"The thing that lies at the foundation of positive change, the way I see it, is service to a fellow human being." - Lech Walesa

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Israel offers to mediate Ethiopia-Egypt dam row

Friday, March 07, 2014
Israel offers to mediate Ethiopia-Egypt dam rowADDIS ABABA – Israeli Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir has voiced Israel`s readiness to assist Egypt and Ethiopia reach agreement over the latter`s construction of a multibillion-dollar hydroelectric dam on the Nile River.
According to Ethiopia`s state-run news agency, Shamir made the remarks at a Thursday meeting in Addis Ababa with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn.

The agency did not specify how Israel intends to assist both countries in ironing out their differences over the dam.
Relations between Ethiopia and Egypt soured last year over construction of Ethiopia`s Grand Renaissance Dam on the upper reaches of the Nile – Egypt`s main source of water.
The controversial project raised alarm bells in Egypt, the Arab world`s most populous country, which fears a reduction of its traditional share of Nile water.
Water distribution among Nile Basin states has long been based on a colonial-era agreement granting Egypt and Sudan the lion`s share of the river`s water.
Addis Ababa insists the new dam will benefit downstream states Sudan and Egypt, both of

The not so cheap talk of Alemnew Mekonnen et al

by Hindessa Abdul

Amid the drama and conspiracy theories surrounding a co-pilot who had hijacked a plane, two local politicians were hitting the headlines in their own ways.
Alemnew Mekonnen is deputy head of the Amhara Regional State Zenebu Tadesse is Ethiopian Minister of Women, Children and Youth Affairs. Last week she allegedly tweeted: “There is no place for hate, discrimination in my beloved Africa. It’s not Governments’ business to make dress code or anti-gay laws.” The tweet was a reaction to an anti-gay bill that was signed into law by Ugandan President Yoweri Musevini. Zenebu’s comment quickly drew controversy both at home and abroad. However, the tweet was a short-lived one: deleted. The Minister later denied posting it.

In an interview with the ruling party owned Radio Fana, Zenebu said while she actively uses Tweeter to promote some of the activities of her Ministry, she denied posting the tweet. “I was out of town when I heard about the tweet. I was saddened

Friday, 7 March 2014

Ethiopian Airlines Replaces Vice-President

04 March 2014
Ethiopian Airlines has appointed Captain Yohannes Hailemariam as Vice-President Flight Operations effective 3 March 2014.
Captain Yohannes is replacing Captain Desta Zeru (Vice President and head of Flight Operations), who left the position of Vice-President for a reasons which is not clear, but speculations are in high gear that it is related to the recent events caused by co-pilot Hailemedhin Abera.
Sources inside the airline are also revealing many pilots have been grounded and their licenses were suspended.
Michael Melaku, a former Safety Security Department officer of the Ethiopian Airlines had exposed the internal maladministration, corruption and nepotism within the Ethiopian Airlines.

Ethiopian telecom: From Poor Network to No Network

By Getachew Mengistu:
An alleged fiber cable cut has caused a total meltdown of the telecom network in Addis Ababa on Friday 7th February. It has adversely affected the city’s telecom service. The problem affected all services, voice calls and text messages, as well as access to emails and the internet were unavailable as the network collapsed completely. Ethio Telecom sole vendor ZTE, after the cut, should have worked flat out to restore the service but the problem stayed for more than 12 hours and still going without much improvement.
It is well known that service users in Addis Ababa have been experiencing an increase in failed and dropped calls for a very long time despite huge investment by Ethio Telecom. What happened on the 7th February took the network fiasco in the capital to a shocking new level. What residents in Addis experienced was not a poor quality or diminution of service but no service at all!
No doubt the problem triggered enormous frustration for individual customers and businesses in the capital raring many to write and speak about it in the media.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

U.S. Department of State: 2013 Human Rights Reports of Ethiopia

U.S Department of StateFebruary 28, 2014

Ethiopia is a federal republic. The ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), a coalition of four ethnically based parties, controls the government. In September 2012, following the death of former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, parliament elected Hailemariam Desalegn as prime minister. In national parliamentary elections in 2010, the EPRDF and affiliated parties won 545 of 547 seats to remain in power for a fourth consecutive five-year term. Although the relatively few international officials allowed to observe the elections concluded that technical aspects of the vote were handled competently, some also noted that an environment conducive to free and fair elections was not in place prior to the election. Authorities generally maintained control over the security forces, although Somali Region Special Police and local militias sometimes acted independently. Security forces committed human rights abuses.