Sunday, December 4, 2022
Home Blog Page 39

Zion Yaynu

If you want to explore the depths of your awareness through expressive art and compelling discussions about the ideas underlying the art, look no further. Artist Zion Yaynu is displaying her latest painting collection.

The exhibition, titled “grey matter: Love Edition,” which focuses on life’s unseen beauties that unite and bond us, will be on view from August 28th through September 09, 2022, at the newly opened Refenti World.

Anyone interested in seeing and purchasing art is welcome to attend the exhibition.

Lequanda Fest

Zion Yaynu | The Reporter | #1 Latest Ethiopian News Today

In a celebration that follows the end of the fasting season, Lequanda Fest is back for a second time at the lovely Kuriftu Resort & Spa in Bishoftu. It will feature a brunch full of food that commemorates the “Tsom Mefecha,” which will leave you pleased while you enjoy the lovely environment.

The brunch will take place from 11:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. and will include an all-you-can-eat platter, drinks, and a good time. Make your reservation for Sunday, August 28, 2022.

Tera and Sam YF

Zion Yaynu | The Reporter | #1 Latest Ethiopian News Today

LinkUp Addis and Heineken have collaborated with afromile to bring amazing performers Sam YF and DJ Tera to Addis Ababa for a special event.

The artists will headline a fantastic B2B appearance, in the pair’s first-ever B2B performance.

The occasion will take place on August 27 at Ha-geez, with doors opening at 6:00 o’clock. The entrance fee is 200 birr, which includes a complimentary beer until 7:00 p.m.

EFF to elect president, executive committee

The Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) will hold elections for the presidency and executive committee members on Sunday, August 28, 2022, in Addis Ababa. Regional governments and local governments have begun proposing candidates to lead the Federation for the next four years.

Candidates for president have been nominated by three regions.

Oromia regional state nominated Isaias Jira, who has led the national federation for the past four years, for a second term, while Amhara regional state submitted Melaku Fenta, Amhara Bank board chairman, and Dire Dawa City Administration presented Tokicha Alemayehu (Eng.).

The three contenders publicly advertised their programs in a media briefing this week.

After being vetted by the elected executive and appeals committees, the EFF announced the final list of candidates for the EFF’s presidency and its executive committee. As a result, three presidential candidates and 32 executive committee members will compete in this election.

Isayas Jirra

The current EFF president, Isayas Jirra, has had a successful four years, particularly in the development of the league corporation, the cooperation contract with DSTV, and, of course, Ethiopia’s qualification for the African Cup of Nations.

Furthermore, the current administration has developed prospective national teams of various ages and genders. The organization has also amassed vast sums of money through various sponsorship agreements.

However, it is widely expected that the election will be difficult to determine who will win, and whoever takes the helm faces a difficult task.

The incumbent president declared during the campaign that the next topics on the list for the next term will be club licensing concerns, solid institutional structure, and enhancing the national team.

However, the incumbent faces a tough task in retaining his position and governing for a second term in the form of heavyweight candidates vying for the position.

Tokicha Alemayehu

Tokicha Alemayehu (Eng.), a candidate for the Executive Committee and the presidency for the next four years representing Dire Dawa, explained to The Reporter why he decided to run.

According to him, he decided to run for office after his company signed a sponsorship agreement with the federation and discovered that the federation had restricted execution.

“Despite the fact that Ethiopia is one of the countries that started the Africa Cup of Nations competition, it is disappointing that Ethiopian football has not achieved the level of modern football,” Tokicha said.

He noted that, in addition to competing, the Ethiopian national team must develop a style of football that can demonstrate appealing and promising actions to the audience.

Tokicha is certain that Ethiopian football has not received the economic benefits it deserves and that football is a self-sufficient industry in its own right. Football can thus manage transportation, trade, and tourism.

“We Ethiopians do not think football should be like Brazil. On the other hand, I believe we should use it economically,” Tokicha told The Reporter.

Tokicha says a fundamental shift in football is required to produce not only talented players but also acceptable infrastructure, skilled referees, qualified coaches, medical specialists, and capable clubs.

He emphasized that building sufficient financial capacity in football is the key pillar of success, and that in order to do so, a federation that allows businesses to enter football and sell products is required.

Problems with stadiums have recently come to the forefront, despite efforts to build and upgrade them to standards.

However, the national team is compelled to play its home matches in the stadiums of other countries, denying their fans. The issues facing stadiums will, however, be a difficult task for the new candidates who will run the national federation for the next four years.

Tokicha believes the issues concerning the stadiums would be resolved under his leadership. “It was an opportunity for the federation to bring the stadiums that had been constructed up to par.”

“It is not appropriate for the national team to play in foreign stadiums when minor issues of regionally built stadiums can be implemented with the help of local investors,” Tokicha said.

Tokicha, who has experienced business success, thinks it is important to grasp football’s wealth. He feels that the federation should be directed by young people.

