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  • By Alazar Kebede   
    Monday, 20 October 2014 08:02

    Different research works revealed that the urbanisation of our planet, which began in the 19th century, is one of the most notable changes in modern times. While in 1950, 29% of the global population lived in cities, that figure is estimated now at 50%. By 2030 it will reach 61%. According to UNDP, in Africa, urbanisation experienced a rapid shift from 15% in 1950 to 41% today. It is estimated that by 2030, 54% of African people will be living in cities. Not only are more people living in cities, but the cities themselves are also becoming larger and more densely populated.This situation poses unique problems related to the provision of water, sanitation and a healthy environment.

    According to the World Bank, Africa has now 19 cities with populations of more than one million inhabitants. Because of slow economic growth, lack of effective development policies and limited resources, the development of infrastructure has not kept up with the increasing needs for shelter and services in growing urban populations. At the same time, urban settlements in the developing countries are growing five times as fast as those in the industrialized countries.

    This explosive growth of urban populations has resulted in African cities having overcrowded, informal settlements characterized by inadequate housing and poor infrastructure such as water supplies, sanitation and waste management services. The consequence is that most cities, both in developed and developing regions, are showing trends towards segregation rather than social integration between rich and poor neighbourhoods. This is the case for many African cities, where local governments have been unable to keep pace with change and, as a consequence, have also been unable to provide inhabitants with proper infrastructure related to the provision of water and the collection, transportation, processing and disposal of waste materials.

    In developing countries with economies under stress, waste management is a problem that often endangers health and the environment. In addition, this is given low priority by governments often besieged by other problems such as poverty, hunger, child malnutrition, water shortages, unemployment and even war.

    Water supply, sanitation and health are closely related issues. Poor hygiene, inadequate management of liquid or solid waste and lack of sanitation facilities are contributing factors to the death of millions of people in the developing world, due to diseases that are easily preventable. On a global level, more than 5 million people die each year from diseases related to inadequate waste disposal systems.

    Contamination of water leads to a whole range of diarrheal diseases, including cholera, which kills 1.8 million people worldwide. An estimated 90% among them are children below five, mainly from developing countries. Most of the burden can be attributed to unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene practices. According to UNICEF, Infant Mortality Rates are almost always higher in poor urban areas than the national average and than those in rural areas.

    A great proportion of the high mortality among the children of the urban poor can be attributed to diseases common in urban areas such as diarrhea, tuberculosis and parasitic diseases that are frequently associated with lack of safe water and sanitation. Malnutrition in children is often a consequence and a complicating factor. Experience has also shown that provision of clean water by itself only leads to minor health improvements. The most important factor is personal hygiene, with adequate public sanitation and clean water as additional, supporting components.
    Several naturally occurring and human-made chemical substances present in drinking water can have a serious effect on health, particularly in high concentrations. Among chemicals that can be dangerous at elevated levels are fluoride, arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury, nitrates and pesticides. All these factors stress the need to implement policies that ensure the provision of safe water to the population, particularly in marginal areas lacking basic health and social services.

    It is estimated that one in three Africans has no access to improved water or to sanitation facilities and the number of people lacking those basic services is increasing. Unless actions are taken now, the absolute number of people lacking basic services will increase from 200 million in 2000 to 400 million in 2020. Despite progress, however, many Sub-Saharan countries will find it difficult to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set for 2015, particularly MDG 7, which stipulates to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
    According to a previous German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) official data on the progress in water and sanitation in sub-Saharan countries do not reflect the real situation on the ground. Coverage is overestimated in urban and rural areas. Importing sanitation models from the industrialized world and trying to implement centralized “one-size-fits-all” solutions is in many cases neither appropriate nor sustainable.

    Rather, planning approaches must be adapted to better allow for the planning and implementation of context-specific sanitation systems. Among recent innovations in sanitation planning is a more integrated planning approach and a greater emphasis on the actual needs and means of the users, encompassing close consultation with all stakeholders. It is necessary to overcome the lack of integration between the various components of environmental sanitation which are often run by separate agencies or institutions. Better use of synergies can lead to more sustainable and cost-effective solutions.

    To achieve adequate sanitation, it is necessary to convince local authorities, utilities and donors that there should be commitment and participation by all stakeholders. Several of these conditions are also applicable to improving the provision of safe water. In both cases, it is important to provide incentives for good practice. One such incentive could be increased financial aid to municipalities that succeed in implementing effective sanitation and safe water programs. It is also important to move from implementing a strategic planning process in a pilot municipality to disseminating results, through workshops, publications, exchange visits), followed by changes in legislation and procedures as necessary to replicate the process on a wider scale.

    The constraints for improvement are neither financial nor technical; they are political, social and managerial. At the same time, local authorities have to empower people through self-reliance and to support individuals and families in their efforts. Water-sector professionals, too, should combine their technical skills with the ability to communicate to those they serve. Better water and sanitation services can improve everybody’s health and well being. The seriousness with which we approach this task will be a measure of our commitment to building communities better prepared to face the challenges related to sustainably securing potable water and adequate sanitation.

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    ሜጀር ጄኔራል ፋንታ በላይ
    ሜጀር ጄኔራል ፋንታ በላይ በጎንደር ክ/ሀገር በለሳ ወረዳ በ1927 ተወልደው ጎንደር ከተማ ያደጉ ሲሆን የመጀመሪያና የሁለተኛ ደረጃ ትምህርታቸውን በጎንደርና አዲስ አጠናቀዋል።

    ጄኔራል ፋንታ አገራቸውን በውትድርና ለማገልገል በነበራቸው ሙሉ ፈቃደኝነት በኢትዮጵያ አየር ኃይል በ1945 ዓ ም ተቀጥረው በ34 ዓመት ግልጋሎታቸው የሚያስመሰግንና የሚያስደንቅ ሥራ ሰርተው አልፈዋል። አባታቸው ፊታውራሪ በላይ በአምስት ዓመት አርበኝነት በዱር በገደል እየተዘዋወሩ የጣሊያንን ጦር ፊት ለፊት በመግጠም ከፍተኛ ጉዳት በማድረስ ግዴታቸውን በጀግንነት በመወጣት ላይ እንዳሉ መስዋዕት ሆነው በጦር ሜዳ ወድቀዋል። የጀግና ልጁ ጀግና ነውና እኔም እንደ አባቴ ብሎ የውትድርናን ሙያ ወጣቱ ፋንታም ተያያዙት።

    ጄኔራል ፋንታ የኢትዮጵያን አየር ኃይል በዘመናዊ መልክ በማስተማርና በማደራጀት በአዛዥነትና በዘመቻ መኮንን በተለይ በምሥራቅ ጦር ግምባርና በሰሜን ከገንጣይ ጋር በተደረገው እልህ አስጨራሽ የመከላከልና የመልሶ ማጥቃት ውጊያ ወቅት የምድር ጦር የሰጠውን ግብ በቀላል መስዋዕትነት እንዲያዝ የማያቋርጥ የአየር ድጋፍ በመስጠት ግዳጁን በድል እንዲወጣ ያደረጉ ስመጥር የኢትዮጵያ ጀግና ናቸው።

    በተለይ በ1969 ዓ ም የሱማሌ ጦር ዳር ድንበራችንን ጥሶ በገባበት ወቅት የማያቋርጥ የአየር ድጋፍ ከመስጠታቸውም በላይ እንደ እግረኛ መኮንን ከአዛዦች ጋር እግረኛውን እያስተባበሩ የድሬድዋን ከተማ በጠላት እጅ እንዳትወድቅ ያደረጉ ጠንካራ መኮንን ናቸው።

    ጄኔራል ፋንታ በላይ በትምህርት የሚያምኑ፤ ረጋ ያሉ፤ ሁሉ ነገር በጥሞና የሚያዳምጡ ፈጥነውና ቸኩለው ውሳኔ መስጠት የማይወዱ፤ በበታቾቻቸውም ሆነ በአለቆቻቸው የተወደዱ፤ የተከበሩና የተማሩ መኮንን ናቸው።

