• Ethiopian Mother of Angelina Jolie's Adopted Daughter Seeks Access

    Angelina-Jolie-Zahra-Mom-asking-for-contactJanuary 17, 2017 - The natural mother of Angelina Jolie's adopted Ethiopian daughter Zahara has made a heartfelt plea to the superstar actress telling her: 'Please just let me talk to my daughter', according to report in Dail Mail.

    Mentewab Dawit Lebiso told Daily Mail Online she is desperate to be part of her 12-year-old daughter's life - and called for Jolie to get custody of her daughter in the bitter split with Brad Pitt.

    She dreams of one day meeting the girl she gave up as a tiny infant - but said she would settle for the chance to simply hear her voice.

    'I just want her to know that I am alive and here and long to be able to speak with her. I do not want my daughter back but just to be in contact with her and be able to call her up and talk with her,' said Mente

  • Ethiopian Premier Accuses Allana Potash of Tax Evasion

    Ethiopia-pm-accuses-allana-potash-of-tax-evasionJanuary 16, 2017 - Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn on Monday accused Allana Potash, the Canadian company which was engaged in potash mineral exploration and development project in the Afar Regional State, of tax evasion, according to Reporter.

    In a press conference held in his office on Monday morning Prime Minister Hailemariam was asked about the state of the Ethiopian mining sector and the exit of prominent mining companies such as Allana Potash and Israel Chemicals Ltd (ICL).

    Hailemariam said that the case of Allana was related to tax evasion. “Allana owes the Ethiopian government some two billion birr in tax. Allana should pay this and the Ethiopian government will use legal means to recover its money,” the prime minister said.

    Allana Potash, which was listed in the Toronto Stock Ex

  • Ethiopia to Start Electronic Coffee Trading in Three Towns

    Ethiopia-to-launch-electric-coffee-trading-three-townsJanuary 16, 2017 - Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Marketing Development Authority is set to start electronic coffee trading in three towns as of the end of this Ethiopian fiscal year.

    Preparations are underway to launch the electronic markets in Hawassa, Nekemte and Humera towns, said Sani Redi, director general of the authority.

    The electronic trading creates a faster and more efficient platform for traders, he said.

    According to Sani, the electronic market in Humera town will also include trading of sesame. (FBC)

  • Cars Too Expensive in Ethiopia

    cars-too-expensive-in-ethiopiaJanuary 16, 2017 - Owning a car for many Ethiopians - even those with ready cash to spend in one of the world's fastest-growing economies - remains a pipe dream.

    "I have been saving for nearly four years now, and I still can't afford to buy even the cheapest vehicle here," a frustrated Girma Desalegn tells me.

    He has been shopping around for a whole week in capital, Addis Ababa, and has still not found an affordable car.

    He is looking to buy a second-hand car imported from the Gulf states or Europe - but even they are prohibitively expensive because the government classifies cars as luxury goods.

    This means even if a vehicle is second hand, it will be hit with import taxes of up to 200%.

    "I have a budget of $15,000 (£12,300) and had expected that with that I co

  • Ethiopia Forms Committee to Combat Black Market Currency Trading

    ethiopia-to-combat-currency-black-marketJanuary 13, 2017 - The government formed a special committee under the Prime Minister’s Office to combat the currency trading on the black market and outflow of hard currency from the country, according to Capital.

    The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), which is the monetary intelligence unit established under the ‘Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism’ proclamation conducted a study about illegal money transfer which is considered to be the major activity on the black market.

    Beside illegal transfers, expats who receive their salary in hard currency and foreigners who come for conferences are the other sources of the black market currency. “The money transfer is mainly related to illegal immigrants, while illegal actors are lobbying foreigners to exchange their m

  • Almaz Ayana Listed for Top Sports Award

    Almaz-AyanaJanuary 12, 2017 - Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana has been nominated for yet another sports award following her exploits at the just ended Olympic Games in Rio.

    Ayana has been named in nominations for the Laureus World Sports Awards 2017 in the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award category.

    She has keen competitors in the category among others, fellow Olympic gold medalist, South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk and Formula One World Championship contestant Nico Rosberg.

    Three teams nominated for the same category are, English Premier League Champions Leicester City, European Championship quarter-finalists Iceland and Olympic Rugby Sevens gold medal winners Fiji.

    Ayana was recently named the female World Athlete of the Year at the International Association of Athletics Federation’s Athletics Awards 2016, held at Sport

  • Hand Grenade Kills One at Recreational Center in North Gonder

    Hand-grenade-gonderJanuary 11, 2017 - Hand grenade thrown yesterday night at a recreational place in north Gondar zone, Amhara Regional State, killed one person.