Melaku Fenta

One of the contenders is Melaku Fanta, a former director general of the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority and current CEO of the Amhara Development Association, as well as the founder and chairman of the board of Amhara Bank.

He noted that before presenting himself as a candidate for the EFF leadership, he had a comprehensive and in-depth discussion with all stakeholders, both individually and as a group, about what football needed.

“This is the proper time for us to stand and prepare for the revolution of our sport,” Melaku remarked during a press conference.

According to Melaku, football is a vast sector that moves billions of dollars and is driven by commercial principles, as evidenced by international experience, according to Melaku.

“Our population is 120 million people. More than half of our population is young and passionate about football. To put it another way, we have untapped potential and wealth,” Melaku added.

He emphasized the need to develop an institution regulated by law and order by making an informed choice and creating a system that is encouraging, accountable, and that clubs are financially reinforced, strengthen the financial and audit systems, and satisfy the criteria of CAF and FIFA.

If elected, he promised to strengthen the Federation’s administrative ability, to carry on the good work already begun, to fill up the gaps, to implement legal and organizational reforms, to staff the national institution with skilled experts, and to carry out continuous capacity building.

Melaku is confident that part of the strategy to allow the national team to play home matches is the expansion of the sports base and the completion of the stadiums that have already begun.

Internal conflict predominates in Ethiopian football, which has never been free of politics or avoided controversy, and draws more attention from the public than the actual game.

Many people believe political affiliations and appointments are common in the sports industry and are one of the reasons for its lack of significant growth compared to neighboring countries.

Is a global recession inevitable?

Just as the world economy appeared to be recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, headline GDP growth has decelerated sharply or turned negative in several leading economies in 2022. And with annual inflation in many countries fast approaching double digits, it is not easy to see where global growth will come from.

Jeffrey Frankel

A global recession is entirely avoidable.

True, the odds of a downturn are much higher than usual in Europe, which has been hit hard by reduced supplies of Russian natural gas; China, where COVID-19 lockdowns already turned growth negative in the second quarter; and other countries, including emerging-market economies with debt troubles.

Even the US economy is experiencing a slowdown. I still maintain that the two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis do not signify that a US recession started in the first part of 2022.

There are three reasons for this. First-quarter GDP will be revised on September 29, and second-quarter GDP on August 25; other indicators like gross domestic income (GDI) and employment were positive; and the recession ruling is up to the National Bureau of Economic Research. But rising interest rates and the gloomy outlook among America’s trading partners do mean that a US recession is more likely than usual at some point over the next two years.

But a “global recession”? The US is not the only place where a negative growth rule is not an agreed criterion for defining recession.

Consider global GDP. It has been rare in the postwar period for global growth to fall below zero even for a single quarter, let alone two. Not even the severe downturns of 1974 and 1981 qualified. Even in times of apparent recession, negative growth in advanced economies is usually outweighed by still-positive growth among emerging-market and developing economies. (Two exceptions were the 2008 global financial crisis and the 2020 pandemic-induced recession.)

The International Monetary Fund now projects that global GDP growth will slow from 6.1 percent in 2021 to 3.2 percent in 2022 and 2.9 percent in 2023. That is a momentous deceleration. But it still leaves world growth unlikely to meet a two-negative-quarters threshold. Even by laxer criteria like GDP growth below 2.5 percent, global recession is very far from inevitable.

Anne O. Krueger

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, people cut their spending. Although unemployment rose and supplies fell sharply due to pandemic containment measures, much of the potential income loss was offset by government policies. In the United States, it even paid to be unemployed.

The result was that personal savings shot up. When COVID-related restrictions were later relaxed, demand increased rapidly. Supply-chain disruptions, the time needed to restart production, and continuing worker shortages resulted in significantly slower supply responses.

In the US, that surge in demand at first greatly outweighed supply increases, leading to inflationary pressures. Although the Federal Reserve has responded, there is clearly still excess demand in the economy, and its continued tightening puts a damper on it.

The Fed’s balancing act is difficult: Some, but not too much, dampening of demand is warranted. At the same time, inventories (increases in which partly reflected stockpiling during supply shortages and will inevitably be run down) are beginning to accumulate and retail sales are losing some momentum.

Whether the Fed’s policy tightening will check demand growth just enough as supply increases will determine whether inflationary or recessionary pressures dominate in the US. If policymakers’ judgment is correct, the US could re-attain the Fed’s target inflation rate and satisfactory growth without falling into recession.

What happens in the rest of the global economy is even more uncertain.

The effects of the war in Ukraine and the related European energy shortfall, China’s economic slowdown, and the prospective debt difficulties of some developing economies and emerging markets are all currently unclear.

Whether the balance of risks is toward inflation, recession, or a smooth landing from current turbulence depends on unknowns such as the duration of the Ukraine war as well as the factors listed above. But a global recession is certainly not inevitable.

