A new skyscraper has recently risen in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. Built with Chinese money, the shining new home of the African Union, an EU-style body representing 54 African countries, is a symbol of the country’s rapid economic change.
The World Bank reports that this country of 94 million people, although still one of the world’s poorer nations, has seen sustained growth over the past decade, averaging more than 10 per cent a year, in contrast to the regional average of 5.3 per cent.
The effects are easy to see. All around Addis the streets are in chaos as a light-rail system is installed. It is on target to begin transporting passengers next year. China is paying for this too. The nature of “Chinese” funding to Africa is complex, sometimes involving direct financing from Beijing, in other cases involving private funding from companies based in China. The light-rail project is backed by China’s Exim Bank.
Cranes swing into action each morning, erecting new hotels and office blocks to add to the long list of international chains that have opened or expanded here: Hilton, Intercontinental, Radisson Blu, Sheraton and Monarch are all doing strong business alongside African counterparts.
And, according to some, there aren’t enough of them. The Awash International Bank projects that unsatisfied demand for hotel beds in Ethiopia in 2015 will run to 1.3 million – a demand fuelled by an increase in tourism, business travel and the work of the African Union.
Outside the city, major rail links are under construction, including one by a Turkish company, Yapi Merkezi, worth a reported €1.3 billion: the 389km Awash-Woldiya project will connect lines from Mekelle to Hara Gebeya and then Addis to Djibouti.
Ethiopia is funding its own development too. The Blue Nile rises in Ethiopia before flowing on to Egypt and Sudan. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will harness the waterway as the largest hydroelectrical plant on the continent when complete. Cairo is unhappy, fearing that the damming of the Nile will have major impact on Egypt.
In Addis Ababa, Ban hails new UN facility as symbol of shared ‘strong desire for peace’
ADDIS ABABA, Oct 29 (NNN-ENA) -- The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has become the third largest UN duty station after New York and Geneva in terms of building portfolio, with the inauguration of a new office facility for the regional organization at the ECA compound in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, Tuesday.
The facility will house the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU), the United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), World Health Organization (WHO), and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representation to the AU Commission and ECA.
Speaking at the inauguration of the new building, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn noted that the continent, which was struggling against colonialism and apartheid during the establishment of the ECA in 1958, was now witnessing development.
Today, Africa has liberated itself from colonialism and embarked upon an era of development, stability and good governance, he noted. "It is for this reason that I am hopeful that this building would herald the consolidation and realization' of this new chapter- an era of African Renaissance," he said. "Africa is now in a new beginning, as is witnessed in the good performance of many African economies."
However, despite the progress, Africa still faced major challenges related to its institutional weakness, he added, citing the Ebola crisis as an example.
He said effective support from the international community would help Africa attain development. "I am of the view that with a more effective international partnership for development, Africa has a great possibility in attaining its renaissance."
In his keynote speech, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said the opening of the new facility would help to bring the UN staff together thereby harmonizing UN operations. "Most of all, it means the United Nations is better placed to deliver better results," he added. “With the completion of the new facility, we take an important step towards a future of dignity, prosperity and peace."
Noting that the ECA compound had a rich history, the Secretary-General said Africa Hall, a gift from Ethiopia upon the establishment of the ECA in 1958, had seen memorable events, including the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the precursor of the African Union (AU), more than half a century ago.
"Thanks to this new facility, we have been able to cater for growing demand for office space and increase the number of staff working in the compound to more than1, 000." said ECA Executive Secretary Carlos Lopes.
Established as one of the UN's five regional commissions, the ECA's mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international co-operation for Africa's development.
According to the Ethiopian News Agency, Ethiopia is building a rocket launching station in Tigrai state. In addition to the launching station two underground stations to help with testing and other preparations are being built at the same time.
The station will be able to launch rockets up to 30 kilometers in to space. The manager of the project Engineer Mulualem HialeMariam stated there are sixty engineers working 24 hours to complete the project successfully. Testing of the system of the rocket will be finalized in the underground stations at the end of July.
The project is called Alpha Meles named after the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi
Mekelle Institute of Technology, Mesfin Industrial Engineering, Mesebo Cement factory, local private companies and the Metals, Engineering Corporation and private companies are involved on designing and manufacturing of different parts of the station.
Last year Ethiopia officially announced it has established a apace program in order to launch it's own satellites to space. The Entoto Observatory and Research Center was established by 32 public universities in 2013. There are other observatories and research centers in other parts of Ethiopia related to space and space studies. Ethiopia is building a rocket launching station in Tigrai state similar to the above photo.
The 15 best quips from Anthony Bourdain's tour of Ethiopia.
Traveling from the humming streets of Addis Ababa to rural villages, the latest episode of CNN's series Parts Unknown spans history, culture, and heritage to debunk myths and discover where Ethiopia stands as a country today. According to host Anthony Bourdain, the country is undergoing renewed economic growth "fueled largely by direct foreign investment and a returning Ethiopian diaspora." And appropriate to that theme, New York City chef Marcus Samuelsson and his wife, model Maya Haile, act as Bourdain's guides.
Samuelsson's exploration of his own sense of place plays a major role in the episode. His relationship to Ethiopia is a complex one. Samuelsson was born to a farming family in a rural Ethiopian village in the 1970s and contracted tuberculosis at the age of two. In a last-ditch effort to save her children, Samuelsson's mother walked him and his sister 75 miles to a Swedish hospital in Addis Ababa for treatment. She later died, but Samuelsson and his sister recovered and were adopted by a Swedish couple. Then, at an early age, Samuelsson moved to New York City, where he established himself as an expert chef.
