Feature Article
The Commemoration of Meskel
Sep 26, 2023 4361
BY SOLOMON DIBABA The Ethiopian New Year comes up with various religious and cultural celebrations which are marked indoors among families and outdoors with the entire public in mammoth paraphernalia. Meskel, the holiday celebrated in commemoration of the unearthing of the True Cross is celebrated with the building of Demera bonfire. This year Meskel is celebrated in Ethiopia even when two more tangible Ethiopian heritages, the Bale Mountain National Park and Gedeo Natural landscape have been inscribed as world tangible heritages. Ethiopia has registered 15 tangible and intangible world heritages becoming the top country in Africa in registering the heritages. Meskel, meaning the cross in Amharic is an annual religious national holiday among the faithful of Ethiopian Orthodox Church. It takes place on the 27th of September. In addition to its religious values, Meskel coincides with the end of the main rainy season (June to September) and the onset of Ethiopian spring in which fields and meadows in the country are carpeted with mesmerizing Ethiopian daisies, locally known as Adey Abeba, with their captivating yellow colors which majestically carpet the Ethiopian fields. The daisies prevail September until a few weeks of October and then disappear and reappears same period the following year. The commemoration of Meskel started with Demera, a ceremonial burning of a large bonfire. It is a special event that is conducted on the Eve of Meskel to recall the smoke that led Empress Helena to the site of the True Cross. In the afternoon of September 27, dozens of Sunday school students and members of the clergy and move through Meskel Square chanting spiritual songs that last for hours. Hundreds of thousands of people from diverse communities also flock to the square in Addis Ababa as colorfully dressed priests chant hymns and prayers and perform their unique rhythmic dance in front of the pyre. At the climax, the patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church lights the bonfire. According to the teaching of the church, the True Cross, was thrown in a ditch or well, and then covered with pile of dirt and earth for many years until Empress Helena, mother of Constantine, guided by revelation identified the place where the cross of Jesus had been buried. Accordingly, Empress Helena was told to build a bonfire, light it and discover the cross that had been buried. She ordered the people of Jerusalem to bring wood and make a huge bonfire. After adding frankincense, the bonfire was set ablaze. Then, the smoke raised high up to the sky and then bended to the ground, spotting exactly where the True Cross had been buried. As darkness begins to set in, the Demera is set ablaze, declaring joyful jubilation and ululation. The following day is the official day of the commemoration of the finding of the True Cross, Ethiopians attend liturgy and a feast and celebrate with family and friends. Many take the ash from the Demera and apply it on their foreheads with a shape of a cross. It is also an occasion when many urbanites, for example, the Gurage people pay a visit to their families in rural villages to mark the holiday together. The Demera festival of the Meskel holiday, dates back to 1600 years. It has been registered as world intangible heritage by UNESCO since December 2013, as the first intangible Ethiopian heritage. During the festival, a special species of birds known as ‘YeMeskel Wof -Meskel’s Bird’ also appears. Generally, the word 'YeMeskel Wof' is used to call the four bird species, namely the northern red bishops, indigo-birds, whydah and widow birds, and yet it has more than ten species under it. These birds are also enjoyed by bird watchers during Meskel. These birds are endemic to Ethiopia, and do not migrate from one place to another as other birds do. September is their reproduction season and the color of their feathers gets changed in order to attract opposite sexes. Due to this change, it looks that they are new birds that appear only at this time of the year. Meskel is a major tourist season in Ethiopia. Thousands of tourists from many countries converge in Ethiopia to enjoy the festival. Tourists particularly enjoy Meskel celebration in Addis Ababa. The True Cross is said to have been brought to Ethiopia and is kept at Amba Gishen, which itself has a shape of cross.  
Quality Legal Education for Promotion of Justice in Ethiopia
Sep 24, 2023 3606
BY SOLOMON DIBABA The Addis Ababa University School Law commemorated its Alumnae Convention and 60th Anniversary of its founding in the presence of government higher officials from the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme Court and various institutions on the 23rd of September 2023. Established on 23rd September 1963, Addis Ababa University school of Law is the oldest law school in Ethiopia, pioneering in legal education in both undergraduate and graduate levels. The Law School was established with a mission to produce competent, ethical and responsible profession who can actively contribute towards the prevalence of the rule of law, equality, human rights, democracy, social justice, tolerance and development. The basis for the establishment of the Faculty of Law was laid down by the momentous decision to codify the laws of Ethiopia gave rise to the need of trained lawyers who could understand, interpret, and apply them.   Speaking on the convocation of the former Haile Selassie I University in 1961, the late Emperor Haile Selassie said, “We would ask for the immediate founding of a Faculty of law where our own students may be trained to enter the legal profession. Our empire has need, its government and its commerce for well-educated lawyers and particularly for those who have been trained in their own university, in their own codes and customs.”   The author of this article recalls that the completion of the codification of the laws of the country from 1951-1952 and the consequent issuance of the 1954 Revised Constitution backed up the establishment of such a school for training qualified legal experts. The writer notes that for 40 years out of 60 Addis Ababa University Faculty of Law was the only higher institute for training legal professionals in the country.   Over the last several decades the Law School was engaged in its flagship publication, Journal of Ethiopian Law. Nonetheless, the School was also publishing thematic research publications including Ethiopian Constitutional and Public Law, Ethiopian Civil and Commercial Law series and international law research papers on major contemporary local and global policy and legal issues are debated on regular annual conferences.   As part of its legal social services, the School is running 6 legal aid centers to provide general free legal services to local community members. Out of the 6 one center is reportedly dedicated to providing free legal services for refugees and asylum seekers.   Addis Ababa University School of Law Library established in 1964 boasts one of the finest collections of over 30,000 periodicals, reference books, over 10,000 e-books on law journals and dissertations. To date, the School of Law has graduated more than 6000 highly skilled legal professions who are currently serving in various government institutions.   Over the last several years the author recalls that members of the Law School have been participating in the legal reform programs the government undertaken. The professionals and scholars of the Law School are also networking with Justice and Legal Systems Institute. As stated by several speakers on the occasion, the author is of the opinion that the administrative autonomy granted to the Addis Ababa University could be exploited by the School of Law to further promote the prevalence of quality and practical legal education in the university.   The celebration of the 60th anniversary of the School of Law is of significant importance at a time when Addis Ababa University granted its autonomy very recently. The autonomy status is also crucial in accelerating the growth and development of the school in its aspiration to become a preeminent center of excellence for legal education and scholarship in the changing global, regional and national order, he noted.   The Addis Ababa University Law School can also serve as a unique center for the improvement of legal education in other public universities across the country by establishing projects that are geared towards building the capacity of the legal schools in these universities.   The Law School can assist in developing some kind of public legal education program in cooperation with CSOs and professional associations in the country. This is important because a huge gap is being observed in public adherence to the rule of law, conception of their constitutional rights and obligations as citizens.   The Law School provides lectures and seminars in English and new students are on several occasions challenged by their inability to comprehend legal concepts in their proper context. The author holds the opinion that legalistic English needs to be taught as a full course particularly for under graduate students who may also need extensive tutorial classes. This could be supplemented with practical knowledge with orientations on the practical legal technical application of the laws of the country at the various levels of courts of law.   The author would also like to stress on the growing significance of conducting researches on important legal issues pertaining to the protection of the environment, natural resources of the country, cyber-attacks, computer crimes and other crimes related to the modernization of the socio-economic development of the country.    
Ituu Tribe of Ethiopia: Culture and Social Values
Sep 14, 2023 4462
BY BIZUAYEHU BOGALE The Ituu tribe in Ethiopia is a pastoralist community in West Hararge Zone of Oromia with tantalizing culture and social values. Let me take you for an imaginary trek to the Ituu tribe which is one of the tribes in Western Harergie Zone of Oromia region with the most exotic cultures and social values. The Ituu are predominately pastoralists who roam from place to place in search of better pasture and water for their cattle. They are akin to the Kereyu tribes of Oromia region who live in the Upper Awash Valley of the Great Rift Valley which bisects the Eastern and southern part of Ethiopia. The fact that the Ituu live in the adjacent neighboring areas of Gumbi Bordede and Anchar districts sharing common border around Awash River have made them one of the stronger tribes in the area. Nowadays, Ituu whose livelihood is dependent on livestock rearing are mostly settled in Anchar,Gumbi Bordede and Oda bultum districts of West Hararge Zone at the Eastern flank of Ethiopia. Ituu households who own caravans of camels, cattle and goats are well respected and revered by the members the community and are regarded as local officials. As part of protecting the rights of poor pastoralists with few herds of cattle, and to ensure that they do not feel inferior or demoralized in the face of horde of livestock from well to do families, their cattle are made to graze together with those owned by rich families. In the seasons of food stress, they spend bad days together by lending each other cows for milk with their calves. On the other hand, Ituu are known for their massive gofere (long curly hair soaked in butter). Their traditional dresses also make them unique. They dress like hunters, a turban underneath, a white cotton "gabi" on top and fasten traditional short swords with sharp edges known locally as giles on their waists. During the wedding, the groom gives cattle as dowry. After marriage ceremony; parents, brothers, uncles and other kith and kin of the groom give him cattle as gifts. On her wedding day, the bride gets a thin stick called Sinke as a special gift from her family. It symbolizes that “the bride has become worthy and respected woman who can manage her home". When we come to their food habit, a porridge made of barley is a special dish for the guest of honor and camel milk is served with porridge for drinking.