    በተለይ በግንቦት 8 ቀን 1981 ዓ ም በተሞከረው መፈንቅለ መንግስት ለኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ተራማጅ የሆነ ዘመናዊ የሆነ ለውጥ ማምጣት አለብን በማለት ከጥቂት ጄኔራሎች ጋር ያቀዱት ዕቅድ በመክሸፉ መንግስት ረጉትን፤ ያላቸውን ዕውቅናና የማይረሳ መልካም ግልጋሎታቸውን ክብደት ባለመስጠት በሞት እንዲቀጡ ወስኖባቸዋል። የእርሳቸው ሞት ተራማጅ የሆነውን የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ አሳዝኗል። ጀኔራል ፋንታ ከውትድርና ትምህርታቸው በተጨማሪ በኤሮኖቲካል አድሚኒስትሬሽን እና በማኔጅመንት ሳይንስ በዲግሪ ተመርቀዋል።"



    ምንጭ "ሁሉም ነገር ወደ ሰሜን ጦር ግንባር" ከብ/ጄኔራል ውበቱ ፀጋዬ

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    Ethiopia’s clothes firms aim to fashion global sales

    Ethiopian fashion designer Fikirte Addis kneels down and wraps a tape measure around the waist of a customer, before scribbling on a piece of paper on which the outline of a flowing gown takes shape.

    The customer, Rihana Aman, owns a cafe in the capital, Addis Ababa, and went to Ms Fikirte’s shop in the city, Yefikir Design, for a wedding dress fitting.

    The dress, however, is actually for her sister, who lives and works in London, but will soon return to her homeland with her English fiance.

    Ms Rihana explains how she shares her sister’s figure, and that the cotton dress will be ready for when her sister arrives back for her “melse”, the Ethiopian wedding ceremony.

    “I love the traditional aspect of the clothing,” Ms Rihana says of why she chose Yefikir. “So many dresses now are too modern, and use fabrics that lose what it means to be Ethiopian.”

    Along with other designers, Ms Fikirte is drawing on Ethiopia’s rich cultural heritage while adding a modern twist to find success in the fashion industry at home – and increasingly abroad.

    As a result, fashion design is proving to be one of the most successful Ethiopian sectors for small business and entrepreneurs, generating profit margins ranging from 50% to more than 100%.

    Rich heritage

    Companies such as Yefikir have flourished in Ethiopia due to the absence of big chain department stores, and relatively low start-up costs, set against the high prices individuals are willing to pay for quality, traditionally made fashion garments.

    All Yefikir designs are made by hand on weaving machines operated using techniques that go back centuries.

    Flashes of colour come from strips of tilet and tilf – intricately woven or hand-embroidered multi-coloured patterns – which skirt hems, go around waists or course down backs.

    It took Musie Teamrat, a 27-year-old embroider, 10 days to make three tilfs for one Yefikir dress.

    As a result of such painstaking work, Yefikir’s custom-made dresses can sell for up to 15,300 birr ($850; £530), a sizeable sum, especially in a country where many toil for no more than 50 birr a day.

    Despite such apparent inequities, many Ethiopians – especially those in its growing middle class – are happy to pay handsomely for tailored garments with traditional influences, says 25-year-old fashion designer Mahlet Afework.

    Fikirte Addis (centre) is looking at increasing her overseas sales

    She adds that Ethiopians take great pride in the country’s ethnic diversity – about 84 languages and 200 dialects are spoken – and in displaying allegiances through clothing at special events such as weddings and festivals.

    Her clothing line, Mafi, specialises in ready-to-wear garments offering a notably funky take on the country’s ethnic melting pot, and one that has proved successful.

    In 2012 Ms Mahlet won the Origin Africa Design Award, and showcased her work at African Fashion Week New York.

    Home-spun skills

    Ethiopia’s successful fashion designers are predominantly women who grew up surrounded by traditionally woven cotton fabrics, and did not need to be taught the tailoring and embroidering skills required to make beautiful and delicate clothing.

    At the same time, a lack of formal fashion design education is preventing many Ethiopian designers from breaking out internationally, says Ms Mahlet, who is self-taught, and credits Google Search as her primary tutor.

    She adds that those few Ethiopian institutions teaching fashion design run courses that are far shorter than the typical three-year fashion degrees taught in the West, and need to better impart the skills needed to compete internationally.

    Other Ethiopian fashion houses

    Ayni’s Design

    Paradise Fashion

    African Mosaique

    Urban Roots Couture

    Esete Fashion


    Yohannes Sisters

    Another problem in the international arena is conducting sales transactions.

    Banking restrictions mean there are no foreign banks in Ethiopia, and international customers are often suspicious of paying into African accounts, Ms Fikirte says.

    Yefikir currently sells through Africa Design Hub, a US-based online store founded in 2013 by Western expatriates to showcase African designs while bridging markets.

    Elizabeth Brown, the store’s co-founder, says: “After living in East Africa for several years we saw the potential of African designs in the global market, but also a gap in market linkages, and knowledge sharing, between the industry and global consumers.”

    International arena

    Yet global interest in Ethiopia’s fashion scene is undoubtedly growing.

    “Ethiopia has some wonderful and interesting craftsmanship,” says Markus Lupfer, a British fashion designer who since 2010 has mentored young Ethiopian fashion designers in developing collections.

    He adds that growing international recognition for Ethiopia’s designers is partly a result of increasing demand for ethically produced fashion designs.

    Although for the majority of Ethiopia’s fashion designers, there is not yet enough of that recognition.

    And while local demand remains buoyant – this year Ms Mahlet plans to open in-store Mafi fashion concession areas in Addis-Ababa-based boutiques; common practice in the West, but a new concept in Ethiopia – designers agree that international demand is essential for significant business growth.

    Ms Fikirte and Ms Mahlet plan to bolster their companies’ online presences this year, with both sharing a goal of exporting their designs to overseas boutiques and online stores.

    “Ethiopia’s fashion industry is changing the image of Ethiopia,” Ms Fikirte says. “It is showing the diversity and beauty of Ethiopian culture, and providing some of the world’s best hand-woven cotton fabrics.”

    Source,  BBC

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    Refugee seekers lie on the beach along the coast of the southern Yemeni town of Ahrwar , about 630 km (390 miles) from the capital Sanaa

    Sanaa ( AFP + DIPLOMAT.SO) – Scores have drowned in the Red Sea in recent weeks trying to cross to Yemen making this year’s death toll the highest in years, the UN’s refugee agency said Friday.

    “There’s been a sharp increase this year in the number of migrants and asylum seekers losing their lives in attempts to get to Yemen, mainly from the Horn of Africa, with more deaths in 2014 than in the last three years combined,” UNHCR spokesman William Spindler told reporters.

    Thousands of people fleeing lawless Somalia and the iron-fisted regime in Eritrea, among other troubled countries, try to reach Yemen in the hope of making their way on to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

    In the latest incident, 64 migrants and three crew died on October 2 when their vessel sank in the Gulf of Aden after leaving Somalia, he said.

    “With five additional deaths since, this brings the number of dead this year to 215, exceeding the combined total for 2011, 2012 and 2013,” he said.

    Spindler said smuggling rings using overloaded vessels were increasingly getting more ruthless, throwing passengers overboard to avoid detection or capsize.

    The October 2 tragedy marked the deadliest sinking since June, when 62 people died. Forty-four people perished in March in another incident, while another in April claimed 12 lives.

    Spindler said that the latest deaths came against the background of a dramatic increase in the number of new arrivals for September off Yemen’s coast.

    At 12,768, it was the single biggest month for arrivals since current record-keeping began in 2002.

    – Abuse, rape and torture –

    “There have been frequent reports of mistreatment, abuse, rape and torture and the increasingly cruel measures being adopted by smuggling rings seem to account for the increase in deaths at sea,” said Spindler.