"I always find it such a paradox that I was born into very little food, but yet I've made my whole life about food," he says. "My structure and pragmatism comes from being raised in Sweden. And my sort of vibrancy and warmth to cooking and feel-based food that I love comes definitely from here[Ethiopia]." Samuelsson has since reconnected with his birth father and has forged even more Ethiopian ties through marriage; Maya was born and raised in Ethiopia and has a strong grasp on the language and customs. From skate parks to tej bars and sheep slaughtering ceremonies, the group explores what it means to be a modern Ethiopian.
Here now, the 15 best Bourdain quips from his Ethiopian sojourn:
AFRICANGLOBE – Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, has told a local private newspaper that Saudi Arabia and the UAE will bear the consequences of Ethiopia’s response if their operation in and around Eritrea’s Port of Assab supports the ‘Eritrean regime’s destabilization agenda against Ethiopia.’ He made the remarks after a recent United Nations monitoring group report indicates that Saudi Arabia and the UAE have leased the Port of Assab for 30 years from the Eritrean government in their coalition to fight the Houthis in Yemen.
“They have assured us that they would not be engaged in activities that would endanger the peace and security of Ethiopia. They have said this is only a choice of tactical convenience to their operation in Yemen and that they would evacuate the area as soon as the mission is completed,” Hailemariam told The Reporter newspaper. “We have also stressed that they will bear the consequences of our response if their operation in the area supports the Eritrean regime’s destabilization agenda against Ethiopia. Although we understand their objective, we were not consulted before the countries reached to this agreement.”
The Arab Africa Summit yesterday has elected Kassa T/Birhane as the president of the Arab-Africa Summit and Abdulwasi Yusuf as secretary general for the second round.
Kassa T/Birhane who is going to serve as the president of the Summit for the coming one year said on the occasion that he will work hard to secure a good economic and social bond between African and the Arab countries.
When the two days summit is concluded yesterday afternoon the summit’s participants have expressed their determination to strengthen their tie and combat terrorism.
Participants of the summit from 22 African and Arab countries are expected to visit the building projects of condominiums and light train projects on today.
Aigaforum) Nov 06, 2017 - Ethiopia is passing through tough times! Innocent people from north to south, west to east are being killed in broad day light! This has been going on for a while now and no sustainable action is being taken by the ruling party.
Many people that Aigaforum talked to are asking for the country to be under an emergency decree similar to last year until the EPRDF member organizations are done with their reorganization. Last year’s Decree came at the end of gruesome killings of innocent people in Amhara and Oromia regions. As you might recall last year Aigaforum pleaded and alerted respected government individuals to avert unfair uproot, displacement and loss of lives. Unfortunately no one listened and the country became embroiled with crisis until the the emergency decree.To date Gondar has not revived itself from the effect of the crisis. Instead that vibrant city is at a standstill, yet again!
A year has passed since the last crisis and it is obvious that lessons have not been learned. The regional border conflict between Somalia and Oromia regions has left a black spot in the country’s history, Currently in the Oromia region, people are still being killed and displaced based on their ethnic background. In Shahsemene, Metu, Bedele and Ambo people are being killed and displaced despite OPDO’s pledge to respect the constitution and the unity of the country.
Innocent people should not be killed or displaced because of EPRDF’s internal bickering or political disagreement among the leadership. EPRDF must know there is a limit to people’s patience and respect to authorities. Those promoting and sponsoring the killing of innocent people must be held accountable. No individual should be above the law!
It is sad that lessons were not learned from the Gondar debacle. It is also sad that after 27 years of EPRDF rule the country is immersed in such violence. EPRDF needs to wake up and call a spade a spade. What is stopping the EPRDF government from taking action against demagogue politicians? What seems to be the problem now? Ere Beqa!
Below is Tamrat Yemane Reporting of one recent incident in Shashemene.
A woman is set to marry her own son. The woman and her son claim to be in love with each other and now they want to take their relationship to the next level and get married considering that the mother, Betty Mbereko (from Mwenezi in Masvingo) is now six months pregnant and expecting her son’s child, and her grandchild.
Mbereko, 40, has been a widow for the past 12 years and has been living with her 23-years-old son Farai Mbereko. She confirms that she is six month pregnant and that she has decided it is better to “marry” her son because she does not want to marry her late husband’s young brothers, whom she says are coveting her. Betty stunned a village court last week when she said the affair with her son had begun three years earlier. She said after spending a lot of money sending Farai to school following the death of her husband, she felt she had a right to his money and no other woman was entitled to it. “Look, I strove alone to send my son to school and no one helped me. Now you see that my son is working and you accuse me of doing something wrong. “Let me enjoy the products of my sweat,” she told the village court council.
Farai said he was more than prepared to marry his mother and would pay off the ilobola balance his father had left unpaid to his grandparents.
“I know my father died before he finished paying the bride price and I am prepared to pay it off,” he said. “It is better to publicise what is happening because people should know that I am the one who made my mother pregnant.
Otherwise they will accuse her of promiscuity.” But local headman Nathan Muputirwa says: “We cannot allow this to happen in our village, mashura chaiwo aya, (This is a bad omen indeed). In the past they would have to be killed but today we cannot do it because we are afraid of the police.”