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    Ethiopia’s Tefera Mekonen becomes new secretary general of AFCAC

    African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) on Tuesday elected Tefera Mokenen as Secretary General. Tefera Mekonen was former director general of Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority.

    The Commission elected Tefera, who competed representing East Africa, in its 29th extraordinary session held in Zambia.

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that during his campaign, it has utilized all diplomatic options to secure the necessary supports from African countries using the 11th African Union Extraordinary Summit that convened in Addis Ababa.

    In connection to his election, Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu extended gratitude to the African countries for their unreserved support.

    Workneh said that Tefera’s election as the new Secretary General of AFCAC would be a great opportunity for Ethiopia in advancing Africa’s interests in the area in global platforms.

    Tefera Mekonnen, who has a 36 years expertise in the sector joined AFCAC as transport director in October 2015.

    As the new Secretary General, he will replace Iyabo Sosina, a Nigerian aviation guru, who led the commission since 2012. (ENA)

     

    US awards Special Self-Help Grants to four local organizations

    U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Michael Raynor presided over a ceremony awarding grants to four local civil society and community based organizations in Ethiopia through the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program managed by U.S. Embassy’s Community Grants Office.

    The projects will be implemented over the next year, directly impacting the lives of over 500 people in need of assistance including children, internally displaced people, youth, people with disabilities, and local communities at large.

    The Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program is a grass-roots level effort to empower the communities to be self-reliant and enable them to meet their immediate and long-term needs.

    Recipients receive a one-time grant of up to 25,000 million US dollars based on a competitive selection process.

    “I applaud your commitment to making a difference and through your efforts you will not only have an impact through your program, but through the example you set for others,” Raynor said.

    The four organizations are Link Ethiopia, El-Derash Children and Family Development Organization, the Orphans and Girls Assistance Association and Addis Guzo. (Press Release)

    President Sahlework named among 100 most powerful women by Forbes

    Ethiopia’s President Sahlework Zewde has been named among the 100 most powerful women in the world by Forbes magazine.

    She is the only African who made to Forbes most powerful women list.

    Sahlework was appointed as the fourth President of Ethiopia last October, replacing Mulatu Teshome.

    She served as Special Representative of UN Secretary-General António Guterres to the AU and Head of the UN Office to the AU at the level of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations.

    She served as Ambassador to Senegal, with accreditation to Mali, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia and Guinea, from 1989 to 1993.

    From 1993 to 2002, she was Ambassador to Djibouti and Permanent Representative to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

    She later served as Ambassador to France, Permanent Representative to UNESCO and accredited to Tunisia and Morocco from 2002 to 2006.

    She also served as Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA).

    HRW cautions Ethiopia on hate speech law

    Human Rights Watch (HRW) has cautioned Ethiopia against plans to enact a new law to curb hate speech, following the rise in deadly ethnic tensions and clashes in the country.

    The Attorney General’s office last month said it was drafting a bill to curb the rising hate speech and irresponsible use of social media.

    The global human rights organization is now joining experts who expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the planned law.

    Any law that limits freedom of expression by punishing hate speech must be narrowly drawn and enforced with restraint.

     ‘’… any law that limits freedom of expression by punishing hate speech must be narrowly drawn and enforced with restraint,’‘ HRW cautioned.

    ‘‘Many governments have tried and failed to strike the right balance, and Ethiopia’s own track record offers reason for alarm.’‘

    HRW said Ethiopia’s track record of using vague laws like the anti-terrorism law to crack down on ‘peaceful expressions of dissident’, offers reason for alarm. (Africa News)

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