Some of Major Successes in Ending Ethiopian Year
Sep 12, 2023 6577
By Henok Tadele Haile As Ethiopians enter 2016 on September 12th, the ending year marked pivotal moments of progress for the country. After a difficult previous year, major successes were achieved in the year 2015, including wheat self-sufficiency, the Pretoria peace agreement, revived diplomacy, BRICS membership, and the successful completion of the fourth filling GERD. Wheat Self-Sufficiency For decades, Ethiopia imported millions of quintals of wheat costing millions of dollars annually. According to Ministry of Agriculture, Ethiopia used to import 17 million quintals of wheat every year, earmarking more than 700 million USD to meet its citizens' basic bread consumption. Thanks to the Prime Minister's Wheat Initiative, this chapter has been closed. The initiative helped the country achieve record harvests this year, exceeding domestic needs. Currently, wheat production has been showing a surplus of 32 million quintal from the country's domestic consumption. As a result of this achievement, the nation has become wheat exporter, shifting from being wheat recipient through its relentless efforts of wheat production. Over 108 million quintals were produced during the main rainy season, with 45 million more expected through irrigation. This bumper crop marks the largest wheat harvest since the initiative began, expanding production into new areas and boosting yields. Historic Peace Agreement The Pretoria peace deal between the Ethiopian government and TPLF concluded over two years of conflict by restoring respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. By ending divisions, the agreement presented opportunities to rebuild the economy and investor confidence. Renewed stability can attract foreign capital as Ethiopia re-emerges as a promising investment destination. Through the peace agreement, Ethiopia has demonstrated its capability of resolving conflict peacefully. The African Union played a historic role in soliciting and coordinating a viable solution for the conflict after laboring for almost a year to design a permanent agreement that was duly agreed and accepted not only by the signatories but also by all international peace loving countries and global institutions. The Pretoria peace deal has also been described by many as “a Model for Africa,” and a clear indication that the continent's principle of solving its own problems is yielding results. The deal sparked a revival of Ethiopia's global diplomatic standing after strained relations during the conflict. High-level delegations of various countries from across the globe visited Ethiopia to reaffirm support. Alongside political reconciliation, Ethiopia pursued economic diplomacy to attract investment and aid for national rebuilding. The signing of the peace agreement has demonstrated Ethiopia’s irreversible stand for peace in the country and the Horn of Africa, where some influential political figures in Africa have started urging Ethiopia to step up its usual positive role for the cause of Africa both in the sub-region and in the entire continent. Investment activities have also been greatly stimulating. Invest Ethiopia 2023 International Investment Forum held from April 26 to 28 here in Addis Ababa was a big achievement in this regard. The forum has attracted more than 2 billion USD in FDI for 2023. Ethiopia has now become a major investment destination in Africa primarily because of the comparative advantage the country is providing. This includes, among other things, lucrative investment climate, growing economy, excellent climate and fertile soil, young and trainable labor force, access to global markets, improved economic infrastructure, competitive incentive package and government commitment. BRICS Membership In a milestone for prominence, Ethiopia was welcomed as the newest BRICS member at the bloc's Johannesburg summit. BRICS endorsed Ethiopia's strategic location, large population, and infrastructure vision as credentials worthy of membership. The announcement of 2023 BRICS Summit in Johannesburg to embrace Ethiopia as its member was phenomenal to the country. Ethiopia was warmly welcomed into the steadily expanding bloc, (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). This monumental event signals a coming of age for Africa's second most populous nation on the global stage. Ethiopia's BRICS membership heralds a new era brimming with potential. BRICS membership signifies growing recognition of Ethiopia's immense economic and political potential. With over 120 million people and massive growth in recent years, Ethiopia offers a strategic gateway between Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed hailed this "victory achieved through many struggles," thanking BRICS countries for their staunch support. He underscored how the bloc will empower South-South cooperation and reformed multilateralism. Abiy also articulated Ethiopia's strengths, from its young, dynamic workforce to intensive infrastructure development enhancing regional connectivity. For Ethiopia, joining BRICS can catalyze technology transfers, market access, and financing for impactful projects. While challenges remain, the prime minister stressed that in an interdependent world, collectivity is essential to solve shared problems. By leveraging its new BRICS membership, Ethiopia is poised to deliver prosperity for its people and assume a leadership role on the global stage. This opportunity can bring vast investment, trade, and financing if reforms are undertaken. Ethiopia's addition cements its position as a rising African power. Successful Filling of GERD Prime minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed announced at the end of this year successful filling of fourth and final round of the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD). “There were a lot of challenges. We had been dragged backwards. We had encountered internal challenges and external pressures. We have overcome all these and able to arrive at this stage. However, we have not yet completed climbing the uphill though we have just arrived at the tip of the hill,” the premiers said. The successful completion of filling of GERD is a monumental achievement demonstrating sovereignty and unity. This powerful symbol of self-reliance will double electricity generation capacity and make Ethiopia a major regional exporter. As there were extensive diplomatic campaigns in this regard, it is a big diplomatic victory for the country to complete the water filling according to plan. The successful completion of filling is also being described as vital instrument to ensuring shared benefit not only for Ethiopia but for the Horn of Africa and riparian countries. The dam has great significance for regional integration too. Even if the dam is being built by Ethiopians internal capacity and in their sovereign territory, the benefit of the dam is beyond the nation. In addition, the dam has huge benefits in protecting for the lower riparian countries from sediment, floods and ensuring sufficient water flow. Despite challenges, its success highlights Ethiopia's determination to drive development. The project rallied citizens to donate funds and labor toward a historic national accomplishment. Green Legacy Initiative Ethiopia has been carrying out green legacy initiative with a view to fighting the challenges of climate change and ensures food self-sufficiency. Accordingly, the nation had planted over 25 billion seedlings over the past four years as part of the initiative, surpassing its goal of 20 billion. Ethiopia's Green Legacy Initiative has been an environmental success. During the second round of the initiative which was launched this rainy season, the nation planned to plant 25 billion seedlings from 2023 to 2026. Ethiopians have made another history at the national level by planting more than 566 million saplings in 12 hours during this rainy season. Millions have been participating across the country to restore land, improve soil, reduce erosion, and mitigate climate change through the initiative. Ethiopia's green diplomacy work is also gaining international recognition. As a model for mobilizing the public to address sustainability, it has inspired other nations while creating green jobs. With care in planning, it can continue offering economic and environmental benefits. In summary, the ending year saw Ethiopia make great strides through peace building, food security, diplomacy, development projects and ecological initiatives. With unity and prudent governance, Ethiopia can fulfill its immense promises.      
Nation Building: Endeavours of Successive Generations
Sep 10, 2023 3218
BY STAFF WRITER Every generation of Ethiopia has contributed to the history and socio-economic development as well as sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. As the nation marks the day of generations on the fifth of Pagumen today, the current generation needs to cherish the historical contributions made by all previous generations of Ethiopians and keep the stamina, commitments, valor and determination that need to be replicated by the forthcoming generations. In his inaugural address on the second phase of Friendship Park on October 2022 last year, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed remarked: “strong generation is the foundation for strong nation; a nation built with a strong generation can overcome challenges, maintain unity and ensure the national sovereignty of its country.” Ethiopian demographic structure shows that the current generation of youth comprises some 70 per cent of the population. It is to be recalled from history that out of the entire peasant army that fought in the Battle of Adwa, the youth constituted a significant number proportion. Meaningful national development ensues only when change and continuity of national transformation is carried out by successive generations. To this effect, the incumbent generation should leave footprints to posterity. Ideally, generation needs to draw best practices from the previous generation and builds upon them at best. Both success and challenge of the past generation serve as a foundation for today’s generation in its quest for building prosperous nation. Unlike the previous generation in Ethiopia, the generation of the 21st century is provided with a number of opportunities particularly in the areas of ICT and advancement of science and technology.This would mean that the current generation needs to discharge its responsibilities by ascertaining the development of country through research and development, exploiting its tangible and intangible heritages for nation building endeavors. The young Ethiopian generation of the 1960s to 1970s fought for changes in the autocratic political order and paid huge sacrifices in flesh and blood. Sons and daughters of Ethiopia also fell while defending the unity and territorial integrity of the country. Since the 2018 change of leadership, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed charted out a reform program that was inclusive and change oriented. In Ethiopia a new era is in the making. Efforts are being made to put in place a system where Ethiopian elites will table their political agenda with a view to resolving the major backlogs of Ethiopia. To this effect, the National Dialogue Commission has been expending relentless efforts to conduct major debates and discussions national issues with representatives drawn from across Ethiopia. The culture of political wrangling among political elites in Ethiopia is much to be desired. Today’s generation must attach paramount importance to peaceful means of resolving differences. This view has been expounded by the reform program which Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed spearheaded Ethiopia in 2019 in his discussion of the fundamentals of the Generation Medemer book. The premier argues: “The essence of Medemer is not class struggle but collective cooperation and collaboration that is transmitted inter-generationally. Change does not come through the barrel of the gun. Change comes through dialogue, discourse, discussion and debate. Change comes by changing hearts and minds.” The present generation of youth is expected to uphold the unity and development of the country by providing services that are of crucial importance for nation building and the battle against poverty. This is important because much of the future of this country would depend upon the selfless contributions of the youth. As they strive to fulfill their duties, the youth in Ethiopia need to draw best practices, wisdom from senior citizens and their parents and above all, they should acquire proper knowledge and digest and filter it through local contexts. The youth should also pay special attention to developing their careers by acquiring vocational skills and academic knowledge to perform their national duties responsibly. As we are observing generation day, it is opportune moment for Ethiopian youth to give attention for the clarion call which senior citizens are putting forward. In all fields of areas, there were noted Ethiopians in athletics, literature, science, arts and many more. They have left us valuable footprints that we all should follow suit. Ethiopia is a mosaic of culture, ethnic identities, languages and the likes. Ethiopians have coexisted for centuries. They have fought together to defend their motherland. This generation should be mindful of ill intention of some forces to the extent of disbanding the ancient peaceful coexistence and social cohesion of Ethiopians. The youth of the current generation should relate with youths across the world and particularly African youth for the common cause of their destiny. To this effect, youths must give utmost priority to education. The youth must set goals, exerting maximum efforts, dedication to achieve success. It is fitting here to quote Prime Minister Abiy what he said during first General Assembly of Organization of Educational Cooperation (OEC): “By investing in education, we equip our youth with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate an ever-changing world.” All the more, this generation must be able to engage in constructive dialogue with a view to living in harmony and peace in this country and beyond. Happy and Prosperous New Year.  