    “Search-and-rescue officials say the practice has resulted in hundreds of undocumented casualties in recent years,” he added.

    Similar stories have emerged from the far more travelled Mediterranean route, where more than 3,000 migrants have died trying to reach Europe this year alone, according to the International Organization for Migration.

    Among the migrants who cross the Red Sea and manage to reach Yemen, many get stuck at the Saudi border, unable to cross.

    Yemen is the only country in the Arabian Peninsula that is signatory to two international accords dating back to 1951 and 1967 governing the protection of refugees.

    It currently hosts 246,000 refugees, of whom over 230,000 are from Somalia and a smaller number from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iraq and Syria, according to UNHCR figures.

    In addition to the foreign refugees, more than 334,000 Yemenis have been displaced within their country by conflict.

    UNHCR and its partners are working flat out with Yemeni authorities to help care for boat people who make it to the country,

    “We also call on countries of origin, transit and destination in the region to step up their cooperation in managing the flows of migration,” Spindler said.

    “At the same time they must pay due attention to the protection needs of refugees, asylum seekers and other vulnerable groups such as women and minors,” he added.

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    ነሐሴ 6 2006ዓም የአሜሪካ ድምጽ ራዲዮ የአማርኛዉ ቋንቋ አገልግሎት በኢትዮጵያ መንግሥትና በውጭ ሀገር የሚኖሩ ትውልደ ኢትዮጵያዊያን (ዳያስፖራ) መካከል ያለዉን ግንኙነት የገመገመ ዝግጅት ማቅረቡ ይታወሳል።

    በዝግጅቱ ዉስጥ ከተካተቱት በርካታ ርእሶች መካከል የካሊፎርኒያው አዙሳ ፓሲፊክ ዩኒቨርሲቲ ለጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ሃይለማሪያም ደሳለኝ ሊሰጥ አቅዶ የነበረዉ የክብር ስነስርዓት የሰረዘበት ምክንያት አንዱ ነበር። ርዕሰ ጉዳዩን አስመልክቶ የተጠናከረ ዘገባ በአሜሪካ ድምጽ ራዲዮ መሰራጨቱን ተከትሎ፤ አንዳንድ የአሜሪካ ድምጽ ጋዜጠኞች “ሆን ብለዉ እዉነትን አዛብተዋል።” የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ “የዳያስፖራዉን ድምጽ እንዳይሰማ አፍነዋል” የሚሉና በተለይም አዙሳ ዩኒቬርሲቲ ሽልማቱን እንዲሰርዝ ዘመቻ ካደረጉት አንዱ ጋዜጠኛና የፖለቲካ አክቲቪስት አቶ አበበ ገላዉ ቪኦኤ ላይ ያቀረባቸዉ ክሶች በራሱ ድረ ገጽ አዲስ ድምጽ፣ በኢሳትና በሌሎች የዳይስፓራ መገናኛ ብዙሃን ሲሰራጭ ሰንብቷል።

    ከአቶ አበበ ገላዉና የዋሽንግተን ዲሲ ኢትዮጵያ ማህበረሰብ ጣምራ ግብረ-ሃይል ከተባለው  የዳያስፖራ ቡድን ለአሜሪካ ድምጽ ራዲዮ አስተዳደር የተቃዉሞ ደብዳቤዎች ደርሰዋል። የአሜሪካ ድምጽ ሬድዮም በዝግጅቶቹ ላይ ከማንኛውም ወገን የሚቀርቡ ተቃውሞዎችንና ትችቶችን ትኩረት ሰጥቶ ያጣራል። በዚህም መሰረት የጣቢያው ሃላፊዎች የፕሮግራሞችን ይዘት የሚገመግም ገለልተኛ አጣሪ ቡድን መድበው፤ የፕሮግራሙን ይዘት አስመርምረዉ ለአቶ አበበ ገላዉ ኦፊሴል ምላሽ ሰጥተዋል።

    ቀጥለን በምናቀርበዉ ዝግጅት የነሐሴ 6ቱን ዘገባ ዋና ዓላማና የተጠናቀረበትን ሁኔታ፣ የገለልተኛውን አጣሪ ቢሮ ድምዳሜዎች፣ እንዲሁም ከፕሮግራሙ ሰፊ ክፍል በአንድ ነጥብ ላይ የተፈጠረዉን ዉዥንብር ግልጽ ካደረግን በኋላ፤ አሻሚ የሆኑና የተሳሳትንባቸው ነጥቦች ላይ ማስተካከያ ለመስጠት ነው።

    የአሜሪካ ድምጽ ሬድዮ ገለልተኛ አጣሪ ቡድን፤ የነሐሴ 6ቱን ዝግጅት ወደ እንግሊዝኛ አስተርጉሞ ይዘቱን እስኪያጣራ ጊዜ ስለወሰደ በፕሮግራም ላይ ማብራሪያ ለመስጠት መዘግየቱን እናምናለን። ለዚህም አድማጮቻችንን ይቅርታ እንጠይቃለን።

    ነሐሴ 6 2006 ዓ.ም. በአሜሪካ ድምጽ ራዲዮ የአማርኛዉ ቋንቋ የተሰራጨዉ ዘገባ የኢትዮጵያን መንግስትና በዉጪ አገሮች በተለይም በዋሽንግተን ዲሲና አካባቢዋ የሚኖረዉን የትዉልደ ኢትዮጵያ ማህበረሰብ ግንኙነት የገመገመ ነበር። በዋሽንግተንና አካባቢዋ የኢትዮጵያን መንግስት ፖሊስ የሚነቅፉና የሚደግፉ እንዳሉ ሲታወቅ፤ በሀምሌ ወር መጨረሻ ላይ በዋሽንግተን ዲሲ በተካሄደዉ የUS እና የአፍሪቃ መሪዎች ጉባኤ ላይ የተገኙ የኢትዮጵያ መንግስት ባለስልጣናት ከዳያስፖራዉ የገጠማቸዉ ተቃዉሞ ትኩረት የሚስብ ነበር።

    የመሪዎቹ ጉባኤ በተከፈተበት ሰኞ ሃምሌ 28 ቀን ከፍተኛ ቁጥር ያላቸዉ ትዉልደ ኢትዮጵያ የዋሽንግተን ዲሲና አካባቢዋ ነዋሪዎች የኢትዮጵያ መንግስትን ፖሊሲና የስብአዊ መብት አያያዝ በመቃወም ሰላማዊ ሰልፍ አድርገዋል። የአሜሪካ ድምጽ ራዲዮ በዚያ ተቃዉሞ ሰልፍ ላይ ያጠናቀረዉን ዘገባ በወቅቱ አስራጭቷል።

    ጉባኤዉን ለመካፈል ዋሽንግተን የተገኙ የኢትዮጵያ ባለስልጣናት ከዳያስፓራ አክቲቪስት ወይም የፖለቲካ ለውጥ አራማጆች በተናጠል የገጠማቸዉ ተቃዉሞ በማህበራዊ መገናኛ ብዙሃንና Youtube ተሰራጭቷል። የኢትዮጽያ መንግስት ኮሚኒኬሽንስ ጉዳዮች ሚኒስትር አቶ ሬድዋን ሁሴን በአንድ የቨርጂኒያ የልብስ መደብር ዉስጥ እንዲሁም የንግድ ሚኒስትሩ አቶ ከበደ ጫኔ ላሊበላ በሚባል የዋሽንግተን ዲስ ምግብ ቤት ዉስጥ ከዳያስፖራ የፖለቲካ ለውጥ አራማጆች የገጠማቸዉ ተቃዉሞ በምሳሌነት ይጠቀሳል። እነዚህ ክስቶች ዜና ከመሆናቸዉም በላይ፤ የኢትዮጵያ መንግስትን ከሚተቸዉ ዳያስፖራ ተቃዉሞው እየሰላ መምጣቱን የሚያሳዩ ናቸዉ።

