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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

አዲስ አበባ ፣ ነሀሴ 20 ፣ 2005 (ኤፍ ቢ ሲ) ወደ ሀዋሳ ከተማ የሚገቡ የኮንትሮባንድ እቃዎች መጠን በከፍተኛ ሁኔታ  እየጨመረ መምጣቱን የከተማዋ ነዋሪዎች ይገልፃሉ ።
ነዋሪዎቹ በዋናነት ከኬንያ ተነሰተው በተለያዩ አቅጣጫዎች ወደ ከተማዋ  እየገቡ ያሉት የኮንትሮባንድ እቃዎች ህጋዊ ነጋዴዎችን ከመጉዳቱም በላይ የንግድ ውድድሩ ላይ አሉታዊ ተጽህኖ እየፈጠረ እንደሚገኝም ነው የሚናገሩት።
እቃዎቹን ሰውሮ የማስገባት ስልቱ  በየጊዜው እየተቀያየረ መምጣቱን እና አንዳንድ የፍታሻ ጣቢያዎች ላይ የቁጥጥር ሂደቱ መላላቱን ነው ነዎሪዎች የሚጠቅሱት ።
እነዚህ እቃዎች በምንም መንገድ ይግቡ እንጂ ህገወጥ በመሆናቸው  መንግስት ከቀረጥ ማግኘት ያለበትን ከፍተኛ ገቢ በማሳጣት አሉታዊ ተጽእኖ እንደሚያሳድሩ ያነጋገርናቸው ባለሙያዎች ያስረዳሉ።
የንግድ ውድድሩ ላይ ሳንካ በመፍጠር ህጋዊውን ነጋዴ በማዳከም ከሚፈጥሩት ጫናም ባለፈ ፥  ተገቢውን ፍተሻ እና የጉምሩክ ሰርዓትን ተከተለው ወደ ገበያ ባለመግባታቸው  በሰው ጤና እና ንብረት ላይም የከፋ ጉዳት እንደሚያደርሱም ይታወቃል።
በተለይ ልባሽ ጫማና የተለያዩ ኤሌክቶሮኒክስ ውጤቶች  ከሌሎቹ የበለጠውን ድርሻ የሚይዙ ሲሆን ፥ ይህ በመሆኑም ህጋዊ መንገድን ተከትለው የሚንቀሳቀሱ ነጋዴዎች ሁኔታው ነገሮችን አስቸጋሪ እንዳደረገባቸው እና ጉዳዩ በአቋራጭ የመበልጸግ ስልት ተደርጎ እየተወሰደ በመሆኑም የሚመለከተው አካል መፍትሄ እንዲወስድም ነው የጠየቁት።
የሀዋሳ ከተማ ምክትል ከንቲባና የንግድ ኢንዱስትሪ ፅህፈት ቤት ሀላፊ በነዋሪው የተነሳውን ቅሬታ በመቀበል ፥ ችግሩን ለማስወገድ በዋናነት ህገወጥ የኮንትሮባንድ እንቅስቃሴ በሀገር ላይ የሚያደርሰውን ችግር ማሳወቅ ቀዳሚ መሆኑን ጠቅሰዋል።
በእርግጥ ለውጦች እየመጡ እንደሚገኙ ያወሱት ሃላፊው ፥ በአሁኑ ወቅትም ይህንን ስራ ሲያከናውኑ የነበሩ ሀይሎችን ወደ ህጋዊ መስመር የማስገባት ስራም መጀመሩን ተናግረዋል።
በኢትዮጰያ ገቢዎችና ጉምሩክ ባለስልጣን የሀዋሳ ቅርንጫፍ ምክትል ስራ አስኪያጅ አቶ ሀጎስ አባይ በበኩላቸው ፥በ2005 ዓ.ም በተለያዩ አቅጣጫዎች ወደ ሀዋሳ ሊገቡ ሲሉ የተያዙ እና 62 ሚሊዮን ብር የሚገመቱ የኮንትሮባንድ እቃዎች በቁጥጥረ ስር መዋላቸውን አስረድተዋል።
በዚህም በተጠናቀቀው በጀት አመት በህገ ወጥ የኮንትሮባንድ እንቅስቃሴው ውስጥ ከተገኙት 90 ከመቶው የሚሆኑትን ማስቀጣት የተቻለ ሲሆን ፥ የፍርድ ሂደቱን በሀዋሳ ፣ ዲላ ፣ ሻሸመኔ ፣ ሮቤና የኮንትሮባንድ እንቅስቃሴው ሲፈጸም በተገኙባቸው አካባቢዎች እንደተከናወነም ነው የገለጹት።
የኣቶ ኃይለማሪያም ደሳለኝ ኣስተዳደር ባለፉት ኣስር ኣመታት ኣገሪቷ ያስመዘገበችውን የኢኮኖሚ ቁጥር እድገት መድገም ኣልቻለም፤ ለምቀጥሉት ሶስት ኣመታት የኣገሪቱ እድገት ከ7% እንደማይዘል የዓለም ባንክ ሪፖርት ኣመለከተ።
ለተጨማሪ ከታች ያንቡ

World Bank: Ethiopia's Economy to grow 7% a Year

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Ethiopia's economy is to grow 7 percent a year over the next three to five years, the World Bank forcasted. The growth is below its average of the last decade, and to push that rate higher, the government needs to change policy to encourage private investment, the Bank said.
"We still think growth could be robust - in the order of 7 percent in the medium term would not be unexpected," said Lars Christian Moller, the bank's lead economist in Ethiopia, in an interview with Reuters.
Moller said Ethiopia's US$43 billion economy would need to repeat its performance of the last 10 year to make it into the middle income country's category - defined by the bank as one with a gross national income (GNI) per capita of around $1,430 - in 12 years, Reuters reported.
Source: Reuters