Jim O’Neill

In contrast to the common practice in Western economies, a global recession is not really defined as two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, because in many large emerging economies, such as India, such conditions rarely arise. Even if many Western economies are experiencing back-to-back quarters of negative growth, we can end up with a “global” recession in which world GDP growth averages around two percent.

Over the past 25 years, the US and China between them often have accounted for more than 80 percent of annual global GDP growth. So, if these two economies are both in their respective versions of recession, then that will virtually guarantee a global downturn. Given their current weaknesses and challenges, such a scenario is quite possible.

But I am less convinced of this than I probably was a few months ago. That is because there is creeping evidence that the inflationary surge has – at least so far – been transitory, with commodity prices easing and measures of long-term inflation expectations quite stable. If this continues, central banks will become less hawkish and will not have to weaken their economies further to stabilize prices.

All of this said, Russia’s unique influence on European natural gas prices means that a recession in Europe is quite likely without some major breakthrough in the war in Ukraine. Sadly, that currently does not look very probable.

Stephen S. Roach

Notwithstanding the pitfalls of forecasting anything these days, my cracked and worn crystal ball sees a global recession occurring in the next year.

For me, recession risk assessment has always been a two-step process: the stall-speed alert and the impacts of inevitable shocks. Economies – whether of single countries or the world as a whole – approaching the stall speed lack the resilience to withstand the blow of shocks.

For the global economy, the last five recessions have all occurred when world GDP growth fell below the 2.5 percent threshold. That represents a one-percentage-point shortfall from the post-1980 average of 3.5 percent. As such, when global growth falls into the 2.5 to 3.5 percent range, my rule is to sound a stall-speed alert. The lower half of that range, 2.5 to three percent, is especially ominous – a perfect predictor of global recession.

The last several forecast revisions in the IMF’s World Economic Outlook flash unmistakable signs of stall-speed alert. The Fund’s current global growth estimate for 2022 of 3.2 percent represents a stunning downward revision of 1.7 percentage points from its October 2021 assessment, and its latest estimate of 2.9 percent global growth for 2023 is in the lower half of the stall-speed danger zone.

More downward revisions are likely. The European economy – hit by energy shortages stemming from the Russo-Ukrainian war, higher inflation, and the European Central Bank’s monetary tightening – should lead the way.

The US economy is only just starting to feel the lagged effects of a far more restrictive shift in Fed policy. And the struggling Chinese economy, reeling from property-sector deleveraging and zero-COVID lockdowns, lacks the cushion that prevented global recessionary relapses during 2012-16.

Collectively, Europe, the US, and China make up about half of the world’s GDP on a purchasing-power-parity basis. With no other economy able to fill the void, I am afraid a global recession does indeed appear inevitable.

(Jeffrey Frankel, Professor of Capital Formation and Growth at Harvard University. Anne O. Krueger is a Senior Research Professor of International Economics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and Senior Fellow at the Center for International Development at Stanford University. Jim O’Neill is a member of the Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development. Stephen S. Roach is a faculty member at Yale University and former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia.)

Contributed by By Jeffrey Frankel, Anne O. Krueger, Jim O’Neill, and Stephen S. Roach

What are the West’s strategic goals in the Ukraine war?

The Ukraine war and the world’s reaction to it will be a decisive factor in shaping the global political and economic order in the decade ahead. In particular, the Western allies’ actions, narratives, and planning regarding both Russia and the role of the Global South in Ukraine’s postwar reconstruction will indicate what their long-term strategic goals are. Does the West simply want to see Russia defeated and NATO enlarged and strengthened, or can it envisage a “victory” in Ukraine that lays the foundations for a world in which democracy is more secure and global governance more inclusive and effective?

While the outcome of the fighting remains uncertain, the West’s strategic aims, particularly how it intends to treat Russia in the event that Ukraine prevails will have huge consequences. The big question is whether the allies will seek to punish Russia as a whole by imposing severe reparations or instead target President Vladimir Putin’s autocratic regime in a way that limits the burdens imposed on the Russian people.

At the beginning of the war, the Western allies emphasized that defending the United Nations Charter and democracy were their primary objectives. In late spring, some US strategists and officials advocated permanently weakening Russia as a strategic goal, although it is not clear whether this would still be an objective in the event of regime change in Russia.

While any overall settlement of the Ukraine conflict must require Russia to bear some part of the reconstruction burden resulting from a war that it started, the severity of the terms imposed on the Russian people will have political ramifications. The harsher the terms, the more likely it will be that Russia embraces China even more closely, so that a tight Sino-Russian bloc becomes part of the postwar geopolitical order.

The effect of such an alliance should not be underestimated. While China would be the bloc’s center of gravity, Russia’s relatively small GDP (which is less than that of Italy) should not lead one to dismiss the country’s scientific capabilities, the size of its nuclear arsenal, its natural-resource wealth, and the strategic importance of its vast territory.

