Nomonanoto Show

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Few debates highlight the moral issues around how wealth is shared across society more than the growing demand for a universal and unconditional basic income. At face value, the idea of receiving a regular income from the state presents a fair and inclusive solution to the financial constraints many people face in a consumerist society--especially at a time when unemployment and inequality are on the rise. But it's not clear whether a guaranteed citizen's income would ultimately help or hinder the creation of truly sharing societies, in which 'freedom from want' can be achieved within a re distributive economic framework that reinforces the social ties that bind people and communities together.
The arguments in favour of a basic income are persuasive and should not be dismissed lightly. Aside from the clear case for reforming means-tested benefit systems that are failing many targeted claimants, there's the question of how to maintain decent wage levels when jobs become increasingly scarce. In 1930, John Maynard Keynes famously posited that standards of living would be between four and eight times higher in a hundred years' time, and that people would need to work a mere 15 hours a week. Although Keynes' era of leisure is still a pipe dream for most people despite the tremendous improvements in living standards he predicted, it's likely that formal working hours will have to be significantly reduced in the years ahead.
For the past three decades the demand for labour, and wages as a share of GDP, have both been declining. Meanwhile, people are living longer and retiring later, and part-time work, insecure casual contracts, and self-employment are increasingly the norm for the precariously underemployed. The reductions in wages that could follow this dramatic shift in employment patterns provide a pragmatic case for the state to grant a supplementary unearned income to all citizens in order to prevent millions more people falling below the poverty line. A basic income could give people the freedom to work fewer hours if they choose. Sharing the work available more equitably across society would also have a range of additional benefits such as reducing levels of consumption and markedly improving the quality of life.
Despite these convincing arguments, there are plenty of reasons for being cautious about the basic income, particularly since it is most often proposed as an alternative to existing systems of social protection.
From an ideological perspective, there are important differences between the provision of a universal basic income and the insurance-based benefits it would replace. Welfare states essentially promote social solidarity through a process of economic sharing, since they provide collectively-funded services that ensure everyone has access to social protection without having to rely on commercial alternatives. Rather than sharing risks and pooling resources in this way, unconditional cash transfers provide people with the money they need to fend for themselves, which is a highly individualistic approach to achieving social security.
This is a key distinction for progressives to bear in mind, since a citizen's income would be competing for the same government funds that currently pay for a wide range of social services. Under the present trajectory of public policy--in which welfare services are being subjected to increasing waves of neo-liberal reform--it is therefore likely that basic income schemes would undermine existing mechanisms of redistribution and social solidarity.
It's also clear that the cash transfers most universal programmes would deliver in industrialized countries would be too low by themselves to keep households above national poverty lines. A truly comprehensive programme for a citizen's income is likely to remain unaffordable unless it is accompanied by a substantial shift in the way governments raise taxes, while a less costly version may not provide a worthwhile alternative to means testing.
In light of these problems, it is worth considering an alternative approach that sidesteps many of the arguments against the idea of a basic income: a universal social dividend that's based on the value of shared resources.
Hawassa has grown explosively in recent years. After 30 years of its establishment, Hawassa is serving as the capital of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples State (SNNPS) since 1991. The 57 years old town consists of eight sub-cities and 32 kebelles. The total population of the town is estimated to be 350,000.
The Ethiopian Herald recently conducted an exclusive interview with Mayor of Hawassa Town Administration, Yonas Yosef on the development progress of the town. Hawassa has been undertaking various projects aimed at reducing poverty. The administration has given prime attention to the development of infrastructure, construction, trade, and social services among others.
Yonas noted that Hawassa town has got its name from the name of “Lake Hawassa.” 'Hawassa' means 'big' in Sidama language. Hawassa was chosen as urban centre due to its natural beauty and attractiveness of the area around. Before 1960, the place was not inhabited by many people, but pastoralists used to graze their cattle around the lake. The existence of water throughout the year and the availability of grass for grazing the cattle steadily appealed the highlanders to visit the area regularly and at the same time people from different surroundings began to settle in the area now become Hawassa.
As far as educational facilities are concerned, Hawassa has 87 kindergartens, 81 primary schools, eight secondary schools, 12 preparatory schools, one university and eleven colleges. These schools are meant to produce citizens with strong sense of responsibility to provide quality education locally and nationally. According to Yonas, higher level educational institutions in the town work to identify and address gaps in skills and competencies of students.
Hawassa also has various health institutions. The number of hospitals has reached five while the number of clinics is 50. There are also seven governmental health centres. The health institutions play an important role in promoting and improving healthcare delivery within the community. The health centres work to address the needs of the community and to build a strong, integrated healthcare service delivery. They help improve the well-being of patients and communities by delivering compassionate, patient and family-centred healthcare, enriched by education, science, and technology, says Yonas.
