black voters make up a large share of the Democratic electorate, is likely to figure heavily into Harris’s prospects. And early voting in Harris’s home state of California will overlap with the traditional early nominating contests, which could give Harris a boost.

Harris’s campaign team is already taking shape and includes several veterans of Democratic politics.

Juan Rodriguez, who ran Harris’s 2016 Senate campaign, will manage her presidential bid. Her sister, Maya Harris, a former top adviser to Hillary Clinton, will be the campaign chair. The veteran campaign finance lawyer Marc Elias will serve as the Harris campaign’s general counsel, and Angelique Cannon, who worked for Clinton’s 2016 campaign, will serve as national finance director. David Huynh, who was Clinton’s director of delegate operations in 2016, will serve as a senior adviser. Lily Adams, a Clinton campaign alum who has worked as Harris’s spokeswoman, will be communications director.

Her staff says she plans to reject the assistance of a super PAC, as well as corporate PAC money. She’s invested heavily in cultivating a digital, small-dollar donor network before her presidential bid.

Before her 2016 victory in the Senate race, Harris made her career in law enforcement. She served as the district attorney in San Francisco before she was elected to serve as attorney general.

Harris is likely to face questions about her law enforcement record, particularly after the Black Lives Matter movement and activists across the country pushed for a criminal justice overhaul. Harris’s prosecutorial record has recently come under new scrutiny after a blistering opinion piece in The New York Times criticized her repeated claim that she was a “progressive prosecutor,” focused on changing a broken criminal justice system from within.

Harris addressed her law enforcement background in her book. She argued it was a “false choice” to decide between supporting the police and advocating for greater scrutiny of law enforcement.

She “knew that there was an important role on the inside, sitting at the table where the decisions were being made,” she wrote. “When activists came marching and banging on the doors, I wanted to be on the other side to let them in.”

Harris supported legislation that passed the Senate last year that overhauled the criminal justice system, particularly when it comes to sentencing rules.

Harris is framing her campaign through her courtroom experience. The theme of her nascent campaign is “Kamala Harris, for the people,” the same words she spoke as a prosecutor, trying a case in the courtroom.


Related:
How Kamala Harris Could Win The 2020 Democratic Primary
Meet Julián Castro: The Young Texan Running for U.S. President in 2020

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Timket: Photos From Ethiopia

Timket celebration at Jan Meda in Addis Ababa. (Photo: BBC)

BBC

In pictures: Ethiopians celebrate the festival of Timket

Ethiopian Orthodox Christians have been celebrating the festival of Timket, or Epiphany, which commemorates the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan.

In Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, thousands of worshippers marched through the streets on Friday, the eve of the festival, to the Jan Meda sports grounds.


Getty Images


BBC photo


BBC photo

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Spotlight: Ethiopia’s DJ Rophnan Nuri at Coke Studio Africa 2019

Ethiopian DJ, song writer, composer and producer Rophnan Nuri is among 25 of Africa’s talented artists chosen to participate at the 2019 Coke Studio Africa TV show. (Photo: Courtesy Rophnan Nuri Facebook)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: January 16th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — In Ethiopia young people are in love with Rophnan Nuri — the Addis Ababa-born and raised DJ, song writer, composer and producer who has introduced his own version of a popular world music genre employing digital instruments to mix traditional beats from all corners of the country. His debut album Netsabraq, which was released last May, is one of the first records of electronic dance music issued in Ethiopia.

“My music speaks to my generation,” says Rophnan, who is affectionately known as Rophy, on Facebook. “As time travels us equally all together, we vibrate the same. Music is like our #1 language, which I’m blessed to speak.”

Next month the entire continent of Africa will get to know Rophnan Nuri when he performs at Coke Studio Africa 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. Coke Studio has announced that Rophnan is one of “25 of Africa’s talented artists” scheduled to appear on their annual television event that’s set to kick-off in February. “Rophnan will be making his big debut on the show, paired with Zambian rapper Chef 187,” the announcement said. “On top of lending his voice, lyrics, compositions and extraordinary mix of Ethiopian traditional sounds with electronic dance music (EDM) on the collaborations, Rophnan will also be producing all of the pairing’s music fusions.”

The media release adds that “celebrated for his distinct style of mashing up traditional Ethiopian music elements in music production, Rophnan is a pioneer in the genre of EDM and is today counted among the leading African acts creating innovative sounds while defining new frontiers for African music.”

The press release quotes Rophnan as stating that “technology allows you to be what you want to be” and that “electronic music is the new thing as it represents my generation. It’s like the new jazz.”

Other up-and-coming Ethiopian music artists selected to take part at this year’s Coke Studio Africa include Mahlet GebreGiyorgis, Bisrat, Abush Zekele and Yared Negu.