Binyam Taye, 29, a teller in one of the branches of the Awash International Bank, located around the National Theatre, usually eats his lunch in one of the informal restaurants, called mother bet. These have become increasingly popular for their relatively fair prices.
Challenged by his fixed income, Binyam is forced to eat his lunch and sometimes his dinner at the informal restaurant, paying 15 Br on average for one meal, since 2010.
"The price is much cheaper than in common restaurants; this has helped me a lot to allocate my monthly income properly", Binyam told Fortune, while eating his lunch at the one of the mother bets located around Ras Abebe Aregay Street, close to the National Theatre.
Informal restaurants - like the one Binyam regularly visits, owned by Tiruwork Negatu, a 70-year-old mother of seven - have become increasingly popular. Most of these venues are owned by older women, thus their rather unambiguous name.
Tiruwork runs the business for more than 24 years. However, since 2008, her business boost up for the reason unknown for her.
"I used to host 50 individuals each day, five years ago," Tiruwork told Fortune. "But now my customers have almost doubled, to close to 100."
Binyam is one of the customers who has been eating at Tiruwork's restaurants for the last two years.
"When I started working at the Bank, I used to go to a restaurant nearby, paying 25 Br for each lunch," said Binyam. "After switching to Tiruwork's place, however, my expenses have declined to 15 Br on average."
Tiruwork remembers the cheaper prices she set when she first joined the business, two decades ago.
"I used to sell food for close to one Birr. I had doro wot [chicken stew] for five Birr. I also had many other kinds of foods on my menu, along with a breakfast programme. But now the number of dishes has dwindled down to three and the price has also increased," she told Fortune.
Most of the restaurants operating in Addis Abeba and other urban areas started to increase their rates dramatically following the unprecedented rise in food prices five years ago. At that time, the food inflation in the country soared to an exceptional level, on average 60pc higher than twelve months earlier.
Ethiopia had not suffered from high inflation prior to 2008. The annual average inflation was only 5.2pc between 1980/81 and 2007/08. The highest inflation episodes of 18.2pc, 21.1pc and 15.5pc, respectively, occurred during the 1984/85 fiscal year, due to severe drought; in 1991/92, at the peak of war with Eritrea and in 2003/04, following drought.
