Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Ethiopian Airlines, Boeing and ThinkYoung inaugurate STEM School

Ethiopian Airlines, Boeing and ThinkYoung have launched the STEM School to equip African youth, especially women, with skills for better employment and higher education in STEM focusing on aviation.

The program will be hosted at Ethiopian Airlines Aviation University, leveraging the airline’s expertise. The collaboration ensures students benefit from Ethiopian Airlines’ knowledge and resources.

Ethiopian Airlines Chief Executive Mesfin Tasew said the initiative will develop young people to meet the future needs of Ethiopia’s fast-growing aviation industry.

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The six-week STEM School will provide over 300 hours of classes and hands-on training for 24 grade 11-12 students from across Ethiopia, 50 percent girls. Students will learn basics of STEM, coding, and soft skills.

Boeing Middle East Türkiye and Africa head Kuljit Ghata-Aura said the partnership between Ethiopian Airlines, ThinkYoung and Boeing will undoubtedly contribute to creating a talent pipeline to support growing commercial aviation in Ethiopia.

Students will have job shadowing and mentoring opportunities at Ethiopian Airlines to experience various STEM roles and improve skills gained during the program.

Anbessie Yitbarek, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Sales and Marketing vice president in Africa says this will help boost the economy in Ethiopia and beyond by developing and attracting local talent.

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(Times Aerospace)

Mining companies in Tigray to resume exploration, production soon

The Ethiopian Ministry of Mines says activities are underway to enable mining companies active in the Tigray region to resume operations soon after the war.

Various international mining companies have confirmed they plan to resume work.

Mining activities were disrupted during the conflict in northern Ethiopia, causing damage. But stability after the peace agreement has allowed restoration of services.

State Minister for Mines Million Mathews said the peace agreement has helped stakeholders in the mining sector. Conditions are now created for gold, cement and other mineral companies to resume work.

Messobo cement factory has resumed production. Efforts are being made to let other companies restart exploration and production.

The State Minister said Messobo cement factory has already started operations and they are in discussion with other companies about restarting operations. Gold factories previously produced up to 900 kg of gold per year.

The gold bank in Shire has reopened and experts assigned to restart the gold procurement system. Strict measures against illegal acts will give confidence to licensed miners.

International mining companies, including Newmont, have confirmed they will resume operations soon.


Ethiopia to demolish another ancient mansion built 125 years back

An age-old house built in 1898 and registered as a national heritage is facing demolition, sources say.

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The mansion owned by Ras Kebede Mengesha Atikem is located in front of Bole Printing House.

The Ethiopian Heritage Trustee Association (EHTA) received the house from the Kebele administration 30 years ago and renovated it while preserving the heritage. EHTA has used it as their office and gallery.

However, the Housing Corporation is now compelling EHTA to vacate the 125-year-old heritage building.

EHTA expressed sadness at being pressured to leave the mansion. The association has been working to preserve Ethiopia’s natural, historical and cultural heritage for the past three decades.

They have established a natural park and planted trees for environmental protection. They are also working to restore damaged natural resources in Ankober.

EHTA is calling on members and citizens to stand with them against the demolition.

Other ancient mansions have been demolished in the past five years, including buildings belonging to Dejazmach Amde Kassa, Ras Abebe Aregay and Dejazmatch Asfaw Kebede.


JICA, Safaricom Ethiopia, Sumitomo Corporation sign MoC

JICA signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Ministry of Innovation and Technology of Ethiopia, Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia, and Sumitomo Corporation to support Ethiopia’s ‘Digital Ethiopia 2025’ initiative.

The MoC aims to maximize synergies between the parties through cooperation in developing digital infrastructure, systems, interactions, business ecosystems, and regulatory frameworks while creating jobs and building capacity.

The collaboration seeks to contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (9 on industry, innovation and infrastructure), and 17 on partnerships.

Minister Belete Molla of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Stanley Njoroge – Acting CEO of Safaricom Ethiopia, Saida Tadao – representative from Sumitomo Corporation and Nakamura Toshiyuki from JICA signed the MoC in Addis Ababa on July 19th.


Zambian man dies on Ethiopian Airlines flight

A 69-year-old Zambian man, Joseph Phiri from Kitwe, died on an Ethiopian Airlines flight while traveling from Chicago to Ndola via Addis Ababa on July 18.

The deceased, identified as Joseph Phiri, had traveled to the United States for further medical treatment arranged by his son, who resides in Chicago. According to his wife Ruth Phiri, Phiri had been unwell and his condition deteriorated during the flight.

Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and permanent representative to the AU, Rose Sakala confirmed Phiri’s death and said his body was taken to St. Paul’s Millennium Hospital.

A postmortem examination was scheduled for July 19 while arrangements are being made to transport the body to Ndola.

Sakala assured the Zambian mission and family are working together to ensure all procedures are handled promptly in Ethiopia.

Inutu Mwanza, First Secretary for Press and Tourism at the Zambian Embassy in Addis Ababa, issued a statement to ZNBC News regarding the incident.


Finnish far-right finance minister accused of racist comments

Finland’s new right-wing government has been embroiled in controversy over racist blog comments apparently written by Finns Party leader and Finance Minister Riikka Purra.

The blogposts, mostly from 2008, include the N-word, other racial slurs and threats of violence.

Purra has neither confirmed nor denied writing the posts under the username “riikka” but issued a broad apology on Tuesday for “stupid social media comments”.

The posts discuss “Abdullahs” and “darker males”, talk of spitting on beggars and beating “N-word” children, and describe a desire to “shoot” immigrants on a train.

Purra has acknowledged commenting on the blog hosted by Jussi Halla-aho, convicted of inciting ethnic hatred, but not confirmed she was “riikka”.

Purra apologized for “stupid social media comments made 15 years ago” but said her party’s policies were “not based on extremism, racism or discrimination”.

Opposition politicians have condemned the posts and called for Purra’s resignation. Prime Minister Petteri Orpo said Purra “found the right solution” and the government will not fall.

President Niinistö said the government should have “zero tolerance for racism” and give “a good signal to the world.”

Separately, a photo emerged of a Social Democratic MP with naked youths making Nazi salutes. Antti Lindtman said he regretted the incident but said the photo was from high school.

Sunnova, Seeding Mercy Inc. collaborate to empower communities in East Africa

Sunnova Energy International and nonprofit Seeding Mercy Inc. (SMI) have partnered to fund off-grid solar powered irrigation pumps for farms in South Sudan.

The initiative aims to combat hunger and enable renewable development in East Africa.

Since 2017, SMI has provided farmers with training, resources and land, focusing on empowering women. It has recruited 1,000 clients, 90 percent of whom are women managing 800 acres of farms.

Recognizing the need for sustainable farming, SMI and Sunnova funded the deployment of solar power for irrigation in Aweil, South Sudan.

Through Sunnova’s donation of solar systems, pumps and tools, SMI installed solar-powered irrigation for three farms. Since December 2022, the farms have grown and sold crops worth USD 24,000, employing 591 families.

Sunnova and SMI say they are spearheading a movement towards decentralized renewable energy, improving lives and boosting food security. It provided technical expertise to ensure the off-grid AC systems could power the pumps. They worked with SMI to implement a replicable farming program.

SMI has been awarded 10,000 acres of land in South Sudan that it plans to develop into 5,000 two-acre farms, benefiting the country’s predominantly smallholder farmers and expanding its impactful work throughout East Africa, with an estimated 467 million potential beneficiaries.

Sunnova and SMI will continue supporting farmers and exploring the “feed-forward” collaboration model.


Chairman refutes degrading Lake Victoria

Sudhir Ruparelia, chairman of Ruparelia Group, has denied allegations that the Group is refilling Lake Victoria with soil.

A video clip of trucks carrying soil around Munyonyo Speke Resort gardens adjacent to Lake Victoria sparked the claims.

However, Ruparelia clarified they are securing their own land affected by unprecedented rising lake levels in 2021 and 2022, not refilling the lake.

He said being near Lake Victoria is an asset they jealously guard. They are only upgrading grounds flooded by the 2022 rise in lake levels. “We have not degraded Lake Victoria. It is completely false, misguided rumours and information,” Ruparelia told journalists.

Ruparelia noted last year’s flooding necessitated raising grounds to secure against future flooding as the hotel prepares to host conferences next year.

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) confirmed it cleared Ruparelia to raise grounds to avoid flooding, requiring replanting of removed grass. NEMA will monitor compliance.

Ruparelia conducted a media tour of a 4,400-seat Speke Resort Convention Centre project scheduled for completion in time for a January 2024 NAM summit.

The convention center is undergoing refurbishments as part of preparations to host the NAM and G-77 summits.

Ruparelia said upon completion, the center will boost Uganda’s MICE potential.

In addition to the auditorium, the convention center will have meeting rooms, halls and a floating restaurant seating over 900.

Together with the resorts, the properties will offer Uganda’s hospitality sector about 40 meeting facilities for up to 19,000 people.


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