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Daily Maverick
Ethiopia’s Need for ‘Deep Renewal’
 Greg Mills
4 weeks ago

Supporters of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed cheer just before an explosion rocked a massive rally to support him in Meskel Square in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 23 June 2018. EPA-EFE/STR

Three major challenges face Ethiopia as it endeavours to maintain growth and widen its benefits, improve its international relations, and steady its domestic politics.

“Democracy is an existential issue for Ethiopia. There is no option,” says former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, “but multipartyism.”

Hailemariam, who had taken over as the Prime Minister from Meles Zenawi on his death in 2012, resigned in February 2018 following a protracted period of violent unrest, states of emergency and mass arrests. In an interview in Harare in July 2018, where he was heading the African Union’s election observation mission, he said that “if I had not resigned, we would not be talking now”.

Hailemariam Desalegn, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, speaks during a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (not seen) after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 13 January 2014 (reissued 15 February 2018).  EPA-EFE/DAI KUROKAWA
Until this happened, Ethiopia’s high rates of economic growth were taken to extol the virtues of authoritarianism or, put more politely, what was described as “a development state”. According to the International Monetary Fund, Ethiopia was the third-fastest growing country of 10 million or more people in the world between 2000 and 2016, recording more than 10% annual growth, nearly twice the regional average.

High growth has been necessary, but the country remains poor, with a per capita income of under $800. Jobs are hard to come by with a burgeoning population, expected to nearly double to 190 million by 2050. Despite a 40% reduction in poverty this century, a quadrupling of primary school enrolment, halving of child mortality and doubling of those with access to clean water, the political unrest has its roots in perceptions of exclusion: of widening wealth inequality between the majority and those with access to power, and of access to power itself.

“Since Meles,” observes the former PM, “there has been a fierce power struggle within the party which I was able to navigate through, as I was considered a neutral person – between those who considered the TPLF [Tigryan People’s Liberation Front] to be the dominant party and those in the other three parties which wanted to end this dominance.”

The Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which has ruled since the removal of the Derg, the military regime led by Mengistu Haile Mariam, in 1991, is made up of four political parties from Oromo, Amhara, the South and Tigray. The TPLF, which led the struggle against Mengistu, has disproportionately benefited from this relationship. Each of the parties has 45 seats in the EPRDF, a structure which grants the Tigrayans disproportionately more power given they comprise just 7% of the population.

Until now, the EPRDF, while formally being elected, has tightly controlled the country and allowed only limited space for civil society and private enterprise.

“Many in the TPLF felt,” maintains Hailemariam, “that even after Meles, that their experience gave them the exclusive right to rule. Whenever I brought new reforms before the EPRDF, these were always undermined by the TPLF, who felt that they owned the existing order.

“I considered how to proceed with such an interparty environment, without it hampering growth and our diplomacy. Yet to get the politics right was very difficult because of the internal power struggle. I had a weak constituency in the EPRDF, among the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement, SEPDM, as it was considered the youngest and the weakest, and most divided with 56 ethnic groups among its membership. Thus I did not have a high degree of internal support if I took strong action within the EPRDF.

“So I took the message to the party that there was a lack of good governance, and that people had to check the party and its leadership. The danger was otherwise to degenerate into corrupt practices, which was happening, which created internal divisions. Lots of things were not in our control. People, especially young people, who were unemployed, rose up to demand a fair and equitable share of resources, against the TPLF’s perceived disproportionate benefit from the system. This instigated violence across different parts of the country, especially in Oromia.

“There was also the issue of Meles’ stated succession plan. This had not been concluded. Younger leaders, including myself, interpreted this as being the need for older leaders to give over power. This created a clash with the older guys, who were communist-minded, in both ideological and generational terms. This caused instability in the party as we tried to reduce the influence of the old guard, who were particularly influential in the TPLF ANDM [Amhara National Democratic Movement],” tensions which were exacerbated “by corrupt practices”, he adds.

“I believed that if we did not settle these differences, that the country would degenerate. The reforms were very clear, and could not be pushed with my weak capacity and my weak constituency. I believed that there had to be a new person with a dominant force who could save the country. I also thought that this person should come from Oromia, otherwise it would be difficult to stop this.”

Demonstrations in Oromia and the Amhara region, comprising the two biggest ethnic groups in the country, had their roots in economic conditions and political restrictions. And until the politics come right, and the policy contradictions are thrashed out, things would not improve at the rate expected and required.