Virtues of Volunteerism 
Sep 8, 2023 2961
By Staff Writer Volunteerism is not a new concept in Ethiopia. It has always been rooted in the country's culture as Ethiopians have a long tradition of helping others in need, especially in times of hardship. In rural areas, it is common for people to volunteer their time and labor to help their neighbors. This might include cultivating their farmlands, building their houses, or providing other essential necessities. Ethiopians also believe in sharing the burden of others, and they often come together to support those who are struggling. Volunteerism is also common in urban areas of Ethiopia. People volunteer at religious organizations, schools, hospitals, and other community organizations. They donate their time, labor, and money to help those in need. For Ethiopian culture volunteerism is a way for people to give back to their community and help those who are less fortunate. It is also a way to build relationships and strengthen the bonds of community. In the international stage, volunteerism is becoming a global phenomenon. Ethiopia too is riding the train of volunteerism. Hence, in the past five years, volunteerism has become a major development agenda in the country. The government has been at the forefront of promoting volunteerism by mobilizing the public to participate in various social and economic development activities. People across the nation are now more motivated than ever to help the needy and others by donating their time, knowledge, and wealth. The renovation of old houses, provision of food and other essential items for the needy by voluntary organizations and individual groups have become a common practice in all parts of Ethiopia. Ethiopians from all corners of the country have been stepping up their efforts to help others who need assistance. Voluntary community organizations that render essential support to needy people in the urban settings have also been flourishing. Mekedonia, an organization that provides shelter, food clothes, hygiene facilities, medical, educational and others for the elderly and mentally disabled is one example in this regard. Most of the activities in this organization are undertaken by volunteers. This organization has vastly expanded its services across the country with the support of individuals, government institutions and the public at large. several other similar voluntary organizations have also been expanding in Ethiopia giving hope for thousands of citizens. Therefore, this great social capital has a foundation in our communities and has now become a vital instrument in all spheres of nation-building efforts to bring impact on economic and social developments as things are emerging in a new form and practice following drastic socio-economic transformation across the globe. Since taking office in 2018, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has made the notion of volunteerism a central component of his reform agenda. That is to tap the potential of voluntarism through frequent outreach and his platform as Prime Minister, he continues to promote volunteerism and encourage youth involvement in shaping the country. He also launched a nationwide youth volunteer program to provide various development services to communities across the country. The program that involves university students and high school graduates intends to promote national unity and integration, foster peaceful coexistence and social cohesion by integrating the diversified communities. Various other development initiatives have also been introduced by the premier to engaging the general public. ‘Dine for Sheger’ project, which mobilized funds for city projects to improve Addis Ababa’s tourism potential, is one of the first initiatives. Following the success registered in this project, Prime Minister Abiy announced ‘Dine for Ethiopia’ tourist destination development initiatives to mobilize 3 billion Birr to construct three tourist destination projects in Gorgora, Wonchi and Koysha. The public and business community participated voluntarily in the realization of these projects, and the nation was able to raise over 4 billion Birr. The construction of these three giant projects is now nearing completion. The other very encouraging issue to be raised in connection with the culture of voluntarism in Ethiopia is the implementation of the Green Legacy Initiative. The initiative, launched in 2019 to plant 20 billion seedlings in four years, has ended planting over 25 billion forests including fruit seedlings. Over 26 million people have taken part in the planting activities as volunteers. Implementing the initiative has so far been successful and received international applause as it engaged millions of Ethiopians in the campaign through the act of voluntarism. The initiative, which is important to ensure sustainable development by combating climate change and reducing deforestation, would not have been successful without the massive participation of people from all walks of life. The massive participation of the public in implementing the green legacy initiative has also contributed to raise awareness about the importance of forestry in tackling poverty and improving the lives of people in the country. Members of the international community have also considered it as exemplary; as it shows the fact that individuals and communities have the power to bring drastic positive changes for nation building and the betterment of citizens. The voluntary support of Ethiopians for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is also the other success witnessed in Ethiopia. The construction of GERD, a massive hydroelectric dam in Africa, is underway by Ethiopians without international financial support, as is common in projects of such size. Upon completion, it is expected to change the existing predicaments in terms of power shortages in the country and the region at large. Thanks to the massive public mobilization carried out in Ethiopia to solicit financial and other vital support, the construction of the dam is now nearing completion. The massive public support witnessed by Ethiopians for GERD is also another demonstration of the power of volunteerism to bring about changes in nation-building activities. In conclusion, voluntarism in Ethiopia holds the uppermost importance in the development of the country for it has brought significant positive economic and social impacts. The emerging culture of voluntarism in the country has been witnessing the fact that collective action can make a difference in addressing national challenges. Hence, engaging communities in all aspects of the development endeavors should be further enhanced through mechanisms like voluntarism. Community engagement is crucial to speeding up development, particularly in a country like Ethiopia, where millions still live in poverty. The pertinent government institutions should take important moves with a view to adequately tapping the power of voluntarism for national development, co-existence, peace, and stability. Voluntarism helps to pave ways for sustainable development as it creates a conducive environment to increase public participation in all government development endeavors, fighting corruption by ensuring accountability and transparency, which are prerequisites for sustainable development.    
A New Dawn: Ethiopia’s Historic Entry into BRICS
Aug 30, 2023 8026
By Henok Tadele The announcement of 2023 BRICS Summit in Johannesburg to embrace Ethiopia as its member last week was phenomenal to the country. Ethiopia was warmly welcomed into the steadily expanding bloc, (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). This monumental event signals a coming of age for Africa's second most populous nation on the global stage. Ethiopia's BRICS membership heralds a new era brimming with potential. BRICS membership signifies growing recognition of Ethiopia's immense economic and political potential. With over 120 million people and massive growth in recent years, Ethiopia offers a strategic gateway between Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed hailed this "victory achieved through many struggles," thanking BRICS countries for their staunch support. He underscored how the bloc will empower South-South cooperation and reformed multilateralism. Abiy also articulated Ethiopia's strengths, from its young, dynamic workforce to intensive infrastructure development enhancing regional connectivity. For Ethiopia, joining BRICS can catalyze technology transfers, market access, and financing for impactful projects. While challenges remain, the prime minister stressed that in an interdependent world, collectivity is essential to solve shared problems. By leveraging its new BRICS membership, Ethiopia is poised to deliver prosperity for its people and assume a leadership role on the global stage. Ethiopia is poised to reap major rewards from its new membership in the BRICS bloc of emerging economies, analysts say. Economists predict BRICS membership will open Ethiopia to more foreign investment and trade opportunities with some of the world's fastest growing markets. Ethiopia's ambitious infrastructure investments enhance connections with other BRICS economies. Scholars highlighted the opportunities. "BRICS membership showcases Ethiopia's diplomatic capital and economic potential," said researcher Blen Mamo. Access to the BRICS nations will significantly accelerate Ethiopia's GDP growth, she adds. However, Blen warns Ethiopia must "ensure it gets maximum economic benefit through sustainable trade and investment." Professor Brook Hailu of Addis Ababa University underlined how BRICS can "diversify economic opportunities and foster Ethiopia's development." But he cautioned that expectations must be managed given the country's challenges. With the announcement of Ethiopia to join into BRICS, Ethiopia choice is sound given its track record to the cause of Africa. As a rising economy with regional prominence, Ethiopia is a country of promising future. First and foremost is its sheer demographic weight. "With over 120 million people, Ethiopia is Africa's second most populous nation and provides BRICS with access to an enormous marketplace," says analyst Brook Hailu. Ethiopia's economy has also outperformed most African peers, growing at over 10% annually for the past decades. "Ethiopia can offer lessons on spurring rapid development across the continent," he noted. Geopolitically, Ethiopia occupies a strategic position in the Horn of Africa near vital Red Sea trading routes. "Its geography gives BRICS a gateway to project influence in Africa and the Middle East," said Brook. As a strong traditional advocate for Africa, Ethiopia's membership to BRICS will give it fresh impetus to promote Africa's cause. Ethiopia’s Tourism Minister, Nasise Challi told ENA that as an ancestral home of humanity, Ethiopia provides cultural roots that run deep. "It brings to BRICS an ancient yet vibrant civilization with unique traditions," Ethiopia burnishes BRICS credentials as a champion of the Global South, providing strategic connectivity, economic dynamism and diplomatic heft. The fanfare that greeted Ethiopia's admission into BRICS is now giving way to a sober assessment of what this milestone truly means for the country. BRICS membership undoubtedly offers to Ethiopia major opportunities on the global stage. Further, Ethiopia gains privileged access to the massive markets and investors from BRICS nations. This could significantly boost trade and investment, while financing from the New Development Bank would be alternative source of loans to leverage its growing economy and large infrastructure projects. On the other hand, Ethiopia also needs to carry out its homework at home. Reform activities which have been embarked on service rendering institutions should be intensified to ensure services are rendered timely and meet international standards. The country also needs to intensify the ongoing infrastructure development activities by leaps and bounds. However, experts caution that joining BRICS will not unleash overnight prosperity, for the return mainly depends on the extent to which the country seizes the opportunities BRICS offers. To this effect, utmost effort is required from every citizen to translate BRICS opportunities into tangible national development.    
Hurrah For Ethiopian Athletes
Aug 29, 2023 3131
BY STAFF WRITER The Ethiopian athletics squad which participated at the 19th World Athletics Championships and registered impressive results was accorded a warm welcome upon arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. A mammoth reception ceremony that was organized at Bole International Airport to welcome the athletes was wonderful indeed. Government officials and members of the sports community and residents of Addis Ababa and families of the athletes accorded a heartwarming welcome to the Ethiopian athletes delegation upon their arrival. The reception was a heroic recognition to renown Ethiopian athletes traditionally known as the Green Flood of Ethiopia for their extraordinary performance on tracks and fields who honored their beloved country once again at the 19th World Athletics Championships, in Budapest, Hungary, from 19 to 27th August, 2023.   Ethiopia won a gold medal in women’s marathon by Amane Bariso and Gudaf Tsegay in 10,000 meters as well as 4 four silver and 3 bronze medals by the other athletes. Ethiopia's athletics squad consisting of 19 women and 16 men fiercely contested in different fields, for instance, in the 800m 1,500m, 3,000m steeplechase, 5,000m, 10,000m, and in grueling marathon. The nation boasts as one of the highest track records on the world athletics scene, with their names etched in nearly every championship since the starting gun first went off. The fact that the athletes snatched medals at the 19th World Athletics Championship is a lot both to the individuals and the country. The unity, integrity, tenacity and incredible team work among all the athletes was remarkable, signaling what united Ethiopia can miraculously achieve in solidarity and mutual love for their country. The individual and collective responsibility they demonstrated in discharging at the global tournament was exemplary for all athletes and is indeed a continuation of the team spirit their senior predecessors had exhibited and known for on track for many decades. Ethiopian athletes are known for their team spirit and tactics. The team spirit the athletes demonstrated at Budapest certainly sets an example for all sectors and actors in the socio-economic spheres. Such a spirit of unity and team work needs to be replicated in all spheres of public life including in ensuring durable peace, mutual respect and working towards the common goal of prosperity.   Such global tournaments add greater leverage and elevate the image of the country among members of the international community. It must be reckoned that the role the athletes played ignites inspirations within fellow Ethiopians that Ethiopia can register impressive results not only in sports but also in other spheres despite challenges. Athletics tournaments of such level do not only promote Ethiopia but also the African continent which is a major sources of world class athletes. The 19th World Athletics Championship has clearly indicated the level on which the global athletics competition has grown and Ethiopian athletics squad has made greater achievements. Of course, the athletics squad and the entire delegation can draw a lot of lessons that could help them become more effective in subsequent tournaments by rectifying errors that were made in the competition. The remarkable feat specially registered by our young women athletes and the team spirit they demonstrated at the tournament shows the extent to which women can excel not only in sports but also in other fields of socio-economic developments the country aims to register. The duty of developing and further elevating the Ethiopian Athletics must not be left only to the Athletics Federation but to all stakeholders, and the private sector and the entire public. Of course, the Athletics Federation must reinvigorate the performance of Ethiopian athletics. Given the strength and tenacity of Ethiopian young athletes, the federation should not be complacent with the victories registered in this tournament, but tirelessly endeavor for more gains in more fields. To this end, sustaining the track victories, for instance, the 5000mts and 10,000mts for both women and men which Ethiopian has championed must be the prime duty of the federation. In this regard, the federation must convene appropriate forums with veteran and young athletes, the private sector, stakeholders, sports fans and the public to pave the way for yet another round of shining victories of Ethiopian athletics.  