Concerning road development, Yonas explained that Hawassa has 61.55 Km asphalt, 81.36 Km cobblestone and 312 Km gravel roads. The emerging cobblestone construction industry in Ethiopia is proving to be a major role player not only in increasing the road networks but also in creating job opportunities. Cobblestone roads are expanded to inter-city roads, walkways, car parks and inter-community links.
To increase the growth of tourism development, the town council plans to add the number of tourist accommodation facilities to meet the needs of the ever growing number of tourist flow in to the town. The town has become an ideal transit spot for tourists who travel between Addis Ababa, Moyale, Hawassa, Arba Minch Jinka and Hawassa, Wolayta Sodo, Jimma and Mizanteferi roads.
Among the main tourist attractions in Hawassa area, Mt. Alamura which is a small mountain situated at the south-western end of the town, enables tourists to enjoy a partial view of the town and the lake stretched below it.
The other tourist attraction is the south-western lake shore locally known as 'Amora Gedel'. This place is a perfect spot for birds watch. Gudumale is also a special place in the lake area where the Sidama cultural and spiritual holiday “Fiche” is annually celebrated.
Lake Hawassa is also the most beautiful lake which attracts thousands of tourists each month. The lake is rich in different kinds of fish species like Barbus, Telapia and cart fish for tourists who care to indulge in leisure fishing and consumer fishing for the dwellers. The breezing of cool air in the morning and evening hours rolls the lake with gentle tides and washes millions of plankton to the shore to be devoured by fishes and fish birds.
Moreover, there are three natural heritage sites (spring waters) in the surrounding of the town. Among these, one is Burqito Hot Spring. Located twelve km in the south-eastern direction of the city, Burqito is used for taking baths for it is believed to have a curative nature.
Wondogenet which is located 39 kms from Hawassa was established as a recreation centre in 1970 by Princess Tenagnework Haile-Selassie. It is now run by the Wabe Shebelle Hotels Administration. It is one of the tourist attractions in the surrounding.
Hawassa town has parks as well. Among the major parks, Tikur Wuha Park was previously owned by Ras Andargachew Mesay who was a high ranking official in the 1960’s. It was handed over to the Hawassa Municipality in the 1970’s and was designated as a park ever since. Its total area is estimated 475,037. sq. meters.
The other park is Amora Gedel. The park occupies about 261.910 sq. meters. It is found near the main fish market. It was reserved as the peoples’ recreation park under the municipality.
Apart from being a tourist hot spot, Hawassa has also become one of the leading areas in the country in terms of attracting investors. This is because the town offers investors comparative advantages.
The strategic location of the town along the international highway of Addis Ababa -Moyale, the availability of well developed social and economic infrastructure facilities such as modern telecommunication, electric power, higher education and financial institutions, the presence of abundant, easily trainable and inexpensive labour force in the city and surrounding rural area; and the presence of Textile, Sisal, Ceramics and Flour factories are included give investors coming to the town a comparative advantage.
In order to develop the trade system in the town, activities are being carried out to create market linkage for those organized in associations and engaged in manufacturing. According to the Mayor, the administration mainly focuses on the quality of products and it is undertaking wide-ranging activities in technology transfer and experience sharing to help them produce quality products and become competitive in the market. The enterprises are being encouraged through the provision of loan services and other supports from the government so that they can implement their business ideas. According to the Mayor, the enterprises are producing better quality products compared to imported ones. The administration also organizes bazaars and exhibitions to assist enterprises in creating market linkages with each other.
The other important infrastructure which is expected to further boost the development of the town is the airport which is under construction. According to Yonas, the airport construction also includes maintenance of the old airport and the construction of a new one. The maintenance of old airport will be completed soon and will start service by the end of this year, while the new airport may be completed in the middle of next year, Yonas said.
Hawassa can be considered as one of the best developed towns in Ethiopia. So far there is remarkable progress in socio-economic development through the integrated efforts of government bodies, residents and other organizations.
The Mayor called upon local and international investors to invest in hotels, real estate, horticulture, and marketing centres among others and take advantage of the favourable investment climate and sustainable peace and security in the town in particular and in the country as a whole.

These are trying times for Ethiopia, with tragedies befallen on many Ethiopians over the past consecutive weeks, due to the inhumane brutality faced by fellow citizens in South Africa, Yemen and most recently Libya. It is as if grief has its own domino effect, which makes one painful event follow an even more gruesome one.
In what seems to be an unending tribal clash in Yemen, Ethiopians got stranded between the fires of the fighting tribes with little hope of getting away from the place. A worsening security situation in the country, considered strategic in some senses, means that the hopes of the Ethiopians there decline with each incident.
Of course, authorities tried to evacuate some that managed to communicate with them. But the number of those evacuated was far lower than the number of Ethiopians that live in the country or are staying there until they manage to emigrate to the Middle Eastern countries that are their intended destinations.