“Our reforms,” he notes, “had been going too slowly to save the country from ethnic disintegration.”

While Freedom House had considered the political system “partly free” in 1995, reflecting the advent of multiparty elections, it regressed to “not free” in 2010 as the government clamped down on political opposition, in which hundreds died. This reached the point, in the words of one minister in July 2018, when “by December [2017] it was not even certain that we could continue as a nation, so great was the crisis. There was a total disconnect,” he said, “between the population and the ruling party” of which he is a member.

“By resigning,” he noted, “Hailemariam made himself part of the solution.

“Before my resignation,” observes Hailemariam, “we had a 17-day discussion among the party. I presented a paper there on deep renewal, which I said should be our motto as we are lagging behind on democratisation, judicial reform, in respecting human rights, in fighting corruption and embezzlement. We needed to discuss these issues openly.”

Hailemariam was replaced six weeks later as prime minister by Dr Abiy Ahmed Ali, 41, who also became chairman of the ruling EPRDF. It was the first time an Oromo, the majority ethnic group in Ethiopia, had led the country. Abiy moved quickly, releasing political prisoners, taking steps to normalise relations with neighbouring Eritrea against which Ethiopia had fought a costly war at the turn of the century, signalled his intent to institute multiparty system, cleaned out the top leadership in the security forces, and launched reform steps in the economy through the sale of stakes in state-owned enterprises.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (L) and Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki (R) attend the re-opening of the Eritrean embassy in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in a brief ceremony 16 July 2018.  EPA-EFE/STRINGER
The economic malaise is most notable in the increasing problem of public debt, which has grown to more than 55% of GDP, or $40-billion, and the shortage of foreign exchange, equalling just two months of import cover. These are however symptoms of more dramatic problems relating to the philosophy behind the economy, the space for the private sector, delivery and corruption.

The government has taken on a lot of debt to build mega-projects, such as the $2.5-billion railway to Djibouti, the light railway bisecting Addis, the controversial 5,000-megawatt Grand Renaissance hydro-dam on the Nile near the Sudanese border, 10 large sugar mills, a giant fertiliser plant and low-cost housing. The problem is less about the need for these schemes than their completion.

Three Major Challenges

Now three major challenges face the country as it endeavours to maintain growth and widen its benefits, improve its international relations, and steady its domestic politics.

The first is to institutionalise the reform agenda, making them less vulnerable to the vagaries of individuals, ensuring their continued progress. This requires, Hailemariam says, “including all political parties, including civil society, in these debates and processes”. For example, all parties should be represented through their nominees in the national electoral commission, and that, too, on human rights.

A second challenge is to reconcile the two competing national narratives. Given its guerrilla-struggle origins, unsurprisingly the EPRDF traditionally adopted a far-left, “command” economic model, with the state at the centre. This has morphed into a developmental-state narrative, but still one in which there is little space for the private sector, especially foreigners, to operate. Banks are state-owned and there is, for example, no stock exchange, simply because there is no shares and stocks to trade. The private sector, which is supposed to be driving the productive side of the economy, has been frozen out by the power of the state, both through competition from state-sponsored or -owned enterprises, and by a squeeze on investment capital created by the government’s need to extract resources for its infrastructure plans.

Some government enterprises have worked well in spite of the limits of statism. Ethiopian Airlines, for example, has grown to become the largest (and apparently most profitable) African airline. Over the last 20 years the airline has grown passenger numbers from one million to 11 million, and increased revenue threefold in the last five years. It has driven up its growth through a hub-and-spoke model rather than domestic tourism, flying to 116 destinations with 70% of its passengers transiting through Addis, and through its adroit, far-sighted and professional management.

Then again, Ethiopian Airlines remained well run even during the Mengistu years. This cannot be said for most of the other 25 SoEs, especially the Ethiopian Sugar Corporation (which is supposed to be generating export revenues and has been a disaster), along with those concerned with telecoms, railways, agriculture and chemicals. Overarching problems of corporate management in these bodies have been compounded by preferential political access. Metek, an engineering corporation run essentially by the military, and EFFORT (the Tigrayan firm with its fingers in all manner of pies), offer for example a quite different story to Ethiopian Airlines, one that threatens to undermine the economy while prompting an increasing level of corruption.

This is not the only competing narrative. There are two visions of the Ethiopian state per se. One is ethnically organised, in the reflection of the EPRDF’s regional party composition; the other, apparently favoured by Abiy, is of a unitary, nationalistic model.

“One of the flaws in our current system,” notes Hailemariam, “is the contradiction between a group right and a citizen right. We were skewed in favour of recognising group rights, of an ethnic identify over a national identity. While in theory these rights should be two sides of the same coin, in practice this does not do so. The TPLF but also the Oromo are major beneficiaries of this practice. How this is resolved depends on how Abiy presents himself and how we deal with the tension between these rights.”

As a start, an independent commission on the subject has been proposed.

Third, finally, while Abiy will have to keep moving, there is a need to deliver on the promise of reform.

The most dangerous movement for a bad government, wrote Alexis de Tocqueville in 1856, is when it begins to reform. Abiy has public sentiment on his side, whatever the delivery, at least for a while. As De Tocqueville also noted:

“If a [democratic] society displays less brilliance than an aristocracy, there will also be less wretchedness; pleasures will be less outrageous and well-being will be shared by all; the sciences will be on a smaller scale but ignorance will be less common; opinions will be less vigorous and habits gentler; you will notice more vices and fewer crimes.”

But given that Prime Minister Abiy is likely to encounter resistance from entrenched bureaucratic interests, he would benefit from immediately freeing up capital flows and making it easier for foreigners to invest, for example, by committing Addis to joining international arbitration conventions. There is also a need to strengthen institutional mechanisms dealing with corruption, especially, says Hailemariam, in the areas of “major corruption: land registration, construction, tax administration including customs and revenue, and the judiciary and court system”.

The message from the events in Ethiopia during 2018 is clear. Ethiopians, including the majority of the ruling elite, do not believe that their model of authoritarian politics is sustainable if they want to be an economic success. That much is a lesson to authoritarians elsewhere as much as in all countries in need of reform. DM

Dr Mills heads up the Johannesburg-based Brenthurst Foundation.


The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) wishes officially to inform members of the African intellectual community of the passing on of Professor Samir Amin on Sunday, 12th August 2018. For CODESRIA, this marks nothing less than the end of an era in the history of African social research given the many pioneering roles the late Professor Amin played as a scholar, teacher, mentor, friend, and revolutionary. A model for three generations of African and, indeed, radical scholars globally, Professor Amin was that giant Baobab tree whose grandeur of intellect and spirit made him a worthy role model. While serving as Director of the United Nations African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP), he hosted the initial scaffolding of CODESRIA at IDEP, brought together and nurtured new talent that laid the foundations which launched the Council on a path of growth and resilience to what it is to-date. Serving as CODESRIA’s founding Executive Secretary, he worked very closely with Abdalla Bujra and later Thandika Mkandawire, to shape the initial years of CODESRIA’s intellectual identity and trajectory.

After CODESRIA relocated from the premises of IDEP to a new home in the Fann Residence part of Dakar, Samir Amin remained engaged with Council and its community of scholars, participating actively and effectively in all its activities. The forthcoming 15th General Assembly of CODESRIA to be held in December 2018 might be the first Assembly without Samir Amin. But his intellectual and revolutionary spirit will definitely be present even as his thoughts and ideas that he shared so generously and to the very end will continue to inspire reflection and debate.

Samir Amin’s intellectual journey was long and illustrious. It was marked by commitments that distinguished him as a scholar of unparalleled convictions. He died still an unapologetic socialist academic or, as the title of his memoir reads, ‘an independent Marxist’ whose work was driven by an unshakeable conviction to confront and oppose totalizing economic orthodoxies as a prelude to social transformation. He was steadfast in his belief that the world must shift away from capitalism and strive to build new 'post-capitalist' societies. He described capitalism as a small bracket in the long history of human civilization. His works identify and record the multiple crises of capitalism, a system he described as senile and obsolete. In its place, Samir Amin formulated a political alternative that he envisioned would proceed by i) socializing the ownership of monopolies, ii). definancializing the management of the economy and iii) deglobalising international relations. For him, these three directions provided the basis of an active politics of dismantling capitalism; a politics he committed his skill and energy to mobilizing for. Even as he grew older, he mustered fresh bursts of energy to continue the struggle.