    Some 11 people were also injured in the attack carried out by unknown individuals on Entasol hotel at a place commonly known as kebele 18 (district), Commander Assefa Ashebe, head of police department of Gondar town told FBC.

    Those wounded in the attack were receiving medical care at Gondar Referral Hospital, he said.

    Police have continued searching for the attackers, he said.

    “The attack might be a new tactic started by anti-peace forces as the strategy they had been pursuing in the past failed,” he said.

    Commander Assefa also urged residents of the town to report suspected incidents. (FBC)

  • Ethiopia Appeals for $948 Million in Humanitarian Aid for 2017

    ethiopia-appeals-for-$948m-in-aid17 January 2017 – On the heels of failed rains and a calamitous El Niño in Ethiopia, the country's Government today launched an appeal for $948 million to urgently address food and non-food needs, while the United Nations agriculture agency warned that a new drought may put the East African nation's hard fought gains at risk.

    The humanitarian response plan, launched by the Ethiopian Government and humanitarian partners, aims to help 5.6 million people mainly in the southern and eastern parts of the country, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

    “Last year the Government of Ethiopia, with the support of international donors and humanitarian partners, was able to mount the biggest drought response operation in global history. Today we need tha

  • Capital Inadequacy of Commerical Bank of Ethiopia Alarms Government

    CBE-capital-inadequacy-shocks-ethiopian-governmentJanuary 17, 2017 - A shocking decline of the Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) at the largest state-owned bank, Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) – currently at the lowest critical level of four percent – has prompted the government to deposit a security bond worth 26.5 billion birr, according to Reporter.

    The security bond is intended to raise the bank's paid up capital. In a bid to apply it quickly, the government has tabled a draft proclamation on Tuesday before the House of People’s Representatives (HPR). The bill proposes an issuance of the security bond worth 26.5 billion birr. If approved, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MoFEC) will issue the security bond that will raise CBE's total capital to 40 billion birr.

    After the capital injection, CBE’s

  • Ethiopia Considering Partial Privatization for Shipping Enterprise - PM

    Ethiopia-considering-selling-shipping-enterpriseJanuary 17, 2017 - During  his latest press conference Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn confirmed that his government is in the process of selling shares of the Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Services Enterprise (ESLSE), which is the only state run company that owns commercial boats in Africa, to an undisclosed company, according to Capital.

    The PM explained that  the costs of inland transportation out way the costs of transportation by sea because of logistical issues and the cost of moving freight in Ethiopia.  He pointed out that, “the newly inaugurated railway will substantially decrease the cost of transportation, but logistical concerns are still a major source of concern.”

    “We are trying to privatize the company with some e

  • Ethiopian Band Yegna to Continue Despite Funding Cut from UK

    Yegna-to-continue-despite-funding-cutJanuary 16, 2017 - Yegna Managing Director Solome Tadesse spoke on Tuesday of continuation of the project despite the UK Department for International Development (DFID)’s decision to cut its funding for the project. DFID has been working with Yegna for the past four years and had a plan to give it GBP 11.8 million between 2015 and 2018 through its partner Girl Effect. But DFID announced the end of its partnership with Yegna a few days ago.

    Though DFID said the decision came after a review of Yegna project and a belief that there were more effective ways to spend UK aid, Solome said the decision by the organization in no way reflected the success or impact of Yegna. “Yegna has been on air for the past three-and-a-half years and DFID has done annual reviews b

  • World Bank Grants USD 24mln for Two Ethiopian Universities

    World-bank-grants-24mln-to-ethiopian-universitiesJanuary 16, 2017 - The World Bank has granted a 24 million US dollars support for Addis Ababa and Haremaya universities to help them establish centers of excellence.

    Both universities were selected to be East and South African centers of excellence after competing with other African universities.

    Hence, Addis Ababa University (AAU) will open three and Haremaya University (HU) one center of excellence.

    The World Bank provided 6 million US dollars for the establishment of each center.

    In a related development, AAU and the European Union (EU) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) last week, to extend partnership and promote collaboration in the areas of education and academic research. (FBC)

  • University of Toronto Starts Ge’ez Classes

    University-of-torontoJanuary 13, 2017 - The University of Toronto (U of T) has begun Ge’ez classes to enable a new generation of students understand the ancient language and access long-lost trove of knowledge.

    This week, Professor Robert Holmstedt of the department of Near and Middle Eastern civilizations welcomed 25 students and members of Ethiopian community in Toronto to the first day of an introductory course on Ge’ez.

    With this course, U of T becomes one of the only places in the world where students can learn the fundamentals of Ge’ez, according to a statement on the university’s site.

