Author Archive for Tadias

Bill Clinton, Michael Bloomberg at Africa Summit

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been active in Africa for more than 15 years. (Getty Images)

Politico

By MIKE ALLEN

Bill Clinton will moderate the opening session of the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, which Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Commerce Department are co-sponsoring in Washington on Aug. 5 — the middle day of a three-day U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit hosted by President Barack Obama.

The summit is expected to draw more than 40 African heads of state, the largest gathering of African leaders on U.S. soil — plus 200 U.S. and African CEOs, as well as Cabinet and congressional participants.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will introduce Obama for closing remarks. Vice President Joe Biden will also speak at the forum, to be held at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. Organizers say the forum is designed as “an opportunity for government and business leaders to come together to explore new investment possibilities that can fuel job creation in both the U.S. and African economies.”

Bloomberg, who has been active in Africa for more than 15 years, and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker will give opening remarks. Secretary of State Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim will be among those giving welcoming remarks. Moderators will include National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Charlie Rose.

Read more at politico.come »

Related:
Meet the Mandela Washington Fellows From Ethiopia
Obama Renames Africa Young Leaders Program For Nelson Mandela
U.S.-AFRICA SUMMIT 2014: Preview
Transport Chiefs From Five Countries to Visit Chicago Ahead of U.S.-Africa Summit
Ambassador David Shinn on the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

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Multilingual Twitter Campaign Planned to Demand Release of Zone 9 Bloggers

(Photo courtesy: Zone9Tumblr)

Tadias Magazine
News Update

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – In solidarity with Ethiopia’s jailed Zone 9 bloggers and journalists, a worldwide, multilingual Tweetathon is being organized by the free speech advocacy organization Global Voices Online. The Twitter event (under the hashtag #FreeZone9Bloggers) is scheduled for Thursday, July 31st, 2014 from 10am – 2pm.

“The Global Voices community and our network of allies are demanding justice for these men and women, all of whom have worked hard to expand spaces for social and political commentary in Ethiopia through blogging and journalism,” the organization announced. “We believe their arrest is a violation of their universal right to free expression, and that the charges filed against them are unjust.”

“The bloggers’ trial begins on August 4, 2014. Until then, and beyond, they will need all the support they can get. So this Thursday, we as a global community of bloggers, writers, activists, and social media experts will share this message around the world, tweeting in our native languages at community leaders, government and diplomatic officials, and mainstream media to draw public attention to the case.”

Below are details about the Tweetathon.

A Tweetathon Demanding the Release of Jailed Ethiopian Bloggers
Date: Thursday, July 31, 2014
Time: 10am – 2pm — no matter what time zone you’re in!
Hashtag: #FreeZone9Bloggers
More info at globalvoicesonline.org.

Related:
41 Organizations Call for Release of Detained Ethiopian Journalists and Bloggers
As Ethiopia’s ‘Zone 9′ Bloggers Get Popular, They Get Charged With Terror
Zone 9 Bloggers Charged With Terrorism
Interview With the Lawyer of Illegally Detained Zone9 Bloggers
CPJ condemns closed court hearings for nine Ethiopian journalists
Zone9 Co-Founder Speaks Out (Video)

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Missing Ethiopian Runners in Oregon: 3 Found, Question of Asylum Remains

One athlete, Zeyituna Mohammed, is still missing. (Photo: Clockwise from top left: The four athletes are: Amanuel Abebe Atibeha, 17; Meaza Kebede, 18; Zeyituna Mohammed, 18. Dureti Edao, 18; (Oregon Live)

Oregon Live

By Ian K. Kullgren

University of Oregon police are still searching for Zeyituna Mohammad, one of the Ethiopian runners who vanished from the IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene this past weekend.

Mohammad, an 18-year-old who competed in the Women’s 800-meter run, was one of four athletes from the Ethiopian team who disappeared Saturday. Police found the other three — Amanuel Abebe Atibeha, a 17-year-old boy, and Dureti Edao and Meaza Kebede, two 18-year-old women — staying with an acquaintance in Beaverton on Monday. Mohammed was still missing as of Tuesday morning.

Although University of Oregon police believe she is safe, they would not confirm whether Mohammed or the other three athletes are seeking asylum in the U.S.

“We aren’t and won’t be making inquiries with them about their plans, where they’ve been, or anything not related to simply confirming that they are safe, and not missing,” Kelly McIver, a department spokesman, wrote in an email Tuesday.

Read more at the Oregon Live»

Related:
Four Ethiopian athletes missing from World Junior championships (Oregon Daily Emerald)
Ethiopians Sweep Gold-Silver in 5000m World Junior Championships in Oregon (IAAF)

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Meet the Mandela Washington Fellows From Ethiopia

(Photo courtesy: YALI - Young African leaders Initiative)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Washington, D.C. (TADIAS) – Ethiopia is represented by 13 young leaders in the newly renamed Mandela Washington Fellows for Young African Leaders program.

Per the White House: “Selected from nearly 50,000 applications, the 500 Mandela Washington Fellows represent the extraordinary promise of an emerging generation of entrepreneurs, activists, and public officials. Mandela Washington Fellows are between 25 and 35 years old; have proven track records of leadership in a public, private, or civic organization; and demonstrate a strong commitment to contributing their skills and talents to building and serving their communities. The first class of Fellows represents all 49 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and includes equal numbers of men and women. Despite their youth, more than 75 percent of Fellows already hold a mid-level or executive position, and 48 percent have a graduate degree. Twenty-five percent of Fellows currently work in a non-governmental institution and 39 percent of them operate their own business. Nearly all Fellows are the first in their families to visit the United States.”

Below are the names and biographies of the 2014 Mandela Washington Fellows from Ethiopia:

Fozya Tesfa Adem

Fozya Tesfa has over nine years of experience working in the education sector. She is founder and current Dean of the School of Education at the University of Gondar, responsible for recruiting instructors, working with instructors on curriculum planning and delivery, training and advising students, and organizing and delivering pedagogical trainings. Fozya holds a Master of Arts in Educational Planning and Management from Addis Ababa University focusing on identifying management problems and prioritizing possible solutions in technical and vocational education and training institutions. She is also a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative and International Education at the same university with a special emphasis on pre-primary education. Upon completion of the Washington Fellowship, Fozya plans to work towards improving the quality of education in Ethiopia by empowering teachers and students and to advocate for children and other stakeholders throughout the educational system.

Mesganaw Assefa

Mesganaw Assefa has experience working in the areas of governance, human rights, and education. He currently serves as a national Peace Expert for the Ministry of Federal Affairs where he advises on strategic directions, policy formulation, and capacity building efforts in its conflict prevention and resolution tasks. He also teaches law for undergraduate students at Addis Ababa University. Previously, he worked at the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission as a member of the team of experts that drafted the first National Human Rights Action Plan of Ethiopia, which is currently being implemented. Mesganaw holds two master’s degrees, an LLM in International Human Rights Law from Lund University and a Master of Arts in Global Political studies with specialization in peace and conflict studies from Malmö University. Upon completion of the Washington Fellowship, Mesganaw plans to continue to engage with public institutions to influence the implementation of strategic policy decisions on safety and justice issues with a particular focus on issues of women and girls.

Darara Mole Banti

Darara Mole has five years of experience working in community development. Currently, he serves as a Program Coordinator with the Harmee Education for Development Association, an organization that works with women, children, youth, and people with disabilities located in rural areas. He is also chairman of the Youth for Action and Charity and previously worked with the Office of Government Labor and Social Affairs. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Sociology and is currently working towards a master’s degree in Social Work at Addis Ababa University. Upon his return from the Washington Fellowship, Darara plans to share his acquired skills and knowledge with his community and engage in leadership cultivation programs at schools to inspire youth to be responsible citizens. He is also very keen to engage in charitable activities and to continue working with children.

Helawi Beshah

Helawi Beshah is an architect that researches and lectures for the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development (EiABC). For the last seven years he has researched and conducted experiments focusing on innovative, green, and affordable housing alternatives and constructing prototype buildings for lower income neighborhoods in Ethiopia. He is also the founder and Executive Editor of Building Ethiopia, the first architecture and urban scientific journal in Ethiopia. He is skilled in photography, visual communications, and graphics design. Helawi received his bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the Addis Ababa University and a master’s in advanced studies in Urban Design at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Upon completion of the Washington Fellowship, Helawi plans to create publications, documentaries, and platforms that focus on innovations and change by youth across Africa.

Saba Bisrat

Saba Bisrat has over five years of experience in the construction business sector. She is currently the founder and Managing Director of Revo Construction where she executes projects that mainly focus on alternative construction methodologies. She is also a partner with a turnkey solution company called TKM Maestro Technology PLC and serves as co-founder and committee president for an international student organization called AIESEC. Saba is planning to launch a labor training center focused on providing skills for those working in the construction sector. Saba holds a bachelor’s degree in Construction Technology and Management from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. Upon the completion of the Washington Fellowship, she plans to share her acquired knowledge and skills with her community by giving workshops to different construction associations and graduating students who will be entering the construction industry.

Deginet Doyiso

Deginet Doyiso has four years of experience working as a Public Prosecutor in the Kambata Tambaro Zone Justice Office, in the SNNP Region of Ethiopia. As a disabled person, Deginet works to ensure that all disabled people in Ethiopia are given equal opportunities and do not live in poverty. He has received training in various areas including project management and planning, fundraising, and public speech from the International Institute for Social Entrepreneurs in Kerala, India. He is founder of an NGO that focuses on issues and problems important to the disabled community and also has a center that provides training to disabled women in small businesses. After completing the Washington Fellowship, Deginet plans to renew his energy and further improve his NGO to empower disabled persons economically and socially.

Haleta Giday

Haleta Giday has over three years of experience working in community development. She is currently a Lecturer of Law at the Woliyta Sodo University and serves as a public prosecutor in southern Ethiopia. She focuses on the rights of women and children and has conducted several trainings to increase awareness regarding the legal and financial rights of women. Haleta holds a degree in Law from Jimma University and conducted her research on human rights violations in Africa. After completion of the Washington Fellowship, she plans to work with the United Nations and African Union on issues related to peacekeeping and conflict resolution in Africa. She also plans to conduct trainings on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Yonas Moges

Yonas Moges has over ten years of experience working in the hospitality industry with major international hotel chains. Currently, he is a managing partner at Calibra Hospitality Consultancy and Business Plc, where he focuses on advising local hotel developers in hotel design concept development, site selection, conducting feasibility studies, searching and selecting a hotel operator, and sourcing debt and equity finance for hotel projects. Yonas received his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Addis Ababa University and is currently pursuing an MBA-HRM in Distance Education from Cambridge International College. Upon the Completion of the Washington Fellowship, he plans to work on strengthening third party hotel management and introducing the first franchised family restaurant to his home city. He is also working to start an Ethiopian Vocational School of Hospitality with an international hotel school accreditation system.

Michael Addisu Haile

Michael Addisu Haile has more than 8 years of experience in lecturing, consultancy and business management, with a focus on the financial sector. He worked in several positions before starting a new and pioneering microfinance institution called Nisir Microfinance. Nisir provides medium size and demand-driven credit, saving, micro-insurance, micro-leasing and business advisory services to medium sized enterprises. Michael was inspired to start Nisir when writing his Master’s thesis in 2006, when he discovered a large gap in the Ethiopian financial sector that was not being served; existing microfinance institutions focused only on the bottom segment and commercial banks mostly served high-end customers only. He was able to raise over $800,000 from over 200 shareholders to establish his company. Upon returning to Ethiopia, Michael will continue to provide young entrepreneurs, including women-owned businesses and other emerging companies through business development and financial services. Michael has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Finance and Accounting, and is currently a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) candidate from the CFA Institute.

Edda Zekarias

Edda Zekarias has eight years of experience working in child and adult education, communication, and advocacy. She currently works closely with UNDP Ethiopia’s Governance and Capacity Building Unit where she is responsible for reporting and sharing program developments with different parties including the Ethiopian government and its people as well as international partners. She also assists with media related projects by producing content and pictures for the UNDP Ethiopia website and writing updates for the organization’s social media networks. Edda also serves as the Secretariat of the UN Communication Group (UNCG) in the office of the UN Ethiopia Resident Coordinator, assisting efforts to strengthen and promote the work of the UN in Ethiopia and also engage the state and private media in developing communication. After The Washington Fellowship, Edda plans to share acquired knowledge and skills with her UNDP Ethiopia and UNCG colleagues.

Aichatou Tamba

Aichatou Tamba has five years of experience in conflict prevention and African peace and security dynamics with the African Union (AU). She is currently working on the AU Border Program, focusing on capacity development in a dozen African States with an emphasis on promoting borders as a conflict prevention tool and an instrument for African integration. Previously, Aichatou conducted research focused on the relation between African regional and continental integration bodies and on the concept of “African Solutions.” For two years, she was the liaison officer of the Africa Peace and Security Program, which gave her advocacy skills and access to a network of multilateral organizations and actors focused on mediation, peace, security, and governance. She received her degree in Comparative Law and Politics with a specialization in International Analysis and Prospective from the University of Auvergne. Upon completing the Washington Fellowship, she plans on advocating for strong diversity management policies for conflict prevention in Africa.

Mitiku Gabrehiwot

Mitiku Gabrehiwot is a lecturer at Mekelle University with over 10 years of research and teaching experience. He is a postgraduate Coordinator at the Department of Anthropology and is responsible for launching and supervising master’s programs within the department. He also works with the Mekelle School for the Blind where he organizes and coordinates volunteers from several different countries including Ethiopia, UK, and USA. He received a bachelor’s degree in History and Law and a master’s degree in Journalism and Medical Anthropology. He is an accomplished photographer and speaks seven different local languages. Upon completion of the Washington Fellowship, he plans to mobilize and encourage youth in his community to be active in volunteerism and public service.

Tsion Teferra Zeleke

Tsion Teferra Zeleke has seven years of experience serving as a development practitioner. Her work has focused on providing services in strategic development and management, result based program implementation and management, partners appraisal and management, and promotion of community and children participation. She is currently serving as the Director of Child Protection for Save the Children Ethiopia. Her responsibilities include developing and implementing the in-country child protection program and performing advocacy work to positively influence policies. She has a Master of Arts in Social Work and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Upon completion of the Washington Fellowship, Tsion plans to be engaged in advocating for adequate budgeting for the implementation of projects that protect vulnerable children and families.

Related:
Obama Renames Africa Young Leaders Program For Nelson Mandela
U.S.-AFRICA SUMMIT 2014: Preview
Transport Chiefs From Five Countries to Visit Chicago Ahead of U.S.-Africa Summit
Ambassador David Shinn on the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Ethiopia, Other African Governments Make Their Pitch in Houston

Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome will host the 2014 U.S. - Ethiopia Investment Summit at the Houstonian Club in Houston, Texas on Wednesday, July 30th, 2014. (Photo: World Bulletin)

Houston Chronicle

By Chris Tomlinson

July 29, 2014

African officials will be in Houston Tuesday to tour American energy infrastructure and to pitch for investments in their power sectors.

The energy ministers from Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania will meet Tuesday with U.S. Trade and Development Agency Director Leocadia I. Zak and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, as well as talk to officials from U.S. energy companies, the agency said.

Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome will also host the 2014 U.S. – Ethiopia Investment Summit at the Houstonian Club on Wednesday.

American companies have lagged behind their global competitors in taking advantage of the enormous economic growth and potential for big returns on the continent. I’ve written about the need for American investors to reconsider their preconceived notions about Africa. Now there’s a chance of Houston executives to hear the pitch firsthand.

The goal of the energy ministers’ visit to Houston is to show them the benefits of infrastructure investment in energy projects, and to inform U.S. executives about possible projects in Africa.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle »

Related:
Houston Chronicle Editorial: Ethiopia Needs to Do Better

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Houston Chronicle: Ethiopia Needs to Do Better

Houston Chronicle

Editorial

July 28, 2014

As they ready for two days of wheeling and dealing with a high-ranking Ethiopian delegation at a local hotel, Houston business and elected leaders today need to look beyond a foreign market opportunity and first ask hard questions about Ethiopia’s recent crackdown on nine journalists, as well as the country’s unsuccessful move this spring to make homosexuality a “non-pardonable” crime.

Ethiopia is the second largest jailer of journalists in Africa, behind its neighbor on the Horn, Eritrea. This month it upped the tally by formally indicting nine editors, freelancers and bloggers with trumped up charges of inciting violence and terrorism. The world’s preeminent advocacy organization for journalists and press freedom, the Committee to Protect Journalists, called the government’s action a move to “suppress political dissent and intimidate journalists.” This group of nine and other award-winning writers in Ethiopian prisons are young professionals using social media to level basic criticism at the government, according to published reports.

CPJ is not alone in its outrage. Secretary of State John Kerry recently urged the Ethiopian government to quit using anti-terrorism laws as a way to “curb the free exchange of ideas.”

Ethiopia received $580 million in U.S. foreign aid in 2012. No matter what good it does with that money – and the government has improved many facets of the infrastructure – Ethiopia’s reputation is one that denies civil liberties to its people and is questionable at best in any ranking on human rights. This is a self-proclaimed democratic government and it should be held to a higher standard than places like China and Saudi Arabia.

Read more »

Related:
Ethiopia, Other African Governments Make Their Pitch in Houston

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Oromo Nationalism on the Rise in Ethiopia

Protests and online activism in recent months have brought a resurgence of ethnic Oromo nationalism in Ethiopia. (Photo: Oromo students protest against a government plan to expand Addis Ababa/Al Jazeera)

Al Jazeera

By William Davison

29 Jul 2014 09:35

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Aslan Hasan, a student belonging to the Oromo ethnic group in Ethiopia, was called either a guilt-ridden terrorist who committed suicide or an innocent victim of brutal state repression, depending on who you listen to.

His death came following a bout of violence in May, when Oromo students in several towns protested against a government plan for the capital Addis Ababa to expand into Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia’s largest and most populous federal region with around one-third of the nation’s over 90 million people.

Security services said Hasan hanged himself in his cell after being arrested for a grenade attack that occurred at Haramaya University in the east of the country. Online Oromo activists such as Jawar Mohammed say Aslan, 24, had his throat slit by police on June 1 while in custody after being snatched four days before.

Read more at Al Jazeera »

Related:
Anger Over ‘Violent Crackdown’ at Protest in Oromia, Ethiopia (BBC Video)
Ethiopian mother’s anger at murdered son in student protests (BBC News)
Minnesota Senate Condemns Recent Violence in Ethiopia’s Oromia State
The Brutal Crackdown on Ethiopia Protesters (Human Rights Watch)
Deadly Ethiopia Protest: At Least 17 Ambo Students Killed in Oromia State (VOA)
Ethiopia protest: Ambo students killed in Oromia state (BBC)
Students killed in violent confrontations with police in Ethiopia’s largest state (AP)
Ethiopia: Oromia State Clashes Leave At Least 11 Students Dead (International Business Times)
Ethiopia: Discussing Ethnic Politics in Social Media (TADIAS)

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Obama Renames Africa Young Leaders Program For Nelson Mandela

(Photo courtesy: YALI - Young African leaders Initiative)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Washington, D.C. (TADIAS) – President Obama has renamed the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders in honor of Nelson Mandela. Obama made the announcement on Monday during an address to the current class of 500 fellows who are receiving six-week executive leadership training at various universities in the United States.

“The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and embodies President Obama’s commitment to invest in the future of Africa,” said the press release from YALI. “The first class of Mandela Washington Fellows arrived in June 2014 for six weeks of intensive executive leadership training, networking, and skills building, followed by a Presidential Summit in Washington, DC.” The press release adds: “Through this initiative, young African leaders are gaining the skills and connections they need to accelerate their own career trajectories and contribute more robustly to strengthening democratic institutions, spurring economic growth, and enhancing peace and security in Africa.”



Related:
Meet the Mandela Washington Fellows From Ethiopia
U.S.-AFRICA SUMMIT 2014: Preview
Transport Chiefs From Five Countries to Visit Chicago Ahead of U.S.-Africa Summit
Ambassador David Shinn on the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

On Cusp of President Obama’s Historic U.S.-Africa Summit, DC Presents the 5th Annual Africa Festival

(Photos courtesy: The D.C. Mayor’s Office on African Affairs)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, July 28th, 2014

Washington, .D.C (TADIAS) – As President Obama’s historic U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit kicks off next week Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray’s Office on African Affairs (OAA) will host the 5th Annual DC African Heritage Celebration right before the summit begins on Sunday, August 3rd at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

The event includes music, dance, wellness pavilion, art exhibitions, fashion show, African culture hut, and children’s village – all highlighting community-based resources. The festival which will be emceed by Voice of America Broadcast Journalist, Ndimyake Mwakalyelye, includes a live performance by Grammy-nominated Ethiopian-American singer and songwriter Wayna. In addition, organizers say, the traditional Ethiopian dance group Kignet is also part of the entertainment roster that showcases local talents such as DJ Underdog — “one of the most sought after DJs in the DC music circuit.”

“Each year, the Mayor’s Annual Africa Festival celebrates diverse communities of the District’s African diaspora through art, culture, food, history, and music,” OAA announced. “Since its inception in 2010, the Festival has fast become one of the District’s most anticipated cultural events drawing thousands of attendees.” The statement adds that “The event stands as a unique testament to the unprecedented growth and presence of the District’s African residents. It further echoes the goals of OAA’s Multicultural Awareness and Community Building Program –celebrating the varied identities of African people; promoting the different cultures within the District’s African community; and encouraging all District residents to learn about African heritage, customs, and history.”

The festival’s major partners include the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Commission on Arts and Humanities, Office of Community Affairs, Commission on African Affairs, Office of the Secretary, Office of Human Rights, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. Corporate Donors include Ethiopian Airlines, Safeway, Inc., and Capitol Petroleum Group.

If You Go:
5th Annual DC Africa Festival
Sunday, August 3, 2014 | 12:00 PM – 06:00 PM
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center – Woodrow Wilson Plaza
1300 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington DC 20004
RSVP Required | Register Here

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Anger Over ‘Violent Crackdown’ at Protest in Oromia, Ethiopia (BBC Video)

Ambo University in Oromia, Ethiopia. (Photo: BBC News)

BBC News

28 July 2014

A plan by the Ethiopian government to expand the capital’s administrative control into neighbouring states has sparked months of student protests.

Security forces have been accused of cracking down on demonstrators in the region of Oromia.

The government says 17 people died in the violence, but human rights groups say that number is much higher.

The BBC’s Emmanuel Igunza has gained rare access to the town of Ambo where the protests took place.

Watch the video at BBC News »

Related:
Ethiopian mother’s anger at murdered son in student protests (BBC News)
Minnesota Senate Condemns Recent Violence in Ethiopia’s Oromia State
The Brutal Crackdown on Ethiopia Protesters (Human Rights Watch)
Deadly Ethiopia Protest: At Least 17 Ambo Students Killed in Oromia State (VOA)
Ethiopia protest: Ambo students killed in Oromia state (BBC)
Students killed in violent confrontations with police in Ethiopia’s largest state (AP)
Ethiopia: Oromia State Clashes Leave At Least 11 Students Dead (International Business Times)
Ethiopia: Discussing Ethnic Politics in Social Media (TADIAS)

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

U.S.-Africa Summit 2014: Beyond the Usual Cheap Shots – Facts, Ideas & Suggestions

(Image courtesy: The White House)

By Jessica Pugliese, Andrew Westbury and Amadou Sy | Brookings

Editor’s Note: The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit blog series is a collection of posts discussing efforts to strengthen ties between the United States and Africa ahead of the first continent-wide summit. On August 4, Brookings will host “The Game Has Changed: The New Landscape for Innovation and Business in Africa,” at which these themes and more will be explored by prominent experts. Click here to register for the event.

Last year while visiting Cape Town in South Africa, President Obama announced plans for the first continent-wide U.S. African Leaders Summit, scheduled for August 4-6, 2014. The summit provides an opportunity for the Obama administration to open a new chapter in U.S-Africa relations, moving from interaction on the bilateral level to a continent-wide engagement. President Obama has previously been criticized for not reaching the same level of engagement with Africa as Presidents Bush and Clinton, but his second term has coincided with an effort to ramp up U.S.-Africa relations. In June 2012, Obama launched the White House strategy “toward” sub-Saharan Africa, and the president’s budget for 2015 shows his support for the region. The U.S.-Africa summit, however, now affords the United States an unprecedented opportunity to build a strategy “together” with Africa.

