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Ethiopia: Communications Shutdown Takes Heavy Toll Restore Internet, Phone Services in Oromia

Photo

Mimiyo Fikadu, 38, taxi driver, browses through the internet using his Ethio-telecom service as he waits for his customers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 12, 2019.  © REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri
 
(Nairobi, March) – The Ethiopian government should immediately lift the shutdown of internet and phone communications in the Oromia region. The two-month-long shutdown has prevented families from communicating, disrupted life-saving services, and contributed to an information blackout during government counterinsurgency operations in the area.

Since January 3, 2020, the authorities have disconnected mobile phone networks, landlines, and internet services in western Oromia’s Kellem Wellega, West Wellega, and Horo Gudru Wellega zones. In East Wellega, residents reported that the internet and social media services were blocked, with text and cell service available only in major towns. The shutdown has been imposed in areas under federal military control and comes amid reports of government military operations against the armed wing of the once-banned Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). The media have credibly reported human rights abuses, including accounts of killings and mass detentions by government forces.

“The Ethiopian government’s blanket shutdown of communications in Oromia is taking a disproportionate toll on the population and should be lifted immediately,” said Laetitia Bader, Horn of Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The restrictions affect essential services, reporting on critical events, and human rights investigations, and could risk making an already bad humanitarian situation even worse.”

Under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration, communication blackouts without government justifications has become routine during social and political unrest, Human Rights Watch said.

A ruling party regional spokesman told the media in January that the communications shutdown had “no relationship” to the military operations but then said that it had contributed to the operation’s success. The federal government offered no explanation for the shutdown until February 3, when Abiy told parliament that restrictions were in place in western Oromia for “security reasons.”

International human rights law protects the right of people to freely seek, receive, and provide information and ideas through all media, including the internet. Security-related restrictions must be law-based and a necessary and proportionate response to a specific security concern. A lack of government transparency regarding communication shutdowns and their length invites abuse, Human Rights Watch said.

Four humanitarian agencies operating in the affected zones told Human Rights Watch that their activities were considerably hampered because they could not get critical information on the humanitarian and security situation. One aid worker said that health care services were also affected, with doctors and ambulances unable to communicate with patients.

The communications blackout was also affecting people outside these areas who are desperate for news of their loved ones. One Addis Ababa resident told Human Rights Watch: “Prior to the blackout, I was able to communicate with my mom almost every day. She lives alone. Now that internet and phone services are blocked, I worry very much.”

One university lecturer described the effects of the shutdown on his students: “PhD students are worried about the how this will impact their final dissertations and tests. They don’t have access to the online materials and the library doesn’t have hard copies of the research or the books they need.”

Students whose families have been affected by the communications shutdown and the military operations have held sporadic protests on some university campuses. On January 10, at Bule Hora University, security forces fired live ammunition at protesting students. Three witnesses to the crackdown, including one who went to the hospital after the incident, said that one student had been shot dead and at least a dozen injured. “Many students at Bule Hora are from [the Wellega zones] and were not able to contact their families,” one witness said. “Some students were hit or beaten after confrontations with security forces.”

In 2019, Ethiopia shut down the internet eight times during public protests and unnecessarily around national exams. Following the June 22 assassinations of five high-level government officials, which the government linked to an alleged failed coup attempt in the Amhara region, the government imposed an internet blackout across the country. The internet was only completely restored on July 2. At the time of the shutdown, the government gave no explanation or indication of when the service would be restored.
In August, Abiy told the media that he would switch off the internet “forever” if deadly unrest prompted by online incitement continued, asserting that the internet was “neither water nor air,” and thus not an essential right.

In January, the Ethiopian government introduced a hate speech and disinformation law that could have a chilling effect on free expression and access to information online. Overbroad and vague language in the law may facilitate misuse by authorities who may use the law to justify blanket internet and network shutdowns.

Communications shutdowns violate multiple rights, Human Rights Watch said. In their 2015 Joint Declaration on Freedom of Expression and Responses to Conflict Situations,United Nations experts and rapporteurs stated that even in times of conflict, the use of communication “kill switches” (i.e., shutting down entire parts of communications systems) can never be justified under human rights law.

During a visit to Ethiopia in December, the United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, expressed his concerns that the Ethiopian government’s use of internet shutdowns occurred “without constraint under law or policy.” In a 2017 report, Kaye wrote that network shutdowns fail to meet the standard of necessity and that governments need to demonstrate that any shutdown would not only be necessary, but would achieve its stated purpose since shutdowns often have the opposite effect. “It has been found that maintaining network connectivity may mitigate public safety concerns and help restore public order,” he stated.