Many of Samir Amin’s writings make the point repeatedly about the urgent necessity to dismantle the ‘obsolete system’ known as capitalism but none was as emphatic in rethinking the underlying cultural underpinning of the ‘obsolete system’ like Eurocentricism. In that engaging publication, he provided a resounding critique of world history centered around Eurocentric modernity and invites us to understand modernity as an incomplete process that, to survive its current crises, will need ‘economic, social and political reconstruction of all societies in the world.’ Embedded in this argument is a long held position about the importance of the Bandung moment (1955) as a moment of an alternative globalization based on Afro-Asian solidarity. It is from this perspective that one understands Samir Amin’s towering global outlook and presence and the resonance of his work in oppressed parts of the world.

There is no doubt that Samir Amin’s intellectual presence was defined by depth of knowledge, complexity of thought and fidelity to Marxist organising principles. There is no way of summarizing the corpus of work he produced, the revolutionary engagements he undertook and the transformative potential that led him to remain steadfast even when many others were only too happy to find a good reason to backtrack and conform. His work is enormous in volume but also in the depth of its knowledge and relevance to society. He provoked and joined debates across the globe but more importantly with comrades in Latin America and Asia, those of the dependency and underdevelopment school. In CODESRIA’s flagship journal Africa Development alone, Samir Amin published twenty articles. A biodata document he shared with the Council has 24 books in English and 41 in French. He is published in at least 14 different languages including English, French, Arabic, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. In all these publications and in the various languages, Samir Amin articulated his belief in alternatives, a belief that remained strong even to the last month of his life on earth.

Born to an Egyptian father and French mother on 3rd September 1931 in Cairo, Egypt, Samir Amin’s convictions owe much to the context of his childhood that started all the way from Port Said in northern Egypt to Cairo where he schooled. He spent his early life in Egypt where he attended his formative schooling before proceeding to France to pursue higher education at Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (“Sciences Po”) where he earned a diploma in 1952 and later a PhD in 1957 at the Sorbonne. Samir later earned another diploma in mathematical statistics from L’institut national de la statistique et des etudes economiques. Samir had always been interested in radical thought and action from early on, noting in an interview that he already considered himself a communist in Secondary School. Even though he and his cohort did not know what communism really meant in their early childhood, they assumed it meant “equality between human beings and between nations, and it meant that this has been done by the Russian revolution.” It is not surprising that with this pedigree, Samir Amin focused in his graduate research on “The origins of underdevelopment - capitalist accumulation on a world scale” and emphasized in his work that underdevelopment in the periphery was due to the working of the capitalist system. He consequently underscored the need to search for socialist alternatives to liberal globalisation.

Samir Amin returned to Cairo in 1957, worked briefly in Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Institute for Economic Management (1957–1960) before heading to work as an adviser in the Ministry of Planning in Mali (1960- 1963). Subsequently, Samir Amin’s intellectual life became largely internationalist in orientation, and anchored principally on the question of accumulation as key to understanding underdevelopment. He maintained the sojourn between France where he took up a Professorship in 1966 and Dakar, Senegal his adopted home where he worked for ten years, from 1970 to 1980 at IDEP. Later in 1980, he founded the Third World Forum, originally hosted at the CODESRIA Secretariat, and lent his considerable weight to the institutionalisation of ENDA and the World Forum for Alternatives. His support for revolutionary politics is marked not just in the books and papers he published but also in the lecture circuit where he spoke to audiences about the persisting relevance of radical politics.

Samir Amin’s alternative thinking was in large measure defined by the solidarity built around the Bandung Conference of 1955. This remained a critical touchstone in his work in which non-western civilisations and histories played an important role. Bandung, for him, inaugurated a different pattern of globalisation, the one he called ‘negotiated globalisation.’ Though not a sufficient basis for complete “de-linking” from ‘obsolescent capitalism’, Samir Amin saw in Afro-Asian solidarity possibilities and pathways to that delinking; the process, as he explained, by which you submit “external relations to the needs of internal progressive social changes and targets.” The notion of ‘delinking’ occupied a major place in Samir Amin’s thinking and is positioned in contrast to ‘adjustment’ that was the preferred approach of the Bretton Woods Institutions. He noted that delinking is in fact a process that, depending on the societies implementing it, can be used to install gradual level of autonomous development instead of countries in the periphery remaining locked into and merely adjusting to the trends set by a fundamentally unequal capitalist system.