Recently, the Africa Growth Initiative (AGI) has reviewed the components—the organization, frame and communications strategies—of three longstanding Africa summits in order to inform the designers of the U.S. version. In this comparison, AGI chose China, the European Union (EU) and Japan; some of Africa’s other key trade and investment partners. Leading up to the summit in August, the Africa Growth Initiative will also compare the position of the United States and these partners in terms of trade, foreign direct investment and other engagement with African countries. Obtaining a maximum level of foreign policy action and results from a two-day summit with nearly all of the African heads of state in attendance is an enormous undertaking. However, the other summits have had plenty of time to work out the kinks. Thus, they provide excellent examples of a successful summit for the U.S. organizers. In this first installment, AGI examines and highlights the features of those summits that could strengthen the U.S.-Africa partnership: frequency, sustainability, inclusivity, transparency and accountability.

Important Summit Design Features and Recommendations

The United States is playing catch-up in terms of using a continent-wide leaders’ summit to frame its strategy with Africa.[1] Japan, China and the European Union have all maintained long-running Africa summits. Japan’s Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD) started in 1993 and has met every five years since. China’s Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the EU-Africa summit both started in 2000. FOCAC has met every three years since, while the EU-Africa summit has taken place three times since the first gathering (figure 1). Other countries have held similar summits, including India, Brazil, South Korea, South America and Turkey. While the United States deserves credit for its yearly Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade ministerial, which alternates between United States and an AGOA eligible country in Africa, it covers fewer themes than the EU-Africa, FOCAC and TICAD summits. For the first U.S.-Africa Summit, Senior Director of African Affairs at the White House Grant Harris recently announced that the theme will be “Investing in Africa’s Future.”

Read more »

Related:
U.S.-AFRICA SUMMIT 2014: Preview
Transport Chiefs From Five Countries to Visit Chicago Ahead of U.S.-Africa Summit
Ambassador David Shinn on the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.-

Four Ethiopian Athletes Missing in Oregon May be Staying With Friends

Four Ethiopian athletes are reported missing from World Junior track and field in Oregon. (Image: IAAF)

The Register-guard

By Jeff Wright

JULY 28, 2014

Four members of the Ethiopian track team taking part in the World Junior Champion­ships at Hayward Field have been missing since Saturday morning, University of Oregon spokeswoman Julie Brown said Sunday.

It’s possible that the four athletes — three women and a 17-year-old boy — are staying with friends and family elsewhere in the state, “but we have not been able to confirm that with them directly,” Brown said.

Despite speculation, it’s also not been confirmed that the four are seeking political asylum from their native country, Brown said.

The UO Police Department is leading a missing persons investigation with assistance from Eugene police, Portland police and the FBI, Brown said.

The 30-member Ethiopian team consists of 17 females and 13 males, according to the International Association of Athletics Federations website. Brown said she didn’t know the identities of the four athletes who are un­accounted for.

Essar Gabriel, IAAF general secretary, said late Sunday afternoon that association officials don’t know the athletes’ whereabouts.

The Register-guard »

Related:
Four Ethiopian athletes missing from World Junior championships (Oregon Daily Emerald)
Ethiopians Sweep Gold-Silver in 5000m World Junior Championships in Oregon

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Ethiopian Mother Angry Over Murdered Son

University graduates in Ambo, Ethiopia, where deadly protests took place in April, 2014. (Photo: BBC)

BBC News

By Hewete Haileselassie

27 July 2014

Ethiopia – “Yeshi” is still trying to come to terms with the trauma of discovering the body of her son being carried through the streets of the Ethiopian city of Ambo.

A rickshaw driver in his 20s, he had been caught up in deadly protests between the police and students in the city in April.

They were demonstrating about plans to extend the administrative control of the capital, Addis Ababa, into Oromia state.

Oromia is the country’s largest region and completely surrounds Addis Ababa – and some people feared they would be forced off their land and lose their regional and cultural identity if the plans went ahead.

The government says the “Masterplan”, as it is known, would allow them to better extend city services to rural areas.

Read more at BBC News »

Related:
Minnesota Senate Condemns Recent Violence in Ethiopia’s Oromia State
The Brutal Crackdown on Ethiopia Protesters (Human Rights Watch)
Deadly Ethiopia Protest: At Least 17 Ambo Students Killed in Oromia State (VOA)
Ethiopia protest: Ambo students killed in Oromia state (BBC)
Students killed in violent confrontations with police in Ethiopia’s largest state (AP)
Ethiopia: Oromia State Clashes Leave At Least 11 Students Dead (International Business Times)
Ethiopia: Discussing Ethnic Politics in Social Media (TADIAS)

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

Photos: Face2Face Africa Honors Bethlehem Tilahun, Alek Wek, Femi Kuti, Mo Ibrahim

At the 2014 Face2Face Africa Awards ceremony in New York on Saturday, July 26th. (Photograph: Tadias)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Sunday, July 27th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – On Saturday evening at New York University’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts a diverse and stylish crowd of African professionals filled the hall to celebrate and honor six trailblazers from the African continent in business, fashion, entertainment, social innovation and democratic governance.

Among those recognized by the pan-African media company Face2Face Africa include Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu of Ethiopia who received the “Entrepreneur Award” for her pioneering work as Founder and CEO of the international footwear brand SoleRebels. The “Humanitarian Honor” was awarded to U.S.-based Ghanaian social entrepreneur Dr. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, Founder of FOCUS (Foundation of Orthopedics and Complex Spine) which provides orthopedic care to patients in Ghana and several other African countries.

The Global Ambassador Honor was given to South Sudanese British model and designer Alek Wek who saluted all the honorees and pointed out that “Africa needs more women in business and entrepreneurship like SoleRebel’s Bethlehem Tilahun” and added that above all education is the key for all. She reminded the audience to ” study hard, stay focused and celebrate others.”

The Trailblazer award went to Masai Ujiri – the Nigerian-born President and General Manager of Basketball Operations at the Tronto Raptors organization. The Entertainment Honor was also given to Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Femi Kuti, who spoke about the need to “focus globally not just Africa.”

The Lifetime Achievement Honor was conferred on Sudanese-British mobile communications entrepreneur and billionaire Dr Mohamed “Mo” Ibrahim – who was not present, but sent a video message accepting the accolade.

Below are photos from the event:



Related:
Oprah Magazine Names Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu to Annual Power List

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Ethiopia’s Emerging Art Scene Pits Creativity Against Profits

A lunch crowd at Makush Art Gallery and Restaurant in Addia Ababa, popular with foreigners and tourists. (Photo: James Jeffrey)

Aljazeera America

By James Jeffrey

July 28, 2014

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Tesfaye Hiwet started visiting his homeland from the U.S. shortly after the 1991 revolution that brought down Ethiopia’s communist-inspired military dictatorship known as the Derg. One reason was to source art for his Washington-based restaurant and nightclub.

After noticing the lack of galleries in the Ethiopian capital, he moved back to Addis Ababa 12 years ago and opened the Makush Art Gallery and Restaurant, starting with a handful of artists. Nowadays, every wall in Makush is blanketed with vivid Ethiopian paintings depicting scenes ranging from monks praying in the dawn half-light to bustling markets and images of wide-eyed, elongated women.

Addis Ababa has an active art community that can benefit from the lucrative sales at Makush, which now has about 70 artists on its books and a collection of more than 650 paintings.

But not all the city’s artists want to get involved with Makush because of its unabashed commercial focus — at the sacrifice, they argue, of artistic merit. They worry the gallery represents an unfettered art market where lack of analysis and criticism can compromise artistic integrity, drive runaway prices and lead to the prevalence of mediocre art that doesn’t express the true range of artistic talent simmering away.

“Many artists are increasingly enticed to market-driven productions,” said Elizabeth Giorgis, an art historian and director of the Gebre Kristos Desta Center, a modern art museum in Addis Ababa. “The current Ethiopian art market has produced a dark side where prices are ineptly assessed and fixed at exorbitant prices that do not warrant the credibility or skills of the artists.”

But an emergent modern and contemporary art scene in energetic flux is a stark contrast from when Ethiopia had no market at all.

Read more at Aljazeera America »

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Style: Liya Kebede Talks Lemlem’s Evolution

Supermodel Liya Kebede. (Style.com)

Style.com

July 25, 2014

Having spent roughly half her life in the fashion biz, Liya Kebede has come a long way in the industry since leaving Ethiopia at the age of 18 to model in Paris. In the following decades, Kebede has established herself as a bona fide icon—not only as a “super” still busy with runway and editorial work, but additionally as a philanthropist/advocate for maternal health and an emerging entrepreneur. Back in 2007, she launched her ready-to-wear brand, Lemlem, as a way to create new opportunities for the traditional weavers and artisans based in her hometown, Addis Ababa. The word lemlem means “to bloom” in Amharic and is also a nickname Kebede gave her 8-year-old daughter, Raee. Indeed, the line itself—comprised of beach-ready wares that are handwoven and embroidered in Africa—has been flourishing in a big way: Just this week, Kebede was announced as a new member of the CFDA.

Fresh off of the haute couture and menswear circuits (in Paris, she walked Dior and posed for pal Haider Ackermann’s presentation), Kebede joined Style.com to preview her new collection. At our appointment, the supermodel was the epitome of summertime casual in a gray T-shirt, striped Lemlem skirt, and canvas sneakers. While the has introduced new jersey and merino wool categories in recent seasons, Resort ’15 focused on best-selling gauzy tunics, caftans, and scarves in vibrant hues. Kebede personally gravitates toward some of the more directional silhouettes, including strapless jumpsuits, raw-edged maxi ponchos, and long boy shorts. Our takeaway? Both Kebede and her beachy clothes are beautiful in every way. Read on below for five things we learned about Kebede and Lemlem.

Read more at .style.com »

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Ethiopians Sweep Gold-Silver in 5000m World Junior Championships in Oregon

Yomif Kejelcha of Ethiopia leads the 5000m at the IAAF World Junior Championships, Oregon 2014. (Photo: Getty Images)

IAAF

26 JUL 2014

Ethiopia’s world youth 3000m champion Yomif Kejelcha led for most of the last kilometre to win the men’s 5000m in 13:25.19, his best ever clocking.

Kejelcha’s team mate Yomif Haji, with whom he shared pacing duties in the last third of the race, finished in 13:26.21 for silver, giving Ethiopia a gold-silver sweep. Moses Letoyie of Kenya took bronze in 13:28.11.

Two Ugandans, 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei and Philip Kipyeko, set the early pace, pulling the pack through the first kilometre in 2:43.21 and the second in 5:28.35.

Kenya’s Fredrick Kipkosgei Kiptoo came up and set a rhythm of surges, pushing through the first bend and down the backstretch, then backing off on the second bend and allowing what remained of the pack to collect. The group of eight runners was thinned to six as the group passed 3000m in 8:12.27, then 10:54.13 at 4000m.

By then Haji and then Kejelcha had moved to the front of the pack, Haji taking over at 3600m. As they left 4000m behind, the pack shrunk to six with Cheptegei struggling to hang on to the eventual medal trio.

When they reached the bell at 12:25.63, Kejelcha was unmistakably building a lead, which he proceeded to extend until he reached the homestretch. With the victory in hand, he backed off, allowing Haji to close the gap somewhat but not enough to give up the win.

The Ethiopian team, watching together on the backstretch, celebrated the sweep boisterously as Kejelcha and Haji lay stretched on the track beyond the finish line. Haji, a more compact runner, was up first, but he was unable to lever the lanky Kejelcha to his feet by himself.

Kejelcha is the eighth Ethiopian to win the 5000m at the World Junior Championships. Of the 15 titles awarded to date, eight have gone to Ethiopia and seven to Kenya.

Read more at IAAF.org »

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From Africa to Florida International University, Young Leaders Find Inspiration

Scholars discuss leadership goals in their roles back home in Africa as part of President Obama's Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders training at FIU on Thursday, July 24, 2014. (MH)

Miami Herald

BY JEFFREY PIERRE

After six weeks at Florida International University, Danbala Garba leaves with much more than good memories. The Nigerian human rights advocate plans to return and redouble his efforts on behalf of those seeking justice.

“I intend to work harder and fight through the court, now more than ever,” said Garba, 32. “I’ve been triggered by what I’ve learned here.”

Garba was among 25 young African leaders who spent six weeks at FIU as part of an Obama administration program to groom the next generation of leaders on the continent. The group left FIU on Saturday and plans to meet later in the day with Obama in Washington.

FIU was the only university selected in Florida to host the 25 young leaders between the ages of 25 and 35. They were selected from throughout sub-Saharan Africa for the Washington Fellowship for the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), which was created in 2010.

Read more at miamiherald.com »

Related:
U.S.-AFRICA SUMMIT 2014: Preview
Transport Chiefs From Five Countries to Visit Chicago Ahead of U.S.-Africa Summit
Ambassador David Shinn on the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

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Mahmoud Kicks Off Issue Project Room’s Summer Concert Series in NYC on July 26th

Mahmoud Ahmed (Photo: By Damian Rafferty)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Friday, July 25th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – In the ‘Night Life’ section of its latest issue The New Yorker magazine highlights the legendary Ethiopian singer Mahmoud Ahmed as “one of the most exhilarating singers of the past half century” and notes that he “blends traditional Ethiopian Amharic music with sixties and seventies soul, funk, and jazz.”

Mahmoud Ahmed is coming to Brooklyn to kick off Issue Project Room’s summer concert series at Pioneer Works on Saturday, July 26th. The last time that Mahmoud performed in New York was in 2011.

“Now seventy-three, Ahmed was born to an impoverished family in Addis Ababa, and as a young boy had to shine shoes on the street to help support his family,” The New Yorker adds. “He later worked as a handyman at a club that hosted Emperor Haile Selassie’s Imperial Bodyguard Band, and, one night in 1962, when the band’s singer did not show up, Ahmed asked to sit in on a few songs; soon afterward, he became one of the group’s front men…His multi-octave voice made him a household name in Ethiopia, and a star since nearly the moment he started recording.”

If You Go:
Mahmoud Ahmed Live in Brooklyn
Saturday, July 26th, 2014 – 3:00 – 8:00pm
At Pioneer Works:
159 Pioneer St., Brooklyn NY 11231
TICKETS: $20 General / $15 Members + Students
http://issueprojectroom.org/event/mahmoud-ahmed

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UPDATE: MMA Fighter Afrem Gebreanenia

Ethiopia-Born Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Fighter Afrem Gebreanenia. (Photograph: YouTube)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Friday, July 25th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – Ethiopian MMA fighter Afrem Gebreanenia’s next fight is at the Victory Fighting Championships in Council Bluffs, Iowa on Friday, September 12th. Afrem lost his last match (held in Fort Riley, Kansas on July 12th) in the 3rd Round via “Rear Naked Choke.”

“It was a hard fought match and Afrem gave his all,” his manager Timothy White told Tadias Magazine. “He made a simple mistake and his opponent capitalized on it.”

Timothy adds that Afrem is already preparing for his upcoming event. “He will be looking to get back into the win column and would love for any of his fellow Ethiopians, along with general fans to support him,” He said. “Council Bluffs, Iowa is right next to Omaha, Nebraska which has a good size Ethiopian population.”



Tickets can be purchased at Cagetix.com – select the event “VFC: Fight Night Council Bluffs” and select fighter “Afrem Gebreanenia”.

You can learn more about the athlete at: dynamicathletemgmt.wix.com/afremgmma.

Related:
Meet Ethiopian Mixed Martial Arts Fighter Afrem Gebreanenia

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John Green and Bill Gates In Ethiopia

‏Bill Gates and John Green talk to students in Ethiopia. (Photo tweeted by Bill Gates)

The Wall Street Journal

By WSJ Staff

“Nerdfighters, meet changemakers,” Bill Gates tweeted to his 16 million followers.

The tech pioneer and world philanthropist was joined by young adult author and YouTube star John Green on a recent trip to Ethiopia. In case you aren’t quite up to speed on essential terms from John Green’s world, “nerdfighters” is the name John Green fans use to describe themselves, and their stated mission is to “increase awesomeness.” Green and his brother also have a charity organization called the Foundation to Decrease Suck, so it makes sense that Green would team up with a fellow Good Samaritan like Bill Gates.

Green detailed their visit to a rural Ethiopian health care center on his Tumblr blog, stating that “the world has a lot to learn from Ethiopia’s health investments.” He also shared that Gates was “the best listener — and question asker — he’s ever met.”

See photos from the trip at The Wall Street Journal »

Related:
Bill Gates in Ethiopia Says Africa Needs Better International Aid Audit
Bill Gates Receives Honorary Doctoral Degree From Addis Ababa University

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U.S.-AFRICA SUMMIT 2014: Preview

(Image courtesy: The White House)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Washington, D.C. (TADIAS) – In early August U.S. President Barack Obama will host a historic summit, the first ever gathering of heads of state from across the African continent in Washington, D.C. to discuss the future of the relationship between the United States and Africa. A diplomatic relationship formally began under President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903 when the first American diplomatic mission to the African continent arrived in Ethiopia to sign a commercial treaty with Emperor Menelik II.

The White House notes that during the upcoming U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Obama will not hold any one-on-one meetings with heads of state. Instead, the administration will engage guests in group sessions focusing on various topics. The President and First Lady Michelle Obama will also host a dinner at The White House.

“This Summit, the largest event any U.S. President has held with African heads of state and government, will build on the President’s trip to Africa in the summer of 2013 and it will strengthen ties between the United States and one of the world’s most dynamic and fastest growing regions,” the White House announced. “Specifically, the August 4-6 Summit will advance the Administration’s focus on trade and investment in Africa and highlight America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and its people.” The press release adds: “At the same time, it will highlight the depth and breadth of the United States’ commitment to the African continent, advance our shared priorities and enable discussion of concrete ideas to deepen the partnership. At its core, this Summit is about fostering stronger ties between the United States and Africa.”

The theme of the Summit is “Investing in the Next Generation.”

“Focusing on the next generation is at the core of a government’s responsibility and work, and this Summit is an opportunity to discuss ways of stimulating growth, unlocking opportunities, and creating an enabling environment for the next generation,” the announcement stated. “Throughout the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, African leaders will have an opportunity to engage with President Obama, his Cabinet members, and other key leaders, including business executives from the U.S. and Africa, Members of Congress, and members of civil society.”

The Summit agenda includes “key areas that Africans define as critical for the future of the continent” such as trade and investment ties, engaging young African leaders, promoting inclusive sustainable development, expanding cooperation on peace and security, and gaining a better future for Africa’s next generation.

“President Obama invited all African heads of state or governments in good standing with the United States and the African Union to attend the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. An invitation was also extended to the African Union Chairperson.”

Below is a description of events:

AUGUST 4 – Signature Events
The Summit will include six U.S. Government-sponsored “Signature Events,” allowing for in-depth conversations on some of the most pressing issues facing the U.S.-Africa partnership. These sessions will set the stage for the high-level discussions that President Obama will chair during the subsequent Summit leader meetings.

1) Faith Works
2) Civil Society Forum
3) Investing in Women, Peace, and Prosperity
4) Investing in Health: Investing in Africa’s Future
5) Resilience and Food Security in a Changing Climate
6) Combating Wildlife Trafficking

AGOA Forum
To further demonstrate our commitment to the sustainable economic growth and development in Africa U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman will host the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Ministerial at the World Bank. African and U.S. trade officials will discuss the future of the AGOA program and U.S. plans to pursue renewal of AGOA legislation.

Capitol Hill Reception
The Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs Committees will host a welcome reception for African leaders on Capitol Hill in the afternoon.

AUGUST 5
U.S.-Africa Business Forum
On August 5, the U.S. Department of Commerce and Bloomberg Philanthropies will co-host the first U.S.-Africa Business Forum, a day focused on strengthening trade and financial ties between the United States and Africa. President Obama will participate in the Business Forum along with Secretary Pritzker and Mayor Bloomberg, as will other senior U.S. government officials. Held at the Mandarin Oriental, in Washington, D.C., the U.S.-Africa Business Forum will intensify efforts to strengthen trade and financial ties between the United States and Africa and seek to create partnerships that will promote trade, accelerate job growth, and encourage investment. The Forum will focus on U.S. private sector engagement in Africa in the areas of finance and capital investment; infrastructure; power and energy; agriculture; consumer goods; and information and communication technology. African leaders will engage with business executives from both sides of the Atlantic to engage in conversations about successes and solutions to increase trade with and invest in Africa. President Obama will participate in the conversation with CEOs and government leaders from the United States and Africa.

White House Dinner on the occasion of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit
On the evening of August 5, President and Mrs. Obama will host a dinner at the White House for African heads of state and government and select guests.

AUGUST 6
Summit Leader Meetings
African leaders and President Obama will engage in dialogue in three action-oriented sessions that will address issues of shared interest and mutual concern.

Leader Session I – Investing in Africa’s Future
The opening session will discuss inclusive, sustainable development, economic growth, and trade and investment.

Leader Session II – Peace and Regional Stability
A working lunch centered around shared concerns regarding peace and security, including a discussion of long-term solutions to regional conflicts, peacekeeping challenges, and combating transnational threats.

Leader Session III – Governing for the Next Generation
This session will allow for a candid conversation about the greatest challenges and opportunities for Africa’s continued political and economic progress and a specific focus on governance. This session will focus on how to enhance governance in order to deliver services to citizens, attract and prepare for increased domestic and foreign direct investment, manage transnational threats, and stem the flow of illicit finance.

Leader Press Conferences

Spousal Program
On August 6, First Lady Michelle Obama, in partnership with former First Lady Laura Bush and the Bush Institute, will host a day-long spouses symposium at the Kennedy Center focused on the impact of investments in education, health, and public-private partnerships.

Side Events
In order to leverage the presence in Washington, D.C. of so many African leaders as well as the intense interest in U.S.-Africa ties that the Summit has engendered, a number of non government actors – the private sector and non-profit organizations — are organizing events along the margins to coincide with the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.

YALI (Young African Leaders Initiative)
President Obama launched the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) in 2010 to support young leaders with opportunities and resources. Through YALI, the United States is committing significant resources to enhance leadership skills, bolster entrepreneurship, and connect young African leaders with one another, with the United States, and with the American people. Investing in the next generation of African leaders is critical to ensuring the success of Africa’s democracies and its economies.

The Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the exchange program of the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). This program brings over 500 young leaders to the United States each year, beginning in 2014, for leadership training, academic coursework, and mentoring. It also creates unique opportunities in Africa, through internships and follow-on opportunities, to put those new skills to practical use in propelling economic growth and prosperity and strengthening democratic institutions. To be part of the YALI Network, follow @YALINetwork on Twitter or find us on Facebook.

For more information on YALI, please visit YoungAfricanLeaders.state.gov.

Related:
Transport Chiefs From Five Countries to Visit Chicago Ahead of U.S.-Africa Summit
Ambassador David Shinn on the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

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Bill Gates in Ethiopia Says Africa Needs Better International Aid Audit (Video)

Bill Gates in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Thursday, July 24th, 2014. (Photo: BBC News)

BBC News

24 July 2014

Bill Gates has called for an improved audit of international aid in Africa, to make sure it achieves its aims.

The billionaire philanthropist told the BBC that aid remains vital in ensuring Africa is lifted from poverty, but that African countries need to find solutions for their own problems, especially development matters.

He spoke to BBC Africa’s Emmanuel Igunza in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Watch the video at BBC News »

Related:
Bill Gates Receives Honorary Doctoral Degree From Addis Ababa University

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41 Organizations Call for Release of Detained Ethiopian Journalists and Bloggers

(Image courtesy: Htext Africa)

Freedom-now.org

Media Release

24 July 2014

Washington, D.C.: Today, Freedom Now joined 40 other human rights and civil society organizations in a letter to Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn expressing grave concern at the continued targeting of journalists and bloggers on terrorism charges. The letter, also joined by organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the PEN American Center, and the Committee to Protect Journalists, highlighted the recent terror charges laid against seven bloggers associated with the Zone 9 website (one in absentia) and three independent journalists in Ethiopia.

In calling on the Prime Minister to facilitate the immediate release of those writers detained under the widely-criticized 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, the letter (below) noted that previous prosecutions under the same law have been found by international institutions, such as the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, to violate Ethiopia’s obligations under international law. In closing, the regional and international organizations urge the Prime Minister to facilitate the immediate release all Ethiopians wrongly detained on terrorism charges and amend the law so that it complies with international human rights standards.