The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) unveiled yesterday that the nation is to celebrate the 5th Africa Vaccination Week (AVW) and World Malaria Day at various parts of the States.
Briefing journalists Dr. Ephrem Tekle, Federal Ministry of Health Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Directorate Director, indicated “The nation has shown big strides in increasing the coverage of regular vaccination programme from 53 per cent to 91 per cent.”
According to Dr. Ephrem, this year AVW is marked in African countries, including Ethiopia from April 24 to 30, 2015 under the slogan; “Vaccinated communities, Healthy communities” and the theme; "Vaccination, a gift for life.”
The budget allocated for this campaign is 2.1 billion Birr apportioned to the respective administrative bodies to execute the tasks.
By the same taken, the Federal Ministry of Health aforementioned the World Malaria Day would be commemorated in Ethiopia with awareness creation and various related matters. It recognizes global efforts to control malaria. Globally, 3.3 billion people in 106 countries are at risk of malaria. In 2009, 781, 000 people died of malaria, mainly women and children in Africa.
Marking the occasion, Hiwot Solomon, National Malaria Programme Coordinator said “Malaria has been a significant public health problem, but due to the prime attention given by the government, massive scale-up of control interventions made since 2004/2005 have resulted in decline in significant number of cases, deaths and epidemic occurrences. However, although the magnitude of the problem declined significantly, malaria still remains a public health problem.”
According to Hiwot the Ministry of Health has dispatched protective malaria bed net for free, mobilized the public in awareness creation in scaling up good performing Kebelles.
Malaria control efforts of the nation have registered many results among children of 5; malaria admissions to hospitals and deaths fell by 81 per cent and 73 per cent, respectively.
It was learnt that, World Malaria Day 2015 will be celebrated on April 25 for the 8th time in Ethiopia under the theme; “Invest in future, defeat Malaria” in Hawassa, the capital of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples State (SNNPS).
DDIS ABABA (HAN) April 27, 2015 – Public Diplomacy and Regional Investment News. Foreign direct investment into Ethiopia will reach a record $1.5bn this year, on the back of successful efforts by the fast-growing and populous African country to attract overseas manufacturing companies.
Only seven years ago, the country with a population of 94m drew only $108.5m in inward investments from overseas. But it has been growing at double-digit rates, thanks to increased relocation of factories, attracted by low wages, cheap power and supportive government policies.

“This year will be a record for foreign direct investment,” said Fitsum Arega, head of the country’s investment agency, up 25 per cent from last year’s $1.2bn.
The inflow of foreign investment marks a stark turnround from the 1980s, when the country was hit with a severe famine that made the eastern African country infamous for lack of development.
While several key sectors of the economy — including the much sought-after banking and telecoms — remain closed to outside investment, several industrial zones have seen investment in production facilities of textiles, leather and garments.
Mr Fitsum said China was providing the largest number of investments, although by value, the biggest investors were Turkey and India. The country was also seeing investment from Europe and the US, he said.
Although Ethiopia is landlocked, power prices and labour costs are both extremely low, security is tight and state-owned Ethiopian Airlines runs the biggest global network of any African carrier.
“We are still making huge investments in electrical power, building a railway, and the government offers investors so much support,” said Mr Fitsum, adding it is still building industrial parks and offers tax breaks to foreign exporters that help lure much-needed dollars to the economy.
Ernst & Young, which has an office in the capital Addis Ababa, forecasts FDI into Ethiopia will average $1.5bn each year for the next three years and predicts the country will rank among Africa’s top four manufacturing hubs by 2025.
Zemedeneh Negatu, head of transaction advisory services at E&Y, said his team had seen “a big surge” in dealmaking since 2011, including from the US and Europe as well as China, Turkey and India.
“Ethiopia is fast becoming the ‘must-visit’ destination for virtually all private equity funds with an emerging market focus,” he said, adding that although most deal sizes come in below $75m, he is currently working on one worth $1bn.
Since the first private equity fund set up in Ethiopia just seven years ago, more than half a dozen have opened, investing in everything from coffee and cement to wine and biscuits.
US private equity groups KKR and Blackstone have both recently backed deals in the country, in floriculture and infrastructure respectively. Europe’s Unilever is building a factory, while last month, India’s largest paint-maker, Asian Paints, entered the market through the acquisition of a local manufacturer.
Mr Fitsum said the FDI figures do not include a reported $2bn investment by China’s Huajian, the world’s biggest shoemaker, whose relocation to Ethiopia in 2012 sparked widespread interest in the country as a new manufacturing base. Since then, it has decided to build its own industrial park rather than rent, and will expand its existing Ethiopian workforce to 30,000 in the next few years. FT
- See more at: