Wednesday, February 8, 2023
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NTSB publishes comments on Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX-8 crash

The NTSB has published comments in its final report on its investigation into the March 10, 2019, crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302, operated by a Boeing 737 MAX 8. The US federal agency made the comments public after Ethiopia’s Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (EAIB) failed to include the NTSB’s comments into its final accident report on December 27th.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), charged with investigating transportation accidents and issuing recommendations to improve safety, generally concurred that the uncommanded nose-down inputs from the 737 MAX 8’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) system should be part of the probable cause of this accident.

However, it suggests the EAIB’s final report does not thoroughly discuss all the relevant factors, including the crew’s inadequate use of manual electric trim and thrust to maintain airplane control and potential bird strike damage to the angle-of-attack (AOA) sensor.

The Ethiopian authorities provided the NTSB with its first draft of the report last year. After a review, the NTSB responded with comments primarily focused on areas related to human factors that it believed were not fully addressed in the draft report.

(Simple Flying)

Safaricom Ethiopia switches on network in five more cities

Safaricom Ethiopia has switched on its network and services in Hawassa, Assela, Jigjiga, Sodo, and Dilla cities in December, growing its network footprint across the country to 21 cities.

New customers in the cities will be able to purchase SIM cards for 30 birr, choose their preferred numbers, buy airtime, and access dedicated customer support at the Safaricom Ethiopia branded shops in their respective cities.

“We are excited to expand our coverage into Hawassa, Assela, Jigjiga, Sodo, and Dilla, with more cities set to join the growing Safaricom Ethiopia family. We are also delighted to have expanded our services into more regional states,” said Anwar Soussa, Safaricom Ethiopia’s CEO.

When customers join the “07” network, they will get a welcome package (Gursha) of 700 MB of data, 35 minutes of Safaricom-to-Safaricom voice calls, and another 35 minutes of voice calls across all networks that is valid for 30 days.

The “07” network switch in the five additional cities brings Safaricom Ethiopia’s current network footprint across the country to 21 cities: Dire Dawa, Harar, Haramaya, Adama, Bahir Dar, Bishoftu, Mojo, Debre Birhan, Awoday, Gondar, Addis Ababa, Sebeta, Dessie, Kombolcha, Jimma, Shashemene, Dilla, Sodo, Jigjiga, Assela, and Hawassa.

(CapitalFM)

Criminal cases opened against Ethiopian Israelis double

The rate of criminal cases opened against Israelis of Ethiopian descent during the years 2018–2020 was twice their share of the country’s population, according to a report released by the Association of Ethiopian Jews, the Adva Center, and Hebrew University’s Clinical Legal Education Center.

The report, which was based on data obtained through a freedom of information request made to the Israel Police, found that the rate of criminal cases initiated against Ethiopian minors during those years was 4.3 times their share of the general population of minors.

The police have refused to release a breakdown of criminal statistics relating to the Ethiopian population due to concerns about the “reaction of the population in question.”

That data showed that at the end of 2020, Israelis of Ethiopian descent numbered 159,500, equal to 1.7 percent of the country’s total population. During 2018-2020, the police opened a total of 879,907 criminal cases, of which 31,911 involved Ethiopians, equal to 3.5 percent.

That said, the report also found that the number of cases begun against Ethiopian Israelis during those years dropped from 11,500 in 2018 to 9,882 in 2020.

(Haaretz)

Four Ethiopian children get a new lease on life after surgeries at Bengaluru’s SJICSR

Mezida Abdu, a 12-year-old girl from Kolfe Keranio, Ethiopia, had a large hole in her heart and a congenital defect because of which her aorta was connected to the heart at a place where it shouldn’t be.

Normally, each ventricle should give rise to one artery. But because of her birth defect, Abdu had both arteries coming from one chamber, and the child had recurrent chest infections, including pneumonia and growth retardation.

Abdu was among four Ethiopian children with congenital heart diseases who underwent open-heart surgeries at Bengaluru’s Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research (SJICSR) and got a new lease on life.

Approximately six out of every 1,000 babies are born with complex congenital heart diseases that can be life-threatening. If not operated upon, children with Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) and other complex heart diseases can die before the age of 10.

The surgeries were jointly sponsored by the Needy Heart Foundation and Rotary International, Ethiopia.