###

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Office of the Prime Minister
P.O. Box 1031
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

24 July 2014

Re: Detained Journalists and Bloggers

Dear Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn,

We write to you to express our grave concern regarding the terrorism charges laid against seven bloggers associated with the “Zone 9” website and three independent journalists in Ethiopia. Ethiopia is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights—which both expressly protect the right to freedom of expression. We therefore urge your government to fulfill its obligations under international law and release all individuals who have been arbitrarily detained in violation of their fundamental rights.

As you may be aware, six of the bloggers (Zelalem Kibret, Atnaf Berahane, Natnael Feleke, Mahlet Fantahun, Befeqadu Hailu, and Abel Wabela) and the three journalists (Tesfalem Waldyes, Asmamaw Hailegeorgis, and Edom Kassaye) were arrested in late April, shortly after it was announced that the Zone 9 website would resume its activities after suspending operations because of increasing harassment and surveillance. All nine detainees were subsequently held for nearly three months before any specific allegations were presented or formal charges filed against them. Most concerning, however, are reports that some of the detainees have complained of serious mistreatment by investigators and that defense lawyers and their clients have been excluded from some of the proceedings.

Recent reports now indicate that the detained bloggers and journalists have been charged under the widely-criticized 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, including provisions that provide for the death penalty, in addition to charges of committing “outrages against the constitution.” A seventh blogger, Soleyana Shimeles, was also charged in absentia. In accordance with the requirements of both Ethiopian and international law, we call on you to ensure that all allegations of torture or other forms of ill-treatment are promptly investigated and that no statements obtained through such means are admitted in court. Further, we call on you to ensure that the detainees have full access to the assistance of legal counsel and that the proceedings related to this case are open to the public, the media, and members of the diplomatic community.

Unfortunately, these prosecutions are only the most recent example of a worrying pattern. Outspoken Ethiopian journalists Eskinder Nega, Reeyot Alemu, and Woubshet Taye have all received long prison terms under the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, in trials marred by procedural flaws. Similarly, opposition activists including Andualem Arage have received sentences of up to life imprisonment on such grounds.

While your office has asserted that the prosecution of these individuals is unrelated to their work as journalists, independent inquiries have found that this is not the case. For example, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention held that the imprisonment of Mr. Nega violated Ethiopia’s obligations under international law and requested his immediate release. In addition to procedural violations, the Working Group found that the detention of Mr. Nega resulted directly from his exercise of free expression and that the overly broad offenses established by the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation constituted “an unjustified restriction on expression rights and on fair trial rights.” Despite such a finding, however, Mr. Nega remains in prison.

Other international bodies have similarly criticized your country’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation for being overly broad and a tool through which freedom of expression is limited. The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted a resolution in 2012 stating that it was “gravely alarmed by the arrests and prosecutions of journalists and political opposition members, charged with terrorism and other offences, including treason, for exercising their peaceful and legitimate rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association.” This message reinforced an earlier statement by five United Nations special procedure mandate holders, including the Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights, which expressed their “dismay at the continuing abuse of anti-terrorism legislation to curb freedom of expression in Ethiopia.” During Ethiopia’s Universal Periodic Review earlier this year, similar concerns were raised by a number of countries, including security allies of Ethiopia such as the United States of America.

Despite these clear findings that the targeting of writers under the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation is inconsistent with Ethiopia’s international obligations, prosecutors have now charged the seven Zone 9 bloggers and three independent journalists under that very law. As a result, they face exceedingly long prison sentences or even death. Such a practice violates international law and threatens to undermine the legitimacy of international security efforts in the region.

In light of these serious concerns, we urge you to facilitate the immediate release of all journalists and bloggers imprisoned under the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and to revise the Proclamation to comply with regional and international human rights standards.

Sincerely,

1. Amnesty International
2. ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa
3. Central Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (REDHAC), Central Africa
4. CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
5. Civil Rights Defenders, Sweden
6. Coalition pour le Développement et la Réhabilitation Sociale (CODR UBUNTU), Burundi
7. Committee to Protect Journalists
8. Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), South Sudan
9. Conscience International (CI), The Gambia
10. East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project
11. Egyptian Democratic Association, Egypt
12. Electronic Frontier Foundation
13. Ethiopian Human Rights Project (EHRP)
14. Elma7rosa Network, Egypt
15. English PEN
16. Freedom Now
17. Front Line Defenders, Dublin
18. Human Rights Watch
19. International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF)
20. Ligue des Droits de la personne dans la region des Grands Lacs (LDGL), Great Lakes
21. Ligue Iteka, Burundi
22. Maranatha Hope, Nigeria
23. Media Legal Defence Initiative
24. National Civic Forum, Sudan
25. National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders, Kenya
26. Niger Delta Women’s movement for Peace and Development, Nigeria
27. Nigeria Network of NGOs, Nigeria
28. Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, Nigeria
29. PEN American Center
30. PEN International
31. Réseau africain des journalistes sur la sécurité humaine et la paix (Rajosep), Togo
32. Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), Uganda
33. South Sudan Human Rights Defenders Network (SSHRDN), South Sudan
34. South Sudan Law Society, South Sudan
35. Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition, Tanzania
36. Twerwaneho Listeners Club (TLC), Uganda
37. Union de Jeunes pour la Paix et le Développement, Burundi
38. WAN-IFRA (The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers)
39. West African Human Rights Defenders Network (ROADDH/ WAHRDN), West Africa
40. Zambia Council for Social Development (ZCSD), Zambia
41. Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Zimbabwe

Related:
As Ethiopia’s ‘Zone 9′ Bloggers Get Popular, They Get Charged With Terror (CS Monitor)
Zone 9 Bloggers Charged With Terrorism (BBC News)
Interview With the Lawyer of Illegally Detained Zone9 Bloggers (Trial Tracker Blog)
CPJ condemns closed court hearings for nine Ethiopian journalists
Zone9 Co-Founder Speaks Out (Video)

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Bill Gates Receives Honorary Doctoral Degree From Addis Ababa University

Bill Gates receives an honorary doctoral degree from Addis Ababa University (Photograph: UNECSO)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Thursday, July 24th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – Although Bill Gates never graduated from college, dropping out of Harvard to start Microsoft, the American business magnate and philanthropist has received many honorary degrees from around the world, and now also his first from an African university. Gates was awarded an honorary doctoral degree from Addis Ababa University on Thursday, July 24th.

“It is a special honor to receive an honorary degree from Addis Ababa University,” Gates said in his speech. “This is one of the leading institutions of higher learning in Africa – a continent whose future has been a central interest of my career ever since my wife and I began our foundation nearly 15 years ago.”

Per AllAfrica.com “Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it is the Microsoft founder’s first honorary degree from an African university.”

Below is the text of Bill Gates’ Speech to students at Addis Ababa University courtesy the gatesfoundation.org.

Bill Gates
Addis Ababa University Honorary Degree
July 24, 2014
AS PREPARED

Thank you for that introduction, Dr. Admasu Tsegaye [President of Addis Ababa University].

Prime Minister Hailemariam; distinguished guests; faculty and students of Addis Ababa University.

I am deeply grateful for this honorary degree.

I never got my real degree. I dropped out to start Microsoft, and never went back. So getting a diploma I can put on the wall and show my father is a relief.

It is a special honor to receive an honorary degree from Addis Ababa University.

This is one of the leading institutions of higher learning in Africa – a continent whose future has been a central interest of my career ever since my wife and I began our foundation nearly 15 years ago.

The first time Melinda and I came to Africa, 20 years ago, we were on vacation. We visited Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi. We were awed by the natural beauty. But we were no less awed by the poverty we witnessed. Children were dying from illnesses we’d never even heard of.

This struck us as deeply wrong – and totally unnecessary.

The foundation we started took as its motto “All Lives Have Equal Value” – because it was so obvious to us that the world was clearly not treating all lives as having equal value. If it were, kids wouldn’t be dying by the millions from diseases that are preventable and treatable.

In short, coming to Africa inspired us to start our foundation.

Of course, the Africa I’m visiting today is not the Africa we saw back then.

You know the stats: Income per-person in sub-Saharan Africa is up by two-thirds. Seven of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world are on this continent.

I could go on. But I didn’t come here to give a speech about economic statistical phenomena – because those figures don’t get at the real reason why I’m optimistic about Africa.

The real reason why I’m optimistic about Africa is that this continent is now in an incredible position to shape its own destiny for the better.

Why is this the case?

For one very simple and powerful reason: the countries of Africa are learning from each other.

I know that much of the narrative over the years about Africa has focused on how outside entities can help the people of this continent – whether those entities are foreign governments, or international aid organizations, or non-profits such as our own foundation.

Make no mistake – outside support has made a big difference, and will continue to do so. I spend a lot of my time advocating for donor countries to maintain foreign assistance focused on the needs of the poorest – and such assistance does indeed have an absolutely critical role to play.

That is also why our foundation has such a focus on Africa, investing in research and supporting delivery efforts on the issues of greatest consequence to the people of this continent – from HIV/AIDS to malaria.

In doing so, our priority is to support programs developed by Africans, for Africans, because we understand that the real fuel for development will be the resources of African nations themselves – whether that’s in the form of government funding, private-sector investment, or just plain human creativity at all levels of society.

This is where the idea of “African countries learning from each other” becomes so important. If you want to spend your national budgets as effectively as possible, there is now a clear path for doing exactly that – and Africans themselves are defining that path, for others to follow if they choose.

That path may not be easy, but it’s fairly simple to explain, and it comes down to this: If you want your country to rise from low-income to middle-income status, emphasize two things: health and agricultural development.

If you get health and agricultural development right, the gains are exceptional, and they reverberate through the rest of your economy for decades to come.

African leaders have formally acknowledged these truths. At Abuja in 2001 and Maputo in 2003, the delegates to the African Union agreed to targets for investment in these sectors.

While the progress since then has been uneven, the emphasis on health and agriculture is absolutely right.

The reason for this is straightforward: There is no path to lasting growth within Africa that is not widespread growth. It’s not possible. If Africa seeks prosperity, it must provide for the health and nutrition of all – including the poorest. Unless this continent brings its rates of malnutrition and premature mortality way down, it will not achieve the productivity levels necessary to compete in the global marketplace.

I fully realize that health and agricultural productivity are far from the only factors in economic growth. There are plenty of others – education, good governance, a sound physical infrastructure, to name just a few.

There’s no question that a modernized approach to development finance is another much-needed factor in equitable growth. Ethiopia is going to host a very important Financing for Development conference a year from now. That gathering will seek to establish a vision of finance for the new targets that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals.

That will be a critical opportunity for the world to commit to the public and private investments that are necessary if we are to continue to accelerate human development and economic growth.

To be successful, that new vision of development finance will need to be rooted in basic human needs. In fact, any sensible definition of what it means to be a middle-income country should go beyond per-capita numbers and include some measure of achievement on basic human needs like health and nutrition.

Across Africa, some countries are doing a very good job of meeting those needs – and others are not. The differences in outcomes are striking, even for countries with similar resources.

That variance represents a massive opportunity for countries to learn from each other’s best practices. If you learn from each other, then all countries in Africa should be able to do as well as the highest performing countries. That would be a stunning transformation.

A great place to start this conversation is where I’m standing today – Ethiopia.

I realize this is a nation that still faces many fundamental challenges, but Ethiopia has made enormous relative improvement in both health and agricultural productivity, which will give the country a solid basis for lasting growth.

Yes, Ethiopia remains for now a low-income nation by global standards – but that’s exactly my point.

With per-capita income comparable to many other African nations – and considerably smaller than some – Ethiopia is putting itself on a path to the global middle class.

If this proud country – which 30 years ago was seen by many as the world’s most extreme example of poverty and malnutrition – can put itself on this trajectory, there’s no good reason why other African countries can’t do the same.

What has Ethiopia done right? Quite simply, it has made health and agricultural development top priorities.

I want to talk briefly about what it’s done in both of these areas, and mention a few other nations that have also generated good examples in each.

Let’s start with health.

Our foundation started with a focus on health because that’s where the evidence pointed us. We were looking for the most strategic way to fight inequity so that our resources did the greatest good for the greatest number. Investing in health generates extremely high returns for huge numbers of people.

Here’s a striking illustration of that: A recent global commission of leading economists found a strong connection between health and national prosperity. Its report stated that about 11 percent of the economic growth in low- and middle-income countries from 1970 to 2000 resulted from reductions in adult mortality.

Conversely, there’s a vicious cycle that results from not investing in health – and here too, the results show up on a national scale.

For example, malaria kills more than 600,000 people a year. That’s a big number. But it actually understates the problem – including the calamitous economic costs of the disease.

Malaria infects roughly 200 million people annually, of whom probably more than 99 percent survive. At best, the survivors have to miss school or work for extended periods. At worst, they suffer lifelong disabilities, including cognitive impairment that virtually guarantees they’ll never reach their full potential.

Even when malaria and other diseases don’t take children’s lives, they can steal their future – and slow the progress of a nation.

This is the right time to invest in eradicating malaria – and other diseases that have long plagued this continent.

When I first started learning about development, there wasn’t a lot of hope that we could make rapid progress against malaria. Parasites had developed resistance to chloroquine – the main drug used to treat the disease – and malaria was resurgent across much of sub-Saharan Africa.

Since then, the global research community has begun committing more resources to malaria and other illnesses that disproportionately affect this continent. New vaccines and other health advances are emerging as a result.

But something else has been happening, as well. And that “something,” once again, is that Africa is learning from itself.

Countries on this continent – including some very poor countries – have made crucial innovations in providing for the health of their people. These innovations are models that virtually any African nation can follow, regardless of income.

Ethiopia has helped set the standard – most notably with its groundbreaking Health Extension Program. The federal government recognized that if it was going to make good on the Millennium Development Goals, it was going to have to expand access to primary health care across this large, predominantly rural country.

It came up with a smart plan. It identified the geographical gaps in health coverage, and went about filling those gaps, deploying more than 38,000 health-extension workers – nearly all of them women – in over 16,000 health posts nationwide.

Since its inception in 2004, the Health Extension Program has provided a range of vital services in maternal and child health; disease prevention; sanitation and hygiene; and basic health education.

Overall, the Health Extension Program has been a great success – and you can see it in the data.

The under-five mortality rate fell 67 percent from 1990 to 2012, meaning that Ethiopia met this Millennium Development Goal. The rate of decline has been especially impressive since the middle of the last decade, when the Health Extension Program began its work.

Ethiopia has shown a willingness not only to invest in health, but to do something that is sometimes even more difficult for governments, on any continent: It has been willing to measure results, adapt where needed, and admit the shortcomings that still exist.

For example, the Health Extension Program has been quick to offer new interventions in response to practical needs – such as by allowing health extension workers to treat childhood pneumonia and provide new, long-acting family-planning methods.

It has also been willing to collaborate – as it has with one of our grantees, L10K, which serves as a bridge from households to the Health Extension Program.

The government recognizes that while it has achieved great gains in combating child mortality, it still has much work to do to reduce Ethiopia’s maternal mortality rate, which remains one of the highest in Africa.

The Health Extension Program is a remarkable example that other African nations, such as Namibia, are already learning from.

On vaccines, there is enormous variance across Africa. Across the continent, vaccine coverage ranges from the mid-90s to well under 50 percent. Ghana – another African country that could serve as a model for development in both health and agriculture – has been among the continent’s best examples on vaccination.

In 2012, with assistance from the GAVI Alliance, Ghana took the innovative step of simultaneously rolling out pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines – the first time any African country had introduced the two vaccines at the same time.

The project was a success, and by the end of the decade, vaccines against two of the most prolific killers in the world – diarrhea and pneumonia – will be available in nearly every African country, thanks in part to GAVI’s excellent work, and in part to the national model that Ghana has established.

With regard to malaria – which I talked about a moment ago as an example of the economic burden of disease – a number of African countries, such as Zambia, are demonstrating that progress is possible where governments take determined action.

If this is the case now, with the weapons currently at our disposal, it will be even more so as new medications and other tools become available.

And while there is still a long way to go, it is inspiring to see the public-health gains so many countries in Africa have made in recent years. Along with Ethiopia, countries from Liberia to Malawi to Tanzania have met the MDG goal of cutting mortality by two-thirds even before the 2015 deadline. Others, like Madagascar and Niger, are on the verge of doing so.

That progress is both accelerating and spreading – in countries like Senegal and Rwanda, the rates of improvement are among the fastest we have measured in recent decades. That translates into millions of lives saved – young Africans who will soon be the ones leading the continent into the future.

Now I’d like to turn to the other central element of lasting growth for Africa – agricultural productivity.

Here too, Ethiopia has been a leader. The federal government did something extraordinary – it set up an organization, the Agricultural Transformation Agency, or ATA – that focused on providing data-driven, evidence-based solutions to improving farm productivity nationwide.

It’s very strategic for an African government to place this kind of bet on agricultural innovation. After all, the continent’s economy remains heavily reliant on agriculture: Two-thirds of Africans depend on farming for their livelihoods. Ethiopia is no exception to this reliance: Agriculture accounts for about 45 percent of its GDP.

I’d like to mention a couple of great examples of what Ethiopia has achieved with its ATA initiatives. One of them involves one of my favorite subjects: fertilizer.

For the past three decades, Ethiopia had used only two types of fertilizer. When you think about how big and geographically varied this country is, that didn’t make much sense. After all, different fertilizers work best in different soils.

The ATA, working with the Ministry of Agriculture, found that the best way to assess fertilizer needs nationwide was to analyze the soil using a combination of ground measurements and remote sensing.

I had the privilege of seeing this project myself on my last visit to Ethiopia. I got to see the special soil augurs and sampling techniques that your teams were using. The result of this effort is a soil-mapping system that’s unprecedented not just for Africa, but for virtually anyone in the world.

By the end of this year, the government will have mapped soil properties for the whole of Ethiopia. Our foundation provided some early support for this effort, and we’re proud of the results.

There’s also been some great innovation with regard to farmer-owned cooperatives. These have a mixed record in Ethiopia and across Africa, but can provide much-needed services for their members, such as distribution and marketing. The world-renowned coffee sector here in Ethiopia has seen good examples of this.

Now the ATA is leading a $50 million project to build storage capacity within these cooperatives – it’s a three-year undertaking, and is drawing upon $3 million in capital from the World Bank. It’s a good illustration of how a little outside money can supplement a much larger government-led initiative to support farmer-owned, private-sector organizations.

Ethiopia has begun to branch out from the collectives, and to open up its agricultural market. It is expanding its own version of an agro-dealer program as seen in other parts of Africa, including through direct-seed marketing.

Just last year, some regional bureaus of agriculture began supporting the marketing of certified seed from producers directly to farmers through independent distribution agents – a departure from the traditional approach, which was exclusively through a public-sector process.

By opening its markets further – and by seeking the involvement and consent of the rural communities themselves – Ethiopia could realize significant gains from its most important resources of all: the ingenuity and creativity of its own people.

Other countries – such as Ghana, Nigeria and Tanzania – have undertaken their own bold investments, with huge payoffs. These are innovations that nations throughout Africa could emulate or adapt.

For example, Nigeria has established staple-crop processing zones to encourage investors to set up processing facilities near areas of high production for certain key crops, such as rice or cassava. This literally shortens the distance between producers and processors, and helps ensure more effective use of resources.

While we admire these and other agricultural innovations unfolding across the continent, far more needs to be done. African food production has not kept up with population growth – and that growth will only accelerate in the near future.

Nor is Africa’s agricultural sector moving quickly enough to meet another accelerating challenge: global climate change, which poses an especially severe danger to this continent, its agricultural productivity, and its overall development.

What is needed is a continent-wide commitment to a new generation of sustainable agricultural productivity, in the spirit of the Green Revolution that did so much to propel large sections of Asia and Latin America into the global middle class.

We are proud to be partners with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa – an African organization advancing African solutions, with a necessary emphasis on smallholder farmers, and on female farmers – who bear immense responsibility for overall agricultural production in Africa, but who realize relatively few of the economic gains.

I am heartened by the commitments made on agricultural development at the African Union summit last month – including commitments to allocate at least 10 percent of public expenditure to agriculture, and to work toward ending hunger in Africa by 2025 by at least doubling productivity in the sector.

Any commitment to lifting agricultural productivity in Africa – or to improving health – will require both realism and optimism.

Usually, people assume that realism and optimism describe two different schools of thought. I disagree. I believe my optimism about the future of Africa is extremely realistic.

You already have the tools to decrease child mortality and increase agricultural yields significantly. In the next decade, these tools will keep improving. You also have examples of countries that have invested in health and agriculture to make life better for their people.

So, we know that if a country in Africa is not improving in health, or not producing enough food, its first reaction should not be to seek scapegoats or excuses.

No, the first reaction should be to learn from your neighbor. Because that country has as many challenges as you do – but it also has good ideas that you can adapt to your own circumstances.

The rise of this continent will depend on whether leaders – here in Ethiopia and all across Africa – are open to learning from each other, and from their own people.

Whether or not that happens will depend on you – the future leaders of this country, and this continent. By focusing on basic health and agricultural productivity – and by learning from what is actually working right here – you can ensure that Africa will keep rising.

Our foundation is committed to working with you as you make this happen.

Thank you.

Related:
Why John Green and Bill Gates Joined Forces In Ethiopia (The Wall Street Journal)
Bill Gates in Ethiopia Says Africa Needs Better International Aid Audit

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Clarification: There Are No Recent FAA Warnings For Flights In or Out of Ethiopia

Image courtesy: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

U.S. Embassy

Press Release

Clarification of 2000 U.S. Federal Aviation Administration Warning for Ethiopia

July 23, 2014

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – There has been no recent FAA warning for flights in or out of Ethiopia. The FAA flight prohibition (SFAR 87 of May 16, 2000) pertaining to Northern Ethiopia predates the June 18, 2000 cessation of hostilities between Ethiopia and Eritrea and has not been updated subsequently. The FAA advisory (KFDC A0012/97) pertaining to Ethiopia/Kenya dates to 2002.

Neither the FAA flight prohibition nor the FAA advisory was issued after Flight MH 17 was shot down in eastern Ukraine on July 17, as some media outlets have erroneously reported. Both the Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) No. 87 and the FAA advisory apply only to U.S. air carriers or commercial operators.

Read more »

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Has Ethiopia Slipped in Doing Business? PM Hailemariam – The World Bank is “Wrong”

(Getty Images)

By Alice Tidey | CNBC

July 23rd, 2014

The World Bank is “wrong” about how hard it is to do business in Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn the country’s prime minister has told CNBC.

In its latest report on the country published in May 2014, the World Bank highlighted that Ethiopia had slipped in its Doing Business ranking due to deterioration in investor protection, registration of property, access to finance and competitiveness.

But in an exclusive interview with CNBC’s Yousef Gamal El-din on Access Africa, Desalegn rejected the organization’s latest findings saying “what the report says and what’s happening on the ground are to the contrary”.

With its economic output growing by an average of 10.9 percent over the past 10 years, Ethiopia is the world’s 12th fastest growing economy, according to the World Bank. But growth is starting to slip and in 2012/2013, went below the two-digit mark, at 9.8 percent.

Despite the service sector having overtaken agriculture as the biggest contributor to gross domestic product – it represents 45 percent of the country’s GDP – Ethiopia has, according to the World Bank, “above average restrictions on foreign equity ownership” in many sectors, particularly in the service industry. The list of prohibited sectors includes telecommunications, financial services, media, retail trade and transport.

Read more at cnbc.com »

Video: The World Bank is “Wrong” on Ethiopia – PM Hailemariam Desalegn (CNBC)


Related:
Ethiopia Should Consider Currency Devaluation, Says World Bank (Reuters)

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First Bottles of Ethiopian Wine Produced by French Firm Castel

Women pick grapes at the Castel vineyard near the town of Ziway in Ethiopia. Half of 1.2m bottles of Rift Valley wine are intended for export, with company planning to double production (Photo: Getty Images)

The Guardian

By Kim Willsher in Paris

Wednesday 23 July 2014

The grape names – merlot, syrah, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay – are distinctly French, but the label on the Rift Valley wines is surprising: made in Ethiopia.

The French beverage giant Castel, one of the world’s biggest producers of wines and beers, is raising a glass to its first production of 1.2m bottles of Ethiopian Rift Valley wine.

The African state’s former president Meles Zenawi, who died in 2012, encouraged Castel to develop vineyards in Ethiopia, one of Africa’s poorest countries, as a way of improving its image.

Half of the bottles are destined for domestic consumption and half for export to countries where the Ethiopian diaspora have settled, though 26,000 have already been snapped up by a Chinese buyer.

Although Castel does not expect its Ethiopian wine business to make a profit until 2016, it hopes to more than double production to 3m bottles a year. Though Ethiopia is better known for its production of another drink, coffee, Castel says the African country has the potential to rival the continent’s main wine producer, South Africa.