Amhara Region Returning to Normalcy
Aug 19, 2023 3282
By A Staff Writer The State of Emergency Command Post has been carrying out law enforcement activities to restore peace in Amhara region of Ethiopia. Accordingly, the command post said that most areas of the region have now been returning to normalcy. Farmers have restarted farming activities. Roads which have been blocked by the criminal group have also been opened, enabling the transportation of agricultural inputs such as fertilize to various parts of the region. Activities have also been carried out to strengthen service provisions by reinforcing the peace created in cities and towns of the Amhara regional state. This has been made possible by the measures the National Defense Force (NDF) is taking to maintain peace and safety of the public in the region. According to Bahir Dar City Deputy Mayor, Dires Sahlu, service providers resumed delivering normal services. The city service-providing institutions, including transport and commercial activities have fully resumed work. According to him, consultation was also held with inhabitants drawn from all sub-cities of Bahir Dar with a view to strengthening the peace created by the state of emergency. The security situation in Amhara region ensued following the widespread unrest fomented by illegal armed groups. And this endangered the peace and safety of the public, disrupting all social and economic activities of the region. And this prompted the Amhara Regional State to request the federal government for intervention to enforce law and order noting the destabilization was causing large scale of humanitarian, social and economic losses which cannot be controlled through regular law enforcement. As a result, the Council of Ministers in its 23rd regular session unanimously passed decision to declare a state of emergency in the Amhara region. Regional State governments of Ethiopia and City Administrations expressed concern that the security situation in the region was an attempt to dismantle the country.They reaffirmed their support to the federal government's effort to maintain peace and security as well as strengthen national unity among Ethiopians. As the federal government is duty bound to uphold constitutional order in the country, members of the parliament(MPs) were summoned by the House of Peoples' Representatives (HPR) for extraordinary meeting. The HPR convened its 1st extraordinary session to examine and vote for the state of emergency in Amhara region. Accordingly, the House held in-depth discussion on the draft proclamation of the state of emergency passed by the Council of Ministers and approved it, with 12 abstained and 16 against. In a bid to let peace prevail in the region, the command post has started work, the police and all law enforcement authorities have started to discharge their duties. According to the State of Emergency Command Post, most areas of the Amhara Region have been returning to normalcy following the measures taken by the military operations. The desire of the public for the restoration of socio-economic services is immense in that the inhabitants of the region have been increasingly welcoming the National Defense Force by providing food and encouragement, the Command Post said. The operation has produced encouraging results in all areas of the region. As a result, public, private and community services are now returning to normalcy. Farmers are returning to agricultural activities. And things have improved much. Following such developments, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Demeke Mekonnen told heads of diplomatic missions and various international organizations based in Addis Ababa that the peace consolidation effort in the country is on track. He also indicated that transitional justice and national dialogue processes will be carried out. The briefing session on current developments in Ethiopia was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia together with the Ministry of Justice. During the occasion, Demeke underscored that the declaration of the state of emergency was necessitated by the need to restore law and order in the affected areas. The Minister of Justice and a member of the National State of Emergency Command Post, Gedion Timothewos, also briefed the participants on the transitional justice policy options and the public consultations on the national dialogue. He also gave an in-depth overview of the security situation in Amhara Region, the rationale behind the declaration of the state of emergency and reiterated the painstaking efforts of the government to restore law and order, to protect civilians, bring about a peaceful solution through dialogue to pave the way for a return to normalcy. According to him, looting and vandalism had occurred due to the security problem in the city, especially in public service institutions. Head of the Amhara Agricultural Bureau, Hailemariam Kefyalw told the Ethiopian News Agency about the agricultural activities following the implementation of the state of emeregency in the region. According to him, the success of the law enforcement operation will play a great role in stabilizing the food market as more than 4.4 million hectares of land have been covered with seeds in the region. He added that agricultural activities have been reinstated and agricultural inputs are being provided and full development activities restored. As a result, the farmers in the region have started farming activities in cooperation with the leadership and experts. Some 5.29 million quintals of fertilizer have been purchased for the region, out of which some 4.2 million quintals have already been distributed. Since the declaration of the state of emergency, soil fertilizer which was being transported by 370 vehicles have also arrived in the region, he elaborated.  
A Memorable Account of Journalist on Trip to Moscow
Aug 7, 2023 4907
By Ayele Yaregal The writer of this article has paid a visit to Moscow along with other young journalists from across the world. A visitor to Moscow, the capital city of the Russian Republic will immediately notice the captivating beauty of Moscow River which bisects the city adding more beauty to the unique architectural designs and buildings which depict the history and cultural heritages of Russia. The River, decorated with numerous boats that daily sail the river with thousands of tourists on overlooking a gigantic modern stadium, gives a spectacular beauty to the city. The indigenous trees on the bank of the river provide astonishing natural green scenery with a tantalizing landscape. Cable ferries over the sky connect both sides of the river making it easy for tourists and casual visitors to enjoy their stay in Moscow. The hillsides of Moscow provide an excellent spot from which one can see everything below blended in a mix of beauty on the horizon. A Glimpse of Moscow If we look at the historical background of Moscow, we could easily notice that the city has undergone huge changes since the early 20th century when it became the capital city of Russia replacing St. Petersburg. Majestically located at the center of the city, Kremlin Palace accompanied with St. Basil's Cathedral Churches with their unique and stunning architecture are real wonders of the Russian history and culture. Kremlin Palace is a place where the political leaders of the country pass important decisions on national and global diplomatic relations. From the period of the rule of the monarchy of the Russian czars up to the era of communist rule, Russia has experienced huge changes over time. According to Lydia, our tour guide, Moscow was founded in 1147. Its name is derived from ‘Moskva’ (Moskva River), before it holds the present name of ‘Moscow’. The tour guide said that the word Kremlin means ‘fortress inside a city’. Kremlin made Moscow to sustain theological, political and cultural legacy of the great Roman Empire. That is why in different historical books Kremlin is referred as ‘third Rome’ next to Roman and Constantinople. The Seven Sisters, also called seven skyscrapers, are impressive architectural looks of Moscow. Those buildings were designed and built during the reign of Joseph Stalin. From 1947 to 1953, the buildings, traditionally known as the seven sisters were the tallest building in Europe and are described among the great legacies of the Soviet Union era. Those skyscrapers are not just buildings but they are the historical venues of different institutions. Therefore, the seven sister comprise the main buildings of Moscow State University, Hotel Ukraina (Now Raddison Blue), Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Apartments, the Kudrinskaya Square Building, the Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya Hotel, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Red Gates Administrative Building. Moscow State University is one of the prestigious universities across the globe. With its remarkable architectural setting, the university was the first Russian University that was founded in 1755. Since then, it has become hub of Russian research and education center graduating highly skilled professionals every year. The Luzhniki Olympic Complex is located near of Moscow River. This stadium was one of the main stadiums in the city that hosted the 21st FIFA world cup. One of the biggest mosques in Europe with minarets of 72 meters is also located close to the Olympic Stadium in the center of Moscow. The historical and magnificent bridges over Moscow River, monuments like statue of Peter the Great, wide-ranging green parks like Gorky, buildings are bizarre hotspots of the city. Russia had been ruled by Emperors, commonly known as czars, for centuries before socialism and communism system emerged in the beginning of 20th century. Moscow had once fallen under the prominent emperor Napoleon Bonaparte of France according to our tour guide. The Tsar of all Russia since 1686 and first emperor of Russia from 1721-1725 was Peter I (Peter the Great), recognized with his effort of Russian modernization. In fact Moscow becomes the capital of all Russia after the revolution in early 20th century. Now a days Moscow along with remarkable and analogous buildings and all impressive digital infrastructure become one of the best global smart cities. Moscow, also known as the center of Russian culture in course of history, is home of global billionaires, and prestigious artists, scientists and public figures. In 2022 Moscow was awarded by UN publication as the top spot among large cities for quality of life and infrastructure. The population of Mosco is estimated at over 13 million that made it 8th populous cities across the world. Thanks to ‘InteRussia Program 2023’ I get in person at Moscow and my dream came true. Even though I was among young journalists from ten African countries for this program, I was feeling more familiar with the city because I came from the origin of Abraham Hannibal, Ethiopia, who was the grandfather of Russian legendary writer Alexander S. Pushkin. What prompted me to think of Russia? Historically, Ethiopian kings had aspired to create connection with Russian czars for many years. For instance the Ethiopian (Abyssinian) emperor Twodros II (1818-1868), named his ever first large artillery ‘Sevastopol’ that he tried to use during British expedition in Abyssinia led by Robert Napier. This name was taken from the Russia, Crimean town, Sevastopol, the site of a battle during the Crimean War. Emperor Yohannes 4th (1872-1889), the successor of Twodros II, was also largely inspired by the similarity of religion between the two countries. The historical facts mentioned that the relationship between Russia and Ethiopia in terms cultural and spiritual perspective dated back to four centuries. However, official diplomatic mission was started during Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia and Tsar Nikolas II of Russia in the late nineteen century. At the end of 19th century research expeditions of V.F. Mashkov (1889–1892), full members of the Russian Geographical Society A.V. Eliseev and N.S. Leontiev (1893), geographer and ethnographer A.K. Bulatovich (1896-1898), and others, contributed to the strengthening of Russian-Ethiopian ties. According to a study by Russian science academy the first religious missions were sent to Ethiopia, and contacts between the two churches established in the 1880s. An Embassy of the Russian Empire in Addis Ababa was opened in 1897. Thus, in 1895 Ethiopian envoy, first envoy from black Africa, headed by Fitawurari Damtew Ketema, father of Ras Desta, was sent to the city of Russia Saint Petersburg, Winter Palace of czsars. The mission stayed in Russia for a whole month with very solemn reception. Following the visit of this delegation, Russian donated weapons and ammunition for the battle of Adwa in February 1896. In February 1898, a Russian delegation headed by Pyotr Mikhailovich Vlasov was sent to Ethiopia and emperor Menelik welcomed the delegation warmly. In February 1902, the State Council decided to establish a permanent diplomatic mission in Ethiopia with an envoy in the position of resident minister. The first appointed State Councilor Konstantin Nikolaevich Lishin (General) arrived in Addis Ababa on March 28, 1903 and then he had made very fruitful diplomatic ties until he died in 1906 and buried in Addis Ababa. Definitely Moscow is a miracle city where nature, history and folks or narratives has merged. If paradise exist on the plane such types of scenery has to be part of it. Perhaps, there might be several lovely cities across a world. However, existence of such a naturally endowed and historically gifted cities might be very rare, except this place. Moscow as the center of Russian culture contained of different museums, academic and political institutions and theaters. Wherever I traveled in the city, I witnessed that Moscow combines the best of old and modern architecture. The long avenues and majestic squares, leafy boulevards, parks and gardens, new luxury housing, bridges, the sandstone ridges of Moscow River, and the unique cultural and historical heritages are some of the beauties of this city.   ‘State Tretyakov Gallery’ is the foremost depositary of Russian fine arts which is a well-known tourist destination. This gallery deposited 180, 000 Russian works of painting, sculpture and graphics created between the 11th to 20th centuries. According to our tour guide Olga, the gallery house aged about 150 year which was owned by a merchant family Pavel M. Tretyakov as a private art works collection. But the owner transferred the gallery to the government. The gallery consists of Russian art collections of successive generations.    