Food prices then began to fall until December 2008, when the food inflation rate, largely influenced by the international price increment on food items, reached 60pc. Similarly, the non-food index reached 21.9pc, while the total inflation rate was 44.4pc.
Although the inflation rate slowed over the next two years, reaching three percent on average, it started to increase again. The food inflation rate in August 2011 reached 53pc, closer to the 2008.
However, in 2013, it declined below 10pc for the first time since December 2008 figure.
Although individuals, like Binyam, with a fixed income, have been particularly affected by the food price shock, the moment also created an opportunity for the so called mother bets. These are mostly owned by older women, looking to expand their business further.
Tiruwork's business has now become her means of income, helping her to raise her seven children and to build houses. These serve her as a means of additional income.
Today, she serves three different dishes: beyaynetu, an assortment of various sauces; key wot, a spicy meat sauce and pasta. These cost 12 Br, 16 Br and 13 Br, respectively, dramatically cheaper than in regular restaurants.
Occupied by five wooden tables with seven benches, this mother bet includes chairs built on the veranda of the house, which is covered by a cartoon. In front of the veranda there is a tent like structure that also hosts customers.
"My customers range from daily labourers to bank workers and famous artists, since my place is located around the National Theatre," she claimed. "My door remains open from Monday up to Saturday, 11am to 3pm. Anyone who can be here at these times, can get the service."
Most of the mother bets that Fortune visited, around Mexico, Kazanchis, Sidist Kilo and Stadium, are easily distinguished from common restaurants. In addition to sitting in someone's living room, the atmosphere itself feels like home.
However, there is no room for privacy. Customers like Binyam have to share a bench or a table with total strangers. Seats can range from sofas and stools to kursi and medeb, which are built along the wall of the house using mud and stone.
Since most are located inside residential neighbourhoods, getting to a mother bet usually requires walking along alleyways for a few minutes, away from the city's main roads.
A major distinction from formal restaurants is that mother bets do not have billboards advertising their services.
According to many of the owners, although they use the same cooking inputs as the formal restaurants, they can charge half the price of the latter for two reasons. Firstly, their business is located within their residences, so they are free from high rental costs. Secondly, almost all the work is done by family members, with perhaps a maid hired for additional help.
"The role of these mother bets is significant, especially in economies like ours characterised by inflation and a decline in the purchasing power of individuals. Their price discount also helps them to have a lot of customers and keep their prices relatively cheap," Robel Tefaredegn, marketing lecturer at Unity University, told Fortune.
A sharp deterioration in the food purchasing power of wages was observed from mid-2007 to mid-2008, when food prices first spiked, and again in mid-2011, states the research, entitled - "Urban Wage Behavior and Food Price Inflation: The Case of Ethiopia," published in June 2012. Due to this price spike, the food purchasing power of residents in urban areas declined by 20pc.
Although the period of significant decline in purchasing power lasted less than a year (around five months in 2008), the rapid deterioration in urban welfare was significant, according to the research.
The research also found out that the 2010/11 food crisis had larger welfare impacts than the 2008 crisis because of more rapid non-food related inflation.
For Binyam, and other residents of Addis Abeba whose purchasing power has declined rapidly, the only option available at the moment is to be dependent on the informal restaurants scattered all over the city.
"If these home restaurants disappear, I do not know where I will go for lunch. All restaurants in the area are very expensive," Binyam states.
However, this business, which relies on word-of-mouth publicity from happy customers, in order to get their clientele, is slowly changing.
The area where Tiruwork's business is located was famous for its mother bets some four years ago, but due to Addis Abeba's redevelopment programme, many of them have been demolished. Tiruwork's business is now likely going to face the same fate. She was told to leave her place within two months.
An owner of a mother bet in La Gare, close to Ras Mekonnen Street, also told Fortune that she decided to gradually upgrade to a more formal restaurant. This was due to the Addis Abeba Trade & Industry Bureau's warning that it would shut her business down, as a result of the lack of a business licence. Additionally, it does not follow the city's health and sanitation standards.