“It’s not that difficult because the climate is good and it’s not too hot,” Castel’s Ethiopia site manager, Olivier Spillebout, told Agence France-Presse. “Exports are small now, but year after year they will grow.”

The company has produced a better quality wine called Rift Valley, selling in Ethiopia for the equivalent of €7 (£5.50) and a grape-mix wine called Acacia, retailing at the equivalent of €5.

Read more at The Guardian »

Related:
The French Beverage Giant Castel Announces Wine Made in Ethiopia (AFP)

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Speakers and Honorees at 4th Annual Ethiopian Heritage Festival This Weekend

(Image courtesy: Ethiopian Heritage Society in North America)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Washington, D.C. (TADIAS) Ethiopia’s Poet Laureate – the late Tsegaye Gebremedhin – and the Zone 9 bloggers are among those who will be recognized at the 4th Annual Ethiopian Heritage Festival, which kicks off this weekend in Silver Spring, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

The opening ceremonies are scheduled to commence on the evening of Friday, July 25th at Silver Spring Civic Building at Veterans Plaza and features speeches, poetry reading, art show and drama. The speakers list includes Captain Guta Dinka (The Man Who Saved Mandela), and MIT freshman Naome Marie of San Jose, California who was accepted to four Ivy League schools earlier this year before deciding to attend MIT. The keynote address will be delivered by human rights activists Obang Metho, the head the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia.

Organizers note that the annual cultural celebration, hosted by the Ethiopian Heritage Society in North America (EHSNA), continues on Saturday and Sunday (July 26th and July 27th) at Georgetown University with various “family-friendly outdoor events and activities” including soccer, music, food and colorful displays highlighting several arts & crafts vendors.

Per EHSNA: “The aim of the heritage festival is to educate Ethiopian youngsters about Ethiopian history, culture, and traditions, as well as the contributions that Ethiopians have made in the United States.”

If You Go:
Friday, July 25th, 2014 at 6:PM
1 Veterans Pl
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 202.596.1964, 410.241.4764, or 301.706.3162
More info at ehsna.org/heritage-festival.

Saturday, July 26th and Sunday, July 27th
Georgetown University
3700 O Street
Washington, D.C. 20057
Phone: 202.596.1964, 410.241.4764, or 301.706.3162
More info at ehsna.org/heritage-festival.

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Ethiopia Becomes China’s China in Search for Cheap Labor

Ethiopian employees work inside the Huajian Shoes' factory outside Addis Ababa. (Photographer: Ilya Gridneff/Bloomberg)

Bloomberg News

By Kevin Hamlin, Ilya Gridneff and William Davison

July 22, 2014

Ethiopian workers strolling through the parking lot of Huajian Shoes’ factory outside Addis Ababa last month chose the wrong day to leave their shirts untucked.

Company President Zhang Huarong, just arrived on a visit from China, spotted them through the window, sprang up and ran outside. The former People’s Liberation Army soldier harangued them loudly in Chinese, tugging at one man’s aqua polo shirt and forcing another’s shirt into his pants. Nonplussed, the workers stood silently until the eruption subsided.

Shaping up a handful of employees is one small part of Zhang’s quest to profit from Huajian’s factory wages of about $40 a month -– less than 10 percent the level in China.

Read more at Businessweek.com »

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Ethiopia Should Consider Currency Devaluation, Says World Bank

(Image credit: warosu.org)

Reuters

By Aaron Maasho

Tue Jul 22, 2014

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia should consider devaluing its currency to boost exports as they are mostly unprocessed products and need to stay competitive on price, a World Bank economist said on Tuesday.

Ethiopia, whose main exports are coffee, horticultural products, oilseeds and livestock, has operated a carefully managed floating exchange rate regime since 1992.

The last big devaluation was in 2010 when the birr lost 16.7 percent of its value to the dollar. The central bank quoted the birr at 19.6511/19.8476 to the U.S. currency on Tuesday.

“By one measure of real exchange rate, Ethiopia’s currency is 31 percent overvalued,” the World Bank’s lead economist in Ethiopia, Lars Christian Moller, said in Addis Ababa.

At an event to launch an economic report on the Horn of Africa nation, he said devaluing the currency by 10 percent could increase export growth by 5 percentage points a year.

Read more »

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As Ethiopia’s ‘Zone 9′ Bloggers Get Popular, They Get Charged With Terror

The US says it is 'deeply concerned' over prosecution of young social media activists. But Ethiopia is a key US ally on the Horn of Africa and any censure may remain rhetorical. (csmonitor)

CS Monitor

By William Davison

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA — Ethiopia has charged 10 reform-minded bloggers and journalists with terrorism offenses – marking the latest in a long line of repressive acts against civil society by a key US partner in the Horn of Africa.

Seven of the 10 bloggers are part of a social media group called Zone 9. The group are mostly young urban professionals known for a fresh and reasoned approach to peaceful change — and who are increasingly well-respected – in an authoritarian nation known for a history of stifling free expression. With elections coming, some say the charges are an easy way for the government to link dissidents to terrorist groups and undermine them.

Six of the bloggers and the three journalists have been held since April, and are now charged under a 2009 terror law that has broad and loose terms. Analysts say these individuals may receive the same long prison sentences as opposition politicians and journalists recently sentenced on similar charges.

Read more at csmonitor.com »

Related:
Zone 9 Bloggers Charged With Terrorism (BBC News)
Interview With the Lawyer of Illegally Detained Zone9 Bloggers (Trial Tracker Blog)
CPJ condemns closed court hearings for nine Ethiopian journalists
Zone9 Co-Founder Speaks Out (Video)

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Ethiopian Jailed in China’s First Khat Smuggling Case

(Image: Wikimedia commons)

Xinhua

July 22, 2014

An Ethiopian was sentenced to seven months in jail for trafficking khat to China, marking the first such case in the country, which classed the plant as an illegal drug this year.

The verdict was handed down earlier this month by the Intermediate People’s Court of Hangzhou, capital of east China’s Zhejiang Province.

The defendant, Ibrahim Abdulsemed Abdosh, was also fined 30,000 yuan (about 4,878 U.S. dollars), the judge in the case, Liu Yun, told Xinhua Tuesday.

Chinese customs officers at the Hangzhou International Airport found0.63 kilograms of khat carried by the man, who had flown there from Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, on January 13, Liu said.

She said the man was aware of China’s ban on khat, a leafy plant chewed as a stimulant, but attempted to escape the immigration inspection.

Read more at china.org »

Related:
17 Indicted in NY Drug Ring Bust for Khat

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Ethiopia Detains 45 Nigerians For Alleged Drug Trafficking – Official

(Image: Google map)

Leadership Newspaper Nigeria

Jul 22, 2014

No fewer than 45 Nigerian nationals are being detained by the Ethiopian authorities for alleged drugs trafficking and related offences, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

A top official of the Embassy of Nigeria in Addis Ababa, who preferred not be mentioned, told NAN that the suspected traffickers, including seven ladies, were arrested at the Addis Ababa International Airport within a period of five months.

The suspects are being detained in various detention facilities within the city while awaiting trial in accordance with international laws on trafficking of drugs and other related offenses.

The embassy official said the suspected traffickers were on transit through the Addis Ababa Airport from countries in South America being points of origin.

The official said most of the suspects were heading to Nigeria and some countries in West Africa being their destination points.

Read more »

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African Art Museum Prunes Plans for Home

Officials are scaling back plans for the Museum for African Art in New York. (Photo: G. TECTS and March)

The New York Times

By PATRICIA COHEN

JULY 22, 2014

A rendering of the new Museum for African Art, with its soaring four-story wall, curved ceiling of rare Ghanaian wood and elaborate spiraling staircase, still sits on an easel in an unfinished concrete skeleton facing Central Park.

But those distinctive features and the $135 million budget that would have paid for them have now been shelved. After years of outsize promises and repeated postponements, officials now acknowledge that fund-raising travails have compelled them to scale back the grand design for the museum’s new home on Fifth Avenue.

The decision to cut the budget by $40 million is a potent reminder of the gulf between blockbuster cultural institutions and everyone else. While lavish building projects are planned or underway at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art, smaller institutions with similarly heady dreams often can’t sustain them.

They lack the hefty endowments, deep-pocketed board members and global stature that can generally immunize even the most grandiose proposals at larger institutions from economic downturns a

Read more at NYT »

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Ukraine Rebels Surrender Downed Airliner Black Boxes to Malaysia

A pro-Russian fighter places a black box from the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on a table while handing it over to Malaysian representatives in the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, July 22, 2014. (AP)

VOA News

A senior separatist leader, Aleksander Borodai, handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts in the city of Donetsk in the early hours of Tuesday.

“Here they are, the black boxes,” Borodai told a room packed with journalists at the headquarters of his self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic as an armed rebel placed the boxes on a desk.

Both sides then signed a document, which Borodai said was a protocol to finalize the procedure after lengthy talks with the Malaysians.

“I can see that the black boxes are intact, although a bit damaged. In good condition,” Colonel Mohamed Sakri of Malaysian National Security Council said in extending his thanks to “His Excellency Mr. Borodai” for passing on the recorders.

Borodai also said a train carrying the remains of the victims of the Malaysia Airlines plane crash has reached Donetsk. It is on its way to Kharkiv, some 300 km (186 miles) northwest.

The Malaysian experts and a Dutch delegation also on site in Donetsk will travel along with it, he said.

U.N. Security Council resolution

The U.N. Security Council on Monday afternoon unanimously passed a resolution condemning the downing of the Malaysian passenger jet and demanded that pro-Russian separatists controlling the crash site allow investigators unrestricted accesss to the area.

Council member Australia, which had 37 nationals aboard the flight, drafted the resolution. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop traveled to New York for the vote. She said Russia, which backs the separatists, must use its influence to ensure the resolution is implemented.

“We must have answers; we must have justice. We owe it to the victims and families to determine what happened and who was responsible,” said Bishop.

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said a resolution should not have been necessary.

“We welcome Russia’s support for today’s resolution. But no resolution would have been necessary had Russia used its leverage with the separatists on Thursday, getting them to lay down their arms and leave the site to international experts. Or on Friday. Or on Saturday. Or even yesterday, ” said Power.

Obama Urges Unimpeded Probe

Earlier in the day U.S. President Barack Obama called on Russia to allow international investigators immediate, full, and unimpeded access to the site in Ukraine where a Malaysian passenger jet was shot down last week.

Obama said Monday the pro-Russian separatists who control the part of eastern Ukraine where the plane went down are preventing international investigators from gaining full access to the wreckage.

“As investigators approached, they fired their weapons into the air. The separatists are removing evidence from the crash site, all which begs the question: What exactly are they trying to hide?” the president asked.

U.S. officials say there is evidence the missile that brought the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 down was fired from territory controlled by rebels who Russia is backing and supplying with equipment that includes anti-aircraft weapons.

Obama said Moscow has urged the rebels on, trained them, and armed them. And he said Russian President Vladimir Putin now should facilitate a transparent investigation.

“Given its direct influence over the separatists, Russia, and President Putin in particular, has direct responsibility to compel them to cooperate with the investigation. That is the least that they can do,” Obama said.

The president said the separatists have been removing bodies from the crash site without following proper procedures, something he called an insult to the victims’ loved ones.

Obama has been speaking to leaders of nations whose citizens were lost on the flight.

The U.S. leader said Russia will only continue to isolate itself from the international community if it keeps supporting the rebels.

Former Pentagon official Dr. Anthony Cordesman was asked whether the magnitude of the downing of MH17 compels Obama to act more aggressively towards Russia.

“I think the word compel isn’t valid. It [the downing of the jet] gives the U.S. more leverage in mobilizing world opinion and getting support for sanctions from European allies.​…but the key problem is how easily something like this can fade….the whole problem of how Russia deals with the states around it is going to go on in the future,​” he said.

Kerry condemns Russia

Secretary of State John Kerry has condemned Russia for what he called “overwhelming evidence” of complicity in Thursday’s downing of the Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine.

In a series of appearances on Sunday news shows, Kerry said the evidence points to Russia supplying pro-Moscow separatists with a sophisticated SA-11 anti-aircraft system and then training separatists to use it.

He said U.S. authorities have seen video, taken after the crash, of a missile launcher with at least one rocket missing. He said that battery was moved back into Russian territory from rebel-held areas in eastern Ukraine after Thursday’s attack, which killed 298 people near the Russian border.

EU to increase sanctions

European leaders said Monday they were ready to slap increasing sanctions on Russia to force Moscow to use its influence over the rebels to stop the conflict and allow international investogators free access to the crash site.

British Prime Minister David Cameron told Parliament Monday that Russia cannot expect to enjoy access to European markets and money if it fuels conflict in Ukraine.

He also echoed comments by Obama that the separatists must ensure the bodies of the victims of the crash are repatriated and that international investigators must be given access to the crash site.

Putin response

Russian President Vladimir Putin once again on Monday said the airliner would not have gone down if Ukraine had not re-ignited fighting last month in the region with separatists.

“We can say with confidence that if fighting in eastern Ukraine had not been renewed on June 28, this tragedy would not have happened,” he said. “At the same time, nobody should or does have a right to use this tragedy to achieve their own selfish political objectives. Such events should not divide, but rather unite people. We need for all people who answer for the situation to uphold their responsibility both before their own people, as before the people of other nations, the representatives of which became victims of this catastrophe. It is necessary to do everything in order to secure the safe work of international experts at the site of the tragedy.”

Putin said Monday that Russia is doing everything possible to allow a team of experts from the U.N. International Civil Aviation Organization to investigate the scene.

VOA’s Luis Ramirez from the White House and Margaret Besheer from the United Nations contributed to this report. Some information provided by Reuters.

Related:
FAA Prohibits US Planes in Ethiopian Airspace North of 12 Degrees Latitude

Video: Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

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Australia Grants Permanent Protection Visa to Teenager Who Fled Ethiopia

Australia's immigration minister Scott Morrison during question time in parliament. (Photograph: AAP)

The Guardian

By Oliver Laughland

Tuesday 22 July 2014

The immigration minister has issued a permanent protection visa to an unaccompanied minor who fled Ethiopia and arrived in Australia by boat, in a major backflip that could have ramifications for other asylum seekers in Australia.

Since the Coalition government came to power in September, Scott Morrison has aggressively stated it would not issue permanent visas to asylum seekers who arrive by boat in Australia and has attempted to cap the number of permanent visas it offers.

But he has now issued a visa to the 15-year-old boy whose case led to a high court ruling that such a cap was invalid.

After the ruling, Morrison had initially indicated he would still not grant the boy a permanent visa, and had appeared intent upon getting around the ruling by introducing a new public interest test in July.

Morrison said following the ruling: “The policy of the Australian government is that those who arrived illegally by boat or plane … should only be granted a temporary visa.

Read more at The Guardian »

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Oprah Magazine Names Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu to Annual Power List

(Image courtesy: Oprah Magazine South Africa and SoleRebels)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, July 21st, 2014

New York (TADIAS) — The Oprah Magazine (South Africa) has named Ethiopian businesswoman Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of SoleRebels — Africa’s fastest growing footwear company —  to its fourth annual O Power List featuring 21 inspiring female leaders from the African continent who are “Rocking the World.” The list comes with commentaries from international celebrities such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Oprah Winfrey honoring the women on the list. “Our August issue of O, The Oprah Magazine has been wrapped up, and we’ve finalized our 2014 Women of Africa,” the magazine announced.

Bethlehem, who is also scheduled to receive the 2014 Outstanding Achievement in Entrepreneurship Award given by the pan-African media company Face2face Africa at a ceremony in New York on July 26th, said in an email to Tadias Magazine that she is “elated” to be selected by Oprah Winfrey to this list. “It’s a doubly sweet honor to be among such incredibly talented women.”

Other honorees include Oscar winning actress Lupita Nyong’o; Founder & Executive Director DNA Project Vanessa Lynch; journalist & author Mandy Wiener; Host of Africa Business Report on BBC World News and respected business journalist Lerato Mbele; Senior Editor & Producer for Essence.com and co-founder of online magazine AfriPOP Yolanda Sangweni; Award-winning actress and Executive Producer of Elelwani Florence Masebe; and Executive Director of the Desmond Tutu Legacy Foundation, Reverend Mpho Tutu.

Learn more about the “O List” at Oprah Magazine South Africa »

Related:
2014 Face2face Africa Awards Preview

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U.S.-AFRICA SUMMIT: United Africa? Not Yet

From Marcus Garvey to Bob Marley, see leading figures who championed a United States of Africa. (WSJ)

The Wall Street Journal

By PETER WONACOTT CONNECT

The journalist and black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey wrote a poem about it. The reggae great Bob Marley sang about it. And the Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi poured his oil wealth into it. But none lived to see a United States of Africa.

This history of disappointed hopes will provide the backdrop in early August when President Barack Obama hosts the inaugural U.S.-Africa summit in Washington. Only a few of Africa’s 54 leaders—including Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, who is still the target of U.S. sanctions—haven’t been invited.

The U.S. wants to discuss continent-wide issues, such as security and terrorism, and to promote regional initiatives, such as shared electricity. To stress the breadth of the meeting’s aims, Mr. Obama plans to meet with the African heads of state as a group, not individually—a move that has ruffled some diplomatic feathers.

The vision of an impoverished continent of countries coming together as one, flexing its muscle in geopolitics and the global economy, has long enticed activists, poets and politicians. But today’s Africa remains divided, largely along hastily drawn colonial-era borders. The question now is whether the still-remote idea of political unity can find new life in the more modest goal of an integrated economic community. The obstacles are formidable.

Read more at WSJ.com »

Related:
Transport Chiefs From Five Countries to Visit Chicago Ahead of U.S.-Africa Summit (TADIAS)
Beyond Obama Haters: Real Recommendations for The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit (Brookings)
Ambassador David Shinn on the 2014 Africa Summit in DC (TADIAS)

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Ethiopia’s Child Brides See Marriage As Key to Jobs Abroad, Says Thinktank

Lubaba Abdella and the family she supported with her earnings in Saudi Arabia. Her marriage lasted only three months and her husband hit her. (Photograph: Clare Price/ODI)

The Guardian

By David Smith

Monday 21 July 2014

Up a bumpy, winding dirt track in the mountains of northern Ethiopia, past two bulls chewing pasture and a rondavel built from sticks and cow dung, is the modest home of Lubaba Abdella, its mudbrick walls reinforced by eucalyptus bark and topped by a corrugated roof.

Abdella has lived a lifetime, yet she is still in her teens. She dropped out of school, married, divorced three months later and emigrated illegally so she could cook and clean for a family in Saudi Arabia, earning money to support her parents and eight siblings. Now she is home and back to square one.

Three-quarters of girls in the Ethiopian region of Amhara become child brides like Abdella, according to the London-based Overseas Development Institute. Many also join the so-called “maid trade”: up to 1,500 girls and women leave the east African country each day to become domestic workers in the Middle East. A study has shown for the first time how these pernicious trends feed off each other.

In Ethiopia’s Muslim communities it is often deeply shameful or “sinful” for girls to remain unmarried after they begin menstruating, notes the ODI. But once girls are married and sexually initiated, parents consider their social and religious obligations complete.

The thinktank’s researchers in Amhara found it was therefore becoming common for parents to insist on marriage followed by a swift divorce so that their daughter was free to migrate and send her earnings home to her parents, rather than her husband. The fact a girl had already been “deflowered” meant she was seen as less likely to be disgraced by foreign men. “It’s a question of virtue and virginity,” one local researcher said. “Better to lose it in a dignified way.”

Read more at The Guardian »

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The French Beverage Giant Castel Announces Wine Made in Ethiopia

The French beverage giant Castel, which bottled its first batch of Ethiopian wine this year, is helping change the way outsiders view the country and doing its bit to boost foreign investment. (Photo: AFP)

AFP

Published: 20 Jul 2014

Beyond the donkeys on a potholed road in southern Ethiopia, is an unexpected sight — vineyards bursting with merlot, syrah and chardonnay grapes ripening in the African sun.

The scene is more reminiscent of France’s Beaujolais region than this corner of the Horn of the Africa, which for many still conjures images of famine, poverty and war.

“People outside Ethiopia may know of the drought 10 years ago,” Industry Minister Ahmed Abtew told AFP. “But when they see wine with ‘Made in Ethiopia’ on it, their mind automatically changes.”

The French beverage giant Castel, which bottled its first batch of Ethiopian wine this year, is helping change the way outsiders view the country. It is also boosting government hopes of attracting foreign investment, key to its plans to reach middle income status by 2025.

The country’s growth rates are already among the highest in Africa, hitting 11.2 percent last year according to the government, although the International Monetary Fund puts the figure at 8.2 percent.

For Castel, the ambition is merely to produce good wine, and Ethiopia is an ideal — if surprising — place to do that.

Read more »

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Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW) Fundraising Event in DC

At the 2014 International Conference of Ethiopian Women in the Diaspora. (Photo: by Kebadu Belachew)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Washington, D.C. (TADIAS) – Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW) will be holding a fundraising event on August 2, 2014 at Howard University’s Blackburn Center in Washington, D.C. The event includes a panel on “The Role of Civil Society on Human Rights Issues.”

Since the organization was founded two years ago, it has hosted several events highlighting issues that are pertinent to Ethiopian women worldwide, including most notably the plight of female Ethiopian domestic workers in Middle Eastern countries. The Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women ”has launched a campaign to create awareness and to challenge the international community to address their situation,” states Dr. Maigenet Shifferraw, President of CREW, in her message explaining the mission of the U.S.-based non-profit.

“Other critical issues related to the rights of Ethiopian women worldwide are also being addressed,” Maigenet adds. “Our members are committed to building a credible and strong independent women’s organization that will stand firmly for the respect of the rights of Ethiopian women worldwide. We believe that women’s rights are human rights. Understanding the complex issues of gender equality in the context of the political, cultural and economic milieu in Ethiopia is important. A transformative approach is required in order to empower women so that they could advance their rights. Ethiopian women’s active involvement in order to bring about peace, equality and democracy is vital to the development of our society. CREW will collaborate with all organizations that promote the rights of women.”


If You Go:
Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW)
Fundraising Event and Panel Discussion
Saturday, August 2, 2014
4pm – 11pm
Howard University Blackburn Center
2397 6th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20059
Telephone: 240-667-5227
www.centerforethiopianwomen.org

Photos: CREW Hosts the Third International Conference of Ethiopian Women in the Diaspora

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Clarification: There Are No Recent FAA Warnings For Flights in or Out of Ethiopia

Image courtesy: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

U.S. Embassy

Press Release

July 23, 2014

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, July 23, 2014 – There has been no recent FAA warning for flights in or out of Ethiopia. The FAA flight prohibition (SFAR 87 of May 16, 2000) pertaining to Northern Ethiopia predates the June 18, 2000 cessation of hostilities between Ethiopia and Eritrea and has not been updated subsequently. The FAA advisory (KFDC A0012/97) pertaining to Ethiopia/Kenya dates to 2002.

Neither the FAA flight prohibition nor the FAA advisory was issued after Flight MH 17 was shot down in eastern Ukraine on July 17, as some media outlets have erroneously reported. Both the Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) No. 87 and the FAA advisory apply only to U.S. air carriers or commercial operators.

FAA Prohibits US Planes in Ethiopian Airspace North of 12 Degrees Latitude


Image courtesy: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

Tadias Magazine
News Update

Published: Saturday, July 19th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced that it has prohibited all U.S. air carriers and commercial operators from flying in Ethiopian airspace north of 12 degrees latitude as precaution following the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine on Thursday.

The Washington Post reports that the “FAA expanded an existing regulation that prohibited certain flights from operating in the region. The FAA regularly issues airspace restrictions and prohibitions for U.S. aircraft traveling through potentially hostile airspace.”

The FAA document entitled ‘Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 87 – Prohibition against Certain Flights Within the Territory and Airspace of Ethiopia’ states that “This Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) applies to all U.S. air carriers or commercial operators, all persons exercising the privileges of an airman certificate issued by the FAA unless that person is engaged in the operation of a U.S.-registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier, and all operators using aircraft registered in the United States except where the operator of such aircraft is a foreign air carrier.”

In describing the “potentially hostile situation” in the Horn of Africa the advisory notes that “Aircraft that cross into Ethiopian airspace while taking off or landing at Mandera Airstrip in Kenya may be fired upon by Ethiopian forces. Mandera is located in the extreme northeastern corner of Kenya, adjacent Ethiopia and Somalia. Operators considering flights to northeastern Kenya should familiarize themselves with the current situation.”