    The program came about through several significant donations, including from The Weeknd, the Ethiopian community and the Faculty of Arts & Science.

    Department Chair Professor Tim Harrison has said that he hoped, with continued supp

  • Ethiopia Will Cement Relationships with Neighboring Countries - PM

    ethiopia-to-cement-relationsJanuary 12, 2017 - Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said his government will strengthen its bilateral relations with neighboring countries, according to FBC.

    The Premier gave today explanation for questions raised by members of the parliament (MPs).

    Responding to question regarding the status of Ethiopia’s relations with its neighbors, the Premier said, “We have excellent relations with Kenya and Sudan.”

    “Our relation with Djibouti is strategic and one step ahead from the relations with other countries. We have also good relations with both South Sudan and Somalia,” he added.

    And, he said, “We will work to further cement our relations with our neighbors.”

    Regarding to delay in mega projects, he said, there is no delay in all projects except in

  • Joint Venture Agreement Signed to Establish Ethio-Djibouti Railway Company

    railway-joint-ventureJanuary 12, 2017 - Ethiopia and Djibouti have signed a joint venture agreement to establish a company that will manage the newly built Ethio-Djibouti railway, according to FBC.

    The agreement was signed yesterday in Djibouti by Ethiopia’s Minister of Transport, Ahmed Shide and Djibouti’s Minister of Transport and Finance.

    The accord signed yesterday is part of the agreement signed recently between the two countries for the establishment of a joint company.  

    Present at the signing ceremony were also Dr Girma Amente, Ethiopia’s Minister of Public Enterprise as well as heads of Ethiopian and Djibouti railway corporations, Dr Engineer Getachew Betru and Mr Mohmoud, respectively. (FBC)

  • Chinese Energy Firm Begins Drilling in Ethiopian Somali Region

    somale-oil-fieldJanuary 11, 2017 - A Chinese firm, Poly-GCL, yesterday began drilling the 6th petroleum and natural gas well at Hilal- 7 gas field in Ethiopian Somali regional state, according to FBC report.

    Poly-GCL, one of the companies engaged in natural gas exploration in Ethiopia, has so far drilled five deep gas wells around Calub and Hilala areas at the Ogaden basin.

    The company had officially started yesterday the drilling of the 6th gas well-called Hilal-7, in the presence of Motuma Mekassa, Minister of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas and La Yifan, Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia.

    In an interview with EBC, Motuma Mekassa said the country will begin extracting natural gas after three years.

    “Unlike the other drillings, the digging at Hilal-7 is special as it took into consideration exploration of both petroleum and natura

  • Ethiopia Committed to Policy Based on Mutual Benefits - PM

    Nation-ready-to-work-with-any-nationJanuary 11, 2017 - Ethiopia is committed to pursuing its policy based on mutual benefits with any country, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said, according to ENA. At a press conference he held on January 9, 2017, the premier stated that the principles of Ethiopia’s diplomacy are in tune with this policy.

    Accordingly, Ethiopia has been working to strengthen its bilateral relationship with Egypt through all means including people-to-people diplomacy.

    Yet, some institutions in Egypt have been collaborating with groups categorized as terrorists set to destabilize Ethiopia, he pointed out.

    In relation to this, the government of Ethiopia has called on its Egyptian counterpart to enquire about the nature of those institutions and their intentions.

    In response, the Egyptian Ambassador in Ethiopia h

  • Haile Gebresilassie Seeks Plot of Land for Hyundai Assembly Plant

    Haile-investing-car-manufacturingJanuary 10, 2017 - The legendary long distance athlete and investment tycoon, Haile Gebresilassie, said that he is still waiting for the approval of the Addis Ababa City Administration cabinet to secure a plot of land he requested to build an assembly plant for the Korean vehicle brand Hyundai in the southwestern outskirts of Addis Ababa.

    However, sources told The Reporter that the city cabinet had a meeting last week where it evaluated Haile’s request for land but rejected it because the requested land size is too large in view of the current shortage of investment land. However, sources further said that the cabinet is still planning to reconsider provided that Haile is willing to reduce size of the plot considerably.

    However, Haile said that the plot has not yet been confirmed by

  • We Need to 'Consolidate Gains' Before Lifting State of Emergency - PM

    Ethiopian-Prime-MinisterJanuary 10, 2017 - Ethiopia needs to "consolidate gains" after the deadly unrest last year before it can lift a state of emergency that was imposed in October, the prime minister said on Monday, according to Reuters.

    "As far as the date of lifting the state of emergency is concerned, it should be seen in the perspective that we have to consolidate the gains that we have made so far," Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn told a news conference, noting that the measure had helped restore "normalcy".

