Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Ethiopian Airlines accused of discriminatory ticket sale practices

The largest airline in Africa is being accused of discriminatory practices against an ethnic minority, including denying ticket sales to Tigrayans aged 15 to 60.

Passengers traveling from the Tigray region to the Ethiopian capital’s Addis Ababa Bole International Airport have claimed they are being denied boarding despite holding valid tickets. Other passengers from the regional capital of Mekelle are coming forward to say they were turned away at the airport when trying to purchase tickets to leave the area.

According to The Guardian, a local NGO, Human Rights First, has filed a lawsuit against the Star Alliance carrier for its discriminatory practices, arguing that the airline has increased ticket prices for the route as a form of “collective sanction” against the people of Tigray. This move, in addition to blocking passengers from buying tickets based on their age, constitutes a human rights violation.

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(Simple Flying)

Relatives of Boeing 737 victims can seek compensation for pain, suffering

A US judge has ruled that relatives of those killed in a 2019 Boeing 737 MAX Ethiopian Airlines crash may seek compensation for the pain and suffering of passengers before the plane smashed into the ground.

In 2021, Boeing agreed to acknowledge liability for compensatory damages in lawsuits filed by the families of the 157 people killed in the disaster. In February, the company sought to exclude any evidence of pain and suffering that passengers may have experienced before the crash.

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“There is sufficient evidence to support a reasonable inference that these passengers experienced pre-impact fright and terror, and that experience is part of the ‘process or manner of death’,” District Judge Jorge Alonso wrote in his ruling, rejecting Boeing’s motion.

Boeing did not immediately comment.

Alonso added that a jury could reasonably infer from the evidence that the passengers “perceived that they were going to crash horrifically, to their certain death.”

A total of 346 people were killed in two Boeing 737 MAX crashes, including the Lion Air disaster in Indonesia in October 2018. The Ethiopian Airlines crash prompted the worldwide grounding of the MAX in March 2019 for 20 months, costing Boeing more than USD 20 billion.

(Business Day)

MultiChoice, Broadcasting Corp. to strengthen collaboration

MultiChoice Africa Holdings (MAH) and the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation have announced a new cooperation agreement in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The MoU signed is geared towards establishing a partnership for capacity building, benchmarking, experience sharing, intellectual property rights protection, training, and skills development within applicable legal frameworks.

Mohammed Edris Mohammed, the Director General (DG) of the Ethiopian Media Authority, also graced the signing ceremony.

The MoU covers MAH and its associate, MultiChoice Ethiopia, as the local partners and further provides for the continued strengthening of future cooperation between MAH and EBC in combating broadcasting piracy.

“We are grateful to sign this MoU. EBC is the oldest and biggest public media in Ethiopia, with five television channels and three radio channels. I believe this agreement will strengthen the relationship between both companies. Based on this MoU, we stand together on various media-related issues,” said Feseha Yetagsu Manbegrot, CEO of EBC.

MultiChoice commenced operations in Ethiopia 30 years ago and has been at the forefront of the provision of quality sports, education, and entertainment content.

(Broadband TV News)

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South Sudan asks Kenya to end Autoports Freight monopoly

The South Sudan government has asked President William Ruto to end the monopoly of a firm associated with the family of former Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho for handling cargo destined for the neighboring country from the Mombasa port through the rail line.

In a U-turn, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir now wants Ruto to allow goods to and from his country to be cleared at the port of Mombasa and not at the Nairobi Freight Terminal (NFT).

Juba wants more firms, including Compact, Consolbase, MCT, and MitchellCotts, to be allowed to handle its goods in Kenya as it seeks to cut the monopoly.

Autoports Freight Terminals Limited, which is associated with the Joho family, has been handling nearly all South Sudan imports at the terminal.

“The purpose of this letter is to kindly draw your Excellency’s attention to our discussions on why we in South Sudan have opted to use the port of Mombasa rather than the Nairobi Freight Terminal for all cargo from and to South Sudan,” said Kiir in a diplomatic note to Ruto.

Juba reckons that the shift will ensure a smooth flow of goods and stabilize the cost of consumer products in South Sudan.