Human Capital Investment is A Priority for Africa
Jul 30, 2023 4144
Bereket Sisay (ENA) The Human Capital Heads of State Summit, held July 25-26 in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania under the theme “Accelerating Africa’s Economic Growth: Boosting Youth Productivity by Improving Learning and Skills.” The summit, attended by more than 2,000 delegates from 44 African countries, including eight heads of state and government, vice presidents, prime ministers and ministers, concluded with major recommendations for fully harnessing the continent's human capital. Expanding access to education and increasing the involvement of international and regional financial institutions were suggested as essential to harness human resources. Greater synergy between government and private institutions was also recommended, along with the expansion of training facilities for the efficient management and use of natural resources. Since 2000, Africa has experienced sustained economic growth which has contributed significantly to improving the quality of life of its people. In particular, much progress has been made in transforming the agricultural sector - on which much of the population depends, developing manufacturing centers and industries, and modernizing the tourism sector as a major economic driver. Africa has achieved this by changing its development trajectory and reorienting itself towards mobilizing domestic resources, increasing development financing and attracting foreign direct investment. However, Africa continues to lag behind on key development indicators, as the progress made over the past two decades has not kept pace with the continent's growing population and needs. As a result, many African citizens remain trapped in poverty, and related problems continue to plague the continent in a vicious cycle. World Bank data shows that the poverty rate in Sub-Saharan Africa has not fallen fast enough to keep up with population growth in the region and close to 433 million Africans are estimated to live in extreme poverty in 2018 rising from 284 million in 1990. In addition, poverty and other compounding structural problems have forced the continent to fall short of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Rising food and energy prices caused by the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia, coupled with the adverse effects of climate change, have hampered African efforts to achieve these goals. It also projected that at least 492 million people will remain in extreme poverty by 2030 if the necessary measures to accelerate progress towards the SDGs are not taken. These challenges seem baffling, given the continent's wealth of natural and human resources, which have the potential of transforming not only Africa, but the world. Africa is endowed with a variety of untapped natural resources such as arable land, water, minerals, oil and gas, which are important variables for sustainable development. In addition, Africa's population is young and growing rapidly: more than half of Africa's total population is under the age of 20, and according to the latest UN projections, this population size will double by 2050, with half of this population under the age of 25. However, this burgeoning young population holds both risk and opportunity for the continent. While human capital promises to be the key driver of Africa's growth, we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that rein in demographic pressures is an important measure to achieve balanced growth. Therefore, investing in and leveraging human capital is the only option in Africa to better avert the potential risks that come along with unregulated population growth. African governments need to build robust economies that can effectively absorb the current and coming labor force to continuously contribute to steady economic growth with productivity. Recent data from the World Bank shows that the current labor markets in Africa disfavors the young population, with youth accounting for 60% of the total unemployed population. Therefore, this reality needs to be reversed and young population should be mainstreamed in the labor market and be the catalyst for development and growth rather than a contributing factor to economic downturn. For this to happen, Africa in general and countries in particular need to invest in human capital, from the education sector to the labor market, in order to effectively harness the demographic dividend. High-quality education, with a focus on science, mathematics and engineering, must be further expanded to solve current problems and to fully exploit natural resources to transform people's lives. It is crucial to invest in practical knowledge and skills in order to have an innovative solution to better transform internal development capacity into a reality of tangible growth. Since human development is a capital-intensive project in itself, capital investment is crucial, and this calls for concerned bodies; governments and financial institutions to channel funds into the entire spectrum of human capital development. Such bold measures will inevitably push Africa's growth agenda to include youth as an important factor in economic development, with potential spillover effects on various sectors. In addition, Africa has long been on the margins of international economic globalization as a result of its internal low level of economic performance. This is obviously due to the inability of the continent to make full use of its human and natural resources to bring about a major transformation in the economic sector. Therefore, prioritizing human development and shifting towards full exploitation of natural resources is the only option for Africa. This will bring about significant economic development while paving the way for Africa to play an important role in global socio-economic development, thereby creating a better world.    
Africa Countries Should Walk the Talk on Continental Integration
Jul 23, 2023 3444
Bereket Sisay The 5th Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of the African Union, Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms, held in Nairobi from 13 to 16 July, adopted a resolution aimed at accelerating the continent's integration, both politically and economically. In particular, due emphasis was placed on advancing the implementation of the African Union's long-awaited flagship project - the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) - which is crucial to achieving continental economic integration. With the entry into force of the AfCFTA in 2019, implementation has begun and member states have also commenced trade under the new AfCFTA initiatives. However, the implementation of the trade bloc has lagged behind, despite high expectations, due to the pandemic that rocked the entire continent, as well as the lack of agreement among African countries on the rules of engagement for some product lines and delays in ratification among member states. Nevertheless, a handful of countries that have met the legal criteria necessary to join the platform have already begun trading with each other on a wide range of goods, from agricultural products to manufactured goods. So far, countries such as Kenya, Rwanda and Ghana, Cameroon, Egypt, Mauritius, Tanzania and Tunisia have started trade under the African Free Trade Area. As part of this move, Cameroon and Tunisia started trading with each other just on Monday. This indicates that the implementation of the Free Trade Area is well on its way, but the pace needs to be accelerated to achieve Agenda 2063 Goal 1: A prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development. The AfCFTA could boost intra-African trade by around 33% and reduce the continent's trade deficit by 51%, according to official AU data, which shows that intra-African trade is currently low at just 14.4% of total African exports. Yet, a slew of challenges still on the way for full implementation of the initiative that need to be addressed as quickly as possible. Particularly, creating conducive environment for facilitating intra-Africa trade such as expanding infrastructural development and furthering other equally compelling facilities is a primary task. Africa has a huge bottleneck in terms of having critical infrastructure that ease business doing and potentially improve people’s lives. Deficiencies in transport connectivity infrastructure, particularly, cross-border road connectivity led to low level of trade among Africa countries. Therefore, African countries should increase investment in road infrastructure to develop intra-African trade facilities, including technological infrastructure. Air connectivity also needs to be improved as this mode of transportation is very fast and can handle large amounts of cargo at a time. In addition, the technological capacity of African member countries needs to be developed, starting with the expansion of Internet services, which could potentially facilitate e-commerce activities on the continent. To facilitate business and trade exchange in Africa, there are many infrastructure facilities that need to be put in order and therefore countries should mobilize their resources for infrastructure projects as it is capital intensive. In 2022, the African Development Bank report shows that Africa's infrastructure investment gap is estimated at more than $100 billion per year, affecting the living conditions of Africans and the continent's global competitiveness. Without the necessary infrastructure, Africa's free trade agreements will never be successful. In line with this, African countries need to remove all tariff-related barriers that can be an obstacle to realizing this grand agenda of trade connectivity. Non-tariff barriers such as lack of commitment to implement mutually agreed trade facilitation measures and lack of coordination and harmonization of trade activities are also hindering the integration process and these challenges need to be addressed as soon as possible. The political will of Member States to pursue and conclude the ongoing trade negotiations is of paramount importance in this regard. One of the major problems that has greatly affected the African business environment is the quality of products and this has forced African citizens to depend on import markets from other continents for so long. Moreover, there is a lack of production output from the manufacturing sectors as well as most of the traded items on the continent are agricultural products. Therefore, along with a gradual shift towards industrial products and meeting the large market demands of African citizens through bulky manufacturing outputs, quality products need to be given due emphasis. Quality problem is an elephant in the house issue for Africa business and can't be hash up this challenge by various reason, the only solution is to act on it in unison. In addition, African countries need to abolish visa requirements for African citizens to create a free movement of people that would potentially increase connectivity. The ideal of free movement of people, which began with the creation of the OAU and has evolved over time as a major agenda on the continent, but concrete progress has been registered on this frontier. Until the people of Africa can freely interact with each other and start being treated as people of the same continent, the integration activities can't go through a smooth process. Some countries have started to issue visas on arrival, while others allow African citizens to inter into their country without having a visa. This is an important step towards achieving integration and needs to be further strengthened in the future. In a nutshell, the African Free Trade Area has great potential to create new market opportunities for African small and medium enterprises, which will directly contribute to the creation of employment opportunities that would potentially improve people's lives. Thus, its implementation has now begun at infancy stages and need to be fast-tracked as the continent's other goals depend on it and the success over free trade will serve as a spring board to further push other successful story on the continent. Therefore, member countries should be fully committed politically and needs to push forward the implementation of the initiative as quickly as possible, otherwise delaying the implementation of the AfCFTA is a recipe for failure once again for the future of the continent. African countries has many times vowed for the African noble cause of integration and now is the time to walk the talk and realize this nobel agenda of the continent.        
Reflections of Various Sections of the Society In Planting Millions of Saplings In 12 Hours
Jul 18, 2023 2697
BY SOLOMON DIBABA Speaking during tree planting campaign in Oromia region today, Awelu Abdi, Vice President of Oromia regional state remarked that nurturing the seedlings is as important as planting them. He added that the public need to nurture the planted trees in an organized manner to ensure a fruitful result thereby meeting the principal objectives of the National Green Legacy Initiative. Samplings that can be used for fodder for livestock have been planted. He noted that through the implementation of Green Legacy Initiative conducted in the region over the last four years, marked efforts have been made in reducing deforestation and promoting agricultural productivity. He stressed that in as much as we have cooperated in planting the seedlings; we need to make the necessary care for them. Planted trees must be protected from human and animal encroachment. Saada Abdurahiman, Spokesperson of Oromia Council said that apart from serving as a decisive tool for climate change mitigation, trees are living resources for the coming generation and it is incumbent upon the public to rally in millions to plant the seedlings. She added that the first round of the second phase of planting trees in the region has been successfully launched in all the zones and districts in the region. She also said that the successful implementation of the pervious program of tree planting has been instrumental in promoting environmental conservation schemes, enhancing agricultural production and productivity. According to her, planting trees have helped to rehabilitate the degraded ecosystem in the country and has fostered unity and love among the participants and the larger public. She hailed the relentless efforts made by the population in the region in joining hands in planting millions of trees from dawn to dusk. She also remarked that the population in the region should give all the necessary support for the ongoing summer voluntary services. In the same vein, Almaz Gezhu, Deputy Head of the Bureau of Agriculture of Amhara Region said that along with organizing the orderly system of planting millions of trees in a single day in the region, her bureau has encoded information on 1,900 tree planting sites in the region by using the latest technological innovations so that users can have access to any information regarding tree planting process in the region. She also said that the bureau has deployed professionals to record the number of participants in each site, the size of areas planted with trees and the number of trees planted by using computer aided software. She also said with the outcome of the tree planting consecutive campaigns conducted in the region, the intensity of soil salinity has been reduced by 23% and total forest coverage has stood 16%   Speaking on occasion of planting seedlings in Somali regional state, President of Somali Region, Mustafe Mohammed said that the trees planted will improve the balance of the ecosystem in the region, drought resistant and are economically viable. He said that it is necessary to improve the ecosystem in the region as a means to improve and resist the effects of climate change. The program we launched today of planting millions of trees in 12 hours is crucial for our survival and therefore we need to do everything to upgrade their sprouting rate by nurturing them in all sites in which trees are planted. Engineer Habtamu Etefa, Minister of Water and Energy on the occasion said that planting trees have been instrumental in rejuvenating water bodies. He mentioned the revival observed on El Bayahe Dam is a concrete example for this. Omoud Ojulu, President of Gambela Region stated that trees are of crucial importance to rehabilitate degraded area and ensure food security in the region. Apart from economic viability, trees, particularly fruit samplings planted in the region will help to enhance the Lemat Trufat (Banquet of food) campaign as has already witnessed in the region. He said that the entire population in the region has been mobilized to take part on the tree planting day long campaign.   Engineer Negash Wagesho, President of South West Region said that the Green Legacy Initiative will directly benefit community members and will add more value to the experience they have in tree planting in their respective communities. He said the population in the region has longer experience in benefiting from forest resources and the ongoing tree planting program will add more value to their pervious knowledge and benefits. He also mentioned that the Green Legacy Initiative should be further strengthened in the coming years. He added that there are a number of protected forests in the region and said the campaign will help to keep for the normalcy of rainfall seasons and pattern. He also said that apart from forest resources, community members in the region are benefiting from planting coffee trees to increase their income. He noted that efforts underway in the region will help to mitigate the devastating effects of climate change across the world. Tsegay Mamo, whip of the regional Government of South West Ethiopia Region, said that Ethiopia is contributing to the global efforts of reducing of the effects of climate change across the world. He said planting trees will help to improve soil fertility and retain soil moisture. He further said that planting trees is a means of promoting our livelihood and existence. He noted that planting millions of trees in 12 hours will reverse the image of the country which was known for famine and food shortage.   Desta Ledamo President of the Sidama Regional State said that planting trees will help to enhance our livelihood and said that the trees planted today will provide us with clean air, food and shelter. He encouraged the population in the region to do their best in planting millions of trees in a single day during this rainy season. Fathers of Gamo hailed the Green Legacy Initiative noting the efforts we are undertaking is to defeat poverty and destitution and pass on better life for our children and this must continue in a faster momentum. Dokele, one of the Gamo fathers said that the exemplary efforts we have made in promoting peace in the country must be repeated by planting trees in our communities. Bonke Dirgo who is also a Gamo Father said that the fathers are planting trees to help mitigate the effects of climate change and to enhance farming production and productivity. Planting trees is vital for peace making, reconciliation and promotion of friendship. He added, if we don’t maintain soil fertility today, we will endanger the livelihood of the coming generation.   Women across the country were in forefront in the tree planting campaign conducted for a day long in different parts of the country. Etenu Negussie, a resident in Sekota Town, Wagimira Special Administration said that planting trees is of vital importance for growth and development. She came to the tree planting site with her baby on her back to participate in the tree planting program in her village. She said it is our obligation as citizens to transfer healthy habitat for our children. Fantanesh Mengistu, who also planted seedlings in Sekota said apart from restoring the rugged landscape with trees in our area, planting trees is of vital importance for beautifying our towns. I will do my best to ensure that the trees I planted today will be transferred to my children and grand children to ensure their wellbeing. She also said that we need to establish viable recreational areas for our children. Ethiopia has made history by planting over 566 million tree seedlings today, 17 July, 2023, from dawn to dusk, breaking its own record, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced this evening. The premier congratulated Ethiopians who participated in planting the seedlings. The plan to plant 500 million seedlings from sun rise to sun set was exceeded by over 66 million, it was learned.   Millions of Ethiopians responded to the call of Prime Minister Abiy to make history again by planting half a billion seedlings across the nation starting from 6 am this morning.    