 By pursuing measures that treat the Russian people differently than Putin and his autocracy, the world’s democracies might hope to prevent a long-term outcome in which Russia would be “lost” to them. Banning all Russians from entering the European Union, as some policymakers now propose, is the type of measure that will push the country toward China. And misleadingly dividing the world into democracies and autocracies comes from the same ineffective, polarizing playbook. When dealing with dictatorships like Putin’s, a key element of any successful diplomatic strategy is to distinguish between political leaders and ordinary citizens.

True, Russia’s veto power in the UN Security Council made it impossible for the UN to play a coordinating role in countering Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. But the Western allies that assumed that task made little effort to consult the Global South in their decision-making, or to involve it in the postwar planning process.

It is of course also true that much of the Global South abstained from voting on the two major UN General Assembly resolutions condemning Russia in March. But the West should have recognized that developing countries’ response to the war reflected old and deep-seated reflexes – namely, the bitter collective memory of European colonialism and recollections of the Soviet Union’s support for many of these countries during the struggle for independence.

 Moreover, the Lugano conference organized by the Western allies in early July to launch a platform for Ukraine’s reconstruction did not include any countries from the Global South. One could argue that this was primarily a donors’ meeting, but it excluded rich Gulf States and included countries such as Albania and North Macedonia, neither of which is likely to be able to contribute.

Rebuilding Ukraine will require hundreds of billions of dollars. This effort thus risks diverting substantial aid from the Global South, which is still trying to get rich countries to fulfill their longstanding pledge to provide USD 100 billion per year to support climate-change mitigation and adaptation in poorer countries. It will also be interesting to see the extent to which the procurement rules for reconstruction projects in Ukraine will allow non-donor developing countries to bid effectively.

 But it may not be too late for the West to involve the Global South – particularly countries like India and South Africa, which have good technical capacities in certain sectors – in Ukraine’s reconstruction. The West should also include developing countries in setting the rules regarding possible remaining sanctions against Russia after the first phase of a settlement, as well as the regulations governing frozen Russian assets.

In the event that Ukraine prevails, the West’s treatment of Russia and its stance toward the Global South during Ukraine’s reconstruction will determine whether the war’s outcome serves as the launch-pad for global progress toward a more inclusive and equitable multilateralism. In the worst case, the West will have achieved a pyrrhic victory that ends up strengthening autocracy and further deepening global divisions.

(Kemal Derviş is a former minister of economic affairs of Turkey and administrator for the United Nations Development Program, and is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.)

Contributed by Kemal Derviş

Warming up for a renewed military showdown

 Since its inception and gradual elevation to a formidable force in Ethiopia, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has been defined by relentless greed for territorial aggrandizement and mounting military adventurism, posing a perpetual threat to peace and stability in the country’s Northern Region.

The group was formed, born, and raised in the jungle, with a stubborn and militaristic mindset from the outset. At a critical juncture in our recovery from the wounds we have received and the destruction of livelihoods caused by previous confrontations, the TPLF’s renewed appetite for another lethal and catastrophic assault in the nation’s northern region for a third round is becoming unbearable in light of widely acclaimed peace efforts expected to materialize between the Federal Government and its outright foe.

The renegade leadership of the group has vowed to attack the Amhara Region on many fronts once more in an unprecedented effort to regain the Wolkait-Tsegede and Setit-Humera territories previously taken in the initial phase of the “law-enforcement operation” initiated by the Federal Government in November 2020. This is because it cannot, by its very nature, afford to survive more than a day or two without inciting hostilities.

Despite being driven out of its key strongholds by the assault, it has been planning a third-round invasion of surrounding territories regardless of peace agreements on the table since the humanitarian truce was agreed with the Federal Government on March 24, 2022.

Surprisingly, the federal administration has made it very apparent to both friends and opponents in the international community that it wishes to negotiate peace with the group at any time and in any location, with no preconditions.

This has been unveiled first by Redawan Husein (Amb.), national security advisor to the Prime Minister, and complemented by Billene Seyoum, press secretary, to mention a few.

However, in exchange for this modest gesture, the TPLF insists on the restoration of banking, telecommunications, and electricity services in Tigray, as well as the restoration of Tigrayan dominance over the Wolkait-Tsegedie, also known as “Western Tigray.”

Among the demands were also for the Tigrayan Defense Force (TDF) to be preserved; humanitarian supplies such as food, medicine, fertilizers, and fuel be delivered to the region both by air and land; and those who might have committed international crimes in the conflict be promptly and impartially investigated, prosecuted, and brought to justice before any sort of dialogue takes place at all.

What a big impediment to the chance of peace!

For its part, the Federal Government maintains that a large consignment of humanitarian aid, as well as a large sum of money and fuel, has already been transported and is still being transferred into the war-torn and starved region in a more organized and accelerated manner than ever before, with the assistance and collaboration of donor nations and other international aid agencies.