Other countries where the American flight prohibitions apply include Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Congo, Egypt Sinai Peninsula, Iran, Kenya, Mali, Syria and Yemen.

The document adds that the special regulation will remain in effect until further notice from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Click here to read FAA’s flight advisory and prohibition for U.S. aircraft in Ethiopia.

Video: Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months


Related:
Ukraine: Russians Shot Down Malaysia Flight (VOA News)

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Genzebe Dibaba Wins 5000m at 2014 IAAF Diamond League in Monaco

Genzebe Dibaba wins the 5000m at the 2014 IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco on July 18th.

Tadias Magazine
News Update

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) — When it comes to a winning streak in the international running field, this has been the year of Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba. The 23-year-old athlete repeated her victorious performance in Monaco on Friday capturing first place in the 5000 meters women’s race at the 2014 IAAF Diamond League track and field competition.

Genzebe finished the race in a world-leading time of 14:28.88, ahead of fellow Ethiopian Almaz Ayana (14:29.19) who came in second. Viola Jelagat Kibiwot of Kenya was third with time of 14:33.73.

See the full results at iaaf.org »

Video: Genzebe Dibaba wins 5000m and Huddle gets US record in Monaco – Universal Sports


Related:
Genzebe Dibaba Wants More World Records (TADIAS)

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HRW: Drop Case Against Zone 9 Bloggers

Human Rights Watch says "Politically Motivated Charges Show Misuse of Terrorism Law." (File photos)

HRW

Ethiopia: Drop Case Against Bloggers, Journalists

(Nairobi, July 19, 2014) – The Ethiopian government should immediately drop politically motivated charges brought against 10 bloggers and journalists on July 17, 2014, under the country’s deeply flawed anti-terrorism law.

The Ethiopian authorities arrested six of the bloggers and three journalists on April 25 and 26. They have been detained in Maekelawi, the Federal Police Crime Investigation Sector in Addis Ababa. The court charged the nine with having links to banned opposition groups and trying to violently overthrow the government, local media reported. A tenth blogger, who was not in Ethiopia at the time of the arrests, was charged in absentia.

“Ethiopia’s courts are making a mockery of their own judicial system,” said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Hiding behind an abusive anti-terrorism law to prosecute bloggers and journalists doing their job is an affront to the constitution and international protection for free expression.”

The charges are part of an intensified crackdown in Ethiopia in recent months against perceived political opponents, Human Rights Watch said.

The six bloggers in custody are Atnaf Berahane, Befekadu Hailu, Abel Wabela, Mahlet Fantahun, Natnael Feleke, and Zelalem Kibret. Soliana Shimeles was charged in absentia. The three journalists are Tesfalem Waldyes, Edom Kassaye, and Asmamaw Hailegiorgis, an editor at weekly magazine Addis Guday.

The bloggers are part of a blogging collective known as Zone 9, which provides commentary on current events in Ethiopia. The Zone 9 group had stopped blogging in February after security officials harassed the group and questioned them about their work and alleged links to political opposition parties and human rights organizations.

Zone 9 announced on Facebook on April 23 that they would resume blogging, and on April 25 and 26 the six bloggers were arrested. They were detained for over 80 days without charge, and remain in custody. Their lawyer, Ameha Mekonnen, has had only sporadic access to them, and family members were not allowed to meet with them until July 9. The lawyer plans to bring a civil suit about irregularities in the legal process, media reports said.

The bloggers and journalists are accused of connections to Ginbot 7 and the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), two of five organizations designated as terrorist organizations in 2011 by the House of Representatives, the Ethiopian parliament. Human Rights Watch has not yet obtained the charge sheets, but credible media reports say that the bloggers and journalists are alleged to have taken directions from Ginbot 7 and OLF, planning and organizing terrorist acts, and agreeing to overthrow the government through force.

Judge Tareke Alemayehu was reported in the media saying that the group “took training in how to make explosives and planned to train others,” accusing them of plotting “to destabilize the nation” and using blogging as a cover for “clandestine” activities.

Human Rights Watch and other organizations have repeatedly raised concerns about Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism law’s overly broad definition of “terrorist acts” and provisions on support for terrorism. Its vague prohibition of “moral support” for terrorism has been used to convict a number of journalists. Since 2011, at least 11 journalists, and possibly many more, have been convicted for their journalistic activities, even though the Ethiopian constitution and international law protect media freedom.

Three of the Zone 9 bloggers were outside of Ethiopia when their colleagues were arrested. According to media reports, one of these, Soliana Shimeles, was charged in absentia with coordinating foreign relations for the group and coordinating digital security training with “Security in-a-box”, a publicly available training tool used by advocates and human rights defenders. Human Rights Watch has documented how the Ethiopian government monitors email and telephone communications, often using information unlawfully collected, without a warrant, during interrogations.

“The fact that bloggers used digital security isn’t terrorism but common sense, especially in a repressive environment like Ethiopia,” Lefkow said. “The government should drop these charges and immediately release these nine journalists and bloggers, as well as others who have been wrongfully prosecuted under the anti-terrorism law.”

Others caught up in the government’s recent crackdown are four opposition leaders affiliated with political parties – Yeshewas Asefa of the Blue Party, Abraha Desta of the Arena Tigray party, and Daniel Shibeshi and Habtamu Ayalew of the Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) party. They were arrested on July 8, 2014, accused of providing support to terrorist groups, media reports said. They are scheduled to appear in court on August 14.

On June 23 or 24, Andargachew Tsige, a British citizen and secretary-general of Ginbot 7, was deported to Ethiopia from Yemen while in transit, in violation of international law prohibitions against sending someone to a country where they are likely to face torture or other mistreatment. He had twice been sentenced to death in absentia for his involvement with Ginbot 7. His whereabouts in Ethiopia are unknown. He has been detained for more than three weeks without access to family members, legal counsel, or UK consular officials, in violation of Ethiopian and international law.

Related:
Zone 9 Bloggers Charged With Terrorism (BBC News)
Interview With the Lawyer of Illegally Detained Zone9 Bloggers (Trial Tracker Blog)
CPJ condemns closed court hearings for nine Ethiopian journalists
Zone9 Co-Founder Speaks Out (Video)

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Book Talk on Emperor Tewodros of Ethiopia at Politics and Prose Bookstore in DC

(Image: From the book "Crossing Ethiopia: Retracing The Last March of Emperor Tewodros to Magdala")

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Washington, D.C. (TADIAS) – John Snyder, author of the new photography book Crossing Ethiopia, which chronicles his own journey retracing the last march of Emperor Tewodros of Ethiopia to Magdala to face a British army numbering over 60,000, initially thought of making a movie on the scale of Lawrence of Arabia to depict Tewodros’ epic confrontation with Victorian England over European hostages held by Tewodros including the English ambassador to Ethiopia. Snyder writes: “A chain of events that eventually brought in the massive British Expedition of 1867-1868 began when a new English consul, Charles Cameron, arrived to replace the murdered [former consul and close friend of Tewodros ], Walter Plowden.”

In October of 1862 Tewodros gave Cameron 1000 dollars and a letter “directing him to hand deliver” to Queen Victoria. “Cameron went only as far as northern Ethiopia from which he forwarded the letter on to England,” writes Snyder. “Returning in June of 1863 without a reply from Victoria, he incurred the wrath of Tewodros, who forbade his leaving the country until an answer was received.”

In the meantime mail had arrived from France containing a response to Tewodros’ letter to Napoleon III. Suffice it to say that the reply was not exactly what the Ethiopian Emperor was looking for, not to mention that it was not signed by the French King himself. Snyder notes that “after ripping the letter to shreds and trampling it underfoot,” Emperor Tewodros is quoted as saying: “I know the tactics of European Governments when they wish to acquire a possession of Oriental States. They first send missionaries, then consuls to support the missionaries, then armies to support the consuls. I am not a Rajah of Hindustan to be humbugged in that fashion. I prefer at once having to do with the armies.”

In 1868 Ethiopian and British “armies converged for a showdown at Magdala, a mountaintop fortress where a handful of European prisoners were residing in fetters at the mercy of the Emperor.” Snyder states in his introduction: “Costing $9 million in 1867 sterling, (translating to over $5 billion today) it was, and remains, history’s most expensive hostage rescue operation.”

“Born in a remote province west of Lake Tana in 1818, Tewodros received a convent education that left him literate and deeply versed in the bible. After his teens, however, he did nothing but soldiering, getting his start as a shifta (bandit). A few followers gradually swelled into an army as he led them from one brilliant victory to another. By the age of 35, he had conquered all of highland Ethiopia and declared himself emperor. At his coronation in 1855, he cleverly designated himself Tewodros II, fulfilling a legend that 15th century King Tewodros I would eventually have a successor by the same name.”

History also records that Tewodros’ tenor as the crown holder was marked by his infamous killing sprees directed at his own domestic ‘enemies.’ Even his ill-fated letter to the Queen of England was full of macho imagery bordering on religious and ethnic fanaticism. In assuring Victoria that he is taking action to avenge the life of her former ambassador and his close friend Walter Plowden, Tewodros adds: “All men are subject to death, and my enemies, thinking to injure me, killing these my friends. But by the power of God I have exterminated these enemies, not leaving one alive, although they were my own family, that I may get, by the power of God, your friendship – I wish to have an answer to this letter by Consul Cameron and that he may go with my embassy to England…”

The author of Crossing Ethiopia: Retracing The Last March of Emperor Tewodros to Magdala, John Snyder, will be giving a book talk on July 27 in Washington, DC at Politics & Prose bookstore. “I am pleased to report that Foreword Reviews has just awarded Crossing Ethiopia Honorable Mention in the photography category of their 2013 IndieFab competition,” he shared.

If You Go:
DATE: SUNDAY, JULY 27
TIME: 1 PM
POLITICS & PROSE BOOKSTORE
5015 CONNECTICUT AVE., NW
WASHINGTON, DC 20016
202-364-1919
www.politics-prose.com

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Zone 9 Bloggers Charged With Terrorism

(Image credit: © Fractal Element from Facebook)

BBC News

Updated: 18 July 2014

Nine Ethiopian journalists and bloggers held in detention since April have been charged with terrorism by a court in the capital, Addis Ababa.

They deny receiving financial aid and instructions from terrorists groups to destabilise the country.

New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said the government was trying to stifle opposition and media freedom in the country.

They all belonged to the social media activist group Zone 9.

Correspondents say Ethiopia has increasingly faced criticism from donors and human rights groups for jailing its critics – many of whom have sought asylum abroad in fear of being arrested and tortured in jail.

Read more at BBC News »

Ethiopian Authorities Charge Nine Journalists With Terrorism) CPJ


Zone 9′s website has carried pieces critical of the government. (BBC)

CPJ

July 17, 2014

Nairobi – An Ethiopian court charged nine Ethiopian journalists arrested in April with inciting violence and terrorism, according to local journalists and news reports. The nine arrested include six bloggers from an independent collective called Zone 9, which publishes critical news and commentary.

“Expressing critical views is not a terrorist act. Once again, the Ethiopian government is misusing anti-terrorism legislation to suppress political dissent and intimidate journalists,” said CPJ East Africa Representative Tom Rhodes. “We call on Ethiopian authorities to release all journalists who have been imprisoned for doing their jobs.”

On April 25 and 26, authorities arrested the nine journalists–editor Asmamaw Hailegeorgis, freelancers Tesfalem Waldyes and Edom Kassaye, and bloggers Abel Wabella, Atnaf Berhane, Mahlet Fantahun, Natnail Feleke, Zelalem Kibret, and Befekadu Hailu–and accused them of working with foreign human rights groups and using social media to create instability in the country. Authorities have held the journalists for more than 80 days without charge, beyond the maximum period allowed under the terrorism law, according to news reports. Since 2009, when the anti-terror law was implemented, the Ethiopian government has used the sweeping legislation to imprison more than a dozen critical journalists, according to CPJ research.

Read more at CPJ Blog »

Related:
Interview With the Lawyer of Illegally Detained Zone9 Bloggers (Trial Tracker Blog)
CPJ condemns closed court hearings for nine Ethiopian journalists
Zone9 Co-Founder Speaks Out (Video)

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She’s Got A Perfect Afro — And A Melodious Vision For African Musicians

Ethiopian-born singer Meklit Hadero shows off her guitar chops and her perfect afro. (Photo: Cody Pickens)

NPR

By MARC SILVER

In February, Ethiopian-born singer Meklit Hadero was flying home from Uganda to the U.S. when her plane had to land unexpectedly near the Arctic Circle. It was so cold that to keep her fingers warm she put on oven mitts (decorated with an African print) that she’d bought to bring home.

A fellow passenger introduced himself: Leelai Demoz, he’s Ethiopian, too. He’d just finished co-producing Difret, a movie based on the true story of a 14-year-old Ethiopian girl abducted by a man who wanted to marry her; the girl shot him and was tried for murder.

Hadero and Demoz hung out, hoped to see the Northern Lights (no luck, it was foggy). By coincidence, a few weeks later, Hadero got a call from Lincoln Center to see if she’d sing at a screening of Difret.

So it’s a small world for global artists.

And that’s especially true for African musicians who’ve come to the West. They can get together and mix it up in diaspora more readily than on the continent, says Hadero, who left Ethiopia as a toddler in 1981 and now lives in the Bay Area. “There are 437 million people in the Nile Basin. There are all sorts of political tensions around how we share water,” she says. “There are barriers to getting to know each other. There’s not a lot of access.”

Her solution was to co-found the Nile Project, along with Egyptian ethnomusicologist Mina Girgis. They invite musicians from the 10 countries along the Nile River to play together and record an album. She was returning from a three-weeks session in Kampala, Uganda, when she had her Arctic detour.

Back home, Hadero talked about her music, how the Nile Project has changed it — and what it’s like to be compared to Joni Mitchell. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Read the interview at NPR »



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The Andargachew Tsige Saga: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Ethiopia?

Why the arrest of one of Addis Ababa's most vocal critics is a huge embarrassment for the West. (FP)

Foreign Policy Magazine

By Martin plaut

Tall metal metal gates guard a courtyard just off a busy street north of London’s financial district. The area, once down and out, is today much sought after, but scattered between the newly refurbished warehouses and loft apartments are some blocks of municipal housing populated largely by the city’s African immigrant communities. Inside their yard, small boys are kicking a soccer ball. “Yemi’s my mum,” one of the boys says, leading the way up the building’s aging concrete stairwell to the fourth-floor flat.

A small, slim woman, Yemi smiles easily. On her shelves are portraits of her parents, who left Ethiopia for the United States in 1982 to make a new life for their family. A black-and-white photograph shows her father as a young man in Ethiopian uniform. “He was in the army,” Yemi explains. “But he left for civilian life in 1972 before the Derg took power.”

The Derg, or “Coordinating Committee of the Armed Forces, Police, and Territorial Army,” comprised a group of low-ranking officers who deposed Emperor Haile Selassie. The emperor had ruled Ethiopia for four decades until his failure to respond to a devastating famine in 1974 led to his overthrow and subsequent murder. Mengistu Haile Mariam, an obscure army major, led the coup and went on to rule Ethiopia with an iron fist, engaging in a ruthless campaign of repression that became known as the Red Terror. Executions were rife and tens of thousands of people were imprisoned until the Derg was ousted by the country’s current rulers in 1991.

Yemi was lucky that her father left the military when he did. “Yes,” she agrees, “they killed so many of their own.”

The violent revolutions that have marked Ethiopia’s recent history still reverberate today. The country has enjoyed substantial donor support ever since the devastating 1984-1985 famine and has been an important ally in the fight against Islamic extremism in the Horn of Africa. But the government, while nominally democratic, still tolerates little opposition — a reality Yemi knows all too well.

Yemi, whose full name is Yemsrach Hailemariam, is today caring for her two small boys and their sister on her own. On July 9, her partner, Andargachew Tsige, a leader of Ethiopia’s largest exiled opposition movement, was arrested in an airport transit lounge in Yemen. He had been on his way from the United Arab Emirates to Eritrea when he was picked up by Yemeni security, who then bundled him onto a plane bound for Ethiopia.

Read more at foreignpolicy.com »

Related:
BBC News: PM Hailemariam Defends Andargachew Tsege Arrest (BBC News)
Andargachew Tsige: Letter From UK’s Foreign Office to Ethiopian American Council (TADIAS)
Ginbot 7′s Andargachew Tsege: Ethiopia confirms arrest (BBC News)
Snatched: Justice and Politics in Ethiopia (The Economist)
Fears for Safety of Returned Opposition Leader (HRW)
Ethiopia Urged to Protect Opposition Leader (AP via The Washington Post)
Yemen Extradites Exiled Ethiopian Opposition Chief, British Citizen, to Ethiopia (AFP)
Ethiopia Ginbot 7 leader facing death penalty ‘extradited from Yemen’ (BBC News)
UK Stands Accused Over Extradition of Ethiopian Opposition Leader (The Guardian)
Ethiopia Asks Yemen to Extradite Activist (Al Jazeera)
Leading Ethiopian Opposition Figure Detained in Yemen (Yemen Times)

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American Artist Lecture: Julie Mehretu at Tate Modern in London

Julie Mehretu at her studio in New York. (Photograph: Tim Knox)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Thursday, July 17th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopian-born American painter Julie Mehretu is featured in the upcoming fifth American Artist Lecture Series at the Tate Modern in London on September 22, 2014. “This series seeks to bring the greatest living modern and contemporary American artists to the UK.” The program is a partnership between Art in Embassies, Tate Modern and US Embassy London.

Julie, who was born in Addis Ababa in 1970 and immigrated to the United States with her family in 1977, is one of the leading contemporary artists in the United States and one of two Ethiopian-born artists whose work is part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art (the other artist is Skunder Boghossian). Julie, who currently lives and works in New York, has received numerous international recognition for her work including the American Art Award from the Whitney Museum of American Art and the prestigious MacArthur Fellow award. She had residencies at the Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston (1998–99), the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2001), the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota (2003), and the American Academy in Berlin (2007).

If You Go:
American Artist Lecture: Julie Mehretu
Tate Modern, Starr Auditorium
Monday 22nd September 2014 At 18:30
Click here to book your ticket.

Related:
Julie Mehretu on Africa’s Emerging Presence in Contemporary Art

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Transport Officials From Five Countries to Visit Chicago Ahead of U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

Image Courtesy: Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – High level officials from five of Africa’s largest economies: Algeria, Angola, Ethiopia, Nigeria and South Africa, are expected to visit Chicago this month for aviation and rail focused meetings hosted by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The visit will take place July 30 – August 1, 2014, prior to the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, which will be hosted by President Obama on August 5-6 in Washington DC.

Due to the level of the delegates and the brevity of the visit, we are told, it is unlikely that there will be any time for one-on-one meetings with U.S. companies at their offices. Rather the Chicago gatherings (open to the public) includes a “Welcome Reception” on Wednesday, July 30th at Willis Tower Skydeck on the 99th Floor (Participation Fee: $90 per US Business) as well as “Dinner on Transportation in Africa” scheduled for Thursday, July 31st at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park (Participation Fee: $120 per US Business).

“The African Leaders’ visit to Chicago, Illinois is designed to share the United States’ experience fostering economic growth through key infrastructure investments by highlighting U.S. expertise in the rail and aviation sectors,” stated the announcement from the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU), the organizer of the event. “The African Leaders’ visit is an opportunity for high level officials from five of Africa’s largest economies to convene with U.S. leaders to explore how investments in state-of-the-art transportation infrastructure drive economic growth.”

Organizers note that representatives from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) will also take part in the conference. The list of ministers confirmed to participate include Amar Tou (Minister of Transport of Algeria), Augusto da Silva Tomás (Minister of Transport of Republic of Angola), Workneh Gebeyehu (Minister of Transport of Ethiopia), Idris Audu Umar (Minister of Transport of Nigeria), and Elizabeth Dipuo Peters (Minister of Transport of South Africa).

Per BCIU: “Chicago’s economic strength, like many cities throughout the United States, was built by its strong transportation connections to trading partners across the country and around the world. Its aviation and rail links have enabled an interior city to become a major port for the movement of goods and passengers.”

Individuals and organizations interested to attend may contact ALVTransport@bciu.org for more information. Or visit: bciu.org

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Ethiopia’s Key to Safer Births? Better Roads

Ergedu Mitiku rocks her seven-week-old son in her home in Mosebo, a village in Ethiopia's Amhara Region on June 19. 2014. (Photograph: Ariel Zirulnick/TCSM)

CS Monitor

By Ariel Zirulnick

MOSEBO, AMHARA REGION, ETHIOPIA — From the booming capital of Addis Ababa to Ethiopia’s remotest border regions, excavators are busy scraping earth, making way for roads that will finally connect the far reaches of this largely rural country.

Ethiopia’s full-court press toward a modern road network is certainly a boon to its industry and agriculture. But it may also help Ethiopia shed its notoriety as one of the worst places to be an expectant mother or a newborn. Women name distance and transit as two of the greatest obstacles to accessing health services.

Ethiopia’s maternal and newborn mortality rates are among the world’s highest, though its maternal mortality rates are declining faster than anywhere else on the continent. Many deaths are caused by childbirth complications that could be handled by someone with medical training. Sanitation is another problem. Yet more than 60 percent of women still give birth at home, according to government estimates. (Some international aid groups estimate that number is closer to 80 percent.)

Read more at csmonitor.com »

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Denver Post: The 2nd Taste of Ethiopia Festival Has a New Day and Place – Aug 3

Yohanis Mekonen, 8, center, looks up while dancing in a circle at the first annual Taste of Ethiopia Grand Festival at Laredo Elementary School in Aurora, Co, on July 28, 2013. (Denver Post file photograph)

The Denver Post

By Joey Bunch

The second Taste of Ethiopia Festival has a new day and place: Aug. 3 at Central Park in Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood.

This year’s event joins Denver Days, Mayor Michael Hancock’s week-long tour of events across the city intended to “help neighbors get to know each other and get involved with their communities,” according to the city.

The Taste of Ethiopia, which runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., includes not just food and drinks, but cultural performances, vendors and music.

Last year, thousands turned out on the last Sunday in July to dine at the first festival, which took place at Laredo Elementary School in Aurora.

Lines lasted until the food — prepared by a team of volunteer cooks with Ethiopian lineage — ran out. There was standing room only for the cultural performances in the school gym.

“As a vibrant and growing community in Colorado, we want to share our best values and culture with Colorado,” said festival organizer Nebiyu Asfaw. “We have a very rich heritage and culture that greatly emphasizes community and sharing.”

Asfaw said the food will be prepared with fresh ingredients “and lots of love.”

Read more at The Denver Post »

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Grammy-nominated, Singer/Songwriter Wayna Returns to the Blue Note NYC

Wayna (Woyneab Wondwossen) is an Ethiopian-born, Grammy-nominated R&B singer. (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – “I’ve always been a bit of an expat,” says Grammy-nominated, Ethiopian-born, singer/songwriter, Wayna, who is scheduled to perform at the Blue Note in New York on Monday July 21st. Wayna is currently promoting her latest album The Expats. The CD, which The Washington Post calls “brilliant,” is a fusion of diverse genres of world music including Rock, African, Reggae, Soul and R&B sounds.

“I want this album to be about exploring and expressing all the ways in which I and every one of us are unique, culturally or otherwise, and to celebrate those differences unapologetically,” she adds. “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

If You Go:
Wayna at the Blue Note
Monday, July 21st, 2014
Showtime: 10:30PM
Doors Open at 9:45PM
131 West 3rd Street
New York, NY 10012
Telephone: 212-475-8592
RSVP at www.bluenote.net

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Hailu Mergia at Lincoln Center NYC

Hailu Mergia backed by the band Low Mentality will be performing at David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center in New York City on Thursday, July 17, 2014. (Photograph Credit: NYT via atrium.lincolncenter.org)

Tadias Magazine
Tadias Staff

Published: Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – Bandleader and multi-instrumentalist Hailu Mergia will play at Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium on Thursday, July 17th at 7:30pm. The Ethiopian artist (who gained fame as an organist and keyboardist in the historic Walias and Zula bands) “borrows from the beauty of traditional Amharic, Tigrinya, and Oromo melodies to form swirling arrangements of keyboard, accordion, Rhodes piano, and Moog synthesizer,” organizers announced.

“In this performance, [Hailu] partners with Nikhil P. Yerawadekar’s Low Mentality for bass and beat-oriented rock and roll melded with Afro-pop, reggae, hip-hop, calypso, and more. The collective plans to release an abundance of new material in the coming year, culminating with its debut album.”