The owner, who chose to remain anonymous, has now added a cash register, soft drinks and expanded her menu to about 15 dishes. She has also raised her prices to reflect her more 'upscale' eatery.
Another mother bet close to Mozambique Street, has also upgraded services, and has even started serving draught beer.
The Bureau requires cash register machines to be used and for residential areas to be clearly separated from the kitchen said the owner.
"We frequently check upon these businesses, but if they are not registered in our office we cannot control them unless they cause harm. If a business has a cash register machine and a logo it means that it has a trade license and since all license giving passes through our office we will assess their activity," Yetayhe Tadesse, representative for Environmental Health Protection in Addis Abeba's Food Medicines & Health Care Administration, told Fortune.
"The price discount of mother bets helps them to attract a lot of customers and keep their prices relatively cheap. If these businesses were not available, the illegal food market might expand," Robel, told Fortune.
After some time, Tiruwork hopes to move to the Summit area to continue running her business, since her neighbourhood will be demolished for redevelopment. Binyam on the other hand, hopes to find other place like Tiruwork's close to his workplace, in order to cope with the rising price of food.
HRLHA Statement
August 2013
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa strongly condemns the atrocious torture and inhuman treatment by the Ethiopian government against its citizens, and holds it accountable for the death of a political prisoner and prisoner of conscience Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda on August 24, 2013 in Kaliti prison.
Gadaa.com
HRLHA informants confirmed that Engineer Chemeda died in Kaliti Penitentiary due to the severe torture inflicted on him while he was in different detentions centers from 2007 until the day he died. We also protest the fact that he was denied medical treatment by the government.
Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda, an Oromo national, was handed over by Kenyan authorities to Ethiopian Security agents in April 2007 from where he had granted a refugee status from UNHCR in Kenya after he had fled to Kenya to escape persecution by the EPRDF government of Ethiopia.
Engineer Tasfahun Chemeda was one of the 15 Oromo nationals who was sentenced to life in prison in 2010 by the Ethiopian court (http://gadaa.com/oduu/3307/2010/04/11/ethiopia-hrlha-calls-for-reversal-of-the-racially-and-politically-motivated-sentences/) for his activism and political beliefs that were different from the ruling EPRDF government of Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian Government is accountable for:
1. Torturing Mr. Chemeda in prison, thereby violating the 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, an agreement which Ethiopia signed and ratified in 1994.
2. For denying Engineer Tesfahun medical treatment, violating the rights of prisoners – which are clearly stated in international laws and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 10(1): “All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.” and the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Rights of Persons Held in Custody and Convicted Prisoners, Article 21 (1): “All persons held in custody and persons imprisoned upon conviction and sentencing have the right to treatments respecting their human dignity.”
By handing over the Oromo refugees and others, the Kenyan Government is also breaching its obligations under international treaties as well as customary laws.
1. Under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1465 U.N.T.S. 185), the Kenyan Government has the obligation not to return a person to a place where they will face torture or ill-treatment.
2. Article 3 of the Convention against Torture provides: No state party shall expel, return (“refouler”) or extradite a person to another state where there are substantial grounds to believe that they would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa calls upon the Ethiopian authorities to immediately carry out an independent investigation into Engineer Tesfahun’s death, including whether torture played a part in his death, and disclose to the public anyone found responsible and bring that person to justice. The HRLHA also calls upon the Western political allies of the TPLF/EPRDF Government of Ethiopia to exert pressures so that it is forced to turn around, and start working on the genuine democratization of the country, halting the systematic elimination of citizens who demand basic rights and fundamental freedoms.
Finally we extend our condolences to Tesfahun’s family and friends in their time of grief as well as all Ethiopians who have been falsely accused, illegally detained or wrongly killed, at the hands of the brutal and hypocritical regime. Engineer Tesfahun is just one of thousands of victims of the EPRDF government’s campaign of violence, repression and efforts to curtail basic freedoms and fundamental rights of Ethiopians at all costs.
HRLHA