    በሌላ በኩል በዘገባው እንደቀረበው የኢትዮጵያ መንግስት በሚቆጣጠራቸዉ መገናኛ ብዙሃን በዳያስፖራዉ ኑሮ አሉታዊ ፕሮግራሞች ያቀርባሉ። በኢትዮጵያ ቴሌቪዢን የሚቀርቡ የድራማ ዝግጅቶት በዉጭ አገር ተምረዉ ኑሯቸዉን አሸንፈዉና ለማህበረሰቡ ከፍተኛ አስተዋጽኦ ከሚያደርጉት ኢትዮጵያዊያን ኑሮ ይልቅ ሳይሳካላቸው የቀሩና ቤት አልባ የሆኑ ምሳሌዎች ላይ በማትኮር የስላቅ ትረካ ከሚቀርብባቸው ድራማዎች ከአንድ ሙዚቃው ጋር ቀንጭቦ አቅርቧል።

    ዘገባው ሲቀጥል በዉጭ አገር የሚኖሩ ኢትዮጵያዉን ለኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብና መንግስት የኢኮኖሚ ምንጭ መሆናቸውን ያትታል። በሰዉ እጅ በአደራ ለዘመድ ወዳጅና ለልዩ ልዩ ወጪዎች ድጎማ ወደ አገር የሚገባዉ ገንዘብ ሳይሰላ በኦፊሴል በባንክ ከዳያስፖራ የሚላከዉ ገንዘብ ለአገሪቱ የዉጪ ምንዛሪ ከሚያሰገኙ ምርቶች ገቢ የላቀ መሆኑን ዓለም አቀፍ የገንዘብ ተቋማት ይናገራሉ። በዓመት ከዳያስፖራ ወደ ኢትዮጵያ የሚገባዉ የገንዘብ መጠን ከ3 ቢሊዮን ዶላር በላይ መሆኑን የዓለም ባንክ መረጃ ይናገራል።

    የአሜሪካ ድምጽ ራዲዮ ዘገባ ታዲያ እነዚህን ጭብጦች የዘረዘረና በዳያስፖራና በኢትዮጵያ መንግስት መካከል ያለዉ ልዩነት መካረር ለምን? እንዴትስ ቢሆን ይፈታል? የሚል ግምገማ ያቀረበ ነዉ። እነዚህን ነጥቦች የገመገሙልን በየጊዜዉ ሚዛናዊ ትንታኔ ወይም አስተያየት የሚሰጡን የሕግ ባለሙያ አቶ ሙሉጌታ አረጋዊ ናቸዉ። ስለዳያስፖራ ተቃዋሚዎችም ሆነ ስለኢትዮጵያ መንግስት የሰጡን ግምገማ ከነሙሉ ዘገባው በድረ-ገጻችን www.voanews.com ላይ ይገኛል።

    አስራ አንድ ደቂቃ ርዝመት ያለው የነሐሴ 6ቱ ዝግጅታችን አብላጫው ክፍል በነዚህ ርእሶች ላይ ያተኮረ ነው። በካሊፎርኒያ የሚገኘዉ የአዙሳ ፓሲፊክ ዩኒቨርሲቲ፤ ከዚያ ዲግሪያቸዉን ላገኙት ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ሃይለማሪያም የክብር ስነስርዓት ለማድረግ የነበረዉ እቅድ በጋዜጠኛና የፖለቲካ አክትቪስት አበበ ገላዉ እንዲሁም በሌሎች ተቃዉሞ መሰረዙ አንዱ የሰሞኑ ክስተት እንደነበር አንድ ባልደረባችን ገለጸልን። እዚህ ላይ መረጃዉን በጊዜዉ አግኝተን ብንዘግብበት ተገቢ መሆኑን እንገልጻለን። ሆኖም በኢሳት ቴሊቪዥን እንደተነገረዉ፤ ኢሳት ከሁለት ሳምንታት በፊት ርእሱ ላይ መዘገቡን በማወቅ የኢሳትንም ሆነ የአቶ አበበ ገላዉን “ተአማኒነት ለማጥፋት”፤ የነሐሴ 6ቱን ፕሮግራም ባጠናቀረዉ ጋዜጠኛ ሄኖክ ሰማእግዜርም ሆነ በዋና አዘጋጅዋ ትዝታ በላቸዉ የተደረገ ደባ እንደሌለ ማስገንዘብ እንወዳለን።

    በአሜሪካ ድምጽ ሬድዮ አሰራርና ዘገባዎች ላይ ትችቶችና ቅሬታዎች ከተለያዩ የፖለቲካ ድርጅቶች፣ መንግስታትና ለውጥ አራማጆች ይሰማሉ። ከኢትዮጵያ መንግስት የአማርኛው ዝግጅት ክፍል ለተቃዋሚዎች “ያዳላል” የሚል ባለ 42 ገጽ ክስ ከሶስት ዓመት በፊት ቀርቦበታል። ቪኦኤም ገለልተኛ አጣሪ ቡድን በመመደብ በአግባቡ አጣርቶ ምላሽ ሰጥቶበታል። አቶ አበበ ገላውም በዝግጅታችን ላይ ቅሬታ ሲያቀርብ የመጀመሪያው አይደለም። ከዚህ ቀደም የቮኦኤን ዘገባዎችና ጋዜጠኛ ገለልተኝነት ከጥያቄ የሚያስገቡ ተቃውሞዎችን አቅርቧል። የአሜሪካ ድምጽ ሬድዮ በነዚህ ክስተቶች ላይ ተገቢውን ማጣራት አድርጎ፤ በዘገባዎቹና አሰራሩ የሚተማመን መሆኑን አሳውቋል። በዚህም መሠረት የዝግጅት ክፍላችን በማንኛውም ጊዜ የሚቀርቡ ቅሬታዎችንና ትችቶችን በአግባቡ ተቀብሎ፤ ተገቢውን ማጣሪያ የማድረግ፤ አስፈላጊ ሆኖ ከተገኘ ምላሽ ይሰጣል። የጋዜጠኝነት መርሆም ይሄው ነውና።

    የሆነ ሆኖ ከክፍላችን ባልደረባ ያገኘነዉ አቶ አበበ ገላዉ ከአዙሳ ፓሲፊክ ዩኒቬርሲቲ የህዝብ ግንኙነት ሃላፊ Rachel White ጋር የተለዋወጠዉ የኢሜል መልክት ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩን ለማክበር ተጀምሮ የነበረዉ ዝግጅት መሰረዙን ስለሚጠቁም፡-

    1ኛ- በዳያስፓራዉና በኢትዮጵያ መንግስት መካከል ያለዉ ግንኙነት መሻከር ማሳያ በመሆኑ

    2ኛ- አቶ ሃይለማሪያም ደሳለኝ የአገሪቱ መሪ እንደመሆናቸዉ ዜናዉ አንድምታ ስላለዉ በመጨረሻዉ ደቂቃ በዝግጅቱ ለማካተት በጋራ ወሰንን።

    ስነስርዓቱ የተሰረዘበትን ሁኔታ ከዩኒቨርሲቲዉ ማጣራት ዘገባችንን የተሟላ እንደሚያደርገዉ በማመን፤ ወደ ዩኒቬርሲቲዉ ቃል አቀባይ Rachel White ስልክ መደወል አስፈላጊ ነበር። ፕሮግራሙን ያቀናበረዉ ሔኖክ ይህን ለማጣራት ጊዜዉ ስላልነበረዉ ሌላ የክፍላችን ባልደረባ የዩኒቨርሲቲውን ሕዝብ ግንኙነት ሃላፊ በማነጋገር መልሱን በጽሑፍ ተቀበለ። በነገራችን ላይ የRachel White ድምጽ “ለምን አልተቀዳም?” የሚል ጥርጣሬ የተሞላበት ተቃዉሞ ፕሮግራሙን ከሚተቹ ይሰነዘር ነበር። የተሰጠዉ ቃል በትክክል እስከ ተቀመጠ ድረስ አሰራሩ በጋዜጠኝነት ሙያ የተለመደ እንደሆነ ልናስገነዝብ እንወዳለን። በዚህ አሰራር መሰረት የተሰጠው ቃል በድምጽ ካልሆነ፤ በስልክ ወይንም በጽሁፍ የተሰጠውን ምላሽ አንቀበልም አንልም። 