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Watch: Sara Menker on How Her Company is Filling US Data Gap Left by Shutdown

Sara Menker, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gro Intelligence, discusses how the U.S. government shutdown is impacting the distribution of agriculture data and what her company is doing to alleviate the problem. (Photo: Bloomberg TV)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: January 11th, 2019

New York (TADIAS) — In the following Bloomberg interview aired on Thursday, January 10th, New York-based Ethiopian entrepreneur Sara Menker, Founder & CEO of Gro Intelligence, explains how the U.S. government shutdown is affecting the availability of official agriculture data and what her company is doing to fill the gap by providing traders, farmers and policymakers free access to their worldwide database.

“We are a data analytics company focused on all things agriculture globally,” Sara told Bloomberg News describing what her company does. According to the company’s website, “Gro Intelligence bridges the data gaps across the global agriculture sector, empowers decision makers, and creates a more connected, efficient, and productive global food industry. Gro’s leading edge software automatically harvests disparate data, transforms it into knowledge, and uses machine learning to make predictions.”

Right now during the U.S. government shutdown traders are not getting access to critical reports and forecasts and Gro is stepping up to the challenge of making that data accessible.

“What we have done is that we have built a data platform that at this point ingests over 40 million unique data sets that are related to global agriculture in any way, that have amassed over 500 trillion data points that’s linked to agriculture,” Sara says. “We basically leveraged that to build a predictive engine using a series of machine learning algorithms to build our own forecast model. So when the government shutdown occurred the first thing we did was to say “you know what? we should provide free access to data because a lot of databases were going down and some numbers were not updating.” And we knew that we have access to all sorts of data sets that were being reported from other parts of the world that can help to fill the gap.”

In a follow-up update on Facebook, Sara shared that at noon today Bloomberg was reporting Gro Intelligence estimates live on their platform in place of U.S. government data.

Watch: How Gro Intelligence Is Filling the USDA Data Gap Left by the Shutdown


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Spotlight: Design Week Addis Ababa 2019

(Photo: Courtesy of Design Week Addis Ababa/Facebook)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: January 10th, 2019

Addis Ababa (TADIAS) — This year’s Design Week Addis Ababa will kick off on February 11th for a one-week celebration of the best innovations in architecture, urban planning, industrial and interiors design, technology, fashion, food, art and multimedia.

“This biannual community event coordinates local and international designers, artists, artisans, workshops, galleries, showrooms, cultural institutions, hotels, companies, and entrepreneurs through a distinctly collaborative platform for creative, cultural, and commercial engagement,” the announcement notes.

Past participants of Design Week Addis Ababa include Jomo Design Furniture and Actuel Urban Living who were both selected to present at the highly regarded international Dubai Design Week.

Organizers of the 2019 Design Week Addis Ababa have also announced that the Nairobi Design Week will present a special installation produced in partnership with UK design firm NEON, which was made possible by the British Council’s New Art New Audiences (NANA) grant. Local partners include Tourism Ethiopia, Kana Television & Studio, Flawless Events, Zeleman Productions, and Hyatt Regency. They also have programming partnerships with the Alliance Ethio-Française and the Global Shapers Community-Addis Ababa.


If You Go:

You can learn more about Design Week Addis Ababa at designweekaa.org

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Ethiopia-Eritrea Border Boom – BBC

The reopening of the border between Ethiopia and Eritrea has dramatically changed the towns near the frontier, BBC reports. (Photo: People come to Adigrat to stock up on all sorts of items. By GIRMAY GERBA)

BBC

Ethiopia-Eritrea Border Boom as Peace Takes Hold

The sun had just risen but the market in Adigrat was already coming alive when I went to visit.

Dozens of makeshift stalls lined the street where a group of women traders were sifting chickpeas.

In another place an elderly man was removing chickens from cages and placing them outside his shop.

You can buy almost anything at the market: spices, building materials, fridges and washing machines.

The market in this Ethiopian town, just 38km (24 miles) south of the border, has been transformed since the border opened four months ago after a peace deal ended the “state of war” between the two nations.

Many Eritreans now cross over to see what they can buy.

‘We love peace’

Mebrhit Gebrehans, a middle-aged woman with a big smile, is one of the traders whose business is booming.

She was busy opening a sack full of fresh spices and was calling over potential customers when I met her.

“What we fear is war. We love peace. When the Eritreans come to this market, I welcome them with a smiling face. They buy spices, honey, grains and even biscuits. And we buy different clothes from them,” she said.

“When the border reopened, we were worried there would be shortages of some things, but there hasn’t been. Everything is normal,” she added.

Just down the road, there was a section of shops selling plastic wares, from brightly coloured water tanks to jerry cans to plastic sandals.

Shop owner Haile Bisrat told me cheerfully that treating his Eritrean brothers well was not only about cementing peace. It also made good financial sense.

“We get to make a little more profit than before as the market is in a better state.

Read more »


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In Ethiopia, Historic Run Supports Girls

This week a historic athletic event is taking place in the Bale Mountains of Ethiopia to raise funds for the Girls Gotta Run Foundation (GGRF). The 100-Mile Relay, which is set to start at the peaks of the Bale Mountains on January 10th, 2019 is the first-of-its-kind in the region. The running event is scheduled to conclude in the famous town of Bekoji that's home to some of the biggest names in Ethiopian athletics including Kenenisa Bekele and Tirunesh Dibaba. (Photo: GIRLS GOTTA RUN/JASON SUAREZ)

Runners World

First-of-Its-Kind, 100-Mile Relay Seeks to Empower Ethiopian Girls Through Running

On Thursday morning, a history-making run will begin in the Oromia region of Ethiopia: Thirty women will work together to cover 100 miles in an ultra relay, the first of its kind in the area.

Half of the runners will be young girls from Bekoji, the town where the team will finish, and the other half will be women from several different corners of the world. Most won’t know each other until they gather at the starting line, but together, they’ll be working for a greater purpose: to empower young women through running.

The 100-mile ultra relay is organized by the Girls Gotta Run Foundation (GGRF), an Ethiopia-based nonprofit dedicated to changing the lives of women since its inception in 2007. Through education, running, life skills, savings, and entrepreneurship, the foundation hopes to combat the many challenges—child marriage and access to education, in particular—facing young women.

The nonprofit’s executive director Kayla Nolan collaborated with the local community to create a new opportunity for these women to run a distance only achievable with a team.

“To be able to feel like they are running with and racing with the international athletes equally, across this new distance and achieving something together—I think that’s such a powerful experience, to have their running validated, shared, and understood,” Nolan told Runner’s World over the phone from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Starting in the peaks of the Bale Mountains on January 10, the team will travel through the Oromia region, finishing in the running mecca of Bekoji, the same town that produced distance running greats like Kenenisa Bekele and Tirunesh Dibaba.

Read more »


Related:
Why Girls Gotta Run: Interview with Patricia Ortman

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The Guardian View on Ethiopia: Editorial

Prime minister Abiy Ahmed. (Getty Images)

The Guardian

Editorial

The Guardian view on Ethiopia: change is welcome, but must be secured

Ethiopians could be forgiven for their scepticism when their new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, promised sweeping reforms last spring. The ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front coalition which appointed him toyed with change in 2005 – only to revert to its usual autocratic form. Now wariness has been replaced by genuine enthusiasm; the transformation is happening at dizzying speed. But the obstacles and perils are also clearer.

Mr Abiy, 42, has followed symbolic shifts with more substantive action. His president, chief justice and half of his ministers are female. He freed thousands of political prisoners and journalists, before arresting senior officials for human rights abuses and corruption. He overturned bans on opposition groups and invited an exiled dissident home to head the election board. The next polls are scheduled for 2020. Last time, not one opposition MP was elected. Mr Abiy’s overtures to Eritrea led to the end of a long-running conflict. He oversaw the meeting of South Sudanese leaders that produced a fragile but desperately needed peace deal. This – along with Eritrea’s ensuing rapprochement with Somalia and Djibouti – led the UN secretary general António Guterres to speak of “a wind of hope blowing in the Horn of Africa”.

Yet Ethiopia has seen an alarming rise in multi-faceted ethnic violence. Over a million citizens were displaced last year. State controls have loosened in a country with entrenched divisions and rivalries: the EPRDF has heavily promoted ethnic identity as the basis for mobilisation, including through the complex system of ethnic federalism it introduced. Some fear the security apparatus does not know how to tackle clashes by any means other than the old, brutal methods. This autumn, following criticism over its handling of unrest, the government detained over a thousand in military camps for “rehabilitation”. There are fears Mr Abiy’s plans for overhauling the economy, including privatising state enterprises, may enrich some but hinder progress on poverty reduction. Any perception some are profiting from the sell-off of state assets could be inflammatory.

Too much rests upon Mr Abiy at present. One concern is that charismatic leadership can slide into unchecked personal power. Another is that any leader seeking change must battle powerful interests. The EPRDF is riven by competition between its four ethnically based parties and institutional and personal rivalries. The chair of the Tigray party recently accused Mr Abiy of “seeking to bring Tigrayan people to their knees”. His premiership has seen a grenade attack on one of his rallies and the arrival of angry soldiers at his office; he says they wanted to kill him. His defusal of that situation hinted at his adroitness; his background in the military has also surely been useful to him. Given that the EPRDF had until last year been Tigray-dominated, his rise as an Oromo (with an Amhara mother), reflects his skills as a politician as well as the Oromo protests which triggered his predecessor’s resignation.

But with only a year until elections are due, there is still no proper political roadmap from the government. Swift progress is needed in reforming repressive laws. Some would like to see a new constitution dismantling ethnic federalism, though most suspect prudence will restrain Mr Abiy from such a wholesale change. His record to date is unquestionably impressive. But the developments he has set in train in Africa’s second most populous nation can only be secured by institutions.

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