"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, 27 June 2015

I need my dad to be here, pleads daughter of ‘Ethiopian Mandela’ as she stars in play dramatising plight of kidnapped father

Helawit Hailemariam, centre, with, from left, Doyin Ajiboye, Justine Onokoko, Nadia Carrier Solomon and Nubia Servina
Helawit Hailemariam, centre, with,
 from left, Doyin Ajiboye, Justine
 Onokoko, Nadia Carrier
 Solomon and Nubia Servina

June 27, 2015

by KOOS COUVÉE | Islington Tribune
IMAGINE celebrating your 16th birthday while your loving dad, who has committed no crime, is on death row 4,000 miles away in a jail where you fear he may be tortured.
This scenario is in fact reality for Helawit “Holly” Hailemariam, 15, from Clerkenwell, whose father, Andargachew Tsege, a British man from Holloway and a prominent opposition activist in his native Ethiopia, is languishing in a jail in the East African country.
On Wednesday, a new play by Islington Community Theatre starring Helawit and five of her friends marked the anniversary of Mr Tsege’s kidnapping while he was travelling through Yemen.
Her father, also k

Friday, 26 June 2015

The Root Cause of Poor Quality of Education in Ethiopia: an Elephant in the Room

Addis Ababa University (formerly Haile Selassie I University) is a university in Ethiopia.
June 26, 2015

by Concerned Educators
Since the introduction of modern education in Ethiopia, Ethiopians have recognized the need to improve the quality of education. Ethiopians have never been, however, as concerned about the poor quality of education in Ethiopia as today. The cycle of poor quality education and its ripple effects are looming dangers for Ethiopia. The problem is systemic and mainly intentionally induced. Addressing this issue should be one of the top priorities for Ethiopians and those international organizations funding the education sector in Ethiopia. The crux of this analysis is to identify the root cause of the poor quality of education.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Mr. Obama’s visit to Ethiopia sends the wrong message on democracy

President Barack Obama's Speech in Accra, Ghana on July 11, 2009
President Barack Obama’s Speech in Accra,
 Ghana on July 11, 2009
June 25, 2015
“AFRICA DOESN’T need strongmen, it needs strong institutions.” Those were President Obama’s words when he addressed Ghana’s parliament in July 2009, during his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa as president. The historic speech, watched around the globe, was an optimistic clarion call to the leaders on the continent from the son of a Kenyan. “First, we must support strong and sustainable democratic governments,” Mr. Obama said.
The president seems to have forgotten that speech. Last week, the White Houseannounced that, while traveling to Kenya next month, Mr. Obama also will stop in Ethiopia, the first such visit by a sitting U.S. president to the country of 94 million. It’s almost unfathomable that he would make time for an entrenched human rights abuser such as Ethi­o­pia while cold-shouldering the nation that just witnessed a historic, peaceful, democratic change of power: Nigeria.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

An Official White House Visit to Ethiopia? Africans Tell Obama ‘Don’t Do It!’

Photo published for Obama will be first sitting U.S. president to visit EthiopiaJune 25, 2015

by Ndesanjo Macha | Global Voices
US President Barack Obama’s last trip to Africa before his term ends will take him to Kenya and Ethiopia, where he’ll be the first sitting US president to visit. Obama first toured Africa nearly two years ago, making stops in Senegal, Tanzania, and South Africa.
Obama’s decision to stop in Ethiopia has surprised human rights activists and advocates for good governance both in Africa and elsewhere. Ethiopia is one of the worst human rights offenders in Sub-Saharan Africa. In its 2014 report, Human Rights Watch noted that Ethiopia increasingly restricts the freedoms of assembly and expression:
[…] the Ethiopian authorities continue to severely restrict the rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly, using repressive laws to constrain civil society and independent media,

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Ethiopian ruling party wins all parliamentary seats

The Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn scored a landslide victory, stripping the opposition of the one seat it had held in the outgoing chamber, said Merga Bekana, chairman of the electoral board.

African Union observers said the polls passed off without incident, but the opposition alleged the government had used authoritarian tactics to guarantee victory.

Preliminary results for the one constituency that still had to return final results -- the southwestern Bonga district where elections were delayed -- showed the EPRDF also winning that seat.
"The performance of the ruling party is good but the competition was strong," Merga told reporters at the release of final results.
"The general elections were characterised by high voter turnout and orderly conduct of the elections proceedings. The elections were culminated in free, fair,

Monday, 22 June 2015

Obama Should Flag Rights Abuses on Ethiopia Visit – HRW

President Obama has also to avoid past pitfallsJune 22, 2015

Human Rights Watch
(Washington, DC, June 19, 2015) – United States President Barack Obama will hold meetings at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa and with the Ethiopian government during a visit to Africa, planned for late July 2015. Obama’s trip to Addis Ababa, the first-ever visit by a standing US president to Ethiopia, will follow a previously announced trip to Kenya.

While billed as “strengthening ties and highlighting America’s longstanding commitment to investing in Africa,” Obama should use his visit to highlight publicly and privately the Ethiopian government’s poor human rights record, which includes cracking down on peaceful dissent using repressive laws. He should press Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn to bring about real human rights reform.

The Axis of Shevil: Does Africa Need Gayle Smith?

What do Gayle Smith, Wendy Sherman and Susan Rice have in common?

June 22, 2015
by Alemayehu G. Mariam

What do Gayle Smith, Wendy Sherman and Susan Rice have in common?

This past Thursday, Gayle Smith who is currently Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director at the National Security Council directed by  Susan Rice, had her confirmation hearing to become the next Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.
It was not much of a hearing.
She got a bunch of “softball questions”.
Her prepared statement basically said she will save at least half the world if she snags the job. “USAID is uniquely positioned to flexibly respond to humanitarian crises with agility and to provide enduring leadership to solve the world’s most intractable development challenges,” declared Smith’s statement for the record.