In Samir Amin, we found the true meaning of praxis; a thinker who insisted that his work has immediate relevance to society. His departure deprives us of the practical energy he brought to our meetings and debates; and denies radical thinkers a model around whom they found the compass that enabled them to navigate the treacherous, indeed murderous, waters of capitalism. We however are lucky to have lived in his company, to have learned from his fountain of knowledge and to have shared in the passion of his convictions. The Council plans to invigorate the value of his legacy by celebrating him at the 15th General Assembly. CODESRIA remains an inheritance that Samir Amin bequeathed the African social science community. We shall never forget. Never.

CODESRIA - Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop X Canal IV BP 3304, CP 18524, Dakar, Senegal Phone: (221) 33 825 98 22 ou (221) 33 825 98 23 Fax: (221) 33 824 12 89
መርማሪ ኮሚስዮን - ከውብሸት አየለ ጌጤ 2010 ዓ.ም አዲስ አበባመርማሪ ኮሚስዮን.pdf
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News and Current Events / Peace in Eritrea and Democracy in Ethiopia
« Last post by staff3 on July 07, 2018, 08:24:53 PM »
Peace in Eritrea and Democracy in Ethiopia: EPRP’s slogan
By Obo Arada Aba Shawl alias Wolde Tewolde
July 7, 2018

The purpose of the Ethiopian Revolution was to bring Peace in Eritrea and Democracy in Ethiopia. However, because of the concept of Revolution and Democracy was understood thoroughly by few hundred dedicated Ethiopians, it took four decades for most Eritreans and Ethiopians to catch up with these concepts, theories and applications.

For most Ethiopians, unity precedes peace whereas for Eritrean majority, democracy have been associated with slavery or bondage. So herein lies the Ethio-Eritrean root causes of the problem. The Ethiopian proverb which says, “አለ ባለበቱ አይነድም ኧሳቱ” is relevant in this case. For forty-four years, a lot of Ethiopians and Eritreans were enamored with Revolutionary path without understanding the relationship of peace & war for Eritrean peace; between liberty & freedom for Ethiopian democracy. It is a case of tragedy and comedy. The leaders of all liberation fronts and organizations were copycat of one sort or another.
As if the above scenarios were not enough, the digital age have led Ethiopians and Eritreans to depend on copy & paste of materials to acquire knowledge. The community and society of these nations and nationalities have become more depressed than ever before. A confusion between Creation and Evolution is imminent.

Without the true owners of the Ethiopian Revolution, there was fascism by the DERG and personal dictatorial leadership following the fall of the DERG. The true Ethiopian and Eritrean Revolution have yet to be consummated as designed and implemented by Wallelign of Wollo and Tedros of Gonder.
So, what is the way out of this dilemma? Let us go back to the original sin of the EPRP.
E is E
P is P
R is C (change) and
P is political.
as deciphered from the above, EPRP = EPCP. There was and still there is no problem with the above values as presented and developed by EPRP Revolutionary collective leadership and party members.

Nowadays, according to the PM of Ethiopia or EPRDF, the slogan is love instead of peace and according to leader of Eritrea or EPDJ, the slogan is unity instead if separation. So, are we in the same position where we were forty-four years ago, or have we learnt something concerning PEACE in Eritrea & DEMOCRACIA in Ethiopia? I leave this to the readers of this article.
On the one hand, those Revolutionary leaders from both Ethiopia and Eritrea have known what peace meant in Eritrea and what democracy means in Ethiopia. Those leaders of both countries have read and re-read about War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy, Insurrection by Soviet Russia, Mao’s guerrilla warfare, the French as well as the American Civil Wars.

While on the other hand, the members of EPRP have consumed the literature of the Ethiopian as well as the James version of the Bible; the wisdom of the Pentateuch; the victory of the Romans and above all the knowledge of the Greeks. Armed with peace and democracy, the EPRP Revolutionary leaders have lived and role modeled to the tune of all Ethiopians and Eritreans alike.
Where is the beef? Readers might ask. It is a legitimate question and needs a legitimate answer if not at least a plausible argument. Here is the answer; -
The popular man colonel Aby has recognized Eritrea and peace seems eminent
Again, Dr. Aby has talked and displayed the elements of democracy in Ethiopia by releasing prisoners

historically peace in Eritrea and democracy in Ethiopia is the fruits or beef brought by EPRP’ s leadership, members and supporters in both Ethiopia and Eritrea. There should not be any doubt in this assertion as all facts and figures are documented. The current situation in both Eritrea and Ethiopia is the outcome of EPRP’s slogan of peace in Eritrea and Democracies in Ethiopia.
EPRP’s followers and supporters had gathered at Meskel Square in 1997 and now they are gathering at the HEART OF ETHIOPIA, the Blue Nile.