(The East African)

Kenya’s inflation unexpectedly spikes as sugar prices surge

Kenya’s inflation rate unexpectedly climbed in May, fueled by soaring sugar prices, as outgoing central bank Governor Patrick Njoroge warned that it may pose a risk to the monetary authority’s expectations that price growth will ease.

Annual inflation edged further away from the central bank’s 2.5 to 7.5 percent target range, accelerating to eight percent, compared with 7.9 percent last month, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said in an emailed statement. The median estimate of six economists in a Bloomberg survey was 7.8 percent, with forecasts ranging from 7.2 percent to 8.2 percent. Prices rose 0.9 percent in the month.

Njoroge said earlier that the monetary authority sees “a major risk coming from sugar inflation in the numbers to be released today.” The sweetener “is used in many products, so there may be a second round of effects, sort of like fuel,” he said at a briefing in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, two days after the central bank left rates unchanged at 9.5 percent.

The cost of sugar surged 49 percent in May from a year earlier because of tight global supplies and low domestic cane deliveries as growers switched to producing other crops, including corn.

(BNN Bloomberg)

Cholera outbreak hits East Africa’s largest refugee camp

A cholera outbreak has affected 2,786 people in Kenya’s Dadaab Refugee Camp, home to over 300,000 refugees, most from neighboring Somalia.

At a press conference in Nairobi, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) warned of a looming health catastrophe in the camp if the situation persists. Two deaths have so far been recorded, with hundreds of others hospitalized.

Hassan Maiyaki, MSF country director in Kenya, said “the gravity of the situation demands urgent attention, particularly in the areas of water, sanitation, and hygiene.”

It is the worst cholera outbreak in five years, and the risk of other epidemics breaking out is high, he added.

The outbreak has been attributed to the decrease in crucial water and sanitation activities, which exacerbated the risk of disease transmission within the camps.

The Kenya Ministry of Health has confirmed the outbreak and is actively involved in providing vaccinations and conducting health promotion campaigns.

Nitya Udayraj, MSF medical coordinator in Kenya, said that despite the health promotion activities and vaccination campaigns, “controlling this cholera outbreak remains elusive without the prioritization of resources towards sustained preventive water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions.”

(Anadolu Agency)

East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline to transform trade in the region

The East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), a critical infrastructure project, is set to transform the national, regional, and global trade landscape.

The EACOP project will enable the transportation of crude oil from Uganda’s oil fields to the Tanzanian port of Tanga, where it will be exported to international markets. It is expected to open up new local business opportunities, particularly in the telecommunications, transport, and service sectors.

The project is expected to stimulate foreign direct investment (FDI) in the region as it creates a favorable environment for investors looking to capitalize on the growing oil and gas industry.

Several multinational companies have already expressed their interest in investing in the pipeline.

The project is expected to generate approximately USD 20 billion in revenues over the next 25 years, with more than USD 12 billion of this expected to go to Tanzania and USD seven billion to Uganda.

(Daily Monitor)

Nigeria Air’s ‘Aircraft’ returns to service in Ethiopian Airlines colors

The controversial Nigeria Air Boeing 737-800 with the registration number ET-APL has returned to service in Ethiopian Airlines livery.

Verified information gathered showed that the Nigerian Air livery painted on the body of the aircraft had been removed and replaced with Ethiopian Airline colors. The aircraft departed Addis Ababa on Wednesday morning as a commercial airplane.

Information gathered by the Daily Independent indicated that the aircraft, which was brought into the country for static display by Hadi Sirika (Sen.), the former Minister of Aviation, last Friday, returned to Addis Ababa the next day.

Information on the aircraft showed that the equipment traveled at a barometric altitude of 3,840 feet with a ground speed of 370 km/h.

A source who is familiar with the issue told the Daily Independent that Nigeria Air never had an aircraft but rented equipment.

“Ethiopian Airlines aircraft ET-APL, which was masquerading as Nigeria Air, is back operating as Ethiopian Airlines on Addis Ababa-Mogadishu,” the source said.

Sirika had promised that a demonstration flight would commence soon as part of the procedure to fully commence operations.

(Independent Nigeria)

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