As a result, “no negotiations may begin as contemplated so long as a proper ceasefire agreement has not been validly signed between the two belligerents, let alone the anticipated resumption of essential services,” reiterate Ethiopian Federal Government authorities at various levels.

They have called on the European Union and American brokers, ostensibly operating on behalf of the African Union Commission, to apply extraordinary pressure on the rogue group to modify its hard stance in favor of permanent and true peace.

Demeke Mekonnen, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, is the latest political heavyweight to emphasize the government’s steadfast commitment to a negotiated settlement.

While addressing the cultural communities gathered in Sekota for the Shaday celebrations on August 21, 2022, Demeke could not help but strongly urge the TPLF to evacuate the remaining Woredas and Kebeles in the Amhara Region or risk punitive action.

He urged the group to lay down their arms in order to avoid another fatal struggle with tragic consequences. Nonetheless, the group threatens to put the Federal Government to the test with another invasion.

In that situation, Ethiopia’s unilaterally exerted persuasive diplomacy does not appear to have worked fairly enough in the aftermath of the TPLF’s bad faith towards the entire initiative, which should have been supported totally in the wider interest of regional peace and stability.

Giving peace a longer opportunity, without a doubt, harms no one’s interests. By any standard, it is worthwhile to strive for.

Contributed by Merhatsidk Mekonnen Abayneh

How can Africans have a stronger voice at the UN?

The United Nations General Assembly is going to be held in September in New York, the United States. Both state and non-state entities participate in this significant multilateralism ceremony. This worldwide gathering is expected to resolve or address the majority of the development bottlenecks in multilateral initiatives in developing countries, particularly in Africa.

The event’s theme this year is “Gender equality now for a sustainable tomorrow.” Climate change, environmental protection, and disaster risk reduction are significant challenges in the twenty-first century, and ensuring gender equality in these areas by 2022 is critical.

The significance and importance of Africa’s unique connection with the United Nations should be examined and investigated further. The two most significant themes that should be stressed in all debates at various levels are “development and security.”

I believe the 17 “sustainable development goals (SDG)” may be summed up in two words: development and security. The SDG agenda is most likely to be realized through multilateral negotiations between developed and developing countries.

Since these issues are widespread across Africa, a solution may only be found if Africans can unite under a single voice.

Development

Africa and the UN must emphasize food security as a development concern, which can only be accomplished by embracing the technological revolution. One of the key causes of instability is a lack of access to and scarcity of food.

Fundamentally, securing the attainment of such a critical goal entails assuring complete beneficiary engagement. Notably, the implementation of the socioeconomic development plan from the bottom up and top down is critical.

The method must be inclusive, taking indigenous knowledge systems into account. Aid from the UN or wealthy countries should not be based on the donor’s or recipient’s perspectives but rather on a shared priority for both parties.

The feasibility of such big undertakings in Africa should lead to ownership of the continent’s development and security goals. Access to cash, significant debt, shortage of agricultural inputs, instability, implementation, and inadequate governance are the key impediments to Africa in order to achieve its sustainable development goals.

At the heart of these concerns is the urgent need to modernize and mechanize agricultural processes that are currently labor-intensive and subsistence-based. There are more elements to consider, in addition to the obvious truths of poverty, insecurity, and climate change, which is compounded by deserts and deforestation.

The UN and donor countries can then provide financial and technical assistance. With a feeling of responsibility and perseverance, all stakeholders can participate in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the results.

As we have seen, research-based development concepts demonstrate that any development should be local and environmentally friendly. This must take into account all African development measures, notably those related to agriculture.

The UN General Assembly offers recommendations to governments on international issues that fall under its purview, including the review of SDG implementation plans. Furthermore, it has intervened across all UN pillars, including political, economic, humanitarian, social, and legal issues.

As a result, Africa should actively participate and advocate for a reconsideration of the SDGs in light of their shortcomings.

Security

How can the UN Security Council and the peace architecture be modified to be more inclusive, particularly of Africa’s 1.3 billion people?

The reform of the UNSC will assist Africans, who have suffered unfair treatment for decades. The possible consideration will also help to restart the collaboration in a positive way.

This claim is supported by two major arguments.

The only major region without a permanent seat at the UN is Africa, which is home to more than a quarter of the world’s governments. The loss of Africa’s veto power in the UNSC demonstrates the UN’s level of injustice. Second, the vast bulk of UN peacekeeping missions are situated in Africa.

There is clearly an urgent need to increase African representation on the UNSC, and Africans’ full participation in decision-making cannot be compromised.

The UN and other world countries will undoubtedly support an African seat on the Security Council. The African Union (AU) and the African states that it represents must also take the lead in the struggle for the seat.

I am optimistic that the AU will not make a historical blunder by proposing or supporting a single nation for membership. The pursuit of an African representative on the Council is unavoidable.