If You Go:
Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 7:30pm
David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center
Broadway between 62nd and 63rd Streets
New York, NY
atrium.lincolncenter.org

Video: Hailu Mergia – Shemonmuanaye

Audio: Hailu Mergia and The Walias Band playing – Tche Belew

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Julie Mehretu on Africa’s Emerging Presence in Contemporary Art

“This is a fascinating moment in time as the terms and notions of African art are reconsidered. As an artist I feel my work is being repositioned as the landscape broadens." — Julie Mehretu. (Porter Magazine)

By VICTORIA L. VALENTINE | Culture Type

PORTER MAGAZINE, a new print publication produced by Net-a-Porter, the online luxury retailer, mostly covers fashion, but also devotes a fair amount of editorial to art and culture. Its summer edition features a brief interview with Julie Mehretu (above, right-hand page) about Africa’s emerging presence in the contemporary art world.

The Ethiopian-born, Michigan-reared, New York-based painter is queried about three issues: the significance of the new Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, which is scheduled to open in Cape Town in 2016; whether her heritage influences her work; and the Ethiopian film she is producing.

Mehretu says a shift is afoot in the art world: “It is so exciting to imagine the potential of the [Zeitz] museum. Things are opening up for the art of Africa, in the continent and internationally.”

She confides that being Ethiopian and American are central to her identity, but she is not comfortable having her nationality or geography define her work.

“My journey as an artist has been about figuring out who I am and my place in the world; understanding my thoughts in relation to place and time. As an artist, what moves me is a desire to make sense of myself and the world at large,” Mehretu tells Porter.

Read the full story »

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British MPs Brand Ethiopian Farmer Case Funded by UK Taxpayers ‘Ridiculous’

Ethiopia's Gambella region. (Getty Images/AFP)

Daily Mail

By JAMES SLACK and IAN DRURY

An Ethiopian farmer has won permission to use taxpayers’ money to sue the British Government … for sending aid to his homeland.

The case, branded ridiculous by MPs, will be funded entirely by the public even though the farmer has never set foot in this country.

The 33-year-old Ethiopian – granted anonymity to protect his family – says ministers are funding a one-party state in his country that has breached his human rights. He says foreign aid helped the regime inflict ‘brutal treatment’ on thousands of farmers driven from their land, against the International Development Act 2002.

Taxpayers will pay for both the farmer’s lawyers and a defence team from the Department for International Development, in a case that could cost tens of thousands of pounds. This is in addition to the £1.3billion Britain has sent to Ethiopia since 2010.

The farmer lodged the court papers from Kenya, before Justice Secretary Chris Grayling introduced rules to prevent cases being brought by those who have never set foot in the UK. The changes, which come into force next month, will mean anybody seeking legal aid in civil cases must have been resident in Britain for at least 12 months.

A Whitehall source said: ‘Whatever hardships this man has faced, the idea that someone without any connection to this country can get public money to sue the Government borders on the farcical.’

Read more at Daily Mail Online »

Related:
Ethiopian Man Takes UK to Court Over Resettlement Policy (BBC News)

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2014 Face2face Africa Awards Preview

(Image: Courtesy Face2faceafrica)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Monday, July 14th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – This month, the pan-African media company Face2face Africa will host an event in New York honoring “Outstanding Achievement in Entrepreneurship” from the African continent. Among those to be recognized with an award include Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Founder and CEO of Ethiopian shoe company SoleRebels, a Sudanese-British mobile communications entrepreneur and billionaire Dr Mohamed “Mo” Ibrahim, South Sudanese British model and designer Alek Wek, and Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Femi Kuti.

Face2face Africa Founder Isaac Boateng stated in a press release that his media venture is “committed to bringing quality programs” that highlight “the ingenuity” of the pan-African community. “From the young visionaries who are introducing innovative solutions to long-standing challenges, to the icons who have broken down barriers and made it possible for others to dream, we are committed to telling their phenomenal stories and honoring their contributions,” he said.

In a statement the Ethiopian honoree Bethlehem — who also recently launched a luxury leather goods company Republic of Leather — said she was “elated” by the recognition. “I feel deeply honored and excited to receive this award,” she shared. “It’s even more exciting to be in the company of my incredible fellow honorees.” Bethlehem added: “I salute my fellow awardees…It’s a dream to stand beside them.”

The award ceremony is set to take place on Saturday, July 26th at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.

You can learn more about the award at www.face2faceafrica.com.

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Zone9ers ‘Trial’: Interview With the Lawyer of Illegally Detained Bloggers & Journalists

(Image: Courtesy Trial Tracker Blog and © Fractal Element from Facebook)

Trial Tracker Blog

July 14, 2014

Translator’s note: The first instance court of Arada bench was expected to wrap up the pre-trial ‘hearing’ which took more than 70 days and yet the bloggers were not even brought before the judge. Mr. Amaha a lawyer defending the bloggers & journalists who are detained on unclear but shaping up to be on terrorism charges expected the first instance court at Arada bench to rest the pre-trial procedure on Saturday. The court had set the 12th July hearing for closing arguments but with an extraordinary move the police referred the case to the Federal High Court without even the presence of the defendants and their lawyer himself. The shift overlooked the court and contravenes even the standard procedure of the biased justice system. The lawyer speaks to Dawit Solomon, a journalist based in Addis Ababa about the issue. Here are the translated excerpts from the interview.

DAWIT: What were your thoughts on your way to the court for Saturday’s procedure?

AMAHA: I expected the police might demand for more time to wrap up their interrogation as usual. I also sought to see how the court would reply to this repeated claim of the police. Nevertheless, to the shock of me and all people who were here what unfolded was really baffling. Since the detainees were not brought to the court some journalists went straight to the court’s registrar to ask about the case. Then a person who claimed himself as “the detective” of the case told the journalists since he is done with the interrogation he submitted the case for a prosecutor. He further claimed that the case is closed. This was what I was told by the journalists then I also went in to verify which I found it true. They closed the case without the presence of the defendants and without the presence of me who is representing them.

Read the Full Interview »

Related:
CPJ condemns closed court hearings for nine Ethiopian journalists
Zone9 Co-Founder Speaks Out (Video)

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Michael Million: One Man’s Story Of Survival And Fatherhood (Video)

Daniel Million kissing his father Michael after graduating from the Preuss School at UC San Diego (kpbs.org)

KPBS San Diego

By Matthew Bowler

Monday, July 14, 2014

Michael Million is a proud father. He raised his two kids alone. Not one, but both of his kids are Bill and Melinda Gates Scholarship winners. That means they can go to any college where they are accepted, and they won’t have to pay a dime.

In 1999, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave $1 billion to the scholarship fund. To qualify you must be the first in your family to go to college, be a minority and demonstrate financial need. Every year just 1,000 of these scholarships are awarded. If you win one, the Gates Foundation will pay for your entire college education.

For most of us, having two children win such a scholarship would be the highlight of our story as parents, but for Million, it’s one part of a much larger story of survival and resilience.

Read the full story at KPBS San Diego »



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BBC News: Ethiopian Man Takes UK to Court Over Resettlement Policy

Villagers say they are being forcibly relocated from Ethiopia's Gambella region. (Getty Images/AFP)

BBC News

14 July 2014

A legal battle has been launched by an Ethiopian citizen who claims the UK has helped to fund a “brutal” resettlement programme in his country.

The man, who can only be referred to as “O”, won permission to seek a judicial review at London’s High Court.

He wants a ruling that the UK acted unlawfully by providing aid to Ethiopia without assessing its human rights record.

The UK government has denied funding the programme.

The case arises from Ethiopia’s decision to resettle individuals from rural communities into new and larger “communes”, known as the Commune Development Programme (CDP), in an attempt to reduce poverty.

Read the full story at BBC News »

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Ethiopia’s Nile Dam Project Signals Its Intention to Become an African Power

Labourers work at the Grand Renaissance dam in Guba Woreda, Ethiopia. (Photograph: Reuters)

The Guardian

By Emeline Wuilbercq

Monday 14 July 2014

The 4×4 roars off, kicking up a cloud of dust. With one hand on the wheel, the other stifling a yawn, Semegnew Bekele could do this trip with his eyes shut. A construction engineer, he has driven down this track at every hour of the day or night over the past three years. “Ordinary people are building an extraordinary project,” he says. He is referring to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam (Gerd), in the north-west corner of the country close to the border with Sudan. Four hours away from the town of Assosa more than 8,500 workers and engineers are labouring on a massive project to harness the waters of the Blue Nile.

The site is closely guarded. Only officially authorised vehicles are allowed through the three checkpoints. As the kilometres flicker by, the din of the diggers becomes more audible. Then the gigantic site itself appears, with thousands of tonnes of aggregate piled up and smooth expanses of concrete lining the bottom of the Guba valley, ringed by arid hills. The hundreds of families belonging to the Gumuz indigenous people, who lived off fishing, have been moved to a location several tens of kilometres away, making room for a hydroelectric power station that will be the largest in Africa when it comes online in 2017. At present only a third of it has been built.

Bekele, who works for the Ethiopian Electric Power corporation, has already worked on two dam construction jobs, both on the river Omo in the south-west. He answers our questions with a flood of figures: the dam will be 1,780 metres long and 145 high, with a reservoir covering 1,874 sq km expected to contain 70bn cubic metres of water. Output from the 16 turbines will total 6,000MW. It will be sufficient to meet growing demand in Ethiopia, now Africa’s second most populous country, where gross domestic product is estimated to have grown by 10.5% annually over the past five years.

Read the full story at The Guardian »

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Tullow Oil Fails to Find Oil in Ethiopia

Irish-listed explorer says well at Chew Bahir Basin will be plugged and abandoned. (Photo: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times)

The Irish Times

By Pamela Newenham

Tullow Oil has announced that the Gardim-1 exploration well, drilled on the eastern flank of Chew Bahir Basin in Ethiopia, has failed to find commercial levels of oil.

The well intersected lacustrine and volcanic formations, similar to those found in the Shimela-1 well on the north-western flank of the basin.

The explorer said it has reached a total depth of 2,468 metres in basement, without encountering commercial oil.

“We have now drilled two independent wildcat wells in the Chew Bahir Basin, neither of which encountered commercial oil,” exploration director Angus McCoss said.

“Whilst our analysis continues, initial indications suggest that the targeted seismic anomalies related to lavas that flowed into a lake basin,” he added.

As a result, the well will now have to be plugged and abandoned.

Read more at The Irish Times »

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WORLD CUP 2014: Germany Defeats Argentina, 1-0, in Extra Time to Win Final

German players celebrated after Mario Götze, right, scored in extra time. (Photo: Reuters)

By VICTOR MATHER | NYT

Germany won the World Cup with a 1-0 extra time victory over Argentina on Sunday in Rio de Janeiro.

The game was deadlocked at 0-0 after regulation, but at the 113-minute mark in overtime, Mario Götze, a substitute, chested down an Andres Schurrle cross and volleyed in the winning goal.

Though there were no goals in regulation, there was plenty of action, and both sides rued some missed chances.

The title is considered Germany’s fourth World Cup, though the first three of those were by West Germany. It was also the first time a European country won the World Cup in the Western Hemisphere after six failures.

The Germans were dominant throughout this Cup, and though this game won them the title, they may be remembered more for their 7-1 shellacking of host Brazil in the semifinal.

Read the Full story »

Related:
Hyundai USA Releases World Cup AD “Epic Battle” Video by Wondwossen Dikran
David Mesfin: 2014 Hyundai FIFA World Cup Ad Features Work by Ethiopian Artists

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20 Journalists Fired from Ethiopia State-run Oromia Radio and Television, in Hiding

People demonstrate in Addis Ababa on May 24 against security forces who shot at students at a peaceful rally weeks eearlier in Oromia state. (Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)

CPJ

By Tom Rhodes/CPJ East Africa Representative

If they cannot indoctrinate you into their thinking, they fire you,” said one former staff member of the state-run Oromia Radio and Television Organization (ORTO), who was dismissed from work last month after six years of service. “Now we are in hiding since we fear they will find excuses to arrest us soon,” the journalist, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal, told CPJ.

On June 25, 20 journalists from the state broadcaster in Oromia, the largest state in terms of area and population in Ethiopia, were denied entry to their station’s headquarters, according to news reports. No letters of termination or explanations were presented, local journalists told CPJ; ORTO’s management simply said the dismissals were orders given by the government. “Apparently this has become common practice when firing state employees in connection with politics,” U.S.-based Ethiopian researcher Jawar Mohammed said in an email to CPJ. “The government seems to want to leave no documented trace.”

The journalists, some of whom had worked for the state broadcaster for over five years, can only speculate on the reason for their dismissals. Two of them told CPJ they believe it is linked to student protests earlier in the year.

On April 25, students at Ambo University, Oromia State, protested the government’s “Master Plan” to cede parts of Oromia State to the capital, Addis Ababa, a federal region, according to news reports. The state claimed in a statement that eight people died in violent protests in Ambo over a plan designed to provide urban services to rural areas. Oromo citizens say that many more died in Ambo at the hands of security forces for demonstrating against a proposal they fear will lead to the federal government grabbing their land and reducing local autonomy, news reports said. More student and civil society protests ensued soon after the Ambo University demonstrations and authorities were determined to quell any reporting on the unrest.

Read more at CPJ Blog.

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Video: Teddy Afro Rocks New York’s SummerStage, B.B. King Blues Club

Teddy Afro performing at SummerStage festival in New York on July 5th, 2014. (Credit: Tsedey foto)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Saturday, July 12th 2014

New York (TADIAS) – Last week, Teddy Afro successfully played his first back-to-back show in New York at the 2014 SummerStage festival and at B.B. King Blues Club on Saturday, July 5th. Teddy briefly chatted with Tadias Magazine following his second show. The Ethiopian star was greeted at both venues with an enthusiastic audience that hailed from as varied locations as Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Boston.

Below is our video coverage of both events:



Related:
Photos: Teddy Afro at SummerStage 2014 Festival in New York

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BBC News: PM Hailemariam Defends Andargachew Tsege Arrest

PM Hailemariam Desalegn: "If you have any connection with terrorists don't think that the Ethiopian government will let you [go] free." (BBC News)

BBC News

11 July 2014

Ethiopia had a moral obligation to arrest the opposition leader who was controversially extradited from Yemen last month, Ethiopian leader Hailemariam Desalegn has told the BBC.

“Andargachew Tsege is a Trojan horse for the Eritrean government to destabilise this country,” he said.

He was sentenced to death in 2009 while in exile for plotting a coup.

Foreign governments could express their concern, but the man would be dealt with according to the law, the PM said.


Andargachew Tsige, a UK national, leads the banned Ginbot 7 movement. (Image: Ethiopian TV via BBC)

Andargachew, a UK national, is secretary-general of Ethiopia’s banned Ginbot 7 movement.

The group says Andargachew was on his way from the United Arab Emirates to Eritrea when he was detained at Sanaa airport on 24 June.

Ethiopia and Eritrea are long-time rivals and the neighbours fought a bitter border war between 1998 -2000, which left some 100,000 people dead.

Read more at BBC.

Related:
Andargachew Tsige: Letter From UK’s Foreign Office to Ethiopian American Council (TADIAS)
Ginbot 7′s Andargachew Tsege: Ethiopia confirms arrest (BBC News)
Snatched: Justice and Politics in Ethiopia (The Economist)
Fears for Safety of Returned Opposition Leader (HRW)
Ethiopia Urged to Protect Opposition Leader (AP via The Washington Post)
Yemen Extradites Exiled Ethiopian Opposition Chief, British Citizen, to Ethiopia (AFP)
Ethiopia Ginbot 7 leader facing death penalty ‘extradited from Yemen’ (BBC News)
UK Stands Accused Over Extradition of Ethiopian Opposition Leader (The Guardian)
Ethiopia Asks Yemen to Extradite Activist (Al Jazeera)
Leading Ethiopian Opposition Figure Detained in Yemen (Yemen Times)

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Ethiopian Film ‘Asni’ to Screen in Washington, DC – July 19th and 20th

The late artist Asnaketch Worku is the subject of the new film "Asni." (Photo: Courtesy the filmmakers)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Friday, July 11th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) — The new documentary Asni: Courage Passion & Glamor in Ethiopia (directed by Rachel Samuel and edited & co-produced by Yemane Demissie), which chronicles the life and times of Asnaketch Worku, one of the most talented and controversial performing Ethiopian artists of her time, will screen at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center on Saturday, July 19th and Sunday July 20th.

Per the director: “When I was a 4-year old kid in Addis Ababa listening to my father’s radio I heard a singer who mesmerized me. In an unknowing visceral response, Asnaketch Worku took root in my soul. Decades later it was an almost pre-destined privilege to direct a documentary on this extraordinary artist who is as much a cultural icon to Ethiopians as Billie Holiday is to Americans and Edith Piaf to the French. Asnaketch lived her life on the edge of her artistry, over the edge of her passions. But to separate Asnaketch from the social and political climate of conservative Ethiopia, particularly in 50’s and 60’s was impossible. Artists in that time were looked down upon, called derogatorily, Azmari, which the church deemed as “…those not going to heaven.” So this doc is as much about my country, my music, my culture as it is about this original being, Asnaketch, who is a substantive part of the fabric of Ethiopia, past and present.”

The film is also scheduled be screened at Africa World Documentary Film Festival in Bellville, South Africa (July 28-August 2, 2014), London, UK (August 30-September 9, 2014) and Kingston, Jamaica (October 2-5, 2014).

In a recent interview with Tadias Magazine Rachel Samuel shared that the movie took a little over four years to complete. “Asnaketch revealed herself slowly as we got to know each other over the years,” Rachel says. “And once trust was established, to get the best of her took a few interviews.”

Below is the trailer:

Asni Documentary from Samuel Overton Photography on Vimeo.


If You Go:
‘Asni’ Screening
Washington DC Jewish Community Center
Saturday & Sunday 19th & 20th of July
Time: 3pm and 5pm
1529 16th Street NW, Washington DC 20036
Theatre J
Tickets: www.eventbrite.com
More info at: http://washingtondcjcc.org/center-for-arts/theater-j/

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Irish Rugby Team Ulster Apologize for Weird ‘Ethiopia Photo’ Posted on Twitter

The Irish Rugby team Ulster has issued an apology over a photograph posted on Twitter which showed the white men apparently dressed up as Ethiopians - with black make-up on their faces and arms. (BBC)

BBC News

By Peter Coulter

Ulster Rugby have apologised after a photograph showing four of their players with their faces and bodies coloured with black makeup appeared on a social media site.

The photo was posted on the Twitter profile of Irish international Paddy Jackson.

It shows him with two other Irish internationals, Chris Henry and Andrew Trimble.

The photo has now been removed.

The others pictured are current Ulster player Michael Allen and former Ulster player Paddy McAllister.

Paddy Jackson, Chris Henry and Andrew Trimble were members of the Ireland squad that won this year’s Six Nations Championship.

Ulster Rugby said they “apologise unreservedly for any offence”.

In a statement, the club said the photograph showed the players at an “Olympic-themed fancy dress party held two years ago”.

“It was not the intention of the players to cause upset and the photograph has since been removed.”

Read more at BBC News.

Related:
Ulster sorry for ‘Ethiopia photo’ (U TV)

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Guta Dinka, The Man Who Saved Mandela, to Speak at Ethiopian Heritage Festival

Captain Guta Dinka. (Photograph courtesy Ethiopian Heritage Society in North America)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Washington, D.C. (TADIAS) — They thought they were giving Captain Guta Dinka an offer he can’t refuse (lots of cash – more than he’s ever seen) to kill Nelson Mandela. He was then 27-years-old and one of two Ethiopian soldiers assigned to guard the legendary future leader of South Africa during his brief stay for military training in Ethiopia in 1962. Instead Captain Guta marched straight to the house of his superior, General Tadesse Birru, and exposed the assassination plot that would have changed the course of history. And thanks to him the world is much better off for it.

Captain Guta, 78, will be speaking at the opening of the 4th Annual Ethiopian Heritage Festival on Friday July 25th at Silver Spring Civic Building in Silver Spring, Maryland. The three-day event organized by the Ethiopian Heritage Society in North America will be held from July 25th to 27th, the last two days dedicated to outdoor activities on the campus of Georgetown University. According to organizers, the opening night will also feature an art exhibit by Ezra Wube from New York, which includes an animation display. In addition, Naome Marie, MIT freshman from San Jose, California, will be speaking on what “Ethiopian heritage” means to him as an Ethiopian American. Naome who was accepted to several Ivy League schools before deciding to attend MIT will also be honored at the event. Obang Metho is the keynote speaker.

Learn more about the event at ehsna.org/heritage-festival.

Video: Captain Guta Dinka, The Man Who Saved Mandela


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Harlem Pastor Brewing up Ethiopian Coffee Distribution Deal

Reverend Nicholas S. Richards, the Co-founder and President of Abyssinian Fund, at his office in Harlem during an interview with Tadias Magazine - July, 2012. (Photograph: Kidane Mariam/Tadias Magazine)

New York Daily News

BY JAN RANSOM

He’s got a couple of beans up his sleeve.

The Rev. Nicholas Richards, founder of the Abyssinian Fund, a nonprofit that supports coffee farmers in Ethiopia, is in the middle of hashing out a distribution deal to launch an Aby Fund-branded coffee in the States, starting in the Big Apple.

“The Abyssinian fund believes Ethiopian coffee farmers have everything they need, but they just really need partners,” said Richards, an assistant minister at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem.

The Aby Fund, as Richards calls it, was founded in 2010 and supports 1,000 farmers from Chaffee Jenette village in Ethiopia, who have received $1 million worth of training and supplies from the Fund over the last five years.

The Abyssinian Fund believes Ethiopian coffee farmers have everything they need, but they just really need partners.
Richards envisions distributing Chaffee Jenette-grown coffee beans to such outlets as Fairway Market and Whole Foods Market, as well as restaurants and stores in Harlem, Union Square and Brooklyn. He hopes to ink deals in time to sell 1,000 bags of coffee this year, he said, adding there is a good demand for the Ethiopian-raised beans.

Read more at New York Daily News.

Video: Harlem Ethiopia Connection Featuring Rev. Nicholas Richards (TADIAS)


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Mahmoud Ahmed Live in Brooklyn – July 26

Mahmoud Ahmed (Photo: By Damian Rafferty)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – Ethiopia’s music icon Mahmoud Ahmed will perform live in Red Hook, Brooklyn on Saturday, July 26th from 3-8pm. The event begins the summer concert series presented by ISSUE Project Room (who also sponsored the appearance of Ethiopian pianist and composer Girma Yifrashewa in Brooklyn last year) and Pioneer Works Center for Arts and Innovation where the indoor/outdoor concert will take place.

“A verified legend of African pop music, Mahmoud Ahmed led the wave of Ethiopian music’s ‘golden age’ in the 60s-70s with his notoriously energetic combination of traditional Amharic music with soul, jazz & funk,” organizers stated in their press release. “His multi-octave voice made him a household name in Ethiopia, and a star since nearly the moment he started recording. The ISSUE Project Room and Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation are pleased to present Mahmoud Ahmed live in Red Hook, Brooklyn—his first New York performance since 2011.” The organizers note that additional supporting acts will be announced shortly.

“Born in 1941 in Addis Ababa, Mahmoud Ahmed shined shoes before becoming a handyman at the city’s Arizona Club, where he first sang professionally with their house band in the early 1960s. He sang for the state-sanctioned Imperial Body Guard Band until 1974′s revolution, after which a 14-year moment of liberated creativity took hold in the country. Leading the Ibex Band, later renamed the Roha Band, Ahmed burst to the forefront of the country’s pop scene with a melding of dance beats, prominent brass and sax arrangements, and traditional pentatonic scales and circular rhythms. His classic 1975 record Eré Mèla Mèla, released in Europe in 1986, was for years the only example of modern Ethiopian music known to the West. Since the 90s Ahmed’s music has spread across the west through four separate releases devoted to his music in the award-winning Ethiopiques series (Buda Musique). Now in his 70s, Ahmed’s music has recently been reappraised with acclaimed, energetic performances internationally.”