EPRP’s slogan as explained above is peace in Eritrea and democracy in Ethiopia.

EPRP’s symbolic values are the CROSS and GOD-JAM

Finally, peace among Eritreans and ዸሞክራሲያ among Ethiopians can be achieved by politics and policy respectively. It is unachievable by love - ፍቅር - and addition - መደመር - alone.

Philosopher Aby has already talked about subtraction by his slogan of “የቀን ጅቦች” This has many implications and ramifications. I have no clue what it means.

Dictator Isaias has also talked about “game over”. I don’t know what it means but I can sense that there is a lot of implications and ramifications as well.

Confused DebreTsion of Tigrai must stop and think for a moment about his name and its historical roots with its implications and ramifications.

All in all, the AID leaders i.e. Aby-Isaias-Debretsion must stop being paranoid of Amhara and Orthodox. Amhara is neither አማርኛ nor Orthodox is መደመር። አማርኛ is a language መደመር is a unified concept, theory and an application and is known as Orthodox - ተዋህዶ። we should not rock the true Eway Ethiopian Revolution which was and is “peace in Eritrea and Democracia in Ethiopia.”
አብር ለፍቅር
አብር ለብር
አብር ለትብብር (ተስፋ፤ሰላም፤ፍቅር ወዘተርፈ)might work

For comments and questions

News Release
2 July 2018

eLearning Africa: Could ICTs be the Key to Ending Hunger in Africa?

Education and technology can play an important role in ending hunger and malnutrition in Africa once and for all.

That is the view of leading experts in communications technology and food security, who will be attending a special session on malnutrition at this year’s eLearning Africa conference in Kigali, Rwanda from 26 – 28 September.

Current estimates show that around 14.5 per cent of people living in Africa’s poorest regions are hungry or malnourished. The most obvious victims are often children and, according to the World Health Organisation, hunger and malnutrition are still the biggest causes of child mortality in developing countries.

However, that could all be about to change.

Speakers from Ghana, Rwanda and Zambia will show how imaginative initiatives in the education sector in several African countries are already helping to combat malnutrition. They are convinced that ICTs, which are increasingly being used to improve African agricultural output, together with a new focus on providing the right people with the necessary skills, could be the key to ending hunger permanently.

One of the speakers at the eLA session will be Kofi Barimah of Ghana Technology University College (GTUC), who will explain how GTUC has used eLearning to enhance its nutrition programme. He points out that malnutrition is still a serious problem in parts of Ghana.

“’Kwashiorkor’, which has found its way into the English dictionary, was derived from ‘Ga’, a native Ghanaian language,” he says. “‘Kwashiorkor’ is a term reserved for severely malnourished children and infants resulting from a deficiency in dietary protein. The mere fact that the English name for a malnourished child comes from a Ghanaian language may help elucidate the seriousness of this problem in Ghana and Africa as a whole.”

With the aid of a small grant from the Catholic University College of Ghana and  in partnership with the University of Southampton and the International Malnutrition Task Force, GTUC has integrated an online course on “caring for infants and children with malnutrition” into its degree programme on Public Health.

The eLearning course, which has successfully integrated new learning and teaching materials, gives students and faculty members access to best practices for maternal and child nutrition, using both CDs and online learning.

“The project has been very much successful, with students applauding the IMTF and the UoS for such a wonderful intervention,” says Barimah. “The team has been able to roll out the integration of the first batch of students with promising results. Over one thousand students have been trained during the first year of the introduction of the modules and others are yet to benefit.”

Mudukula Mukubi of the Ndola Nutrition Organisation in Zambia will present evidence of the positive effects of ICTs on the delivery of key skills to households headed by women or children. The research is part of a project, funded by SPIDER, on self-help programmes for the households.

“The project seeks to address the lack of entrepreneur and livelihood skills faced by poverty-stricken women and child-headed households in the rural parts of Luanshya, Masaiti and Ndola districts of Zambia,” he explains. “The project provides skills training in poultry and soybean production... using ICT tools, including smart phones to access and exchange information on social media.”