Instead of indefinite, blanket shutdowns and repressing peaceful dissent, Ethiopian authorities should use the media to provide transparent information that can discourage violence and direct security forces to act according to international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said.

“The lack of transparency and failure to explain these shutdowns only furthers the perception that they are meant to suppress public criticism of the government,” Bader said. “Amid ongoing unrest and ahead of critical national elections, the government should be seeking to maintain internet and phone communications to ease public safety concerns, not increase them.”
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https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/03/09/ethiopia-communications-shutdown-takes-heavy-toll


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Science, Technology & Education / Turkey Government Scholarships: study in Turkey
« Last post by staff3 on January 20, 2020, 11:03:02 AM »
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2020 Emergency IRC Watch-list Countries

Please share the link below...God bless Ethiopia!
https://www.ethiox.com/Reports/ircemergencywatchlist2020c.pdf
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Keeping Ethiopia’s Transition on the Rails Africa Report N°283
16 December 2019 By International Crisis Group..

https://www.ethiox.com/docs/283-keeping-ethiopias-transition.pdf

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A Make-or-Break Moment Nears for Ethiopia's Political Transformation
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's reforms have made him the new darling of the international community. But his government's dimming


https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/make-or-break-moment-nears-ethiopias-political-transformation-abiy-ahmed-election-democracy-africa
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በሽግግር ሂደት እንታደግ! ዴሞ ቅጽ 45 ቁ.1 ነሐሴ 2011-መስከረም 2012
https://www.ethiox.com/amharic/Democracia_Nehasie_Meskerem_2019-2.pdf


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የኦህዲድ/ኦነግ ሰሞነኛ አፓርታዳዊ ጉዞ
ምሕረት ዘገዬ

“እጎድጓዳ ሥፍራ ይበቅላል ደደሆ፤ የፈራነው ነገር መጣ ድሆ ድሆ” ይባል ነበር በዘፈን፡፡
አሁን የምለውንም ነገር ዶ/ር አቢይ አህመድ አያውቅም በሉና እንደለመደብኝ ይግረመኝ፡፡

እ.አ.አ በ1990ዎቹ ከደቡብ አፍሪካ የተባረረው ነጮች በጥቁሮች ላይ ይፈጽሙት የነበረው የአፓርታይድ ሥርዓት ከነኮተቱ ወደ ሀገራችን ሰተት ብሎ በመግባት ቅርጹን እየለዋወጠ  በመንግሥታዊ ተቋምነት የገዛ ቤተ መንግሥታችን ውስጥ ተገሽሮ ኅልውናችንን መፈታተን ከጀመረ እነሆ 30 ዓመታትን ሊደፍን ምንም አልቀረውም፡፡

የወያኔን አፓርታይድ በመከራና በስቃይ ተወጥተን አንድ ወር እንኳን እፎይ ሳንል በዚያን ጊዜዎቹ የውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስትርና የኦሮሚያ ክልል መንግሥት ፕሬዝደንት ከአሥመራ ተለምኖ የገባው ኦነግና እዚሁ ቤት ሲያሞቅለት የነበረው ልጁ ኦህዲድ አማካይነት ያን ዘረኛ ቅኝት በዕጥፍ ድርብ በማሻሻል በሀገራችን ቀርቶ በየትም ሀገር ተሰምቶ የማይታወቅ የጥቁር በጥቁር አፓርታይድ እውን እያደረጉ ነው፡፡
የምነግራችሁ ሰሞኑን በከፍተኛ ፍጥነት እየተዛመተ የሚገኘውን ኦህዲድ/ኦነጋዊ የመድሎ ሥራ ነው - “የከተማውን ወሬ” - የአደባባይ ምሥጢሩን - ነው ሹክ የምላችሁ፡፡ ያልሰማችሁ ካላችሁ፡፡

