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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).

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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

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 signif

Putin Directed Cyber Campaign to Help Elect Trump - US Intelligence

Putin-meddling-us-electionsJanuary 6, 2017 - Opening a very troubling chapter in US-Russian relations, the US intellegence sercices concluded that Russia was behind the election-related hacking that gave advantage to President-elect Trump. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an effort to help Republican Donald Trump's electoral chances by discrediting Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential campaign, U.S. intelligence agencies said in an assessment on Friday, according to Reuters.

Russia's objectives were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate former secretary of state Clinton, make it harder for her to win and harm her p

Britain Ends Funding for Ethiopia Girl Band

Ethiopian-girl-bandJanuary 6, 2017 - Britain says it has ended millions of dollars in funding for an Ethiopian girl band, amid growing criticism at home of overseas aid, reports New York Times. Yegna, sometimes called "Ethiopia's Spice Girls," addresses women's issues in the East African country.

A statement Friday from the Department for International Development says empowering women and girls remains a priority for Britain, "but we judge there are more effective ways to invest UK aid."

The move comes after reports of the band receiving another $6.3 million. The five-member band uses a radio show and music and drama production

France Wants Stronger Relations with Ethiopia - Ambassador

France-ethiopia-for-stronger-relationsJanuary 04, 2017  - France’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Frédéric Bontems, praised today Ethiopia's role in promoting regional peace and stability as irreplaceable, reports ENA.

Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu and Ambassador Bontems had discussions on diverse issues.

Ambassador Bontems said it has become important to have Ethiopia on board on various international issues.

He also congratulated Ethiopia for officially beginning its two-year term as Non-permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council.

According to him, France will work in consultation wi

Ethiopia Begins Two-Year Term in UN Security Council

Ethiopia-starts-2-year-membership-UNSCJanuary 2, 2017 – Ethiopia has officially begun its two-year term as non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) yesterday, Fana reports.

The United Nations General Assembly elected Ethiopia as non-permanent member to the Security Council in a secret ballot held last June at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Ethiopia was elected with 185 votes out of 190 members of the General Assembly.

A seat on the Security Council is an important achievement because it gives a country a strong voice in matters dealing with international peace and security.

Ethiopia is one of the fo

Is Ethiopian GERD Too Big for Its Location?

GERD-LocationJanuary 1, 2017 - Construction of the 6,000-megawatt, US $5 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) began nearly six years ago and is now close to completion. Sometime in 2017, the dam, which sits on the Blue Nile near the border of Ethiopia and Sudan, will begin producing electricity, according to report in IEEE. Meanwhile, its vast 74 billion-cubic-meter reservoir will start to fill, a process expected to take anywhere from 5 to 15 years.

Ethiopia badly needs it. Only about a quarter of its citizens have access to electricity. The country’s installed capacity is a dismal 3,200 MW, and the annual per capita electricity consumption is among

Top World News of 2016

Year-2016-ReviewDecember 30, 2016 - The year 2016 has been a mementos year in many ways. The world saw some serious changes in the political landscape of important nations, as well the increasing complexity of peace and stablity the world over, chief among them wars, terror-related issues, and mass migration. With the election of Donald Trump, the US, the remaining sole super power, just entered a new political and stratgic territory, one that will likely test it's very foundation.

Here are some of the top stories of the year 2016.

1. Donald Trump elected next U.S. president: In a major upset, Republican presidential nomin

US President Obama Announces New Sanctions on Russia

Obama-announces-sanction-on-RussiaDecember 30, 2016 - President Obama announced new actions targeting Russia in response to what U.S. officials say were cyberattacks intended to interfere with the U.S. election, according to NPR.

In a statement Thursday, the US President said, "All Americans should be alarmed by Russia's actions," referring to hacks of the Democratic National Committee. Obama also cited an "unacceptable level of harassment" of American diplomats by Russian security services and police in Moscow.

The immediate impact of the president's executive order is that 35 Russian diplomats will be expelled from the U.S.

World Bank to Fund 100mln USD Refugee Project in Ethiopia

World-Bank-funds-refugee-projectDecember 30, 2016 - A new World Bank (WB) funded project promises improved living conditions for refugees camped across five regional states in Ethiopia, according report by ENA.

The Bank offered 100 million USD to implement "Development Response to Displacement Impact Project (DRDIP) In the Horn of Africa."

Refugees sheltered in Afar, Tigray, Gambella, Benishangul-Gumuz and Somali states, the five regional states hosting the refugees, and the host community will benefit from a range of development activities implemented by the funding.

The projects are believed to increase the benefit of the community from s

Turkish Economy Minister, Business Delegation Visiting Ethiopia

Turkish-Economy-MinisterDecember 27, 2016 - Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci and the 100 member business delegation will begin a one-day visit to Ethiopia on Wednesday, according to officials, reports AA Turkey.

Zeybekci’s official visit is packed with high profile engagements. He will meet the Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome and Prime minister Haile Mariam Dessalenge.