Crossing the Rubicon of Global Climate Change Through Green Legacy Initiative
Jul 17, 2023 2184
BY SOLOMON DIBABA On July 17, 2023, in response to the call made by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, millions of Ethiopians of all walks of life including government officials at all levels, the entire public including the youth, members of the defense forces, students in all the regional states of the country, children and toddlers, disable persons jogged to the plains and hillsides across the country without worry about rains trekked in all sites across the country. Ethiopians have traveled to their nearby mountainous or hillsides to pant seedlings from dawn to dusk in a single day with full determination. Mothers hauling their babies on their backs were seen grabbing seedlings rapped with plastic bags in their hands. Also, the elderly and religious fathers, businesspersons, local and foreign investors, members of the diplomatic missions based in Addis Ababa and representatives of the UN systems and other international and regional agencies representatives have joined in a record breaking campaign of planting 500 millions of trees today, contributing their share to the global mitigation efforts of climate change. Ethiopia has been hit by impacts of climate change. It is regrettable to recall that several decades back, about 40 per cent of the landmass of Ethiopia was reportedly covered by natural forest with lush hillsides and green plains. Excessive dependence on bio-fuel for firewood at household level, alarming deforestation and land clearing for agriculture, climate change induced drought and run off from the highlands of the country and its resulting effect of degraded lands on top of over grazing by livestock, have led to unprecedented desertification and loss of natural flora and fauna of the country. Ethiopians in the rural and urban areas heavily depended on bio-fuel resources with no effort to replace them. Right after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed assumed the top executive power four years ago, he launched the Green Legacy Initiative in 2019 to respond the mammoth challenge of climate change with tenacity. Of course, the issuance of Climate Change Resilient Green Economy Policy of Ethiopia and the ground breaking ceremony on the construction of GERD brought a gigantic change in the development policy of the country setting example for Africa and the rest of the world which is experiencing accelerated levels of global warming. The country had launched a large scale afforestation campaign across the nation with a view to accelerating the nation’s green economic development. Thanks to the this initiative, the nation has planted 25 billion seedlings over four years with an average sprouting rate of 80%. Similar to GERD, the Green Legacy Initiative has mobilized Ethiopians to restore their degraded landmass, mountains and hillsides with trees relevant to the ecology. We Ethiopians are now striving for a green culture to mitigate environmental degradation. Along with GERD, the Green Legacy Initiative symbolizes the unity among the people of Ethiopia and their determination to reverse the devastating effects of climate change not only by greening the country but also by ensuring the food security of the population through planting fruit plants across the country.  
Reciprocating Ethiopia’s Contribution to Global Mitigation of Climate Change
Jul 12, 2023 2195
BY SOLOMON DIBABA On July 17, 2023, Ethiopia will embark on record tree planting of 500 million trees nationwide in a single day, which would involve the entire citizenry, members of the diplomatic community, representatives of UN agencies, all foreign nationals on duty in Ethiopia, among others. Professor Eyasu Elias, State Minister of Agriculture told ENA that some 361, 415 hectares of land has been prepared to plant 500 million seedlings in a single day and 9,500 sites have been identified for planting the trees. According to World Bank report for 2023, 15.12% of Ethiopia’s landmass is covered by forests. It is important to recall that Ethiopian has been aggressive in planting trees for over two decades, particularly for the last five years. The impact of climate change is visible and catastrophic. To this effect, the world leaders have held numerous climate summits, despite empty pledges or outcomes. However, the Green Legacy Initiative of Ethiopia has transcended the numerous climate summits held thus far in a way that it has made practical steps by planting 25 billion of seedlings over the last four years. This is a significant contribution to the global effort of mitigating climate change. Hence, the Green Legacy initiative needs to be supported by the international community. Three conspicuous corollaries explain the initiative: first, it is locally-induced but unquestionably global in nature. Second, the green initiative is not only about planting trees every year, but it is a unique contribution to integrated and comprehensive national and global development undertakings. Third, Ethiopia’s National Green Legacy Initiative must be augmented by a global support for maximizing the global output for resilience against the impending catastrophes of climate change. Ethiopia’s Green Legacy Initiative is a national undertaking in a sense that it is an offshoot of the Climate Change Resilient Green Economy Strategy that was launched in 2011 as viable alternative pathway to fossil fuel based economy which the country cannot afford. Although the green economy strategy is homegrown with clear objectives of developing a carbon free economy by 2030, it has a greater relevance for the less developed countries that are already victimized by the results of climate change and global warming. Ethiopia has been effective in addressing the major global challenge of climate change primarily with its own resources; human power included, that certainly entails huge financial expenditure. It is therefore incumbent upon all nations, particularly those who emit billion of tons of carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere, to support Ethiopia’s single handed effort to ensure the common goal of carbon free world. Over the last four years, the nation has planted 25 billion of trees; the figure will rise to 30 billion including this year’s nationwide planting. Although the green initiative is demonstrated through tree planting, its outputs are invariably linked to the national food security initiative, environmental protection and promotion of public health and a practical tool for building peace and stability in the country through massive public participation and cross cultural integration as well as communication to ensure unity in diversity. The initiative is not a standalone agenda but is intrinsically linked with other development programs like Yelemat Trufat which focuses on national food security efforts and Ethiopia Tamirt (Let Ethiopia Produce Campaigns) and a number of current ecotourism projects, among others, in Gorgora, Wonchi and Koisha, which are financed through funds raised from dining events including Dine for Sheger, Dine for the Nation and Dine for Generation initiatives. The green initiative provides a favorable ecosystem for promoting bio-intensive community and household backyard gardening, enhancing household revenues. For instance, unemployed youth have seized the opportunity in developing rugged and degraded hillsides through planting seedlings, providing care and support and earn their livelihoods from the proceeds. On the other hand, the green initiative has already become part of Ethiopia’s climate diplomacy for promoting peace and friendship among African countries by replicating the best practices of the country to neighboring countries and Africa at large. Ethiopia is among the top countries that have embarked on the production of integrated carbon free energy sources, from the national resources such as hydropower, windfarms and geothermal resources. In terms of health benefits, trees provide life: clean air, and mitigate respiratory tract infections that are exacerbated by air pollution brought by emission of carbon into the air. The initiative would help to conserve indigenous herbal resources that could be used for treatment of various diseases and for medical research programs. Ethiopia’s green initiative contributes to the promotion of food forests, for instance, fruit trees which, in many ways, are highly recommended for health. Therefore, it must be stressed that with the prevalence of recurrent drought and flooding brought by the EL-Nino – La Nina configuration on climate change, Ethiopia and presumably the entire Horn of Africa have huge challenges at hand that they need to tackle. Investing on Ethiopia’s climate change mitigation projects ultimately benefits the entire world. Ethiopia has set a target to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases by 64 percent by 2030, the most ambitious plan to date presented to the United Nations Climate Change Conference. As noted earlier, the green initiative is a home grown climate change mitigation and adaptation mechanism which is closely linked with activities of environmental protection for the promotion of a successful watershed management structures in and around the major hydroelectric dams across the country including GERD. Countries that have pledged to support global climate change mitigation initiatives with 100 billion USD per annum need to translate their pledges into action and support countries like Ethiopia before the devastating effects of climate change will affect the flora and fauna as well as the population in all countries, developed and less developed. The world must take a swift action to rolling back the effects of climate change by keeping up their pledges and supporting the genuine efforts of Ethiopia to mitigate climate change catastrophes. The world has witnessed consequences of climate change, among others, rising sea levels, floods, extreme temperature and drying up of streams. Ethiopia’s green initiative plays its part to keep the planet earth safe and it deserves unreserved support.  