    የሆነ ሆኖ Rachel White የዩኒቨርሲቲዉ ባለስልጣናት በዩናይትድ ስቴይትስ የውጭ ጉዳይ መስሪያቤት የተጻፈዉን የኢትዮጵያ መንግስት የሰብአዊ መብት አያያዝ በመገምገም ላይ እያሉ፤ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ሃለማሪያም ደሳለኝ ደዉለዉ መገኘት እንደማይችሉ በመናገራቸዉ ስነስርዓቱ መሰረዙን በቃል ገልጹልን። የአሜሪካ ድምጽ ራዲዮ ገለልተኛ አጣሪ ቢሮ ፕሮግራሙ የተሰረዘበትን ምክንያት ለማወቅ ወደ Rachel White ባደረገዉ የስልክ ጥሪ የሕዝብ ግንኙነት ሃላፊዋ ይህንኑ ለአማርኛዉ አገልግሎት የሰጡትን ምክንያት ነዉ የደገሙት።

    በዘገባችን የተጠቀሰዉ ምክንያት ግን “ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ ሰለ ሰረዙ” የሚለዉ ብቻ በመሆኑ፣ የዩኒቨርሲቲዉ ሹማምንት የኢትዮጵያን መንግስት ሰብአዊ መብት ይዞታ እየገመገሙ እንደነበር ባለመጥቀሳችን አድማጮቻችንን ይቅርታ እንጠይቃለን። በኢትዮጵያ ያለዉን የሰብአዊ መብት ሁኔታ በየጊዜዉ ስለምንዘግብና ወደፊትም መዘገባችንን ስለምንቀጥል ከዚህ ሪፓርት ዉስጥ ሆን ብለን የምናወጣበት ምክንያት አይኖርም።

    እንደ ሌሎች ጋዜጠኞች ሁሉ ታዲያ እኛም ሰዎች በመሆናችን አንዳንዴ በሰዓቱ ፕሮግራም ለማድረስ ስንጣደፍ፤ ወይም በአንድ ርእስ ላይ ያለን መረጃ የተሟላ ሳይሆን ሲቀር ስህተት እንሰራለን። ሆኖም መስሪያ ቤታችን እነዚህን ስህተቶች ተቀብሎ የማረም ግልጽ ፖሊስ ይከተላል።

    የአዙሳ ዩኒቨርስቲ ቃል አቀባይ የጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ኋይለማርያም ደሳለኝ የክብር ስነስርዓት መሰረዝን አስመልክቶ የሚሰጡን አዲስ መረጃ ካለ ማብራሪያ እንዲሰጡ በስልክ ጋብዘናል።

    Rachel White በመጀመሪያ በዉሳኔዎቻችን ሁሉ እግዚአብሔር ቀደሚ ነዉ ከሚለዉ ዋናዉ መርሆችንና እምነታችን በላይ የሆነ እንደሌለ በመግለጽ ልጀምር ካሉ በሁዋላ

    “የዩኒቬርሲቲዉ አመራር አባላት በቅርቡ የአሜሪካ ዉጭ ጉዳይ መስሪያ ቤት የኢትዮጵያ ፌዴራል ከፈተኛ ፍርድ ቤት በእስር ላይ የሚገኙ ጋዜጠኞች ላይ ያሳለፈዉን ዉሳኔ አስመልክቶ የወጣዉ መግለጫ ጭምር በኢትዮጽያ የሚካሄዱ ጉዳዮችን እየተከታተሉ ሳለ ወዲያዉ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ ጉዟቸዉን በአጭር እንደሚቆርጡ መልዕክት ደረሰን። ስለዚህ ስነስርዓታችን ተሰረዘ።”

    የትኛዉ ነጥብ ነዉ ለዩኒቨርሲቲዉ ባለስልጣናት ዉሳኔ ዋና መሰረት የሆነዉ? የጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ ስነስርዓቱ ላይ እንደማይገኙ እናንተን ማሳወቅ ወይስ የሰብአዊ መብት ጉዳይ? ለሚለዉ ጥያቄያችን Rachel White መልስ ሲሰጡ: “ዩኒቨርሲቲዉ የሰብአዊ መብት መከበር በጣም ያሳስበዋል። እግዚአብሔርን እንደሚያስቀድም አንድ የክርስቲያን ተቋም። ሆኖም የክብር ስነስርዓቱ የተሰረዘበት ምክንያቶች ተከታታይ ናቸዉ። የኢትዮጵያ የሰብአዊ መብት አያያዝ አሳስቦን ዜናዎችን እየተከታተልን ሳለ፥ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ ሰልክ ደዉለዉ ለክብር ስነስርዓቱ እንደማይገኙ ገለጹልን።”

    የዳያስፖራ ማህበረሰብ አባላት ስነስርዓቱን እንድትሰርዙ ያደረጉት ጥረት የቱን ያህል ሚና ነበረዉ?

    Rachel White ይመልሳሉ:- “እንዳልኩት ዩኒቨርሲቲዉ ለዉሳኔዎቹ ሁሉ መሰረት የሚያደርገዉ እግዚአብሔር ቀዳሚ ነዉ የሚለዉን መተክሉን ነዉ። ስለዚህ በዉጪ ድርጅቶች እኛን ማግባባት ሳይሆን የዉስጥ መርሃችን ላይ ነዉ ያተኮርነዉ።”

    ቀድሞዉኑ ለጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ሃይለማሪያም ደሳለኝ የክብር ስነስርዓት ማድረግ ከየት ነዉ የመነጨዉ?”

    “ስለዚያ ልናገር አልችልም። የዚያ ዉሳኔ አካል አልነበርኩም።” ነበር ያሉት Rachel White

    አቶ አበበ ገላዉ ሰለ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ሃይለማሪያም ሽልማት መሰረዝ የቪኦኤ አማርኛ አገልግሎት የዩኒቨርሲቲውን ቃል አቀባይ ጠቅሶ ባቀረበው ዘገባ የተሰጠዉ ምክንያት ሰህተት መሆኑን በመጠቆም በተደጋጋሚ ለአሜሪካ ድምጽ ራዲዮ ሃላፊዎች ደብዳቤ ጽፏል። የበኩሉን እንዲያስረዳ ጠይቀናል።

    (በአማርኛ የሰጠውን ቃል ከዚህ ዘገባ ጋር አያይዘናል)

    አቶ አበበ ገላይ ከላይ ያቀረባቸውን ነጥቦች እናመሳክር፡

    1ኛ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ሃይለማርያም ደሳለኝ “ወደ ኢትዮጵያ መመለስ እንዳለባቸው በመግለጻቸው” የሚለው የRachel White ቃል ነው። በኛ ዘገባ ከፊትም ከኋላም አልተባለም።

    2ኛ ዝግጅቱ የተሰረዘው በአበበ ገላውና ዓለም አቀፍ ትብብር ለኢትዮጵያ መብት “ጫና” በሚል አቶ አበበ ያቀርበው መረጃ በእርግጥም በኛ ዘገባ “ጫና የሚል ቃል አልተጠቀምንም”

    “በGARE እና በራሱ የቀረበ ተቃውሞ ውሳኔው መቀልበሱን በዘገባ አስፍሯል” ነው የሚለው። ይህንም ያገኘንው ረቡእ ጁላይ 23 በ1.07 PM ላይ ባሳተመው “ዩኒቨርስቲው የጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩን ክብር ገፈፈ” በሚል ርእስ ባሰፈረው ጽሁፍ ላይ ነው። እንዲህ ይላል “ የአሜሪካ ወንጌላዊት ዩኒቨርስቲው አስተዳደር ውሳኔውን ያሳለፈው ባለፈው ዓርብ በጠራዉ አስቸኳይ ስብሰባ ላይ ይሄ ዘጋቢ (አቶ አበበ ገላውን ማለቱ ነው) በርካታ የተቃውሞ ጥያቄዎችን በማንሳት፤ የሰብዓዊ መብት ለሚጥስ ሰው ክብር መስጠት ከAPU መመሪያ ቃል ጋር አብሮ ይሄዳል ወይ የሚል ጥያቄ ካነሳ በኋላ ነው።

    3ኛውና የመጨረሻው ነጥብ “ደብዳቤ አልጻፍኩም” የሚለው ሲሆን፤ ይህንን የአሜሪካ ድምጽ ሬድዮ ያገኘው አቶ አበበ ገላው ለባልደረባችን በላከው ኢ-ሜይል ነው። የተላከው የኢሜይል መልዕክት ከአሱዛ ፓሲፊክ ዩኒቨርስቲ ቃል አቀባይ ሬቸል ዋይት ጋር በጁላይ 17 እና 19 የተለዋወጠው ሲሆን፤ ቃሉንም የወሰድነው አቶ አበበ ገላው ከላከልን የኢሜይል ልዉውጥ ነው። በዘገባችን “ደብዳቤ” ነው ያልንው-- “ኤሌክትሮኒክ ደብዳቤ (ኢ-ሜይል)” በሚል እናርማለን።     

    የአሜሪካ ድምጽ ራዲዮ አስተዳደር አቶ አበበ ገላውና የዋሽንግተን ዲሲ ኢትዮጵያ ማህበረሰብ ጣምራ ግብረ-ሃይል ያቀረቡትን ተቃውሞ በገለልተኛ አጣሪ ቡድኑ ወደ እንግሊዘኛ አስተርጉሞ ይዘቱን መገምገሙን ገልጾናል። መስሪያ ቤቱ የደረሰባቸዉን ግኝቶች ቀጥለን እናቀርባለን።

    1ኛ፡ የአሜሪካ ድምጽ ራዲዮ የአማርኛዉ ቋንቋ አገልግሎት በዘገባዉ ለኢትዮጵያ መንግስት ወገንተኝነትን አላሳየም።

    2ኛ፡ የአሜሪካ ድምጽ ራዲዮ በዚያ ዘገባ ያቀረበዉ የአዙሳ ዩኒቬርሲቲዉ የክብር ስነስርዓት ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ ስለሰረዙ ነዉ ማለቱ “ትክክል ነዉ”። ነገር ግን ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ ደዉለዉ ከመሰረዛቸዉ በፊት ዩኒቬርሲቲዉ የሰብአዊ መብት አያያዛቸዉን ይገመግም ነበር የሚለዉ የሕዝብ ግንኙነትዋ መልስ ባለመካተቱ ታሪኩን በስፋት ማስረዳት ይችሉ የነበሩ ጭብጦችን አስቀርቷል።

    3ኛ፡ የአሜሪካ ድምጽ ራዲዮ የአማሪኛዉ ቋንቋ ዝግጅት ነሃሴ 6 ቀን ያስተላለፈዉ ፕሮግራም የኢትዮጵያን መንግስት የሚቃወሙ ወገኖችን አስተያየት በስፋት ያስተናገደ፤ ነገር ግን የኢትዮጵያ መንግስትን የሚደግፉ ወገችን ሃሳብ በበቂ ያላካተተ ነዉ ብሏል።

    የአሜሪካ ድምጽ ሬድዮ ነሐሴ 6ቀን ያስተላለፈዉ ፕሮግራም ጋዜጠኞቹ ከእለት ተእለት ዜናዎች አልፈዉ በየጊዜዉ ጥልቀት ያላቸዉ ትንታኔዎችና አስተያዬቶችን ለፕሮግራሙ ተከታታዮች ለማቅረብ የሚያደርጉት ጥረት ምሳሌ ነዉ።

    አብዛኞቹ ኢትዮጵያ መንግስት ባለስልጣናት ለአሜሪካ ድምጽ ሬድዮ ጋዜጠኞች አስተያየታቸውን መስጠት ያለመፈለጋቸው፤ የተሟላና የሁሉንም ወገኖች አስተያየት የያዙ ዘገባዎችን ለማቅረብ ለምናደርገው ጥረት ፈታኝ ነው። 

    በሌል ጎን ደግሞ ተቋማዊና ሙያዊ ሚናችንን የሚገነዘቡ ያሉትን ያህል፤ የኢትዮጵያን መንግስት ከሚቃወሙ ወገኖች አሜሪካ ድምጽን የነርሱ ድምጽ አድርጎ የመውሰድ ግምት ይታያል።

    በዩናይትድ ስቴይትስ ኮንግረስ በጀት የሚመደብለት አሜሪካ ድምጽ፤ ገለልተኛ፣ ነጻና የታመነ የዜና ምንጭ ነው። በጋዜጠኝነት ስራዎቹና በመዝናኛ ዝግጅቶቹ የአሜሪካን ባህል፣ የዴሞክራሲና የነጻነት መርሆዎችን ከወቅታዊ ዜናና ትንታኔዎች ጋር ከማቅረብ ባሻገር በቻርተሩ እንደተቀመጠው አሜሪካ ድምጽ “የዩናይትድ ስቴይትስ መንግስት ልሳን አይደለም”።

    ይሄን ተቋማዊ ነጻነት አስፍተን ስንመለከተው ቪኦኤ የየትኛውም ሃገር መንግስት ሆነ ተቃዋሚ፣ ወይንም ለውጥ አራማጅ ቡድን፤ ደጋፊም ተቃዋሚም አይደለም። ቪኦኤ ነጻ ተቋም ነው። 

    የአሜሪካ ድምጽ ጋዜጠኞችም ስራቸውን በሚያከናውኑበት ወቅት፤ በመረጃ የተደገፉ ሃቆችን፣ ሚዛናዊ ዜናዎችና መረጃዎችን ከማንም ሳይወግኑ የተሟላ ማብራሪያ እንዲያቀርቡ የሚመሩበት የጋዜጠኝነት ሙያ ሰነድ ያዛል። የUnited States ምክር ቤት ባጸደቀዉ ደንብ ላይ የተዘተዘሩትን የጋዜጠኝነት መርዎች ተከትለን አሁንም ወደፊትም እንሰራለን።

    በየቀኑ ስለምታዳምጡንና በምናቅርብላችሁ ፕሮግራሞቻችን ለምትሰጡን አመኔታ አድማጮቻችን እናመሰግናለን።

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      Dr. Tseday Aberra

    What It Takes To Fix A Relationship

    I wish I could tell you that all marriages are salvageable or all relationships are meant to be, but I would be lying if I did. It is a fact however that all couples can work through their problems and often achieve to overcome their relationship difficulties, but that is only true when they really commit to working on their issues. As much as their attempt to fix their respective problems requires a good-faith effort, their prospective success in rescuing their relationships also depends on each party’s aptitude and attitude when engaged in the process. By aptitude I mean the minimum amount of maturity required from each party involved, and attitude merely means that each party be fully committed to seeking a solution.

    Unfortunately, I get more lip service on these two issues from couples who seek my professional advice than anyone would expect. Most couples who consult with me want me to fix their problems for them while they sit in my office and limit their participation to a mere chitchat. As much as I want to fix it for them, I can only offer solutions, and the solutions I offer, as candid as they are exacting, require that the couples be committed to doing the necessary work. When some couples have the right attitude to wanting to fix their problems, they lack the aptitude, while others have the aptitude but pretend to care when they have absolutely no interest in succeeding.

    I recognize that relationship solutions are not easy to implement but they are made to be more difficult than they really are by people who do not understand on what concepts these solutions are based. To understand the secret of a healthy relationship, we all should first try to grasp the two major concepts around which the latter is built: Maturity and Honesty.