Video: Mahmoud Ahmed and Gossaye Tesfaye – ADERA (2013)


If You Go:
Mahmoud Ahmed in Brooklyn, New York
Saturday, July 26th, 2014 – 3:00 – 8:00pm
At Pioneer Works:
159 Pioneer St., Brooklyn NY 11231
TICKETS: $20 General / $15 Members + Students
http://issueprojectroom.org/event/mahmoud-ahmed

Related:
Photos: Teddy Afro at SummerStage in NYC
Ethiopian Pianist Girma Yifrashewa at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club

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Andargachew Tsige: Letter From UK’s Foreign Office to Ethiopian American Council

Andargachew Tsige, a UK national, leads the banned Ginbot 7 movement. (Image: Ethiopian TV via BBC)

Tadias Magazine
News Update

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) — UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has written a letter to the Ethiopian American Council (EAC) regarding Andargachew Tsige who was reported missing in Yemen and now confirmed to be in Ethiopia.

In the letter shared with Tadias Magazine Clive McGill, a desk officer responsible for Ethiopia in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) wrote: “Mr. Tsege’s disappearance is an issue of great concern for us, and as soon as we were informed of this we raised it repeatedly with the Yemeni Government and authorities at all levels, including with the Foreign Minister. It is unacceptable that they did not provide information to us, and that they have now confirmed that Mr. Tsege was removed to Ethiopia. We have raised this with them and will continue to do so in light of their disregard for their obligations under the Vienna Convention and Convention Against Torture.”

Mr. McGill stated that the Foreign Office has also already raised with the Ethiopian Government “the UK’s deep concerns” about Andargachew’s removal. “We have requested consular access without delay and reassurances that the death penalty imposed in absentia will not be carried out,” he said in the letter dated Wednesday, July 9th, 2014. “We will continue to raise this urgently with the Ethiopian authorities in Addis Ababa and London.” He added: “While we cannot comment further on individual consular cases, I hope that this reassures you about how seriously we are taking this issue. Mr. Tsege’s case is a priority for the British Government.”

Related:
Ginbot 7′s Andargachew Tsege: Ethiopia confirms arrest (BBC News)
Snatched: Justice and Politics in Ethiopia (The Economist)
Fears for Safety of Returned Opposition Leader (HRW)
Ethiopia Urged to Protect Opposition Leader (AP via The Washington Post)
Yemen Extradites Exiled Ethiopian Opposition Chief, British Citizen, to Ethiopia (AFP)
Ethiopia Ginbot 7 leader facing death penalty ‘extradited from Yemen’ (BBC News)
UK Stands Accused Over Extradition of Ethiopian Opposition Leader (The Guardian)
Ethiopia Asks Yemen to Extradite Activist (Al Jazeera)
Leading Ethiopian Opposition Figure Detained in Yemen (Yemen Times)

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

BBC News: Ethiopia Confirms Arrest of Ginbot 7′s Andargachew Tsige

Andargachew Tsige, a UK national, leads the banned Ginbot 7 movement. (Image: Ethiopian TV)

BBC News

9 July 2014

Ethiopia has confirmed it has arrested opposition leader Andargachew Tsege, who disappeared in Yemen last month.

His UK-based wife Yemi Hailemariam told the BBC she was shocked to see him paraded on state television.

Ethiopian TV said Andargachew had been arrested in Yemen and then extradited.

It described him as the country’s “most wanted person”. He was sentenced to death in absentia in 2009 on charges of planning to assassinate government officials – which he denied.

Andargachew, a UK national, is secretary-general of Ethiopia’s banned Ginbot 7 movement.

Amnesty International last week warned he was at risk of being tortured while in Ethiopian custody.

Read more at BBC News.

Related:
Snatched: Justice and Politics in Ethiopia (The Economist)
Ginbot 7′s Andargachew Tsege: Ethiopia confirms arrest (BBC News)
Fears for Safety of Returned Opposition Leader (HRW)
Ethiopia Urged to Protect Opposition Leader (AP via The Washington Post)
Yemen Extradites Exiled Ethiopian Opposition Chief, British Citizen, to Ethiopia (AFP)
Ethiopia Ginbot 7 leader facing death penalty ‘extradited from Yemen’ (BBC News)
UK Stands Accused Over Extradition of Ethiopian Opposition Leader (The Guardian)
Ethiopia Asks Yemen to Extradite Activist (Al Jazeera)
Leading Ethiopian Opposition Figure Detained in Yemen (Yemen Times)

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Snatched: Justice and Politics in Ethiopia

Andargachew Tsige. (Image: Ethiopian TV via YouTube)

The Economist

Jul 9th 2014 | ADDIS ABABA

ANDARGACHEW TSIGE, an exiled Ethiopian opposition leader with British nationality, could be facing the death penalty after apparently being arrested and sent back to his country of origin while on a trip to the Gulf. While transiting in Yemen on June 23rd, during a journey from Dubai to Eritrea, Andargachew mysteriously ended up on a plane to Ethiopia. It is believed that he was detained by Yemeni officials and handed over to members of Ethiopia’s security apparatus.

Andargachew was charged by the Ethiopian authorities with terrorism and sentenced, in absentia, to death, at two separate trials between 2009 and 2012. Following post-election protests in 2005 he had fled the country and been granted asylum in Britain, where he created Ginbot 7, a leading opposition movement.

Now in the hands of the state which had legally prepared for his execution, his family are concerned about Andargachew’s safety. “The British embassy has still not been granted consular access,” says his wife, Yemisrach Hailemariam, who lives in London. “We are deeply concerned he is being tortured and they will wait for his wounds to be healed before anyone can see him.”

Read more at The Economist.

Related:
Ginbot 7′s Andargachew Tsege: Ethiopia confirms arrest (BBC News)
Fears for Safety of Returned Opposition Leader (HRW)
Ethiopia Urged to Protect Opposition Leader (AP via The Washington Post)
Yemen Extradites Exiled Ethiopian Opposition Chief, British Citizen, to Ethiopia (AFP)
Ethiopia Ginbot 7 leader facing death penalty ‘extradited from Yemen’ (BBC News)
UK Stands Accused Over Extradition of Ethiopian Opposition Leader (The Guardian)
Ethiopia Asks Yemen to Extradite Activist (Al Jazeera)
Leading Ethiopian Opposition Figure Detained in Yemen (Yemen Times)

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

WORLD CUP 2014: Argentina Defeats Netherlands in Shootout, Advancing to Final

Argentina’s Javier Mascherano challenged Arjen Robben on a shot late in regulation time. (Photo: EPA)

By ANDREW DAS | NYT

9 July, 2014

Argentina converted all four of its penalty kicks in a shootout against the Netherlands on Wednesday in São Paulo to advance to the World Cup for the first time since 1990.

Lionel Messi made the first and his teammates Ezequiel Garay, Sergio Aguero and Maxi Rodriguez followed suit to earn Argentina a date with Germany in Sunday’s final in Rio de Janeiro. The Netherlands missed two of their first three attempts, with first Ron Vlaar and then Wesley Sneijder seeing their shots saved by Argentina’s goalkeeper, Sergio Romero.

The Netherlands will face host Brazil on Saturday in the third-place game. Read more.

Germany Crushes Brazil, 7-1, in Surreal World Cup Semifinal


Brazil’s Luiz Gustavo (l) and Germany’s Sami Khedira, go for the ball during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, July 8, 2014. (AP)

By Mike Richman | VOA News

8 July, 2014

Germany gave one of the most breathtaking displays of offensive firepower in World Cup history Tuesday – demolishing host Brazil in the semifinals, 7-1, to advance to the championship game.

Germany’s goal total was the most ever by one team in a World Cup semifinal, while Brazil matched its worst-ever margin of defeat and allowed seven goals for the first time in 80 years. Brazil also lost its first official competitive match at home since 1975.

“The responsibility for this catastrophic result is mine,” Brazil’s coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said. “I was in charge.”

The Germans seized control early, scoring five times in the first 30 minutes at Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte.

Two of those goals came off the foot of Toni Kroos, and teammate Miroslav Klose recorded one to become the all-time scoring leader in World Cup history with 16 goals. Earlier in the tournament, Klose tied the prior record of 15 held by former Brazilian star Ronaldo.

Germany’s Andre Schuerrle also scored twice, both in the second half. Thomas Mueller and Sami Khedira each added a goal for Germany, which will appear in a record eighth World Cup final.

Oscar redeemed some pride for Brazil with a goal in the 90th minute.

“Brazil Shocked”

“Brazil was shocked after the goals. They did not expect that,” Germany’s coach Joachim Loew said of his team’s early offensive success. “They did not know what to do. Their defense was not organized. A little humbleness would not hurt now.”

In 1950, the only other time Brazil has hosted a World Cup, Uruguay beat the Brazilians in the championship game, 2-1.

“We wanted to make the people happy … unfortunately we couldn’t,” said Brazilian defender David Luiz, who had scored in each of the last two matches. “We apologize to all Brazilians.”

Germany was the apparent favorite entering the match, which featured two perennial football powerhouses that have won a total of eight World Cups.

Brazil played without captain Thiago Silva and star striker Neymar. Silva was serving an automatic one-game suspension because he accumulated two yellow cards. Neymar, who scored four goals in the tournament, was out with a fractured vertebra.

Nevertheless, Brazil would enjoy home-field advantage at a stadium seating thousands of its rabid, yellow-shirted supporters.

They were hoping that Brazil would repeat its performance from the 1962 World Cup. That year, legendary Brazilian Pele suffered an injury in the second match that prevented him from playing in the rest of the tournament. But Brazil went on to beat Czechoslovakia in the final, 3-1.

This time, though, Brazilian optimism quickly turned to despair at the hands of a German offense that attacked with surgical precision.

Germany Not Intimidated

“It was important to stay calm, cool and courageous in facing Brazilian passion,” Loew said.

Germany, which posted its biggest World Cup win since routing Saudi Arabia, 8-0, in a group match in 2002, next plays the winner of the other World Cup semifinal pitting Argentina against the Netherlands on Wednesday in Sao Paulo.

Argentina, led by four-time FIFA Player of the year Lionel Messi, is seeking its third World Cup championship. The Dutch, finalists three times, lost to Spain in the World Cup championship in South Africa in 2010.

The Dutch are concerned about star striker Robin van Persie, who has been suffering from stomach problems. Dutch coach Louis van Gaal said he would not be able to make a decision on van Persie’s status until the day of the game.

The semifinal winners meet for the championship in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday. The losers play for third place on Saturday in Brasilia.

In other news Tuesday, FIFA announced that the 2014 World Cup has broken online viewing records. The organization said, for example, that in the United States alone, a record 5.3 million people watched the round of 16 match between the U.S. and Belgium on the web sites of television networks ESPN and Univision.

Related:
Hyundai USA Releases World Cup AD “Epic Battle” Video by Wondwossen Dikran
David Mesfin: 2014 Hyundai FIFA World Cup Ad Features Work by Ethiopian Artists

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Lalibela One of The Top 50 Cities to See in Your Lifetime

(Photo by Alfonso N. Tappero)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopia’s national treasure, the city of Lalibela, is getting more international media attention as a World Heritage Site. A recent travel highlight (see Huffington Post) by Minube lists Lalibela among “The Top 50 Cities to See in Your Lifetime.”

“With our ever-expanding bucket lists, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of the essentials. Well, we’ve gone to the community of travelers at minube.net with a simple goal: find the greatest destinations on Earth,” the website notes. “From the great ancient capitals to the modern cities of Asia, the Americas, and beyond, here are the 50 cities you must see during your lifetime.”

Lalibela, listed as number 17, is described by Minube as “one of Ethiopia’s great holy cities and is famous around the world for its unique and stunning collection of monolithic churches carved right into the rock below your feet.”

Click here to see the list: “The Top 50 Cities to See in Your Lifetime”



Related:
Ethiopia’s Lalibela Among 19 Most Stunning Sacred Places in the World

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The 9th Annual Ethiopian Diaspora Business Forum and Award to be Held in Washington

Images from past Ethiopian Diaspora Business Forum held in Washington, D.C. (Courtesy photographs)

Tadias Magazine
Events News | Press Release

Published: Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Washington, D.C. — The 9th Ethiopian Diaspora Business Forum and the 3rd Pioneer Diaspora Business Person of the Year Award will be held on August 2-3, 2014 at The George Washington University and Grand Hyatt Washington, respectively.

This year marks the 9th year since The Ethiopian American LL, a Virginia based Ethiopian Diaspora business and investment group with offices in New York, began organizing the annual business Forum.

This year, the Forum will review opportunities and challenges on “Investing in Ethiopia’s Emerging Technology Sector,” in recognition of the growing importance of technology as a key driver of innovation in the Ethiopian economy. Investments in the power sector will also be closely looked at as one of the most attractive investment and technology transfer areas where investment from the Diaspora is poised to make lasting impact. One of the highlights of the Forum will be a panel discussion on investing in renewable energy. Daniel Gizaw, CEO, dVentus Wind Technology PLC, Behailu Assefa, VP, Terra Global Energy Developers LLC and Samuel Tesfaye, CEO, Flatbush Solar LLC will discuss developments in the sector.

The Ethiopian American, the convener of the Forum, is also organizing this year for the first time a Private Equity Pitch Session (PE Pitch Session) for companies seeking early stage growth debt/equity financing in recognition of the growing interest of Private Equity firms in the Ethiopian economy.

Diaspora entrepreneurs in many ways have led the way in attracting a significant share of Private Equity investments in Ethiopia. The PE Pitch Session is organized with the view that more investment could be attracted if the opportunity is presented both to businesses and PE firms. Thus far, four PE firms and five companies have signed up for this year’s inaugural PE Pitch Session. It is to be recalled that last year’s Proof of Concept Competition was held successfully and the three finalist are currently being incubated with the help of USAID.

Meanwhile, the 2014 Ethiopian Diaspora Pioneer Businessperson Selection Committee is currently accepting nominations from the public. The Committee will announce the awardee by July 18, 2014.

The 2013 Pioneer Ethiopian Diaspora Business Person Award was given to Amman Fissehazion, CEO of Ethiopian Broadcasting Service (EBS) in recognition of his pioneering leadership in establishing the first Ethiopian commercial global satellite Television company.

The Forum and Awards Dinner are expected to attract a large number of Ethiopians from the Diaspora and Ethiopia as well as American businesses and professionals who are interested in business and investment opportunities in Ethiopian and the U.S.

“This Forum and Awards Dinner will show case the work of Ethiopian Diaspora entrepreneurs in the technology sector and will serve as a crucial platform for sharing ideas and information for Diaspora business and other interested in investing in Ethiopia,” said Yohannes Assefa, Executive Director of The Ethiopian American.

Both the Forum and Awards Dinner will be covered by EBS and will be viewed by about 20 million Ethiopians all over the world.

The Ethiopian Airlines, Ernst & Young Ethiopia, The George Washington University, Altour Tech, Comex PLC, Metad Agricultural Development PLC, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Info Mind Solutions, EBS, and Vivid PLC are some of the sponsors of this year’s Forum.

If You Go:
Registration is now open and can be made at www.theethiopianamerican.com.

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Human Rights Watch: Fears for Safety of Returned Opposition Leader

HRW: Yemen unlawfully deported Andargachew Tsige, Concerns over possible mistreatment. (Ginbot 7)

Human Rights Watch

JULY 7, 2014

London – An exiled Ethiopian opposition leader unlawfully deported by Yemen back to Ethiopia is at risk of mistreatment including torture. Andargachew Tsige is secretary-general of Ginbot 7, a banned Ethiopian opposition organization, and was convicted and sentenced to death in absentia in separate trials in Ethiopia in 2009 and 2012.

The current whereabouts of Andargachew, a British national, is unknown, raising concerns for his safety. The Ethiopian government should take all necessary steps to ensure Andargachew’s safety and his right to a fair trial. Many individuals arrested in politically related cases in Ethiopia are detained in Addis Ababa’s Maekelawi prison. In an October 2013 report, Human Rights Watch documented the use of torture by authorities against detainees in Maekelawi, including members of opposition political parties and organizations, as well as journalists.

“We are deeply concerned for Andargachew Tsige’s safety,” said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director. “Ethiopia needs to demonstrate that it is holding Andargachew in accordance with its international obligations, and he should be allowed immediate access to a lawyer, his family, and to British consular officials.”

Yemeni officials arrested Andargachew at El Rahaba Airport in Sanaa, Yemen, on June 23 or 24, 2014, while he was in transit on a flight from Dubai to Eritrea. They did not permit him consular access to UK embassy officials and summarily deported him to Ethiopia, credible sources told Human Rights Watch, despite his being at risk of mistreatment.

Yemeni authorities initially denied any knowledge of Andargachew’s detention and transfer to Ethiopia. Ethiopian government officials publicly called for his extradition from Yemen on July 3.

Under the Convention against Torture, which Yemen ratified in 1991, a government may not “expel, return (‘refouler’) or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.” These protections override any extradition treaty or other security arrangement that may exist between Yemen and Ethiopia.

Trials in absentia generally violate the defendant’s right to present an adequate defense, concerns heightened in cases involving the death penalty.

“Yemen blatantly violated its international legal obligations by deporting someone to Ethiopia who not only is at serious risk of torture, but also faces the death sentence after being tried in absentia,” Lefkow said.

Ginbot 7, of which Andargachew is a founding member, was established in the aftermath of Ethiopia’s controversial May 2005 national elections. The Ethiopian government banned Ginbot 7, which has advocated the armed overthrow of the Ethiopian government, and officially considers it to be a terrorist organization.

The government has prosecuted Ginbot 7 members and leaders in trials that did not meet international fair trial standards. In November 2009, a court convicted Andargachew and 39 others under the criminal code on terrorism-related charges. Andargachew, who was tried in absentia, was sentenced to death. In June 2012, he was convicted again in absentia, this time under the abusive 2009 anti-terrorism law, along with 23 journalists, activists, and opposition members. Again, he was sentenced to death.

Human Rights Watch has repeatedly criticized provisions in Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism law that violate due process rights guaranteed under Ethiopian and international law. At least 34 people, including 11 journalists and four Ginbot 7 leaders, are known to have been sentenced under the law since late 2011 in what appeared to be politically motivated trials; the real number is likely much higher. Suspects held under the law may be detained for up to four months without charge, among the longest periods under anti-terrorism legislation worldwide.

Ethiopian courts have shown little independence from the government in politically sensitive cases. Defendants have regularly been denied access to legal counsel during pretrial detention, and complaints from defendants of mistreatment and torture have not been appropriately investigated or addressed – even when defendants have complained in court.

The Ethiopian government routinely denies that torture and mistreatment occurs in detention. It restricts access to prisons for international observers, monitors, and consular officials, making it difficult to monitor the number and treatment of prisoners. In several cases documented by Human Rights Watch, Ethiopian security officials have arrested foreign nationals, denied knowledge of their whereabouts, and delayed access for consular officials for long periods.

In 2007 Human Rights Watch documented the forced transfer of scores of men, women, and children from Somalia and Kenya to Ethiopia. One of the men, Bashir Makhtal, a Canadian citizen of Ethiopian origin who was accused of membership of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), a banned armed movement in Ethiopia, was denied consular access for 18 months. Meanwhile in 2010 and again in 2012, refugees registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Kenya were unlawfully returned to Ethiopia and told Human Rights Watch that they were subsequently tortured in detention. In all of these cases, the individuals were accused of belonging to groups that the Ethiopian government has designated as terrorist groups.

“Given its appalling track record of mistreating members and perceived supporters of banned groups, Ethiopia should know that the world will be watching how it treats Andargachew Tsige,” Lefkow said.

Related:
Ethiopia Urged to Protect Opposition Leader (AP via The Washington Post)
Yemen Extradites Exiled Ethiopian Opposition Chief, British Citizen, to Ethiopia (AFP)
Ethiopia Ginbot 7 leader facing death penalty ‘extradited from Yemen’ (BBC News)
UK Stands Accused Over Extradition of Ethiopian Opposition Leader (The Guardian)
Ethiopia Asks Yemen to Extradite Activist (Al Jazeera)
Leading Ethiopian Opposition Figure Detained in Yemen (Yemen Times)

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

In Africa, Jill Biden Talks Women’s Issues

Biden's trip to Zambia, Congo and Sierra Leone showcased issues facing women and girls. | Getty Images

Politico.com | By ASSOCIATED PRESS

July 7th, 2014

BUKAVU, Congo — Jill Biden, the wife of the U.S. vice president, traveled Saturday to conflict-wracked eastern Congo, where she met with survivors of sexual violence as part of her three-nation tour of the continent.

Her trip to Zambia, Congo and Sierra Leone, focused on highlighting issues facing women and girls, marks her third to Africa since Joe Biden became vice president.

During her stop in the Bukavu area, Biden visited the Panzi Hospital, which treats sexual violence survivors. As she was greeted by hospital personnel, she said she wanted “to learn and better understand the challenges facing Congolese women.”

Rape has long been used as a weapon of war on all sides of the conflict in eastern Congo, which has been mired in conflict for more than two decades.

She said that U.S. financing of projects had helped provide medical and psychological assistance to 13,000 victims in the country last year, and close to 4,000 women received legal help.

Read more.

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Meet Ethiopian Mixed Martial Arts Fighter Afrem Gebreanenia

Born in Ethiopia in 1993 Afrem Gebreanenia is a U.S.-based amateur MMA fighter. (Courtesy photograph)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Monday, July 7th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) — Ethiopian-born athlete Afrem Gebreanenia has a black belt in Taekwondo, but his dream is to pursue a career in the fighting ring. Since coming to the United States a few years ago the 21-year-old Minnesota-based amateur mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter has earned his High School diploma and maintains a part-time job while dedicating himself to his passion.

Per Wiki: “Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, from a variety of other combat sports and martial arts.”

According to an email from his manager, Timothy White, Afrem will be fighting in Fort Riley, Kansas for Victory Fighting Championships on July 12th – an event credited for launching the careers of many elite fighters including UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson, Spencer Fisher, Jorge Gurgel, Josh Neer, Kevin Burns, Jake Ellenberger, Jason Brilz, Anthony Smith, Justin Salas, Nick Mamalis, Rob Kimons, Chris Camozzi, Abe Wagner, and Travis Browne.

In announcing his upcoming meet Afrem, who is a resident of Worthington, Minnesota, tweeted: “In time….The world will know me and know me well.”



You can learn more about Afrem Gebreanenia at: dynamicathletemgmt.wix.com/afremgmma.

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Zone9 Co-Founder Speaks Out (Video)

(Photo © Fractal Element from Facebook)

CPJ

By Rachael Levy/CPJ Google Journalism Fellow

In April, the Ethiopian government imprisoned nine journalists, including six bloggers from Zone 9, in one of the worst crackdowns against free expression in the country. Ethiopia is the second worst jailer of journalists in Africa, trailing only Eritrea, according to CPJ research.

Ethiopian government officials accuse the Zone 9 bloggers of working with foreign human rights organizations and using social media to create instability in Ethiopia. The group wrote about political repression and social injustice, and their blogs were frequently blocked inside the country. Two months after their arrests, they have yet to be officially charged.

Endalkachew H/Michael, one of the co-founders of Zone 9, is pursuing his doctorate in media studies at the University of Oregon and spoke with CPJ about press freedom in Ethiopia.

What follows is a condensed and edited version of our conversation. You can view CPJ’s Storify on the bloggers here.

Read more at CPJ Blog.



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Ethiopia Urged to Protect Opposition Leader

Exiled Ethiopian opposition leader Andargachew Tsige (center), who is a British citizen, is pictured above during a Congressional hearing on Ethiopia in 2006 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Flickr)

The Washington Post | By Associated Press

July 7th, 2014

KAMPALA, Uganda — Human Rights Watch says an exiled Ethiopian opposition leader who was recently deported from Yemen to Ethiopia is at risk of abuses including torture.

In a statement Monday, the rights group urged Ethiopia’s government to ensure the safety of Andargachew Tsige, the secretary-general of a banned Ethiopian opposition group called Ginbot 7.

Andargachew was convicted and sentenced to death in absentia in separate trials in Ethiopia in 2009 and 2012, but Human Rights Watch says he should be given a fair trial.

Yemeni authorities arrested him last month while he was in transit on a flight from Dubai to Eritrea and then deported him to Ethiopia.