Rwanda’s experience in implementing a World Health Organisation (WHO) programme on the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (ICMI) will be the focus of a presentation by Jean de Dieu Gatete of the Maternal and Child Survival Programme (MCSP). The programme, which is part of the WHO’s strategy to reduce mortality and morbidity in children by improving the management of common illnesses, was adopted by Rwanda in 2006 and is currently practised in public health centres across the country.

However, in spite of national clinical guidelines for the treatment of all children under the age of 5, only 65 per cent receive the recommended care. Fewer than 40 per cent of practitioners in Rwandan health centres have received ICMI training. The MCSP programme, which has surveyed 148 Rwandan health centres in 12 districts, has been exploring options for introducing alternative, sustainable and low-cost approaches for the delivery of ICMI training to a larger number of providers.

“The project established that computer-assisted learning provided a real opportunity for training health care professionals at low cost (around $178 per participant) compared to the standard classroom based training ($472 per participant),” says Gatete.

With the aid of online learning as part of the MCSP programme, over 600 health care providers in 148 health centres have now already been successfully given on-the-job ICMI training.

“The completion of this computer-aided training programme (has) helped to increase the rate of ICMI trained providers from 40 per cent to 79 per cent in 6 months.”

Rebecca Stromeyer, the founder and organiser of eLearning Africa, said:

“The full programme for this year’s conference is now online and I am very pleased that it includes an in-depth focus on how ICTs can help to tackle the persistent problem of malnutrition in Africa. It is shocking that, in the twenty-first century, so many people still go hungry. I am sure, however, that ICTs can make a major contribution to solving the problem and to ensuring that children and mothers get the care they need.”

The eLearning Africa conference is accompanied by an exhibition of new products, services and solutions. It also hosts the annual eLearning Africa Ministerial Round Table, at which education and ICT ministers discuss the latest developments in education and technology.

For more information about eLearning Africa, please visit the conference website at or contact the eLearning Africa press office at

eLearning Africa is the key networking event for ICT supported education, training and skills development in Africa and brings together high-level policy makers, decision makers and practitioners from education, business and government. Over 12 consecutive years, eLearning Africa has hosted 16,228 participants from 100+ different countries around the world, with over 85% coming from the African continent. More than 3,300 speakers have addressed the conference about every aspect of technology enhanced education and skills development.

eLearning Africa 2018 - 13th International Conference on ICT for Education, Training and Skills Development
September 26 – 28, 2018
Kigali Convention Centre, Kigali, Rwanda
Organised by ICWE GmbH, Leibnizstrasse 32, 10625 Berlin, Germany,
Hosted by the Rwandan Ministry of Education and the Rwanda Convention Bureau
Contact: Rebecca Stromeyer,,,
Tel: +49 (0)30 310 18 18-0, Fax: +49 (0)30 324 98 3

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Events and Announcements / First Hijra Foundations 30th Annivarsary Event -Update
« Last post by staff3 on June 27, 2018, 11:20:02 AM »
First Hijra Foundations 30th Annivarsary

(JULY 14 AND JULY 15th) 2018   Metro Washington DC in Alexandria, Virginia ...

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Latest Guest List update via YouTube Link below

Please share to via Your Contacts and Social Media...

Ethiopia needs to end the persecution of a key ethnic group to achieve real reform
Yohannes Gedamu, Georgia Gwinnett College June 21, 2018
A man and a boy load a donkey with jerrycans of water collected from a stream outside the village of Tsemera in Ethiopia's northern Amhara region
A man and a boy load a donkey with jerrycans of water collected from a stream outside the village of Tsemera in Ethiopia's northern Amhara region, (Reuters/Katy Migiro)
The political upheaval that Ethiopians have become accustomed to seems to be a thing of the past—for now. Many have praised the new prime minister Abiy Ahmed, who took office in April 2018, for restoring calm to much of the country. Some have even dubbed his reform agenda a massive turn around for Ethiopia.

There has been progress on his watch. Ahmed has overseen the release of political prisoners, as was promised by former premier Hailemariam Desalegn. Most recently he lifted the state of emergency that was imposed after Desalegn unexpectedly resigned in February 2018 after five years in power.