    I will dedicate the next two articles in defining for you what I mean by maturity and honesty as they are foundational to building healthy and successful relationships. Let me at least tell you that maturity is what each of us has to have before we can seriously participate in a relationship. It is not a quality to aspire to while wallowing in a chaotic relationship but one to acquire before the commitment. Maturity is the tool and relationship the craft. Let’s not try to look for the tool after we have declared the craft as complete.

    As to honesty, it really comes down to whether we really want to hold on to the status quo while trying to find some temporal means to patching the leaky boat we call our relationship, or do we commit to building a sturdy, long lasting ship because we have clearly stated what we want and what we are capable of to building a healthy relationship.

    Without these two concepts, relationships cannot succeed. And if they are allowed to continue, they do so while diminishing in quality as they render each of us more and more resentful of our partners and at the end of ourselves

    About the Author

    Dr. Tseday Aberra is a clinical psychologist and one of the country’s leading experts in marriage, relationships, and self development.


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    Rachel Mekuria - The woman who pioneered broadcasting education

    Rachel Mekuria - The woman who pioneered broadcasting education

    ormer Head, Educational Television Production Division; Former Board President, The Young Women's Christian Association


    Rachel Mekuria was born in Addis Ababa in 1942.  She attended primary school at Mrs. Ford’s establishment around Kassanchis and later transferred to Sanford English School finalizing the seventh and eight grades before completing her secondary school education at Kedamawi Hailesellasie school as the only girl in the class. Rachel pursued her higher education in England, earning her certificate in Education from Homerton College in Cambridge.

    Upon her return to Ethiopia, Rachel began working with the Ministry of Education where she started the first education program in English on Ethiopian Television in 1965. She recalls performing all that was required in the filming and broadcasting work, from being a camera woman and acting when situations demanded to presenting, directing, editing, preparing scripts and producing.  The highest post she assumed was Head of Education Broadcast although she had been assigned in the capacity of acting manager. Overall, she says as the Head of Educational Television Production Division with the Educational Media Agency, Ministry of Education, she was responsible for the planning and execution of formal and non-formal educational television programs, educational films and other audiovisual production; preparing production projects, negotiating funding with agencies and supervising implementation; managing and coordinating activities of the formal and non-formal program production and transmission as well as the audiovisual units.

    After thirty years of service, Rachel retired from her post and joined the British Council as a Gender Officer where she was responsible for coordinating and delivering trainings.

    Passion in life

    Rachel shares, “I am passionate about being a lending hand for others.” Her family members and those who know her closely attest to this fact saying that she is a person who is extraordinarily committed to serving the needy. She dreams of a society where women and men are equal and gender-based violence and discriminations are halted. While serving as the Board President at the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of Ethiopia for five years, the organization became more forceful in promoting women’s rights issues through its programs in women’s economic empowerment, reproductive health, girl’s education and youth programs.  The income generating, skills training, entrepreneurship training and the access to loans facilities for women have helped women to alleviate their economic vulnerabilities, increase their household income and chances for employability. Asked to reflect what she thinks enables a woman to thrive, she said, “A woman thrives when she is given the opportunity to access education, knowledge, and knows her rights.”

    Achievements Rachel is Proud of:

    • She started a radio program where she became the TV and Audio Visual Section Head.  The TV programs reached thousands of youth throughout Ethiopia. Rachel reflected on her 30 plus years of service and what she was most proud of in her work was the mass media program where ten thousands of people have been reached through the regular TV education program.
    • As the Gender Officer at the British Council, she started the first women magazine in Ethiopia called “Women to Women” that raised issues of women’s rights and equality where she served as the Chief Editor.  Under the British Council’s sponsorship, the magazine was produced for two years every three months and distributed to secondary schools throughout all the regional states of Ethiopia reaching thousands of young children and youth, enhancing their awareness on women’s equality.  Rachel remembers receiving many letters from her readers telling her how the magazine has been educational in enhancing their knowledge about the importance of achieving women’s equality in society.
    • Aside from her engagement at the YWCA, she has served as an active member and at some point as the Deputy Chair of an organization called Peace and Development, whose main purpose was to solve conflicts that arise in Ethiopia.  She also served as a member of the Elders Council, which comprised different NGOs that work on peace. The Council, composed of famous figures and personalities in Ethiopia including Professor Ephrem Isac, Athlete Haile GebreSelassie, Wzo Tsion Amdemariam and others was tasked with peace negotiations.  She shares, “the Council was instrumental in the release of political prisoners of the previous regime, including members of the opposition party such as Bertukan Midekssa.”

    Enabling Others:

    Rachel shares that she would enable others to do great work by providing opportunities for training when she observed a perceived skills/knowledge gap.  Serving as a bridge for connections to be made between people is her way of playing the role of enabler.  She also recounts her involvement in entrepreneurship training that she did with the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce where she became a trainer on entrepreneurship equipping trainees with business knowledge to enable them start up their own businesses. Several hundred young men and women have undergone the training she led and enabled many to start their own businesses.

    Helping Other Women:

    The girls’ education, reproductive health and human rights training programs have enabled young people to become knowledgeable on their rights including on such issues on sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, on gender based violence and how girls can become assertive. These trainings that were delivered by the YWCA have enabled young girls to protect themselves and their families helping them to focus on their education and successfully graduate in time. 

    The youth programs have promoted the spirit of voluntarism among the youth whereby young people were given the opportunity to do community service and take active leadership.  During her presidency, the organization has reached a minimum of 5000 women with its programs and services. 

    In collaboration with an organization named Active Learning Center and with trainers from England, under her portfolio as the Gender Officer at the British Council, Rachel has been involved in voters’ education for women travelling throughout the nine regional states of Ethiopia delivering training to women voters on the importance of participating in elections, and voting to exercise their rights reaching out to thousands of women. Similarly, she organized and provided training to women parliamentarians for them to take active role to fight for the rights of women constituencies they represent, and to be the voice of women’s rights.

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    By Dilwenberu Nega


    It is a well known fact that politics makes strange bedfellows, and none more so is it true than
    Derg-WPE becoming a political bedfellow of Ginbot 7. I joined the chorus of condemnation when ESAT paraded the alleged half-brother of trigger-happy Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam - who by the way resembles Mengistu in looks, sounds and actions — as its “Guest of the Week” in 2012. In point of fact, I even went as far as derogating the new-found dalliance between Derg-WPE and Ginbot 7 by posting a commentary on the blogosphere, under the title “Kassa Kebede: put up or shut up.”


    In my opening paragraph, I made the following observation:
    “Derg’s preeminent champagne socialist, Comrade
    Kassa Kebede, is on a publicity stunt, after a six year hiatus from active
    politicking. He is, perhaps, testing the waters before he becomes the comeback
    kid of cash-strapped and demoralised former WPE kakitocrats (kaki-uniformed
    members of WPE)”


    By making Kassa Kebede one of the guests of honour at a televised New Year party last September, ESAT has, once again shown its utter contempt and insensitivity to the memory of the thousands who perished under the brutal rule of Derg-WPE by yet again supplying former confidante of Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam oxygen of publicity. Kassa was no ordinary member of Derg-WPE. As a leading member of Colonel Mengistu’s kitchen cabinet, he enjoyed, 24/7/365 access to Colonel Mengistu. In an ideal world where merit counts more than blood consanguinity, Kassa Kebede’s notorious fiery temperament would have made him least qualified to join Ethiopia’s diplomatic service, but his alleged blood consanguinity, his attested loyalty and unerring fidelity to Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam had secured him an ambassadorship in Geneva. Worse of all, however, is the fact that no sooner had Kassa presented his letter of credence to the President of Switzerland at the height of the 1984 famine, than he deemed it proper punctilio to purchase a prestigious residence for him.
    By making Kassa Kebede one of the guests of honour at a televised New Year party last September, ESAT has, once again shown its utter contempt and insensitivity to the memory of the thousands who perished under the brutal rule of Derg-WPE by yet again supplying former confidante of Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam oxygen of publicity. Kassa was no ordinary member of Derg-WPE. As a leading member of Colonel Mengistu’s kitchen cabinet, he enjoyed, 24/7/365 access to Colonel Mengistu. In an ideal world where merit counts more than blood consanguinity, Kassa Kebede’s notorious fiery temperament would have made him least qualified to join Ethiopia’s diplomatic service, but his alleged blood consanguinity, his attested loyalty and unerring fidelity to Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam had secured him an ambassadorship in Geneva. Worse of all, however, is the fact that no sooner had Kassa presented his letter of credence to the President of Switzerland at the height of the 1984 famine, than he deemed it proper punctilio to purchase a prestigious residence for him.