አዲስ አበባ በኦነግ እየተወረረች ነው፡፡ ለሁለት ተመሳሳይ ዲግሪ ላላቸው የኦሮሞና የሌላ ዜጋ የአበል ክፍያው የሰማይና የምድርን ያህል እንደሚለያይ ብትሰሙ ምን ትላላችሁ? ተመልከቱ - የአዲስ አበባ ትምህርት ቤቶች በሁለት የትምህርት ሥርዓቶች እንዲመሩ በወያኔ ቋንቋ መመርያ ወርዷል፡፡ ይህን መመርያ መቃወም ማለት በሽብርተኝነትና በነፍጠኝነት ያስከስሳል፡፡ በዚያ ላይ ባለሥልጣናቱ ከመቶ ዘጠናው በላይ (እርግጥ ነው ይሄ አባባል እንኳን መጠነና የዳሰሳ ጥናት ያስፈልገዋል) ኦህዲድ/ኦነጋውያን በመሆናቸው መመርያውን በማስፈጸም ረገድ እስካሁን ከጉርምርምታ ባለፈ ምንም አልገጠማቸውም፡፡

አንድ ትምህርት ቤት በኦሮምኛና በነባሩ የትምህርት ሥርዓት እንዲያስተምር ይገደዳል፡፡ ተማሪዎች በኦሮምኛው እንማር ካሉ መብታቸው ነው፡፡ በዚህ ረገድ ለምሣሌ አንድ ትምህርት ቤት ካሉት ሃያ አምስት የመማሪያ ክፍሎች ውስጥ ከአንዱ ክፍል 80 ተማሪዎች 15ቱ በኦሮምኛ፣ ከሌላውና 90 ተማሪዎች ካሉት ክፍል ሃያው በኦሮምኛ… መማር እንፈልጋለን  ቢሉ በድምሩ 50 ክፍሎች ሊኖሩ ነው - በሁለት የትምህርት ሥርዓት የሚማሩ ተማሪዎችን ለማስተናገድ፡፡ ዳይሬክተርና ሌሎች የሥራ ኃላፊዎች “ክፍሎች የሉንም፤መምህር የለንም…” በሚሉ ወይም በሌላ ተጨባጭ ምክንያቶች ስሞታ ቢያሰሙ ወዲያውኑ እርምጃ ይወሰድባቸዋል - በትንሹ ከሥራ ይባረራሉ፡፡

ስሙን መግለጽ በማልፈልገውና ከሞራል አንጻርም በማይቻለኝ አንድ ክፍለ ከተማ እንዲህ ሆነ፡፡ ቀደም ሲል ከነበሩት የ100 ትምህርት ቤቶች ዳይሬክተሮች ውስጥ ሃያው ትግሬዎች፣ ሠላሣው አማሮች፣… ነበሩ፡፡ አሁን 95 በመቶ ኦሮሞዎች እንደሆኑ ውስጥ ዐዋቂዎች ይመሰክራሉ፡፡ (የትምህርት ቤቶቹን ቁጥር ሆን ብዬ አጋንኜዋለሁ) በዚያ ክፍለ ከተማና በሌላውም ጭምር አዲሱን የኦሮሞኛ የትምህርት ሥርዓት ተግባራዊ ለማድረግ ከኦሮሞ አካባቢዎች በርካታ መምህራን መጥተው ተመድበዋል፡፡ እጅግ የሚሰቀጥጠውና የሚያስገርመው መድሎ - የቤት አበላቸው ለኦሮሞ መምህራን ብር 3000 ሲሆን ለሌሎች ብር 800 ነው፡፡ ለአንድ በኦሮምኛ የሚያስተምር የኤም ኤ ምሩቅ ወርኃዊ ጥቅል ደሞዝ ብር 26 ሽህ ሲከፈለው ለሌላው ብር 10800 ነው፡፡ የሒሣብና በጀት ክፍሎችም በዚህ ሸውራራ አፓርታዳዊ አሠራር እጅግ እንደተቸገሩ ይሰማል፡፡

በእሬቻው ረገድ ያለውን ብናይ ተዓምር ነው፡፡ የአብዛኛውን ሕዝብ ቀልብ የሚስበው የኢትዮጰያ ባንዲራ ከየሰው ብብትና ራስ ሳይቀር እየተነጠቀ ሲቃጠል የኦነግ ግን በየትም ሥፍራ በግልጽ እየተውለበለበ ነው፡፡ መከላከያውም፣ፌዴራል ፖሊሱም፣ ደምብ አስከባሪውም… ለዚህ አፓርታይድ ሥርዓት ያጎበደደና የነኦነግን ትዕዛዝ እያስፈጸመ ያለ ይመስላል፡፡