Human Rights Watch said last year that Ethiopian authorities torture members of opposition groups and journalists detained in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Related:
Yemen Extradites Exiled Ethiopian Opposition Chief, British Citizen, to Ethiopia (AFP)
Ethiopia Ginbot 7 leader facing death penalty ‘extradited from Yemen’ (BBC News)
UK Stands Accused Over Extradition of Ethiopian Opposition Leader (The Guardian)
Ethiopia Asks Yemen to Extradite Activist (Al Jazeera)
Leading Ethiopian Opposition Figure Detained in Yemen (Yemen Times)

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Report and Photos: ‘Lion of Judah Dinner’ Held in Tulsa, Oklahoma

The writer of the following article, Professor Ted Vestal, is pictured at the dinner in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 18th, 2014. He is the author of the book: "The Lion of Judah in the New World." (Courtesy photo)

Tadias Magazine
By Ted Vestal, PhD | OP-ED

Published: Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Tulsa, Oklahoma (TADIAS) – On June 18th, Oklahoma University (OU), Tulsa’s Center for Democracy and culture and the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Office of International Studies and Outreach sponsored a very special “Lion of Judah Dinner” celebrating the 60th anniversary of the first visit to Oklahoma by a reigning foreign head of state, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. A sold-out audience of 54 enthusiastic attendees, a cross-section of the local populace, gathered at Harwelden Mansion overlooking the Arkansas River in Tulsa to view artifacts from the land of Prester John, eat traditional Ethiopian food, and learn about the close and historic ties of Ethiopia with Oklahoma. Dr. David Henneberry, OSU’s Associate Vice President, Division of International Studies and Outreach, joined Prof. Rodger Randle, Director of OU’s Center for Democracy and Culture and former Mayor of Tulsa and former Peace Corps Volunteer, in welcoming the guests and providing background about the Emperor’s visit and its significance to the state. The dinner was the city’s first public ceremony honoring an African country and its people.

During the Emperor’s first state visit to the United States in 1954, he made a singular stop in his 7,000 mile tour of the country to thank the people of Oklahoma for assisting in modernizing agriculture and education in his nation. Haile Selassie was an iconic figure of the 20th Century, a defender of the principle of collective security before the League of Nations, military commander of the first Allied victory in World War II, champion of the United Nations whose troops fought for the UN in Korea and the Congo, Cold-war ally of the United States, staunch anti-colonialist, and a noted Pan-Africanist and founding father of the Organization of African Unity. The Emperor was honored with a reception and dinner in Stillwater that was described as “the social event of the century” in Oklahoma. The timing of the visit and its venue were auspicious. Only one month before the U.S. Supreme Court had handed down its landmark case, Brown v. Board of Education, ending racial segregation in public schools. The Emperor and his entourage were honored at a racially integrated event in an officially segregated state.

Haile Selassie held a special audience for the family of the late Dr. Harry Bennett, the president of Oklahoma A&M who established Oklahoma’s connections with Ethiopia through President Truman’s Point Four program. At the Tulsa celebration, Thomas E. Bennett, Jr., grandson of President Bennett spoke about his family’s memories of meetings with the Emperor. Tulsans Judy Burton, whose father was chief executive of Ethiopian Airlines (EA) from 1955-1960, and David Duke, who instructed EA mechanics the finer points of airplane engine maintenance in 1964 talked about their time in Addis Ababa. Patricia Vestal, who taught art at the Creative Arts Center of Haile Selassie I University from 1965-1966, reminisced about attending a reception at Jubilee Palace and having Halie Selassie attend her students’ art show. Ethiopianist Ted Vestal spoke about the Emperor’s state visit and gave details about the Oklahoma segment of the journey.

Before the program, photographer Hoyt Smith, a Peace Corps Volunteer teacher at Tafari Makonnen School in Addis Ababa from 1962-1965, showed slides from his collection while guests dined with a traditional Ethiopian meal of injera and wat. For a departing gift, filmmaker Mel Tawahade presented all attendees with a copy of his video “Point Four Ethiopia.”



Related:
Reflection: The 60th Anniversary of Emperor Haile Selassie’s Visit to OSU

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Photos: Teddy Afro at SummerStage 2014 Festival in New York

Teddy Afro performing at SummerStage festival in New York on July 5th, 2014. (Photo: Tadias Magazine)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Sunday, July 6th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) – In a beautiful Summer afternoon reminiscent of Addis Ababa weather, Teddy Afro performed at the 2014 SummerStage festival in New York’s Central Park on Saturday, July 5th in front of an energetic audience. Rumsey Playfield was filled to capacity with a large contingent of Ethiopian fans — some of whom had driven from Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Boston. As Teddy played both old and new tunes, the crowd sang along and chanted their request for ‘Tikur Sew’ during breaks. Teddy promised to perform that song in the evening (at B.B. King’s) and then surprised them by playing their request as the final song.

Below are photos from the event. Stay tuned for video coverage.



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Latinos and African Immigrants Squeezed as Banks Curtail Money Transfers

A Viamericas CD Mega in Virginia. Viamericas is a money transfer company with a large focus on Mexico. (Photo: NYT)

The New Yokr Times

By MICHAEL CORKERY

As government regulators crack down on the financing of terrorists and drug traffickers, many big banks are abandoning the business of transferring money from the United States to other countries, moves that are expected to reverse years of declines in the cost of immigrants sending money home to their families.

While Mexico may be most affected — nearly half of the $51.1 billion in remittances sent from the United States in 2012 ended up in that country — the banks’ broad retreat over the last year is affecting other countries in Latin America and parts of Africa as well. The banks are being held accountable not only for the customers who directly use their money transfer services but also for their role in collecting remittances from money transmitting companies and wiring them abroad.

“This is transforming the business and may increase the costs of international money transfers,” said Manuel Orozco, a senior fellow at the Inter-American Dialogue, a research group in Washington.

Read more at NYT.

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The Guardian: Britain is Supporting a Dictatorship in Ethiopia’

One of hundreds of families in the Gambella region who have been forcibly removed from their homes. (Getty Images)

The Guardian

By David Smith

Sunday 6 July 2014

It’s 30 years since Ethiopia’s famine came to attention in the UK. Now, a farmer plans to sue Britain for human rights abuses, claiming its aid has funded a government programme of torture and beatings as villagers have been removed from their homes.

“Life was good because the land was the land of our ancestors. The village was along the riverside, where you could get drinking water, go fishing and plant mango, banana and papaya. The temperature there was good and we could feed ourselves.”

This is how Mr O – his name is protected for his safety – remembers the home he shared with his family in the Gambella region of Ethiopia. The fertile land had been farmed for generations, relatively safe from wars, revolutions and famines. Then, one day, near the end of 2011, everything changed. Ethiopian troops arrived at the village and ordered everyone to leave. The harvest was ripe, but there was no time to gather it. When Mr O showed defiance, he says, he was jailed, beaten and tortured. Women were raped and some of his neighbours murdered during the forced relocation.

Read more at The Guardian.

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What People Are Saying on Twitter About the Extradition of Andargachew Tsige

Andargachew Tsige, Secretary General of Ginbot 7. (Photos via Flickr, BBC News, ESAT, and Yemen Times)

Tadias Magazine
News Update

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

New York (TADIAS) — Below is a sampling of what people have been tweeting regarding the news that exiled Ethiopian opposition leader Andargachew Tsige, who is a British citizen, has been extradited from Yemen back to Ethiopia:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Related:
Ginbot 7′s Andargachew Tsege: Ethiopia confirms arrest (BBC News)
Snatched: Justice and Politics in Ethiopia (The Economist)
Fears for Safety of Returned Opposition Leader (HRW)
Ethiopia Urged to Protect Opposition Leader (AP via The Washington Post)
Yemen Extradites Exiled Ethiopian Opposition Chief, British Citizen, to Ethiopia (AFP)
Ethiopia Ginbot 7 leader facing death penalty ‘extradited from Yemen’ (BBC News)
UK Stands Accused Over Extradition of Ethiopian Opposition Leader (The Guardian)
Ethiopia Asks Yemen to Extradite Activist (Al Jazeera)
Leading Ethiopian Opposition Figure Detained in Yemen (Yemen Times)

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WORLD CUP 2014: Brazil’s Other Big Game

Brenda Pontes, right, the reigning queen of the Peladão’s beauty pageant in Brazil's Amazon rain forest getting ready for a television appearance at the A Crítica television station where she works. (Photo: NYT)

By JERÉ LONGMAN | NYT

JULY 6, 2014

MANAUS, Brazil — It was a newsroom like any television station newsroom, unless you count the brunette receptionist wearing a crown, sash and leopard print dress and offering friendly advice on how to spice up the World Cup.

“Beauty queens,” Brenda Pontes, 19, said.

The World Cup does have many things — consuming attention, enthralling soccer and a carnival atmosphere — but it does not have beauty queens.

In the Amazon rain forest, though, there is a tournament that is equal parts soccer and beauty pageant. It is one of the largest and most unusual amateur soccer competitions in the world, and perhaps the only one with a reality show. Pontes is the reigning queen.

The tournament is called the Peladão. The name is a reference to pelada, a Portuguese word that can mean a naked woman. But in this case it means soccer disrobed of big money and glamour and revealed in its informal essence — pickup games played in Brazil on dusty fields, on sandy beaches and even on ferries in floating villages.

Read more at The New York Times.

In Pictures: African teams at the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Watch: The 2014 FIFA World Cup on ESPN


Related:
Hyundai USA Releases World Cup AD “Epic Battle” Video by Wondwossen Dikran
David Mesfin: 2014 Hyundai FIFA World Cup Ad Features Work by Ethiopian Artists

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Yemen Extradites Exiled Ethiopian Opposition Chief, British Citizen, to Ethiopia

Andargachew Tsige, an Ethiopian opposition leader with British citizenship, has been extradited to Addis Ababa from Yemen. (Photo: ESAT)

AFP

July 4th, 2014

Addis Ababa (AFP) – An exiled Ethiopian opposition leader with British citizenship has been extradited to Addis Ababa “for slaughter”, an opposition group claimed on Friday.

Andargachew Tsige, secretary general of Ginbot 7 — labelled a terrorist organisation under Ethiopian law — was arrested while in transit through Yemen last month. Britain has already expressed “deep concern” about his fate.

“Andargachew has been given for slaughter,” Ginbot 7 said in a statement, warning Yemen that it had made a “historical mistake”.

Tsige is Ethiopian born with British citizenship.

Britain’s Foreign Office said it was investigating reports and working to confirm Andargachew’s whereabouts.

“UK officials have pressed the Yemeni authorities at senior levels to establish his whereabouts,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.

“We are aware of reports that he may now be in Ethiopia and we are urgently seeking confirmation from the relevant authorities given our deep concerns about the case.”

“We declare a war in the name of Andargachew for justice, freedom and equality,” Ginbot 7 added.

Ethiopia officials could not confirm if Andargachew was in Addis Ababa.

“I have no idea,” foreign ministry spokesman Dina Mufti told AFP.

The US-based Ginbot 7 was founded by the former mayor of Addis Ababa, Berhanu Nega, currently living in exile in America.

Read more.

Related:
Ethiopia Ginbot 7 leader facing death penalty ‘extradited from Yemen’ (BBC News)
UK Stands Accused Over Extradition of Ethiopian Opposition Leader (The Guardian)
Ethiopia Asks Yemen to Extradite Activist (Al Jazeera)
Leading Ethiopian Opposition Figure Detained in Yemen (Yemen Times)

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BBC Reports Ginbot 7 Leader Andargachew Tsige Extradited From Yemen

Exiled Ethiopian opposition leader Andargachew Tsige (center), who is a British citizen, is pictured above during a Congressional hearing on Ethiopia in 2006 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Flickr)

BBC News

4 July 2014

An Ethiopian opposition leader, who was sentenced to death while in exile for plotting a coup, has been extradited from Yemen to Ethiopia, his group says.

Andargachew Tsege, who is also a British national, is secretary-general of the banned Ginbot 7 movement.

The Ethiopian government allegedly requested his extradition after he was arrested in Yemen last month.

European MEP Ana Gomes told the BBC the UK needed to use its political leverage to ensure his release.

The Ethiopian government has not commented on the alleged extradition.

US-based Ginbot 7 spokesman Ephrem Madebo told the BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme that Mr Andargachew had been on his way from the United Arab Emirates to Eritrea when he was detained during a stopover at Sanaa airport.

Mr Ephrem said that he had spoken to Mr Andargachew’s family who had been contacted by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Thursday.

British officials told the family that the Yemeni ambassador to the UK had informed them that Mr Andargachew had been handed over to Ethiopia, Mr Ephrem said.

In a statement the UK Foreign Office said it was aware that Mr Andargachew had been missing in Yemen since 24 June.

“Since then UK officials have pressed the Yemeni authorities at senior levels to establish his whereabouts, including meeting with the Yemeni ambassador in London this week,” a Foreign Office spokesman said in a statement.

“We are aware of reports that he may now be in Ethiopia and we are urgently seeking confirmation from the relevant authorities given our deep concerns about the case. We are continuing to provide consular assistance to his family.”

Read more at BBC News.

Related:
UK Stands Accused Over Extradition of Ethiopian Opposition Leader (The Guardian)
Ethiopia Asks Yemen to Extradite Activist (Al Jazeera)
Leading Ethiopian Opposition Figure Detained in Yemen (Yemen Times)

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UK Stands Accused Over Extradition of Opposition Leader Andargachew Tsige

Andargachew Tsige, a British national, may face death penalty after extradition from Yemen. (The Guardian)

The Guardian

BY Martin Plaut

Friday 4 July 2014

The Foreign Office has been accused of failing to act to prevent the extradition to Ethiopia of an opposition leader facing the death penalty.

Andargachew Tsige, a British national, is secretary general of an exiled Ethiopian opposition movement, Ginbot 7. He was arrested at Sana’a airport on 23 June by the Yemeni security services while in transit between the United Arab Emirates and Eritrea.

“The British knew he was being held in Yemen for almost a week but they did nothing,” said Ephrem Madebo, a spokesman for Ginbot 7. “We are extremely worried about Mr Andargachew, because the Ethiopians kill at will.”

The Foreign Office, which called in the Yemeni ambassador earlier this week, said it was urgently seeking confirmation that Andargachew was in Ethiopia.

“If confirmed this would be deeply concerning given our consistent requests for information from the Yemeni authorities, the lack of any notification of his detention in contravention of the Vienna convention and our concerns about the death penalty that Mr Tsige could face in Ethiopia,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.

Read more at The Guardian.

Related:
Ethiopia Ginbot 7 leader facing death penalty ‘extradited from Yemen’ (BBC News)
Ethiopia Asks Yemen to Extradite Activist (Al Jazeera)
Leading Ethiopian Opposition Figure Detained in Yemen (Yemen Times)

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Friday Muslim Protests Resume in Ethiopia

Photograph: Protesters outside Addis Ababa's Anwar Mosque after Friday prayer last year. (File Photo)

Agence France Presse

Jul. 04, 2014

ADDIS ABABA: Hundreds of Muslims protesters demonstrated in Ethiopia Friday, demanding the release of 17 of their leaders jailed under terrorism charges last year.

“What the government is doing doesn’t solve the problem, rather it will worsen the situation,” said protestor Mohammad Seman, speaking at the demonstration following busy Friday prayers at a popular Addis Ababa mosque.

The leaders were arrested last August, following months of protests by Muslims accusing the government of interfering in religious affairs. They are currently on trial for intending to “carry out acts of terrorism.”

Protesters accuse the government of forcibly imposing the foreign Al-Ahbash branch of Islam, and appointing leaders, or majlis, of the Supreme Council on Islamic Affairs who are traditionally elected by members of the Muslim community.

“We want our freedom, we want neutral majlis,” said protester Noureddine Ali.

The demonstrators carried banners reading “let our voices be heard,” and “we will fight for our religion and rights” at the rally, before police arrested several protestors, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

Seman said that the government should release the leaders and urged talks with the Muslim community.

“It is better to solve the problem with peaceful means,” he said.

The government did not return calls for comment Friday.

Human Rights Watch has urged the government to free the jailed leaders, accusing it of a “brutal crackdown” on protests.

Ethiopia has come under fire for its controversial anti-terrorism legislation, which rights groups have said is used to silence critics.

Over 30 percent of Ethiopia’s 91 million people are Muslim, while around 60 percent practice Orthodox Christianity, according to official figures.

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Ethiopia Says Expanding Zones to Become Industrial Hub

Ethiopian PM and Chinese premier visit Oriental Industrial Park in Ethiopia, May 5, 2014. (gov.cn)

Reuters

By Aaron Maasho

Fri Jul 4, 2014

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopia will start setting up a new industrial park in September and will expand another at a total cost of $250 million, an official said, part of efforts to shift away from farming and become a hub for textiles and other industries.

The Horn of Africa nation aims to attract investors who are moving some manufacturing from China and other Asian markets, where costs are rising. Ethiopia offers cheap labour and fast improving power supply, transport and other infrastructure.

Luring new industry is seen as vital to maintaining high growth rates in Ethiopia’s still largely agrarian economy. The economy has expanded annually by double digits in the past decade and is forecast to grow by 8 percent or more this year.

Yaregal Meskir, deputy director general of the Ethiopian Industrial Development Zones Corporation, said plans were being finalised to expand the existing Bole Lemi Industrial Zone, on the southern outskirts of the capital, while a new industrial hub was planned at Kilinto, 30 km (20 miles) further south.

“We have witnessed many investors have come to acquire sheds and land and there is a long queue,” he told Reuters in an interview on Friday. “We prefer labour-based industries like garment manufacturing and shoe manufacturing for exports.”

After selecting a designer, he said building Bole Lemi phase two and the Kilinto Industrial Zone would start in September.

A third of the 156-hectare Bole Lemi site was developed at a cost of 2.5 billion birr ($127.5 million), financed by the state, in the first phase and has attracted Korean garment-maker Myungsung Textile Company and Taiwan’s George Shoe Corporation.

The Kilinto zone will cover 243 hectares.

Read more.

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Yemen Times: Ethiopian Opposition Figure Andargachew Tsige Detained in Sana’a

Andargachew Tsige, Secretary General of the Ethiopian opposition, Ginbot 7. (Photo via Yemen Times)

Yemen Times

By Bassam Al-Khameri

3 July 2014

SANA’A, July 2–The Ginbot-7 Movement for Justice, Freedom and Democracy, an outlawed political organization in Ethiopia, claimed on Monday that the movement’s secretary general Andargachew Tsige has been detained in Yemen since June 23.

According to the organization’s website, Tsige was arrested at Sana’a International Airport while in transit from Ethiopia to London. Tsegie is an Ethiopian with British citizenship.

The circumstances of his arrest remain unclear.

In a press release published on the official Ginbot-7 website on June 30, the movement said that it had tried for a week to release Tsige, adding that it had asked the Yemeni government not to hand him over to the Ethiopian government. “We will retaliate in any way and at any place for any harm done to the body, spirit and life of Andargachew Tsegie,” the movement warned.

Khalid Sheikh, the director of Sana’a International Airport, denied any knowledge of Tsegie’s alleged detention.

The Yemen Times contacted the Ethiopian Embassy in Sana’a, which claims to have no information on Tsegie’s alleged arrest so far. The British Embassy could not be reached.

Ethiopian news website Awramba Times cited a senior Ethiopian official as saying “Yemeni authorities will definitely issue an extradition warrant and he will face justice based on the Ethio-Yemeni Security Pact (EYSP), which was signed in 1999 between the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Yemeni’s former President Ali Abdallah Saleh.”

The website’s article did not give any further details of the arrest.

Ginbot-7 is a political movement that was founded by Dr. Berhanu Nega and that, according to its mission statement, aims to establish a national political system in which political authority is gained through peaceful and democratic means.

The Ethiopian government listed Ginbot-7 as a “terrorist group” in June 2011. Tsige allegedly survived an attempted assassination in November 2013 in Asmara that Ginbot-7 holds the Ethiopian regime responsible for.

Related:
Ethiopia Ginbot 7 leader facing death penalty ‘extradited from Yemen’ (BBC News)
UK Stands Accused Over Extradition of Ethiopian Opposition Leader (The Guardian)
Ethiopia Asks Yemen to Extradite Activist (Al Jazeera)

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Image of the Week: Ethiopian Troops Rallying Against Italy’s Invasion in 1935

This photo was taken in Addis Ababa at the start of the Second Italo-Ethiopian War in October 1935. (Courtesy: Martin Plaut )

Martin Plaut

This photograph, dated 30 October 1935, shows Ethiopian troops rallying to the cause of the Emperor Haile Selassie.

This is the information on the back of the photo: “Dedjazmatch Machacha, one of Ethiopia’s most influential leaders, recently marched into Addis Ababa with 10,000 of his followers to offer his services and those of his men to Emperor Haile Selassie. This picture shows some of Machacha’s troops in Addis Ababa before leaving for the North.”

Read more.

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Tom Hucker Still Ahead After First Absentee Vote Count in Maryland Primary

Tom Hucker, a candidate for Montgomery County Council District 5 seat in Maryland, who was endorsed by the Ethiopian American Council (EAC), is still leading his primary race. (Photo: courtesy of Tom Hucker)

The Washington Post

BY BILL TURQUE

Del. Tom Hucker slightly extended his slender margin over Evan Glass in the Montgomery County District 5 County Council Democratic primary race after the first set of absentee ballots were counted late last week.

Hucker won a slight plurality of the 570 absentee ballots, extending his lead from 225 to 244 votes.

Montgomery election officials said Monday there are two more sets of ballots remaining to be counted in the primary contest. Provisional ballots will be tallied on Wednesday and a final set of absentees on July 7.

Read more at The Washington Post.

Related:
Tom Hucker Leads in Close Primary in Maryland’s Montgomery County
Ike Leggett Wins Primary Election By A Wide Margin
Sam Liccardo Wins San Jose, California Mayoral Primary Election

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African Leaders Vote to Give Themselves Immunity From War Crimes and Genocide

At the 2014 African Union summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. (Photograph credit: African Union)

The New York Times

By ADAM NOSSITER and MARLISE SIMONS

JULY 2, 2014

DAKAR, Senegal — African leaders have voted to give themselves immunity from prosecution for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide in an African human rights court that does not yet exist, angering rights groups and puzzling activists on the continent.

At an African Union summit held last week in Equatorial Guinea, a country often cited as one of Africa’s worst rights violators, heads of state and government decided that the African Court of Justice and Human Rights would have no power to hear cases against them.

The court was formally created by the African Union six years ago, but it is not yet in operation, and it is not clear when it will be.

The leaders at the summit last week also expanded the court’s scope: What was originally a civil tribunal for hearing human rights complaints will now be a full-fledged criminal court with authority to deal with the most serious crimes, including genocide, crimes against humanity and piracy.

Read more at NYT.

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Will Ethiopia’s New Sovereign Credit Rating Increase Foreign Investment?

International Monetary Fund (IMF) graph illustrating Ethiopia's Foreign Direct Investment. (Source: IMF)

Brookings Institution Blog

By Temesgen Deressa and Amadou Sy

July 2, 2014

Last month, Moody’s Investors Service assigned a debut sovereign rating of B1 to the government of Ethiopia. A B1 rating is equivalent to a B rating in Fitch Ratings’ scale, which is the agency that rates most African sovereigns. The rating puts Ethiopia on par with Rwanda but a notch below countries such as Kenya, Ghana and Zambia, all rated B+ by Fitch. Oil exporters such as Angola and Nigeria are rated better at BB-.

Moody’s Investors Service rating of B1 for Ethiopia is based on four main key drivers: (1) the country’s small economy and low per capita income, balanced by a track record of strong economic growth over the past decade; (2) weak institutional setups in comparison with B-rated countries; (3) moderate fiscal strength, with debt burden and related financing costs remaining low given a largely concessional funding base balanced by its increasing reliance on non-concessional financing; and (4) moderate susceptibility to event risk, which balances credit strength and credit constraints.

Read more at brookings.edu.

Related:
Ethiopia receives credit ratings needed for Eurobond issue (Reuters)

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The Struggle for a Free Press in Africa

Zone9 bloggers arrested on April 25th in Addis Ababa. (Photographs from Global Voices Online/by Endalk)

Aljazeera America

By Mohamed Keita

In Africa, the past few months have offered troubling optics of journalists on trial for the practice of independent journalism: Peter Greste in a cage in a prisoner’s white jumpsuit in Egypt, Bheki Makhubu in leg irons in Swaziland and Tesfalem Waldyes in handcuffs in Ethiopia. The arrests and prosecutions of journalists not only chill others from digging deeper into stories, but there are also other, more indirect and insidious forms of censorship that obfuscate inconvenient truths that we should know.

Last week, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, criticized prison sentences against several journalists jailed in Egypt after they reported on the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, which authorities consider a terrorist organization.

“It is not a crime to criticize the authorities or to interview people who hold unpopular views,” said Pillay, echoing the “journalism is not a crime” slogan of the global campaign to free three Al Jazeera journalists held in Egypt.

As troubling as these arrests have been, they represent a larger trend in Africa of criminalizing the practice of independent journalism in the broadest sense, including blogging and social media.

Read more at america.aljazeera.com.

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