He will also hold bilateral meetings with the Ethiopian Foreign and Industry ministers, Werknehe Gebeyewu and Abetew Ahemed, respectively.

The spokesperson of the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tewelde Mulugeta, told Anadolu Agency that both countries e

US Envoy Calls for Release of Prisoner Held Since 2015

US-asks-release-prisonerDecember 22, 2016 - Samantha Power, the Unites States ambassador to the United Nations (UN) has called for the release of a leading Ethiopian opposition member, Bekele Gerba.

December 23 marks a year that Gerba – deputy Chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress – is in detention, he has been held by authorities along with 20 others as part of Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism proclamation.

‘‘We call on the Government of Ethiopia to release all political prisoners and ensure all Ethiopians enjoy the protections of their constitutional rights,’‘ Power said.

The ambassador is leading the

Ethiopia Unlikely To Become Middle Income Country by 2025 - UN

Ethiopia-unlikely-to-be-middle-income-2025

December 21, 2016 - The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) predicted the country will not become a middle income nation by 2025. In a report titled, "The Least Developed Countries Report 2016," it listed 13 developing nations expected to reach a middle income nation. Ethiopia was not one of them.

In Africa, Equatorial Guinea and Angola made the list.

A number of criteria were used to determine the findings by the UNCTAD, including the per capita incomes, human assets and economic vulnerabilities.

Ethiopia showed negative economical vulnerabilities as a result of pe

Ethiopia, Qatar Agree to Strengthen Relations

Qatar-Ethiopia-strengthen-relationsDecember 20, 2016 - Qatar and Ethiopia on Tuesday signed 11 agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoU), to strengthen their bilateral relations, reports AA.

This came in at a joint press briefing the Qatari Foreign Minister Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani gave with his Ethiopian counterpart, Workneh Gebeyehu.

“We agreed to boost our relationship in the areas of investment, financing, infrastructure and tourism,’’ said the Qatari foreign minister, on a day-long official visit in Ethiopia.

His Ethiopian counterpart said that both countries had agreed to take their relations to the highest level.

Egyptians Unhappy Over Saudi Visit to Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

GERDDecember 19, 2016 - Egyptian media lashed out at Saudi Arabia over a high-level Saudi delegation visit to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) during a short trip to Ethiopia on Friday. Experts said the decision to visit the GERD was an act of revenge against Egypt that could deepen tensions between the two countries.

However, in a related report, the head of the Middle East Centre for Strategic and Legal Studies, Anwar Eshki, has denied media reports claiming that Saudi Arabia intends to finance the construction of Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam.

Retired General Eshki told Misr Al-Arabia news channel that the aim of the visit to the dam by the senio

UK Funding for Ethiopian Girl Band Under Review

UK-aid-by-countryDecember 19, 2016 - The UK government's funding for an "Ethiopian girl band" has been placed "under review", the international development secretary has announced, according to the BBC.

International Development Secretary, Priti Patel, promised MPs she would work to ensure taxpayer "value for money", after reports the group Yegna was getting £5.2m.

She added that there were "many other ways" to deal with issues like forced marriage and violence against women. But the government could not "vacate the pitch", Ms Patel said.

Ministers have promised to

US State Department Official in Ethiopia for Political Dialogue

Tom-MalinowskiDecember 14, 2016 - Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Affairs is in Ethiopia for a four day working visit. Malinowski will be in the country between today December 14 and is expected to depart on December 17, according to Africa News.

The Department of State disclosed that ‘‘During his visit, he will meet with government officials as part of a continued dialogue on human rights and governance.

‘‘He will also meet with members of civil society, political party representatives, and local government officials during the visit,’‘ they added.

The United States (US) r

South Korea President Impeached, PM Assumes Presidential Authority

South-Korea-President-impeachedDecember 12, 2016 - Lawmakers in South Korea's National Assembly voted overwhelmingly Friday to impeach President Park Geun-hye over a corruption scandal. The vote was 234-56, with six abstentions, according to CNN.

The country's Constitutional Court will now deliberate the impeachment motion, a process that could take up to 180 days.

Park apologized on national TV following the vote, saying she was careless and had caused a "big national chaos" -- an apparent reference to her sharing classified information with a confidante lacking security clearance.

"I solemnly accept the voices of the Na

Saudi Arabia to Invest in Alfalfa, Animal Forage and Livestock Processing

Saudi-ArabiaDecember 11, 2016 - Saudi Arabia shows strong interest to run huge investment in the areas of alfalfa, special animal forage, and livestock processing, according to AllAfrica report.

A Saudi delegation led by Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Eng. Abdulrahman Bin Abdulmushin Alfadhly held talks with pertinent bodies regarding the investment projects.

During talks with the delegation Friday, Farming and Natural Resources Minister Dr. Eyasu Abrha said the Saudi delegation requested 100,000 hectares to invest on alfalfa, and livestock processing endeavor.

Dr. Eyasu highlighted that Ethiopia has envisioned to become lower middle inc

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