    Twenty-three years after Derg-WPE was overthrown by the gallant sons and daughters of Ethiopia, during which time Kassa had got involved in a variety of clandestine activities, including working in cahoots with international terrorism to “dismember Ethiopia into mini-Islamist states” (the words of author Yossef Bodansky) now has the brazen audacity to lecture Ethiopians on the virtues of celebrating national holidays.



    In this video  http://youtu.be/hmPGRClMflY  we see Kassa Kebede using sophistry to make us believe Derg and the Workers Party of Ethiopia (WPE) are as different as chalk and cheese. The truth, however, is that they are one and the same. Or as a friend of mine tried to explain in layman’s term: “WPE is to Derg what Kassa Kebede is to Mengistu Haile Mariam.” How else can one justify that the Chairman of the Derg is also the Chairman of WPE. Kassa Kebede may not be a military uniformed member of the Derg, but he was nonetheless a blue-kaki uniformed member with a licence to kill. 
    During the interview, Kassa is seen being economical with the truth. During the time of the Emperor, Kassa Kebede, was not an Assistant Minister, as he claimed, but a Director General. However, given that he answered a question with absolute honesty , his response must receive accolades from all of us. When asked which of the Ethiopian festivals he enjoyed most, Kassa answered truthfully: “Because I am a gourmand, Fasika is my favourite festival. No wonder that he had managed to remain circumferentially challenged, i.e., corpulent, all these years. On a more serious note, Dr. Birhanu needs Kassa Kebede desperately to rekindle Ginbot 7’s relations with Isaias Afewerki, following the surgical removal of Andy from Ginbot 7 by Ethiopia’s Intelligence Service. Kassa knows Isaias Afewerki through his good Sudanese friend, the Islamist political leader Hassan al-Turabi as well as from Al-Shabab leaders based in Asmara. He and Andy have travelled to Asmara on a number of occasions to solicit support from President Isaias Afewerki. We all are aware that history repeats itself, but no one thought it would repeat itself  in as short a period of time as 10 years. A decade ago, one reason for the eventual failure of Kinijit was the fatal decision to allow Derg-WPE to join Kinijit. Today, a left-over Kinijit, Ginbot 7, is seen committing the same mistake it committed in the 2005 Election. Andy’s removal has left Ginbot 7 rudderless, dispirited and discouraged. The fusion with Derg-WPE will be another nail in the coffin of the party of absentee liberation fighters.
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      Dilwenberu Nega

    ​London 3 October 2014


    As ex-prime minister of the United Kingdom, Harold Wilson, once said: “A week is a long time in politics.” He said it to underscore that a lot can happen in a week. And in the week that was, the Ethiopian abroad had a taste of that Wilsonian truism. 
    ​We watched, did we not - courtesy of Shabia’s ESAT - as 13 blurred and confused Ginboat 7’s vigilantes forcibly enter the Embassy of FDRE in Washington DC and replace the nation’s current tricolour with one without the ensign - a politically fatal move on the part of Ginbot 7, for it transmits the message that G7 stands for the suffocation, rather than the celebration, of Ethiopia’s ethnic diversities.


    We also witnessed how a lonely Embassy security officer made a valiant attempt to guard the flag by firing warning shots over the heads of the vigilantes, as Ambassador Girma Birru came out, calmed the security officer and led him indoors. The security officer has now returned to Ethiopia following the Government of Ethiopia’s refusal to waive his diplomatic immunity.


    Who are the winners and losers, of what for all intents and purposes, is a blatant raid on a sovereign territory which, according to the Vienna Convention of 1961, qualifies for a 24/7/365 protection by the host nation? 
    ​For sure, the Chicken Littles i.e. vociferous pessimists, at ESAT had a field day sensationalizing the incident. So too did the motley crew of absentee liberation fighters, arm-chair politicians, cyber bullies and popinjay literati, who make up G7 , bask in the ‘glory’ of the incident.


    Inarguably the raid had caught the Embassy staff by dumb surprise, and lets face it, there was also a serious security lapse at the Embassy. Many of us disagree as to what should have been done even with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight. For instance, consider the three most talked about points of arguments by enraged patriots: why was no attempt made to lock the entrance to the consular section while the vigilantes were still there? Why was no attempt made by the Embassy’s horde of diplomats and local employees to form a human shield around the flag pole and defend our sacred flag? Why are the 13 vigilantes still at-large in a United States where forcible entry into private property, never mind a foreign mission, constitutes a breach of existing US law?


    On the other hand, now the incident is over, there would be no point crying over spilt milk; but lessons have to be learnt, and learnt fast, not only by our Washington Embassy, but by all Ethiopian missions throughout the world. All Ethiopian Embassies must immediately set in motion a process of reviewing their internal security. A repeat performance by vigilantes, must therefore be viewed by all concerned, as a luxury which no Ethiopian Embassy can ill afford.


    If a less than 15 minutes raid by vigilantes on our Embassy was planned to leave a dent on the long standing and cordial relations between Ethiopia and the United States, which under EPRDF’s tenure of office, has grown in leaps and bounds, then without any shadow of doubt the plan has collapsed like a house of cards. For a start, neither the State Department, nor the White House need no reminding as to either who Ginbot 7 is, or of what G7 has been doing to destabilize Ethiopia by forming an axis of evil with the fountainhead of terrorism in the Horn of Africa. Secondly, who decreed that Ethiopians or Americans get pneumonia when Birhanu Nega catches cold?


    In fact the week also offered us also with yet another chance to be spectators of one of Ginbot 7’s magisterial theatricals. In a desperate and futile attempt - to paraphrase a saying culled from William Henry’s “Afoot in England” - “to fly like an eagle with the wings of a wren,” Ethiopia’s preeminent nonentity opposition, Ginbot 7, called on the United States of America “to review its relations with Ethiopia.” Towards the end of it’s so-called press statement of 2 October 2014 - a hodgepodge of innuendoes and platitudes - Ginbot 7 asked the US to instead align itself with Ginbot 7 for it, and not the EPRDF, “Stand for America’s values of freedom, equality, democracy and the rule of law.”


    It is laughable, is it not, that a Ginbot 7 which is hell-bent on circumventing the very Ethiopian Constitution that has guaranteed freedom, equality, democracy and the rule of law to all Ethiopians, is now seen portraying itself as a custodian of these values? How funny it is, is it not, that a Ginbot 7 that had no compunction when it aligned itself with Eritrea, whose government is notorious for blatant violations of the values which America stand for, is seen lecturing Americans that it, and not EPRDF, is America’s best ally.


    In the recent past, hundreds of Ethiopians have become victims of Ginbot 7’s day-light robbery as they were lured into paying USD 500 so that they become the so-called inheritors of an EPRDF-free Ethiopia within six months. That’s why I claim that the men and women at Ginbot 7 have taken leave of their senses, for how else can one explain Ginbot 7’s latest naivety to think the unthinkable: demand the USA to be its ally. Whatever next with G7!


    The United States of America’s response to Ginbot 7 demand must be loud and clear: “Ginbot 7 can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all the people all of the time. Birhanu Nega: Tell it to the marines!”

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