“In Ethiopia, we do not have pediatric cardiac surgeons to perform complex congenital heart surgeries,” said one of the parents. The children and their parents landed in Addis Ababa on Tuesday.

(Times of India)

South Sudan announces deployment of 750 soldiers to eastern DRC

South Sudan has announced the deployment of 750 soldiers to the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Heavy fighting in recent months between DRC forces and M23 rebels prompted the East African Community (EAC) to deploy a joint regional force that includes forces from Kenya, Burundi, and Uganda.

At a ceremony in the capital, Juba, the South Sudanese president, Salva Kiir, urged the soldiers to keep order and protect civilians.

“Now you are an organized force, and you are now going to keep the peace even though you are not wearing a blue helmet (usually worn by UN peacekeeping forces, ed. ), but the helmet that you are wearing now will change into blue, and it will change according to the performance that you are going for, and if you are going to the next mission, you will be going with a blue helmet,” Kiir said.

The announcement of the deployment came barely four months after thousands of fighters, including former rebels loyal to Kiir and his rival, Vice President Riek Machar, were integrated into South Sudan’s army, a key condition of a peace deal to end the country’s brutal civil war.

(Africanews)

Kenya’s tea exports set for first drop since 2017

Kenya’s world-leading tea exports are expected to fall for the first time since 2017 due to a drought and a slowing in demand. Its black tea export volumes are poised to decline for the first time in five years after East Africa’s worst drought in four decades stymied crop planting and demand from its top buyers slowed.

Overseas sales fell 22 percent to 333.4 million kilograms in the first nine months of the year and are on track for the first decline since 2017, according to the Tea Board of Kenya. Production dropped by about 2 percent in the period.

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The largest markets for Kenyan tea between January and September were Pakistan, Egypt, the UK, and the United Arab Emirates, accounting for 69 percent of exports.

Reduced supplies, with output dropping in competing producers including Sri Lanka, helped drive prices and bolstered revenue for Kenya. But a lack of investment in increasing yields may hurt the future of the industry that, along with horticulture, is the East African nation’s biggest merchandise foreign exchange earner.

(Alarabia News)

Rwanda says DR Congo fighter jet violated airspace

Rwanda said a fighter jet from the Democratic Republic of the Congo violated its airspace Wednesday amid spiraling tensions between the neighbors over rebels’ advances in the DRC’s volatile east.

The DRC has accused Rwanda of backing the M23 rebel group, which has captured swathes of territory from the Congolese army and allied militias in recent months.

Kigali has denied the allegations, which are also supported by UN experts as well as those of the United States, France, and Belgium.

It accuses Kinshasa of colluding with the FDLR, a former Rwandan Hutu rebel group based in the DRC.

“A Sukhoi-25 fighter jet from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) violated Rwandan airspace along Lake Kivu in the Western Province of Rwanda today at around noon,” the Rwandan government said in a statement.

The aircraft immediately returned to the DRC, the statement said, adding: “Rwandan authorities have once again protested to the DRC government against the violations of Rwandan airspace by DRC fighter jets.”

It comes less than two months after Kigali accused another DRC fighter jet of violating its airspace.

(The Defense Post)

Less than half of tourists visit for holidays, arrivals up 74%

Slightly more than a third of the 1.3 million international tourists who visited Kenya in the 11 months to November came for holidays, lowering the average spend per visitor.

Data from the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) shows the number of holiday visitors in the period stood at 523,344, representing 39.6 percent of overall arrivals that increased 74.5 percent from the 757,354 recorded in a similar period last year.

Those visiting friends and relatives, especially from Uganda and Tanzania, accounted for 26 percent of the arrivals, while those attending short business and conference meetings made up 26.1 percent of the 1.3 million visitors.

Often, visitors on holidays tend to spend more through their stay in luxury hotels and time spent on Kenya’s sandy beaches, as well as game drives in game parks like Maasai Mara, Tsavo, and Amboseli.

“As KTB, we will need to promote medical, conference, and sports tourism as well as other sources of income generation for the country’s tourism offerings,” said Bobby Kimani, a director at the Kenya Tourism Board.

Kenya slightly lags behind Tanzania and Uganda in tourism earnings, with last year’s postings for the two countries standing at USD 1.4 billion and 1.6 billion, respectively.

(Business Daily)

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