ግዴላችሁም ሰዎቹ አምርረዋል! “ኦሮሞነት ወይም ሞት!” ብለውም ከኢትዮጵያዊነት ጋር ብዙዎቻችን “የምራቸውን አይደለም” ከሚል በግልጽ ያልተረዳንላቸው ሥነ ልቦናዊና እውናዊ ጦርነት ውስጥ ገብተዋል - እነዚህ ዶንኪሾቶች፡፡ በዚያ ላይ የቁጥር ዕውቀታቸው ከዜሮ በታች ነው፡፡ “በአዲስ አበባ ከአሥር ሚሊዮን የሚበልጥ ኦሮሞ ከየሚኖርት መጥቶ እሬቻን ያከብራል” ሲሉ አሥር ሚሊዮን ስንት ሚሊዮን መሆኑን አያውቁም፡፡ አዲስ አበባ ከነዋሪዎቿ ቁጥር በላይ ይህን ሁሉ ምናባዊ ተስተናጋጅ በምን አቅሟ ነው ለአንድ ደቂቃም ቢሆን የምታስተናግደው? እርግጥ ነው - መመኘት ይቻላል፤ ቀላልም ነው፡፡ ግን ከእውነት ጋር መላተም መዘባበቻና ቡና ማጣጫ ያደርጋል፡፡ ውሸት ሲደጋገም ደግሞ ያስጠላል፡፡ ኤጭ!
ከመነሻው እኮ የጠብ ያለሽ በዳቦ ዓይነት ሆኖ - በድራቢውም “በገዛ ዳቦየ ልብ ልብን አጣሁት” ዓይነት የሁሉም የራሴ ነው እሳቤ ተመሥርተው እንዲህ ቅጥ አምባራቸው ጠፍቶ ክፉኛ ባለጉ እንጂ በአንዲት ዓለም አቀፍ ከተማ እንዲህ ያለ ባዕድ አምልኮት ተገቢ አልነበረም፡፡ እዩኝ እዩኝታውን ግን አጋጋሉት፤ ዙሩንም አከረሩት፡፡

አዲስ አበባ በአሁኑ ወቅት ገና በዋዜማው ትርምስምሷ ወጥቷል፡፡ ጊዜ የሰጠው ቅል እንዲህ ነው፡፡ ሌቱ የማይነጋ የመሰላት ሀቱ ሴት ቋቷን በአንድ አዳር ግምኛ እንዳደረገችው ሁሉ እነሁሉ አማረሽ የኬኛ ፖለቲካ ሰለባዎችም ሀገራችንን ውልአልባ ልቃቂት እያደረጓት ነው፡፡ ዕብደትን በግለሰብ እንጂ በመንጋ እንደዚህ በግላጭ አይቼ ስለማላውቅ እኔማ በጣም እየገረመኝ ነው፡፡ በብዙ ነገር ታወቅን፡፡
ለማንኛውም ኬኛዎች አዲስ አበባን ለመዋጥ ድፍረታቸው ቅጥ አጥቶ እሰከዚህ አንቀዥቅዧቸዋልና የኢትዮጵያ አምላክ ማብረጃውን ይስጣቸው ከማለት ውጪ በበኩሌ የምለው ሁሉ ጠፍቶብኛል፡፡
8
Ethiopia 2019: On Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) By University of Oxford(pdf)

https://www.ethiox.com/reports/CB_ETH_2019.pdf
10
eLearning Africa Press Service <press@icwe.info>
   
Fri, Sep 20, 4:46 AM

Learnability and Employability - Keys to Unlock Africa’s Future Success

20.09.2019
For immediate release

A large youthful population, disruptive innovative technology, and vibrant entrepreneurial activity hold the keys to unlocking Africa’s future success. It’s time to maximise their potential. Join the conversation in Abidjan this year at that the continent’s leading annual e-learning conference to enhance your capacity to contribute to this mission.

eLearning Africa, an annual, pan-African conference, dedicated to examining the potential for using new communications technology to spread educational opportunity, is now in its fourteenth year. This year’s theme is “learnability and employability”. The creative, insightful and action orientated conference programme covers a range of topics, all linked to actions that must be scaled up today in order to create a better future for Africa tomorrow.  Africa’s challenges and opportunities are immense. There is clearly no “one size fits all” approach to addressing them. In that context, eLearning Africa provides a vibrant platform and convening space for cross-cutting and crosspollinating dialogues on essential themes.