Given the vacuum in Africa, the dominant nation may adopt a variety of techniques to divide Africans. For this reason, the political elite should actively contribute to overcoming the current isolation from the global power struggle in order to avoid such drama and complexity.

Every two years, the AU Assembly of Heads of State meets to establish priorities and submit a cohesive agenda to the UNGA. A rotating country delegation must also be included in the strategy to represent the African agenda at the UN. The implementation of decisions and accords, in particular, is necessary to support the development and security agenda.

Africa and the UN must transform their relationship from one of disillusionment to one of productive partnership.

The method will help Africa be heard more clearly, avoiding a dispersed and discordant voice. Similarly, we must question why 55 African countries send delegates to the Assembly in New York every year rather than speaking with one voice.

Why is a scarce resource supplied by taxpayers being wastefully squandered? The spectacle must be limited, and Africa must exhibit a sense of duty and obligation not only to the UN but also to the electorate. While Africa is home to millions of people living in poverty, it should rigorously evaluate the use of taxpayer cash.

Finally, the prospect of cooperation between Africa and the UN is an issue that needs to be revisited on a regular basis in order to break the cycle of poverty and insecurity.

By 2030, Africa should aspire to stop receiving food aid from USAID, JICA, KOICA, the EU, and other donor countries. Africa must establish an agreement and make a firm commitment.

As long as food aid exists, it will continue to degrade our lives and keep us in a lower evolutionary stage. Remember, if Africa continues to be used as a dumping ground for “food aid,” we will never be able to restore our pride or properly utilize our natural and human resources.

(Seife Tadelle Kidane is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Johannesburg’s Institute of Pan African Thought and Conversation.)

Sugar coating

I usually emphasize that the beauty of your home is not just about the house itself, but also about the entire neighborhood. In several places in Addis, I see finely built houses, ground plus ones, twos, and more, that appear out of place in the neighborhood.

The moment you step away from the houses, the next thing you see is a reminder of the country’s true and widespread living conditions. It is impossible to avoid the sight of poverty. In fact, the view from your residence may primarily consist of people living in deplorable conditions.

So I’d rather live in a modest house in a neighborhood with modest living conditions than in a grand house with considerably worse living conditions than mine.

I feel guilty and ashamed for enjoying a reasonably “luxurious” existence in the midst of individuals who are financially disadvantaged and cannot afford even the most basic needs like food and shelter.

There is no location in Addis, and indeed throughout Ethiopia, where people can live without observing the pain and deprivation that many of our residents face on a daily basis. It makes no difference if you live in the most expensive housing estate in the capital city.

The instant you leave your house and area, the harsh truth sets in.

Have you observed an increase in the number of beggars on the streets of the capital? Or have I become more sensitive to seeing them as I’ve gotten older?

I believe we have reached a stage where we cannot escape observing the increasing prevalence of poverty in the city and the country as a whole, whether we commute in private cars, public transportation, or by foot.

At traffic stops, the number of beggars is unusually high. At every stoplight in the city, there is a swarm of beggars surrounding cars. Women with children, in particular, are the most difficult to observe. Especially the little children hanging on their backs, and even toddlers who should have been under the watchful supervision of their parents.

It breaks my heart to watch those little kids with their feet dangling under the blanket on their mothers’ backs. What did they do to earn this treatment?

And for those of us who are lucky enough to enjoy a relatively “good” existence, seeing the agony of others living on the streets dims our enthusiasm for life.

Teenagers who should have been in school are addicted to drugs, and watching them run about aimlessly on the streets is heartbreaking.

Can we blame them for abusing substances?

I am curious if those in authority see these people as they race around the city in their gleaming black four-wheelers and automobiles. And I am curious about what they think if they see them. I am curious if it’s painful for them to witness that.

I wonder if they see their obligations in whatever sorrow exists in the city and throughout the country, or if they want to avoid responsibility by blaming others.

It’s no surprise that foreign high-level officials visiting the city and country are forced to enter the metropolis at breakneck speed!

They are not exposed to the gloomy realities of our country and are only exposed to the city’s high-rise buildings and well-lit streets, which by no means represent even 0.1 percent of the country.

In fact, I wonder if those high-ranking officials from wealthy countries, as well as those from impoverished countries like ours, believe the sugar coating in this country.

Subex instils a Hypersense for Digital Trust in Ethio Telecom

Ethiopian flagship telecom operator, ethio telecom has appointed Subex to protect it with Hypersense, a form of artificial intelligence (AI) that fights fraud by tracking the Digital Trust rating of each of its 50 million subscribers.

The telecom operator for Ethiopia has recently launched a pre-commercial 5G network and wants to sustain its market leadership by providing high-quality and inventive offerings, it says.

Subex’s artificially intelligent hypersenses tackles multiple devious devices such as SIM Boxes, Spoofs and SMS. They can spot fraudulent activity within roaming, subscriptions and handset usage. It can quickly size up mobile money and credit management risks and will provide revenue assurance and fraud management. It should also lower the telecoms running costs and shrink its carbon footprint, said Roddam. 