 Green Legacy Initiative A Showcase for Global Climate Change Mitigation
Jun 7, 2023 5964
Green Legacy Initiative A Showcase for Global Climate Change Mitigation BY SOLOMON DIBABA Ethiopia’s multiple and integrated programs in mitigating the effects of climate change is a unique undertaking that interlocks economic, social and environmental programs of the nation. Ethiopia has embarked on Green Legacy Initiative by mobilizing over 20 million peoples during the span of four years. Over the last four years, some 25 billion seedlings including trees, fruit, and cattle feeds have been planted across the country. Ethiopia’s Climate Resilient Green Economy and its offshoot, the Green Legacy Initiative as pioneered by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has, in view of this writer, four main characteristic features that are effectively linked and blended. First of all, the green legacy is a national initiative with measurable global impacts that would set an example not only for poor countries that are swinging in a vicious circle of poverty but also for the so called developed countries that are equally suffering from climate change induced global warming and its effects. Second, although the initiative has vivid global dimensions, Ethiopia is being forced to rely only on its own resources to help mitigate the most dangerous green house effects that are already shattering the global socio-economic fabric and the universal ecosystem. For instance, this year, according to the Steering Committee of the National Green Legacy Initiative, Ethiopia expends more than 20 USD for each tree seedlings and even more for food trees excluding the estimate cost for labor power. Third, the contributions which Ethiopia has made for mitigating the effects of global climate change, its pioneering initiatives in UNEP and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and its efforts from COP1 to COP 27 are indeed enormous. In particular, the Green Legacy Initiative has been so outstanding. Compared to the contributions made thus far, the recognition and support provided to the initiative by those who had made the pledges for carbon financing is insignificant and not worth of the efforts. Ethiopia’s effort in reducing global carbon emission by its green initiative is a job well done. And at its best, this effort has to be provided with overall support; and at worst, appreciation has to be rendered to Ethiopia worth of the effort. This is not indeed about rhetoric; but a serious issue of human survival. Fourth, Ethiopia’s economy is predominantly agrarian, constituting more than 80% of the population. Other sectors such as tourism, manufacturing industries, health services, mining, infrastructure development and transport networks are not immune to climate change. Early warning and metrological findings have proved the aforementioned sectors are affected by climate change. The National Green Legacy serves as rocket booster to the development of various sectors of the national economy. Fifth, Ethiopia’s Green Legacy Initiative is not a standalone program. It is intrinsically linked with "Dine for the Nation", Dine for Sheger", "Dine for the Generation" projects which will have huge contribution to the national economy through tourism development, investment promotion in these eco-toursim projects and a host of other sectors. The practical experience gained in Ethiopia on mitigation of the effects of climate change and the ingenious initiative of Green Legacy needs to be replicated not only to the rest of Africa but also to all developing countries because they are the ones who are suffering from the brunt of manmade catastrophes of climate change. The climate change mitigation that Ethiopia has continued to undertake is a nationally organized program to rescue the fauna and flora of the country and its natural resources like water, vegetation and forest resources from extinction followed by gradual depletion. The development, conservation of natural resources including the indigenous bio-diversity are wealth of the country. Ethiopia is expending a huge amount of financial resources every year to plant trees that would serve as a sustainable asset for current and coming generations. This is the central ideas of the National Green Legacy Initiative that intends to plant some 6.5 billion trees across the country this year. Among other things, making its share to reduce the unabated concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through the National Green Legacy Initiative, Ethiopia is contributing to the global reduction of carbon emission into the earth’s atmosphere. As for the international aid agencies and developed nations, although their relief aid is most welcome in the short run for the effects of climate change like drought, flooding, landslide and other climate change induced disasters through their emergency assistance, it is prudent for aid agencies and affluent nations to provide overall support for countries who are struggling to overcome the root causes of poverty. In fact, affluent nations are emitting billions of tons of carbon into the air, to which they are morally bound to support sustainable climate change mitigation programs that countries like Ethiopia are effectively undertaking. In his recent address to the G7 Conference that was conducted in Hiroshima, Japan, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres remarked that climate change is a practical problem in which enough support is to be provided for the developing countries which are the victims of climate change but contribute almost nothing to the global warming which unless stopped to the level of 1.5 degree Celsius could gallop to 2.8 degree Celsius at the end of the century. Ethiopia is contributing its part to avoid this dangerous effect of global warming and deserves to be supported. Although multi-lateral negotiations and agreements are very important, it is pointless to engage into a marathon of dialogues to no end as the effects of climate change are already threatening the survival of mankind. The exemplary role currently played by Ethiopia needs to be given due recognition as the saying credit where credit is due goes; it should also be promoted not only by the country but by all those who claim to be deeply concerned about the impending negative effects of climate change. And it is fitting to mention that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was awarded the Outstanding African Leadership Award by the American Academy of Achievement and the Global Hope Coalition in Washington DC, in recognition of his Green Legacy initiative, in December, 2022.Ethiopia will certainly remain to be a showcase for mitigating the adverse effects of climate change.  
Generation Medemer: Remedial For Posterity
May 24, 2023 6785
BY STAFF WRITER Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has authored the third series of book entitled Generation Medemer. The first and second series of his books are: Philosophy and Paradigm of Medemer published in 2019 and the Principles and Practices of Medemer written two years later. This latest series, Generation Medemer, with focus on principles and personalities of Medemer is published in Amharic, Afan Oromo, and English languages. The book which once more proved that Prime Minister Abiy is a prolific writer with five books to his name. Particularly, the aforementioned three books have been written in the context of a daunting responsibility he shoulders as a leader of Ethiopia, pioneering a far-reaching national reform program in the unprecedented challenging situation following the war in the northern part of the country, internal and external conspiracy. Fascinatingly, he has managed to write these books in five years despite those difficulties. In latest book, Prime Minister Abiy has taken the initiative to show a generational description of Ethiopia, a country which boasts of history dating back to 3,000 years. The book gives a road map on how the Ethiopian current generation learns from mistakes and tries to improvise on their future. Apart from his previous books, this newest book of the prime minister takes a different stage at a more advanced age which is talking about the millennial generation to put Ethiopia in a position at a global stage. Thus, the book is a deliberation on how Ethiopia is positioned in Africa, in the Middle East, and globally in general. It also suggests how the coming generation needs to work, needs to think and needs to unify in order to strengthen Ethiopian position globally. Accordingly, the first part of Generation Medemer is dedicated to conception and chain of generations since the 19th century Ethiopia while part two deals with generation path and journey and the third part deals with the rising of the new Medemer Generation. In a recent presentation on the English version of the book which was introduced to the international community residing in Addis Ababa, one of the presenter outlined eight items that defined Medemer as synergy, alignment, synchronization of times, ages and era, symmetry of space and balance, alignment of functions, and many others. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as a writer defined Medemer as “an idea that seeks to address the deficit in a new social, political, economic and foreign relations and orientations. Medemer encourages working together for a shared vision towards a mutually beneficial goal. It builds on past successes while striving to correct mistakes in the effort to create a more harmonious union. The book defines and delineates generations that the country has cruised through. Accordingly, five levels of generations in Ethiopia since the 19th century are identified, namely, the conservative patriotic generation, the dreamers generation, disillusioned generation, smart generation and the future Medemer generation to be established. The book identifies the conservative and patriotic generation, imbued with the spirit of victory at Adwa in 1896, is the first to experience modernity (elements of Western modernization). It was the first to have access to modern schools, hotels, cars, cinemas, airplanes and newspapers. That generation placed a premium on “Ethiopianness” and strove for unity and cooperation. It sought to emulate Japan which had successfully modernized while maintaining a balance and blending of its traditional values with the technological progress of Westernization. The Conservative generation sought “to preserve the culture, ethos spirits and patriotism and pride of Ethiopians and aspired to harmonize the modern with the traditional values.” According to Prime Minister Abiy’s latest book, the dreamer generation came into being in the middle of the 20th century and is sometimes referred to as “the children of the 1960s.” This generation was shaped by the expansion of modern education, mass media and broad exposure to foreign values and practice as well as revolutionary ideas. The student movement phenomenon was unique to this generation which steeped itself in Socialist Ideology and organized itself in revolutionary “study clubs.” It mimicked upheavals in Western higher education. Its principal aspiration was to see a democratic Ethiopia but got caught in a vicious cycle of violence which traumatized millions and led to mass exile and displacement of hundreds of thousands during the Red Terror of the Derge era. While the conservative generation was willing to blend tradition with modernity, the dreamer generation did not find much that is worthwhile in traditional values and wanted to fully uproot the existing reality and replace it with a new socialist culture and society. “The leading intellectual figures of the time seemed to believe the solution to all our problems could be derived from the thoughts of a few foreign individuals,”Abiy states. Generation Medemer also argues that the disillusioned (confused) generation came in the last three decades of the 20th century in the aftermath of the demise of the Derg and socialism. This generation witnessed the rise of the ethno-nationalist wing of the dreamer generation. It is disillusioned because of the demise of socialism and ruination of its sacrifices and the political confusion that engulfed the country. Due to its traumatic experience during the Red and White Terrors, this generation lost clear content of politics and disengaged from politics. The other generation is the smart generation, the millennial generation that has been raised on the politics of division. It is estranged from other generations, ignorant of the country’s complex history and is overwhelmed by bitterness and frustration. Its alienation stems from institutionalized politics of division and globalization which has enhanced the influence of foreign social/media to sow ignorance and confusion among members of this generation. Abiy conceives of the alienated generation demands what the country cannot provide and would rather migrate to foreign lands for an uncertain future than stay and strive to make things better at home. It asserts its rights but is clueless of the responsibilities attached to those rights. Its expectations are shaped by globalization. It suffers from a malaise of self-pity, hopelessness, and victimhood. It has limited critical thinking abilities and consumes disinformation on social media mindlessly. Its politics is characterized by extremism. The Generation Medeemer identifies five basic characteristic features of the current generation which is characterized by love of art and beauty, emotional intelligence, the need for trust as social capital, pursuit of excellence and mark of ethical integrity. The book explains intra-generational with the context of raising a new generation of Medemer, relating the existing generation with the newly emerging generation and transgenerational relations of aligning with generation across borders and boundaries to relate with the rest of the world. All in all, the latest series of book authored by Prime Minister Abiy puts a lot of emphasis on how Ethiopia could become a powerhouse in the world that could be considered as a paradigm shift. It has set a tone for the future, and for Ethiopia to be a superpower. And it's a very visionary text, which the coming generations understand, read and have an opinion, have a perspective. The principles of Medemer are not either confined to Ethiopia; they can be applied in universal context. Most certainly, it is a thought of Medemer or inclusiveness. Many scholars who read the book pointed out that the book establishes perspectives by drawing lessons from the past mistakes, rally together and understand each other.  
Ethiopia’s Elevation In Diplomacy Opening Investment Flow 
May 19, 2023 4047
Ethiopia’s Elevation In Diplomacy Opening Investment Flow BY SOLOOMON DIBABA It is noted that the Agreement on the Permanent Cession of Hostilities signed between the Federal Government of Ethiopia and TPLF in Pretoria, South Africa on 2 November, 2022, has won Ethiopia not only a wider international acclamation but also elevated its stature in diplomacy. Following the bold decision of the government to sign the peace accord to resolve the conflict in the northern part of the country and its effective implementation afterwards, Ethiopia has evolved from strained diplomacy to new diplomatic heights. Moreover, the signing of the peace agreement has vividly demonstrated Ethiopia’s irreversible stand for peace in the country and the Horn of Africa, where some influential political figures in Africa have started urging Ethiopia to step up its usual positive role for the cause of Africa both in the sub-region and in the entire continent. Over the last couple of months, different high ranking executives of foreign countries, mostly from Europe, the USA, including the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Peter Szijjarto, the Prime Minister of Italy, Georgia Meloni, Foreign Ministers of France and Germany, Catherine Colonna and Annalena Baerblock respectively, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Eamon Gilmore, Deputy Prime Minister of Slovenia, Tanja Fajon, Vice President of the Republic of Colombia, Francia Elena Márquez Mina and a number of other officials across the world have visited Ethiopia and exchanged views on national and regional issues of common interest. During their discussions with both Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, Demeke Mekonen, the officials expressed the appreciation of their respective governments on the successes achieved in bringing peace to the northern part of the country and on their strong desire to foster the existing bilateral relations and cooperation with Ethiopia. They also discussed with other government officials on how to boost bilateral relations, economic cooperation and the ongoing relief and rehabilitation programs in the northern part of the country. Although relative peace and stability is already ensured in the country, there is huge resource mobilization needs not only for relief and rehabilitation assistance in the war ravaged areas of the country but also to reinvigorate the reconstruction of destroyed infrastructure facilities and embark on investment opportunities based on the trust and mutual understanding between Ethiopia and its partners to revamp the socio-economic development endeavors. The imperatives of buttressing the dividends of peace with socio-economic development will help to ensure sustainable peace and development in the country in line with the Ten Years Perspective Plan which is now under implementation. FDI in the areas of the commanding heights of the economy including agriculture, mining, tourism development, manufacturing industries, energy and infrastructure development are of critical importance for peaceful and uninterrupted economic development for the country. Invest Ethiopia 2023 International Investment Forum held from April 26 to 28 here in Addis Ababa was also a big achievement. The forum aimed to obtain 3 billion USD in FDI for 2023 including 500 million USD soft commitments in the short run. Ethiopia has now become a major investment destination in Africa primarily because of the comparative advantage the country is providing. This includes, among other things, lucrative investment climate, growing economy, excellent climate and fertile soil, young and trainable labor force, access to global markets, improved economic infrastructure, competitive incentive package and government commitment. A number of foreign visitors who attended the forum told ENA that senior government officials had provided them with clear presentations about the investment potentials, impressing them about the potentials of country. In view of the diplomatic stature and its attendant results witnessed over the last couple of weeks, such trends can be multiplied by leaps and bounds in the future, calling for multifaceted preparations from public offices and service providing institutions. So, efforts must be intensified to sustain the results which country has registered following the peace agreement and its implementation. In the first place, Ethiopia’s foreign diplomatic missions abroad should conduct various forums for foreign investors, tourists and others to raise their awareness on the country’s investment potentials and the incentives offered by the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC). This could be done through online conferences in which potential investors can be invited to take part. Or, as Ethiopia is participating in international trade fairs, such occasions should be properly utilized to lure more FDI into the country. The initiatives started by EIC in providing one stop services for incoming investors should be promoted. Eco-tourism development projects are intensified with public resources, and many more projects are waiting for investors. Attracting FDI into the country needs swift provision of services for potential investors. By all standards, Ethiopia’s diplomacy is elevating with the resultant effect of investment flows. For many foreign investors, Ethiopia has become their choice from Africa. Of course, compared to other African countries, Ethiopia has a far better investment policy with attractive incentives. Potential investors, service delivery institutions and relevant actors need to exploit the comparative advantage at their disposal.  
Rolling Back Threats of Terrorism in the Horn of Africa
May 14, 2023 4033
BY A STAFF WRITER Horn of African, due to its strategic importance, has become an epicenter of competition for the global geopolitical actors. Following the growing interest of the superpowers in the Horn, many argue it may lead to greater development in the region or result in further instability. The Horn region has evidently been a safe haven for terrorists unless member states in the region, individually or collectively, are determined to halt any conflicts or attempts of destabilization from further aggravation. The prevalence of lawlessness and destabilization in Somalia some decades in the past created safe haven for terrorist groups, which posed danger on neighboring countries, including Ethiopia. Several terrorist attacks were carried out in the region. For instance, terrorist group known as Al-Shabaab, whose base is Somalia, carried out terrorist attacks in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and other countries in the region. It is public knowledge that last year Al-Shabab fighters tried to make the first huge cross border terrorist encroachment in Ethiopia through the borders of Somali region in the eastern part of the country. Nevertheless, the attack of the terrorist group was fully repulsed by the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), causing huge and humiliating defeat to the terrorist group. Terrorist forces in the Horn of Africa operate on national and regional context. For instance Al-Shabab and Al Qaida formed an alliance to operate not only in Somalia but also in the entire sub-region. Bombing of the US Embassy in Kenya and Tanzania conducted by Al- Shabab and on a mall in Nairobi vividly show that the fight against terrorism calls for regional and international collaboration. Africa Al-Shabab in particular used sea piracy, arms trafficking and contraband to finance and advance various missions of terrorism. Wherever the terrorist groups operate in the Horn of Africa, they were busy recruiting IDPs and refugees from other countries to beef up their forces. Terrorist groups in the Horn of Africa Al-Shabab in particular used sea piracy, arms trafficking and contraband to finance their various missions of terrorism. Wherever the terrorist groups operate in the Horn of Africa, they were busy recruiting IDPs and refugees from other countries to beef up their forces. Evidently, terrorist forces conduct criminal activities, such as drug trafficking, smuggling, human trafficking, corruption and others, with the intention of generating large amounts of profits for their individual leaders and the groups through money laundering. They also use relief supplies in drought affected Somalia as a tool for recruiting new blood of fighters. Terrorism in the region therefore is not limited to political activities but also conducts illicit trade, seriously affecting the economic activities of countries in the region and their quest for peaceful development. Nowadays, cyber terrorism, which is mostly characterized by a politically motivated attack has been posing a great danger and fear on the general public in the region. For instance, over the last three or four years, Ethiopia was a major target of fake information. Thousands of cyber-attacks which targeted various infrastructures of the country were successfully foiled by Information Network Security Agency (INSA). In view of multifaceted threats of terrorism, regional and international cooperation is very necessary to roll back the threats of terrorism in the region. Any political instability and conflicts wherever they occur in the region, should be resolved with ingenious wisdom and peaceful means. Countries in the region must draw lesson from what happened in Somalia: the fact that it hatched terrorist operatives because it was abandoned for protracted destabilization and conflicts. So, bringing together regional and international concerned bodies to durable peace and stability is critical. The cooperation should be firm with sustained international support and all means possible. In this regard, the ongoing conflict between the warring parties in Sudan certainly deserves urgent attention and peaceful resolution of the conflict as the chaotic war situation in the country could create a safe haven for the proliferation and expansion of international terrorism in Sudan as well as the entire Horn of Africa. Even this conflict might have the potential for being used as a stepping stone to expand into the rest of Africa. That is why Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, has consistently urged Sudanese parties to resolve their problem on round table discussion to avoid any level of intervention into the internal affairs of the country. Ethiopia can be now considered the best example in Africa on how to resolve devastating conflicts in a manner that is of crucial importance for the country as well as the peace and stability in the Horn of Africa. The effective implementation of the African Union (AU)-led Permanent Cessation of Hostilities signed between the Federal Government and the TPLF is the best example. Therefore, the international community, African Union (AU), and neighboring states have played essential roles in bringing stability particularly, to fight against terrorism in the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia, as one of the important East African nations in promoting peace, has played a major role in the multi-faceted fight against Al-Shabaab in the region.        
Transitional Justice: Panacea for Ethiopia’s Unsettled Past
May 3, 2023 5033
BY GETNET SHENKUTE In many countries, transitional justice mechanisms have become integral parts of their efforts to transition from an autocratic political order characterized by violence, division, and repression to the peaceful and democratic order. The utility of transitional justice has been at the centre of several African and Latin American countries. Most of them have been successful to account for and address human rights violations, ensure accountability, and reform and strengthen democratic institutions in order to lay the groundwork to sustain political stability and consolidate democracy. Moreover, transitional justice is imperative as a conflict transformation tool in the political landscape of severely divided and post-conflict societies like Ethiopia which the country has experienced in its entire history. The Ethiopian political elites have repeatedly been trying to resolve their differences not through reason but the barrel of guns and force, not through the civilized political approach, but through despotic ways and means. However, the outcome has not become what they dreamt of, but division, bloodshed, decline and poverty ensued. Predominantly, polarizations across ideology, ethnic origin, and political views among the Ethiopian elites, have cost the country dearly. Following unprecedented civil disobedience in 2016, the government which is leading the reform under the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power. Nevertheless, the government was compelled to quell hundreds of conflicts within the first two years of its rule. Violence, arms trafficking, divisive speeches and moves presented imminent danger against Ethiopia. Despite those challenges, the government has strived to bring about the development that the people longed for, and continued working to solve the problems so that the country would not plunge into a bloody war. Of course, the Ethiopian state has been associated with conflicts, divisions and political turmoil for a long time. Over the last two years, Ethiopia also plunged into war, resulting in huge human and material losses. Due to the bold steps taken by the Ethiopian government to end the conflict in the northern part of the country, and reciprocated by TPLF, Permanent Cessation of Hostilities Agreement was signed between the Ethiopian Government and TPLF. Official debt of gratitude has been owed to relevant actors who contributed to restore peace in the northern part of the country. As a result of Ethiopian friends and the commitment of the government, the war in the northern part of the country has now come to an end, following the peace accord. Ethiopia has been reiterating that problems in Africa should be resolved by the African wisdom and principle. Of course, the principle of African solutions for African problems is a common position maintained by many African states. Hands stretched out in a spirit of “African solutions to African problems”, ushering in peace. Of course, Ethiopia’s peace agreement has been considered as a lesson to other neighboring countries and other African countries. In order to permanently consolidate peace that the Ethiopian people have started to enjoy, transitional justice is instrumental to heal the deep-rooted challenges of this country. Ethiopia, standing in a new political trajectory of post-conflict societies, has developed a transitional justice policy document and conducted numerous consultative workshops for enriching the policy and achieving sustainable peace, reconciliation, and justice. Since the beginning of the 2018 political transition in Ethiopia, deliberations on the need for transitional justice measures resurfaced. The government of Ethiopia has also acknowledged the need to prioritize transitional justice and attempts have been made to establish a transitional justice framework. The establishment of the Ethiopian Reconciliation Commission and the Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission were cases in point. Taking lessons from these and building upon the provisions under Article 10 (3) of the Agreement for Lasting Peace through a Permanent Cessation of Hostilities, the Ministry of Justice has recently issued a draft policy document for a complementary transitional justice initiative. In his interview with the Ethiopian News Agency, earlier this month, Dr. Mareshet Tadesse, who is one of the Transitional Justice Working Group, under the auspices of the Ministry of Justice, underlined that Ethiopia really needs a comprehensive transitional justice policy that has to be implanted in a very genuine, independent and impartial process. For him, transitional justice is the only option to Ethiopia at this moment in time to properly confront its unaddressed and unprocessed past. The working group has prepared a “green paper” that has been released for public consultations and inputs, Mareshet indicated. In conclusion, Ethiopia, which has experienced conflicts, divisions and political turmoil in its history, has developed comprehensive transitional justice policy to heal past wrongs. The country strongly believes that transitional justice would help it overcome heaps of challenges which have been inherited from the past. In this regard, the country sees light at the end of the tunnel. It is high time that Ethiopians ended the vicious cycle of violence that ravaged the country for centuries. To this effect, the implementation of transitional justice policy is a panacea for addressing its past and moving forward. It is the conviction of this writer that transitional justice will properly help Ethiopia to confront and come to terms with its past, and the elites of this country should reach consensus to identify the root causes of our problems. Since Ethiopia’s unsettled past is not very much complicated compared to what some other countries have experienced, we really hope that Ethiopia’s cyclic violence will be closed, giving way to a new political culture which all Ethiopians aspire for.        
Ethiopian News Agency
2023