Ahmed has also promised to privatize state owned enterprises, and declared his readiness to stabilize Ethiopia’s tumultuous relations with neighbor Eritrea.

But it hasn’t all been rosy—especially when it comes to the ongoing eviction of ethnic groups in various regions in the country. The targeted eviction of ethnic Amharas in the regional states of Benishangul Gumuz and Oromia is especially worrying. Thousands of Amharas have been evicted, killed and tortured. Although cases of evictions have recently increased, the problem started in 2012 when thousands of Amharas were evicted from the Southern Region.

The Amharas are one of Ethiopia’s two largest ethnic groups; the other is the Oromo. Together the groups account for about 60% of Ethiopia’s population.

Mistreatment of Amharas has drawn the attention of several human rights organizations, including Amnesty International which has called out the pattern of ethnically motivated attacks and displacement.

To end such ethnic attacks and unfortunate instances of targeted evictions, Ahmed’s new administration must consider institutional reforms. My research shows that Ethiopia’s regional states and their constitutions have been designed in a way that bestows ownership of regions on certain ethnic groups. So, for Ahmed’s reform agenda to take full effect such laws need to be amended.

Why target Amharas?
The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, which is one of the constituent parties of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, has always considered ethnic Amharas an enemy. It has used their perceived historical dominance as the basis for forming a coalition of minorities to oppose their push for a united Ethiopia.

Take for instance the the regional constitution of Benishangul Gumuz. It states that “although all peoples who live in the region are recognized, the ownership of the region belongs to ethnic groups such as Berta, Gumuz, Shinasha, Mao, and Komo”. This means that residents from other ethnic groups are considered settlers or outsiders. Other regional constitutions contain similar provisions, which have historical roots.

When Ethiopia’s military regime was overthrown in 1991, the country’s unitary state structure crumbled and a new federal arrangement was introduced. The federal system was based on ethnicity, language and geographic considerations. Amharas, who are considered advocates of Ethiopian nationalism, were unhappy with the new arrangement.

They believed that it would put the national unity of the Ethiopian state in a precarious position. They also felt that a federal state would leave them vulnerable since millions of Amharas live in all parts of the nation.

They were right. As a result of the federal system, Amharas in various regional states are now considered settlers in their own country. For years, they have been subject to evictions, property destruction, and killings. Just recently documented orders (in Amhraric) that called for such evictions were made public. The orders were given by regional officers.

It’s unfortunate that there has been no sign of this stopping under Ahmed’s rule. Targeted evictions persist; the most recent happened in April 2018 when Amharas were thrown out of Oromia.

Prime Minister Ahmed has addressed the latest Amhara and other minority evictions calling them unfortunate events that do not represent the values held by the majority of Ethiopians. In a live address to the nation, he promised that government will address the issue as soon as possible.

So far, however, the new administration has been unable to control the regional forces that are behind the forceful evictions of Amharas from their lands. If the evictions continue unabated it will endanger the whole nation’s peace and security.

Ahmed’s reform agenda could also easily be derailed by the disenfranchisement of ethnic Amharas, who recently formed a new political party to represent their interests and those of other minorities such as the Wolayta and Gedio.

Solving the crisis
Ahmed’s new administration must quickly address this humanitarian catastrophe. Oromia Regional state has started to address it, but a lot remains to be done. One way to manage the situation is through a constitutional amendment to ensure that every Ethiopian can live anywhere in the republic. It’s only then the evictions of Oromos, Amharas and other minorities can become a thing of the past.

Constitutional amendments will require a consensus between the four parties within the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, through a parliamentary process.

Finally, Ahmed must entrench the ideals of Ethiopiawinet (an Amharic word for “Ethiopian-ness”): tolerance, peaceful coexistence, mutual care, and the advocacy of values that bind all Ethiopians together. The fact that the premier has admitted past failures that entrenched ethnic violence and evictions is welcome progress.

The ConversationNow is the time to invite scholars, elders, religious leaders and all stakeholders to come together and forge a new alliance to ease ethnic tensions.

Yohannes Gedamu, Lecturer of Political Science, Georgia Gwinnett College

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.
News and Current Events / Ethiopia: must listen Eskender Nega full speech
« Last post by staff3 on June 11, 2018, 04:35:25 PM »
Ethiopia: must listen Eskender Nega full speech in Metro Washington DC Eskender and his wife Serkalem ceremony of recognition...

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