(Mobile Europe)

Ethiopia’s creditors recommit to debt relief

A group of creditor nations on Wednesday recommitted to granting cash-strapped Ethiopia debt relief in the face of glacial progress.

Ethiopia requested debt relief from its creditor governments in early 2021 under a new G20 framework for debt restructurings, but progress has been complicated by a 21-month civil war that began in the northern Tigray region.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the creditor committee said that members had discussed the latest macroeconomic developments at its most recent meeting on July 19.

“The creditor committee for Ethiopia will pursue its work to find an appropriate solution to external debt vulnerabilities of Ethiopia, in a timely, orderly and coordinated manner,” the committee said.

Ethiopia’s Finance Ministry said in a statement it appreciated the IMF’s engagement and that it had shared all the relevant data about its debt stock and its strategy for managing its debt over the long term in four meetings with the creditor committee.

“The Government of Ethiopia thanks the Creditor Committee for their commitment and looks forward to an expeditious conclusion of the debt treatment discussion,” it added.

(Reuters)

Ethiopia-Djibouti railway starts vehicle shipment

The Chinese-built Ethiopia-Djibouti railway on Thursday started vehicle shipment from ports in Djibouti to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.

The first vehicle shipment arrived at the Indode Freight Station on the outskirts of Addis Ababa. A special ceremony was held at the station to mark the arrival of the first shipment.

Abdi Zenebe, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Ethiopia-Djibouti Railway Share Company (EDR), lauded the move, emphasizing that it will help realize the major aspirations of the railway in terms of facilitating Ethiopia’s transportation system.

The 752 km Ethiopia-Djibouti standard gauge railway, also known as the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway, contracted by China Rail Engineering Corporation (CREC) and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), is the first trans-boundary railway on the African continent.

As the Ethiopia-Djibouti electrified railway significantly improves the freight market, EDR said the railway is enriching its services toward realizing the two countries’ ambition of building an industrial and economic belt driving the economic and social development of the two countries.

(people’s daily online)

Ethiopian Airlines advances customer functionalities with CHAMP Technologies

Ethiopian Airlines, a CHAMP customer for 30 years, extended its partnership agreement with the cargo IT solutions provider for an additional five years.

Under the agreement, Ethiopian will continue to benefit from its use of the acclaimed Cargospot suite of applications to manage the airline’s day-to-day sales and commercial activities and to support its Addis Ababa hub handling operation. Addis Ababa cargo terminal is Africa’s largest and most advanced and automated cargo terminal.

In addition to the Cargospot suite, Ethiopian will continue to operate other CHAMP solutions to manage its business, including ULD Manager – to control the airline’s ULD assets, Weight & Balance – to ensure safe and efficient load planning of the airline’s large and growing fleet of freighter aircraft.

By extending the relationship with CHAMP, Ethiopian Airlines will benefit from a range of new services and IT opportunities, including CHAMP’s end-to-end air mail solution and Cargo spot Portal, to supplement Ethiopian’s excellent track-and-trace application.

(breaking travel news)

Horn in Brief

Somali forces end hotel attack by Islamic extremists with 21 dead, 117 hurt

Somali authorities yesterday ended an attack by Islamic extremists that left 21 people dead and over 110 wounded when gunmen stormed a hotel in the capital, Mogadishu.

It took Somali forces more than 30 hours to contain the fighters who had stormed the Hayat Hotel on Friday evening in an assault that started with loud explosions. The attack is the first major terror attack in Mogadishu since Somalia’s new leader, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, took over in May.

The siege ended around midnight, police commissioner Abdi Hassan Hijar told reporters. “During the attack, the security forces rescued many civilians trapped in the hotel, including women and children.”

Health Minister Ali Haji Adam reported 21 deaths and 117 people wounded, with at least 15 in critical condition. He noted that some victims may not have been brought to hospitals.

The Islamic extremist group al-Shabab, which has ties with al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack, the latest of its frequent attempts to strike places visited by government officials.

(NZME)

First US envoy to Sudan in 25 years arrives in Khartoum

The first US ambassador to Sudan in nearly a quarter a century has arrived in Khartoum to take up his post.

John Godfrey landed in the Sudanese capital on Wednesday, the local US embassy said in a statement, marking the end of more than two decades of under-representation of Washington DC in the eastern Africa nation.

In 1993, the US listed Sudan as an official sponsor of terrorism, accusing Khartoum of supporting al-Qaeda, whose founder Osama bin Laden lived on its soil from 1992 to 1996. In December 2019, Washington announced its intention to raise its diplomatic representation with Khartoum to the level of ambassador.

In May 2020, Sudan appointed Nureldin Satti as its first ambassador to the US in 23 years, with Washington removing Khartoum from the list of sponsors of terrorism in December the same year.