    Rights groups have said more than 500 people were killed in violence that was initially sparked by anger over a development scheme for the capital but which broadened into anti-government demonstrations.

    The government said the measure would be in place for six

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    The original story in full can be found on this ENA report.

  • Majoritarian or Proportional Representation Electoral System

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    Prof.-DestaDecember 14, 2016 - The choice of electoral system has a profound effect on the future political life of a country (IDEA, 2005). After the promulgation of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in 1995, Ethiopia declared that its electoral system — the set of rules that specify how voters can express their preference (ballot structure) and how the votes are translated into parliamentarian seats or elect legislature (Aziri, E. and Saliaj, 2013) — would be based on majoritarian or winner–take-all electoral votes.  That is, the Constitution and the amended electoral law (Article 25) state that Ethiopia follows the majority system, under which the candidate who receives more votes than any competitors within a constituency is declared the winner (Ethiopian Election, 2016).

    From 1995-2015, Ethiopia has r

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    AfricaDecember 4, 2016 - Measuring democracy is a highly complex task and there is no universal mertic for it. As in everything politics, any measure in this regard is going to be subject to debate and interpretation. Nevertheless, here is one metric, the Democracy Index, that has been quoted in many circles around the world in recent years. 

    The Democracy Index is an index compiled by the UK based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), that measures the state of democracy in 167 countries, of which 166 are sovereign states and 165 are UN member states. The index is based on 60 indicators grouped in five different categories measuring pluralism, civil liberties, and political culture. In addition to a numeric score and a ranking, the index categorizes countries as one of four regime types full democracies, flawed democracies, hybrid regimes and auth

  • Least Religious Countries In The World

    China-least-religious-countryNovember 27, 2016 - Whereas some countries of the world are deeply religious, others are not so. Gallup polled people around the world to find out the percent of the population by country who believe in some religion. Here is a list of top ten countries that are least religious in the world. The percent shown next to the country's name is the portion of the poputation who believe in religion in each country. China tops the list, followed by Japan and Estonia.

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    Only 34% of the residents of Vietnam consider religion to be an important part of their daily lives, as per a recent WIN/Gallup polling. Perhaps the prevalence of Marxist-Leninist ideology in the country and the influence of Communist rule in Vietnam is responsible for the atheistic stance of most of Vietnam's population. Among the religious be

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    Lidetu_AyalewNovember 27, 2016 - Ato Lidetu Ayalew answers questions from diaspora on social media. To listen to the full interview, please click here.

  • Most Corrupt Countries in Africa as Ranked by Transparency International

    Corruption IndexNovember 18, 2016 - Africa is blessed with natural resources and abundance of young labor. Unfortunately Africans live in poverty and misery largely due to corrupt governments ruling many countries in the continent.

    Transparency International publishes corruption perceptions index (CPI) annually. If CPI is 100 the country is free of corruption. A score of 0 indicates highly corrupt country.

    The seven most corrupt countries in the world are Somalia (tied with North Korea), Afghanistand, Sudan, South Sudan, Angola and Libya. The least corrupt countries in the world are Denmark, Finland, Sweden and New Zealand.

    The least corrupt country in Africa is Botswana, according to this report, followed by Cape Vedre, Seychelles, Rowand, and Mauritius, in that order.

    Ethiopia scores a C

  • The 10 Most Beautiful Towns And Cities In Africa

    November 18, 2016 - The African continent is not only about impressive animals, stunning deserts and beautiful savannahs. It is also home to astonishing cities and towns that are rich in history and culture, according theculturetrip.com. Here is a list of the 10 most charming cities and towns to visit in Africa, ranked by this site. Ethiopia's Bahir Dar is one of them. (Way to go, Bahir Dar!!!)

    Cape Town

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    Cape Town is a vibrant and colorful city with stunning beaches, beautiful mountains and some of the best vineyards in Africa. Taking the cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain at sunrise or sunset to take in the beautiful views is a must. With all the sophistication and facilities that can be found in the city, this seaside playground certainly has enough to offer to everyone.<

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    Dr. Tewodros AdhanomNovember 6, 2016 - Dr. Tedros Adhanom delivered a speech at World Health Organization (WHO) as a candidate to the directorship of the organization. Click here to watch his full presentation at Ezega Videos.

  • PM Hailemariam Desalegn Announces New Cabinet in Parialement

    PM Hailemariam Desalegn announcing new cabinetNovember 1, 2016 - PM Hailemariam Desalegn announces Ethiopia's new parliament lineup in parliament. He eliminated two Deputy Prime Minsiter positions as well as ten+ PM advisor positions. Watch here for the full presentation of PM Hailemariam at Ezega Videos.