With the majority of Africa’s population millennial and younger, significant time will be dedicated during 3 days of intensive presentations, workshops, seminars and ministerial meetings from 23 - 25 October to examining how the continent’s youth potential can be most effectively harnessed. Young Africans need to be well prepared for the digital disruptions that are already transforming and will continue to transform the future of work in their countries. Which skills must they have to thrive in the digital future? In response to that question, there will be sessions focused, among other themes, on digital inclusion and how to make the Fourth Industrial Revolution a reality that benefits Africa. Others will explore how to develop students’ skills and attitudes that foster entrepreneurship, creativity, persistence and ambition.

Africa needs properly prepared professionals, who are digitally literate and can ensure young Africans are provided with the technical and soft skills they need to excel in their careers. With the role of quality teachers critical to the formation of young minds, the programme also focuses on strategies to enhance teaching and learning that are universally relevant, transcend traditional academic disciplines, and support diverse occupational and community needs. In that context, innovative methods that aim to improve teachers’ performance, whilst motivating and encouraging them to embrace innovation will be discussed.

Additionally, eLearning Africa 2019 will explore how interactive virtual tools can provide opportunities to practice laboratory techniques and perform authentic workplace tasks online, whilst promoting science education in an attractive and exciting manner. Connectivity, an essential element in the virtual world, is clearly still a major issue in Africa. The programme thus dedicates a session to highlighting solutions that provide affordable access to internet and offline educational services and content, anywhere.

Africa has no shortage of entrepreneurs. The challenge for Africa is to move from tackling unemployment to looking at how entrepreneurial activity can add value, employ more young people, and create sustainable livelihoods. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are also extremely important for the growth and development of Africa. However, SMEs face many challenges, some of which are related to a lack of appropriate training.

This year’s programme therefore also explores different initiatives in Africa, which aim to provide entrepreneurs with the crucial knowledge and skills they need to grow their businesses and make them sustainable. Discussions will also address how the demand for entrepreneurial training and skills can be met outside traditional channels and explore different initiatives to attract both learners and entrepreneurs.

As always, there will be a lively discussion at the ‘eLearning Africa Debate.’ This year, the motion for debate, which is likely to be highly controversial is “This House believes Governments are failing to provide young people with the skills they need to prepare for the future.”

Background

The conference, eLearning Africa, will bring together international education and technology specialists, government ministers, entrepreneurs and investors to discuss opportunities for expanding Africa’s growing education sector. It is a subject which lies at the heart of the African Union’s plans for turning Africa into a “transformed continent” by 2063 and it will be discussed and debated during 3 days of intensive presentations, workshops, seminars and ministerial meetings in the west African capital from 23 - 25 October. Major international organisations, such as UNESCO, ISESCO, BOAD, the European Commission, the Mastercard Foundation, ADEA, Worldwide Web Foundation, ACBF and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) feature prominently on the conference programme.

eLearning Africa, which is an annual, pan-African conference, dedicated to examining the potential for using new communications technology to spread educational opportunity, is now in its fourteenth year. Since the conference, which visits a different African capital each year, was first held in Addis Ababa in 2005, technology assisted learning has expanded massively and now plays a major role in the delivery of learning, training, research and development in schools, colleges, universities, companies and organisations across Africa. It has enabled millions of Africans to expand their horizons and take advantage of the countless possibilities new technology offers to study and acquire new skills and qualifications.

For more information about both the eLearning Africa conference and exhibition or the associated eLearning Africa Ministerial Round Table, which will be attended by Education and ICT Ministers, please contact Rebecca Stromeyer.

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 13 consecutive years, eLearning Africa has hosted 17,278 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. Serving as a pan- African platform, the eLearning Africa conference is a must for those who want to develop multinational and cross-industry contacts and partnerships, as well as enhance their knowledge, expertise and abilities. The conference and its associated exhibition, featuring the latest products, courses and solutions from around the world, represent “an outstanding networking opportunity and the best vantage point anywhere in Africa to gain a view of the continent’s edTech market,” according to the organisers.

eLearning Africa 2019 - 14th International Conference & Exhibition on ICT for Education, Training and Skills Development
October 23 – 25, 2019, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Secretariat: ICWE GmbH, Leibnizstrasse 32, 10625 Berlin, Germany
Contact: Rebecca Stromeyer, info@elearning-africa.com, Tel: +49 (0)30 310 18 18-0, Fax: +49 (0)30 324 98 33

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