His deployment could imply Washington is not going back on its improved ties with Khartoum. He arrives at a time Sudan is facing a transition challenge, meant to ensure it resumes civilian leadership, and rectifies its crippled economy and one which needs to convince armed groups to down their weapons.

(The East African)  

Expensive fuel adds Sh6 billion to Kenya Airways loss

Expensive fuel propelled Kenya Airways’ losses in the first half of this year by nearly three times, exposing the risk side of the airline’s decision not to hedge jet fuel.

KQ said its pre-tax loss of Sh9.86 billion for the first half would have been a narrower Sh3.32 billion at last year’s fuel prices.

Stressing the fuel cost factor, Allan Kilavuka, KQ’s managing director said, “Our loss for the half year would have been Sh3.3 billion. That is comparable to probably our best year in 2018.”

In June alone, he added, KQ’s fuel prices had increased by 200 percent compared to a similar month last year. It is feared the trend will continue in the coming months.

Fuel constitutes 20 percent of the airline’s costs and KQ said it has not had any fuel hedge positions this year. The war in Ukraine, over the last six months, has caused a significant increase in fuel prices, having caught the carrier off-guard.

(Nation)

Uganda central bank raises lending rate again to 9%

Bank of Uganda has said it might be forced in the near term to further tighten the monetary stance if inflationary pressures continue.

This, Bank of Uganda Deputy Governor Michael Atingi-Ego, said is the only way through which they will reverse inflation to the five percent target.

“Going forward, [we] consider that the monetary policy will have to be tightened even further if inflationary pressures persist to ensure that inflation reverts to its medium-term target of five percent,” Atingi-Ego said in a statement at the weekend.

The Bank of Uganda at the weekend also noted that it had increased the Central Bank Rate to nine percent.

This is the third month the Bank of Uganda is increasing the Central Bank Rate as the economy continues to face a strong cost-push inflation pressures from the external environment, dry weather conditions and exchange rate depreciations amid weak domestic demand.

Headline inflation has been rising, which measure charges in the cost of living, increasing to 7.9 percent in July from 6.8 percent in June.

(Monitor)

Election Board rules out Federation’s decision to hold referendum for 12th region within three-month deadline

 
The National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) rules out the decision of the House of Federation (HoF) to hold a referendum for the creation of Ethiopia’s 12th region.
 
Justfying its decision, the Board, in a statement released today, cited its establishment proclamation and the constitution that gave it independence to make a decision on setting a timeline for election and referendum.
 
“After assessing the security situation, setting up poll centers, recruiting election officers and giving a permit to civil society organizations, we will announce the timeline for the referendum,” said the Board.
 
Chaired by Birtukan Midekssa, the Board released the statement just a week after it approved a resolution to hold a referendum for the creation of a new region in the southern part of Ethiopia.
 
The approval came after the councils of six zones and five woredas that are currently under the Southern region filed a petition for the formation of a new region.
 
Ethiopia is a federal state with 11 autonomous regions. The latest to join the federation is South West Region, which is created by five zones and one special woreda through referendum.

Worku Aytenew to build $1 bln worth cement plant

It will have the capacity to produce 12,000 tons of cement daily

One of Ethiopia’s wealthiest investors, Worku Ayetenew begins a process to build a cement plant with an investment capital of USD one billion. This will be the biggest investment he has ever made, next to the five billion birr edible oil plant he inaugurated last year, with his latest venture being in Ahadu Bank.

Worku is the latest to join the lucrative cement market, with renowned tycoons, Buzuayehu T. Bizenu, owner of National Cement, and Al Amoudi, major shareholder of Derba Cement, staying in the business for over a decade. Another businessman, Getu Gelete, recently purchased a 40 percent stake in Habesha Cement from Pretoria Portland Cement Factory Ltd.

The cement market has also attracted the attention of global investors after the government opened the sector to foreign competition with an investment regulation approved two years ago. National Cement collaborated with a Chinese company to establish a USD 2.5 billion cement plant in Ensaro, Amhara Regional State.

Worku is also seeking a partner for the new cement factory, while he has already requested to lease 150 hectares of land for the construction of the plant, which is located around Dejene town, Amhara Regional State, 230 km away from the capital.

“We have already finalized preparations to complete the construction in the next two years,” said Kassim Siraj, project manager of the plant, which will be called W.A Cement Factory.

Six companies have already been shortlisted by the company to pick suppliers for the design, supply, construction, erection, and commissioning of the plant.

WA is the fourth cement factory that is expected to join the industry in the coming two years, after Abbay, Berenta and Lemi, the joint venture projects of National Cement.

Currently, there are 13 cement companies that are operational, with an installed capacity of 15.4 million tons. However, their actual capacity is only 6.3 million tons, which is an outcome of an aging machinery and lack of maintenance, among others.

Officials expect that companies in the pipeline will narrow the current demand-supply gap, while existing factories will use at least 85 percent of their installed capacity on average.